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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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Snooze, you lose?

My friend, may I ask you a question? In this “can’t loose culture” is it the gambling or the busyness it promotes, or is it the “can’t wait” attitude that we tend to take with each other and just about everyone who doesn’t live up to our “overly expectant” attitude about being right.? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. We live in a society that doesn’t wait for anyone or anything. We’ve all seen it; even in ourselves. A cell phone malfunctions for a moment and the user is yelling at it, even shaking it. We want what we want now. Gone are the days when people had no other choice than waiting for the operator to place their long-distance phone call or for

Head in the sand?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to temptation do we tell ourselves that this one last time will be it and that tomorrow I will be stronger and able to stand up better against it? Is this a workable solution? Does tomorrow ever reap that kind of benefit or do we just have our heads buried in the sand? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. One of my wife’s favorite phrases is: “Don’t let it nickel and dime you to death!” She uses it frequently with me since I am of the habit of sticking with things, always hoping that today’s repair will be tomorrow’s well-working, well-oiled machine. I have a long history of making small repairs, make-do

Bridge to obedience?

My friend, may I ask you a question? The Bible tells us that God doesn’t tempt anyone. Does that mean, however, that he won’t allow us to fall into temptation? Perhaps in the short run he allows us to fall so that we have the ability to stand up to temptation in the long run? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. “Leave it!” is a command we hear around our house often. Whenever something falls on the floor but it wasn’t intended that one of our four dogs should have it, we use the command “Leave it!” These two words are quite effective since the “leave” part comes across at a high decibel level that dogs can hear well. Nevertheless, it took a long time bef

Whatever?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to our worries and cares, I often wonder, is God is just waiting for us to get to the point sometimes? Perhaps his eyes don’t glaze over; but, perhaps, he would like us to move on, get to the point and be specific sometimes? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Whatever! It’s become a sort of iconic phrase in our society these days. I guess it’s kind of a “catch-all” when we’re too busy to get into the details. Recently I went to a local hardware store in search of one particular wood screw I needed for a fix-it project. I wandered around the store for a few minutes and was finally spied by a young clerk

Big rocks?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Have you made mistakes in life because you’ve pushed to finish tasks too quickly? Would it have been better to start the bigger more tedious project first and save the smaller, less important tasks for later? Are you essentially a procrastinator? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Putting things off. When it comes to procrastination, I have to admit that I’ve been guilty often over the years. For example, a number of years ago I was faced with a priority task; cutting out large pieces of plywood on my table saw. Admittedly this is one of those jobs that I normally don’t enjoy doing at all. Characteristically, instead

Fast-forward world?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Isn’t it sad that we accept life in the “fast lane” these days as the norm? Isn’t it even more sad that if you aren’t running the minute your feet touch the ground you might be considered unambitious, even lazy? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. One of the things that I miss most about growing up in the 1950’s and 1960’s was the fact that we had a different appreciation for time. We valued it, certainly, but time was such a different commodity then. My world growing up was a world of dinner around the table with everyone there. Fast foods hadn’t invaded the dinner menu yet. My Mom had spent hours of her time cooki

Clutter?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Doesn’t it seem that so often in life that we move along comfortably, encumbered and cluttered with everyday, happening stuff; until something important comes up and we lose our way completely? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Clutter; we all live with it to some extant. It takes up valuable space, but saves us valuable time. At least, this is the way that I’ve often looked at it. My old, red toolbox in the garage is an example of this. Although it has trays for screwdrivers and compartments for separating other tools, I’ve seldom used it that way. When I’m finished using a tool, I simply open the lid and drop it i

For lack of a comma?

My friend, may I ask you a question?Are we so often keyed into schedules, electronic devices and calendars of all kinds, that we forget that our lives are governed from above and not from schedules we conceive of and determine to follow? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. When we go on a long trip I like to drive with as few stops as possible. There’s just something about “beating my best time” that really pumps me up for a good drive; that is until recently when my wife asked me about a town we had just driven through. I looked at her with a silly smile and replied, “What town? I didn’t see a town.” I hadn’t even noticed we had passed through a town, I

Be still and know?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Although it sometimes seems inefficient to be still when there’s work to be done, perhaps it’s the way that we look at the downtime that makes us nervous to embrace it? Maybe the downtime gives us an opportunity to put the uptime into perspective? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I’m a multitasker. I can spot one task on the horizon and begin planning for it while I have another in this hand, balancing another in the other. I get a lot done this way and there is a certain amount of competitive thrill in the process of getting a lot done in the shortest amount of time. While this does get a lot done, there is a down

Sand in our shoes?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When you think about it, is it the small things, like getting sand in your shoe, that often serves to open the door to sin entering into your life? If it is the little things, are they able to grind away at you until you’re ready to throw in the towel? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. There’s an old adage “For want of a peg, the house is fallen.” A better translation would be: “If you’re one nail short, all your work could come crashing down on you.” Here’s an example. I built a gate on our back deck several years ago and discovered within just a matter of weeks that the entire gate began to lean and finally jam it

