Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Summer light is fading -

Hey, you blog reader people ...

On Monday, Mumma and I headed over to Orlando to do various and sundry things, and in a very short version of the story and a very long and grammatically incorrect sentence - I am posting a few pictures in honor of the last day of September 2009, because I think it is a day worth remembering, even though these were not taken on the last day, they were taken on Monday, it will still revoke September memories.

I did it. Look at that whopper of a sentence. Maybe I will start a new trend. Or not. Since it has already been invented. I careth not.

For the remaining 20 minutes of September 2009 - Viola. My life from Monday. Which a longer and foliage involved version will come in October. Oh, how far off and away October seems! Or not.

Summer light is fading into Autumn light, and here is proof -

It has turned more golden, and also, slightly less sticky....ahh. And yes, I meant to take the picture like this ... I like it. And yes, that is my head.

A reminder of God's heart ... in all of creation.

The beyond amazing fields of black eyed Susans that covered the wetlands and marshes on the way home from Orlando. I wanted to buy waders and go out, but really thought better of it, since I didn't want to ... oh, you know.... die and all from being bitten by a gator or water moccasin. Just a thought.
Helllllooo, fading summer light! I loveth thou! Thank you, God!
Are the blurred flowery fields not magnificent? What a sight!
And that is all for ... now, the last 15 minutes of September '09 ... and it made September all the more gorgeous for it. :) *Jean sighs happily and with content to herself*

Love you all, and may God continue to open your eyes to His magnificent grace!

Gently, in His arms, I rest -
~ Jean Marie

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

MO&FL Family Beach Day -

Hey, ya'll...

Well, I figured that if I started posting one set of get-together pictures before the other set was up, I would get fired by the Missouri part of the crew, and most likely the Flagler Beach part of the crew as well, and since I happen to like my blogging "job", I am posting the pics from the MO/FL Family Get-Together. :) Aren't I loving?

So, for a little info, the Littmann family was comin' to visit us here in FL, as well as catch up with family, and they wanted to meet some of my friends, and so, some of us all got together a week and a half ago. :) We had, to say the least, a wonderful time. :) We did, in order: Beach, walks on beach, beach, walks on beach, some crashing in waves (me) and then dinner back at the L's beach house(which was soooo good), talking (not just by me, thank you very much), English Country dancing, led by Stephen Littmann(thanks SO much, Stephen!), some Contra' dancing and some Cotton Eyed Joe, singing, laughing, group picture shoot, talking, hugging, goodbyes, driving home and going over the bridges staring at the stars and twinkling lights of boats and houses along the river leading to the ocean. It was an amazing and loverly day.

Thank you so much, Littmann family for hosting it all, and thank you to every family who was able to come, ya'll made it sooo fun and special! :) I loved every person there! HUG from Jean!

That's your background check .... oh, and we missed you Fosters! The poor Foster family had come down with the swine flu ... but we assured them that we would have another Flagler/T-ville Beach day soon, although they really wanted to meet the Littmann family. :)

Oh! And to Mama Lynn, I am very, very sorry ... but -I do not have any swirly skirt pictures. I know, I know. Please - go ahead and cry. Surely that is cry-worthy. The reason is entirely because I was too busy dancing to take pictures. I didn't want to miss ANY dancing.

The very lovely and wonderful news is that Emily Case did get dancing pictures, due to Momma Case getting some, hooray for the Cases!!! :) Go here to see Emily's great post on the night, as well as some quite hysterical ones of our group shoot. HAHA. She also was the one with her camera at the beach, so she has some sweet shots of that as well! Thanks, Emily Case, so much! :) And ... I hope you will forgive me, Mama Lala. :) I love you! Mu-wah!

So, down to the day ... we had some very fun sights before we got to Cocoa, I was ecstatic to be riding shotgun (not literally, ahem) and have my camera. :D First off, while on SR-95, we were following a caravan consisting of a slow-moving semi trailer with something inside, (ahh, the mystery), a RV, a truck with flashing lights and a "wide load" banner, and 3 State Troopers. We followed them all the way from when we got on in T-ville to almost to Cocoa. We think mayhap they were going to Patrick AFB. :)

See?

Dad later explained to me, and asked me to count the tires on the trailer ... and I couldn't, but there were lots, and he told me the reason for this was primarily for weight reasons, not to mention it was going slowly. So. Heh. Draw your own conclusions, but we were thinking Uranium encased in lead. But you didn't hear that here...ya' hear?


