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Storms come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes there’s a gradual build up, white fluffy clouds gradually becoming darker and lower, but sometimes they seemingly come from nowhere. Sometimes storms are foreboding and scary and long. Sometimes they are light and short and finished soon after they start. Sometimes there are strong winds, sometimes rain, sometimes thunder and lightning, sometimes all of them!

Similarly, the storms of life. Sometimes we feel or see them coming and then they are upon us…but sometimes they catch us by surprise. Sometimes we’re caught unaware by the intensity of them, sometimes we weather them well. The storms of life can hit our health, our relationships, our finances, our emotions, our spiritual life. When a life storm hits it can leave us feeling buffeted, bruised, scared, and overwhelmed.

Like all of us, I’ve experienced the storms of life. They are inevitable. In the middle of a storm, especially a big one, sometimes I feel like I’ve lost my way. I don’t know what to do. My emotions are a roller-coaster and I’m not even sure what to pray.  I have no idea what God is doing, and no idea what I should do. I feel overwhelmed and like I’m drowning. There’s much that can be written about weathering them, but today I want to focus on one simple thing.



There’s always one thing we can always do in a storm – worship. The storms of life seem to have the capacity of drawing our attention onto our circumstances. But if we lift our gaze from our circumstances and praise and worship our Heavenly Father, it changes our focus.

Is it hard? You bet! In the middle of a storm we don’t always feel like praising God, we’re struggling just to keep our head above water and breathe. “What?” I hear you saying. “You want me to do something more than just surviving?” Yes, I do.  I highly recommend it.

I find the Psalms helpful for my soul in the storms, because many of them were written by people also experiencing the storms of life. When I struggle to find words of my own, the psalmist’s words can become my prayer, my cry for help, my declaration of faith.

When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
Psalm 94:19

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:18-19

You are my refuge and shield; your word is my source of hope.
Psalm 119:114

When we worship in the midst of the storm, we remind ourselves that we are not alone. The truth of God’s Word speaks light, hope and life to our soul. 

It doesn’t have to be an hour-long praise and worship session (although it can be). It can be moment by moment short prayers. “God, I feel so alone, but thank you that your Word promises that you are with me always”.  “God, my heart is overwhelmed, but you say that when I pass through the rivers I won’t be overwhelmed.” “God, I’m anxious, help me to trust you today and leave the future in your hands”. “God, I praise you that you work all things together for good.” “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”  Or, simply, “HELP!!!”

Perhaps putting on some praise and worship songs will help you articulate those things you are struggling to say.  

Perhaps you could pop a verse of scripture on a sticky note and put in somewhere you’ll see it regularly.

It can be tempting to isolate yourself in a storm, fearing others may not understand – but surrounding yourself with godly friends who can pray with you and for you, especially if you are struggling to pray yourself, can be a great source of strength and encouragement.

All these things are acts of worship because they are directing our gaze from the storm to our Heavenly Father.

One thing I’ve discovered over and over is that there are times when we long for God to calm the storm but instead He leads us through it. Last week I shared this quote in our Thrive Facebook group:

“In the middle of your storm? You aren’t alone. Your good shepherd doesn’t just point the way through – He *leads* the way through.  He is with you right now and He *is* The Way through.” ~ Ann Voskamp

We are never alone, and our Heavenly Father is always working in our heart and our circumstances. When we choose worship, when we lift our gaze to Him, we may see some of the ways He is working, even if he doesn’t deliver us from the storm.   When we look for things to be thankful for, we see His provision, His care, His presence, answered prayers, encouragement.

Praise the Lord, praise God our Saviour!  For each day He carries us in His arms. 
Psalm 68:19

If you are in the middle of a storm, can I encourage you to praise God?  To worship Him?

In the middle of a recent storm in my life, I read Psalm 121, and it really spoke to my heart. That same day I listened to the below Casting Crowns song that a good friend sent me, and it contained part of Psalm 121.  I knew my Heavenly Father was speaking to my heart, confirming what I had read that morning! He saw me. He cared. I want to share the song as I close, hoping and praying it encourages your heart. (And you might like to read Psalm 121 too!)

Your Care Team pastor,



  1. Elizabeth Weller

    Thank you Pastor Donna!
    It is so easy to become overwhelmed and only focus on the storms when they occur in our lives (and they will occur!)
    It is only when we lift our hands and hearts and minds to God and focus on Him that we’re able to be brought through the storms and to be so thankful that He not only walks beside us but carries us through.

    • Donna Hill

      Thanks Elizabeth! I love to remind myself that God carries us daily – its so easy to forget that.

