Trusting God in the Deep Waters

I admit, I’m a terrible swimmer. I still hold my nose and if shoved under, I will surface choking and coughing. I might be able to save my life and I’d hope one of my kids if necessary, but anyone my size or bigger…you’re just not gonna make it. 

The shallow end was my preferred territory as a kid. While my siblings jumped off docks and into deep water, I was content to sit near the shore and play in the sand. Okay, that’s a lie. I wasn’t content. I pretended to be content. In the marrow of my bones, I longed to run and jump off the dock and into deep waters. I dreamed of diving off the diving board with friends at camp. Instead, I lied (yes at church camp, clearly I needed it) and said I wasn’t following the herd. I talked people out of diving off the diving board with some of my words. I held others back from the deep waters…because I was too afraid to take the plunge.

In my relationship with Jesus, I’ve played too many years in the shallow end and watched too many friends enjoy the deep waters. 

The deep waters are a place where you can’t see beneath you. Can’t touch. Can’t see land. Without markers, how will you find your way back to shore? Deep waters contain vicious beast that want to devour you like sharks, jelly fish–okay not devour but definitely sting–among many other freaky creatures.

But Jesus call us to deep places.

“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.'” Luke 5:4 NLT

It’s in the deep places, if we’re obedient, we find our truest calling and passion. It’s where our lives become a testimony. Where we can walk over waves. Where we drown in grace and are buoyed by faith.

Simon Peter didn’t want to go out into the deep. But because he did, they hauled a major load of fish. So much the boat nearly sank. NEARLY.

“Then Peter called to him, ‘Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.’

‘Yes, come,’ Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.” Matthew 14:28-29 NLT

It was in the deep waters where Peter walked with Jesus.

Fear is a hindrance from launching into the deep.

Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of uncertainty. Fear of (fill in the blank). 

In my new release, Deep Waters, my heroine is terrified to trust God due to past hurt and failure. She’s watched too many people suffer and refuses to suffer too. Maybe you can relate to Caley.

It’s easy to say we trust God in the shallow waters where our feet touch and we’re delusional enough to believe we have full control of our lives, our situations, and our circumstances. 

“The truth is we’ll never know until we launch out and allow our faith to be tested. Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:3 MSG

Question: Is there an area in your life that God is calling you into deep waters? Would you be bold enough to share it? I’ll be praying for you.

I’m giving away a copy of Deep Waters. Paperback for U.S. citizens and e-book for those of you abroad! 

 

 

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Deep Waters Summer Prize Package! Enter to Win.

Hey everyone! I’m super excited to celebrate a milestone in my writing career. Deep Waters marks my 5th Love Inspired Suspense AND the 1st book in a new 3-book series that covers an elite team of private security specialists. Their mission is to protect and they’lll go down in a blaze to follow through with their promises! 

I love these characters so much and the series kicks off in a fictional Florida small town called Turtle Bay. Deep Waters was a super fun and emotional story to write. My heroine is a marine-life vet who speicalizes in sea turtles (so that’s a big theme!) and my hero works for her older brother at Covenant Crisis Management (the private security company).

It will release on Kindle July 1 and in paperback on July 4! So to celebrate I’m hosting a month-long Summer Prize Package that includes lots of goodies:

A signed paperback of Deep Waters, an adorable sea turtle knicknack, a summer tote, beach towel, a drink cup and an adult ocean themed coloring book with colored pencils. You’re all ready for the beach or summer sunning and then some! 

Enter the rafflecopter below to win. U.S citizens only 18+ 

 

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Win 1 of 2 Prize Packages!

Drum roll…

Through the month of January, my good friend, Jodie Bailey, and I have teamed up to give away TWO super cool prize packages which includes a signed copy of each of our January releases: Dead Run by Jodie and Concealed Identity by moi! (Must be 18 or older. U.S. only.)

Using Rafflecopter, we’ll draw two winners on Tuesday, January 31st and announce them on Wednesday, February 1st! 

