Friday, December 31, 2010


by: R.A. Slater

Another year is gone, vanished like vapor
And another year is knocking at my door
As I try to decide how to greet this new year
I think on the past one and wonder -
What have I to show?
For this past year has had its share of joy,
And more than its share of sorrow.
There have been far more failures than I would like,
And too few successes.
Friends have been lost, some to the grave
And some friends are now enemies.
There are more gray hairs,
From too much stress, and too much worry,
Though there are some who say I have "the" life.
No spouse, no children or the bills that go with them,
Which translates as "You have no worries!"
How little they know! How little they suspect the truth of my life!
There are more scars to account for,
Both on my body and on my heart.
The left over marks on my hands either say I am not afraid of hard work,
Or that I am accident prone, or dare I say - clumsy.
The ones on my heart I'd rather ignore, for many of them still hurt and bleed.
But they are a part of who I am, and of who I am being molded into.
Yes, I am tender of heart and spirit
And I pray that I never become too hard.
For each of these scars are evident of God strengthening me
Through these strange and hurtful things.
He has tried me to my limit this past year,
And then asked me to stretch even further.
I thought that I would break into a thousand pieces.
With this in mind, I wonder if it is possible
To bar the door and fend off the new year?
I would that it could be possible to stop time in its track,
But then there would be no new mercies,
No new discoveries of the awesomeness of this God
Who allows me to call Him friend.
Even though He is the One who holds the entire universe
In the palm of one hand.
I would be safe if time were to stall, with nothing to hurt me,
But there would be no joy - only boring mundanity.
So come on in year 2001, have a seat and get comfy.
We'll drink some coffee and have a good Ol' time.
Bring on your trials and tribulations,
For God is in the fire with me
And I am determined to find joy amongst the thorns and the blood.
I will bear my sword and fight the good fight,
And if I should lose a battle,
Then I will heal to fight another day!
We will dance our dance and live our life and when we are through -
I will say goodbye to you as well, and welcome another new year.
Regrets I will wash away and the good I will cherish.
Bring on the good, the bad, and the ugly,
And the incidents that are curiously somewhere inbetween.
My response will be to bring out the big guns,
Verses like Jeremiah 29:11 and Deuteronomy 31:6
And not to forget Hewbrews 11:1 and 1 John 4:4
Psalm 150 has always been a good one,
So has Philippians 4:4-7
I will fling every verse above
And all the others that have been written
Into your face.
And, so, in the mean time - 2001 - bring it on!
The word says that I am armed and dangerous,
Therefore - of whom shall I be afraid?
Certainly not of you!
Perhaps, instead - you should tremble in fear of me.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


by: R.A. Slater

Out of my imagination flows
Vivid pictures of uncertainty
Lightning, hail, and rain
Fierce gales of the terrible tempest
Thunder crashing and rolling
Earth exploding and shaking
Chaos overthrowing order
Insanity reigning anew
Terror walking freely in the streets

Is this real, I wonder
Or the prodect of a bored imagination?
Could it be that I've watched too much rv?
Am I taking the bible too seriously
When it talks of wars-
And the rumors of wars
Marking the end days?
Regardless of the reality
They make for good poetry

I know not from whence they come
It really doesn't matter
So long as I can write them down
These crazy things I see and dream
For that is the best that I can do
Time will tell the truth of such things
It is not for me to judge
Only to relay the messages
Without censor or varnish

A Blessing For You

A Blessing For You
by: R.A. Slater
sometime in 1997-1998, written for a friend when I heard he'd had a baby

May the God up above
Bless you hre down below
May He hear your prayers
And grant your requests.
May He grant you love and joy
That never fades with time.
May He embrace you with His love
And hold you close your whole life long.
May He fill you with happiness
And take away your sadness.
May the God up above
Be the One that lives in your heart.
May He forgive you your sins
So that you may be found Holy in His sight.
May He someday take you in His arms
And lift you up to live with Him on High.
May He guide you on your path
And may He stay at your side forever and always.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Whose Vision Is This?

Whose Vision Is This?
by: R.A. Slater
Written specifically for First Baptist Church, how differently I would write this poem today.

