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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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Life storms?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Why does God permit such catastrophe for surely it is his hand that guides the wind, drives the rain and uplifts the ocean? Would a merciful God, One who tells us that He loves us and has mercy upon us, do such a thing? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? A nearly unprecedented storm has come crashing upon the shores of our country. Hurricane Laura, intent upon crushing, smashing and upturning a city with winds of over 150 miles an hour is ravaging Louisiana as I write. Can any good be found in this storm? Why does God permit such catastrophe for surely it is his hand that guides the wind, drives the rain and

Nowhere paths?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Can Bible reading, and worship, our connection to God, becomes blunt, and our faith useless in times of trial? In midst of our busy lives, do we need to take time to be with God, to focus on Christ, and to be re-sharpened by the Holy Spirit? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? As a hiker, I’ve traveled many backwoods trails. One thing I’ve learned is, when you’re on a marked trail, stay on it. I usually follow that advice; but there are the exceptions. A while back my son and I were backpacking. The trail was marked with splotches of blue paint on trees along the way. After we were about a mile in, it forked.

Run the race?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is it important to become aware of God’s care for us in even the smallest ways so that we may have abundant joy? When surrounded by disappointment and sin is there anything we can do? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? Whatever! It’s become a sort of iconic phrase in our society these days. I guess it’s kind of a “catch-all” phrase when we’re too busy to get into the details. I got involved in conversation recently with a store clerk when I discovered that the wood screw I was looking for was out-of-stock. It was the only screw I could use and really needed that screw. I began to describe how I was going to u

Savior?

My friend, may I ask you a question? As assuredly as Jesus may send us out into life’s storms, He most assuredly will protect us even when we don’t feel his presence. As Christians do we often find ourselves with a very wrong picture of who Jesus is? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? We have two grandsons who quite often ride with Holly in her SUV. That means car seats and all the hassles connected with installing them, belting in the boys and repeating the process in reverse when the trip is done. It’s work, but work that’s necessary to keep them protected and out of harm’s way. In a sense a car seat is kind of like Nana or Papa’s remote han

Real comfort?

My friend, may I ask you a question? In everyday life, do we need to decide to live or die as a group and to carry other's burdens when they become too heavy to bear? Today in prayer, have you thanked Christ for other believers and seek to build up other believers when their load becomes too heavy? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? It's been a wet summer here at Beech Springs and Noname Creek has been running high. There are no bridges crossing the creek since most of the year it is shallow and can be easily crossed without getting wet. Not this summer. Recently I was hacking down some of that Garlic Mustard weed that's invaded Beech Springs. I

The load?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do we need to decide to live or die as a group and to carry other's burdens when they become too heavy to bear? Today in prayer, have you thanked Christ for other believers as you seek to build them up when their load becomes too heavy? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? It's been a wet summer here at Beech Springs and Noname Creek has been running high. There are no bridges crossing the creek since most of the year it's shallow and can be easily crossed without getting wet. Not this summer. Recently I was hacking down some of that Garlic Mustard weed that's invaded Beech Springs. I was using a long-handled

Fast-forward?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is one of the greatest tragedies of a fast-forward world that we are less available to be surprised by the spontaneous? As we sacrifice relationships on the altar of busyness, do we come to the end of the day tired but unfulfilled? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? One of the things that I miss most about the 1950’s and 1960’s growing up was the fact that we had a different appreciation for time. We valued it, certainly. But, time was such a different commodity then. My world growing up was a world of dinner around the table with everyone there. Fast foods hadn’t invaded the dinner menu yet. My Mom had spent

Life pieces?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does God use broken people, unworthy as we are, to do the important work he has set out for his people to do? Does He starts with nothing and, through an occasional success and many failures, He builds something worth His while? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? Over the years I have applied for and held a number of different jobs. Ranging from stock boy to vice president, I have always brought something to the job that gave my employer confidence that I was the right person for the position. There were times when I met that expectation and there were times when I didn’t. I failed. Sometimes, after a failure

You deserve?

My friend, may I ask you a question? What do we really deserve? Apart from the love and grace of God, the Bible tells us that we deserve only punishment and damnation. Deserve this or that thing? On what grounds do you or I deserve anything other than God’s justice? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? “You deserve a brea today. . .”, so the jingle went! The TV was asking me to buy something to eat. And, “Well, don’t you think that you deserve it anyway?” Now it was telling me that I was a fool if I didn’t go and pamper myself with the car that already had “my name on it.” Take a little test tonight. Watch television for about an hour. Pay particu

Getting lost?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we make our own appetites for pleasure more important than our appetite for God’s Word, is spiraling away from God is inevitable and, where we end up is unpredictable.? Does it always seem it may be in the wrong place? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? I love a certain brand of potato chips, Schultz’s, that can only be purchased at one local store in the area. No other potato chip tastes like these. They are saltier, with just the right crunch and whatever oil they use, the taste is unexcelled. Unfortunately, there is a darker side to my craving for these perfect little, ruffled chips. When I eat one I

