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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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Looking up?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Shouldn’t all of us be alert to the fact that sex may sell, but you and I are the ones who make the purchases? Wouldn’t each of us do better to make the choice to, look up, and choose modesty over glitter when marketers come selling with skin instead of modesty? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I received a catalog in the mail the other day. It was from a well-known clothing retailer. Yet, the model on the cover was so scantily clad, it was enough to make the average man blush. The picture spared nothing and left little to the imagination. The catalog was addressed: “Current Resident”. I thought about that for a mo

Mind the rests?

My friend, may I ask you a question? God provides natural rests in our lives, as a composer does in his music. Would that we would treasure these precious times and not be so readily obsessed with just moving on the next measure of life. Are there blessings that we miss when we skip the rests? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. The other day I took a piece of music in hand and began a slow read through each measure. Eventually I came to that little symbol called a rest. I thought to myself, you can’t sing a rest because it has no sound. It’s just there telling you to do something, but not to sing anything. It does nothing to add to the music except forc

Together?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we find ourselves in the middle of a tumult in our lives which causes us to come crashing down to a pretty rough landing, is there someone there to help us? If it wasn’t for the companionship of friends breaking ranks to come to our aid, would we be able to handle the pain alone? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I watched a flock of Canadian Geese fly over Beech Springs the other day. What a beautiful sight to see. It was the usual V-shaped flight formation except that there was one bird straggling toward the rear of the group. Suddenly that bird broke formation completely and slowly glided toward a soft landi

Do the math?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When you look at the world God has created around us, it’s simply awe-inspiring to know that God knew HIS math. If fact isn’t it pretty obvious that God used mathematics well beyond any elementary level of understanding that we have to put the whole thing together? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I’ve never been good at mathematics. When I was in school I didn’t worry about it much, thinking that a good knowledge of basic arithmetic was all I needed to get through life alright. It struck me the other day, however, that my despairing of math on a broader level was ill conceived. I was watching a concrete engineerin

Never stranded?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If God wrote the book on how to live our lives, does he knows better than we do what works best and when? Would we do well to seek his advice before we try to make changes or repairs to our lives? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Several years ago when we were replacing a faucet in the upstairs bathroom Holly correctly suggested that I go into the basement and shut off the line valve feeding that line. Since I had installed a master valve in the basement ceiling on that line years prior I didn’t foresee a problem. “No problem.” I said. I removed a panel in the basement ceiling, located the valve and shut it off. “H

Letting go?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Sometimes when life's sorrows crowd out the joy of living, why is it so hard to let them go, even long after we've long forgotten the pain connected with them? Why is preservation so strangely comforting in that sense? 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. Let me give you an for instance. Not too long ago my wife Holly asked me to go up into our attic and look for a bin that contained rugs that she had packed away several years back. There are so many bins and boxes to go through, many stacked atop one another, that’s it’s difficult to even find a starting place t

Look at me?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are we ever too good, talented or successful to deny that honest good work is what brings success; not what we’ve achieved but what we are doing at the moment really makes all the difference? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. A number of years ago I put together a press release for the nonprofit I was working for. I had been trying for weeks to get a feature printed in a local newspaper; one that highlighted the work that I was doing with the agency. Having carefully written the story and making sure that the proper photos were provided for, the wait was on. Would the local newspaper print the story? Would they even

Savoring defeat?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Sometimes we win and sometimes, all too often it seems, we lose. It’s about as certain as death and taxes. Will being able to look forward to the win in the midst of a loss make the difference, however? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I’m a big baseball fan and I get pretty wrapped up in the sport over half the year. This year my team although they’ve been playing pretty well and have more wins than losses, has recently hit a slump and lost a number of games in a row. When they lose a game, it’s particularly disturbing to me since I had become accustomed to more wins than losses. I expected them to win since that

Squint and discover?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we decide to dwell on the disappointments, discouragements, the game-changers in life, are we missing out on solutions God has put on the horizon if only we take the opportunity to squint a bit? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Circumstances. How often have you said to yourself, “If this would have just happened, then that would have been the result and not this; and this isn’t what I wanted?” We’re often quick to look at situations and judge them simply for the present without a thought as to how the future might be affected by the misfortunes of the day. Our car breaks down and we’re disappointed with the me

Mission risk?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we demonstrate what is in our hearts by what we do not just by what we say, how will those around us react? Will they give credence to our witness, giving glory to the One whose Spirit rules us? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Many years ago I was attending church with a friend of mine. The church was of another denomination and their choir was seated in front of the church behind the pulpit not in a loft at the back of a church as I was accustomed to. I saw something that I will never forget. The choir had just risen to sing an anthem. That’s when a young lady left her spot in the soprano section and walked

Prepared?

