Eugene Cho

a black president playing with his asian-american niece. huh?

Why can’t I stop looking at this photo?

Per the note on the Official White House Photostream, President Barack Obama plays with his Chinese-American niece Savita Ng [child of Conrad & Maya Ng] during the family’s vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Aug. 25 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

I am so mesmerized by this photo.

A bi-racial Black President playing with his Chinese niece…  Wow.

The world is changing. America is changing. Are you changing?

What comes to your mind when you see this photo? Please don’t say, “Oooh, look at that Socialist baby…” Read the rest of this entry »

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jimmy carter, barack obama, wilson, racism, “you lie” and the perpetual elephant in the room

Anyone that says that racism doesn’t exist or that racism no longer exists is living on Jupiter. But with some talking about visions of a Post-Racial world, you wonder how you exactly go about doing that in a world that is so racialized… Or in other words, how do we move deeper towards Reconciliation?

Some of my readers know that I have immense respect for former President Jimmy Carter. Let’s be honest: He was an average President at best but his post-presidential work, voice, and advocacy in so many various venues have been very inspiring – including his decision to leave the Baptist denomination over his support for the equality of women.

And while I admire his courage and boldness in speaking about racism recently, addressing the perpetual elephant about racism and the possibility for some [and reality of others] of the “fear” of a black President, I found some of his comments disturbing: Read the rest of this entry »

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the outcry over obama’s speech to america’s youth

schoolbadge2Most folks who’ve read my blog over some time should know that while I very much respect President Obama, I don’t go Ga-Ga and drool over this man. I can understand why so many love him but I can also see why many disagree with his views and policies.

But having said that, I simply cannot understand the outcry of some parents, schools, churches, politicians, talk show hosts, your mommas, and whoever you want to add to this list that are going nuts about President Obama addressing America’s students. Of course, he has an agenda. As the President, he has certain goals, convictions, and “agendas” and in this case, he’s made it clear that he wants to address the youth about “working hard” and “personal responsibility” which umm, are clearly dangerous socialist, communist, and muslim agendas.  Huh? Read the rest of this entry »

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“america is not a christian, jewish, or muslim nation…”

courtesy of White House

What did you think of President Obama’s speech at the Turkish Press Conference?  And this quote from his speech:

…”American is not a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim nation…”

Here’s the above sentence in the larger context:

I think that where — where there’s the most promise of building stronger U.S.-Turkish relations is in the recognition that Turkey and the United States can build a model partnership in which a predominantly Christian nation and a predominantly Muslim nation, a Western nation and a nation that straddles two continents — that we can create a modern international community that is respectful, that is secure, that is prosperous; that there are not tensions, inevitable tensions, between cultures, which I think is extraordinarily important.

That’s something that’s very important to me. And I’ve said before that one of the great strengths of the United States is Read the rest of this entry »

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“…a nation of cowards”

Are you a coward?  Chicken? When it comes to the issue of race, why are Americans [including Christians] so reticent and reluctant to engage in honest conversations?What are we scared of?  This is such a thought provoking and honest assessment about the American people and the issue of race by Attorney General Eric Holder.

“Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards…” 

I have two instructions for you:

  1. Read the article below.
  2. Discuss.  Agree?  Disagree?  Damn it: Why does it always have to be just about black and white?  What does “translated into policy” mean?  What are we afraid of?   Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: politics, , , ,

blind versus discerning submission

photo by cbc.ca

I received this comment last week regarding my supposed slandering of soon to be former President George W. Bush.  The funny thing was I was trying to defend him in that post about an Iraqi journalist throwing a shoe at him.  Okay, I know he’s not the greatest president and many can’t wait to see him out of office but we should give him some props.  Why?  His work and advocacy for Africa was signifcant and secondly, the reality of extremist terrorists is legit and he navigated the country through uncharted territories especially through post 9/11.  But I still don’t support the war in Iraq.

Anyway, read the comment below.  Good thoughts for rumination by the commenter who I don’t know.  I appreciate the respectful tone in which he communicated his concerns.  But honestly, I get very concerned about Christians quoting Scriptures instructing people to “respect our governing authorities and fall in submission to them.”  

Really?  Yes, let’s respect our leaders.  I agree that it’s important but please don’t blindly submit to your leaders.  Please don’t tell this Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: bible, christianity, church, justice, , ,

the abortion conversation – the sequel

I really need to do a better job in following up on sequels to earlier posts.  This is the sequel to the original The Abortion Conversation which sparked some good and intense dialogue.

A commenter wrote:

Eugene said:
“However, I just do not believe we can legislate it.  Without going into all the details, the layers over abortion is so complex that even after extensive research, I can’t understand how a country like the United States can enforce abortion and pay for the enforcement – if it were to be turned illegal.”

