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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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Three days

My friend, may I ask you a question? We so often search for peace through the day-to-day conquering of life’s little pitfalls– why? Isn’t peace we truly seek, perhaps, something altogether less tangible; more a product of how we wear the trouble as opposed to disposing of it? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Life is full of events that rivet us in crisis mode time after time. In each case we long for an end to the disruption of our lives and the beginning of a long sigh of relief as we bounce from one problem to the next. That’s the lot of this life and of all the world’s problems. You and I are constantly seeking peace, a time when there are no probl

Serendipity!

My friend, may I ask you a question? Why do we so seldom allow those serendipitous invitations of calling into our lives? When you think about it my friend, how would God rather use us–as a child who is simply helpful or an adult who wants to help? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. A funny thing about children that separates them so implicitly from adults is their willingness to be innocently used. On the one hand it’s a concern because we don’t want our children to trust strangers. On the other, however, the ability to allow themselves to be used can be admirable. Let me give you an example. Years ago I was remodeling the first home Holly and I bought

Fanaticism?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does substance drive you to find a way when one way no longer seems open to you? In the end do you find you achieve little for your effort other than the fact you tried? Spiritual journeys are no different. It may be a case of fanaticism over belief? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Philosopher, poet and author George Santayana wrote. “Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.” I was reminded of this recently as I watched a little gray squirrel as he repeatedly tried to climb the slippery metal pole that hold the several bird feeders in our front yard. He’d get about three fee

Mapping the journey?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are you aware there is a map of salvation printed on our hearts and it will guide us to heaven? Christ is asking us to follow it. What a small request for such a large investment? His death for our eternal life? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Recently I did a favor for my son Dan. He needed some maps printed for his upcoming trek through the Mid-continental trail from New Mexico to Montana. Each map represented just several days of the journey and the entire trek would take five months to complete, so that’s a lot of maps. Even printed both sides it was a stack of paper. Since they would be exposed to moisture on

Letting go?

My friend, may I ask you a question? My friend, may I ask you a question? Do we place far too much value on longing after the old things that once had value but no longer do place us in opposition to the will of God? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Sometimes it's just hard to let go of comfortable stuff. I recently went up into our attic and look for a bin that contained rugs that my wife had packed away some time ago. There are so many bins and boxes to go through; many stacked atop one another. Although some of the bins are labeled and they are, in general, parked in categorized groups, that’s no guarantee that the rugs will be in a bin marked “rug

Good grief?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Isn’t it odd that life is so full of choices: go back and travel with regret, or go forward and deal with life and hurt? We’re always tempted to avoid bittersweet trails, but should we? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner I’ve done a lot of hiking in my life, following many paths, some blazed and smooth and others no more than a game trail if that. For the most part a trail is one way or the other. Many of the trails in the parks that Holly and I camp in are fairly well groomed with signs telling you which way to go or which trail to follow. When I was younger I enjoyed the narrow game trails though, since it was less

Buckets and hoses?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Has God done away with slavery in the work of the Kingdom? Do we live under the authority of a God who bids but never asks or begs a pardon? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I often reminded my parents growing up that slavery had been outlawed, especially when they told me what to do instead of asking me if I would do it. “I thought slavery had been outlawed?” Remember using that one on your Dad when he handed you a bucket and hose and pointed at the family station wagon with the grace of a staff sergeant and the command “the car needs washing?” I don’t know how frequently that happens these days, but it wasn’t an

Go between?

There are few things better in life than the unexpected good thing that happens when you don’t expect it. You know, when something good happens when you were expecting something bad? Ia going on possible when giving up was likely? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. May I share a history lesson with you? Two of the most opposed characters from the early history of our nation were presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.The animosity between these men was notorious. Adams and Jefferson were truly political enemies that had become personal enemies and never missed an opportunity to point out their differences and snipe at one another. As the years passe

Ghostwriter?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Did you know, that the greatest ghostwriter of all, the Holy Spirit, is often tasked with the challenge of interpreting our ideas and translating them into prayers before God? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I am a writer. Words are my friends–ideas my passion. That’s what keeps a writer writing. Sometimes we take simple ideas and expand them out into large books, while we are as comfortable capturing a complex idea and winnowing it down to a small book. Nevertheless, this tool, while given to some, is largely missing from most people’s spiritual toolboxes. For the vast majority of folks, writing is not only a bur

Definitely indefinite?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do we make it difficult for God when we don’t know what to do according to his Word all the time? Or, does God have a way of dealing with our indefinite approach? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Many years ago I was involved in a serious accident on the freeway coming home from a late shift stocking shelves at an area grocery store. As I came over a hill in the road a County Sheriff crossed the highway in front of my car and the other car involved in the collision. Waving his arms to warn us of some pallet wood dropped in the emergency lane, he distracted both of us. There was a serious collision and both cars wer

