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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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Dioramas?

My friend, may I ask you a question? You and I aren’t much in the way of display since God is constantly crafting, molding and changing us, even taking us apart and putting us back together again. What kind of display would that be? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I enjoy visiting museums of natural history. I am fortunate to have one of the finest of these museums within an hour’s drive of here. Truly magnificent in every way, these museums are the work of some of the finest artists in the world, represented throughout by some of the most amazing and accurately detailed dioramas you’ll ever see. Holly and I recently visited the Ark Encounter in Wil

User friendly?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If Christ shows us the way to the Father without our having to fear the law, is the Law before us or over us? Does it become bearable when and user friendly when Jesus Christ is bearing the load and we are walking behind him? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner We live in a society obsessed with making things equal for everyone, a place where fairness is rule one all the time. Not that when I was young and growing up there was no sense of fairness; there was indeed. For example, when we picked sides for a baseball team it was customary to allow one pick at a time. Fairness dictated that first one side picked and then

Eating with your feet?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we make our own feelings and appearance more important than the wishes of our host or hostess it truly is false humility and we need to avoid it. And, you know what, it’s even worse when we do it to our God? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. We’ve all been to buffet dinners and had those odd, uncomfortable moments of etiquette when we just didn’t know what was proper. Ok, you are all gathered in the kitchen to say the table prayer and upon “Amen” no one approaches the dinner line for fear that they might be perceived as first in line. Did you know that etiquette says that the person closest to the line, except

No more than artwork?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we look to the value of what Jesus has done and is doing, do we discover that he has become more of a symbol in our life than a meaning? When Christ becomes nothing more than artwork, perhaps it’s time to find value somewhere else? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. There was a particular aspect of car design in the early to mid-20th Century that was uniform to most cars of the day–hood ornaments. Although there are a few cars today like Mercedes Benz that continue this tradition, it has disappeared for the most part. Pontiac had Chief Pontiac, Lasalle had it’s stylistic “S” emblazoned inside an “L” and Packard

Take it or leave it?

My friend, may I ask you a question? God wants nothing from us at all concerning our salvation other than our acceptance and belief that it is freely given. However, is this a mere down payment on the debt we owe, or the whole debt itself? That would make it a take-or-leave it proposition–right? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. When Holly and I purchased our present house here at Beech Springs nearly three decades ago it was a critical time for us financially. We had a young family and Holly was expecting our third baby. Our home at the time was too small and we ended up selling it for far less than we had hoped for. To afford the mortgage on the new

Spiritual feasting?

My friend, may I ask you a question? In eating it’s often acceptable to politely leave room for dessert, but does this apply to how we use our capacity for fully consuming the spiritual edibles on God’s menu of grace? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. We recently celebrated a birthday party here at Beech Springs. Usually these celebrations have two essential ingredients, and this was no different: food and presents. The birthday celebrant, or in this case celebrants, is allowed to choose the main course and the rest of us go to work, especially Holly, preparing lots of good food. Ahh, the smell of all those wonderfully crisp, fragrant and deeply pungen

Paying Attention?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to the message of salvation through the cross of Jesus Christ, are we skimming over the message of redemption, touching it lightly but never really getting a feel for what the author, God the Father, has laid out before us in his Holy Word? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I’m a reader. I make it my habit to always have several books on my nightstand to dig into for an hour or more every night before retiring. Some books hold my interest more than others depending on a variety of factors. Sometimes the writer takes too long getting to the point. That may cause me to lose interest. Then there are the w

Keynote?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If everything rests on top of the foundation and a failing foundation puts the rest of a house in jeopardy, is the same applicable for our faith? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Calling on my limited but marginally talented ability to do home remodeling, I have been asked from time to time to look at a building and give my opinion of its condition. A number of years ago one of my daughters was looking at purchasing an older home. From the outside it appeared sturdy and well built. Being around a hundred years old, the building techniques used were basic. As I toured the inside of the house I scanned the cracks in

Blest be the tie that binds?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If each of us has the properties needed to do ministry and lead others to Christ, why does God requires pressure and sometimes a twist in order to make sure our potential to minister becomes a reality? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Since I began doing my own plumbing work around the house there have been a lot of changes. Where everything was once cast iron and stainless pipe, it has been replaced by PVC plastic materials. The old metal and cast pipes were attached with solder, tape or pipe dope. Today’s PVC pipes all use a fast drying solvent. The advantage is that is sets the pipes up for a better bond; the di