Check out the prize packages:

Jodie’s Prize Package

Wake up to THE good book with a journal for notes, a cup of pumpkin spice coffee in a sweet Fort Brag mug, and a two good books! And hey, don’t forget sweet treats, more coffee (or tea) from Starbucks ($10)!  


Jess’s Prize Package


On a cold night, stop by Starbucks ($10) for your favorite hot drink (or sweet treat), come home and curl up in some warm fuzzy socks (emoji heart eyes because, hellooo, you’re reading romance!), pop some popcorn, and enjoy signed copies of Dead Run and Concealed Identity… and don’t forget before bed, a little moment with God, some Burts Bees to soften those lips (xoxoxo) and a journal to keep notes!
Ya’ll just don’t know how cool it is to have a book releasing with Jodie! We met during a pre-published excerpt competition and have been fast friends since. 

Tell me, have you made a life long friend through a chance encounter? Share the deets in the comments!


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On the 3rd Day of Christmas…

…this author gave to me…
10 copies of Concealed Identity!


And 10 adorbs Christmas ornaments but that didn’t rhyme so…
I am so excited to be a part of the 12 Days of Christmas! Just look at the graphic to see how amazing it is! Each day a new author will be giving away a fun prize (books included) and YOU could win! All you have to do is enter the giveaway below!

My newest book has some Christmas elements in it. For example, my heroine, Blair Sullivan is obsessed with Christmas (she has reasons) and that’s why she’s named her antique store It’s a Wonderful Life. She even has a bell above the door so an angel can get its wings (like, she knows this isn’t real, it’s nostalgia) and her sweet little shop that’s set in the quaint and quirky small town of Hope, TN is decorated like Christmas 24/7. Yeah, my hero,  Holt finds it weird but as he gets to know Blair and falls in love with her, he discovers it’s rather endearing.

DEEP-COVER ASSIGNMENT 
After Holt McKnight’s criminal informant disappears, the DEA agent must go undercover to get close to the missing man’s sister, who may know more than she’s letting on. But when Blair Sullivan’s attacked, it’s up to him to protect her—without blowing his cover. Blair isn’t sure she can trust her new neighbor, Holt. After all, the last charming and handsome man she fell for was her late husband, and he turned out to be the brother of a ruthless drug lord. Yet when it’s clear the target on her back is somehow linked to her past, she has no choice but to accept Holt’s protection. Even if getting close is the last thing her scarred heart can handle.

Tomorrow, you’ll have a chance to enter again (enter each day if you want!) to receive Gabrielle Meyer’s, A Family Arrangement! CLICK HERE to go to her website. 

Have you missed the chance to enter to win on Day 1 or Day 2? Well, here you go! Go enter!


DAY 1 Win Hazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson 
DAY 2 Win Watercolor Dreams audio book (digital download) by Sherry Kyle

Do you have a favorite Christmas ornament? If so, share in the comments. If not, tell me your favorite Christmas song or carol!

Okay, now enter to win! 
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Real Talk with the Cast of Protective Duty

Buy the book!

Hey ya’ll! I can’t believe Protective Duty is out in the world! So many of you who read Fatal Reunion asked about Eric Hale and I’m so excited to share his story with you. I decided to get chummy with my cast of characters and get some real talk. But I’m not asking the questions. Nope. Instead, my Patch Pack team who helps me spread the word about my books through word of mouth, reviews, and other cool ways asked most of these babies and they were so fun. 

Shout out to my Patch Pack! I love ya’ll so much. Thank you for all your support, the laughs, the conversations on our facebook page, and the prayers. I treasure each one of you. 

So let’s get on with the show, shall we? 

This first question comes from Susan Snodgrass and it’s for Eric.

Eric: Awesome. I love being first. Susan, thanks! 

Me: You don’t even know the question yet.

Eric: So.

Me: Susan asks why you think you’re a Jedi.

Eric: Maybe you should ask Luke Ransom. I don’t want to seem all puffed up….Okay, I’ll tell you. I have this thing I do where I give a suspect the look. I stare him down and will him to speak and he does. I can make just about anyone talk. But I kind of get Luke. Not Ransom. Skywalker. I mean he had a pretty intimidating father. Like mine. Of course, my dad never cut my arm off, but then he wanted me to use it play pro golf so there’s that. Also, when I was five, I was vicious with a light saber. Just sayin’. 

