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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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Hope that swims?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is it possible to have hope when things seem hopeless and there just doesn’t seem to be any way out of a situation that implies little or no prospect of change? If we are without hope how can we find it a way out of the problems and woes that overcome us in this life? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. One of the greatest fears that has stuck with me event to this day is a fear of deep water. There’s just something about not knowing where the bottom is that has always filled me with fear. This hasn’t, however, kept me from going out in a boat or canoe. I remember one occasion when my brothers and I were fishing on Clear Lake in

God's silence?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When you can’t hear God, do you stop talking to Him? Are you tempted to stop coming to Him in your prayers and in your quiet times? Do you doubt He will hear your prayer? Do you believe that even in His silence, God doesn’t miss one word or one tear. Do you believe that He is faithful and He has a plan? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. remember the story of Franklin Roosevelt when, as President of the United States, he often endured long receiv- ing lines at the White House. He complained that no one really paid any attention to what was said. One day, during a reception, he decided to try an experiment. To each person who ca

Pray always?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to prayer, how passionate should we be about racing praying and never ceasing? When it comes to prayer, how passionate should we be? Should we be willing to sacrifice, even put ourselves into an uncomfortable situation, in order to stay on top of our prayer“ game? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. How many things are your compassionate about in life? I remember many years ago during the Lombardi days and the good fortune of the Green Bay Packers. I was passionate about them. Between 1961 and 1969 I can honestly say that I never, never missed watching or listening to a weekend Packer broad- cast. It really didn’t

Look up?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Was there was a time when only a few things satisfied our hope, whereas today we live in an age when it just takes a lot more things to bring the same level of satisfaction? Perhaps the reason is because the very things in which we place our hope are often the same things that obscure our ability to find satisfaction? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. There was a time when a man’s hope was simple, to live in peace with his neighbors and that there would be enough food on the table to reasonably satisfy hunger for another day. Hope was simpler then and much more reasonable than many of the things we hope for today. Whereas ther

Keep calling?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How like an animal that plays dead we as Christians often are? If God gives us the tools to not only defend ourselves but also to go on the offensive against sin, why when we are threatened, we prefer to play dead and hope that the evil will simply pass us by? 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 a peculiar animal. It possesses all th

Exercise it?

My friend, may I ask you a question? What is easily taught but not soon learned? The answer? Could it be patience? If there’s one thing that few are capable of doing well it’s practicing a patient, waiting attitude when it comes to God’s promises. But is are there blessings awaiting us if we endure the hardships God ordains in our lives? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. What is easily taught but not soon learned? The answer? Patience. If there’s one thing that few are capable of doing well it’s practicing a patient, waiting attitude when it comes to God’s promises. He promises blessings if we endure the hardships. We flinch at the hardships and soon forget the g

Use me?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does it seem that time is one of the most precious commodities that God gives us daily? It seems that the time to do things is always so limited? Why is it that we need to balance the things we want to do with the things we need to do; and, why is that not always the easiest nor desired thing to do? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Time is one of the most precious commodities that God gives us daily. The time to do things, however, is always limited. We need to balance the things we want to do with the things we need to do; and, that’s not always the easiest nor desired thing to do. Therein lies the tension. I start each day

All the time?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we look at life do we see it is pretty much dependent on how we choose to filter it? Are you overwhelmed by a sense of God’s goodness and protection in your life? Even when trouble rains around you? Is life full of bad things that really do need to be filtered out? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I’ve owned aquariums for many years. One of the things about aquariums is there potential to be foul and unsightly if the water is not properly filtered. Filtering the water is essential since fish waste accumulates rapidly and the water can become not only clouded but toxic to the fish themselves. Algae are also a constant con

Two sides?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do each of us need to feed the “right wolf” today and for the rest of our lives? Do we need to rejoice in meal after meal of love, joy, peace, happiness, goodness and delight as we pull up a chair at God’s banquet table? Although our alter-ego of sin will always be there, do we necessarily have to feed it? 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 easie

Temptation?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Sadly does it seems that the “green” culture we live in today has become more than a preoccupation for some; even for many becoming another god? Have we gotten to a point where we are worshiping at a big green altar? And this is but one temptation, among so many. Where will it end? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Green! Green has become the byword of this generation. As I sat down to breakfast this morning I poured a bowl of oat flakes. As I sprinkled a little sugar on the cereal I began a casual read of the cereal box. First my eyes scanned the ingredients on the side of the box. There were non-genetically altered oats, no

No payables with God?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Why is it that as Christians we so often find ourselves thinking that there is somehow a way that we can pay for God’s freely given salvation? Can something so precious really have a price? Are there no “payables” with God. So, should we accept His grace as a gift and be thankful? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Growing up I was always taught to offer a kindness for a kindness. If someone did something nice for you, do something nice for him in kind. You let me ride your bike and I’ll let you ride mine. This worked most of the time and was a pretty good rule of thumb that served me well whether that was dealing with my playm

Strife!

