Eugene Cho

theology of singlehood part 3

In one of my recent sermons, I answer the question, “What do you do when you’re not called to be single but can’t find anyone? What do you do?”

“In the third part of his Theology of Singlehood series, Pastor Eugene speaks to those who are single but do not feel called to be. With sensitivity and empathy, he exhorts them to wait with faith and to resist the pull towards hopelessness and cynicism. In addition, he offers up a number of active steps that singles can practice as they wait in faith.”

Some encouragements: Read the rest of this entry »

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theology of singlehood II and the “big question”

Here’s part 2 of my sermons on a theology of singlehood as part of a larger series on Relationships.  As you listen/watch the sermon,  I do have a question and would love to get some feedback. It’s the most prominent question I’ve received over the past couple weeks as I’ve taught on singlehood:

You say that singlehood is a choice and a response to God’s revelation. I agree in part but what if it’s NOT a choice. What do you do when you’re single not by choice but because there’s no one out there. What do you do?

The above question is what I’ll be teaching on over the next couple weeks along with the importance of focusing and investing on the three primary aspects: passion, vision, and mission. But how would you pastorally answer that question above?

Here’s the description of the above sermon (articulated by our video/audio staff lead: Mr. Randor 2K): Read the rest of this entry »

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beauty and the beast – 13 years

anniversary2

On February 1, 1997, Minhee and I exchanged vows and committed ourselves to Christ, one another, our families and community –  the journey of loving, serving, and growing as husband and wife, father and mother, and mutual followers of Christ.  Today, we celebrate our 13th anniversary.  I know that it is customary [and wise] to speak well of your spouse on your anniversary but Minhee truly is an expression and embodiment of God’s grace and beauty to my life. Our marriage – while clearly not perfect – remains focused on the three pillars I often share with others:  Passion.  Vision.  Mission.

We met in Korea and dated for a week before I returned to the States. We engaged in many phone calls and probably exchanged over a thousand letters since we both weren’t using this technology called ‘electronic mail.’ Just in case some of you don’t know what letters are…it’s when you put a pen to paper and write.

And while people boast of their marriage proposal stories, I’m pretty sure mine is the most romantic and unique:

The summer before our wedding [while I was still a student in seminary in New Jersey], I put on my best suit, got on my knees, picked up the phone to call Minhee in Korea, and in my best Korean drama voice…asked her to marry me.:)

Here’s our wedding photo that still continues to amaze people. Minhee looks her usual photogenic self and I’ve been told I look “very different” – so different that people ask if it’s her “first husband.” Read the rest of this entry »

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the most difficult year of my life

Since everything is so current, I may be biased but 2009 has been one of the most (if not the most) difficult year of my life – and yet, incredibly formative for the reasons I share below.

How was this past year for you?

As part of our human inclination and disposition, we make plans and we do all that we can to pursue those plans. Things turn bad when some of those plans don’t come to pass. Things suck when everything feels it’s moving in the opposite trajectory of what you hoped for.

In their hearts human beings plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

To list a few challenging things in 2009: Read the rest of this entry »

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i’m going to ground my son for life

My son is 6 years old. He’s the youngest of three kids.  This week, he had the following conversation with my wife (while I wasn’t there):

Son: Mom, can I marry you? Read the rest of this entry »

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if i were jon and kate’s pastor

John&Kate-hawaii-vows

Since I was intending to write some posts on marriage, dating, and some other issues related to relationships in the coming month, I thought I’d share a few personal thoughts about Jon & Kate’s announcement to proceed with divorce and end their marriage.  Umm, this despite saying I wasn’t going to blog about them.  Just this once.

Last night’s show was the first full show I’ve seen. I’ve seen snippets here and there. For whatever reason, I remember the episode where they were at church, sharing their story in front of their church community with their pastor, and recounting God’s faithfulness in their lives.

And now, it’s come to this…  Last night’s announcement had no mention of God, covenant, church, community, or prayer. I wonder what kind of pastoral/spiritual care and counseling they are seeking and receiving. So, let me ask you:

If you were in Jon & Kate’s community group or was their pastor, how would you advise/counsel them?

I have no personal feelings for the Gosselins since I have no relationship with them but it is indeed sad to see their marriage exposed and explode in the public arena of reality TV. Let me also say that I really have no idea about all the details and gossip. I just know stuff is going on because of the buzz and all the magazine & tabloid covers. But I wanted to share three simple things with them if I was Jon and Kate’s pastor and was approached for counsel: Read the rest of this entry »

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your favorite chick flicks?

chick flicks

We’ve discussed some heavy issues recently on the blog so I’d like to change the pace and post something light and talk movies. Who doesn’t like to talk movies?

