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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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Our Father?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When you think about it is life all about hanging on, or isn't it? Think about all the things that attract your grasp over the course of a day? Are you hanging on a lot? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. What defines trust? Obviously fear has something to do with how much we trust or decide not to trust. If you can minimize fear, usually trust follows closely behind. Take roller coaster rides for example. As a kid I had a real fear of going on roller coasters. It didn't matter how high or fast, I just didn't like going on them. That is until my Mom decided to ride with me. It was a community carnival and the roller

Redemption?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Why did God pardon you and I? Is it that He was so intent on keeping us alive so that we could live out a full and fruitful life? Or, does He sometimes have something else in mind? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Did you ever have one of those close calls in life; you know, that time when another car missed hitting you broadside by the narrowest of margins? How do you feel when seconds later as you exhale in relief? If you’re like most people, you feel a sense of euphoria; almost as if life has a whole new purpose and you’re just starting out all over again. The obvious question might be, why did God pardon me? Is

Worried about trivia?

My friend, may I ask you a question? if only about 8% of all the issues in our lives really turn out to be something, why is it that we spend so much time in worry and stress about all the rest? Literally, would we look like fools because of our foolishness? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. An average person’s anxiety is focused on: 40% -- things that will never happen, 30% -- things about the past that can’t be changed, 12% -- things about criticism by others, mostly untrue, 10% -- about health, which gets worse with stress, 8% -- about real problems that will be faced. So, if only about 8% of all the issues in our lives really turn out to be somethi

Standing in the gap?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we take today’s problems one by one, instead of diving into the things in this life that concern us tomorrow, are we taking best way to avoid having all the troubles in life collapsing on us at the same time? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Being able to see around the corners of this life, the places where things that will happen, do happen, is a national pastime of sorts. Books on prophecy, ouija boards, taro cards and the like have been around a long time and they are still popular today. Many people just aren’t very comfortable not being able to see around life’s corners. We spend a lot of effort trying t

Taking a knee?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Did you know that every Christian is a hero in some sense? When we act boldly in humble confidence in obedience to God’s will for us, we are heroes. And as God empowers us to act boldly, is He also beckoning us to do so in the deepest humility? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I own a picture of George Washington kneeling in prayer at Valley Forge. It’s a pretty famous picture of Washington kneeling on one knee, hands folded, surrounded by snow with his horse standing obediently beside him. I’ve long been fascinated by that picture because it’s such a study in contrasts. On the one hand there’s the dress uniform, s

The hero inside?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do people do heroic things because they are created in the image and likeness of God? Like a coin whose image has been defaced, any one of us may mar the likeness to God in his or her character. Is the way God sees us; with a few added touches and a little prodding? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. We had spent hours planning to finish our bedroom closet. All we needed to do was to move out all the clothes, do a thorough cleaning, a little touch-up paint here and there and then lay in the carpeting remnant we had purchased. But, when we had gotten to the painting part we found we had a gloss, paint and the original

Share it?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If something has value, are you obligated to share that value with others? How about your faith? Should you and I be anxious to share that as something of the utmost value? How about our faith? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I’ve always been proud of my German heritage; specifically, the fact that my Great, Great Grandfather immigrated from Bavaria nearly two centuries ago. In keeping with that heritage, I purchased a Bavarian flag at a local German imports gift store. When I brought it home, it being a full-size flag (one that could be run up a flag pole), I proudly displayed it to my wife. Her first question wa

Misfortune?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Misfortune. It isn’t easy to deal with it, is it? When we see it as a gift, however, are we able to appreciate how it to strengthens us as Christians rather than weakening our Christian character? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Complaining. We all do it. In fact, we so often immerse ourselves in it that it easily becomes one of those habits that sticks with us through life. The weatherman blows the forecast and we wake up to a foot of snow that wasn’t predicted and we complain aloud about both the work we will have to do and the fact that the forecast was wrong. Our spouse does something to hurt our feelings and

Forgiving the despicable?