Do ya' see the state trooper at the back? When this red truck tried to pass, the STrooper cut over with no by-your-leave, about a foot in front of the truck, and cut him off from passing. The State Troopers did not want people passing when they were on a curve. It was crazy to watch. We figured, though, that if they didn't want people escaping, they would have had air support, so we think it was a transport of some kind. To say the least, it made the trip very diverting and fun. :)

See the Disney bus? I done told them people it was dangerous goin' to Disney!!! :D

Leaving the secrets out on the highway, and heading off to beach fun. :)


And off to the next fun thing - at a stoplight we were right next to a fire engine! I was pretty happy, but I tried to take pictures without the firemen inside noticing. After all, that would be rather embarrassing. :) What I truly wanted to do was to stand up through the open sunroof and take perfect pictures, but actually thought that just might be a liiiiittle over the top.

Look! It says: "Keep Clear, Electrocution hazard" HAHA! :D

Tower Cocoa 51 Beach Firecrew -

The ladder -

The pictures that I have from all our fun times are only from when we were talking, saying goodbyes and taking our group shots. :)

My dear Anna, (center), Emily, Mrs. Hope, and Mrs. Lynn. Gotta' love Anna's hair! :)

HAHA! Stephen's surprised face lit up by his camera glow. :) Great one, Stephen!

And so starts the attempted group shots. :) Much laughter was had by all. We had 2 Nikon cameras, one Canon, and Stephen's point and shoot all lined up, and pushing the 10sec. timers and rushing back into place had Emily Case, Stephen and myself working hard, and the rest laughing!!!

Starting to filter into place, while the three youngest girls sit quietly and sweetly. :)

HAHAha, good one...oh, but we lost Emily Case!

Oh well. We got almost everyone looking. :) Do you really want a list? Ok ok.

First row, LtoR: Emily Case, Lauren, myself, Kimberly, Jessica L., Stephen L., my Momma, and my Daddy, next row: Michelle Lynn, Olivia S., Renee' Joy L., next row: Mrs. Hope, Mrs. Littmann, Mr. Littmann, and Zander Lynn. And last choppy row: Mrs. Case, Mrs. Lynn, Emily S., Anna S., Mrs. Stone, Gabe Lynn, and Joseph Hope!!! A very jolly group of peasants.


A very sweet and darling little waif. Ok, not a waif...a Cotton Eyed Joe dancin', boot-wearin', Country song singin', Canon-totin', swirly-skirt-wearin', cute eyes sparklin' and gentle-huggin' girl .... named Emily Case. :) Love you, girlie.

Oh, and did I mention ... photographers somehow make great faces? Or at least this one does...oh, and yes, photographers also lift their cameras up to get air shots like Livvy's doin'. :)

Emily and Zander! :D Great smiles, ya'll! We were all rather jealous, Emily got to wear Mama Lynn's very pretty blouse. :)

That wasn't long! Look who popped back into the picture? AHHA! Nice, Emily C. On the left, you also have Gabe, who is in vain trying to get my camera to click on remote command ... while I take a picture. HAha. And for some reason, on our right, Michelle is looking a little forlorn ... poor sweet thing. :)

Jessica, Emily, Anna and Renee' Joy talking ... of various and sundry things. :) I'm so thankful ya'll were able to meet!
And goodbyes at last were said, and we headed out at the late hour of 11pm. :) Ya'll were so hospitable, and thank you to everyone who drove for an hour and a half or 2 hours to come!

Mrs. Hope gives Mrs. Littmann a big hug. :)
I knew everyone would get along famously, and they did. :) It was such a blessing to me, and I hope it was to everyone else as well, to be together with such laughter-filled and God-praising folks and having cheerful conversations.

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard, and to everyone who brought food, it was delicious, and to our Heavenly Father, Who makes time together with friends something to praise Him continually about. May His name be glorified!

With very fond memories,
and with thanks to our Lord,
~ Jean Marie

Monday, September 28, 2009

Goodbyes -

Goodbyes.
One of the hardest things we ever do.
I've had my share, they seem to pile up in my heart,
never losing their sting or their potential
to fill my body with heart-rending inward sobs.
They stay and never leave.
Each one seemingly harder than the last.
I've seen family weep through them.
I've held sobbing friends in my arms,
and wept along with them,
I've missed the last "chance", and said them
when all is said and done,
there ...
at the grassy green and crumbly dirt,
when everything seems to be so wrong,
and life is shredded down to 25 kinds of pain,
pain you never knew existed.
Not until you had to say -
"Goodbye".
And the only smile that shines through,
is knowing it's only -
"Goodbye ... for now".


