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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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Silence is golden?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Despite how you feel or what you might think, ought you to be assured that God IS always listening to your prayers? Does he hear every word you and I speak to him? Do you believe that there's always something occurring between God and us, even when it seems there is nothing happening? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Silence! We take our prayers to God regularly. Yet there often seem to be times that, he is silent. Does God really hear all of our prayers? I remember the story of Franklin Roosevelt when, as President of the United States, he often endured long receiving lines at the White House. He complained that n

A real ride?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When life takes turns that leave us numb, sometimes we simply don’t feel we have anywhere to turn. We may even lose confidence in ourselves, others, even God. When the ride gets rough, were do we turn? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Life can be a real ride. Something happens and we peer down the road, straining to see what we expect to see; and, usually, we expect the worse. It’s human nature. The car breaks down and needs to be towed away to the repair shop. What will it cost this time to repair it? What if it is something we can’t afford to repair? We tell ourselves, “I need my car! I can’t afford to buy a new

Playing dead?

My friend, may I ask you a question? God gives us the tools to not only defend ourselves but also to go on the offensive against sin. Yet, when we’re threatened, why do we often prefer to play dead and hope that the evil will simply pass us by, never taking the effort to confront sin with the power of the gospel of Christ. My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. The Hog-Nose Snake flipped over on its back and coiled itself up into a neat coil. It lay seemingly lifeless in front of us somehow waiting for us to either move on or dare to pick it up. Banking on the former, I’m sure it was pleased to see us step around and continue our meadow walk. This snake is

Bullish?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you find that each day draws you farther away from thoughts of God as life’s dailiness consumes you? And it isn’t long before prayers become less frequent and time spent in worship becomes rare? Perhaps it’s time to become more bullish when it comes to God? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. How much time did you spend yesterday thinking about eternity? It’s hard thinking about a place that you’ve never seen and is pretty difficult to picture in the first place. We’re on our way and someday we’ll get there. Perhaps that’s enough to think about for now. Then again, since each new dawning day could very well be our

Reach out and touch someone?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you feel that your life is simple, gentle and effective? Are you aware of others around you that may be in need of your simple, gentle touch? When is the last time that you reached out to touch anyone with your gentle presence? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. “Reach out, reach out and touch someone!” That old AT&T advertising slogan was around for a long time. Advertising slogan last when advertising slogans are effective. This one lasted for nearly 20 years. Why? It inspired people to be what they really wanted to be, deep-down–touching each other in a world so often emptied of touch. It was a gentle message t

The color of life?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When you step back to look at your life, is it a work of art in the making or is it not quite coming together? Perhaps there are too many strings of your life that haven’t been pulled tightly or pushed as far as they could be? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Delicate strokes. I guess that’s how I would describe the way my mother-in-law did her needlework. Each little push-and-pull was but a tiny line of colored thread. For hours she would sit and push-and-pull literally hundreds of these little strokes of color. Each one, by itself, isn’t much to look at. But, when they were taken as a whole, as a part of an entir

Tender digger of the dirt?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How are you using your hands today? Do they touch others in tenderness or push them away in strife or bitterness? God gives us the freedom to do either, but does he expect us to put one before the other? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner God has given us many ways to use our hands. Hands can be weapons and hands can bless. Hands can crush and hands can support. We use our hands to wave “hello” and we use the same hands to offend with a gesture. So it is with how we employ our hands in the work that God has given us. Our hands can convey the message that the work we do is blessed and the results are hopeful. Or, if we

Choosing the right wolf?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we are faced with the decision to employ gentleness or gruffness and the situation calls for decisiveness, what are the choices? Is there ever a good reason to be anything other than calm and patient? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I have an eating ego and an eating alter-ego. On the one hand I really want to eat healthy foods because as I get older I know how important it is to watch my waist line. Unfortunately, watching my waste line has become a whole lot easier these days because, well, it’s just a whole lot easier to see. That’s my alter eating ego; my “I crave the fat and salt” ego. Both egos crave at

A place for gentleness?

