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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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Undaunted?

Would it seem that we live in a society where the of spirit of courage is rare? Could it be that we are raising a generation of squashes among our youth rather than oaks? Perhaps the secret to success is successful people make a habit of doing things failures don’t like to do? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Years ago we acquired a small dog named Annie. In many ways she is an average dog, of average weight and stature-- complete with the usual dogie faults. Yet, there is one thing about Annie that sets her apart. Where other dogs are fearful, she is undaunted. This past week I received an alarming phone call at the office. “You need to come home rig

Adversity?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does God send adversity into our lives with the aim of getting us into trouble? Or, rather, does He send adversity into our lives so that we might witness his willingness to defend and protect us despite the pitfalls? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Years ago I was watching my grandson the other day. He’s two and has a whole different perspective on life than this old 55 year-old. It had rained and the driveway had pools of cool water standing around, just waiting to drain away but their time hadn’t yet come. As I walked him down the driveway I stepped carefully to avoid getting my feet wet. James, on the other ha

Feelings?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is there a way to turn discouragement into something good? Unwilling to let discouragement use her, Alice opted instead to use the discouragement to help herself to the LORD’S blessings. How can that work for you? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. The worst thing about living with discouragement is that it slowly strangles hope. At first it doesn’t seem that bad. Yet, as time works its way with us and discouragement hardens like quickset concrete, our emotions become tightly held within its deadly grip. First there is sorrow, then regret, followed by anger and, when the dust settles, the near impenetrable emotion of

Uploading?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does it seem that sometimes, when we are feeling burned-out, it’s really a matter of discovering for ourselves whether or not we are a smoldering fire in need of a whole lot of attention or a promising fire, able to rekindle with just a bit of tender care? My friend, 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, rekindle. This is

Burnout?

My friend, may I ask you a question? We really need to ask ourselves this: is it burnout we’re talking about here or a simple lack of fuel that has led to a very charred wick?? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Is it ever fair to say that we are used up and that we have nothing left to give? If we feel this way, then there must be a point in time when that sort of burning out really does occur. Perhaps the only real question is how did we get there and how do we prevent ourselves from getting there again? A number of years ago we had a terrible ice storm in the area. The wind and rain blew for a day or two and then the tem- peratures dropped dramatical

Prayer belief?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Did you ever ask a non-Christian why he doesn’t pray? If you did and he was entirely honest the answer would probably be because he’s afraid that God might be there and he would be afraid to find that out? Is that how you feel sometimes? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Did you ever ask a non-Christian why he doesn’t pray? If you did and he was entirely honest the answer would probably be because he’s afraid that God might be there and he would be afraid to find that out. Strangely if you ask a Christian why he doesn’t pray the answer might not be entirely different. Most non-praying Christians would admit that, al

Either, or?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Think about it; In the end do we achieve anything through a status of wealth or a blessing of poverty? Instead do we achieve all great things through our service to the Lord by or despite our material blessings? Is it really either an "either-way" proposition? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Life is full of "either ways." You go on a vacation and pray that it doesn't rain. It does! Either way you're blessed because although your camping equipment is damp and muddy, your grass back at home is green and growing. I suppose it's just my way of dealing with things that don't always go the way I plan them. But then, per

Burdens?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we pray about things but still allow them to sit on our minds, will they rest on the counter of our lives like tempting and challenging packages of woe beckoning us to carry them all in one trip? Instead of reminding ourselves that these problems may be too difficult for us to tackle alone, do we go for it and try to carry them anyway? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I love challenges. This morning as I was doing the usual morning things, I spied it! There it sat challenging me and there just was no way I was going to be able to work around it or ignore it. It was last night’s pizza boxes sitting on the count

Turn...turn?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Taking life’s issues in hand without the security of knowing exactly where you are going and how you are going to get there is foolish. When think that you have a full grasp of the situation, suddenly life puts you into the driver’s seat, and all bets may be off? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I remember when I was first learning to drive. It was a sobering experience the day my father said, “Take the wheel Son.” The perspective from behind the wheel was not at all what I had expected having always viewed the road past my father’s head from way back in the recesses of our family station wagon. Now, I was in comma

God's corner?

