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Welcome to the blog ministry of Touching Hearts! Each week we will release a new blog written by one of our team of authors. We pray each blog will encourage you to go deeper into a relationship with Jesus. 

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  • Writer's pictureAnnette Burrell


Posted by Annette Burrell, September 7

Proverbs 10:25 (NIV) When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.”

Storms are so unpredictable. They can pop up out of nowhere. July seemed to be a dry month—we got very little rain. There were a few pop-up storms, but by the time August rolled around, it was evident we needed a heavy downpour.

I live on a small lake just south of Atlanta. Sometime during July, we noticed some exposure to the bed of the lake at our shoreline. As the days went by, we saw more and more of the lakebed. We later found out that most of our neighbors were praying for rain at the same time we were. Then, during the middle of August, God showed up with the rain. It was a loud, hard rain! It was pounding! The winds blew, and the lightning bolts flashed, as the Lord continued to answer our prayers. As the skies began to darken, we could see the lake begin to fill up once again. Just before the night sky rendered itself to darkness, we could see the water was now above the original shoreline and coming into the backyard. We went to bed while the storm was still raging, but we felt blessed by what God had done.

The next morning my heart sank when I looked out at what was once our lake. There were puddles of water here and there, and there were dead fish everywhere.

The storm had blown out the gate of the dam, which had developed a small leak some years ago. The compromised dam was not strong enough to withstand the pressure of the storm. Life is like that also. Sometimes, the pressure seems too much to bear. The storm that blew out the dam was over in one night. Since then, it has been repaired, and the lake is almost full again.

Life’s pressures aren’t always that quickly and easily solved.

I have faced one crisis after another over the past three months. I can’t remember a time in my life when the struggles were so severe. My first storm was a life-threatening event in my daughter’s family. Then, we had the relocation of my 90-year-old father. Pop-up storms, disguised as family dissension, wove their way into my life. Another storm was when my car was damaged. After that was the shock of the lake and the loss of so many fish. The last and most recent storm was the dreaded call that my biopsy came back with Squamous cell carcinoma.

Were these storms predictable? Have I handled them well? I wish I could say yes. I have had moments when I was upset and my friends stepped in to reassure me that God is always there for me. In many of my daily devotionals, God has spoken to me to encourage me through the struggles and heartaches.

While there has been tragedy, chaos, dissension, destruction of personal property, and loss of wildlife, God is still here, and He hasn’t changed.

As I’m completing a Bible study by Priscilla Shirer, I have found myself being drawn into God more than ever.

I sense His presence all around and find myself bowing down before Him.

The God who knew the storms would be raging in my life is all around me. The God who protected me from other storms is working it out for His good. He will receive honor and glory when the storms subside.

I think of the disciples and Peter when Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, and the other disciples thought he was a ghost.

Matthew 14:25-32 says, “Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’’’

Often when we think about this passage, we focus on Peter having little faith. But, notice what happened when the disciples recognized God. They began to worship him.

Are you in a storm right now? Do you feel like the pressure is too much to bear?

While the storms of our lives are unpredictable, they are never a surprise to God. He is the one who says, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” And He wants you to “Come” to Him.

Will you take that step today, recognize Him for who He is, and ask Him to come weather these storms with you? Or will you step out as He asks you to come to Him?

God is waiting!

Annette Burrell is an author, speaker, and singer/songwriter. Through Annette’s years of being a public servant, and her devotion to studying the Bible, God has equipped her to lead women into His presence, and share with them how they can grow in Christ. Her passion is learning, sharing about the Heavenly realms, and God’s plan of protection for us as believers.

  • Writer's picturePriscilla Carr


Posted by Priscilla Car, August 30

When the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. Then, He said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then, He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” (Luke 22:14-18)

Worship through song was so powerful that Sunday. As I sat down, I asked the Lord to speak to me through the Pastor. Pastor Louie taught from Luke 22 about how Jesus went “above and beyond'' in giving us Himself as the sacrificial Lamb. He explained how His death during the Passover was the culmination of God’s plan described briefly in Genesis 3:15 (you will bruise His heel, but He will bruise your head) and metaphorically when blood from the sacrificed lamb, placed on the doorposts, saved those within the home. I marveled at God’s timing and plan and how He mercifully saved all those who trusted Him by applying the blood to the doorposts.

As the pastor continued to speak from Luke 22, my ears perked up when he read Jesus’ words, “I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” The authority of that statement filled me with longing, wonder, and fear. Jesus, knowing the events that would take place shortly (namely His persecution, wrongful verdict, suffering, and death on the cross), spoke with authority and conviction as He foretold a future kingdom where He would partake again of the Passover with His disciples. And yes, I long for that day.

But Jesus would be betrayed, suffer, and die. I wonder what the disciples thought about Jesus’ proclamation in light of those events. Did they even recall what He had proclaimed? That He would eat the Passover again in the kingdom of God? Jesus’ kingdom? When they all dispersed in fear when Jesus was taken, did any remember?

