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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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Clinging?

(10.30.20—Marriage—Proverbs 18:22) My friend, may I ask you a question? In a way, is marriage is like Glad Wrap? Does it seem we go into it clinging tightly to ourselves--our own ideas and opinions? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? I’ve long had a problem with Glad Wrap. As careful as I am in pulling it out of the box and then gently trying to keep it from folding back on itself, seldom I’ve been able to prevent it from its natural tendency to cling to itself. Glad Wrap is a product that just doesn’t want to cooperate. Then, even when you’ve managed to pull out the right amount and un-cling the clinging, there’s always the problem of having to

Backfire?

(10.29.20—My Anger! –1 Kings 21: 1-16) My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you practice threatening others silently by saying “Cross my path and you may face an inescapable verbal barrage of threats culminating in blindfold, cigarette and execution at sunrise?” My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? "Whoever came up with this idea should be shot!" Yes, from time to time those words have come from me. They are never spoken with a weapon in hand, just anger. In fact, I'm not big on firearms. I have a deep respect for what they can do so I am far more comfortable looking at them than using them. Nonetheless, I do have the rather poor habit of using

Sleeping dogs?

(10.28.20—Don’t Fret!--Genesis 21:7) My friend, may I ask you a question? When we make it our intent to grab worry by the throat and shake it loose from our life we might just be borrowing a bit of trouble we don’t need to own? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? It’s been said, “Worry is wasting today's time to clutter up tomorrow's opportunities with yesterday's troubles.” That’s so true. Yet, we tend to ignore the truth when it’s convenient. When I was a kid there was this bully that really had made my life pretty miserable. His taunts and shoves were his bark, but he really didn’t have a bite; a least I hadn’t experienced it to that point. I

Not the tree?

(10.27.20—Making It!--Psalm 1:3) My friend, may I ask you a question? What defines the seasons of a Christian life? Is it what is apparent or is it something subtle? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? Each year as the seasons change, so does the selection of fruit that’s available at my local Piggly Wiggly. In early sum- mer there are the tangy apricots and sweet plums along with nutty peaches and nectarines. As summer passes, though, so do the fruits. By late summer the crispness, even the flavor of these is waning and it’s time to switch to something more in swing with the season. Now the succulent oranges and crisp pears arrive and they take t

Anxious?

(10.26.20—Don’t Fret!--Philippians 4:6-7) My friend, may I ask you a question? Talking and eating aren’t very good partners. Similarly, when you and I choose to combine work and worry, can choking also easily become the consequence of doing something we ought not to do? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? I have what my wife calls a “lazy flap” in my throat. It’s that little flap of muscle that closes over my airway when swallowing. For some reason there are times when that little flap doesn’t close all of the way in time to block whatever I’ve got coming down the pipe. It doesn’t happen every time I swallow and seems to happen more often when I’m

See me?

(10.23.20—It’s A Job!--Genesis16:1-15) My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you find yourself in a situation today where the labor you offer at home or at work is unrewarding? Perhaps you feel that no one appreciates what you do? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? Last year, according to Department of Commerce figures, over 100 workers were murdered by their fellow workers in acts of senseless violence. Why this propensity toward discontent, bitterness, even hatred in the work place? Psychologists have begun to probe the violence in the workplace syndrome and are coming to a remarkable conclusion. Most acts of violence are committed by normall

Dandys?

(10.22.20—Acceptance!—Matthew 12:26-29) My friend, may I ask you a question? Sadly, we sometimes treat relationships with a sort of disdain; quick to discard, only to miss the value later. Are we missing out on the great things God has in store for us as we share with others? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? Recently, as I was walking past the old Airstream parked in our driveway, I saw a glint of light near one of the trailer tires. I reached down to pick up an odd-looking bolt. It had an odd triangular marking on the head and it was a bolt with a hex-head indentation. That meant it had to be turned with hex wrench; a type of bolt that I seldo

Stumbling around?

(10.20.20—Acceptance!--Proverbs 21:3) My friend, may I ask you a question? As you and I go through life, do we often find ourselves trying very hard, but going along tentatively, making mistakes and hurting others. How does God view that? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? My son Dan and son-in-law Andy helped me with a big job several years ago. Since my knees aren’t in real good shape any more, they volunteered to install a new ridge vent on our A-Frame home. The job was an arduous one since the pitch on an A-Frame is steep and there isn’t any way of doing the job practically–except by saddling the ridge and pulling yourself along ripping off t

Flying very high?

(04.02.20 —Christ Our Sacrifice--Galatians 5:1-15) My friend, may I ask you a question? As we were once slaves to sin, are we now set free through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Yet, if we abuse that freedom, disregard the sacrifice or take advantage of it, are we walking perilously close to spiritual famine and, perhaps, everlasting separation from the source for that freedom? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. Many years ago I witnessed a game of give and take that has stayed with me. My daughter Hannah kept her pet rats in a cage in the hallway going to our kitchen. When I shuffled into the kitchen around 4:30 each morning there t

Keep moving on?

(10.19.20—Cool Under Fire!--Judges 6:25-30) My friend, may I ask you a question? Through His Word does God build us up and gives us the power of Christ within? Even keep us moving on, when the work seems endless and the risk of failure looms large? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? Did you ever accomplish something that you really thought you would never be able to do? For most of us there will come a time in life when the impossible suddenly becomes possible. I remember a number of years ago looking up at a half-finished addition to our present house that I had begun several months prior. Things had not gone well. The weather had not cooperated

Bridging?