Me: Susan, I don’t know if that answers your question or not, but there ya go. The next question comes from Gayle Adams and it’s for Newton! Yes, the puppy. Aw. Newt, were you scared when the truck tried to run ya’ll over?

Newton: I peed a little. A lot really. I’m a pup. I have a hard time holding it in. Just ask Bryn. Sorry about the kitchen…and the carpet. Really. I’ll get better. 

The next two questions come from Charissa Kerley.

Bryn, do you watch Star Wars movies with Eric?

Bryn: I have seen Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi–the original trilogy with him when we dated ten years ago. I have seen them multiple times. By multiple I mean too many to count. When I found out Eric’s partner at the precinct was Luke Ransom I thought, “How many times has Eric said, ‘Luke, I am your father.'”

Eric: Actually, that’s the first thing I said when I met him.

Me: How did he respond?

Eric: I got the eyebrow raise and, “So about this case…” 

Bryn: As far as the new movies…truth is I didn’t see them because seeing them without Eric hurt too much.

Eric: Well guess what we’re doing Friday night, babe?

Bryn: Thanks, Charissa, you’re a real peach. *inserts heavy sarcasm*

Charissa: Eric, what is your favorite Star Wars movie? 

Eric: Empire Strikes Back. Hands down. One hand if you’re Luke. Hey wasn’t that a movie? One Hand Luke.

Bryn: That was Cool Hand Luke. With Newman. 

Eric: Riiiight. Yeah. 

Me: Okay, moving right along. The next question comes from Denise Hershberger. It’s for Bryn. When did you start swimming?

Bryn: I was probably two. I always loved the water. We were in Florida, I think. And I just jumped in and of course my dad jumped in, panicked…but I rose to the top and just swam. All by myself. After that, my parents put in a pool and I did take lessons. After that it was history. 

Eric: I was twelve if anyone wants to know when I started swimming. 

Bryn: Nobody does. 

Eric: Harsh, babe.

Me: Susan Tuttle asks Eric, if there was a worldwide licorice shortage what would be your next vice?

Eric: I can tell you it won’t be Kale. Oh man, I couldn’t imagine that. I’m totally stumped. Meatloaf, maybe.

Bryn: Oh jeez! How about Dum Dums?

Eric: I’m feeling some subtext here. 

Bryn: Must be your Jedi senses.

Eric: Probably so. Good call, babe.

Me: Susan also wants to know if you’d fall for Bryn if she has an allergy to licorice. 

Eric: I’d give it up cold turkey. Because I like kissing Bryn way more than eating licorice. And she can make meatloaf…now.

Bryn: *rolls eyes*

Okay, ya’ll thanks for joining real talk! I hope you’ll buy the book and check out this fun and crazy cast! 

Beach Read Prize Package Giveaway!

Hi everyone! Protective Duty, my 2nd Love Inspired Suspense, just released on Kindle today and the paperback releases on shelves and online retailers June 7th! I’m so excited to share Eric Hale’s story with you. 

To celebrate, I’m giving away a BEACH READ prize package to one winner! 

Included is: A fun beach bag, beach towel, bandana, flip flops (will get the size from the winner after the drawing ends), a sweet tea and sunshine tumbler, and a signed paperback copy of Protective Duty! Yay! 

All you have to do is enter for a chance to win below! U.S residents only, 18+ 

Buy the BOOK!
HIGH-RISK REUNION 
Minutes into FBI profiler Bryn Eastman’s first case since a near-fatal shooting, a brazen serial killer sets his sights on her next. Now her life—and career—is in the hands of her new partner, Detective Eric Hale, the man she once loved and lost. Racked with nightmares of the shooting and regrets for the tragedy that tore her and Eric apart, Bryn doesn’t want Eric to discover the secrets she carries—but she needs him. Seeing Bryn brings back memories Eric can’t control. Memories of a once-in-a-lifetime love. But the tough detective knows their only path to a second chance goes straight through a relentless killer…one who won’t quit until he counts Bryn as his fifth victim.

