Remembering Aretha, Robin and John

When the lifestyles of the rich and famous resemble ours

Aretha Franklin, Robin Leach
and John McCain have passed.
The rich and famous end their lives as we.
Regardless of possessions prized
or stock portfolios,
Death’s unimpressed by all celebrity.

The ground is level at the grave.
There are no perks at all.
No U-haul trailers trail behind a hearse.
We end our days like we began
with nothing in our hands
without regard for what’s within our purse.

For those quite wealthy or quite poor
and all those in between,
when Death arrives and knocks at our front door
what matters most is Who we know
and Who we most can trust
so that we need not fret at what’s in store.

A “Dear John” Letter to Senator McCain

An expression of thanks for a remarkable leader

Dear John,

Although I never met you, I want to thank you for your example. The flags that fly at half-staff today represent our full hearts. You taught us how to live and you showed us how to die.

You served our country courageously. In spite of what some may say, you were a war hero. The room service you endured in the Hanoi Hilton was unimaginable. I’m grateful you didn’t choose to leverage your personal privilege to gain an early release. I’m humbled by the fact you opted to continue suffering alongside your fellow POWs instead of taking advantage of that to which you were entitled. That selfless decision exposed your inner character.

Back at home you bravely found your place on the frontlines of conflict to fight for the freedoms of the forgotten and overlooked. With grace you fostered friendships with colleagues on both sides of the aisle. You bore in your body the wounds of war, but the stiffness of your arms did not prevent you from reaching out to those who viewed life differently. Even on the campaign trail, you embraced justice rather than cozying up to those who were only too-quick to flatter. You willingly defended your opponent as your own supporters falsely accused him. And even though you would eventually lose that election, you were a winner in my book.

On more than one occasion you acknowledged you were far-from-perfect. You owned your past mistakes aware of your regrets. Thank you for your willingness to be vulnerable. By admitting you were human, you became more approachable. Perhaps that’s why I feel close to you. Like you, I’m a sinner in need of a Savior. I’m less than I wish I was but grateful for the blessings of a gracious God.

Like you, John, I’m grateful for the privilege to live (and die) in the land of the free andthe home of the brave. Like you, I’m a proud American. And like you, I am too proud to simply stand by and turn a blind eye to what needs changing in a country we both love. Please rest in peace knowing that your example has inspired people like me to follow your lead and fight the good fight.

With gratitude,

Greg Asimakoupoulos

Dealing the Cards You’re Dealt

Life is more than just a game

Life is more than a Trivial Pursuit.
It’s more than a roll of the Dice.
Any Dominoes
that Life is more than a game.
But it’s a Risk
that can find you in the Pit.
No one has a Clue
where Chutes and Ladders will land you.
And no one has a Monopoly
on Aggravation.
Life can leave you feeling Rummy.
Just ask any Old Maid.
But don’t Flinch!
Play the Cards you’ve been dealt
without worrying about what Trump might be.

Remembering the Queen of Soul

A tribute to Aretha Franklin

The Queen of Soul (her Majesty)
ruled well. Her reign was long.
In Motown (at her daddy’s church)
her scepter was her song.

RESPECT we gave her as she sang.
Both white and black concurred.
She voiced emotions from the heart
as those who listened heard.

This much-loved voice is silent now.
The Queen has left her throne.
And on this day while millions grieve
we trust in Christ alone.

God, Be Praised for Recreation

New hymn lyrics in celebration of play

God, be praised for recreation
walking, running, sailing, too.
We love golf and tennis, don’t we?
Flying kites in skies of blue.
Playing Bridge and watercolors
help us to relax and rest.
Recreation is required
if we hope to be our best.

God, be praised for His example
to unplug and call it quits.
Those who fail to keep a Sabbath,
risk the loss of health and wits.
Leisure is a sacred calling.
Rest is what our bodies need.
Balance is what God intended
for His creatures to succeed.

God, be praised for work and playtime.
Both are needed in our lives.
Honest labor gives us value.
Sports and hobbies help us thrive.
God who made us for His purpose
wired us to find the joys
that we knew in playground recess
as young girls and as young boys.

Tune: Ode to Joy