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we strike out at those who hurt us with angry words, do we often end up hurting ourselves in the process? Is strife really a monster? Does its ability to grow in proportion to our inability leave certain issues alone make it an even bigger menace? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Deer Flies; those little, dive-bombers that come out in late July and don’t go away until the first frost, love to hang out in those transitional areas around Beech Springs where sunlight and shade meet. That’s where they hide, just waiting to nail you. They dive into your hair and are particularly fond of the back of your neck. Last night I ran

Look up?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is living life to its fullest more than just living? Is it as much the discovering within ourselves of an abiding spirit of contentment in what sits at our feet and rests before our noses? Does abiding, just abiding, transform the mundane into something very character building?. Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Over 20 years ago when I first cleared the land here at Beech Springs one of my main nemesis were the stumps. There were so many of them. Cutting down the trees was enough of a labor; but digging out stumps was even worse. Even with the aid of a stump grinder the work was tedious, noisy and backbreaking. So it is that

Hush child?

My friend, may I ask you a question? It’s been said that–“Life’s a camera. You wake up every day with one opportunity to take a picture of where you are going and where you’ve been. Depending upon where you set your focus, the picture can be blurry or sharp.” Can we choose to see life’s “debts” as a curse or an opportunity? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. BILLS, BILLS, BILLS! Sometimes it is really difficult to believe that life can get any worse. You owe the plumber, the bank, and there’s that money you borrowed from your mom. The struggle is a daily one and it seems that the more you struggle to survive, the harder survival seems to be. Can poverty be right a

Living it?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does God wants believers to live their faith, not preach it? When you and I demonstrate kindness, patience, forbearance and forgiveness, do we have to talk about it; or do we need to live it? Isn’t our “religion” more a matter of how we live than what we preach? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Occasionally, I like to get on my soapbox. I have strong beliefs about some things and want others to know about them. Recently I went on the lecture route with my kids and preached a sermon at the supper table that I thought they would never forget. I injected humor, gave examples and made sure that they knew what I was expecting of t

Together?

My friend, may I ask you a question? In life, we know what is going on around us and what has happened before, but often we can’t see ahead? We seem to have control of the direction and speed of our lives, but do we know what’s going to happen even within the next few seconds of life? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. When my son Dan was growing up I gave him various chores around the house to keep him busy. One of his jobs was to take out the trash at least twice a week and, after depositing it in the burning barrel, burn it. Now there’s more to burning trash than just dumping it in a barrel, tossing in a match, and walking away. I taught Dan how to put small am

Give up?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does it seem that often big problems in life, because we aren’t in touch with God’s perspective, can leave us groping for the wrong tools? Do we need to be reminded that God knows the real size of the problem and He never gives up?If we look up will His hand be waiting to lift us up? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I had to move a boulder recently that appeared very large. “I’ll need the truck to move it,” I thought. “But I can’t get a truck in there. Maybe I should just forget it?” I decided to dig around the boulder with pick, shovel and pry bar just to see what I was up against. After a few minutes of digging, however, I

Last say?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Although we lead our lives with some certainty of the way they will go, do we really have all that much to say about it? Do our lives fall the way God has planned them, and, in the end, he has the last say. Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. A number of years ago I cut down an elm tree that had succumbed to Dutch elm disease years prior. Elm, because of its sinewy nature, is a difficult wood to predict. Cutting the tree down can be challenging especially when dry. This particular tree, it turned out, had a mind of its own. I notched it in the direction of the fell and then back-cut it with the hopes of insert- ing a wedge and f

Useful?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to understanding God’s way of dealing with our lives, can our perspective often be very faulty? When our life comes crashing down on our heads, does knowing what waits for us once God has a hold of our thoughts, bodies and lives, make the pain worth it? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Sometimes things just aren’t what they seem. I remember recently when on a trip I was driving to a friend’s house. He had given me directions to his home that ended with, “I live next to the tall TV towers at the end of the road.” As I drove down the road I could see the towers in the distance. “Hey it can’t be but a mile or two a

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