Neither to the Swift Nor to the Strong

Neither race to swift nor, battle to the strong, 

fullness to the wise or favor to the young.

—–

Time and chance will frustrate ev’ry human plan.  

None anticipate them, and nobody can.

—–

Fish are trapped in nets and birds in cruel snares. 

Suddenly it happens, and nobody cares.   

———-

Image:   Fables of La Fontaine, Public Domain

Source:   Ecclesiastes 9:11-12

Text:   David Alexander, 2022  CC BY-SA NC 4.0

Tune:   Boundary, Public Domain

Score:   https://www.smallchurchmusic.com/2013/Score/GloryBeToJesus-Boundary.pdf 

Audio:   www.smallchurchmusic.com  Used by Permission

The Lord Approves of All You Do

Go eat your bread, enjoy. And, drink your wine, be glad.

The Lord approves of what you do and always has. 

Don fancy clothes, and wear your hair the way you care as time goes past.

—–

Take pleasure with your wife, and love her all your life.

That’s your reward for all your boredom and your strife. 

Devote your hands to treat her well before you both end up in hell. 

———-

Image:   Portraits of Love: Together at last  https://www.dvidshub.net/

Source:   Ecclesiastes 9:7-10

Text:   David Alexander, 2022  CC BY-SA NC 4.0

Tune:   Darwall, Public Domain

Score:   https://www.smallchurchmusic.com/Score_PDF/GodIsGoneUpOnHigh-Darwall.pdf 

Audio:   www.smallchurchmusic.com  Used by Permission

We Learned This From a Minister

We learned this from a minister who brought us word of you.

You’re faithful, loving, filled with hope, and living fruitful, too.

We pray that you may all be full of knowledge of God’s will;

with wisdom from the Spirit and with understanding filled.

—–

Lead lives as worthy of the Lord, bear fruit and grow to know

the strength you have has come from God so as you outward go

you’re set to stand through everything with patience and in joy.

With God’s bright light you’ll shine as bright as moon and stars on high.

—–

Since God has shown that light to you, be thankful for the gifts,

of rescue from the darkness and of Christ who life uplifts.

We’ve been redeemed, from sin made clean; new life is ours to take.

So sisters, brothers, share with us in joy for Jesus’ sake. 

———-

Image:  Victória Kubiaki on Unsplash

Source:  Colossians 1:1-14

Text:  David Alexander, 2022  CC BY-NC SA 4.0

Tune:  Fight of Faith, Public Domain

Score:  https://www.smallchurchmusic.com/2017/Score/TheSonOfGod-FightOfFaith-Chords.pdf 

Audio:  www.smallchurchmusic.com  Used by Permission

Taken Into Consideration, It Doesn’t Look Good

I pondered rather deeply, examining it all, 

the deeds of wise and righteous, are totally enthralled,

how all things that confront them are vanity and wind.  

Their fate is not entwined with their virtue or their sin.

—–

For everything that happens, the fate of everyone,

begins and ends with evil and madness till we’re done.

A dog alive is better than lions that have died. 

The living know death’s coming, it’s no use to deny. 

—–

The dead are gone forever, their memory is lost.

Their love and hate and envy have vanished into dust.

What happens ‘mong the living, they’ll never touch again.

Their knowing came to nothing except the end of pain. 

———-

Image:   Allegory of Virtue and Vice (Veronese)  1581-1640, https://www.museodelprado.es/

Source:  Ecclesiastes 9:1-6 

Text:   David Alexander, 2022  CC BY-SA NC 4.0

Tune:  Es Flog Ein Kleins   Waldvögelein :  Public Domain 

Score:   https://www.smallchurchmusic.com/Score_PDF/FromAllTheWinds-EsFlog.pdf 

Audio:   www.smallchurchmusic.com  Used by Permission

The Lord Your God Has Vowed

The Lord your God has vowed to prosper everything you do.

Your bodies, barns and fields will yield their riches unto you.

The same delight that rested on your ancestors and kin,

will rain on you and what you have from heaven once again.

—–

When you obey the Lord your God, observing the commands,

the written words of things God said and all of the demands;

when you have turned with all your heart and ev’ry ounce of soul,

you’ll see God’s promises fulfilled and know that you are whole.

—–

It’s not too hard or far away to keep what God commands. 

They’re not way up in heaven or beyond the ocean sands.

The words are in your mouth to say, and written on your heart.

The day is here; it’s very clear; the time has come to start.

———-

Image:  Ivan Bandura on Unsplash

Source:  Deuteronomy 30:9-14

Text:  David Alexander, 2022  CC BY-NC SA 4.0

Tune:  Halifax, Public Domain

Audio:  www.smallchurchmusic.com  Used by Permission

Score:  

As Near As You Can Get

You cannot know the stuff God knows, not even if you’re wise. 

God never sleeps, but that is what you’ve got to do at night. 

—–

However much you’ve toiled and dug nobody’s found it yet.

Your claim to fame and noted name are near as you can get.  

