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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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Making winning possible?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is Jesus concerned with soul winners or soul workers? How important is it that we convert unbelievers? Or, is our job to learn how do the work of winning instead? In the end, how important is winning anyway? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I had a track coach in High school, Mr. Stracka. In many ways I consider him a rather unique personality. Here’s why. After joining the Freshman team I remember attending my first team meeting. He gathered his young recruits together and gave an unforgettable pep talk. Coach asked two questions to start out: “How many of you are here to WIN?” Nearly every hand went up. Why would

Really?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Foolishly believing in someone or something is normally a path to misfortune and hurt. Kids are good at that, but we adults are usually pretty careful not to be taken. Nonetheless, are there times when being foolish has its upside? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. When a child trusts he or she really packs a lot of meaning into the word. In fact, their trust is so fervent, less often skeptical and more than often than not rigid, that as an adult one has to be careful of what one says serendipitously or in mere whimsy. My youngest grandson, Jakob, recently gave me good example of this. He and I were walking upstairs

This and only this?

May I ask you a question? Is there ever a good time to say “I’d do anything?” Likely not In most instances. However will there be an opportunity for each one of us in a given lifetime to do just that, give anything? What is God asking of you and of me . . . anything! My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I would do anything if I just –– could . . . , would . . . , for a moment! How often have you found yourself repeating this oath? “Anything if just . . . !” I know that neither you nor I would really “do anything” as we promised. It’s just something we say when we’re faced with an incredible problem, a tremendous challenge or, perhaps, a heart-wrenching fe

Lone Ranger?

May I ask you a question? When we think that we are alone in a cause are become afflicted in such a way as to become a Lone Ranger, believing we‘re the only ones who care enough, who try as hard, or are left to do battle? Worse yet, do we see the cause may be lost without us? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. For years I drove rear-engine cars, all Chevrolet Corvairs. These cars, which first entered the automotive scene in 1960 and exited by 1969, were unconventional. With an air-cooled, rear engine, They were exceptional. There was no other car on the road, other than the Volkswagen, that had a trunk in the front and engine in the back. Additionally,

Looking back no more?

May I ask you a question? If we’ve seen God at work in our lives in the past do we know he will be there in the future should we fail? Do we need to be searching for God if we trust he has trained us well, well enough to trust without looking back? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. When Holly and I taught our oldest, Sarah, to ride a bike, two firsts occurred; she was our first child to ride a bike on her own, and it was the first time we played the role of parents teaching one of our children to ride. Mistakes no doubt were made. Sarah’s biggest mistake, however, was that she had developed a lean to one side while riding with training wheels. That wor

Wired?

May I ask you a question? It’s nice to think that God is talking to us, his Spirit to ours, in a relationship connection day-in and day-out, isn’t it? But, is that how it works? We wake up in the morning and he’s talking to us and remains so throughout the day? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I have a Idiot’s Guide to Wiring on my workbench shelf. I can’t count the times I’ve been sure everything was correctly connected (neutral to neutral, hot to hot and ground to ground) only to find out that I had missed something or not correctly secured something in a wiring repair job. I have particular problems with circuits and lights. There’s this little tab

Hold your fire!

May I ask you a question? When we're looking to be disciples of Christ, how does God want us to respond to the invitation? Is he looking for exceptional people? Or, is he looking for disciples who avoid impulsive reactions to spirituality in favor of men and women who by intuition know when to take their finger off the trigger? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I’m not much of a hunter; in fact I’ve hunted only once in my life really. A High school buddy of mine, Duane, asked me to go pheasant hunting with him years ago on a cool Fall afternoon. We weren’t using dogs, so we were just hoping to flush a few birds ourselves. It was just a nice afternoon w

Grow in grace?

May I ask you a question? Interests start small and grow from a dabbler to a full blown enthusiast. Is this true as well of a Christian’s life? Will our earnestness in developing a more worshipful approach to life result in a growing devotion to overcoming sin in our lives? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I began keeping tropical fish over 40 years ago. It started with a small ad in the back of a magazine advertising “Tropical Seahorses.” It talked about how for just an investment of few dollars in a glass bowl, some pieces of coral, sea salt and a pair of Seahorses I could watch the miracle of birth as baby Seahorses were the predictable outcome. Fo

Rooting?

May I ask you a question? If we’re rooted in God’s Word, submersed and soaked in it, not just touched by it, are we most useful to God? Although hitting the ground running as Christians seems noble, does rooting ourselves in his Word, becoming one with him make more sense? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Before Winter set in I planted grass in an area of our front yard. I selected some seed that grew well in shaded areas, and just weeks before the frost struck I sewed the area, raked it in and began the watering process. Since I really needed to get everything done prior to a freezing frost, I anticipated several choices at the time. I could give the

Simple kindness!