Getting away with it?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we dabble in sin, play around with the risky actions that we know are wrong but do it because, well, what’s the risk of really getting caught, do we neglect one thing? Does sin comes back to haunt you later, when you least expect it? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. It’s fun to get away with things, isn’t it? You know, those things that you know are risky and you shouldn’t be doing? I remember driving with a buddy many years ago in his “hopped-up” van down a winding country road. There was a dip in the road ahead and we all knew it. The risk was apparent, but we figured what were the odds of having an accident

Traps?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Why is it that anything forbidden us becomes such a temptation for us? Why if we know the rules, it’s often just so attractive to sin that we find ourselves putting those rules on the shelf for the sake of our sinful appetites? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. There are just some things in life that remain attractive to me even though I know that, on the one hand, I can never possess them and, on the other, even if I did, I wouldn’t benefit in the having. Of course there are the stories of piles of money won in a lottery that, in the end, cause more misery than mirth. I like to tell myself that I would be different

The wrong side of knowledge?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to the affect of sin in our lives, even though we know better and have the ability to avoid the temptation, how often do we end up on the wrong side of knowledge, discovering only later how culpable we had been to sin all along? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Why do we sometimes do the things that we do? After we do them, the dumb things, we often find ourselves saying: “Why did I do that?” At the moment of execution we’re most likely angry with the circumstances. It’s in the moments that follow, however, when it’s had a chance to sink in, we begin to focus the irritation on ourselves. Funny how tha

Pushing off?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How are people seeing you today? Are you giving them a defensive image despite the fact that no one is threatening you? If you knew how people saw you, would you be complimented or embarrassed by their viewpoint? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. When my family vacationed in Maine years ago we visited a number of beaches along the Atlantic Coast. The beaches gave us many opportunities to watch the small Atlantic Rock Crabs scamper across the rocky beaches. It seemed that almost everywhere we looked beaches were inhabited by these tiny little warriors. They would walk sideways and, if one of us invaded their space, w

How is the grass on your path?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to our need to respond to God’s request that we come to him in frequent prayer, is noise a factor in our ability to devote ourselves repeatedly to heeding his command? Does noise affect the frequency of our ability or willingness to pray? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. We live in a pretty noisy world. I recently read that a study was done with young people in a college library to discover how noise affects peoples’ emotions. A student dropped a book as she passed the library tables where students were studying. Five of the seated students witnessed the dropped book and broke with their studies. Four

Anger with tears?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Aren’t we supposed to approach every situation in life with a calmness that comes from confidence in our Lord and, consequently, ourselves? Do anger and Christian character really fit well together? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Is it wrong to vent! When we see something or personally experience something that rouses our anger, the first thing that we usually do is look for some way of venting, of releasing the anger that has suddenly wells up inside of us. I know the feeling well myself. When things get to me, one of the first things that I do is look for a way to vent my feelings. When all of us look for ways

Avoiding wrath?

My friend, may I ask you a question? As a Christian, how should we face conflict? Should we be engaging in argument at all; or, if we do, is there a good way to do it in line with God’s Word? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Do you like a good argument? Some people do, others don’t. Lately, however, argument has taken a turn away from ideas and perilously close to disparaging vilification. Unfortunately in today’s cultural climate discussions have become more polemic than political. It seems that far too many have taken to arguing as opposed to posing a good argument. There is a difference. For my part I am uncomfortable with arguing, but quite comfor

Last stands?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are last stands something we should strive for? Is there any value in always being immovable? Perhaps it depends on where and when we choose to make that stand? Are disparate choices a good way to go? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner As a kid I grew up fascinated by the concept of last stands. The last stand at the Alamo in particular fascinated me and my boyhood friends. There was just something about the courage and the bravery involved, the fact that Americans were willing to die before giving into the “bad guys”. Every time my buddies and I built a fort or dug a ditch we fantasized about standing against the foe

Is God your hotel?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Being cautious from a decision-making standpoint is a good idea. But, did you know that an overcautious mindset can result in a bad outcome? Being too cautious may not always be the best choice? Has God become your hotel or your passport to new horizons? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Do you consider yourself a cautious person? I don't know about you but my Mom and Dad always taught me to “look before I leap.” That simple parental axiom made a lot of sense, not just from a physical standpoint, but from all manner of decisions in life: finances, dating, marriage, car buying, and the list goes on. A cautious approa

Potential?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are you able to keep your heart open to finding potential in the midst of your mundane life? There is one prerequisite however; you and I need to believe we can. Without a believing heart will you ever reach the potential to excel as you should. My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Here’s some good advice: Be happy you have something to do no matter how mundane it might be every day. Even though you might be forced to do it, doing your best, however boring or monotonous it seems, breeds virtue, endurance, and a potential that comes from necessity. Remember the old adage: "Necessity is the mother of invention?" There's

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