Posts Tagged ‘1976’


Christmas eve came and went,

The year’s most prestigious event,

Without one gift received or sent from home.

The place where once had been seen,

Things that build memory so keen,

When days were hard and times were lean, at home.[1]


A lonely man knelt by his bed,

Wrinkled hands held his graying head,

As slowly these sad words he said down home,

“Lord, I don’t understand

All the ways of God with man;

Why I, alone, of all the clan am home.”


Then rising deliberately,

His hands toward heaven in a plea,

With eyes tear-blurred, he could not see his home.

He talked at length to His God,

‘Bout the graves under winter’s sod,

Where loved ones lay who used to trod in home.


“Amen,” he said, and clinched his prayer,

Between God, so gloriously fair,

And his mortal soul, earth-bound there, to home.

Satisfied that God’s way is best,

He blew out the light of his nest,

And gave the grate a log to bless the home.


He went to sleep that Christmas Eve,

Believing as saints do believe,

Trusting God, he’d no longer grieve ’round home.

For the three who’d passed death’s door,

To walk familiar paths no more,

Making him the last of four, now home.


Little did the gentleman dream,

That the world which sad did seem,

He’d be leaving ere sun’s first gleam lit home.

The foursome would that Christmas morn.

No longer to be sad and torn,

Gone now would be the long forlorn of home.


The close circle, broken of yore,

Then met [2] inside the Pearly Door,

The old man made the last of four come home.

They now were there in perfect love,

They’d traded partridge for the dove,

Never to say “Good-bye” above. THAT’S HOME!

                – eab, 12/76 (pre-23rd )

Note the footnote.  Clyde D Bryan, my dad, was born this date (2/5/1904) in Murry City, Ohio.  This poem was not written about him but was penned just prior to his untimely death.  As some parallels existed it seemed fitting to place it here for Dad’s birthday.  One never fully gets over the loss of his dad. (He died before the sun came up on the 24th 1976.)

[1] My dad, Clyde D. Bryan, was severely burned on the 23rd and died the morning of the of 24th .  There was no premonition, yet dad was the last to die of his family of four. 

[2] I wish all four Bryans made heaven, but my poem is not claiming that.

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“…Jesus Christ, the most unselfish being in that ever lived on the earth.  So then if you want to show Christ to this old world you will have to get rid of self, for as long as there is any self in you the world can’t see Jesus Christ.”

– Bud Robinson, Sunshine and Smiles (Noblesville, IN: J. Edwin Newby, 1976), 129.

Reuben Robinson “Uncle Buddy” was born in White County, Tennessee, 1860.  When converted to Christ he could not read.  By God’s grace, the help of his wife, and determination he conquered this handicap and went on to be a leading Nazarene evangelist.

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T              Today a young man turns sixty years;

H             Half that time we’ve known him, it appears.

O             Operating a small printing press,

M             Ministering to rich, and those less,

A              “Ain’t going preacher,” was said by some

S             Sleepy souls, after the van had come.


L              Loving man to Paula, his good wife.


S             Stably married decades of life,

P             Papa to their four nice kids, all grown,

R             Reaching to grandkids, these four have “sown.”

O             (Onions are part of any good meal.)

L              Lord’s minister, who likes to help heal,

E             Enjoyed seeing homes of Shea* and Ike.**

S             Sincere “Bests” – to a guy we all like. – eab, 10/1/08


The Bryans and Sproles visited * George Beverly Shea’s homesite when he held a meeting in Kingston and we visited ** Dwight D. Eisenhower’s homesite when he held a meeting in Kansas. My wife and I first met the Sproles in 1976 in Tennessee.



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