Jesus’ proclamation so impacted me because it hit me that He spoke, and it will be. Period. He said there is a kingdom of God coming and that Passover would be fulfilled there. And it will be so. Even though the events that followed His authoritative statement were a dark cloud, they shouldn’t have shrouded the Giver of the statement because “God is not a man, that He might lie, or a son of man, that He might change His mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19). But, the events most likely shroud the Promiser. The confusion and fear they felt caused them to run, hide, and doubt (for a time) who Jesus really was. And don’t we do the same?

But God, in His mercy and “faithful love,” reminded me through Luke of His authority (“Jesus came near and said to them, All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.” Matthew 28:18) and that there is a future kingdom coming—His kingdom. He also reminded me that He’s reserved a place for me and for all who have accepted His invitation of Life. We have a hope and a future, and we have an appointment where we will sit with the King of Kings and “sup” with Him. He said it, and it will be so because “It is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18).

Father, sometimes the cares of the present threaten to block out the glory of Your promised future with You. Forgive us, Your children, for forgetting who You are—that You are omnipotent, in control and can’t not accomplish what You have declared. Thank You for Your mercy, kindness and love to remind us. And thank You for wanting us and for including us and for the place You have prepared for each one of us with You at Your table.

Priscilla Carr was born in NYC, but has lived in metro Atlanta since 1979. She is a Navy veteran trained in electronics which God used for a 30-year career at the FAA. She uses her training to provide audio support to Touching Hearts Ministries, and is the Editor and Producer of “A Burst of Hope” podcast. She began her adult new life in Jesus in 1990 right before leaving the Navy, and today she exudes her love for Jesus. She is the proud mama to two rambunctious fur kids, Gracie (Lab) and Faith (Pit-mix). Priscilla was encouraged by elementary teachers to write. She took creative writing courses in High School and college, but in the mid-eighties, she stopped writing. The desire to write has been recently reawakened, and she is thriving in her new writing adventure.


Posted by Pat Elsberry, August 23

When I was a teenager, I remember how exciting it was to visit Whalom Park, the 13th oldest amusement park in the U.S. When we arrived, my best friend Patty and I would race over to the Flying Comet and stand in the long line waiting our turn. Once we got strapped in the seat, we began the slow ascent … Up, up, up, listening to the clickety-clack of the wooden tracks cracking and popping as we made our way toward the sky. Our hearts would begin racing in anticipation of what lay ahead.

Finally, we would reach the top, and for a split second, we would glimpse the beautiful lake before we plunged down the track headfirst, hands in the air, screaming at the top of our lungs! It was so exhilarating and scary all at the same time! When we reached the bottom, we would turn right around and head back to the line to do it again. Oh, the joy of childhood!

As an adult, there have been times when I often felt like the younger me on the Flying Comet. But not quite in the fun way that I remember. As we get older, life happens. One day, we may be cruising with the sun shining brightly overhead, a gentle breeze blowing in the wind, and a peaceful spirit within. Then, in the next moment, out of nowhere, we might feel like we're being frantically whipped around the corner, hanging off the edge of our seat as we take a curve, being thrown from side to side.

These rollercoaster moments happen as we go through challenging times in life. Maybe you're struggling in your marriage and facing divorce. Or perhaps you're experiencing a health crisis. Then, possibly, you're like me, walking through the grief journey after losing a loved one. Whatever the cause of your angst, there may be moments when your heart is pounding in your chest as fear seeps in. Instead of the clickety-clack of the wooden tracks, all you can hear is your heart beating wildly within.

Although the rollercoaster moments in life can be fun, as an adult, they can also be very disarming. Discovering what's most important for our health and well-being during these moments is what matters most. Reaching out for the one thing that never leaves us helps put us back on the right track and returns us to the peace we so desperately yearn for. As David said in Psalm 62:2, "He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken."

Some things that have helped me walk in peace during challenging times begin with journaling daily. It allows me to capture all those thoughts and feelings that the enemy may be trying to use to bombard my mind. As I pour it all onto the pages, God meets me there every time.

Another thing that gets me down off the whirls and twirls of the rollercoaster life is music. Oh, worship music is so very anointed! Put on your favorite worship song when having a rough day, and dance around your kitchen. Turn it up loud and sing at the top of your lungs! Don't let that stop you, even if you think you can't carry a tune. By the time it reaches God's ears, it sounds heavenly.

Pat Elsberry is an author, speaker, blogger, and a passionate advocate for parents dealing with grief after the loss of a child. Pat created multiple social media groups focused on providing hope to others who are walking the same path, including her blog, Hope During Loss. Pat facilitates an in-person grief share for women who have experienced child loss, and is also a moderator for Team Sharing, a nationwide peer-led support group for parents who have lost children to substance use disorder. Pat is the author of Beautifully Broken: Finding Hope During Loss, and will soon release her first devotional, Comforted by God. Pat and her husband, Fred live outside Atlanta and have a blended family of 7 children and 5 grandchildren. Her favorite things include traveling, cooking, gardening, dark chocolate, and worship music. You can find Pat on her blog,, and on Facebook and Instagram @HopeDuringLoss.

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