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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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Happy New Year!

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is God steering you through the storms of life toward home, toward a safe haven? Does He take care to order all the events of your life to speed you on your way there? Is this what is called providence–God’s overruling hand at work, everywhere? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Resolution. Being resolved to do something despite any odds is truly admirable in any man. I guess another word for that would be steadfastness. It's an old term we don't use much any more. I ran across it the other day however as I was read- ing an account of the Civil War battle of Spottsylvania in 1863. General Ulysses Grant was facing a d

Peppermind sunshine?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are those cold, dark days in our lives the perfect time to make our own lights grow brighter, our own hearts warmer, and our own souls sweeter? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. My Grandma Emma raised a family eleven during the Depression. While she learned to live simply, rationing food and handing down clothes, that never prevented her from enjoying a simple pleasure from time to time. I remember visiting her just a few years prior to her death. She prepared a lunch of bread and cheese for Grandpa and I. When we were finished eating and I was about to excuse myself from the table, she raised a finger indicating al

Time flies?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is how we treat the time God has gifted us the most important task you and I can assume every day of our lives? How valuable is twenty-four of time each day. Or, is this not a priority in our lives? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Time. Probably the most precious gift that we possess, yet it’s the one thing most taken for granted in life’s incessant drive to waste it, squander it, kill it, and lose it. It’s the one thing we are most jealous about owning, yet it’s so fleeting that the moment we grasp it is the moment it is lost. We beg for more of it like a second helping, the first helping having grown cold and us

Flying faith?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If there are many things that might and probably will go wrong in the coming New Year, and we are small fry swimming in a sea of giant troubles, will trusting in almighty God, the God who alone is our strength, vanquish our fears in the sure hope that our lives are in His hands? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. "Be it therefore resolved!" These words echo in my mind and remind me of the rich and great history God has bestowed upon this nation. These four words describe an attitude, a promise, and a hope. When our founding fathers placed this statement at the end of the Constitution in 1787, they did so in a positio

Christmas service?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Although the world had an understanding of what it meant to serve as a slave, does it have an understanding of what it means to serve others as a slave out of love. And without Christmas, would the world today would still be ignorant of that concept? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. "A willingness to serve." The second great "reason" for Christmas is service. Jesus Christ did not come to be served but to serve. Although as the Lord of Lords He most certainly could have demanded it. No, Jesus came to give new meaning to the word, "service." When He was born on that cold Judean night, He was born into a world that ha

A You Christmas?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Of all the words in the English language is there, perhaps, none sweeter than the word “you?" It's Christmas Eve; one of those days when “You” becomes a very important aspect of the day. Is there any other day that’s so much about You? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Of all the words in the English language there is, perhaps, none sweeter than the word "you." It's Christmas Eve; one of those days when “You” becomes a very important aspect of the day. YOU go to church and worship the Newborn King. YOU put on your best clothes in honor of His birth. This is one of the most personal days of the year, in that not only

Broken Christmas?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is the message of Christmas all about the strong and the mighty, or is it a message that intrudes upon the weak and the vulnerable? Does God come to that part of us that swaggers through life, confident in our self sufficiency? Or does God leaves his treasure in the broken fragmented places of our life My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. A story in the paper the other day stirred my anger. A little baby had been stolen from his mother while she was Christmas shopping in a mall. That weak and helpless mother and that little baby. It seemed so opposed to Christmas. Stories like this need to be buried at Christmastime. T

I am!

My friend, may I ask you a question? When you think about it, does life itself have value because of Jesus? Because He IS who He said He was, can we rest assured that this Christmas, next Christmas, and all the Christmases to come will be filled with meaning? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. (Hear the words of Jesus:) "The spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind" (Luke 4:19-20). There can be no mistaking it, the reason for Christmas is us, our sin, our redemption and deliverance. Is it any wonder that Christmas is s

Happy holidays?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Despite your best efforts, are you sometimes offended by Jesus? Do you feel uneasy and a bit degraded by the fact that you believe something so foolish as a virgin birth? Do you feel a bit too lowly and foolish, like one of those shepherds? picture of Messiah in a manger. My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. "So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them." (Luke 2:16-18) "Would you like to see pictures of our new

Merry?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If God doesn’t work through Madison Avenue and He could care less about our billboards and magazine ads, how does He touch our hearts with the Christmas message? Is it that He prefers cold and lonely hearts, barren but willing to offer what they have, to publish His message of Christmas? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Wouldn’t it be great if every subdivision yard throughout the country had those little blue and white yard signs that say, “Keep Christ in Christmas?” Or those bumper stickers that say “Jesus is the Reason for the Season?” What a wonderful Christmas holiday it would be if all the liquor ads on roads

A Savior?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Obedience to God, especially when that obedience requires a huge sacrifice our lives, perhaps even persecution and shame, is never easy in that sense. So, why do we do it? In the end is it just a small price to pay for eternal life? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. "When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary to be his wife." (Matthew 1:24) God spoke to Joseph in a dream that Mary, his young wife to be, had not been unfaithful to him. Mary, according to the angel, had "conceived" of the Holy Spirit. There was no sin here at all. Joseph was commanded to take her and marry h

The love of God?

