Pray for Croatia

 A damage home of Ankica Loncarevic is seen after a 5.2 magnitude earthquake in Petrinja, Croatia, December 28, 2020. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

ZAGREB (Reuters) – A magnitude 5.2 earthquake hit central Croatia on Monday with an epicenter some 50 kilometers southeast of the capital Zagreb, Croatian state television reported, citing data from the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre.

The quake at 0528 GMT was also felt in the capital. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

“We have no such reports yet but it is possible that such an earthquake could cause material damage in the epicenter area, which was in the vicinity of the town of Petrinja,” seismologist Kresimir Kuk told state radio.

The quake was followed by an aftershock registering 4.9 magnitude at 0649 GMT, according to the EMSC data.

Bozidar Skrinjaric, head of the Pokupsko municipality, an area near the epicenter with some 3,000 inhabitants, said people ran into the streets when the quakes hit.

“No building collapsed, but the people said they saw some cracks in the buildings and damaged tiles,” he said.

In March, an earthquake of magnitude 5.3 hit Zagreb causing one death and injuring 27 people.

Rebuilding 

Isaiah 49 New International Version

Restoration of Israel

This is what the Lord says:

“In the time of my favour I will answer you,
    and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
    and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’
    and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’

“They will feed beside the roads
    and find pasture on every barren hill.
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,
    nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them.
He who has compassion on them will guide them
    and lead them beside springs of water.
11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
    and my highways will be raised up.
12 See, they will come from afar—
    some from the north, some from the west,
    some from the region of Aswan.[b]

13 Shout for joy, you heavens;
    rejoice, you earth;
    burst into song, you mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people
    and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.Image result for Restoration of Israel

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
    the Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are ever before me.
17 Your children hasten back,
    and those who laid you waste depart from you.
18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
    all your children gather and come to you.
As surely as I live,” declares the Lord,
    “you will wear them all as ornaments;
    you will put them on, like a bride.

19 “Though you were ruined and made desolate
    and your land laid waste,
now you will be too small for your people,
    and those who devoured you will be far away.
20 The children born during your bereavement
    will yet say in your hearing,
‘This place is too small for us;
    give us more space to live in.’
21 Then you will say in your heart,
    ‘Who bore me these?
I was bereaved and barren;
    I was exiled and rejected.
    Who brought these up?
I was left all alone,
    but these—where have they come from?’”

22 This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“See, I will beckon to the nations,
    I will lift up my banner to the peoples;
they will bring your sons in their arms
    and carry your daughters on their hips.
23 Kings will be your foster fathers,
    and their queens your nursing mothers.
They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground;
    they will lick the dust at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
    those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”

24 Can plunder be taken from warriors,
    or captives be rescued from the fierce[c]?

25 But this is what the Lord says:

“Yes, captives will be taken from warriors,
    and plunder retrieved from the fierce;
I will contend with those who contend with you,
    and your children I will save.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh;
    they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine.
Then all mankind will know
    that I, the Lord, am your Savior,
    your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Does a mother forget her baby?

Or a woman the child within her womb?

Yet even if these forget,

Yes, even if these forget,

I will never forget my own.

The dreams we share today

oh Lord are only a shadow of your dreams for us

Only a shadow of your dreams for us

if we but follow you.

The joy we feel today oh lord

Is only a shadow of your joys for us.

Only a shadow of your joys for us

when we meet face to face.

Submitting to God

James 4 New International Version 

Submit Yourselves to God

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proudImage result for Come near to god
    but shows favour to the humble.”[c]

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[d] or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgement on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbour?

I seen this video and i know it’s a repeat of the above reading but because of the music and pictures I had to use it again

Starting off on the right foot

Proverbs 22 New International Version Verse 6

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

As a child I can honestly say I had the type of parents and Grandparent’s who done their best to point me in the right direction in life in more ways than one and for this I am grateful

Being a Father and Grandfather I have tried as much as humanly possible to point my daughter (27) in the right direction and I think I’ve done alright so far. As for my Granddaughter I aim to do likewise as I did with my Daughter.

If we are God’s Children there is of course only one path to go Even when the going gets tough. There are a few video’s I could put to the above , for example ‘ The Pathway of Duty’, but because of the closing words in the proverb I have chosen ‘I’ll not turn back’.

The Highest Place 

Image result for the highest place on earth

Colossians 1:15-23 New International Version – UK 

The supremacy of the Son of God

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] your evil behaviour. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Christmas dinner for homeless

Image result for Euston Station on Christmas day

1. Matthew 25:34-40

“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, my Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home. I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then the people who have God’s approval will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and take you into our homes or see you in need of clothes and give you something to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “The king will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.’

The people of this country never cease to amaze me, when I seen the news on ITV on Christmas Day I heard about the idea that a couple of railway workers had which resulted in London’s Euston train station being filled with the homeless for a Christmas Dinner I thought this was brilliant. They also said that this may be a thing that may be repeated each year, let’s hope so. Let’s also pray that it may catch on in our major cities throughout the country as well.

Questions For You and Me

By Jacob Folger

Stuffed and overflowing stockings hanging by the fireside

Pretty plastic candlelights glowing in the night

Sticky candy canes hanging from pine tree boughs

This all presents questions, I will in this poem pose.

When a little kid with Christmas time coming round

The joyful music, it seemed was the only sound

But really, I wonder now what it all means to me

Is it all about that perfectly shaped and lighted Christmas tree?

Little, sweet baby Jesus sleeping in some straw

It seems to me that someone might notice a little flaw

What is the difference between that dirty man without a home

And the King of Kings that almost all of us must have known?

And tell me what was that message that He gave to you and me

Before His life was ended on that old and lonely tree?

Was it all about just taking care of little, selfish me?

Or is there more here, more for all of us to see?

I asked a lot of questions in this poem this Christmas Eve

I guess this time of year, the cold, and the suffering that I see

Fills my head and heart with old and sad memories

I am hoping that maybe from it all we will not always flee.

Little, sweet baby Jesus sleeping in some straw

It seems to me that someone might notice a little flaw

What is the difference between that dirty man without a home

And the King of Kings that almost all of us must have known?

The birth of Jesus

Image result for The birth of Jesus

Matthew 1 New International Version

Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

A while ago I was given a book of daily bible verses and the highlighted verse above is the one I read this morning. (Suppose I should of kept it for Christmas really).

Starry Night

Matthew 2 New International Version

The Magi Visit the Messiah

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’[b]

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

It Was On A Starry Night

It was on a starry night
When the hills were bright
Earth lay sleeping
Sleeping calm and still
Then in a cattle shed
In a manger bed
A boy was born
King of all the world.

Chorus:
And all the angels sang for Him
The bells of heaven rang for Him
For a boy was born
King of all the world.
And all the angels sang for Him
The bells of heaven rang for Him
For a boy was born
King of all the world.

Soon the shepherds came that way
Where the baby lay
And were kneeling
Kneeling by His side
And their hearts believed again
For the peace of men
For a boy was born
King of all the world.