No doubt?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If the certainty that God is the basis for all that exists is so firm, what should that do for our willingness to confess that belief to others? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I recently read an article in a magazine about DNA. DNA is made up of enzymes that form the molecules that make the structure of DNA, the genetic building block of all life. The article was by a noted mathematician and statistician from Cardiff University in Wales, Great Britain. The theme of the article was on probability: the likelihood enzymes that form to make the structure of the molecules of DNA could have done so by chance. How proba

Difficult paths?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is there a side to pain that is good? Could God be using that pain to bring about something good in us? Or, is pain just one more consequence of sin and we’ll just have to grin and bear it? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. How far will you go to avoid pain? Everyday we do little things to get around pain and its consequences. We handle a piece of rough wood with our hands and put on a pair of gloves to avoid splinters. I like to work on the weight bench in the morning, so I wear a pair of wristbands to help support my wrists. Or, perhaps, like me you have a bit of arthritis so you make sure that you take a couple o

Transaction moment?

My friend, may I ask you a question? We all have those moments in life, when we reach the pinnacle of the moment. Can these moments be redeemed? Or, are these moments a transaction and a moving on? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I have a friend. His name is Jake. I’ve known him for many years and he’s a man of integrity and, even more commending, I would call him transactive. What do I mean by that? He wrote me recently to tell me that he was moving from Iowa to Colorado. He’d been with a company for over twenty years and had worked his way up to CEO. Then, as so often is the case with small aggressive companies, a bigger company came in and bought

Help yourself Lord?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is the sole value for our existence that God would help Himself to our lives? Or are we more concerned with our own ideas of what we are going to be? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. In just a few weeks it will be time for Easter Dinner. Christians will celebrate the atonement of Jesus Christ our Lord and a big part of that celebration will be food. From Easter eggs on Easter morning to the the traditional ham and potatoes dinner in the afternoon, people will be eating. Every year at the Brunner house Holly prepares a wonderful smoked ham with the fixings and all in the family who can make it home to Beech Springs–

Rugged reality?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Our lives are often like a screen clogged with dirt. When we clutter our lives with small acts of disobedience, doe our view of God can become blocked? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Climbing into the rafters of the garage is always a dirty job. I move a lot of things up there as the months and years go by, and often forget that they are up there. Over time they collect layers of dust and dirt. I had a chance recently to climb up into the rafters looking for a particular piece of lumber I needed. As I rooted about in the the semi-darkness my foot aiming to stand on something solid, kicked an old door screen that

Rugged reality?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Once I reached the rugged reality of my pain and suffering, had I found a level of grace and comfort in the fact that others had gone there and survived quite well? Did it make all the difference in recovering with patience? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I belong to the Fellowship of the Broken Arm. We have no website or membership fee to pay, however. People who belong have simply broken an arm. Years ago, Holly and I went on a camping trip. I slipped getting out of the canoe and broke my left arm. Holly, being the nurse she is, set the break temporarily and took me to a local hospital. They reset it again and

The way life is?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we consider the role of faith in our lives, how much of living is merely the consequence living, and how much the evidence of faith? Is endurance more of a factor dealing with life’s hardships than faith in these instances? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Growing up life was full of the consequences of being a son. There were of course the many chores that seemed to haunt my free time. Most of these weren’t choices, they were chores. Seldom if ever did I choose a chore. Those choices were made for me, whether it was washing the basement steps for Mom or weeding the garden for Dad. As I trudged downstairs to g

Blurred vision?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How do we believe in a God who created everything from nothing? A God who hears every prayer and answer each one without fail? How do you believe in something like that? At best isn’t this a blurred vision of reality? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I have two pairs of glasses. I have a pair to drive and and basically see my surroundings; glasses I’ve had in one form or another since elementary school. These are trifocal lenses, that give me the ability to see things at three different focuses. To see my computer screen with my trifocals, however, required tipping my head backward and looking through the bottom of

What the doctor ordered?

My friend, may I ask you a question? You know friend, when it comes to the seriousness of our spiritual wellbeing, did Jesus cast a sympathetic eye on our plight? Or, did he look to heaven and pledge his obedience to the cure? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. We have a rescue dog named Annie. She’s my Son’s dog by adoption and is very attached to him. So, every day when he travels to work, Annie travels with him. She sleeps in a bed in the shop Dan manages and several times a day he’s able to let her outside free to roam for a while. A couple of weeks ago, however, she disappeared for a time outside of her usual haunt just outside the shop. Dan called

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