To some of the dearest friends to me -
on a day they realized they would have to say goodbye,
earlier than they ever wanted, 2 years ago -
.... I love you.

~ Jean Marie ~
Psalm 103

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mon Dieu est bon -


Mon Dieu est bon (mon Dieu est bon),
Mon Dieu est bon (mon Dieu est bon)
,


Mon Dieu est bon (mon Dieu est bon),
Il est bon pour moi.



My God is good (my God is good),
My God is good (my God is good),


My God is good (my God is good),
He is good for me." - Hymn sung in Benin, Africa



~ My Lord, He is good for me, He is so good for me.
He is so good for me, when my heart is breaking, He is so good for me when I knoweth not what to do, or how to understand, He is so good for me when perhaps this side of the veil we never will hear or see "Why?". My Lord, He doeth all things well, and His love never, ever fails.
Mon Dieu est bon (mon Dieu est bon), Il est bon pour moi!
My God is good, (my God is good), my God is good for me.

So thankful this is so,
~ Jean Marie

(Psalm 103)

... written while thinking of the 27th and the Stone family in mind.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Coming ... later? -

Alas and alack, ya'll ... tis late, Picnik runs on so very, very aggravatingly slow, and this little lady needs her sleep. ;) So sorry, ya'll, but the get-together beach party post will be at a later date, I suppose next week. I will leave you with one photo, however, to brighten your spirits. :) Have a wonderful and enjoying-whatever-weather-you-may-have-weekend, for every day is a gift from God!

With thankfulness,
~ Jean Marie

"Summer and winter,
and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
join with all nature in manifold witness,
to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love!

Great is Thy faithfulness,
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Morning by Morning, new mercies I see!
All I hath needed, Thy hand hath provided!
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Lord, unto me!!! "

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Coming Soon -

Coming up later today, the one week anniversary of the Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach Littmann Family/Blog Family Get Together All Out Beach and Dancing Party Picture Post!!! Whew! :D

Coming up after - school and editing. :)
God bless, ya'll,
With thanks,
~ Jean Marie

LtoR: Emily S., Zander L., Mrs. L., Mrs. H, and Michelle L. :) Gotta' love the energy in Zander's smile, I have about 12 memories of him purposefully running and jumping backwards into the waves with a huge splash, made me laugh every single time. :D

Job 26 -

Job: Man’s Frailty and God’s Majesty
1 But Job answered and said:
2 “How have you helped him who is without power?
How have you saved the arm that has no strength?
3 How have you counseled one who has no wisdom?
And how have you declared sound advice to many?
4 To whom have you uttered words?
And whose spirit came from you?
5 “The dead tremble,
Those under the waters and those inhabiting them.
6 Sheol is naked before Him,
And Destruction has no covering.
7 He stretches out the north over empty space;
He hangs the earth on nothing.
8 He binds up the water in His thick clouds,
Yet the clouds are not broken under it.
9 He covers the face of His throne,
And spreads His cloud over it.
10 He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters,
At the boundary of light and darkness.
11 The pillars of heaven tremble,
And are astonished at His rebuke.
12 He stirs up the sea with His power,
And by His understanding He breaks up the storm.
13 By His Spirit He adorned the heavens;
His hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
14 Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways,
And how small a whisper we hear of Him!
But the thunder of His power who can understand?"

Recently, I have been reading through Job, and this chapter really has stayed in my mind, and captured my thinking, and so I thought I'd put it up for ya'll to read. :) I love the last verse of it, verse 14: "Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?" .
I had some amazing (ok, not really) thoughts all typed up, but the font and size went crazy, and it was deleted. (sigh) But - WOW! These are the mere edges of His ways, and how small the whisper that we hear of Him! How much is hidden from our sight while we live on earth! And the thunder of His power only God alone can understand!! Wow! Just so amazing, what a wonderful chapter - I do believe I will put this one to memory, or endeavor to. :)
How amazing the One we praise!
Who hung the earth on nothing!!!
~ Jean Marie

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lost & Found -

***** Update - Ok, ya'll ... some new information. Apparently, (thanks, Steven L.!!) it is a power adapter plug in. Now I know. :) So I was thinking, maybe it belongs to the Littmann house and perhaps someone unplugged it from an outlet to plug something else in? Like, a battery charger or some such need? So - the question is, has anyone seen or touched this, and where did you find it? :D We found it on the low table in the front room. :) Thanks!!! *****

Hey, ya'll ...