  2. Mike Sladden

    Hi Pasta Donna.

    Well written, well considered and well lived.

    Yes when our feelings are roller-coastering we have to focus on and worship God (and ignore those untrustworthy feeling which I always find so hard to do).

    I like Casting Crowns but have not heard this song before so thanks for reminding me that “I’ll praise you in this storm” and “My help comes from the Lord”

    Blessing to you and Steve and family

    Bruvva Mike

    • Donna Hill

      I really appreciate your encouragement, Bruvva Mike. May God richly bless you too.

  3. LYDIA

    Thank you Donna
    So true…
    God is so good…

    • Donna Hill

      Thanks Lydia, God is indeed good.

  4. Vanessa

    Thank you so much Donna for reminding and encouraging us on ways to get through our “storms”.
    When we have actual storms, as we did last night, I can’t help but marvel at Gods awesome power at work, and as we know, that same power is at work to help us each day.
    ps … love that song, its so uplifting.

    • Donna Hill

      Thanks Vanessa! God is so gracious to us, and I love that nature reminds us of His glory. (& I LOVE that song too!)

  5. Gladys Parry

    Thank you Donna for these words. It feels like it was written just for me. It certainly will help others

    • Donna Hill

      Thanks so much Gladys, I’m grateful for your encouragement and grateful that God used it to encourage you too. Looking forward to seeing you soon.


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Anyone who has attended a large event such as the recent Will Graham Outreach event that was held at the Launceston Silverdome would be familiar with the varying levels of access that are provided to staff and volunteers associated with this type of event. The security system used included identification in the form of different coloured shirts, prayer volunteer cards, and all access cards that permitted access to the entire venue with no questions asked by security personnel. This is like the access level that God has to our lives. Being omnipresent, He has unhindered access to every aspect of our lives. He knows our innermost thoughts, sees all that we do, hears all that we say. God has the ultimate ‘all access’ card.


How can we determine whether a claim is true or false? Some people think there are different kinds of truth — my truth, their truth, and your truth. But how do they know that their assessment of truth is true? After all, their assessment – that there is my/their/your truth might just be based on their truth rather than the truth. Truth has certain qualities that distinguishes it from what is false-
 Truth corresponds to reality.
 Truth is verifiable (that is, if it is true, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is falsifiable (that is, if it is false, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is sometimes testable (that is, claims that are experiential can be tested by experience – including scientific claims, historic claims, and existential claims).
We have good reasons for the believing that the Bible is true because it is the divinely inspired, reliable and authoritative Word of God which has been superintendedly preserved by the Holy Spirit (read more about this).


Parents, Kids Church leaders, and Christian school teachers should be intentional about shaping children to be fully devoted followers of Christ who have reasons for believing Christianity is true – which shapes them into virtuous contributors to society and to find their role in God’s Kingdom. This will be one of the necessary and indispensable means for the Church to fulfil the Great Commission of Christ.


We live in a fast paced world. We expect things to happen quickly. None of us like to be kept waiting. Even when we order something online we expect it delivered straight away. Some of us having to work two or even three jobs just to be able to pay the bills. We describe ourselves as time-poor. Yet, we all get twenty-four-hours in a day. Sixty-minutes in an hour. And sixty-seconds in a minute. Most of us need to adjust how we see, understand, and treat our time. This will involve, what will be for some, adopting a foreign and largely unaccustomed view of time that involves worship, sabbath, and deepening relationships. From this biblical perspective we will come to see time as a gift from God, not a curse, or source of frustration. Within this gift of time God teaches us how to worship in those times when it is difficult to do so. Rather than thinking this divine gift of time is ours to do with what ever we want, God uses this gift to teach us that we should gift it back to Him beginning with (but not limited to) treating Sunday as a sabbath to come together to recommit our hearts, voices, minds, and presence with God’s people, back to God. God gives us passing time to learn to deepen relationships – especially with our kin, and our friends. Time is meant for relationship building. 


One of the greatest lies that the would-be enemy of all our souls attempts to perpetuate is that we are what we are and we can never change. This lie is whispered into the ears of many people’s invisible ears so imperceptibly that they actually think it originated with them. “You were born this way – and you can never change”, “This is who you really are – and you can never change”, “There’s no hope of anything ever changing for better – so you might as well just kill yourself” and so on. But these sly alien voices inside the heads of the vulnerable are lies. People can change. People do change. Some circumstances were always going to be temporary and were always going to change. I know this is true because I am living proof. I am who I am but I am not who I used to be and I am not yet who I will be.