My friend, may I ask you a question? Why is it more important than ever for Christians to take the lead and show hospitality whenever we can? Is it because the world leaves a lot of lonely and searching people in its wake and it’s up to supply a simple cup of Christian kindness. My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. For many years I drove old cars with an air-cooled engines. These were Corvairs. I don’t collect old cars; I drive them. For some people that would seem risky. When they look at an old car, they see 40-year old ball joints, pistons, bearings and heater fans. However, there is really only one aspect of driving the car that bothers me. Since Corv

Awesome indeed!

My friend, may I ask you a question? When is the genius of our labor in God’s mission fields revealed as awesome and exciting? When viewed together with the work that God accomplishes through that labor, could that be the difference? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Recently I drove down one of those city streets that had been narrowed to one lane due to construction. As I coasted to a stop prodded by the sign man standing in the street I noticed two men standing next to an excavator shoveling gravel into a hole. As the traffic on the other end of the lane slowly passed by I watched the steady cadence of the shovelers. First one dug in and then the ne

Be handy?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Specialists are great to have, especially when you have a special job to do. What about God? Is he looking for specialists to do a special job of winning souls for Christ? Or, is he in the market for a whole bunch of generalists. My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. We live in a very specialized world. Plumbers fix plumbing, but don’t call them to install an irrigation system in your front yard. That requires a specialist. A carpenter can install a cabinet in your house, but don’t call him to make it. That normally requires a cabinetmaker. The list of examples is long. Electricians that specialize in service boxes but

Quid Pro Quo?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is there ever a reason for total control, total power, absolute hegemony over anything? What about sin? Unless someone has hegemony over sin what would happen to all of us? Wouldn’t sin ultimately crush us? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. “Quid Pro Quo.” Hardly a week passes when we don’t hear or see this Latin phrase. Just yesterday I was listening to a news broadcast that used the term relative to a business dealing between a government agency and a foreign company. Quid Pro Quo? So, what does that mean anyway. The Latin term means in familiar language, “This for that” or “Tit for tat.” On the surface that doesn

Why worry?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are you a worrier? To some degree we all do it. There are those who fall deeply into it and others that step lightly over it. Nonetheless, did you know that worry need not be a part of your day? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Both Holly and I have recliner, rocking chairs. We like to sit in the evening, chat and go over the day’s events while rocking back and forth. Yesterday evening, as we were talking and rocking, it occurred to me how much energy went into pushing that rocker back and forth. Whether it is Holly pushing off with one foot or me with both, over the course of an hour or so we collectively put a lo

God's cadence?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Did you know that sometimes being in a hurry can reap the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve; especially when you're trying to do things to God’s glory without first consulting with God as to whether or not he would have you make haste or not? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Anyone who knows me knows I’m normally in a hurry. Managing a job and an Internet ministry takes effort and planning, so I’ve always felt being timely, getting from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible, is a good thing. These days there’s just no time to waste and I want to use every bit of it I can get. If that’s hurrying, then so

In stride?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are you in union with God or just trying to keep up with him? Are you getting into his stride? When you walk with God in prayer do you keep God in sight or is he somewhere down the trail far out of sight? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. My son Dan is a practiced hiker. He reads the trail, not just simply walks it. To him a trail is like a sheet of music and to hike effectively you have to sight read it, always with an eye on where you are and where you’re about to go. He looks for just the right places to plant his feet ahead of where he is, places where he’s less likely to slip. Additionally, he takes great care

The beauty of silence!

Is there a time when only silence provides us with the precious time we need to contemplate and investigate where we’ve been and where it appears we were going? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. We live with conflict on a daily basis, whether that be the driver who cuts us off on the freeway only to slow down blocking the way, or the bit of oatmeal that generates a slight feeling of uncomfortableness shortly after breakfast. Conflicts big and small fill our days. The most significant ones however are those which occur between people. We all have opinions which set us up for a broad range of ideas which may or may not suit the person we’re sharing them

Don't be a wise guy?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does God must look at you and I as some kind of knucklehead when we try to grab as much wisdom as possible, only to discover that we’ve become a wise guy in the process? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. My brothers and I were faithful Three Stooges fans growing up. Curly was the stooge who always got things screwed up. Moe, the older brother and leader of the group of three, always referred to the bald and stumbling Curly as a “knucklehead.” A popular term for someone who stumbled into trouble due to his innocent intent to find out what made something work or why this or that did that. “That’s a knucklehead move!”

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