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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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Pardoned?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Despite the fact that we are clean, washed in the blood of the Lamb, are we ready to be put back into God’s service, doing the Kingdom work that God intended for us to do? There is the matter of repentance before the forgiveness can be given. How can we finally feel the freedom that forgiveness gives? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. When Holly washes the sheets, she takes a dirty linen, throws it into the old Maytag, adds detergent and water and hits the wash button. In time the sheets are thoroughly soaked but clean. Yet, despite the fact that the sheets are clean, they are not ready to be spread back over the ma

Real trust?

My friend, may I ask you a question? It has been said that a thread will tie an honest man better than a rope will tie a thief. When you think about it, this is the power of honesty. When we determine that we will not only be honest but that we will look for it in others even when it is hard to find, will our hearts are prepared to receive it? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. It’s a sad commentary on our times that when honesty is mentioned it is often preceded by the words “Old-fashioned.” Have we become so conditioned to the dishonest that we aren’t able to identify an honest deed or word when it bites us in the leg? Is honesty such a rare commodity

Second chances?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to the fact that you and I are chief among sinners, why did God pardon us? 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 agai

Flatlands?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we are not in control, is that the time we are often gripped by fear because we feel that the outcome of our fears will always be the worst scenario? Initial fear leads to pessimism. When you fear the worst will happen, will your own thoughts may help to bring it about? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. What brings fear to your heart? For most of us that would evoke a variety of answers. However, one thing is for certain, over time our fears tend to change. For example, researchers at John's Hopkins University reported that 30 years ago, the greatest fears of grade school children were: 1) Animals, 2) Being in

Not a feeling?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If we are going to choose a co-pilot that can steer us away from any fear that we have, the choice is, perhaps, simple? Since God is always in control, isn’t faith never a feeling; but it’s always a choice? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Why is this world such a fearful place? It seems these days people are afraid of more things than they ever were before. We fear that our homes might be broken into; so we invest in expensive alarm systems. We fear that our identity might be stolen so our plastic has become more important to us than gold or silver. We seem more fearful today than were our forefathers who faced so

Compassion?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is God is calling us to, yes, open our eyes to the plight of others? In fact, does He not even stop there? Does He also call us to take action? Does compassion compels us to fix things that need to be fixed, not mourned? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Years ago my wife Holly got an early morning phone call from our oldest Grandson, James. He dialed Nana’s number to tell her that something bad had happened. His favorite blankie had a big burn hole in it. James, being the curious, little 6 year- old that he is, was sitting near the living room wood stove. Suddenly thoughts ran through his head. “I wonder what would

My fortress?

My friend, may I ask you a question? As our God empowers us to act boldly, to take the risks and the opportunities that He gives us to shine under the guidance and protection of His Almighty Wings, 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, sword and the stalwart hors

Like my Dad?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does it take courage for you and I to put ourselves into God’s shoes and walk the walk our Savior walked? There’s risk when we take a path that others might deem foolish or dangerous. But, in the end, can there be any better role model than Christ? Besides, how dangerous can it be when it’s His lap we’re sitting on? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. When I was growing up, like most boys, my Dad was the most important man in my life. I guess you could say he was my boyhood hero. Oh, there were others; Roy Rogers, Hop-A-Long Cassidy, Bart Starr and a long list of runners-up. But, my Dad was real and all of these role

Gradualness?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Sometimes, even when we “know” we are headed in the right direction, why do we still tend to get lost? We took time to think it through before we started. We even checked with the Lord before we undertook our plan. Why? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Sometimes, even when we “know” we are headed in the right direction, we still tend to get lost. In our hearts we feel we have done all the right things. We took time to think it through before we started. We even checked with the Lord before we undertook our plan. What more can be asked of a Christian than to pray, plan and execute? If that can’t guarantee success, w

Pour us out?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If Jesus knew that He could easily have overcome his enemies, with but one angel that could have conquered the entire world, why did He employ the discipline of patience, bearing the fruit of obedience, and travel the route His Father had appointed for Him? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I get a certain satisfaction when I fill something! Standing at the kitchen sink this morning I had one of many innumerable opportunities to make the morning juice. There are steps to making juice, especially grape juice. Cardboard cylinder in hand and thumb and finger firmly grasping the pull tab, you get a very real sense of w

