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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

Check out hundreds of past devotions
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True love?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When someone in your life does something special for you, no matter how little or insignificant (or, for that matter, however inconvenient), are you there with praise or indifference? Isn’t our love is often a choice of digging down deep enough to discover the hidden joys in the little kindnesses of this life. It was a pretty chewed-up, old fetching toy drenched in dog saliva with bits of stuffing beginning to poke out here and there. It was also Jubbie’s favorite toy. Now it was nestled in my hand because it was also our Labrador’s more precious offering. I had just come home from the office and she was excited and anxious to show me how happy she was to

Thank you?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If nobody knows our faults better than we do, why do we so seldom employ it in our favor when others apply criticism, just or unjust, against us? More often than not, we zero in on the marginal critique of the critic and overlook the fact that in all things we ought to know better our own faults than they? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. One thing is for certain: nobody knows my faults better than we do ourselves. Yet, knowing this, we so seldom employ it in our favor when others apply criticism, just or unjust, against us. More often than not, we zero in on the marginal critique of the critic and overlook the fac

Criticism?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When you expect a load of criticism, does it makes it a whole lot easier to carry the load when it comes? The Bible tells us that we need “to keep a clear conscience” because criticism will come and if we are prepared for it, we will only have to be able to be lifted up over it? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. A number of years ago I had to lay a new concrete floor in my garage. After getting the old cement mixer in shape and then figuring out just how many square yards of concrete I would be laying, I went to my local lumber yard to order the dry mix that I would need to complete the job. After inspecting the var

Real love?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to loving our brothers as Christ would have us do, do you regard the boundaries or are fences merely obstacles to be jumped or do you allow yourself to be restricted on the road to fulfilling that mission? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Our old rescue dog, Miss Annie, had little regard for boundaries and such. She’s was a jumper. Just about any fence six feet high was nothing more than a mere obstruction to her. While the other three dogs abided the fence and dutifully returned once there, duty done, Miss Annie’s duty extended beyond the fence. There was important business on the other side and jump

Total trust?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does telling others that you believe something show that you know what you believe; just as acting in the manner that you believe shows that you are what you believe? And, does that makes all the difference in the world? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Want the best in life? The trick is wanting the best for yourself will always be nothing more than a want if you never translate longing into trust? My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day. Saying that you believe is one thing–acting is another. It’s easy to tell others how much we believe in something. All it takes is a convincing word

Together?

My friend, may I ask you a question? With unity you can face the worst trials of life and be victorious, made strong beyond imagination! However just as the sand needs to be mixed with cast concrete to form cinder blocks, doesn’t unity needs to also be mixed with the Holy Spirit? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I love to season the food I eat. Whereas my wife Holly likes things fairly bland, you might say that I like my food thoroughly non-bland. There are some seasonings, however, that I've never had much use or taste for. One is mint. I've just never been very found of the somewhat medicinal, almost stinging taste of mint. Even though I enjoy makin

Opportunities?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Being rejected when we deserved it was one thing. But, what about those times when we suffered rejection, were blindsided, so to speak, and we just had no clue as to the “why’s” and the “how-comes”? You know, that day when you best friend wouldn’t talk to you and you hadn’t a clue? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. When you were a kid do you remember the times that you didn’t play fair? You know, the times when you subjected one of your friends to a nasty prank or were just plain rude for no reason to someone who trusted you and cared about you. When we played unfairly, the results of our unjust behavior was usually

About the virus?

Dear Friend, I am reaching out to friends of The Passing Day with a message about the current Covid-19 virus pandemic in an attempt to help all of us put this current national crisis into perspective. I personally am one of the highly vulnerable population in regards to the virus. I have been touched by both cancer and heart disease and am approaching seventy. That puts me at higher risk like so many Americans. So, for my own peace of mind as well I thought it would be good to reach out to current and past subscribers to This Passing Day with a message of hope, courage and faith in the "giant God" we worship. I reached back into the thousands of This Passing Day devotions and found a devotio

A lonely place?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do we need to be respected or honored by the friend, even family, to be valued by God? If we want to work for the Lord, do we sometimes need to embrace rejection as a gift rather than a curse? The path may be lonely at times; but is the destination surely much more inviting? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. If there is one thing that western culture today is emphatic about it is this: no one deserves rejection--everyone must be accepted. We live in a society that is in love with inclusion. While being included is a good thing and we certainly strive to make sure that no one is left out, is there ever a time when be

Tomorrow?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When was the last time that you woke up in the morning and made that your purpose for going about your day? Does your brief stay here seem unimportant? Or, is there something far more important about your being here? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I’ve long possessed the ability to come up with advertising jingles that, in some cases, are over forty years old. Evidently I paid a whole lot of attention to television commercials growing up. Can you name four different cigar jingles? I don’t have a problem. Or, how about every jingle that Coca Cola has used since 1959? I know each one and can sing them for you. When

God's will?

