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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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Crybaby?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Did you know that, on the average, a woman cries up to five times per week while a man will cry only once? Nonetheless, it’s common to both. Is expressing our emotions through tears is a gift God has uniquely reserved for us? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner. God created us with the unique ability to express our emotions through tears. Although some animals shed tears, these are strictly for purposes of cleansing and not for emotional use. Man alone has the ability to express his emotion in tears. Did you know that, on the average, a woman cries up to five times per week while a man will cry only once? Noneth

Seek, knock?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If you want to be a prayerful Christian, should you first consider that you are entering a work which, as Martin Luther wrote, “is harder than any other . . . for this requires a subdued and broken mind and an elevated and victorious spirit? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner. https://youtu.be/o5MMp2Ai7J0 Following is a notice that was found in the ruins of a London office building. It was dated 1852. “This firm has reduced the hours of work, and the clerical staff will now only have to be present between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. week- days. Each member of the staff will bring four pounds of coal each day

Hindsight?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you in retrospect wonder if the day will come why you didn't say something and it's too late to make a difference? You may be all the wiser but, unfortunately, all the older? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner. One thing that I've reluctantly learned about being a father is that by the time you're experienced, you're unemployable. All of my children are adults now and grand kids are now part of my life. It's kind of strange how you keep on learning new things about parenting even as a grandfather. Problem is, it's stuff that could have come in handy a decade or two ago. I guess that's why, when as a father y

Free for nothing?

My friend, may I ask you a question? What’s the secret to really being happy? Is it always being sure to be free to be nothing? When we recognize that nothing we are can ever appease God’s demand that we be holy, we’re free to be what we are–nothing? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner. With all the recent high school and college commencements there was a theme it seems that rang true through each; “What do you want out of life?” The theme seems to fit because we’re looking at young men and women poised to enter the nation’s work force; each one aspiring to greatness of one degree or another. What struck me, however, is the latent message behind th

Throw-away?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you think our ability to be intimate with one another, has also been impacted by our throw-away society? Was there a time when touch and closeness were highly valued, nurtured and set aside for special care? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I'm the one in our family who bears the chief responsibility of checking the trash baskets around the house and emptying them on a regular basis. Sometimes it seems that no sooner than I empty one and it is filled to the brim again. The one that fills the quickest is the kitchen trash basket. Since this is the room in the house where most of the living really hap- pens, where

With our eyes?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you need to put away our “self” and put the “self” of friend, neighbor, spouse or child first before our emotional needs? It isn’t easy to do. But, the next time you’re listening to someone, will you let them pull you into their story with their eyes? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Dogs are funny creatures. You can be working with them, getting their full attention, and then, suddenly, as if a switch got turned off somewhere within their brains, they lose interest in anything you’re saying or trying to get them to do. You can tell when this happens because when a dog is responding to your commands he’s looking

Security?

My friend, may I ask you a question? What gives you the greatest comfort in life? When you lie down in bed at night with a strong roof above your head and a soft pillow below it? Is that what makes you feel secure? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. What gives you the greatest comfort in life? When you lie down in bed at night with a strong roof above your head and a soft pillow below it? Is that what makes you feel secure? Or maybe it is the feeling of a new set of tires as you drive away from the tire store or your kitchen cabinets stocked full of food. Whatever makes us feel comfortable, it probably has something to do with fullness and being covered

Secure path?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Wouldn’t a good plan on our part be to make provision for for things that may go wrong ahead of time? But, often it seems we are merely content to dwell in the security of the moment and pay the price, as always, at a later time.? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. We have an artesian spring in our front yard. For years it emptied into a shallow concrete basis through which a steel pipe had been inserted. That pipe ran along side our house at about the four-foot level. A number of years ago I put an addition on that side of the house and, in the process of digging, uncovered the old line. I examined it and determined

Insurmountable?

My friend, may I ask you a question? At times life can be overwhelming. Your wanting things better will not make them happen, but is wanting the seed of dreams and believing the nourishment that makes them possible? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. The funny thing about stuff that gets in our way in this life is this: Some people make victims of their disadvantages, while others are victimized by them. Take dogs for example. The other day I was watching little Frodo chew on one of the bigger dog's bones. It was far too heavy for him to lift in his jaws, so he wasn't able to move it from one spot to another. When he felt it was time to move the bone fo

Devotion?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to love, the love that we share with our spouse, our children and, perhaps, our immediate family, do we often find ourselves in a situation where our love is so perfunctory or so bland that it does not merit thought? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner. Some things we do we just do without thinking. The list is so long that it would be doubtful that it is at all quantifiable. We see our spouse after a long hard day at work and we are drawn to their side and we plant a kiss. The light turns red on a city street and without so much as a thought, our right hand reaches for the shift and the left foo

