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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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Judging?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If God doesn’t judge by looks, race or sex but by the heart, so is what matters most not what we wear or how our hair is combed, but more the important thing is how we wear our faith and manicure our love? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Bank lines are great places to do people watching. The other day I witnessed an older man, shabbily dressed, standing in line in front of me. I noted how his hair was sticking out oddly from under his dirty old baseball cap and that his shirt and pants were badly mismatched. I found myself thinking that I would never show up in a bank line looking that way. As he left the teller’s cage I gav

Assumptions?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is it always a good thing to give every situation the benefit of the doubt before taking action? With most things in this life, does God given us the time to think before we act? How important is this when we are dealing with another person’s feelings? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Recently a pair of robins decided to nest in a very large wreath that hangs under the eaves of our house. For weeks we watched them build, then incubate the eggs, feed the young birds and, finally, fledge them. Seeing that the nest was empty, and that the wreath had begun to sag badly from top to bottom, I asked my son to climb up on the roof an

Honesty?

My friend, may I ask you a question? As dads, should we give our children lives that are fragrant to remember; memories they will go back to time after time when faced with making right or wrong decisions? Should we be teaching them to do the right thing even when the wrong thing is easier? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. One thing that I've reluctantly learned about being a father is that by the time you're experienced, you're unemployable. All of my children are adults now and grand kids are now part of my life. It's kind of strange how you keep on learning new things about parenting even as a grandfather. Problem is, it's stuff that could have come in handy

Religion?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do human beings need touch; especially as children, but even as important, as adults? Has God made us to be touched, comforted, and part of a community? Do we need to touch one another, not only for the good of others, but also for our own good? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. With all the recent high school and college commencements there was a theme it seems that rang true through each; “What do you want out of life?” The theme seems to fit because we’re looking at young men and women poised to enter the nation’s work force; each one aspiring to greatness of one degree or another. What struck me, however, is the latent mes

Hug someone?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do human beings need touch; especially as children, but even as important, as adults? Has God made us to be touched, comforted, and part of a community? Do we need to touch one another, not only for the good of others, but also for our own good? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Years ago there was an ad campaign that swept the country. It hit the billboards, car bumpers, print ads and television stations. The images of the campaign showed a little girl looking upward with big innocent eyes and a longing expression on her face. The words were, simply, "Have you hugged your kid today?" The message was not simply to remind us th

Dedicated?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Has God has called each of us to conform to the image of Jesus Christ? Like our fathers, is this is an image of joy mixed with pain? Is there is no escaping it? To be “counted worthy of that calling” ought we to walk in our dad’s footsteps and grow up to be just like him? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Here’s a story about my dad: To me he was always larger than life. He towered over me and just had a way of peering down at me that could either rivet me to the spot in guilt or immediately cause me to reach out in search of his love. He had a smell about him that was uniquely him; that faint odor of aftershave no matter wh

It's Dad, Call Me?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Ought we to thank God for Dad's who are willing to do the carrying, the enduring, even when the ones they carry don't appreciate the journey? Does God want us to be thankful for Dad's who never stop loving, no matter how long it takes? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. A little boy was once asked for his definition of Father's Day: "It's just like Mother's Day except you don't spend as much on a present." We smile and nod our heads, especially if we're fathers. "Hey, there's nothing wrong with a tie or can of Simonize!" Moms are the dearest things in this life and, as a Husband and a Son, I can't imagine anyone more dear than

Purpose?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Has God given you unique purpose in this life? Is there a singular reason that you awoke this morning and were by grace given another day to live and breath? What about the purpose of your life; can it be approached like filling out a job application? Is there some singular “application-like” statement that would adequately describe who you are and why you’re here? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Filling out a job application can be frustrating when you confront statements like “describe a situation when you acted under pressure” or “explain how your actions benefited your employer.” The one I find really curious is this: “T

Fix it?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are you often lulled into a false sense of security when as long as things are fine, you believe that there is no need to act? The old adage, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it may be charming, but are there often times in this life when God is standing beside us holding a wrench and expecting us to use it. Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. We have an artesian spring in our front yard. For years it emptied into a shallow concrete basis through which a steel pipe had been inserted. That pipe ran along side our house at about the four-foot level. A number of years ago I put an addition on that side of the house and, in the process

