Celebrating Saint Piddlepotts


St. Piddlepotts is the patron saint of side-eddies. He always enjoyed the challenge of getting off the mainstream of rivers in his native Ireland to rest at quiet pools giving beautiful reflection of himself and charming surroundings. These pools were an end in themselves never giving back to the River. Unfortunately in the warm season they would promote all manner of pesky, distracting bugs. For this he devised a series of purification poems addressing those ponds and the people who loved to retreat to them. He would conclude every petition with the stirring words: “so begone ye nasty buzzers this is our peace, for Chrissakes!”
The Saint was born Paddy Elsewhere in Happy Moss in a family of 13 children (10 girls and 3 boys). Father was supervisor in a distillery and wrote bawdy limericks. Mother tended to kids and messes. Environment did not promote quiet thought or patient reading. Paddy ran off to the county monastery just to get some peace and fresh air and masculine reinforcement. For a while he toyed with ancient Celtic Animism. But a traveling minstrel sang songs of Jesus and the miracles, and that launched a new direction.
The River was a place for baptisms and hearty hymn sings. The ponds of Piddlepotts were for skipping stones, endless reflection and gathering potter’s clay. The Saint’s special day is the first Thursday following Easter. Adherents are encouraged to rest for the 10 days preceding and then to head to the ponds with flat stones, chicken sandwiches and metal pots. Preaching style at these gatherings emphasized humour, personal anecdote, varied definitions of love and inclusive tolerance. His followers, the Piddlers of the early 1600’s loved him for it.
He is believed to have written the bracing hymn Let’s Not Gather at the River. No individual under the age of 11 was ever allowed into service. His record of 39 stone skips has never been bettered.

Somewhere a Rooster Crows


I’ve read the Gospel story

The miracles and such

The preaching from the hilltop

The crowds He loved so much.

The fish and bread

For thousands

The girl raised from the dead

The stormy sailor crossings

The supper when He said

His death was at the doorway

His blood a new life paves

And none would dare stand with Him

When Evil rants and raves.

And Peter e’er the leader

Would cringe, deny his Friend.

A fear he thought beyond him

Would break him at the end.

And I can see the limits

To what this story proves

That God is good

And God is just

And hurting ones He loves.

But do I need salvation?

I try my best ya’ see

And over-much religion

Is sure to hamper me.

A business has me running

With corners cut to gain.

And friends would soon be shunning

If I proclaimed His Name.

And pain would come large measure

If I turned right around

And changed my speech

And changed my paths

For mercy I had found.

No, I must draw the limit

For history’s matchless Christ

He’s not my Lord

He’s not adored

I just won’t pay that price.

And surely all these drawbacks

Each modern person knows.

…What’s that? I hear out yonder

Somewhere a rooster crows!

Note: The good news is that some of the “Peters” of this world receive the rebuke, repent and enter into the life of joy unspeakable and full of glory. (1 Peter 1:8)



Five Chapters of Grief Vividly Felt


Mine eyes run down with waters

I see the judgment come

And not a one in Zion’s walls

Repents to save our home.

The women leave the homesteads

The children roam in sin

And not a priest will call it foul

The heresy we’re in.

The young men waste their vigour

The judges issue floss.

So You have launched your arrows

And You have brought us loss.

And bread has caught our bellies

The search transcending all

Neglecting writ of righteousness

And plunging fast, we fall.

It starts with my own person

Left weak and in the pit

And feeling, right or wrong, your ire

And terrified by it.

Our prayers don’t leave the temple

Not solemn now or real

And strangely, you still harbour hope

Though all this muck you feel.

Lord please hear my petition

Let Sovereignty dash our foe

And not just archers from without

The barbs within must go.

Then maidens pure will sing and dance

And young men pledge their heart

And children rest in safety’s arms

Your people set apart.


Lamentations 3: 42-50

Hebrews 2: 3, 4


Note: The Greek word for church “ecclesia” means a people set apart unto God.

Your Part In It


Perhaps you have a child who has strayed away from the faith. Or a
spouse who insists belligerently that religion is only a crutch for
the wounded. Or a neighbour who seems to be checking out your slant on
an issue “because of the Christian thing”. He is curious.

You have prayed and taken what seemed to be a God-ordained opportunity
to explain your hope in Christ. You get only the lack lustre answer,
“How nice that must be for you.”

What do you do next? Can you come on too strong? Can you dampen the
process by poor timing?

It is good that you have these concerns. Remember Ezekiel’s words in
the 33rd chapter:

8When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if
thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man
shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

9Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if
he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou
hast delivered thy soul.

The testimony should focus on specific scriptural points. Your
opinions are not life-begetting. God’s word is. But then step back and
pray. It will be the Spirit’s work to show that individual his/her

And remember there is not a set of circumstances which cannot be used
to draw that individual to the Cross. Is he popular? Lonely? Rich?
Poor? Accomplished? Invisible to others? Bold? Timid? Law abiding?

Every one of these scenarios can become tiresome. Unsatisfying.
Hypocritical. Tenuous. And the individual will say as did the old
Peggy Lee song, “Is that all there is?”

We have a neighbour who is in his nineties. Before sun-up every day he
goes out and shuffle-jogs, carrying a walking stick in front of his
chest. He is robust, prone to come out with an unanticipated joke or
quip, perpetually smiling…a man of persistent good humour. Recently
however I have seen the pride aspect to all of this. ‘Yeah he has kept
himself going with the positive formula in it all. He is disciplined,
jolly and lucky…yesseree.’

