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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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Ever rolling stream?

“Everything comes to him who waits?” Remember that old saying? Doesn’t that mean that the longer I wait to plan something, start something or complete something, the better the odds that waiting will result in a better product, a high- er achievement and a more rewarding outcome? It would, of course, be great if this were the way all things were accomplished in this life. In a way it would be like just sitting back and letting things sort themselves out and THEN getting down to business. In a perfect world things would probably work that way. Things would just happen when they were supposed to happen. But, time doesn’t flow that way. Here’s a story from Clarence Macartney: “At the beginning

The right track?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Christmas is a good time to reexamine your trip through this life. Do you know where your train is headed? Are you prepared for the final destination? Is your trip through this life filled with doubts and fears that cause you to stumble or hide? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Here’s a story. During the Nazi occupation of Holland, the Nazis planned to deport Jewish children not to a concentration camp, but to a crematorium where they would be killed. When the day to be taken away came, Christian resistance leaders secretly boarded the train along with the Jewish children and commandeered the train. The trip lasted

Monuments?

My friend, may I ask you a question? “It was a good Christmas!” we say. But, what we are really saying is, “I did it! Christmas came off just as I planned; a real monument to the Christmas spirit.” Is that a personal monument to Christmas that’s really out of place? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Christmas is a time to decorate with an abandon unmatched at any other time of the year. A time of excess, we exceed budgets, diets and bedtimes and spend countless hours preparing, consuming, building, tearing down and recuperating. Christmas in many ways is a monument to our ability to endure, excel, and outdo. We compete with our neighbor for the brighte

For me?

My friend, may I ask you a question? What do you want for Christmas this year? Perhaps I should say, “What do you want for someone else this Christmas? If we leave the us out of the equation, Christmas giving would be much more in-line with how God gives us his gifts? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I remember once a gift so large I wasn’t able to put it under the Christmas tree. It was a grandmother’s clock that I gave to my wife at Christmas. I needed to have her close her eyes as I slowly walked into the room, clock behind my back. Then, she opened her eyes and I stepped out from in front of the clock. Despite the fact it came unwrapped, it will l

What kind of love?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is there is a universal fix to the potholes in life that always seem to be cropping up? What kind of love can help us deal with the really big ones? Is there love that has no hidden costs, works the minute you use it, and is guaranteed to bear you up even when all seems unbearable? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Despite the fact that life’s highway presents pretty much hazards for all of us, there's a great disparity among drivers as to how to best deal with the potholes and dips in the road. Potholes. This time of the year is full of them. Christmas is the one time of the year when relationships are most put to

Let them here?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you have a story to tell? No? How about the story of the Christ Child? You and I as the story tellers have an obligation to tell it well. When we’re finished are those with whom we share it stirred, captivated and motivated to tell it to others themselves? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. There’s an art to telling a story. It can’t be too short or too long. Each thought that goes into a story has to be linked with the next. Words and ideas need to build, one upon the other. Everything in a story needs to be linked, from start to finish, with the first sentence and the last. When the story is finished, the listen

Lanterns?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to grasping the opportunities that God puts before us, are we on top of our spiritual lives? Is God often so close to us that we miss the opportunity he gives us because we hesitate to grab on at the right time? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Many years ago I was crossing a stream with a bunch of my buddies. It was spring and the water was high and fast. To get to the other side we had tied a rope to an overhanging tree limb. First guy across had to snag the limb with a branch, pull it toward him, grab the rope and swing across. Then, when on the other side, the rope would be tossed back and grabbed

Hugs and smiles?

My friend, may I ask you a question? As the Christmas season now rapidly approaches, wouldn’t it be great to believe more urgently in the power of smiles, hugs, kindness, truth, justice, peace, dreams, imagination, and making angels in the snow? Wouldn’t it be fitting to celebrate these as we remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. When I was a kid I remember thinking that everyone was happy because, well, I was happy. I would walk down the street that I lived on and think only about the gravel that was held in place by the tar. How did they do that? I would spend my afternoons climbing trees and riding my bike

Tasting God?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How DOES Christmas taste for you? Does it remind you of chocolate candies? Perhaps it’s that sweet Stullen with the creamy white frosting? Christmas creates many alluring flavors for most of us. If Christmas, however, is about the birth of Jesus Christ, what flavor ought that to be? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. For most of us preparing for Christmas involves some contact with food preparation, especially the preparation of cookies, cakes, breads, Christmas dinners and hors d’oeuvres as well as other consumables that are made with sugars, chocolates, and other sweet confections. Christmas is also the single most

Are you in?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If the certainty that God is the basis for all that exists is so firm, what should that do for our willingness to confess that belief to others? Should we ever have had the slightest doubt? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I recently read an article in a magazine about DNA. DNA is made up of enzymes that form the molecules that make the structure of DNA, the genetic building block of all life. The article was by a noted mathematician and statistician from Cardiff University in Wales, Great Britain. The theme of the article was on probability: the likelihood enzymes that form to make the structure of the molecules o

Sharpening your axe?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to your daily walk with God, how prepared are you? Did you take the time today to sharpen up on who and what you are relative to your God? Or, have spiritual shortcuts begun to take a bite out of your day? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I like being prepared for things but I've often yielded to the temptation of not taking the time needed to be so. Here’s an example. A number of years ago Holly and I decided to take down a few dead trees at the far end of our property. I got out the tractor, hitched the trailer, loaded my chainsaw, gear oil, fuel, splitting maul, wedges and gloves. I was prepared. I

Letting go?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Letting go. The harder we hold on sometimes makes letting go even harder. So it is with things that we love and so dearly hang on to. Why is it that when it comes time to trust and letting go, we hesitate, even falter? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Letting go of things is one of the hardest things in this life to do. I recently had surgery that required most of an afternoon in the operating room. When we said “Good-bye” and I was wheeled into anesthesia, she looked at me with those big eyes and there was a glistening in them that belied her confidence. We held hands until the doors were about to swing closed and

Pulling the plow?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is pain ever good? It may be good; but, when it doesn’t go away, does the “good” part, the sacrifice, wear pretty thin? Does God really use pain for our good? When God asks us to sacrifice for Him, will there be pain? And, if there is, will that pain be good? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. “Pain is good! Pain is good!” Prior to having both of my knees replaced several years ago, I would often winced as I walked down the road, my knees burning and aching, uttering those words. Arthritis had cut deeply into both knees and my morning walk had become an endurance contest. I had learned that little phrase back in High

Gifts and miracles?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Gifts. Is the point to giving gifts to each other or to charities the amount that we give or how we give it? Should we give to others and to God out of a spirit of gratefulness, trusting that God will use our gift to his benefit even if that be a miracle? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Holly and I give to as many charities as we can. Every time we write out a check however, we always feel a bit of remorse. Couldn’t we have done more? We’ve always wanted to be even more generous than we are. Nevertheless, as I sealed another envelope for another charity and slipping it into my pocket, I wondered to myself how this

Sharing?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Sharing. Are we at best inconsistent and at worst possessive. Wouldn’t it be great if we could be consistent, never missing an opportunity to share even when it means that personally benefiting isn’t in the equation? How this world would change. My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Sharing–it really doesn’t come naturally to us, does it? Or does it? I remember a time years ago when my two little grandsons, James and Jayson, were playing on the kitchen floor. At the time James was nearly three and Jayson one. I watched James as he was playing with his tractor and several other toys on the floor when he spied Jayson play

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Mark

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