My friend, may I ask you a question? “If bad things are planned because God know they will happen, what kind of God do we have? Isn’t it bad enough that bad things happen to good people randomly? On top of that God has planned it that way all the time? You want me to believe in a God like that?” My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. “Things don’t just happen to us who love God.” Thus begins a poem by Esther Fields; one that I have held dear throughout my life. “We don’t just guess on the issues of life; we Christians just rest in our Lord; we are directed by His sovereign will, in the light of His holy Word. . . Things just don’t happen to us who love God,

Affliction?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When bad things happen to good people, it’s easy to feel the sharp side of the hurt, isn’t it? Yet, when we keep the hurt and the pain in perspective, hold it by the handle and not the blade as it were, the sting is not apparent, only the opportunity. Affliction in our lives is like that knife; it either serves us or cuts us depending upon how we choose to grasp it-- by the blade or the handle? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Recently my wife was called away on an emergency and had left a frozen packages of beef stew meat on the counter with instructions for preparation. Happy to oblige, I reached for the large kn

Leaving it behind?

My friend, may I ask you a question? As we reflect on the stark and stunning nature of events around us, our minds begins to play with our senses. “You know, that could have been me standing there in that church, looking down the barrel of that pistol, in sight of the blank stare of a man with cold murder in his mind. But for the mere fact that it happened there and not here, that could have been me?” My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. When tragedies happen, do you marvel at their randomness? Seven people are gunned down in a church on a Saturday evening. A young boy of 15 and an old man of 74. The newspaper headline called it “carnage”. The headline ra

Leave it behind?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How helpless and confused we must look to God when, confronted by the prospect of disappointment or pain, we hightail it and run away? Like the dog afraid of the very thing that might give it comfort, we react irrationally when confronted with the prospect of something that we perceive as an affliction. Why do we often head in the other direction, forgetting to leave our problems behind us? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I was watching a dog-training show the other day on television where the dog owner was completely baffled by his dog’s reaction to running water. All he had to do was to reach for the faucet and

Keep climbing?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we determine that it is not our burden to suffer but rather our privilege to do so for the sake of Jesus Christ, is there an affliction that can match our ability to grow in grace and obedience beyond it? Is it possible that in affliction a Christian is able to overshadow the pain and the suffering because Christ is in us and He is bigger than life? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Most of the time the things that afflict us in this life are pretty static. There’s that aching pain in our knee or the boss who bugs us and we just can’t seem to overcome the resentment. But then there’s the larger afflictions, the

Short shrift?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Perhaps, if pain were a commodity like money, clothing or an automobile would it be easier to bear it? But pain is no mere commodity upon which we can chant this adage and go our way. Pain happens but pain is not chance. Could it be that pain, I am afraid, has gotten indeed gotten pretty short shrift when all is said and done? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. The old adage the “life isn’t fair, so deal with it” is perhaps a better guide to unanimity and peace than “life isn’t fair, make it so!” As Christians this ought to be very apparent to each of us. In a perfected state all things would be equal and there would

Relics?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How hard do I want to work today? How hard did I work today? Are these questions that you often find yourself asking at the start or end of each working day? Even though God created you and I for service, it is also true that He does not expect us to work without end. Just what is God’s will for us in our daily labor anyway? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. How hard do I want to work today? How hard did I work today? Are these questions that you often find yourself asking at the start or end of each working day? Even though God created you and I for service, it is also true that He does not expect us to work withou

Spiritual growth?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Isn’t it true that we often long for a life without pain or any sort of discomfort? Yet, isn’t it true that God knows better? Isn’t it amazing that the easier our life, the weaker our spiritual fiber, for isn’t it true that strength of any kind grows only by exertion? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Recently I called my dentist to make an emergency appointment. I was genuinely hoping that he would be able to fix my broken tooth, cap it and make it whole again. After making the appointment, I could already imagine the luscious steak that I was going to dig into with my “new” refurbished tooth. Let me tell you, I wa

Extra effort?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Since pain typically leads to suffering and suffering often extends pain, are they not the same thing? Although it is true these are linked, it isn’t universally true that they need be. Suffering may be typical, but is it unavoidable? Must we always go through suffering after pain, or is there another place to go far better? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Years ago I passed a car hopelessly stranded in a ditch. Since I had good clothes on, I didn’t feel inclined to stop and get all wet. Nevertheless, I slowed down and pulled over. Perhaps I could call a tow or at least give the guy a warm place to sit until the c

Sweet pain?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Since pain typically leads to suffering and suffering often extends pain, are they not the same thing? Although it is true these are linked, it isn’t universally true that they need be. Suffering may be typical, but is it unavoidable? Must we always go through suffering after pain, or is there another place to go far better? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. What’s the difference between experiencing pain and going through suffering? On the surface these two seem the same, don’t they? Since pain typically leads to suffering and suffering often extends pain, are they not the same thing? Although it is true these are

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Mark

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