We had a "left-over" from last week's Cocoa Beach Party with the Littmann's. It was neither our family's nor the Littmann's, and so, therefore, it must be one of yours. :) And so - I present to you - the thing that I know goes either with a camera, cell phone or an iPhone. How astute, you think!! Yes. So, leave me a comment, or send me a message, and if it really is your .... whatever, then you must tell me ... how late we all left the L's beach house to head for home. Wait...we all left at the same time. Umm, you must tell me how many different dances we ... same problem. Nevermind. Just be honest. HAha. :)

God bless, ya'll.
~ Jean Marie


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Generous Friend -

Hey, ya'll!

Sweet Miss Emily Case over at her blog: My Life Belongs to Him, is having an Autumn Giveaway to celebrate the first day of Autumn, and most likely, just because she is so incredibly sweet. She has made this adorable apron and two potholders, and all you have to do is to leave a comment, and you will be entered in the drawing!

So head on over, and leave a comment, if you'd like! (which I'm not sure how you could not want to) I really just ooh-ed and aww-ed, because here in FL, how could you not love a reminder of fall? We have fall in Dec. When things are dead. It lasts a week. Dad calls it shedding. Anyway.

Thank you, Emily Case, for the fun! Love you, lil' T. Sweets. ;)

Thankful for Calvary,
~ Jean Marie

Oh! And pictures are entirely by Emily Elizabeth Case. :)

13 months -

It has been 13 months since
I beheld the beauty that surrounds you,
and long since I have listened to the roar that named you,
and walked alone around the mountains that hold you,
but only tonight since last I remembered you.

Pigeon River, Tennessee -
I miss thee.



Oh, safe to the Rock that is higher than I,
~ Jean Marie

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tag Photo Fun -

Well, ya'll, just for a bit of fun, I'll enter a little photo tag game. I rarely do this, but ... well, I didn't have a huge amount of choice other than ignoring the best friend who tagged me. :) Haha...I chose to see what my 5th picture was in my 5th folder of picture documents. And this is what it was -

A pileated woodpecker in our pine tree.
I truly love these beautiful birds, and am so thankful God created them! I love to hear their loud trilling calls, and spot them hopping up and down branches in the trees.

Now, I'm going to tag five people to put up their 5th picture in the 5th folder on their blog. :) Oh, and by the way, my pic is SOOC(unedited), so it's a bit dark. :) This really is quite quick, and I was really curious to see what was my 5th pic. :) HAha. I'm tagging: Lauren, Emily Case, Gabe, The Stone Family, and Becca. :) Hope ya'll join the fun!

God bless, ya'll, to all who read this ...

Mighty is the power of the cross,
to those who cling to the Savior Who hung there,
~ Jean Marie

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weddings on my mind -

So, I've had weddings on my mind lately. That may not seem odd to most of you, after all, I am a young woman, whose highest goal next to serving the Lord Jesus Christ, is to be a wife and mother, should God so will it. But since I've been to 2 very dear girls' weddings this year, between 5 weeks apart, and several other acquaintances of mine are courting/engaged, weddings have been heavily on the mind. :) The two earlier weddings reminded me of the small-girl-joy of sighing over almost every single moment, and winking back tears, and smiling until my whole face hurt, but not caring because it was one of the most special days of my life. I remembered why I was so in love with weddings when I was little .... it was the God-glorifying joy and exaltation of His providence and graciousness.

So. Weddings. Friends getting married. :) I'm sure most of you have shared in the declared news of a very special wedding coming up ... and the engagement announcement on this blog - The Serven Clan. Such wonderful, precious, incredible news. Such joyous news. :)

I thought it would rather fun to put up some pictures that I have from this year's two visits to MO, with Rebecca in them, since this post is quite a bit about her lovely self. Unfortunately, I do not have very many of Steven, because it was not yet known to my knowledge at the time of their coming courtship. :)

The first three are from the March wedding of Audra and John Notgrass, Rebecca made Audra's dress, and was her "maiden assistant" in so many helpful ways throughout the day, I know this because I was not far from the bride and her maidens all day. :)

Rebecca and her mama, Mrs. Serven.