Strive?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Did God create you and I to be faultfinders? Did you know that faultfinders are happy living under rocks; living in the shadow of those who harm them? Is that the way that God wants you and I to live? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. What does it mean to be opportunistic? I think I know the meaning a bit clearer today than yesterday. I did some weed killing over this past weekend. I got out my weed sprayer and started walking around the various places bordering our driveway where the weeds have encroached. I came upon a small tuft of grass, green and stout, that had planted itself in a little gully between two smooth rocks. A

Obstacles?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If we're patient and willing to look for the opportunities that God often provides as obstacles that seem so daunting when we first confront them, might we find that what had been a problem was really nothing more than an opportunity working itself out for our good? If we keep a sharp eye and be patient; are our problems often nothing more than opportunities in disguise? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. There are few things in life more troublesome, even aggravating, than those orange barrels and flashing lights. They're repairing the street in front of my office building and the barriers went up earlier in the week. I'm so u

Vision?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is your vision of death a clear one? Or, are you looking at death with myopic eyes? When you look at what awaits all of us at the end of our days, are you seeing a picture that is filled with pain and suffering? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I am near-sighted and wear trifocals. I recall when I first began to notice the need to get corrective help. I wasn’t able to read things close up. I noticed it with maps and computer screens and numerous other readable materials. It wasn’t long that I found myself in the optometrist’s chair with an ocular viewer pushed in front of my eyes. The chart on the far wall was quite blurry be

Compassion?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do these “angry” times call for repentance and sorrowful reflection over what has become of our nation and ourselves? Do we need a broken heart when we see the sin that has caused such grief, such terrible persecution? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Christians are being persecuted worldwide. This has become apparent, especially in places like the Middle East and Africa. As Christ predicted, the saints would be persecuted and many would be put to death. Many Christians have had enough and reactive violence is beginning to erupt around the world. Christians are angry and it is no small wonder why. The courts are assailing the

Live it!

My friend, may I ask you a question? What motivates you to get things done? Is it the knowledge that you are capable of doing the work or do you believe that the work itself will somehow magically give you the ability to accomplish what you set out to do? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I watched my son fix the brakes on his car the other day. He worked hard and in the matter of a few hours he had replaced the calipers and pads, put everything back together and test drove the car. He was confident in doing the job and did not hesitate to make the decision to buy the parts that were need and do the work himself. Meanwhile, I was content to watch. Not having ever

Simplify?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Did you know that there’s always the chance that too much planning may get you into trouble; and there’s also the real danger that overcomplicating the simple can do even more harm especially when it comes to how you live your faith life? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Although I often opt for less detail over more, I know, deep down, that there are appropriate times for detail. For example, Holly and I are presently planning a vacation. We’ll be taking the old travel trailer, hitching it up to the truck and driving north. That sounds simple; in some sense it is. Once the rig is hitched and we’re on the road we’ll get to ou

Mercy?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If God commands us to: Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:121-15), is He talking about a sacrificial love here; one that is willing to deny our own feelings and put those of others first? How far should self-denial go? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Through the latter part of the last century we spent a whole lot of time redefining love. Did you ever notice that? There was the “Make Love Not War!” movement of the 60’s that really got things rolling. Love, no longer fettered by morals, became the property of whoever wished to own it at that moment. It became a right as opposed to a privilege. Then in the 70’s and

Artesian love?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Should we never grow weary of doing good for our Savior since He has never grown weary of us.? Free-flowing forgiveness may not always be satisfying, but can it ever cease to replenish the pools of friendship and the depths of love we have for both God and others? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. We have an artesian well in our front yard. As is so often the case with wells of this type, there is always the ever-present danger of a clog in the drainpipe that flows around our house. Should that happen, the water has no place to go but over- flow the basin and drain into the driveway. Even though it can be a bother to be confro

Mud skippers?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Happiness is sometimes a generous commodity; but are there times when it is far, more stingy? When God takes away our comforts, and transplants us into difficult times, does He always offers hope for relief? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Recently Holly and I decided to move five of her prize Clematis plants to a new flowerbed along the dog run fence. The fence would provide a great environment for the plants to climb and it was mid-spring, a good time to transplant, so we decided to take the risk and make the transfer. The object when transplanting Clematis tubers is to keep the root mass in one piece shielded by as much d

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