One for the Books!

The past year is bound to be remembered

Another year’s been published.
It was one for the books.
It’s bound to be remembered,
so let’s take one last look
at pages filled with busyness
and paragraphs of fear.
There’re endnotes of a loved one’s death
and footnotes of good cheer.

Some chapters point to answered prayer
while others reveal stress.
No fiction, here. Your story boasts
the facts and nothing less.

But all that’s ancient history, now.
What’s past is in the past.
It’s time to write a sequel
filled with mem’ries that will last.

Your yellow pad is a blank slate
just like the days ahead.
So, trusting in a faithful God,
write-on with ink or lead.

Sitting Near My Christmas Tree

Reflections on a Christmas Eve

While sitting near my Christmas tree
the lights that twinkle speak to me
recalling poignant memories
of happy times and sad

I visualize my mom and dad
and packages all wrapped in plaid
and buttered lefsa Nana had
to serve on Christmas Day.

I think about our relatives
and thoughtful gifts that they would give
and Grandpa’s prayer that we would live
to serve the newborn King.

I still recall our stereo
and records that we kids would know
by Mel Torme and Nat King Cole
(and the Chipmunks, too).

I can’t help picturing the past.
Somehow I thought those days would last.
Could I have known time moves so fast
as kids find their own way?

I pine for how it used to be
while sitting near this twinkling tree
and cherishing such memories
that time cannot erase.

The delightful image of this nostalgic Christmas scene was painted by my brother Marc Asimakoupoulos.

Finding God in “It’s a Wonderful Life”

You don’t have to look far to find Him

Finding God in Bedford Falls?
By George, I have. Will you?
Like Waldo He keeps showing up
amid the many clues.

He’s there at old man Gower’s store.
and in the Granville home.
You’ll find Him there at Harry’s prom
or as George prays alone.

He’s there beside young Zuzu’s bed
and at Martini’s bar.
To find the Lord within this film,
you need not look that far.

He’s there when Mr. Potter tries
to trap George in his web.
And He is there when George gives up
and wishes he was dead.

Although you’ll never see His face,
God’s fingerprints abound
within this movie millions love.
The plot is holy ground!

*Frank Capra’s timeless Christmas movie premiered on December 20, 1946 (exactly 75 years ago). Although it was nominated for five Academy Awards, it didn’t win any. What appeared at first to be a flop has become one of the most inspirational and popular films of all times. The following radio interviews were recently aired, interviewing Greg for his insights on the movie and the festival:

Dave Ross, CBS radio, interviews Greg Asimakoupoulos about IAWL Festival, 12/08/2021

Spirit 105.3 FM, Seattle’s Erica Parkerson interviews Greg on 12/22/2021

Gregg Hersholt, KOMO radio, features and interviews Greg Asimakoupoulos, 12/24/2021

BBC Radio 4 Sunday Program, 12/26/2021, host William Crawley features Greg Asimakoupoulos discussing significant audio clips from the IAWL movie.

Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos was guest preacher at First United Methodist, Seneca Falls, NY 12/12/2021 at time of the “It’s a Wonderful Life Festival”.
(Video play button above will start video at the intro to sermon)

Greg’s book,
Finding God in
It’s a Wonderful Life
is listed on the
BOOKS menu
at $2.99-$14.99
Lulu Books.

The Four Candles of Advent

Contemplating the message of the season

There’s hope and there’s peace, then there’s joy and then love.
The candles of Advent reveal
the season’s true essence, the heart of God’s heart
and the things that our world needs to heal.

Our hope keeps us trusting for what yet awaits.
We focus our gaze with a prayer
that what has been promised will come in God’s time
reflecting God’s light everywhere.

The peace that we long for and patiently strive
eludes us if left to ourselves.
Harmonious unions depend on God’s grace
that draws those at odds to God’s self.

Thank goodness for joy that comes out of the blue
giving songs in the night of despair.
Joy’s candle reminds us that we can give thanks
even when there are burdens to bear.

And don’t forget love that both warms and gives light
to those who approach Bethlehem.
What beckons us onward is knowing God came
to share in our plight as a man.

A Tribute to the Kid from Kansas

He modeled how the right and left can work together

Like the pineapple
with which we typically associate the name of Dole,
the kid from Russell, Kansas
could be prickly on the outside.

Bob Dole knew how to protect himself.
He had a sharp wit.
He did not suffer fools gladly.
But once you got inside his skin,
you’d quickly discover that
he was as sweet as they come.
This wounded veteran from middle America,
empathized with the common man.
This admired Senator was a born leader.
He became an American hero.

A man who spoke his mind,
Bob had the innate ability
to dole out both criticisms
and affirmations when deserved.

But unlike Paul Hollywood
(of The Great British Bakeoff fame),
this one whose death we grieve today
would never extend the right hand of fellowship.
His injuries from a righteous war
left him with the use of his right side.
Bob would have to learn to write with a hand
that had never previously held a pen.

This remarkable man would also teach us
what it meant to be ambidextrous in terms of relationship.
He was a capable of friendship with those
on both sides of the aisle.

Did I mention that a woman
by the name of Elizabeth
became the queen of his heart?
And from this earthly monarch,
Bob discovered what it meant
to submit to the rule of Heaven’s King.
As a loyal subject,
this kid from Kansas came to understand
what it means to be a child of God.

Peace to his memory!