It may well still be the best-selling book of all time – and continues year-by-year to be so – but certainly is not the best-read of our current times! If there was ever any doubt about this, the events this week in Hobart, at St. Mary’s (Catholic) College Girl’s School, should remove all doubt! A furore erupted over the news that the prescribed Scripture reading for the year-end graduation celebration, which incorporated a Mass, was “Wives submit to your husbands” taken from Ephesians. Callers into ABC radio’s breakfast program decried this assault against women – especially young, vulnerable girls. One caller, responding to the news that the text being used was a citation from Ephesians, denounced Ephesians and apparently demanded, “Just who does this Ephesians bloke think he is?!” Another caller stated, “Why are they quoting ancient Roman philosophers in the twenty-first century?!” And yet another caller somehow linked all religious wars to passages like this one in the Bible! He remarked, “I’m an atheist. All wars are started by those who are religious! No war was ever started by atheists!” (Perhaps he had never heard of Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Vladimir Putin, who were collectively responsible for the deaths of over 20,000,000?) This furore led to the Archbishop conceding that the Ephesians passage did not have to be used at the graduation ceremony. But this furore has highlighted just how unaware many Tasmanians are about what the Bible is, what is actually says, and why it says it. And I am now about to correct this deficiency.  


Of the many tributes paid to her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, was the often noted reflection that during her reign the world underwent a series of rapid changes that were dramatic and unprecedented in human history. There were technological inventions that revolutionised the way people could access international travel options enabling them to be virtually anywhere in the world within a matter of hours. New forms of communication emerged with the development of a global satellite communications network enabling people to watch Neil Armstrong take his one giant leap Live on their black-and-white TV screens (as I did in the corridors of Corio Primary School in 1969). Space exploration, the stuff previously just in the realm of science fiction writers, became a reality with manned and unmanned voyages to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. But the past one hundred years have also been a time of great upheaval with empires crumbling, governments toppled, wars waged, genocides committed, pandemics raging, nations birthed, rulers assassinated, and massive refugee movements from oppressive Islamic and Communist regimes. Added to this has been the demise of professional journalism and the rise of internet-citizen-journalism where it is now common for TV News reports to feature footage taken from someone’s cell-phone which was posted on social media rather than the more expensive option of sending their own film crew there. And while we’re mentioning the internet, let’s not forget to mention – the internet. This alone has possibly been the most monumental change in the way people communicate, work, learn, and shop. But while it was noted that the Queen had witnessed all of these many changes, it was also noted that the Queen herself was an unchanging constant during all these upheavals who brought about a sense of stability, peace and reassurance. To millions of people around the world, she was their rock in a world of turmoil and change. Yet this was only possible because she herself had an immovable, dependable rock upon which she had built her life.


home > Pastor's Desk > 2022 > October 7th > Who Builds A City On A HillFor those who don’t know, I was born in Geelong, and have always been fan of the Geelong Football Club. But I’m not just a fan, I’m a paid-up member of the Club. In fact, I’m a student...


This is not for everyone. If you are already a parent, this is not for you. Instead of reading this I suggest you read one of my other more abstract Pastor’s Desk articles. If you are not a parent and have no intention of ever being a parent, this is not for you. Instead of reading this I suggest you read one of my more weighty articles on FindingTruthMatters.org. If you are not yet a parent and one day hope to become a parent, this is for you. Find a quiet place, take the next six minutes thirteen seconds and use the reading of this article as an investment into your future parenting strategies. I did not invent these guidelines. Like many parents who have also discovered the value of these guidelines, once discovered, they seem obvious. These successful parents probably grew up with own parents who inculcated these guidelines almost intuitively. However, my suspicion is that this is becoming increasingly rarer. As with all true guidelines they are adaptable, flexible, and are not a guarantee of parental success — but if ignored they become the point in the mathematical problem solving where you can see you made an error in your working out. In other words, while these guidelines may not guarantee success, if ignored their neglect almost certainly leads to frustration and disappointment. Here are five indispensable guidelines for every prospective new parent.


I’ve been praying for Penn Jillette for some time now. It began when I first heard him ridicule the Bible and Christianity. My fascination with Penn (and Teller), and other world-class magicians, has been due to my pursuit to develop my craft of preaching. There are a lot of similarities between preachers and magicians (just as there is also a lot similarities between solo musicians and preachers). I seek to learn from magicians about how to keep an audience’s attention, how to tell a story, and how to make a point by employing the element of surprise. But there are some significant differences between what magicians do and what preachers do though. A magician is deliberately deceptive. A preacher is striving to uphold truth in an honest way.