My friend, may I ask you a question? God so loved the world. Can there be no greater love than that and no words can add much to make this sentence any sweeter or more powerful? This simple verse has been called “the Gospel in a nutshell” because it tells the whole story of the Bible. My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Since it’s that time of year, it’s football season. I’m not a big TV viewer and watch very few football games from start to finish. Recently, however, I had the opportunity to tune in the TV set in for a few moments. It had been a long and rather burdensome week for me and the thought of just watching a few minutes of football seemed att

Hardened?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Has your life turned out the way you had planned? Or, do you look in the rear view mirror at past events that leave you with regret? For many of us the answer would probably be “No!” Is it fair to say that, for many, life in the rear-view mirror may be a life of regret? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Has your life turned out the way you had planned? For many of us the answer would probably be “No!” For many, life in the rear-view mirror may be a life of regret. My dad always said that a man’s life is reflected in the cars he’s owned. You can pretty much gauge how life is going by reflecting back on the cars you’v

Duties?

My friend, may I ask you a question? In our relationship with God do we often confuse His sovereignty with our duty? It’s for that reason they we often easily become despaired of God when we place our trust in our own judgment over His? How dangerous is it when we mix our duties with His control over events? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Shopping recently at a local hardware store I bumped into a guy shopping for “No Trespassing” signs. As I parked myself across the aisle from him I couldn’t help but notice the concerned look on his face as he examined each sign he picked up. “Having problems with the neighbors?” I offered with a friendly chuckle.

Taste and see?

My friend, may I ask you a question? This Christmas season should each of us take time to consider the one who is born in Bethlehem? How sweet is that? Think about it for a moment. Why Christmas is the tastiest holiday of the year, and the sweetest? 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 baked goods and other consumables that are made with sugars, chocolates, and other sweet confections. Christmas is also the single most important holiday for the sale of chocolate candies of all kinds. Last year it was estimated that Americans alone consumed ove

Get 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? Are we willing to take risks and put our word to the test when others might ridicule or belittle us? 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 en

Letting go?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we rely solely on the Word of the only One who is truly sighted--God Himself, will His Word give us the direction we need to make it down the slippery slopes of life even if we have to blindly negotiate them? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Try this little exercise on for a real change in your life. Take six index cards and write these letters on them: “L” “E” “T” “G” “O” “D”. Then line them up in that order and put them somewhere in your home or your workplace where you can see them every day. “Let God!” What a great way to start every day of your life; reminded that God is able and willing to take on any ch

Outcomes?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When God has His dealings with us, might they include hardship? If so, does that hardship always result in what we think it will be? Ultimately, is it ever a hardship to do the will of God? Or, as the Scriptures states, is it a constant delight? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. When I was a little boy it was so hard to follow the no-peek rule that my mother and father had put into place regarding Christmas gifts. Naturally, curiosity and excitement held me in their grasp during those few weeks prior to Christmas and it was nearly impossible not to peek around the house in search of what my parents might have hidden

Trouble tree?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is it true that failure is inevitable in this life? If so, as Christians should we choose to dwell on the blunders or put them behind us in a place where they belong? A simple choice when you weigh the options? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. I consider myself pretty handy when it comes to carpentry around here at Beech Springs. Holly has called on me over the years to do everything from adding an addition onto the kitchen to designing and building cabinetry for our upstairs bath- room. One thing I discovered though is this: there comes a time in every handyman's career when he reaches that place called "failure.

Balance?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to understanding our own worth, it is just as important to be able to accurately and honestly know the basis of that worth? it is just as important to be able to accurately and honestly know the basis of that worth? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Clearing and cutting brush it seems is one of those never ending jobs here at Beech Springs. On the one hand it is tedious and time consuming. On the other, it gives a real sense of satisfaction when the job is done. I do most of my clearing in the late summer and early autumn. By winter snows, you can commonly see several very large piles of brush dotting

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