My friend, may I ask you a question? As Christians we do know that the most important person in the universe, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, will someday personally stop by our lives and offer to show us the place where he lives? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. We spend so much time preparing for some things in life especially when it involves how we appear to others, especially those we want to impress in the first place. Whether it’s a birthday, a wedding, a family reunion or simply an evening dinner with the family, if there’s people involved, there’s always a goodly amount of preparation that precedes the event. When faced with a future event,

The realm of you?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When you compare our lives, you might say that those more focused on how they are able to live their lives through others are more of a blessing than those dreamers whose boundaries are broader? But, is that necessarily true? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My paternal grandmother was what you might call a very practical person. Having raised and cared for her family of ten during the Great Depression, I guess I could hardly blame her for her rationing, practical ways. She had a way of looking at things point blank, injecting her personal brand of practical seasoning, and coming up with short-term, but pragmatic s

Reinventing you?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are there times when severing ourselves, however painfully, from things that seemed important in the beginning but are now somehow holding us back, are key to finding happiness in life? Is there a time to reinvent who we are? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. The secret to happiness; we all seek to be happy in this life and there seem to be so many paths advertising as to how to get there. There’s the money path and the power path, just to name two. Then there’s the path of utmost piety or for some, wanton disregard. With so many paths to getting what you want, when and where you want it, how is a person to decide?

Treasures in the bush?

My friend, may I ask you a question? What does the Lord have in store for us down the road? Like treasures in the bush, a bird that you can hear but not see, does God often give us a little taste, a brief experience, in order to prepare us for the “feast” that awaits us someday My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Did you ever notice how at least having just a taste of something, a little hint or just a brief encounter with what we we’re anticipating, can be so much fun? I know a lot about anticipation. Being a birdwatcher for many years, I’m familiar with being thrilled by the distant sound of a bird species I’ve long wished to see but never quite had th

Charting a course?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When our unwillingness to seek out the truth in order to know just exactly what is the best course to chart puts us on a dangerous path to not getting anywhere at all worthwhile, is there an alternative to such ignorance? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. There's an old saying that a little knowledge can be a very dangerous thing. Often what we think we know, based only on a scattering or a tidbit of knowledge here and there, can prove to be our undoing when we base our actions largely on the unknown as opposed to might be known. The sad thing about this is that over time we come to wholly believe the mere smatterin

Do-overs?

My friend, may I ask you a question? We may think that we’ve got it right, that it really couldn’t get any better than it already is by our own planning and execution, only to discover that God has other plans that may include eliminations or do-overs? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I love to write. There are few things in this life I enjoy more than sitting down and cranking out a story, a letter, or some marketing copy. Yet, as with most writers, there are few things worse than putting your thoughts down into a digital file only to forget to save it and lose it because of a computer bug, human or system error. This happened to me recently as I wa

One good string to play?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When life’s situations and circumstances cut-in on you, what is a Christian to do? Is there a way you can get that rhythm back, recapturing the flow that you so badly need? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. If you’ve ever run competitively you know the feeling of being cut-in. There’s that moment when your pace is developing a good rhythm and you’re just cruising along; when another runner not only pushes into the lead but brushes you so closely that you literally have to fall back to prevent yourself from tripping over your own two feet. Up until that moment you were hardly aware of them. Now they’ve become clumsy

Crumbling good?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is moral relativism throttling our country? Do we live in a culture where it’s politically incorrect to call something bad? What has changed? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Growing up as one boy among three, I think that I might speak for my Mom who’d be quick to attest that there were those times when she wondered why God gave her three and not just one. The fact is, I often misbehaved; leading to outcomes that were judged as either good or bad. Perhaps I’d broken something through my foolishness, hurt someone because I was careless or, even worse, gave my Mom some “lip” that required Dad’s intervention. That’s

Lap time with God?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we are steadfastly holding to a course in life we think is the right one, something we’ve striven to find and are finally there, why does God sometimes interrupt our path? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Life’s problems can be trying sometimes. Just when we’re trying to do our best and things seem to be under control, and WHAM ... someone or something drops a heavy emotional challenge right next to us, or even right down on top of us. We’re startled, perhaps stunned, even intimidated. Where did that come from? Did I do something to cause this? We don’t like loud interruptions in our lives and, before you know

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