Little sins?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do small sins, subtle and innocent sins, if left to themselves and built upon, almost always result in sin that is out of control? Did Adam’s one small bite of an apple result in, but a generation’s time, the sin of murder when Cain killed Abel? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? There’s an old adage “For want of a peg, the house is fallen.” A better translation would be: “If you’re one nail short, all your work could come crashing down on you.” In essence, it’s the little things, the things that we know about but don’t feel are important enough to merit our total attention, that can become our downfall. I was

In the shadows?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Did you know that God often stands between us and ourselves? He knows what is best for us when, most of the time, we have little clue of it. Yet, why does He often put us in the “shade” of others? To protect us from ourselves? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? Standing in the shadows can be lonely at times. When others are taking the bows and hearing the accolades it is sometimes impossible not to be envious. Recognition is something that each one of us by nature yearn for. To be recognized for what we do and how we do it is a pretty simple thing after all. It’s not like we are asking for trophies and plaques

Just knowing?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is knowing what we need to do the answer to ending sin? Is being determined to do it right the way? When it comes to sin, does mere knowledge of right and wrong cut it. On our own, however, is it the case that we are helpless without Christ? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? Why do we sometimes do the things that we do? After we do them, the dumb things, we often find ourselves saying: “Why did I do that?” For example, my son built a set of ramps in our garage. These are ramps that he used to crawl under his car to do repairs. So, I have to line my car up each night as I come home, then drive carefully up the

Hesitation?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Everyday, is God giving us opportunities to do His work and make our lives more meaningful? Does faith involve risk and is God always calls us to do things that are above and beyond what we can do on our own? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? When I was growing up I went to both public and parochial schools. Although there were obvious differences between the two, one thing was the same; we didn't have any signs posted on either public or private read: "Drug Free" or "Gun-Free" zones. There just didn't seem to be a need for them. People assumed that most students, if not 99.9%, wouldn't come to campus with gu

A quiet place?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we draw aside into a quiet place to pray, does that make it more possible to block out our busy world and open our hearts to the Father? Will our darkened world of disappointments and trials then be illuminated as we enter into communion with God? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? I’m always so busy, I hardly have time to think! Do you even find yourself saying this? Most of us do from time to time. Yesterday as I was preparing to go to the office I carefully put an envelope to be mailed in the breast pocket of my jack- et. I put a deposit envelope for the bank in my shirt pocket. Then I gathered up my l

Be still?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How does noise affect our prayer life? When it comes to our need to respond to God’s request that we come to Him in frequent prayer, is noise also factor with our ability or willingness to devote ourselves to heeding His command? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? We live in a pretty noisy world. I recently read that a study was done with young people in a college library to discover how noise affects peoples’ emotions. A student dropped a book as she passed the library tables where students were studying. Four out of five individuals sitting at the library tables responded by picking up the book and giving it

Humility?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you get pumped up when someone praises you? On the other hand, how do you feel when the opposite holds true and you’re criticized? Even though it’s true that we feel good when praised and bad when criticized, scientists tell us that the emotion is pretty much the same? Are you surprised by that? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? Do you get pumped up when someone praises you? On the other hand, how do you feel when the opposite holds true and you’re criticized? Even though it’s true that we feel good when praised and bad when criticized, scientists tell us that the emotion is pretty much the same. From a bi

Believing?

My friend, may I ask you a question? In Our faith walk, especially those times in this life when everything seems dark and disorienting, is there much like my searching for that elusive switch to turn our faith on? Sometimes things come up that we weren’t counting on and we trip, even fall? Then what? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? I get up early in the morning and often walk through rooms that are completely dark. I know that there are light switches here and there and I instinctively head for them, deliberately walking in that general direction. I know that I will find the switch eventually. All I need to do is believe that it is there. Alt

Stand tall?

My friend, may I ask you a question? It’s easy to be bold when you have an army behind you. But is It far more difficult to retain your courage when circumstances find you standing all alone? Can doing the right thing when no one else can see the wrong is one of the loneliest feelings in the world? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner. It’s easy to be bold when you have an army behind you. It is far more difficult to retain your courage when circumstances find you standing all alone. Doing the right thing when no one else can see the wrong is one of the loneliest feelings in the world. Standing alone is foreign to who we are. We are a social peo

Time is now?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does God wants each of us to be bold in our planning as well as our doing? Does that mean thinking on our feet in a timely manner is probably a pretty good way of getting things accomplished in God’s “to do” schedule for our lives? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner. “Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.” How often have you heard that said in your life. If we could count the number of times action has been spared by inaction due to the “thought process” necessary beforehand, we’d probably have lost count a long time ago. In fact, I would have to bet that “I’ll get back to you” is one of the most comm

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