My friend, may I ask you a question? No matter how hard we try to assume the role of God in our own lives and those of others, will we ever be able to put ourselves on His level? Is He is always in control and He and only He has a full understanding of the situation? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. “If you’re sure that you definitely know the answer, you are probably wrong!” Those words still ring in my ears though its been decades since I last sat in his classroom. Kind old Professor Kirwan, had a knack for reminding a sophomore that in his class it was illogical to think that we knew anything absolutely. Kirwan preferred that we introduce our remar

Does He care?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When times get particularly tough we seem to question God the most. When things are going our way we seldom take the time to question God about the chances that of the good continuing. We simply trust that the good times will continue. However, when the good times cease, then what? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. When times get particularly tough we seem to question God the most. When things are going our way we seldom take the time to question God about the chances that of the good continuing. We simply trust that the good times will continue. However, when the good times cease, then what? Is God really in contro

Fairness?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Can fairness go too far? Are Christians to be “fair” under every circumstance no matter what? In a perfect world everything would be fair. But, in the imperfect world that we live in, is that the way things are? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Fairness. We live in a society that is fixated on it. Everything must be equal and fair or there may be a lawyer to pay or a stiff fine to pay. A local shopping mall was recently having trouble protecting its shoppers from gangs of youths who fre- quented the mall. Over a period of years there had been numerous car thefts, hold-ups, mugging and vandalism. It had gotten to su

Either way?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is it a virtue to be wealthy or to be poor? “Either-way” we can and should be blessed. If God has given you wealth, and you use it wisely and are careful not to serve it, will He bless you? Will He also bless your poverty with opportunity to do His will despite your lack of materials things? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Life is full of “either ways”. You go on a vacation and pray that it doesn’t rain. It does! Either way you are blessed because although your camping equipment is damp and muddy, your grass back at home is green and growing. I sup- pose it is just my way of dealing with things that always don’t g

After the rain?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is there that precious, opportunistic moment when a gentle hand by a touch on the shoulder is able to magically remove the sting of failure from the midst of defeat? Perhaps there’s is something about a shoulder that invites attention when we are slumped in sorrow, embarrassment or exhaustion? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. There is that precious, opportunistic moment when a gentle hand by a touch on the shoulder is able to magically remove the sting of failure from the midst of defeat. There is something about a shoulder that invites attention when we are slumped in sorrow, embarrassment or exhaustion. Shoulders

Learn and Lean?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Trying to do it alone, the trials of this life would only crush us. Our labor may never be over as long as we walk this earth. But, the promise is that what we do carry will be lighter with the Son of God walking at our side. What better partner to learn from and lean on? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I lost a muffler on my car several years ago. I backed over a curb and the whole assembly, including the hanger, snapped off the car. What had been a muffled purr only moments before had now become a deafening roar. Replacing a muffler on a Corvair, while not the worst of jobs, can be tedious. The hanger mechanism

Little things?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When dealing with the temporal goods God has given us, including our money, should we trust that even when it doesn’t seem likely our dollar will return to us in equal shares any time soon, Christ calls us to “freely” give without regard for the return? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Most of the time, we expend time watching television or playing video games without demanding an equal return on every minute we invested in it. We invest effort in eating a sumptuous meal without a thought to invest an equal amount of effort in exercising to insure that that food be put to good use. However, when it comes to our mon

Letting go?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do Christians who give up all their cares to the Lord face life’s burdens much better than those who try to bear the weight themselves? Is trying to bear sin’s heavy load all by ourselves not only foolhardy; it’s impossible? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I have calendar software on my laptop that allows me to pretty much schedule my day from morning to evening. I have the ability to schedule appointments and tasks on a daily basis or on a repeating basis. As the week progresses, however, the jobs always seem to pile up. That’s when I employ a device I call “selective exclusion.” I go through my calendar when I a

Storms?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Why is it difficult to trust God – because we think that we know the right answer? It's especially hard to trust His timing when we feel that our timing is, well, better. But, is God’s timing perfect, and until we recognize that, will we take the risk of making choices that might not be the best for us.? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. It may be true that there are two sides to every question, but it is also true that there are two sides to a sheet of flypaper, and it makes a big difference to the fly which side he chooses. I was reminded of that the other day as I visited an old strip of flypaper hanging in a for

Perspective?

May I ask you a question? When we choose to see our problems as obstacles, something to try to find our way around instead of something that can be removed, do we often end up making the problem bigger and deeper than it is? Do we lose perspective and the problem looms rather than exists? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. The best way through a problem is through it. Have you ever heard that said? Take, for example, the Biblical giant Goliath. The Israelites had two choices presented to them. They could either go out and do battle with him as he had beckoned them to or they could seek a way around him without having to fight him. Thy chose the latter b

His opportunities?

May I ask you a question? Why is it that every day we encounter countless golden opportunities, brilliantly disguised as insurmountable problems and rarely see that? When the problems of this life loom large, isn’t that when our God is at His best? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner. Isn’t it strange how one man’s problem can become another man’s opportunity? It seems that sometimes some of our worst challenges, discarded or passed on, often are picked up again by someone else and everything changes. The car that sits in my garage today, for example, was another man’s huge challenge. He had it stored in his barn for a number of years and didn’t drive it

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