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Cut & Split NEW!

by Mark Brunner

 

Devotions inspired by living with trees.

 

72 pages, softcover–This Passing Day, 2019  $7.99

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Curves and corners?

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? If there is something in your life that stands between you and your commitment to do God’s will, how eager are you to cut that out of your life? Does God expect you to do that, or is he tolerate of our will to enjoy ourselves no matter what? My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I do with my right hand as the left hemisphere of my brain dominates my motor skills. Along with nearly 90% of the population I reach for things, pick things up, grasp things, and write things down with my right hand. It’s my doing hand since most things I do begin with my right hand. A number of years ago I spr

In the grasp?

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? Do you believe that you have been called to serve our Lord with your life? If so, do you feel compelled to serve or are your merely honored so to serve? Knowing that Christ holds you to your service may make a difference in how your view that service. My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I began working part-time summers at the end of my sophomore year in High school. I was sixteen and a friend from school suggested I apply where he was working summers–Camp Lannon Fields. This was a dishwashing job primarily but we cut lawn, did some maintenance and other odd jobs as well. When I found

Sacred dibs

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? When it comes to answering a call that God gives us, can we take dibs on how we are affected by that call? When he calls us to follow him, is it a good idea to take dibs on what we feel is fair for us despite the prospect of unfairness he may be calling us into? My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “Putting yourself first doesn’t mean that you don’t care about others, it means you’re smart enough to know that you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first.” There is some truth to that adage in that when we are not at our opti

Poverty triumphant

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? Do you ration your prayers, saving what and how you ask for the really tough times? Do you sometimes feel that God might get tired of your asking for his grace? My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. Where we live there is no city water as we have a drilled well. It goes down about 100 feet through a limestone ledge into a permanent water table that has existed as such for centuries. Although there are a number of what are called “perched” water tables in the area, fresh springs that flow for the most part throughout the year, our well is drilled below these layers into the permeable ro

Getting through the fires

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? Does God gives us sorrow for a reason? When we come through it with the respect and the awe it deserves are we able to encourage others going through it themselves? Are we better for it because others see Christ in us? My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. Wood stoves are one of those appliances that’s both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand it heats our entire house during the coldest days of winter. The heat is even and steady day and night. On the other hand it is probably the most dangerous appliance we own, capable of destroying the entire house should it be used incorrectly o

Happy ever after?

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? Does God want you to be happy? Does he want you to be unhappy? Or, for that matter, does God want neither for you? Perhaps God is bidding you and I to forget about happiness altogether? My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. Do you or I have the right to be happy? The Constitution of the United States guarantees that each of us, citizens of this great land, have the right to pursue happiness. Will that pursuit, however, result in a happy life? One of the misconceptions many have about life, Christians included, is that we all have the right to be happy. While I enjoy being happy and woul

Fact or defect?

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? Is sin a fact and or a defect we have little control over? Is the answer lie in what we determine will rule in our hearts? If so, does the power of sin have anything to do with our ability to sin or not to sin? My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. Currently the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives are controlled by one party. This means that a single political party holds a majority in both houses of Congress. In a sense Congress is ruled by one political party. The majority in the Senate, however, is very slim, whereas the majority in the House is more generous. Historica

From one Dip-wad to another?

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? Are you critical of others? If so, do you have any idea how you learned to be so critical? Did you know that God doesn’t retaliate when we criticize others, but he does practice retribution in the sense that our criticism may be retributed in full measure to us? My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. When I was a kid growing up on a block with a number of other boys around my age, there were often occasions for conflict. It seldom got physical since these were friends by day and merely enemies by the moment. Tomorrow or the next day the conflict would be forgotten, but a bloody nose or b

By the skin of our teeth?

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? We get through life, often by the skin of our teeth, wiping our brow with a sense of pride and accomplishment at just making it by again. But, is that how God wants us to acknowledge his grace? If redeemed by the blood of the Lamb is there any room for us in the equation? My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. Have you ever had the experience of just getting through something in nick of time, or holding on and making it by the skin of your teeth? Years ago as I was digging a foundation wall for an addition to our house I experienced a close call, just making it by the skin of my teeth or

Where everybody knows your name!

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? God knows we need one another; he designed us to be social and ordained the family as the model for community that was to function as the catalyst to prevent isolation and overcome a sense of abandonment and rejection. Why aren’t we praying for one another when it’s not always possible to be there personally? My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. Back in the 80s there was a show called “Cheers!” It was a show not so much about a bar but about the people who met there. I didn’t watch the show but a few times, but when I did I was struck by some of the lyrics of the show’s theme song, “Wh

Holy cadre!