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Real Talk With the Cast of Fatal Reunion

Welcome everyone to Real Talk. Today, I’m featuring Homicide Detective Luke Ransom, Dojo owner and world martial arts competitor Piper Kennedy, as well as Homicide Detective and all-around-funny guy Eric Hale and a cameo appearance from Mama Jean (Piper’s grandma), and an unruly doberman. Yes, I may or may not be doing some dog whispering today. Stay tuned.

Fatal Reunion releases TODAY or as I like to put it, Luke and Piper and the gang have come to life and are out in the world. Memphis to be exact as that’s where this story is set. 

Blues. BBQ. Elvis. Jerry Lee Lewis. Memphis is a city like no other. And Luke Ransom and Piper Kennedy are people like no other. 

Let’s chat with Piper first. She’s less patient than Luke and gets antsy when things are movin’ and groovin’. 

Welcome, Piper! 

Piper: Thanks for having me, Jess. It’s kinda cool coming out into the world and not stuck inside your head. That, my friend, is a freak-show.
Jess: Um…thanks? You matriculated from there, you know.
Piper: Yeah…you’re proving my point. I admit, I’ve been a total freak show. My whole past is a freak show.
Eric Hale: If we’re going to talk about freak shows, I have great story. It involves Luke–
Luke Ransom: If it takes place prior to 2015, it’s off the table, Hale. 
Jess: Okay, let’s all just focus here, people! Piper, tell us your first thoughts when you saw Luke after all those years?
Eric: Or…people could just read the book and experience it as she does.
Jess: True.
Piper: It was surreal. A whole wave of emotions. Completely overwhelming. He smelled really good.
Luke: Thanks, love. 
Piper: That’s your cue to talk about how I equally smelled as good.
Luke: You equally smelled as good. *wink wink”
Jess: Luke, when you realized that Mama Jean had been hurt, did you really think Piper was involved. I mean, dude, that’s her granny.
Luke: *glances at Piper* *Piper nods for Luke to be honest* I did. I didn’t think she actually hurt Mama Jean. I know she wouldn’t, but indirectly…yeah. I thought she was involved and it scared me. A lot.
Jess: Because you wanted her to be innocent or because you’d have to face her after a decade?
Luke: *sighs* Both. Definitely both.
Eric: I’d like to point out that I, too, smell good. What? I need some screen time.
Jess: Okay, Eric. Question: Were you at all jealous of Luke and Piper’s relationship? Because you mentioned it must be great to have a woman who wasn’t afraid of the job but fought along with you. 
Eric: I did say something along those lines. I guess I was. I remember a great love like that. Kinda tanked and I don’t want to talk about why–
Jess: You won’t talk about your sister’s death either. Would you now? Openly? On Real Talk?
Eric: *pulls a Twizzler from his coat pocket* Let’s talk about what makes this licorice so freaking delicious instead. I have a few theories and the artificial flavoring isn’t one of them.
Jess: Point taken. But your story opens up live in June and everyone will see it unfold then.
Eric: Then we talk about it then, Jess. Lay off. Or I’ll sic The Force on you.
Luke: You are not a Jedi!
Eric: Got you to talk didn’t I? About Piper.
Piper: What’d he say?
Eric: Nothin’ you don’t already know, Kung Fu Piper.
Doberman: Ruff! Growl…..
Jess: Sorry, dude. What did you think when Piper tossed a blanket over your head.
Doberman: I was mad at first but then I was thankful she didn’t whop me upside the head. 
Eric: So to thank her, you took to an officer’s leg like a chew toy? 
Doberman: I’m a fierce dog. It’s what I do.
Jess: Mama Jean, you’ve been quiet in all this. Any thoughts?
Mama Jean: I’ve said it before. God does amazing things. He brought my Piper back and  changed her life. Through pain. Healin’ won’t come without some pain.
Piper: Amen. Not that I loved the pain. But it’s t

rue. 