Is this my vision too?
Though it was first given
When I was but a child,
Only 4 or 5 years old
And no where near this church.
Can it be, that even then
My part in this church
Was somehow seen?
Am I willing to take part,
To make this my vision -
And not just the "church's" vision?
Am I willing to sacrifice
My time, my sweat, my prayers, my money
In order to see this vision come to be?
For we are not called to this church
Merely to be a spectator filling a spot in the pew
But to take our God-ordained place and do our part
For we are called here for a purpose!
Oh yes, many are called but few are chosen
But whose fault is that?
Are we willing to lay down our lives
To let the Holy Spirit work in our lives
In order to make us one of those "choice" individuals?
We must choose to answer the call
I know my answers to these questions,
"Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord Amen."
Do you know yours?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Heart of Christmas

The Heart of Christmas
by: R.A. Slater
date unknown, maybe Christmas 2002...I forget which Christmas poem I wrote for FB first.

The sound reverberated throughout heaven...
Such a small sound, so simple and quiet...
Yet the sound of mankind's first act of rebellion,
Was the sound of their doom.

Heaven whispered...
"What will He do now?"
"Will He destroy them and start over?"
"What is their fate now?"

But His heart could not be changed.
These were His creation
Made by His hands, by His breath they lived...
He could not destroy them - they were His own.

He had given them the ability to make their own decisions
For what kind of worship is it, if it is forced and mindless?
They had chosen the wrong way, sin had crept in and been given room
But now He would offer them another choice.

Into the Garden He went
At His regular time
And Man's absence was keeny felt as He cried out,
"Where are you?"

His heart continued to break
He gave them chances to confess their wrong
Instead they passed the blaim
And never took responsibility for their own actions

Judgment came and the curse was pronounced
But not before the unexpected Promise was spoken - the promise of a Savior
Another choice that if they took
Would reconcile them to His presence

It was the longing ache of God's heart
That gave us the Virgin Birth
Christ born in a manger
The long awaited promise became flesh

Jesus lived His life upon this earth
He walked among us and He was one of us
Fully Man and fully God
And it was His love that led Him to the Cross

His love for a wayward people
Many who wandered aimlessly through this life
Some who had no names and were invisible
Many who were the worthless scum of society

People whom the manifest presence of God
Was just a story told of the past from time out of mind
All of these He died show them their great worth
That the God who created them wanted them back

The heart of Christmas
Is the heart of the Cross
It is the heart of the Creator
Desperate for His creation

For it is the name of Jesus, the name above all names
That reconciles us to His presence
He is the One who gives us life and hope
Where before there was death and despair

Do not turn away from the reason for this season
Do not hide yourselves in fear or pride
Do not attempt heaven on your own power
Do not look askance as if there were strings attached

We are the created, and we rebelled against our Creator
And instead of destroying us absolutely
He has given us a second choice
To accept the Christmas gift of the Cross

His only desire is to have us restored!
To be back in His presence, never to leave!
He longs for us with a passion
Far greater than we long for Him

Can't you hear Him calling?
"Where are you?" He cries out...
He knows our names as surely as He knew Adam's
"Where are you...I love you..."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Christmas Miracle

The Christmas Miracle
by: R.A. Slater
Christmas 2001

Our God is a God of miracles
From the opening words of the Bible, He makes this very clear
He spoke - and the universe came into existence
He spoke - and the world was formed
He spoke - and this world was filled with plants and animals
With His hands He formed the first man
And the first breath that was breathed was the breath of God.

He could have stopped after that last day of creation - but He didn't
He could have stuck with the small everyday miracles
The ones of keeping the world in its orbit and the rising of the sun
But our God does not do that
With only 100 years warning, the earth was covered with flood waters
An act of judgement, yes - but no small miracle
With a thought our one language became many languages
Fire fell on Sodom and Gomorrah and a woman was turned into a pillar of salt
The miracle of Isaac is well known
Israel saw miracle after miracle in the desert - and still they turned away
Water parting and enemies defeated and the sun standing still
All this and more to show the mighty hand of God

