At Burials We Turn Our Minds

Family laying flowers on the grave

At burials we turn our minds to wicked folks who die.

Their evil ways were clear enough to people far and wide.


When punishment is slow to come we ponder evil ways.

Lay those aside to fear the Lord and thus prolong your days. 


Image:   Licensed by Rawpixel

Source:   Ecclesiastes 8:10-13

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

Tune:   Diana, Public Domain


Audio:  Used by Permission

A Vision in a Temple

Beside a wall my Lord did stand, a plumb line chutched within a hand, 

and asked me what I saw.

I said, “a plumb line” in reply. The Lord went on to tell me why.

 It was about the law.


Since standards for this land are straight, some places will be desolate, 

and others be laid waste.

This news was carried to the king. “A prophet should not say these things, 

but royal praises sing.”


A priest suggested, “run away; preach somewhere else to earn your pay, 

and don’t come back this way.

“I’m not equipped to prophesy, but just a common farming guy,

 and God has sent me nigh.”


I only say what God has told, so please allow me to be bold,

 of what your future holds.

Your wife will be a common whore, your sons and daughters die by sword, 

and you will die abhorred.


Image:  Pearson Scott Foresman Archives, Public Domain

Source:  Amos 7:7-17

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

Tune:  Meribah, Lowell Mason, Public Domain

Score:  Used by Permission

A King is Just a Man

If you are wise your face will shine and all your features soften. 

You’ll know a king is just a man, and only heed as often 

as keeps folks safe. You’ll know the way and time for every matter.

(Though powerful, some kings are even madder than a hatter.)


There’s none who can command the wind or stall the course of dying.

To claim control of wickedness is mainly boastful lying. 

Authority in action hurts the ones who are commanded.

All who would wield it carelessly will soon be reprimanded.   


Image:   John Tenniel, 1865

Source:   Ecclesiastes 8:1-9

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

Tune: Bishopgarth, Public Domain  


Audio:  Used by Permission

Pressing On

Aware his time was drawing near, he headed where the risk was clear.

Through obstacles that blocked his way he pressed ahead without delay.


Like homeless pilgrims on the road his followers pursued the goal

Forsaking family and name to go, God’s kingdom to proclaim.


With such a lofty goal in mind, it doesn’t help to look behind.

Think not of what you may have lost. What you have gained is worth the cost. 


Image:  Roberts & Haghe Pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Public Domain

Source:  Luke 9:51-62

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

Tune:  Gonfalon Royal, Public Domain


Audio:  Used by Permission

Twist and Shout

Testing everything by wisdom showed me just how far I fell.

That which is, remains far distant, deeper than a sacred well.


When I sought to know the meaning of all things both great and small,

Folly, wickedness and madness mixed with foolishness filled all.


Lust for sex had almost trapped me; grabbed my heart and made me dread

what could happen if I went there. Only by God’s grace, I fled.


Putting two and two together didn’t help me in this quest. 

God made human beings simply. We have twisted all the rest. 


Image:   Denise Jans on Unsplash

Source:   Ecclesiastes 7:23-29

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

Tune:   Stenka Razin, Public Domain


Audio:  Used by Permission

Two by Two to Towns

Sent out two by two to towns and places where he planned to go,

Laborers to reap the harvest went ahead to smooth the road. 

Like lambs in the midst of wolves, unfunded, barefoot, unprepared.

They stayed where the welcome was and left if there was nothing there. 


Eating, sharing, not comparing, gracious guests of rich and poor,

list’ning, hearing, loving, curing, bringing Kingdom to the door.

If deflected or rejected speaking clearly in the fray;

telling those who would not heed, “God’s kingdom’s coming anyway.” 


“She who hears you hears me too, who shuns you shuns my sender, too.”

They went out, then came back saying, “even demons fall to you.”

“There is nothing that will hurt you, neither snake, nor scorpion.

Yet one thing is even greater, from the stroke of heaven’s pen.” 


Image: Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Source: Luke 10:1-11 & 16-20  

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

Tune:  Yr Hun Gan, Public Domain


Audio:  Used by Permission

Don’t Be Too Wise

When you prosper and i-n adversity, keep in mi-nd they’re both fr-om God.

Nobody knows what follows this li–fe. We’ll all find out some day.


Life in van-i-ty has shown me everything. Righteous perish; wicked live.

Evil lasts, so don’t be too righteous; neither a-ct too wisely. 


Let some foolishness temper your wisdom. Live the years you are given.

Learn the secret of be-tween-ness. Trust the Lo-rd to help you. 


Wisdom strengthens more than politicians. No one lives without sinning.

When you are cursed, know you’ve been a curs-er. Careful how you listen. 


Image:   Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

Source:   Ecclesiastes 7:14-22

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

Tune:   Yiddish Folk Tune, Public Domain


Audio:  Used by Permission

Your Friendly Advisor Speaks

Two business women having a casual meeting or discussion in the city.

Life’s not all celebration, most will mourn and all will die.

That’s just the way it is, and it will happen by and by.

If you’re prepared for sadness, then you’ll know when gladness comes.

Keep sackcloth and some ashes at the ready. Don’t be dumb. 


The ocean moves in currents tossing foam upon the coast.

Amusement that looks pretty disappears before too long.

Oppression ruins what’s been built. Bribes make a nation rust.

A honeymoon is fun; long marriage leaves it in the dust. 


The patient wise response outdoes the clever sharp retort.

Think “plumbing” when it’s mentioned “let’s go back to things before.”

Invest yourself in getting wise as long as you may live. 

Though human life is crooked, God has better things to give.


Image:   Licensed by

Source:   Ecclesiastes 7:1-13

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

Tune:   Tyrolean, Public Domain


Audio:  Used by Permission

From Freedom to Fruit

It’s for freedom Christ sets us free. Don’t go back into slavery.

Our freedom is from God above; our guide for living in love. 

There’s only one law, nothing else, love neighbors as you love yourselves. 

Competing to come out as first, leads to results that are worst. 


By Spirit live, not by your gut, (which leads on to you can’t know what).

Your body’s good, it can do much. Some things can put you out of touch.

Focus on what you’d like to see (that lasts throughout eternity).

Banish negativity. Aim for a life that is free. 


Spirit leads to both joy and to peace, and loving generously. 

Patience, kindness, self-control (these things can make you whole)

Gentleness and faithfulness, keep you out of many a mess.

No law is against the things that living by Spirit brings. 


Image:  Hannah Gullixson on Unsplash

Source:  Galatians 5:1 & 13-25

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

Tune:  Contrast, Public Domain


Audio:  Used by Permission


When everything you taste is bland and satisfies you not; 

when wisdom counts for nothing more than what some fool has got; 

to know how to behave may be the only way to live; 

and sight of eyes will fail to guide your chasing after wind. 


Image:   Oatmeal, CCO  from

Source:   Ecclesiastes 6:7-9

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

Tune:   Stettin, Public Domain


Audio:  Used by Permission