Luke: That it is. 

Eric: You know what else is true?

Luke & Piper: You’re not a Jedi!
Eric: Tell them, Jess. It’s your job as my sire.
Jess: This isn’t a vampire novel.
Luke: I’m so glad. I live scary every day. I don’t need anything else. 
Piper. Ain’t that the truth. But God is bigger than the scary. I’ve learned that, too. 
Jess: So what’s next for you guys? 
Piper: Wedding bells of course and a nice long caribbean vacation with no crazies coming after me.
Luke: You chased a few crazies yourself. Scared me half to death if I recall. You and your Bruce Lee moves.
Piper: Hey, someone hurt Mama Jean. No one hurts Mama Jean.
Eric: No one puts Baby in the corner either.
Jess: *snort* That’s all the time we have for today. Thanks for joining me. You can connect with Luke and Piper…and Eric who has delusions of being a Jedi, when you purchase a copy of Fatal Reunion. e book or paperback. And Eric’s story, Protective Duty, can be preordered on Amazon. 
Purchase Fatal Reunion:

Preorder Protective Duty:
Amazon

Do you have a question for one of the characters? Or moi? 


Catch me over at Susan Tuttle’s blog Steps. I’m sharing a devotion. CLICK HERE.

And join me and 5 other Love Inspired Authors January 7th from 7-9 CST on Facebook as we celebrate our releases by giving away FREE books and prizes! 

Win 1 of 5 Advance Copies of Fatal Reunion

Guess what? Tis’ the season and I’m feeling merry! So merry that I’m giving away FIVE advance paperback copies of my debut novel, Fatal Reunion on Goodreads! All you have to do is click the “enter giveaway” button for a chance to win. U.S. only. *see giveaway details for more information.

The giveaway is going on today through Wednesday, December 30th! Share the love and tell your friends! 
Merry (early) Christmas, ya’ll.

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fatal Reunion by Jessica R. Patch

Fatal Reunion

by Jessica R. Patch

Giveaway ends December 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

ONE FREE ADVANCED COPY OF FATAL REUNION!

It’s December 1st and I’m in the Christmas spirit. So I’m giving away 1 advanced paperback copy of my novel, Fatal Reunion, which releases in January! 

All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is comment.

*U.S. residents only
*giveaway ends at 12:00 p.m. (CST) Thursday, December 3rd. 

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

I SOLD A BOOK! The story with a little help from Miley Cyrus

Sometimes songs help
tell a story.

Today, “The Climb” by
Miley Cyrus is going to help me. Just like Kutless helped me tell one in 2011. READ IT HERE!
I can almost see it.
That dream I’m dreaming…
I wrote my first book in
August 2008. I had no idea where it was going to go, but I felt compelled to
write. I gave that manuscript to my mom that Christmas. She cried, but not
because it sucked. Though, I think it might have.
I kept writing. One story.
Another. Another.
I met and pitched to my
dream agent in Feb. 2011. She offered me representation in September of 2011.
She submitted my book
(not my first but 12th) in November 2011. I thought in about a month
or two I’d have a contract, after all this was a God-given dream (insert maniacal
laughter here). I kept working. Revising. We kept pitching. Rejections came.
And came. And came.
There’s a voice inside my head saying
You’ll never reach it
Every step I’m takin’
Every move I make
Feels lost with no direction,
My faith is shakin’
But I, I gotta keep tryin’
Gotta keep my head held high
But I couldn’t quit. Because
no matter how shaken I felt. No matter how discouraged, how frustrated, how
physically painful it was, I couldn’t deny this was what I was born to do. This
is part of who I am.
Twelve manuscripts
turned into twenty.
I met amazing people.
Authors. Unpublished writers. Industry professionals. They sowed into my life.
They taught me. They corrected me. Friendships were bonded. Some of my best
friends live states away and yet a day doesn’t go by that we don’t text or talk on
the phone. A prayer team, I call the Triple Ps formed. These women pray for me
with such intensity and passion, I can honestly feel it when I sit down to
write.
I’ve learned what true
patience, endurance, and perseverance mean. I’ve had years to hone my craft
(though I haven’t “arrived” I’m always growing and learning). I’ve had years to
discover areas where my pride is Nebuchadnezzar kind of scary. I’ve had years
to nail it to the cross. I do it daily. I’ve had years to learn how to fight fear
with the Truth of God’s word. To battle doubt and confusion.