Instead of “abortion”, replace it with any other crime; like murder, rape, slavery, theft.  How does it read then?  Is cost any reason not to criminalize an act where another person is harmed?  Obviously, we still have murders and other crimes even though it’s illegal, but that doesn’t mean we should allow it. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: politics, religion, ,

let’s kiss and make up

I follow politics but I don’t go crazy.  Meaning, I’m not the kind of person that wears buttons, puts bumper stickers on their cars, and plant signs on their home lawns. I confess I do have one vintage Ronald Reagan shirt I picked up a while ago from a second hand store.  So, while I watched the elections with great interest and cried like a baby, it was hard to live vicariously with those who were celebrating like Kids Gone Wild in Seattle or those who were visibly upset about the doom and gloom news of impending socialism and Obamunism.

It’s not just because I’m an ‘independent’ voter but also because I feel like my voice in the City, Church, and Culture is to be a ‘reconciler’ or ‘peacemaker’ that I’ve been feeling torn over the growing division in the country between RED and BLUE.  When you see leaders tear each other apart, you wonder how anything be accomplished to remedy some of the national and global crises. 

Even more painful has been the division in the ChurchRead the rest of this entry »

Filed under: politics, religion, , ,

a picture says a 1000 words beginning with: “inconceivable”

Update:  Check out a call for the church to move towards post-election reconciliation:  Let’s Kiss and Make Up.

The picture below sums up why Obama’s presidency is truly historical.  Many of us don’t really know because we’ve only seen it or felt it through the eyes and stories of others.  As I shared in an earlier post, I wasn’t ga-ga about Obama but as a minority or person of color, I was overwhelmed and cried like a baby during his speech.  But I could tell that my tears were different that those that flowed down and kept flowing down from the eyes of Maya Angelou, Jesse Jackson, Toni Morrison, and others. There was a time when even the idea of a black person becoming the President of the United States was absolutely inconceivable.  

Let me rephrase that in another way: The idea did not even exist. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, politics, religion, ,

how i’m voting

My ballot still sits on my desk but I’ll be completing it soon and walking it in on Tuesday to my local polling place.  As I shared last week and again, yesterday during my sermon at Quest, I will not be divulging who I am voting for various reasons. 

Side question: Do you think “active” pastors [currently serving congregations] should publicly share who they are voting for?

Politics can get heated and messy.  You don’t just have to watch the various media and news outlets to know this.  You can also sense the tension within the Christian community which I think is perfectly normal and okay as long as we 1] engage in the rules of civility and 2] get off our righteous soapboxes and consider what it means for us to live out our faith and convictions beyond the election season.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: politics, religion, , ,

stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

My Instagram

People often ask, "How does one stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much. I like the rain. Keeps everything "evergreen" and clean. Keeps our air fresh. What's challenging is the gray weather. Give me a few more sunny days. 99 more days to be specific. 
Regardless, still love this city. Checking out Canada in case I need to move up North after the presidential election. Just saying, eh.

Downtown Toronto. Fascinating architecture. Amazed by the diversity of this city. We desperately want our children to not just be captivated by the beauty of creation...but more importantly, to the actual Creator of all that is good and beautiful.

Actually, we want and need this truth for our souls, too. What a privilege. This isn't possible without all those who give, pray, and support the work of @onedayswages. This week, I signed and mailed grants to three partner organizations totaling over $170,000. These grants will empower people by supporting maternal health care, refugee relief efforts, access to clean water, provide education, etc.

Sometimes, the brokenness of the world feel so overwhelming but let's keep running the race with endurance. Let's keep pursuing justice, mercy, and humility. Let's be faithful and may we be spurred on to keep working for God's Kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, thank you so much for your support for @onedayswages! My wife, Minhee, and I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers. I'd like to take a moment to honor my mother-in-law. It's hard to put words together to embody her life but she is a very special, anointed person. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother in my life.

She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

As she'll soon celebrate her 80th birthday, I'm especially grateful for the ways that she poured into and prayed over Minhee and her other children.  Even though she's officially retired, I'm inspired that the concept of retirement is not in her vocabulary.  She continues to serve the local church, evangelize and bear witness to Christ, and goes to the early morning prayer meeting at 5am everyday to pray for our family, our church, and for others. 
Jangmonim, we love and honor you. 어머니, 사랑합니다.

Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother.

my tweets

  • The best part of wanting to change the world...is being humbled, learning you're not the savior of the world & being changed in the process. || 4 hours ago
  • Cheer up Toronto & Canada. Great season. Also, you have free health care, toonies and your political candidates are not as crazy as America. || 17 hours ago
  • Make friendships more than transactions. There's a huge difference between "I appreciate you" and "I appreciate what you can do for me." || 1 day ago
  • There's much to ponder in this article. Much to repent. Much to grieve. "Seattle's vanishing black community." - seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-mag… || 1 day ago
  • People often ask, "How do stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much.… instagram.com/p/BF2giXwyWTY/ || 2 days ago
  • Don't obsess about your platform.Just do your thing with passion, humility, integrity. We do what we do for God's glory, not human applause. || 3 days ago

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