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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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Perspective?

My friend, may I ask you a question? 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. Right? 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 m

Attitude?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Sometimes, when we are feeling burned-out, is it really a matter of discovering for ourselves if we are a smoldering fire, destined to burn out and in need of a whole lot of attention, or a promising fire, merely waiting to be stoked and able to rekindle with just a bit of tender care? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I’m a nut about campfires. Since we camp a lot, I guess that I need to be. One thing that I’ve discovered is that there is a point with every fire where you reach that crossroads of “half-empty” or “half-full.” It’s the critical juncture where the fire could either go out or, with a poke or a shove here or there

Gloom and doom?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is being a doom and gloom person a choice, not a circumstance? Do we choose to be down when we choose to believe that there is no alternative to being down? When life seems its gloomiest, is that the time we ought to be filled with the most cheer? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. What’s the most powerful force a work in your home today? No, it’s not Mr. Clean, the TV or Ajax Laundry detergent. It’s you and I! You and I, and the attitude that we adopt each day from morning until night, has more power to affect our households than any cleaner or TV related activity. When we start the day with a scowl and an ornery attitude, it’

Hope that's sweet?

My friend, may I ask you a question? What defines the seasons of a Christian life? Is it what is apparent or is it something subtle? Is Godly success measured by what we do or how we do it? Does God define success by the apparent strength of our roots and boughs; or by the fruit that we bear because of these? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. What do you hope for today? Perhaps your hopes are as tall as the mountains; perhaps they are no bigger than a pitcher’s mound. Whatever the case, most people awaken each day with some sort of hope in their breast. Some may hope simply that they are able to get enough coffee into their morning so that they can stay awake on

Faithfulness?

My friend, may I ask you a question? What defines the seasons of a Christian life? Is it what is apparent or is it something subtle? Is Godly success measured by what we do or how we do it? Does God define success by the apparent strength of our roots and boughs; or by the fruit that we bear because of these? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Each year as the seasons change, so does the selection of fruit that’s available at my local Piggly Wiggly. In early sum- mer there are the tangy apricots and sweet plums along with nutty peaches and nectarines. As summer passes, though, so do the fruits. By late summer the crispness, even the flavor of these is waning and i

Let God do it?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Talking and eating aren’t very good partners when you come right down to it. One requires an open airway the other a closed one. Similarly, when you and I choose to combine work and worry, can choking can easily become the consequence? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I have what my wife calls a “lazy flap” in my throat. It’s that little flap of muscle that closes over my airway when swallowing. For some reason there are times when that little flap doesn’t close all of the way in time to block whatever I’ve got coming down the pipe. It doesn’t happen every time I swallow and seems to happen more often when I’m talking and eat

Deeds of love?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you find yourself in a situation today where the labor you offer at home or at work is unrewarding? Perhaps you feel that no one appreciates what you do? Perhaps, even worse, you feel that you are taken advantage of, even abused? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Last year, according to Department of Commerce figures, over 100 workers were murdered by their fellow workers in acts of senseless violence. Why this propensity toward discontent, bitterness, even hatred in the work place? Psychologists have begun to probe the violence in the workplace syndrome and are coming to a remarkable conclusion. Most acts of violence are c

The best medicine?

My friend, may I ask you a question? There’s an old saying that we ought to “laugh to the devil’s envy.” Why? Is it because the devil isn’t capable of laughter, so he’s jealous? Do God and the angels own laughter? Should we ever consider laughter as trivial or just one of those marginal blessings that God has given? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. When was the last time that you laughed so hard that the tears came and your belly ached? If you’re like most adults, you’d be lucky to do that even once a year. Research has shown that as we grow older, we laugh less and with less intensity. Small children, under the age of 10, however, laugh up to 150 times a day. T

You decide?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Indecision. We all have those moments of indecision. In fact, isn’t it true that we deal with it nearly every day? But, how about God? Is it possible that He could ever be indecisive? If He was, can you imagine what might happen. Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Many years ago I managed a small, in-house print shop for a local lawn and garden manufacturer. There was a supervisor in the department; Joanne was her name. Although the decisions to hire or release shop staff was ultimately mine, I relied on Joanne to make the call first. Nine times out of ten I followed her advice. One day she came into my office with a problem th

Work it out?