New stories bring new
obstacles and struggles. It’s a slow climb. It’s a lesson in waiting, in a
culture where we don’t have to wait for anything. It’s a stretch where I’ve
learned balance. Balancing being a wife, mom, ministry leader, friend,
daughter. I asked, “Why so long? When, Lord? I’m doing everything you’ve asked
me to do! How much longer? I’m hanging on but…”
And I’ve cried. I’ve
been exhausted physically, emotionally, spiritually. Worn slap out and feeling
too tired to press on. Too tired to write something new. Too tired to revise what
I already have. Too tired for one more blog post. Too tired for one more
rejection. Too tired for one more person asking me when I was going to get published.
Too tired to roll my eyes when someone mentioned writing was easy. Just type up
a story and slap it on Amazon. Too tired to slap them for saying that. Too.
Too. Too. Tired. I’ve lost the fight.

But God.
Always: But God. He
never failed me. Never let me down. He presented amazing opportunities out of
the blue, right when I needed the encouragement. Every step of the way. He’s
been with me. For me. Beside me. He’s gone before me. And He’s pushed me from
behind…straight up the mountain. Not the mountain of publishing per se, but the
mountain of self-discovery. The mountain where I’m pruned. Grown. Matured.
Developed.
 There’s always gonna
be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb
And then halfway up the
mountain, God gave me a new vision. A new direction. One I hadn’t jumped on
before. But I obeyed. Because if I’ve learned anything in 7 years, it’s trust and
obey. I wrote one more book. And you know what? I had it in me to do. Because in my weakness, He is strong. And His grace is sufficient for me.
Price of Betrayal was
born. I sent the proposal to my agent on February 27th, 2014. On
March 19th, the editor requested the full manuscript.
On March 26th,
my agent sent it to her.
And guess what? I
waited.
And waited.
And waited.
I wrote two more books
for this line while waiting in 2014.
On October 10th,
2014, the editor sent back a request for revisions. So I went to work. Again.
We sent those revisions back on November 3rd, 2014.
And guess what? We
waited. I waited. I revised. I put out a free Christmas novella to subscribers.
I decided to create a series of novellas. I shopped for presents. I checked my
email like a freak of nature.
On January 29, 2015, I
got THE CALL. My amazing, wonderful, encouraging agent sat on the other end of
the phone while I hit my knees sobbing. A week after that I had the chance to
talk with my editor from Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense. She’s super nice and
fun to talk to. And her revision requests were insightful and spot-on.
Price of Betrayal
(tentative title) will hit shelves in early 2016. Yeah, another year of waiting
while I’m working. But I’ve learned waiting is worth it.
New struggles will come.
New challenges. More mountains to climb. To make move.
The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down, but
No I’m not breaking

I may not know it, but
These are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep goin’,
And I, I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on, ’cause
Maybe you’re trying to
make a mountain move. Take the steps. You move. And God will move the mountain.
Keep on movin’
Keep climbin’
Keep the faith baby
It’s all about, it’s all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith…
Never ever stop
dreaming. Never ever give up. Keep reaching. Keep climbing. Keep stepping.
Climb tired. Climb when it hurts. Climb when you feel rejected. Climb when you’re
discouraged. Climb when you can’t see. Climb through the tears. Climb when you
want to quit.
Push on. Press in. Pray
forward.
When you reach the summit,
you’ll look back and see God’s fingerprints all over the journey. 

It’s not
about fast. It’s about faith.

If God is in it, you can’t
lose.
Thank you to everyone
who has stuck by me and encouraged me. It ain’t over yet! And listen to the song. You’ll be glad you did. 

What are you dreaming for?