———-

Image:   Six Scholars Sitting Around a Table: Hans Burgkmair, 1531

Source:   Ecclesiastes 8:16-17

Text:   David Alexander, 2022  CC BY-SA NC 4.0

Tune:   Downs, Public Domain

Score:   https://www.smallchurchmusic.com/2011/Score/AsWhenTheHebrew-Downs.pdf 

Audio:   www.smallchurchmusic.com  Used by Permission

The Wicked Will Win

The wicked will win and the righteous will lose. 

There’s meaning in nothing, so you’re free to choose.

Eat, drink and enjoy ev’ry day that you get. 

There’s nothing that’s better than that, you can bet!

———-

Image:   The Defeat of The Iroquois on Lake Champlain drawn by Champlain, 1609

Source:   Ecclesiastes 8:14-15

Text:   David Alexander, 2022  CC BY-SA NC 4.0

Tune:   Lyons, Public Domain

Score:   https://www.smallchurchmusic.com/2012/Score/HowFirmAFoundation-Lyons.pdf 

Audio:   www.smallchurchmusic.com  Used by Permission

Godless (Responding to the US Supreme Court)

Where cities teem with homelessness and “rural health” is meaningless; 

that nation’s got no God.

Where poverty is limitless and guns fill schools with hopelessness; 

that nation’s got no God.

—–

Where wealth’s the measure of success, and yet brings little happiness;

 that nation’s got no God.

Where women’s bodies are controlled to keep things as they were of old;

 that nation’s got no God.

—–

An army will not keep it safe and weapons can not make one brave 

when justice is denied.

God’s real, and sees all humankind: the tricks we use, the ways we find,

 to keep the poor in line. 

—–

So, if we claim to fear the LORD and live conforming to the Word, 

our hearts may still be glad.

But if it’s in our gender, race, or nation that we put our faith, 

we’re heading to be sad. 

———-

Image:  Joe Mabel, 2009.  CC SA 3.0

Source:   Psalm 33:12-22

Text:   David Alexander, 2022, CC BY-SA NC 4.0

Tune:   Venetia, Public Domain

Score:   https://www.smallchurchmusic.com/2014/Score/AndAmIBornToDie-Venetia.pdf  

Audio: www.smallchurchmusic.com  Used by Permission 

A Boatload of Advice

When one has sinned, then don’t reject. Restore instead to the elect.

Be gentle with each step you take, for sin itself leaves quite a wake.

—–

Help others with the loads they bear. Fulfill Christ’s law and show you care. 

Don’t think you’re doing something big, lest you believe your own deceit.

—–

Inspect your own, not others’ work. If yours is good you’ll cause no hurt. 

There’s work you do just for yourself. Your teachers need support as well.

—–

Such wild oats as you may have sown will bear their fruit when they have grown.

So, when there’s opportunity, work for the faith-filled family. 

—–

There’s one more thing to emphasize, you don’t need to be circumcised. 

The preachers who would have it such are seriously out of touch.

—–

Forbid that I should ever boast of anything but Jesus’ cross.

Enjoying God’s creation, new, I offer heaven’s peace to you. 

———-

Image:  Dan Kb on Unsplash

Source:  Galatians 6:1-16

Text:  David Alexander, 2022  CC BY-NC SA 4.0

Tune:  Arizona, Public Domain

Score:  https://www.smallchurchmusic.com/Score_PDF/BeholdAStrangerAtTheDoor-Arizona.pdf 

Audio:www.smallchurchmusic.com  Used by Permission

What the Servants Saw

Although he was the soldier, who led the victory, 

he suffered from the evil of ugly leprosy.

A little girl of Israel lived in the great man’s house, 

she served as servant girl to the mighty warrior’s spouse.

—– 

One day she told her mistress of healing back at home, 

A prophet whom she thought had the power to make whole.

The king was told the news and, he ordered up a trip.


A note got wrote and sent with some silver, gold and kit. 

—–

The king on Isr’el’s throne first received the mighty guest.

He knew he wasn’t God, so, instead he was distressed.

The prophet heard the news and saw opportunity.

“Stop griping and your crying, just send that guy to me.” 

—–

Arriving at the house with a majestic company. 

He heard another servant tell him how to get clean. 

In anger when he heard of the actions he should take;

a clash of expectations convinced him it was fake. 

—–

But he, too, had some servants (like wife and prophet, too).

Who, blessed with wisdom, calmed him, advising what to do.

“It’s  risky, go  and try it. What have you  got to lose?”

And washing in the Jordan, restored his skin to youth.

———-

Image: Vigneshwar Rajkumar on Unsplash 

Source:  2 Kings 5:1-14

Text:  David Alexander, 2022  CC BY-NC SA 4.0

Tune:  Lancashire, Public Domain

Score:  https://www.smallchurchmusic.com/Score_PDF/LeadOnOKing-Lancashire.pdf 

Audio:  www.smallchurchmusic.com  Used by Permission