Last year, I asked a question about the movies that have influenced you the most and why and wow, there were some incredible comments and recommendations. I followed many of your recommendations and enjoyed many of them.

My wife and I have different preferences in films. Me like (grunt) Action and (beating chest) Sci-Fi films.  And so, she takes one for the team to watch those films but I guess I need to do my part so I ask you this important question in an effort to invest in our marriage.

What are your favorite chick flicks?

In addition to “regulars” sharing their answers, I am especially inviting the lurkers and quiet blog readers to chime in. This is your chance to join in and become one of the cool people.

Here’s what I can bear watching: Read the rest of this entry »

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12 years and counting

anniversary2

On February 1, 1997, Minhee and I exchanged vows and committed ourselves to Christ, one another, our family and community –  the journey of loving, serving, and growing as husband and wife.  Today, we celebrate our 12th anniversary.  I know that it is customary [and wise] to speak well of your spouse on your anniversary but Minhee truly is an expression and embodiment of God’s grace and beauty to my life. Our marriage – while clearly not perfect – remains focused on the three pillars I often share with others:  Passion.  Vision.  Mission. [another blogpost]

We met in Korea and dated for a week before I returned to the States. We engaged in many phone calls and probably exchanged over a thousand letters since we both weren’t using this technology called ‘electronic mail.’  

And while people boast of their marriage proposal stories, I’m pretty sure mine is the most romantic and unique:  

The summer before our wedding [while I was still a student in seminary in New Jersey], I put on my best suit, got on my knees, picked up the phone to call Minhee in Korea, and in my best Korean drama voice…asked her to marry me.:)

Here’s our wedding photo that still continues to amaze people. Minhee looks her usual photogenic self and I’ve been told I look “very different.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family,

going to jail for adultery

I’m not sharing this to propagate gossip.  There’s enough of it – both in the secular and sadly, christian community as well.  But, when I read this news of a famous Korean actress and her lover being “sentenced” this morning, it really intrigued me because even after living in Korea for several years as an adult and doing pastoral ministry for couple years in my birthplace referred to some as the Land of the Morning Calm, I had absolutely no idea that adultery was “illegal” and a crime.  I enjoy following Korean films when and IF they’re available here in the States but I don’t follow pop culture in Korea especially since my reading capacity is elementary.

In addition, you know that I’ve been posting thoughts and stories about government, politics, religion, morality and how they all engage together.  Simply, the question I keep coming to is,

“What is the government’s role in legislating morality?”

I vacillate back and forth regarding the government’s role and constantly feel conflicted.  I agree that adultery is “damaging to the social order” in addition to the clear damage to the SOUL.  For the record, I acknowledge that your assessment and/or criticism that I have inconsistent views about the government’s role have weight.  And there are days when I just think we should run everything by LAW all over again.  Why?  Because all of us have such an undeserving and under appreciated entitlement to freedom and grace. 

What do you think of the above and below?  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: christianity, culture, family, , , , , , , ,

cute gals

It was intended to be a humorous post – a post you write because I had nothing better to share and everyone likes the occasional humor on their blog.  So, I shared “a joke” called “Cute Guys” couple days ago and well, it brought out some interesting comments, emails, and potential threats.

In all seriousness, what it conveyed to me is that we don’t talk enough about dating, courtship, marriage, sex, and healthy relationships.  Last year, I very much enjoyed teaching a six week series entitled, God’s Ethics of Intimacy, and attempted to cover those and other juicy topics.  Well, at least I enjoyed it.  I invested two Sundays on Dating & Courtship and you can listen to the sermons here:  Part I and Part II.   I’ll write another post tomorrow or early next week about Dating & Courtship – not because I’m an expert – but because these are questions I personally wrestled with in the past, and questions I wrestle with now as I seek to give godly and wise counsel to the people I seek to pastor, shepherd, and guide.

But let me say this about the Single Men at Quest since they’re under scrutiny for not taking initiativeRead the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, 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

  • RT @micahchallenge: Our books Live Justly & Overrated are tools used to be moved to change the world! bit.ly/1s3DKI2 https://t.co/… || 9 hours ago
  • Another challenging & life giving message by @RevDocBrenda. Such a privilege to teach with a team of women & men that love the whole Gospel. || 9 hours ago
  • It's been years since Seattle Sonics "became" the OKC Thunder. Still stings. Seattle deserves a team before OKC gets a title. That is all. || 1 day ago
  • That time when nearly everyone laughed at @KlayThompson when he said he was the best shooting guard in the NBA. || 1 day ago
  • 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. || 1 day ago
  • Cheer up Toronto & Canada. Great season. Also, you have free health care, toonies and your political candidates are not as crazy as America. || 2 days ago

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