Faultfinding?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When things go wrong and events don't turn out the way we want them to, do we need to remember how God designed you and I to be? Like that determined flower or that tuft of grass, looking for excuses why others have blocked our goals, is that what God is looking for? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. What does it mean to be opportunistic? I think I know the meaning a bit clearer today than yesterday. I did some weed killing over this past weekend. I got out my weed sprayer and started walking around the various places bordering our bordering our driveway where the weeds have encroached. I came upon a small tuft of g

Fearful?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Why is it so difficult to be courageous, especially when we know we ought to be? If nothing can separate us from the love of Christ; why are we still afraid? Can we abide with our fears without being overcome by them? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Why is it so difficult to be courageous, especially when we know we ought to be? If nothing can separate us from the love of Christ; why are we still afraid? The Apostle Paul tells us that neither demons nor angels can tear us away from the love of Christ. Nothing today, yesterday or tomorrow can either. He pretty much covers all the bases. When you think about it, the

Discernment?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Often, when we pray, do we tend to give God our prayer ideas, rather than stopping to take the time to give ourselves INTO prayer through Him? The fact is that sometimes we just lack the wisdom to know what to pray for? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. When I was a little boy, I remember praying this prayer, “Dear Father whom I cannot see; smile down from heaven on little me. Let angels through the darkness spread, their holy wings above my bed. And keep me safe because I am, the Heavenly Shepherd’s little lamb. Amen.” I must have prayed this prayer a thousand times. It’s sing-song harmony still echoes in my mind a

Judging?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to knowing what’s right, is it proper for a Christian to express this to others? Or, are we being judgmental when, moved by our faith, we tell others about how God expects them to live? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Did you ever hear this? “Well, what’s right for you, may not be right for me. We both might be right.” I’ve heard that more often than I wish to admit. It’s called moral relativism. “If we’re both right, we’re both happy and we’re both equal. And, isn’t that what living in society is all about?” In other words, standards to live by are old fashioned. Only prudes lives by them and to ins

Start here?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does every action of our lives touch on some chord that will vibrate in eternity? If the point of this story is to relate how little things can have a widespread effect; rather like throwing a stone into a pond and seeing the ripples spread out and reach the shore, how does that affect you? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Mark Twain once wrote that "it's important to do something every day that you don't want to do." That sounds like good advice, but how practical is it really? Living outside of our comfort zone can be, well, uncomfortable, even risky. What really do we gain by doing what we don't want to do? Rece

Stand up?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If God is behind us, He tells us to take the high ground and put the foe on the defensive. We can either advance or retreat. The battle hinges on our ability to be discerning. Delay can be costly when we’re fighting the good fight. Does this life’s battle turn on whether or not we have the will to stand and fight or turn and run? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Being decisive seems so basic that we seldom pay much attention to it. We nurture and fine tune much in our lives. We strive to be multi-tasking and goal oriented. But, in all the rush to poke, tweak, enhance, and educate, seldom is there much thought given

Cheap?

My friend, may I ask you a question? James 2:16 “If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you will; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” Words don’t mean much if we have the ability to do more. Do Belief, faith and trust need hands and feet—ours? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I don’t know how many times I have looked for a flashlight over the years and not been able to find one. Flashlights are one of those things that seem to have a knack for growing legs and walking in our house. There was one in particular that I really liked--sturdy, heavy and brilliant when switched-n. It was as much a tool as a t

Climb in?

May I ask you a question? When others are full of fear and hurting can we give them permission to hurt, permission to suffer and be filled with fear? Can we also crawl into their emotional prison and share the burden? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner. “Sometimes it’s just best to let nature take its course.” I thought about that the other day as I looked out over Noname Creek behind the house. The creek is prone to drying up about mid-July and I was thinking perhaps there was something I could do to keep that from happening. If I moved some of the rocks mid-stream deepening the channel a bit, perhaps the water would flow more evenly? I pondered

Counsel?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If it’s obvious someone is hurting and in need of sympathy, we ought to give them what they are asking for. When we’re confronted with someone’s damaged emotions, is choosing the right tool the option that makes all the difference? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. I used to own an old garden tractor that Holly often called the “rolling risk.” It was old and ailing in many respects; but it cut grass and moved snow nonetheless. That all ended one day when my son was cutting the grass and an electrical fire broke out in the engine compartment. My first thought was “where’s a bucket of water!” However, having been told

Winning?

May I ask you a questions? Is it important to be sure that every day of our lives we practice gladness and condition ourselves to finding even the smallest bit of “glad” amongst the bad? Should this be a practice and a routine that we assume a regimen of daily, consistent focus on keeping a happy heart? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner. We spend so much time these days keeping our bodies fit; yet we often spend little or no time making sure that our hearts, although physically in tip-top shape, are kept in good spiritual shape. The Bible tells us to “not lose heart” when everything around us seems to “wasting away.” That’s not easy to do when yo

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