I truly did not know it at the time, but I joked about Rebecca carrying the presents to the waiting trucks, that she was "practicing for a future wedding", in this way. :D Haha. Is she not so very lovely? Yes. She is, and I have direct quotes from her betrothed who says the same thing. Only more eloquently. (smile)
Three Serven women - helping out with such joy. :) Sarah, Mrs. Serven, and Rebecca.
The next day, the Sunday, I spent at least 2 hours talking to Rebecca, and have been so very, very grateful to her for it, and deeply thankful to the Lord to have allowed us to talk.
LtoR: Sarah, Rebecca, Jean (me), and Beth. What wondrous things the Lord has done, to have Beth married, Rebecca engaged, just 5 mo. after this picture was taken. :)

Alrighty, since this technically is a celebration post of Steven and Rebecca, I must interject some Steven into the crush of things - Steven ... the groom to be, interviewing the new husband and wife - Jon and Elizabeth Ten Dolle at their wedding in April. :)
Steven was the caller for the English Country Dancing at Jon & Beth's wedding, and that is how I first met him. Apparently, he messed up my name the first time (happens often!), and Rebecca corrected him. :) HAha...I missed all of this, because I was rather nervous about dancing, since I had no earthly idea of what I was doing. Steven, however, remembers.

I've had the enormous blessing of being able to chat with Steven here and there on Facebook, and have been so very thankful to be able to get to know this man who wants to marry Rebecca. :) He has been so kind, and I do believe that I've said a couple times - "I must say - I approve this marriage.". And I so do. And did you know - Rebecca has found a man who can talk Old English, says "indeed", and "I trow" and calls Rebecca his "dearest". Oh, melt. I quote from one of the chats: "Rebecca thinks we are done celebrating ... but …I'm not stopped courting…:) like EVER ... ever ever.". (Jean melts from the sweet romance of it all and falls off chair) Goodness me!
I do believe, dearest Rebecca-girl, that the man loves you!!! :D

Thank you so much, Steven, for honoring Rebecca so, with words and actions and for waiting. :)

Rebecca is one of the most deeply compassionate women I have ever met, and a wonderful listener and encourager, that the Lord "doeth all things well in His own time". What things He hath brought about since last I saw you! :)

Rebecca has this way of tenderly hugging you, and suddenly you feel like the most important and special person in the entire room. She has a gentle heart and spirit, which I do believe, is a Serven trait, as all the women posses it. What generous kindness from our Lord.

Some tears and tenderness at the Ten Dolle wedding between Rebecca and a friend.

The first time I saw this picture, I cried. Now I cannot look at it without grinning from ear to ear, because there, in the far left side of the picture, is Steven ... smiling at the woman he was to begin courting quite soon. :) So many precious memories stored inside this one little photo.
And now we come to the sad news .... don't start crying, it's not that sad. :) For those of you who live in FL ... I'm sorry, but ... I'm going to be missing Barbarville in November. :) I know ... I wait all year, and then I'm going to be absent. I'll miss all the dancing ... and then again, I won't ... heh heh. I'll be dancing somewhere else. Perhaps ... in Missouri. (grin)

In my sister's words - "It is such an honor, oh my goodness, thank you so much! Yes! I'd love to! Oh my goodness!" (laughter). The honor? My dearest girl, my sister was asked by Rebecca to be one of her bridesmaids, and my sister accepted, with much, much joy and excitement!!! :D And then I needed to take a picture, for Rebecca, (hello, happiness!) and look. Is she not incredibly gorgeous?
Wow. :D I love you, sweet Sissie of mine.

And that is why I will miss Barberville, and why I am not 100% devastated over it ... because I have been bestowed the privilege of seeing a wedding of two very dear people - Miss Rebecca S., and Mr. Steven L. It will be one of the most special days, adding it to yet another incredible wedding on my list. Why? Because they love the Lord Jesus, and the wedding will be a celebration of their covenant before God, and through His incredible grace, and of their love. :)

We are so, so, so excited. We are rejoicing. We are prayerful.

And as I said to Steven via chat when I learned of the engagement - "Congratulations...on winning one of the sweetest and fairest girls on the planet!!!", and to which he replied - "Well, thank you very much. I am quite beyond honored that she said yes.". :)

I love you both, Prince of Rebecca's heart, and dearest Rebecca-girl. :)

In God's abundant kindness,
~ Jean Marie

Something new ... and old.