(10.16.20—I Desire Mercy!--Matthew 12:7) My friend, may I ask you a question? Physical bridges are important in connecting neighbors. But, did you know, emotional bridges are just as important? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? Holly and I live on a small, rural road that is only lightly traveled. Noname Creek divides our property from the proper- ties that lie to the north of Beech Springs. The creek travels across the highway and for years a simple concrete and steel bridge spanned the creek, connecting our neighbors on the other side; that was until early this past summer. The bridge was removed and replaced with a new bridge. However, in the

Dance or pout?

(10.15.20—I Desire Mercy!--Matthew 12:7) My friend, may I ask you a question? When our lives are filled with little resentments every day, it is true these often lead to bitterness and an unforgiving attitude? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? It’s wood-making time again. That means countless hours of cutting, splitting, stacking and restacking of the many cords of wood that will be required for the upcoming heating season here at Beech Springs. It’s also time to take that odd array of used chainsaw chains into the hardware store for sharpening. This past week I did just that and was ready to go when Saturday dawned and the work beckoned. There’

Show it?

(10.14.20—I Desire Mercy!--Matthew 12:7) My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to showing mercy to others, are you and I “on call” to our Heavenly Father? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? One of the jobs that I’ve always marveled at is that of the person who is “on call”. My wife Holly is a nurse and is frequently “on call.” Being “on call” means that you need to be available at any hour of the day or night should that pager go off. When it does and it’s the middle of the night, it’s usually a mad dash to rub the sleep out of your eyes, get dressed, start the truck and get to the hospital as quickly as possible. I’ve seen Holly do

Let go?

(10.13.20—--I Desire Mercy!--Matthew 12:7 ) My friend, may I ask you a question? Showing mercy to those who don’t deserve it seems to be problematic. Is that what God want us to do? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? We live in a society that is really hung up on fairness. It if isn’t fair, by someone’s standards, then it must be wrong. Some have even based their lack of faith on those standards. I recently had occasion to get into a bit of an argument with a friend who felt that way about God. “God isn’t fair. That’s why I’m not interested in worshipping Him.” This person knew some Bible stories and came up with the one of Stephen, the first mar

Paying the price?

(10.12.20—-What About Sin?--Philippians 2,1-10) ) My friend, may I ask you a question? God’s Word calls on Christians to avoid seeking to be served. Is Christ the ultimate and divine example of what we should be? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? Here’s a story: In 1758 a great peace conference was called by the commonwealths of Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the midst of a terrible war between England and France. Although England had recently gained the upper hand in the struggle, there was still great concern on the part of the colonies about whether the Indians of the Ohio Valley region would side with the French or sue for peace with the Eng

End of trail?

(10.09.20—-Sacrifice!--Luke 14:16) My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to sacrifice, what really is God asking of us? Does the pain and sorrow of suffering always have a dividend? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? We recently attended a piano recital. The room where the recital took place was ordinary except for a huge mural at the far end. It featured a medieval theme of a parade of men, stripped to their wastes, following a procession of monks hold- ing an icon. What was so fascinating about it was the fact that each of the men held whips with which they were inflicting punishment on themselves.Their backs displayed the wounds t

In His arms?

(10.08.20—-Sacrifice!--Matthew 19:21) My friend, may I ask you a question? Will God ever require from us everything, even our lives? If it is possible, should each of us be willing to fulfill that sacrifice should it be demanded of us? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? Does God place limits on how far He wants us to go when it comes to committing to His will? If His will is our sacrifice, can there be any limits? Is our God reasonable when it comes to our ability to forbear or to bear? God, of course, transcends our reason because we cannot even begin to understand His wisdom. Sometimes we just need to commit and leave the rest up to Him, trusti

Starting again?

(10.07.20—The Bigger Picture!--Jude 1:21) M. Clifford. Brunner My friend, may I ask you a question? Is starting over sometimes, when good fortune takes a holiday, the best choice even when it seems like the most difficult one? Is it only a matter of wisdom to know it if we have the vision to see it? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? I'm not sure that there is anything in this life I like less than having to start over. Perhaps because I've had to do it a number of times in life, jobs, schools, friends, you name it, I just really find it tedious and, in some respects fearful. There's that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you sudden

Surrounded?

(10.06.20—The Bigger Picture!--Titus 2:12-13) My friend, may I ask you a question? Does it seem that every time a temptation rises in your life you’re surrendering to it as it appears to be the only option? Did you know that hope is only a small, critical moment away? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? There’s fine point between giving up and fighting on. Where one man falls back on despair, another surges ahead in hope. At one precise moment both have the same amount of energy and determination, and then "bang" one goes one way and the other another. I witnessed that moment recently as I watched Sammy, our youngest little dachshund digging a hol

Insulting Him?

October 5, 2020 My friend, may I ask you a question? Are you a worrier? To some degree we all do it. There are those who fall deeply into it and others that step lightly over it. Nonetheless, why shouldn’t worry be a part of a Christian’s day at all? My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner? Both Holly and I have recliner, rocking chairs. We like to sit in the evening, chat and go over the day’s events while rocking back and forth. Yesterday evening, as we were talking and rocking, it occurred to me how much energy went into pushing that rocker back and forth. Whether it is Holly pushing off with one foot or me with both, over the course of an hour or s

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