My friend, may I ask you a question? As Christians, do we always know when God is “shaking” us? Is it a test or is it something else? Do we have our lives always in a sense of readiness should the Lord contact us asking of us some task, some part of our day, or perhaps even more? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. My kids often tell me that I have SFS, the acronym they apply to a condition they call, “Shaking Foot Syndrome.” Everyone will be seated at the table for dinner and suddenly a slight tremor or vibration can be felt on the tabletop. It’s not that the water in our cups is sloshing or the food is bumping from one side of the plate to the other. It’s just a

Forgiving mercy?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Physical bridges are important in connecting neighbors. But, did you know, emotional bridges are just as important? The best of relationships, separated by an unforgiving spirit, are difficult to sustain unless someone bridges the gap of hurt with a forgiving spirit. Is there someone in your life today that has hurt you? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Holly and I live on a small, rural road that is only lightly traveled. Noname Creek divides our property from the proper- ties that lie to the north of Beech Springs. The creek travels across the highway and for years a simple concrete and steel bridge spanned the creek, conne

Mercy or justice?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is showing mercy to those who don’t deserve it fair? Doesn’t it seem to be problematic when justice is better served by withholding mercy? Is that what God want us to do when justice seems to be the right thing to do? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. We live in a society that is really hung up on fairness. It if isn’t fair, by someone’s standards, then it must be wrong. Some have even based their lack of faith on those standards. I recently had occasion to get into a bit of an argument with a friend who felt that way about God. “God isn’t fair. That’s why I’m not interested in worshipping Him.” This person knew some Bible sto

Witness now?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is doing things now and not putting them off, a much better strategy for dealing with things that need fixing? Especially when peoples’ souls are dying and we hold the key to preventing that? Is this a much better strategy for dealing with things that need fixing? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Procrastination! Without a doubt it has been one of my most important tools both as a youth and an adult. Not that I am lazy. I’ve always found that there is a proper time and place for most things and I want to be sure that I hit that time correctly. For example, since the old Corvair classic car I once owned leaked oil on a pretty

Real preaching?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Did you ever notice that sometimes its quite amazing how what we do, even though we are simply doing and nothing more, can have such a great impact on someone who is impressionable. As Christians is it true that we often don’t realize how the little things that we do are all carefully observed by those around us? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Sometimes its quite amazing how what we do, even though we are simply doing and nothing more, can have such a great impact on someone who is impressionable. Take my little grandson, James. When he was two years old he was the consummate observer, especially when it came to tools. It o

Jealous?

My friend, may I ask you a question? It has been said that jealousy is the greatest of all evils in that it is the “least pitied by those who cause it.” Think about it. Do most of us feel remorse for having uttered a bitter word when confronted with a frustrating relationship? Or, is it far too easy to allow jealousy to take over and make us into entirely different people than we intended to be? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. It has been said that jealousy is the greatest of all evils in that it is the “least pitied by those who cause it.” Think about it. Most of us will feel remorse for having uttered a bitter word when confronted with a frustrating relations

Every step?

My friend, may I ask you a question? I like to think that this is the way that God cares for you and I. Sure, He provides daily bread and protection. He cares for us in the first order of love by making sure that we are amply provided for and securely protected. But doesn’t our God do more than this, though; when he shadows us with His followup love by adding love to love? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I remember having a bad case of pneumonia as a little boy. I was so sick, so congested and hurting, that I wasn’t even able to lay down at night to sleep. My lungs hurt and I was running a fever. My Mom took good care of me during my sickness. She took me to se

History making?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Can it be that no good could ever come from being isolated? You know, those times when God puts you into an alone state? Is this a good time for God to work His miraculous will in the lives of those who have the faith to take on the aloneness and just do some thinking in the Lord? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. “Isolation is not all that bad, it just depends on who you spend it with.” On the surface those fifteen words speak volumes on the psychology of isolation. The unknown author enjoyed camping and had probably spent a lot of time, perhaps alone, around the old campfire. I know this because I discovered this wisdom some

Longing?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If God must choose between a sharpened spade and one that has become dull, relative to how He might use you or me to do some important spiritual work for the Kingdom that must be done, which of the two do you think He would take? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. A number of years ago my wife and I decided to do some landscaping work in the side yard. It involved stripping some sod and weeds away from a fencerow and around a garden enclosure, as well as digging out the soil for a few inches and then filling the shallow trenches with decorative mulch. After gathering the tools that I would need and tossing them into the garden

Peace?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Isn’t it incredible that the days dawn and the night falls on the rich and the poor? What matters is that we have a God who attends to us mercifully and richly whether that be in a limo or a coupe. In the end, what really makes us rich? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I’ve always wanted to own a Mercedes. I guess it was the prestige of having one of the world’s finest motorcars in my garage. Years ago I had the opportunity to buy an old one in pretty good shape for a modest sum of money. My first ride in it was exciting as I drove down the highway feeling pretty proud. I put my arm out the open window and just cruised. The c

Making it easier?

My friend, may I ask you a question? God often brings many others into our lives to encourage us, to fill our road-weary tires with air when we need it the most. Do you and I also need to be aware that He brings others into our lives for us to return the favor? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. We like to camp and a big part of our camping experience is the vintage, old Airstream trailer that Holly and I own. Built in 1971, it has thousands of miles of wear and tear; but that’s what an Airstream is all about. They’re built to last and with a modest amount of maintenance, they might be good to go for decades. Nevertheless, there’s one thing about any trailer that

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