A young girl was enslaved and was trafficked for money when we met her one day on the way.

So with great sympathy and a word she was set free. Her controllers were more than just outraged. 


She was worthless to them (as girls often have been) and they needed someone whom they could blame.

They grabbed Silas and Paul, dragged them off the mall, where the court sentenced them to be flogged.


They were sent to a cell in the heart of the jail, where the guard put their feet in the stocks.

But they sang and they prayed until there was a quake breaking open the doors, snapping chains.


When the jailer awoke, he had almost lost hope when Paul called, “wait a minute, we’re in place.”

With a light he rushed in, and repenting of sin he inquired what to do to be saved. 


He was told, and believed in the word that was preached. They were washed and he gave them a meal.

Being glad and alive, he was swiftly baptized. For one day, that was quite an ordeal. 


Image: Joseph Mulder – Paulus en Silas in de gevangenis

Source: Acts 16:16-34

Text:  David Alexander, CC BY-SA NC 4.0

Tune:  Middlebury, Public Domain

Score:  Used by Permission

Live With the Vision

Live with the vision that nothing is new.

Keep your eyes open for what you can do. 

Don’t walk in blindness of what can be seen.

Even though death awaits paupers and queens. 


After a century, decade or year, 

no one remembers we ever were here.  

Living aware that our lives come to ends, 

keeps us from thinking they’re other than wind. 


Image:  Притча о слепых, Public Domain  

Source: Ecclesiastes 2:12-17  

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

Tune:   Trisagion, Public Domain


Audio:  Used by Permission

There is Nothing to be Gained

Greater than my ancestors, possessing all my wits; 

I desired what I espied, acquiring all of it.


Pleasure wasn’t just from stuff, in toil I found it, too.

Though rewarding, this as well, could not chase off the blues.


All my deeds and all they brought were vanity and loss.

There is nothing to be gained as worker or as boss.


Image:   Anton Moller, 17th Century

Source:   Ecclesiastes 2:9-11

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

Tune:   F. J. Haydn, 1732-1809


Audio:  Used by Permission


Unsatisfied with wisdom, I went to pleasure next. 

It also lacked enjoyment and failed to meet my test. .

In laughter I found madness. In wine a lack of cheer.

Yet nothing met my quest for a task to keep me here.


The mansion, orchard, garden, the pond and swimming pools,

Though better than my neighbors’, (like me a bunch of fools)

The slaves I bought to feed me, both women and some men,

brought pleasure and excitement, but I gave none to them. 


Image: Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Happy Lovers, 1880  

Source:  Ecclesiastes 2:1-8 

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

Tune:   Blomstertid, Public Domain


Audio:  Used by Permission

Sing with Mirth

May God be gracious unto us with shining face so bright,

that all may see God’s way on earth and nations saved from fright.  


May peoples praise the God who saves, all people sing with mirth.

May nations sing for joy God’s equal judgments on the earth. 


As God designed, the harvest comes for everyone to share.

The blessings of the Lord are free to people everywhere. 


Image:  The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Source:  Psalm 67

Text: David Alexander, 2020  CC BY-SA NC 4.0

Tune: St Francis Xavier, Public Domain


Audio:  Used by Permission

Someone Asked

Someone asked, so Jesus answered, “Love me, keep my word. 

This is from my father, and I say it to be heard.” 


Soon enough the Advocate will teach you ev’rything, 

and remind you that I said some things that come with strings.


Peace I leave you, peace I give you, but not like the world.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Do not be disturbed.


I will go away but I’ll be coming back to you.

You’ve been told ahead of time, so watch, because it’s true. 


Image: Composite of Public Domain Images from Wikimedia

Source: John 14:23-29

Text:  David Alexander, CC BY-SA NC 4.0

Tune:  Quinquagesima, Public Domain

Score:  Used by Permission

Mountaintop Dreaming

I dreamed that from a mountaintop I saw the holy city.

God lowered it from heaven where it had been wholly ready. 

It had no need for temple since God’s presence was already

in place. No need for sun or moon; its light from God was steady.


This city’s light will shine for all, the low and high will see it.

Its gates will never close, and moats and bars will be unneeded. 

No falsehood will be practiced there, and no abomination.

Cleansed by life-giving water, all will know the Lord’s salvation.  


The trees that grow there bear the fruit and leaves that carry healing.

Those named and claimed by God will find eternal life appealing.

With no more night, and God as light, their reign is never ending,

Pollution free, this city is the goal that God’s intending.


Image: Patrik Lindeberg on Unsplash

Source: Revelation 21:10 and 21:22-22:5

Text:  David Alexander, CC BY-SA NC 4.0

Tune:  St Gall, Public Domain

Score:  Used by Permission

Across the Miles

With a doctor on the team we sailed to Macedonia.

Went to Philippi, a city where the Romans set up shop.

On the sabbath went to pray and talked to women who were there.

One of them, from out of town, believed the news we came to share. 


Image: Ocean liners: S.S. St. Paul, 1895  Public Domain

Source: Acts 16:9-15

Text:  David Alexander, CC BY-SA NC 4.0

Tune:  O Durchbrecher, Public Domain

Score:  Used by Permission

Something that the Bible teaches Us

Round and round and round it goes; what it means there’s no one knows.

Wind blows north and then blows south, Streams run sea-ward to their mouths.

All seems vain, just so much noise. What’s the worth of ceaseless toil?


There is nothing new to see, least of all what’s on T. V.

What has been is what will be. Death leads to obscurity.

Like the sea, death never fills. Might as well live as you will. 


Image: Chinese boekverkoper, 19th  Century  

Source:   Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

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

Tune:    真美歌  Ji Le Yin, Public Domain

Audio:  Used by Permission

Robed in Majesty

Robed in majesty and strongly girded everlastingly;

God’s enthroned above the world, established for eternity. 


Though the floods lift up their voices, roaring, surging, flowing free.

Yet the Lord is more majestic than the thunder of the sea. 


God’s decrees are sure and steady. Holiness befits God’s house.                                        Evermore, our Lord and sovereign, we will serve and keep our vows. 


Image:  Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

Source: Psalm 93

Text:  David Alexander,2020, CC BY-SA NC 4.0

Tune:  Drake’s Broughton, Public Domain

Score:  Used by Permission