So the new thing - is the new background and colors for the blog. Do you like it? I like it. I loved the blue, but I've been waiting for a long time to turn my blog green, because as ya'll know, I love that color. It just looks so late summer to me, which it is here ... and laid back/little town/relaxing. I realize it's not as formal looking, what with all the crinkles, but if no one but me ends up liking it, well that'll just be too bad. Ahem. I have become a wee bit stubborn on blog issues lately, but what I mean is ... leave me a comment, and let me know what you think. :)

I also realize that I have not been blogging, but ... I have good news. The main "picture-loaded" computer is back up and running! (for now...oh, me of little faith in Dells) Onward stretches a huge and daunting task of backing up my thousands of pictures onto DVD's. :( So not fun. Let's just say a whole lot of country will be playing during those hours, and some sermons too, just to keep me de-stressed. HAh.

The old ... I found this picture from August 2008, when we were in GA. I had edited it to look Civil War, and I just love it too much to not put it up. Put some slow fiddle music on in the background, close your eyes, smell camelias and jasmine, hear the wind rustling the autumn leaves in the trees, and nothing else, and open your eyes again and look at it. That's GA to me.


Lovingly, and sincerely, entirely the Lord's,
~ Jean Marie

Friday, September 11, 2009

9-11, 8 years later -

It still shocks me.

I was 13, and like everyone else in this nation who was old enough to remember, I know exactly where I was when I heard. We listened to the radio and had no idea of what on earth they meant by it. We got home, made calls and listened to more radio. We were quiet, we asked questions that didn't have answers, and we prayed. We forgot we had things to do, we sat around in the kitchen and we tried to think. I remember sitting in the kitchen for a couple hours, just hearing news come in, and news go out, and all the phone calls. It was like no other day I can remember.

And I didn't know then how much I would come to hate why that was.

And why I fell more in love with America and the people who loved her.

I'm not going to write captions for all of these, it'll be a silent scroll through. I think they remind us of what we felt that day, what still burns inside our hearts is pride for our country, and everyone who served and saved and fought on that day, selflessly. I'm proud of them. Are you?



Like the POW flag reminds us, that waves beneath our flag, "You are not forgotten.".

She waves with pride.

"Old Glory" who and what she is. How apt a description for September 11th, "I have inspired generations of gallant men who fought against tyranny." (click on the pic to blow it up & read it)

"My home is in the hearts of all who feel a thrill of pride when they salute me and what I symbolize - God, Country, Freedom, Valor."

It just seemed memorable to include pictures of flowers -


Scattered flowers ... like all the tears we cried after September 11th, and 12th, and all the way to September 11th, 2009.

My Country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountain-side let freedom ring! Our fathers' God to Thee, Author of liberty, to Thee we sing. Long may our land be bright, with freedom's holy light; protect us by Thy might, Great God our King!
September 11th, 2001 - September 11th, 2009

John Piper's sermons and articles on 9-11, related resources as well.

"The other reason I don't say, "God did not cause the calamity, but he can use it for good," is that it undercuts the very hope it wants to create. I ask those who say this: "If you deny that God could have 'used' a million prior events to save 5,000 people from this great evil, what hope then do you have that God could now 'use' this terrible event to save you in the hour of trial?" We say we believe he can use these events for good, but we deny that he could use the events of the past to hold back the evil of September 11. But the Bible teaches he could have restrained this evil (Genesis 20:6). "The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples" (Psalm 33:10). But it was not in his plan to do it. Let us beware. We spare God the burden of his sovereignty and lose our only hope.
All of us are sinners. We deserve to perish. Every breath we take is an undeserved gift. We have one great hope: that Jesus Christ died to obtain pardon and righteousness for us (Ephesians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 5:21), and that God will employ his all-conquering, sovereign grace to preserve us for our inheritance (Jeremiah 32:40). We surrender this hope if we sacrifice this sovereignty." (excerpt taken from DG website, by John Piper)
"Famines, pestilence, persecution, these happen so that the world would see that the followers of Jesus, count Christ more precious than everything they've lost, and (the world can) discover that He can be that for them, because one day they are going to lose everything. Everybody loses everything on earth, someday." - John Piper

How sweet it is to know that our hope and our trust lies only in Christ Jesus, and that no matter the swelling tide, the whelming flood, the darkest night, the most awful or dangerous day - our Lord doeth all things well, and He is sovereign and in control of every day, from the day that "days" started, to the day when this world will be no more, HE has overcome the world.

Trusting, and remembering ...
~ Jean Marie
Psalm 103