Key to time?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If we trust in old vehicles to get us from here to there, why is it so hard then, to trust in the Lord in all “other” things that we ought to be sure he has complete control over? God should be more reliable than any old used car we might own? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner “I don’t have time for this now!” There is not a day in my life when that phrase, if not passing over my lips, is flitting about my consciousness like a careening moth. The internet is slow and you just can’t do the research that you wanted to do. So, there you sit. Eyes fixed on the monitor as that obnoxious “wheel” slowly grinds away. With ea

Lord forgive?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If it’s true that Jesus came to earth to bring forgiveness to all, not just His friends, why is It not easy to grant forgiveness to those who cast an unforgiving profile in our lives? Can forgiveness be as unconditional as Christ ordained it to be? 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 h

Engraved?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is the key to being able to forgive and risk a confrontation, feeling secure enough in the first place to write the transgression in the sand knowing that God will bear away the guilt without our having to lift a finger? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. “Forgive and forget.” This was the response most of us heard growing up when someone had hurt us. Whether parent or friend, the admonition meant that we should simply put the transgression and hurt out of our mind. We were well advised not to think about it or even speak about it. Move on with your life and put it behind you. Putting distance between the hurt, us an

Accounts?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Would our forefathers have been stunned by what is going on today in this country? How could the day ever come when families themselves were being assaulted by the very government sworn to protect them? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. “For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.” It is a thought you hear much bandied about these days as America continues its slow march toward political and cultural polarization; life verses death, faith verses secularism, creation verses evolution, godly stewardship verses environmentalism, and spirituality verses humanism. For anyone who does not think th

Second base?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is there is no greater temptation than separation from God? There are many things in this life that appear tempting and alluring. The lusts of the body are strong and the lure of the world is ever-pressing. Did you know that Satan stalks about always looking for a way to pull us down, even ruin us? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. There is no greater temptation than separation from God. There are many things in this life that appear tempting and alluring. Yet, all things pale in comparison to the temptation that sometimes befalls the Christian to doubt God’s presence in his life. Here’s story. Growing up, I played

Can do?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How do find the ability to see below the surface of things, to discover solutions that no one else could see? Does each of us have the ability to envision the possibilities that lie beyond the impossibilities?? 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 is 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 the things invisible. In other words

Dross?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does God places a “veil of innocence” around our souls that is meant to protect us from the evil in this world? Is it as fragile as it is strong? Is it the sheerest of defenses for its simplicity? Yet, when we are within it, do we need fear no harm? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. “It has now been foreordained that life is a temptation!” Now that is a depressing thought if I ever heard one. Foreordained? That means that no matter what I do or how I do it, ultimately I will end up adrift in a sea of temptation. The harder I paddle from one spot to another all I gain is another patch of deep water. In a way it’s kin

Can do?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Sometimes we become so preoccupied with our problems is it possible that we overlook the opportunities that God is plainly giving us to grow in faith and hope? Is it true that the more we focus on the problem, the less and less we see the opportunity? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. “The difficult we will do immediately. The impossible might take a little bit longer.” I ran across this motto a number of years ago as I had my car serviced at an area muffler shop. It was a caricature of a muffler repair man standing with a wrench in one hand and a muffler and pipe assembly in the other. He had one of those grins on

Not?

My friend, may I ask you a question? In a society so wrapped up in the “rights” to choose this or that, why is it nearly a Cardinal sin to introduce the notion that love is a choice? “Why, doesn’t love just happen? You can’t choose it or seek it? No, you have to let it find you. You can’t exert any measure of control over these things! Love happens?” My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. We live in a “choice” culture. In fact, we live in a culture where choice has nearly become the only choice. We choose to buy a cell phone and then we are asked to make a choice as to what color we might want that in. We choose to own a home and then we are suddenly confro

Quit?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How often have you felt that there just wasn’t enough of you to defeat the bulk of them? They’re everywhere; the over- whelming foes of goodness and God’s will. If they are bigger, stronger and faster than we are shouldn’t that be the way we simply feel sometimes, like standing in the gap simply isn’t such a good idea? My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. “David and Goliath! The battle of the little guy against the big guy. Big industry verses the consumer. One man standing against the crowd. Get the picture? It is one that is often repeated in our society these days; as one epic cultural and social battle follows anot

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