And yet the thought of the Christmas Miracle
Far exceeds anything He'd done before
How could God pour Himself into a human shell?
Our bodies are so fragile, so unprotected from accident - a baby more so
Prone to illness and infirmity
Muddy clay was expected to hold the Son of God
The most amazing part of the Christ Child being born
Is that He was born to die

Some would like to seperate Christmas and Easter as two different miracles
They happened on opposite ends of His life here on Earth
And even happened at different times of the year
But aren't they one and the same?
A miracle spanning 33 years?
The effects of which we are still seeing today?
For His purpose even at birth was the cross
He walked this earth as one of us
He spoke to us, taught us, tried to reach our stubborn hearts
There was no other way to bring us home
Than for Him to hang on the cross

Upon this One that was born outside of sin and was sinless in every way
Was poured every manner of sin and foulness that did not belong to Him
So that you and I could be free from sin and live in victory
Heaven's glory He left for us
And the One who was blameless
Upon Him the Father could not look
So that upon us He could look - and see no sin
My freedom and yours was bought at a price
Blood that poured down from hands and feet and side
Was actually poured out from Christ's own love
And all this started in manger
With a baby born from above
This salvation I have received
Heaven's own bright, morning star
Is the Christmas miracle

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Love Letter To God

A Love Letter To God
by: R.A. Slater

My love is not enough, it is not deep enough nor real enough
When compared to the love of My God, my Jesus who died for me

It is no longer enough to say the words, "I love you."
And only mean it on the surface level
For I mean to love You with all that I am,
With a true love that runs to the deepest, most secret hidden part of me
I want to love You with an all encompassing love
That far exeeds anything I've ever experienced.
I want to love You far deeper than any love
I've ever claimed to have.
I want to fall in love with You, My God and King
Head over heals, helplessly in love with You.
I want to wake up eagerly, looking for Your smile
Anticipating Your presence in my day.
I want to fall asleep reluctantly, still immersed in Your presence
Immersed in the glory and the power of my God.
I want to dance with You, not only in wild delight
At the joyful remembrance of Your deliverance of me.
But also the slow intimante dance,
That belongs to lovers.
Where there is no shame or hindrances,
Only the sure acceptance of unconditional love.
Where there is no fear of abandonment,
Only the security that comes from promises kept.
I want You in every part of my life,
For You are the One that gave life to me.
I want to come to know You,
As deeply as You know me.
I want to swim deeper in the love You have for me,
And abandon my fear of drowning...
To lose myself along the way,
And be completely one with You,
Where words are no longer necessary,
And the only song there is -
- Is our hearts beating as one...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


by: R.A. Slater
sometime in 1999 or 2000

I'm stuck in the middle
Too old to be young
Too young to be old
Too young to be a leader
Too old to be taught forever
I'm not sure how to act
Someone always tells me I don't behave
Or that I'm not appropriate or behooving
My wrongs are highlighted before my rights
My accomplishments are too small for anyone to care
Who I am meant to be is clear to me
As impossible as it may seem, though mankind is opposed

"Dress this way, Don't wear that,
Your hair is too long, It is too short,
Walk this way, go that way, Stay out of my way,
Stand over here, Sit down and be quiet,
I love you, I hate you
Come talk to me, Don't talk to me!
March to the beat of your own drummer, Be like me!
Don't address the assembly, Come and testify!
Shoot for the stars, Don't dare to dream!
Your dreams are foolish, You'll never succeed,
You'll never be anything different from what you've been,
Change, change, change! You are no good!
You expect to little, You expect too much."
There is no inbetween, but that is where I'm stuck
I'm stuck in non-existance, told to leave, told to stay

God tells me something different, so I will not doubt
He tells me I am holy, and righteous
Set apart and chosen by Him
He tells me I am precious, special and unique
He tells me He is going to raise me up as a testimony to others,
Though I do not know how He means to do so, or truly what it means
I want so much for my dreams to come true
I want so much for them not to be vain imaginations
Who am I to lead? I am not qualified or worthy,
They will see only me, and not the One who sent me
But who am I to doubt my Savior's word?
I am only to obey
There is a saying,
"God doesn't call the qualified, He qualified the called."
In that I qualify, for I have heard His voice calling me