My friend, may I ask you a question? In this dog-eat-dog world, ought there to be a place for gentleness? Unfortunately why is it so common that we see the opposite–people taking revenge, exacting their own pound of flesh and making sure that fairness is played to the hilt? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I remember a time, years ago, when the biggest dog in our house at the time, Jubi, got run over by our littlest dog, Frodo. He came barreling at her, bent on taking the doggie toy away that she was firmly holding in her mouth. He climbed up on her back and jumped on her head. He leaned forward and grabbed the toy and tugged it away. As if she was ha

Safe port?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Everyone needs a refuge sometimes; not just a comfort, but a place that holds you down and keeps you from going on. The questions is: Have we made God that refuge in our lives? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner I have a favorite chair in our Great Room; a well, broken-in recliner that waits for me every day, sitting in the corner of the room, next to the patio doors overlooking Holly’s flower gardens. It’s a comfortable chair with room enough for Emma, to jump up, turn and position himself snugly between the armrest and my leg. I guess you could say it’s accommodating. With feet pushed up and slippers on, there’s no

Old cars or God?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If we trust in old vehicles to get us from here to there, why is it so hard then, to trust in the Lord in all “other” things that we ought to be sure he has complete control over? God should be more reliable than any old used car we might own? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I figure that, over the course of 50+ years behind the wheel, I have driven over 1,000,000 miles in about 26 different vehicles. In that time I’ve had two serious auto accidents without loss of life and only minor injuries. When you think about it, however, there’s great risk whenever you get behind the wheel of something that might be traveli

Boiling wort?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does boiling over emotionally usually work the opposite of what we had wanted in the first place? In the end doesn’t it result in hurt to others usually more than we hurt ourselves? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Although I don’t drink much beer, I do enjoy making it from time to time. To make home brew the first thing you need to do is what’s called “boiling the wort.” The wort is a mixture of water, malted grain and hops. When cool and the sugar and yeast have been added, you have the start of the brewing process. A boiling, wort is more than just a simmer. The malted grain gives the boil a real roll. You need

Pack leader?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Life’s conflicts come along when we least expect it. We’re cruising along peacefully and then, BAM; conflict! How do we make sure that peace is restored? Is there a safety net there if we just deploy it? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Why are some able to find peace in the worst of situations, while others become frantic when even the little things in life confront us? The dog pack here at Beech Springs may hold a clue to part of the answer. A pack of dogs is normally a peaceful thing; that is until someone breaches a pack rule. Then, BAM! Someone looked at someone else the wrong way or an imaginary territorial l

For tomorrow's sake?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are we able to responsibly put more value on our time, today, than we should be putting on someone else’s “tomorrow” that is looking to our time, our talents and efforts today to make their tomorrow possible? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. What weighs more; today or tomorrow? That might seem like a nonsense statement, but let me explain. Here’s the key to understanding the question: “It depends on whose today it is and whose tomorrow.” If it’s your “today” and someone else’s “tomorrow”, it could be that tomorrow is more important than today. And, when your “today” impacts someone else’s “tomorrow”, the importance

Spiritual weight gain?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we lack self-control, do the bad things that we do while not under control often translate into bad habits that eventually come back to bite? Is there a time in every Christian’s life when difficult but necessary self-control is not only necessary but critically needed? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. The Bible lists “self-control” as one of the greatest of virtues. The ability to exert control over oneself is probably one of the hardest things in this world to do. Think of the stories in Scriptures of Abraham, Samson, Jacob, Peter and many others. Each had difficulty controlling wrong ideas and bad urges tha

Hedging your bet?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to how we view God and his promises to provide for us no matter the circumstance or trouble, is there room for hedging our bet? Doesn’t believing in God and his promises dictate an under-standing that we do so without regard for any emotional wiggle room? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Believing is one thing. Convicted in that belief is another. Years ago I knew a man who swore he’d never buy another Ford vehicle. He had so many mechanical difficulties with the car he’d owned he was convinced that he would never own anything built by the Ford Motor Company again. He blamed his specific problems with

Built to soar?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When you really put a price tag to stepping out and reaching other heights in your life, does the risk seem to outstrip the possibility of gain. Besides, isn’t getting to that stage in life where things finally get a bit easier everyone’s goal? Even an eagle has to rest sometime? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Soaring like eagles may sound good, but flopping around like a penguin can be a whole lot easier. Keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground may not always be the most glamorous of occupations, but it sure is safer and more accommodating when it comes to dealing with everyday life. We’ve got everything w

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