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? Can Christ count you as a cadre member of his campaign team, or merely a likely supporter? He’s really looking for cadres as opposed to just merely supporters. His aim is to build a team that will win the battle over Satan, not just hope he’ll go away. My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. When I was running for the State Assembly nearly a decade ago I ran into two types of people who supported my campaign. One group, I will call them the cadre, donated money to the campaign, signed nomination petitions, and made sure that they voted in the primary. The other group, let’s call them the

Holy GPS

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? Do you trust Christ to get your where you need to go no matter what happens tomorrow or the next day? Life’s journeys begin with a full trust. A partial trust is risky and often leads to unnecessary panic and a sense of lostness.. My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I really dislike getting lost. Evidently, as a child, I must have gotten good and lost at one point and panicked. Whatever the case, when I begin to feel lost these days my navigation skills become blurred, an adult brand of panic kicks in, and getting real lost has serious potential for me. These days I use the GPS on my

Holy drudgery?

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? How do you feel about drudgery? I mean, is the daily toil and grind in any way an inspiration to you? Perhaps we all need to reevaluate our days since God highly values routine over inspiration. My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. Those small and tedious tasks, the ones that just need to be done while offering little reward for their completion, tend to be boring, innocuous and just plain, down-right drudgery. Take toilets, for example. It takes some effort, at least minimally, to flush them. I think every time we do, nevertheless, we get a tremendous sense of satisfaction that indoor

Free will compelling

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? God has given us free will to deal with our sinful natures. We live in a world of pleasures, none that he has denied us access to, many that he wills we should not partake in. Is that fair? Should God decide what should or shouldn’t give us pleasure? My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. When you think of something that you haven’t done but are now requiring of yourself to do on a regular basis, you turn to the comfort of habit. Once a habit has been established over something that was only an occasio nal task, the task usually becomes effortless, often self-compelling. We all deal with

God's experiment

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? If you will give God your right to yourself, will he make a holy experiment out of you? You know that God’s experiments always succeed. Let’s find out in today’s thought entitled: God’s Experiment. My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day. One of the great wonders of medicine today is the ability of a good surgeon to find a cancer, remove it, treat the further spread of it, and put a patient back on the road to recovery. I’ve traveled that path and experienced what it’s like to have some of the best surgeons around to trust with the my cancer care. However, sometimes dealing with diseases

Not a saint?

How often have we relied on rationalizing wrong behavior with a simple, “Well, I’m no saint. I’m no worse that the other guy?” What’s God’s expectation? My friend, lifes a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day. My daughter Hannah owns dogs: small ones and big ones. She not only owns dogs, she manages them. She has expectations of her pack that go beyond that of most dog owners. If a dog misbehaves, she corrects it with a combination of commands and touch. Just recently her Australian Shepherd misbehaved. It wasn’t anything terribly serious, but it crossed the line from what Hannah felt was proper behavior. Her reaction was stern and prompt. The dog stopped what it was doing, drop

Come, Christian Come

As our ultimate goal in life is to worship our Lord by harkening to his call in service and, in so doing, serve others in love, we need to listen to his call– “Come!” My friend, lifes a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day. “Mark! Come here.” I heard that a lot growing up. There were a number of different opportunities to experience the command. There were the instances when I was doing something disobedient and my Mom or Dad were on the scene. “Mark! Come here!” My first thought at that moment was usually one of disappearing or hiding. I often thought if I could make myself invisible that would be one of the three wishes I would ask for from the genie of the lamp. Nevertheless,

Seeking or searching?

When you and I approach the King of the Universe out of need, the choices are the same. We can seek or we can merely search. My friend, lifes a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day. One of the more humbling experiences in my life has been the job interview. So much preparation goes into it with resume written and rewritten, cover letter crafted and each small detail of history and experience tweaked so as to make them shine both true and significant individually. When you finally do get a response from all the written preparation, and pass the initial phone check to see if there is a live body behind that keyboard, you come to the sartorial part of the exercise: the personal ap

Passengers?

I started driving back in 1968, nearly fifty years ago. I can still remember sitting in the driver’s seat of my Dad’s ’64 Oldsmobile, hands at 10 o’clock–2 o’clock position, feet ready to touch the accelerator as my Dad parked himself in the passenger’s seat. The official starter of the event, he signaled me to put the key into the ignition, check my mirrors, choose reverse, and back down the gravel driveway onto our street, Ridge Court, and start driving. Although a bit nervous, I liked being in control of Dad’s car. It put me into a position of command and control I wasn’t used to. I was making things happen and my Dad had to deal with me for the moment from a position of passenger and not

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