Downcast?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Have you ever felt ashamed at times of your reliance on the God who is capable of handling any problem you might have? Does pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps seems the better choice, since that’s what we think most people want to hear? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, have you ever had this experience? Something goes wrong in life; perhaps there's a major decision to be made, or you face a road that must be walked and it’s strange, new, even mysterious? What do most of us do in these instances? I think that it's likely most will share their concerns, fears and misgivings with a friend. There wil

Temper, temper?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If a piece of steel isn’t tempered it can fracture and shatter, right? How should a Christian, therefore, regard the object of his temperance? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I have at times had a “bad temper.” There are certain things in particular that cause my “bad temper” to flare up. In particular two that readily come to mind. First there are the lost keys. Yes, when I lose my keys I get very frustrated and have been known to prattle, huff and worse when I can’t find something so basic. But the real culprit is computers, however. For some curious reason I’ve expectations of computers that are totally unreaso

Shallows?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does life as a Christian have much to do with deep philosophies and mysterious issues? Or, are we straining at life’s deep underpinnings when the shallows may hold its truest meaning? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Holly and I love going to Lake Superior at least once a year. We’ve never really had the resources to travel to the oceans, so Superior always seems like the next best, big body of water around. In fact, it really is. Superior is one of the largest bodies of freshwater in the world. It’s also one of the deepest. You could take all the water of the other four Great Lakes combined and not equal the capac

Thus validated?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When God decided to require the life of his Son, Jesus Christ, in order to redeem us from our sins, was it because he loved us or because it was required to save us from eternal death in hell? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Parents love their children. In general that’s a pretty safe bet. Of course there are parents who do a better job than others, but I think it’s safe to say that, as a rule, parents tend to love their children. As I think back to my childhood I remember how my parents cared for me. They definitely demonstrated their love and I believe they were highly regarded as parents in that regard. I’d put

First things first?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When there is no time to lay a problem out laterally, does vertical thinking become necessary? How about God? Did he think vertically when the matter of our salvation became problematic? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I often think vertically when a problem necessitates putting one idea next to another and not touching successive ideas without first attacking the first and so on. For example, I was recently in the market for a new truck as my old one needed replacement. After determining how much it would cost to repair the old truck, I would be able to determine whether it was worthwhile to look for a new one or

Have you killed me?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Has forgiveness killed you at some point in your life? When you think about it my friend, every time we forgive or are forgiven, something dies and something comes back to life. Perhaps if you and I look at forgiveness that way, it will be much easier for us to ask for it or give it? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I’ve been forgiven many times in my life, and I have, of course, offered forgiveness to others as well. I hope that I have been generous in that regard. However, I’m sure that over the course of a lifetime I have missed opportunities. We all have. The questions remains, however, how has that forgiveness

My own little voice?

My friend, may I ask you a question? The question is, does God care about how we sound to ourselves? He’s given us this freedom. Or, is he far more concerned with our ability to use the freedom he gives to BE someone who knows he’s free to be obedient? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. It’s been said, “In the world to come you and I will not be asked, ‘Why were you not so and so? We will be asked, ‘Why were you not who I made you to be?’” The problem is if God gives us the freedom to be whomever we wish, then isn’t it natural to follow the individual path that God has given us to walk? A poll sheds light on the paradox in today’s culture of increased r

When God says row?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do the “Yes Lord” moments in life usually result in an “Amen and thank you” later on? When he says row do you start paddling? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Since the This Passing Day ministry began almost 20 years ago nearly 5,000 daily devotions on a wide range of topics have been shared. Each one of these devotions has been based on a story, usually something from daily life experiences here at Beech Springs. Over this past Easter weekend I was asked how I was able to come up with fresh stories five times a week? Although there’ve been a few times I was at a loss for an application, but it isn’t the norm. Once

Behind the arabesque?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do those who know us feel that God has performed something beautiful in our lives, even if they can’t quite put a finger on it? The beauty thus belongs to God as well as the glory. However, do we make that possible just by being us? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. We raised three daughters, all of whom were in some way connected with dance. Attending dance studios where little girls who pirouette become young ladies who arabesque, requires not only thousands of hours of practice but many hours of performance. My wife Holly was not only chaperone during these years, she was also volunteer usher, sewer, promoter and

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