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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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Biting the bullet?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When mistakes lead to embarrassment or worse, is it ever right to cover up our culpability or should we face it head on? Is God’s solution to our pain and embarrassment simply: “Don’t run away from your mistakes. Isn’t the pain the beginning of healing?” My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. “Biting the Bullet!” I’ve used that phrase often in my life without really knowing where it came from. I did a little research the other day and came up with this explanation. In the days before effective anesthetics soldiers were given bullets to bite on to help them endure pain. Over the years the act has become a metaphor for end

Sharing the crown?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Growing older can be humbling especially when it’s accompanied with disease and disability. Yet, despite the fact that age and its inevitable baggage may give us pause to go incognito sometimes; is it so bad when it comes time for others to shine and us to dim a bit? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Having been a father for many years, I’ve learned over time that my status as a dad has changed as my children matured, left and moved on. I remember when Dan, my son, was three-years-old and I towered over him with my six-foot-plus frame. I was the king in his life for a time. There was no one taller or wiser I bet. Bu

Really living?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How does God want us to live this life? What does God ask of us when it comes to putting aside our own interests? Is there a limit to our willingness to lose? Isn’t the real story of life the ability to put selflessness into how we live our lives every day? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Thomas Merton wrote: “Give me humility, in which alone is rest, and deliver me from pride, which is the heaviest of burdens.” Selflessness, it seems, is a forlorn virtue in our society today. I remember reading a survey recently where participants were asked “What they would do if they were to be given ten million dollars.” Would

Touch me?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How hard would it be for you to personally remove all the hugs that you’ve ever given to friends in friendship or to the sorrowful in need? If we succeed in removing all intimacy from our social relationships, how strong can those relationships really be? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. A number of years ago I attended a political rally with a young friend who was interested in getting into politics. We witnessed a rousing campaign speech in the midst of a closely packed crowd. Everyone was packed together and body contact was unavoidable. At the end of the campaign speech the crowd went wild with enthusiasm as th

Where is God?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Where is God? Is God where you are right now, wherever that might be? Like the leaves which cover the ground everywhere at this time of the year, is there anywhere God is not? Is there anywhere that we dwell where God isn’t already dwelling? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. We live in the company of hundreds, literally thousands, of Beech and Maple trees here at Beech Springs. And, by the way, it's leaf pickup time. That means that there are literally tens of thousands of leaves on the ground right now waiting to be picked up. Recently I complained to a friend that my biggest problem wasn't the amount of leaves to

The measure of a man?

My friend, may I ask you a question? By what tool does the world measure you? Are you known for what you’ve done and who you are or by what you do and who you touch? Is the better measure one that brings who and what you are into a perspective of a real worth, a worth that perhaps the world may never know? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I have two tape measures in my old toolbox. One is pretty old and many of the marks along the blade are worn away. In some places there are no marks at all. Yet, I hang on to the old tape because of the brand name, Stanley, on the outside of the tape measure is well known. You just can’t throw away a tape measure lik

Half full or . . .

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are there times when the negative things in life, even added together one upon the other, can be positive? Is it just a matter of attitude and perspective that makes something seemingly bad into something surprisingly good? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Remember that old mathematical rule, a negative plus a negative equals a positive? When I first learned that rule decades ago, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Logically, I thought, if you put something negative with another negative, all you were going to get was more negativity. Yet, as my math teacher Mr. Peterson explained, when two negatives are pl

Owning the problem?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When things are looking hopeless for you, are you able to keep going despite what appears to be gloom and doom? Or are you able to catch your breath, focus on the problem, and just keep on digging until you get where you want to go? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I’ve longed believed that the reason we so often become negative in this life about things is that we lose sight of what could be if only we allow ourselves to own it. I was watching one of our little Dachshund dogs, Frodo, the other day as he dug and dug at a hole he was trying to cut under our enclosure run fence. He kept digging despite the time it to

Not knowing?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to being in control, understanding why things happen and how they will be resolved, is there no greater source for comfort than remembering this: As you serve God, there is no situation you can get yourself into that he can’t get you out of. If you trust him fully, you will be all right? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. If you’re like me, being in control of the things that affect life is very important. I want to be on top of things, to know as much as I can about everything that affects my life. As I struggled with heart disease over the last year I was tremendously motivated to research everything

John Paton–Deliverance?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When you go through the trials and tribulations illness, especially serious illness, are you sure that God will get you through it no matter what the outcome? Or, on the other hand, are you simply asking to be spared the experience? You know, giving you the outcome he wants for you? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Having recently passed through the fire of heart failure diagnosis, surgery, treatment and recovery, I know what it is like to journey into the darkness and come out in the light. I remember getting the diagnosis and feeling totally emptied of all feeling. Was I going to die? I’ve gone through major surg

Adapt?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Why do some people who deal with crippling pain make it and others not? Why are they able to take a “Now what?” moment and turn it into an opportunity? Does God design the weaknesses in our lives as strengths if we are able to place our trust in his ability to turn even the biggest negative into a positive? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. (Until my voice returns from complications of surgery there will be no recorded messages.) It’s funny how some people are just more willing, more dedicated to facing up to the inevitability of pain while others, for a variety of reasons are not as able. It depends on a person’s a

Downshifting?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is your life in the fast lane? Is it rushing by you far too quickly and you feel out of control? Wouldn’t it be wise to downshift into a lower gear right now, slow down and discover the peace that God may have in mind for you if you just take the time to listen? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. If you’ve ever driven an old farm tractor, you know a couple of things. First, on level ground they’re pretty stable. You can’t tip one over too easily out plowing a field or pulling a stump. However, that all changes when you change the slope you're working on. When we first moved to Beech Springs years ago I had occasion t

Cleft for me?

My friend, may I ask you a question? In times of testing and pain how do you believe that the hand of God is waiting to touch your heart when times get tough and despair settles in? Do you believe he reaches down and grabs our life with a comforting “Let’s get to work!” and “I’ll help you to move on?” My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. What’s the worst thing that can happen to you when your pulling a camping trailer, followed by several families pulling their trailers and you’re racing against the sun to make it to the campground before dark? How about a flat tire on your truck? There are few feelings more forsaken than a flat tire, especially when you’

Mercy me?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How important is it to take stock of what divine mercy we possess from time to time? Ought we to do an inventory of what we value, choose to keep or not to keep in light of God’s grace? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Life is full of exciting things to wish for. Over my lifetime I’ve had longings for many things; some of them achieved, others not. There was a time many years ago where I longed to find that perfect mate, the woman who would be by my side for decades, through thick and thin. By God’s grace I found her. There were many other things, big and small, along life’s road that I longed for. There was a time

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