He will lead me out, He will be my qualification, He won't confuse me
He will set me free from this limbo so I might be who I was meant to be
He doesn't ignore, condemn, or turn away
His words are trustworthy and true
He will never leave me nor forsake me, never hang me out to dry
He will not fail me or ever tell me a lie
Though in this life I am stuck inbetween,
There is no doubt of eternity
He will see me through and I will break through
Break through the soapscum of sinful humanity
Break through the misgivings of saved humanity
Break through the mistreatment of them all
I will not doubt, I will not give up
Because my Savior has faith in me
He never has, nor ever will, give up on me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Every Breath

Every Breath
by: R.A. Slater

When every breath hurts
When evert thought stabs
He shared your pain
When the pain is beyond words
When your can't form the prayer
He still hears you
Your thoughts are no secret
Your emotions no surprise
He knows them all
Your troubles are not too big for Him
Your burdens are not to heavy for Him to carry
He holds the universe in His hand
Your troubles are not to small for Him to notice
Your burdens are not to trivial for Him to care
He loves you too much not to notice or care

Every breath counts and words are not necessary
He knows your heart - - He created you
Troubles and burdens are His specialty
He wants you to give them to Him
He will carry you
He wants you to lean on Him
He will be your strength when you have no other
He just wants you
And He will be your God.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Between Me and Thee

Between Me and Thee
by: R.A. Slater

The spectators of this 'sport' look on and laugh
All they see is a spectacle of a woman
The super spiritual look sown their noses in keen disapproval
They declare it is nothing but an expression of the flesh by just one look
Still others look on in wonder
As they cannot see why I dance
They do not hear the song in the silence
And they do not hear the beat of the angels' wings
They cannot feel my joy at His very presence
They do not share in my jubilee
They do not realize the price that has been paid for my freedom
They do not know of my recent victories
They are content to sit and wonder as others laugh
Unwilling to listen to the testimonies I tell
"Crazy!" They all claim. "Foolishness!"
"It is the flesh!" They do declare. "She is delirious!"
"Why dance when there is no music?"

If only they were to walk a mile in my shoes
They would wonder no more
If only they could hear the music
Then they would dance with the angels
If only they knew the pain they unwittingly inflict
For they do not know who overhears their whispers
Let the mockers mock, let the pharisees scold
Let the wonderers wonder, let the watchers watch
For one day they too shall be judged
And they will learn what I already know
That Man's opinion is jaded
And not important in Eternity's eyes
That worship is between the worshipper and the One worshipped
Between the Father and me, between them and Him
For in the Last Day we will stand on our own
We are accountable for our actions alone
No longer can we claim that another distracted us
Or held us back from this treasure or that
For in the end, we are our own distraction
And we hold ourselves back

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


by: R.A. Slater

What treasure!
What joy!
Pure elation!
Wealth hidden between two covers
Waiting for me to discover
The depths within
In the pages of books
Some old friends to be visited
Memories of last time
New nuggets to be found
Each a brave new world
Meant to be explored

Sunday, December 05, 2010

What Secrets Lay

What Secrets Lay
by: R.A. Slater

Behind dead eyes
What secrets lay
Stories untold
Of innocence betrayed
And love denied
Hopes shattered
Dreams unraveled
Freedoms stolen
Joy placed in a cage
Battered and beaten
Bruises on the heart
Easier to hide
Harder to prove
Greater shame
Over such silliness

Friday, December 03, 2010

City On A Hill

City On A Hill
by: R.A. Slater
Sounds Bites Series #12

Darkness gathers 'round
Snowy clouds of fury
Bearing down with heavy gloom
Until a shaft of light
Shows a briliant center
A shining city on a hill
Mighty bulwark against the storm
Refuge of hope in desperate times

authors note: this was written after driving around a bend in the highway and seeing the shining city of Syracuse, NY against the dark backdrop of storm clouds.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


by: R.A. Slater
Sound Bites Series #11

Like a pebble in a pond
A raindrop in a puddle
So are Your words to me
They might be small
These little poems
But their ripple effects
Rip all the way through
A mushroom cloud to consume me
Most likely meaningless to strangers
To me they are precious gems
I share them anyway
Knowing Your ripples
Stretch far beyond me