My friend, may I ask you a question? It has been said “it’s easy to forgive the forgiven and to despise the despicable.” Both the act of forgiving and that of despising often fall on the same emotional level. Ultimately, do we tend to find it as easy to display love as do rancor? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. When you were a kid there were two kinds of people in the world: those you liked and those you didn’t. What determined which was simply the degree of fault you were willing to tolerate in each. Friends, even those we liked, were people certainly capable of hurting us from time to time. Nonetheless, because of the special relationship we had wi

Banking time?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How does God want us to understand time? Is it a commodity we can manage or something we can only value and hold in great esteem? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Can you bank time? I've heard people tell me that they can. For example, the other day my son Dan told me that he was going to bed early since he had been up late the previous night. "I'm making up the time Dad," he said. I thought to myself as he went to his bedroom how odd that statement really was. The sleeping time Dan had spent yesterday was a deposit on yesterday and not today. What an odd way of looking at time when you think of it. It reminded me

No fear?

My friend, may I ask you a question? No fear? When you and I come near to that final stop, heaven, what will it mean to be without fear? Will our lips whisper perhaps, maybe or, even worse, I don’t know? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Last Friday as I was driving across town to the bank I got behind one of those low-slung "kid-cars" (as I call them). You know, dropped chassis, chrome dual pipes, decals on the windows and a loud stereo system. We both had to stop for a light on Main Street, me behind him. I was close enough to read all of the various decals that he had pasted in his rear window. The one that really struck me, not because it was so di

What sting?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Should you and I fear death? Is it baseless to fear it? Or, has God made it possible for you and I to deal with death in a way that puts death on the phobia list, the list of baseless but real fears? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. You and I are often subject to irrational fears. You know, the kind of fear that is baseless but it's just programmed into us to be fearful and there’s nothing we can do about it; or at least we think so. Baseless fear, nonetheless, is real. Take acrophobia, for example–the fear of high places. Acrophobia takes many forms. There’s the fear of looking down from a high place and then, the

Can do?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are things only impossible when we don’t envision the possibilities that lie beyond them? How often do you and I, faced with the seemingly impossible, back down without even considering that anything and everything is always worth a try? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Vision. When we are able to see past the roadblocks, hazards and detours that so often interrupt life’s journey, it’s said that we are visionary. If we possess vision, the ability to see what others might be missing for lack of focus, there is very little in this world that dwells beyond our grasp. Vision, it is said, is being able to see things tha

The measure of goodness?

My friend, may I ask you a question? As we sort through the many opportunities that God gives us in this life to do good, how easy it would be to let things pile up, waiting for a better time and place to do good? Does procrastination on doing good, give us a good excuse to dispose of doing good altogether? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Here at Beech Springs I save everything and put it in a neat pile on the corner of my office desk. After a few months the pile grow so large it begins to tip over. That's the indicator that I normally wait for before actually sorting through the pile to discover what could or should be saved and what ought to be tos

Breaking point?

My friend, may I ask you a question? What about love? Is there ever a point of no return; a place where too much love can become a detriment? Can too much love backfire? Isn't there a time when the loving needs to stop long enough so that we don't harm ourselves in the process? Is there a point to overdoing our love for others? My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Do you consider yourself an extreme person? People given to extremes tend to push the edge and, normally, bargain for just a little bit more than they can handle. Push far enough and, as the old adage goes, "The breaking point happens at the point of no return." I was thinking about this the oth

That would be God?

Everyone can have a bad day. I have them, you have them. The important thing is this: what do we do with the badness when it becomes overflowing? We know that God hears and heals, but is that always a guarantee that it will happen? A number of years ago one of my daughters had had a bad day. Nothing seemed to be going right. I told her that she needed to take her problems to God and see what He might be willing to do with them. “Sure! she said. “But it would be a whole lot easier if I knew He was really listening.” How often have you longed to see the guardian angels that walk beside you? Or, when you’re really weighed down by the cares of life, wouldn’t it be great to see an army of angels

A glass of milk?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How does God want us to react to our neighbor when he or she cries out for help? Do we just say it will be alright? Or is there always something more we can do? Something that will actually make a difference even when its a small thing, something that might even be insignificant? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Emma, the oldest of our Dachshunds, is getting up there. She is around 14 or so, old for most dogs. Her hearing is failing, as is her eyesight. As an older dog with issues, she just needs more attention. Emma sleeps a lot. She gets under foot because she can’t quite gauge distance anymore. Sometimes she get

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Mark

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