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A Ruthless Pursuit of God

Biily Graham celebrates his 90th birthday without his bride; Plus: The Old Marine.

by Greg Asimakoupoulos
November 7, 2008

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A Ruthless Pursuit of God

A Ruthless Pursuit of God
Billy Graham celebrates his 90th birthday without his bride.

A man called Billy greets each day
without his cherished wife.
And though he grieves for one so loved,
he ruthlessly lives life.

This confidant of Presidents
has confidence in One
who's promised to provide the strength
until faith's race is run.

Though weak and weary, Billy seeks
the face of God through prayer.
He's frank and earnest with a Friend
who knows his every care.

He prays for those who call him dad,
for nephews, nieces too.
For grandchildren, for longtime staff,
for nurses clad in blue.

Yes, after sixty years or so
of preaching to great crowds,
what matters most might be the words
he speaks at home head bowed.

At ninety years the preacher knows
God hears his every prayer.
And though he's old, he still is bold
to give the Lord his cares.
* Dr. William (Billy) Franklin Graham turns 90 years of age today (November 7, 2008). His beloved wife Ruth passed away on June 14, 2007.

The Old Marine
A personal response to the Marine Corps 233th birthday.

The old Marine is weak and tired.
He's earned the right to rest.
His furrowed brow can now relax.
He's faced his final test.

His wrinkled hands appear at peace.
They clutch a wooden cross.
This old Marine knows all too well
that winning follows loss.

I watch him take his final breath.
Then peacefully he's gone.
A long awaited victory
at last has finally come.

And like that Iwo Jima mount
where brave men raised a flag,
a banner flies in Heaven now
as all the angels brag

about redemption's victory
as blood ran down a hill
when one brave man gave up his life
in keeping with God's will.

With eyes of faith I see it all.
The old Marine's at peace.
As "Semper Fi" jumps from his lips,
he finds his soul's release.

* In the midst of grieving my dad's death this week, I found cause for joy. I was able to arrange for his memorial service to be held on November 10th, the 233rd birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps. My dad would be so pleased.

You see, Edwin Asimakoupoulos was a proud Marine who was an honor guard at the Surrender Ceremony aboard the Battleship Missouri that ended World War 2. This poem chronicles my dad's bravery fighting for freedom and his courage battling cancer. It also celebrates his victory over death and his entrance into heaven all because of Christ's sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection.

Those who follow Jesus do not grieve without hope. Our hope in life and in death is based on a God who is always faithful. In joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health as long as we all shall live, He never fails. Semper Fi.

Comments (1)

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Nancy from Texas writes:
November 7, 2008
What an absolutely beautiful tribute to his father!!!
I love all of Greg's poems!

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Sunday Rhymes & Reasons
Published June 4, 2009

Sunday Rhymes and Reasons is a compilation of inspirational poetry by America's pastor/poet laureate, Greg Asimakoupoulos. In this, his third volume of poetry, Pastor Greg paints word pictures that portray both the struggle and fulfillment that define a life of faith. His repertoire of rhymes celebrate rite-of-passage occasions like birth, baptism, marriage and death as well as the major holidays of the church and culture. It is a volume that illustrates the poet's love of words and of popular culture. The author dips his brush into a paint box of hubris, humor and honesty.

"Gloria and I have been encouraged by word pictures from Greg's pen that have celebrated both our ministry and God's presence in our world."Bill Gaither, Gospel music composer/performer

"Gifted poet Greg Asimakoupoulos is a dear friend of our family. His poetry blesses, comforts, entertains, and provides inspiration for every season of life."Natalie Grant, singer/songwriter/recording artist

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