Last Saturday outside the grocery store, he just couldn’t wait to be
“funny” with me one more time. I was almost tempted to say that the
only reason now for his continuation down here is the matter of
contract with Jesus. Unfinished business.

But no, God is in charge, and loves this chap with more than I could
ever muster.

And oh yes, there are always facts in the thing unknown to me. But if
he asks me again for the reason I have to hope…

The Toss of the Coin


Luke chapter 22 shows two opposite positions of heart.

Judas “went his own way” and communed with the chief priests how he might betray Jesus.

Our Lord prayed for consecration in the Garden saying “nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done”.

The first position is that of Adam in the Fall. 

The second is that of Messiah in the Restoration.

Jesus knew that each of His disciples, each of us, would face a similar test.

His words of counsel upon entering Gethsemane were very potent. “Pray that ye enter not into temptation” (v. 40). Seven words*, the perfect number.

Pray. Do not go to sleep through self-interest, self-pity or the lullabies of shallow testimony, shallow gathering or shallow preaching.

Pray, and in frank acknowledgment of your weaknesses, doubts and stumblings, beseech the Lord that you might have more of Him and of His gracious intercession. I did not say more of His ethic or virtues. I said more of Him; His life essence.

Verse 40 occurred right before the final chapter of His passion. He was in  Gethsemane and His disciples all fell asleep. They longed for the happy days beside Galilee – the teaching, the feasting, the miracles, the vigorous travel. When it came to praying, and to considering in depth the weighty sayings of the Olivet Discourse (chapter 21) and of the Last Supper, they became drowsy. What about staying awake, and keeping Jesus company in His agenda?

I would suggest that today many of the churches are doing the same thing. Jesus wants them to share His burdens and selfless service. They want Galilee, fellowship, smiles, signs and wonders, knowledge and spiritual giftings to build themselves up. All in the name of good and successful Christian living. Such a sad second- best.

They would be slow to foot-wash, slow to pray, slow to seek the lost sheep, slow to bear the reproach of Jesus (Hebrews 13: 13). The coin has been tossed in favour of going their “own way”.

May these be good words of counsel for many to launch the New Year of 2015. This is my prayer…Doug

* https://sites.google.com/site/conversationabove/gospel-gems-seven-words-each

Yes, But Sinless?

I wrote my comment (to another blogger) to address her boast in entire sanctification. ‘On the other side of the repentant sawdust trail, one can discipline oneself into sinless-ness’ (she infers that she has, and does her endless scripture citation thing). That practice nauseated me from the word go. She also knows the power of mystifying priest-craft and uses it without stating anything definitive about herself.
What about Romans 7. What about James 5. What about 2 Corinthians 7:1.
Now, I am more Holiness oriented than Reformed. And I did read a lot of Charles Finney, New York state attorney turned mighty evangelist; but his teaching on sinless-ness rang hollow in light of experience in my life and the lives of faithful friends. The Apostle Paul didn’t have it. The Lord Jesus told parables about the faithful steward having to remain watchful until the Master’s return.
Glory will be a wonderful place, God-engineered, and without sin or sorrow. But not here. Not in this flesh. Not now.
And so I keep short accounts. Pray often. Call upon the Spirit (Romans 8). Repent often…Doug

Daubers Beware!

“walls of salvation”: message gone missing

You’re hearing your spirits

No inkling of mine

Your comfortable pillows

Your surfeit of wine

You utter a burden

But it is a fraud

Your people are careless

And far from their God.

The peace that you utter

Is no peace at all.

You flee from sound doctrine

You’re ready to fall

The walls that you’re trusting

As Zion’s defense

Are crumbling and white-washed

With putrid pretense.

And folk rush to hear you

The touted “now” word

But you are clear bankrupt

Your message absurd.

And I will soon visit

And pull down your wall

And leave you defenseless

With no strength at all.

The evil then follows

And rolls ‘cross your land

And you’ll miss my favour

Once closely at hand.

Oh had you just waited

My counsel to hear

You would have stood valiant

With nothing to fear.

Ezekiel 13


Nearly caught me, she did

At the River’s final bank

The Eternal City shining through the mist.

My journey near complete

Tired back, aching feet

Wonder! Then by her wiles nearly kissed.

She has toppled many souls

Casting just one sultry look

And bankruptcies and scandal fill her book.

How could I, Standfast,

Wobble at a dress or a scent,

Stumble at one vain, come-hithering look?

Madame Bubble, harlot

Strumpet of the world.

See the wreck that befell a simple lass.

And she tried me, she did

Not a single trinket hid

Only Heaven’s keeping care got me past.




I come behind in no spiritual gift

Not a one.

Signs and wonders occur

As I share the Word.

Stubborn hearts soften

And Jesus gains new siblings.

I am constrained to do these things.

By Love, and not of my origin.

But the gainsayers are suspicious

They allege I have no diplomas on the wall.

(Heavens, I have no wall.)

I do not hold my breath for their approval.

Their measure is evil.

Competitive and fleshly.

I battle against it

Like some plague.

Until the Spirit within laughs

And liberates.

He nudges, saying

“How can you boast in a gift?

Wasn’t earned or learned, Son.

Be thankful. Period.

And occupy.

You wrote, yourself, that the dispensation

Is all of my choosing.

The Body develops

In harmony.

If it will only listen

And take the small roles

Member by member.”

Yes I hear you, Comforter

And your irony.

Better I boast in my infirmities

The stretchings, the slander,

The stoning, the shipwrecks

The starvings and sleeplessness

For sake of my Master.

And His glorious grace.

Yes, better I boast of such.

And leave the swelled heads in a tizzy.

(2 Corinthians chapters 10 and 11)