Today marks the 5th anniversary of God miraculously saving my life. I wonder if some people are tired of hearing me talk about it. I wonder if they wish I'd just shut up and "move on." But when you almost die and live to tell the story, then that's what you do: you live and tell the story. So, I am here to tell my story once again. This time though, I'm sharing the background that still amazes me to this day.
Three and a half years prior to "the incident," I wrote the following post on Facebook on January 25, 2012 : "This morning as I meditated on grace, and all that grace is, the spirit of the Lord whispered to me, 'Every breath you take is grace'."
About a year before "the incident" my pastor, Bishop Isadore Grant, Jr., preached a sermon on the topic "God's Preceding Word." He spoke about how our tests and trials are sometimes preceded by a prophetic word from God of warning, direction, faith, comfort, or instruction. Often, we don't realize at the time why the particular word is being given, but as circumstances begin to unfold, it becomes clear why. I never forgot that message.
Fast forward to Mother's Day Weekend 2015. On Saturday May 9th, I was invited to serve as the guest speaker at a Pre-Mother's Day Luncheon at the Ambassador Seed of Love Church in Philadelphia. The theme was "Still Standing, Still Strong: I Don't Look Like What I've Been Through." I shared what the Lord had given me to share on the topic and we were blessed. On the next day, Sunday, May 10th, my daughter Angella took me to a Mother's Day Concert at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA. That night was the first time I heard the group Anthony Brown & Group TherAPy (they capitalize AP as a way to remember their previous name, Answered Prayers). I was so moved by the lyrics in the songs they sang - Testimony and Worth - that I immediately purchased and downloaded both songs. For the next few days, I listened to those two songs over and over and over again.
Four days later on Thursday May 14th, at approximately 5:45 pm I suddenly began experiencing shortness of breath. For the next 50 minutes, as I struggled to breath, I prayed, cried, sipped cold water, took my hair down, and loosened my clothes, but it was still a struggle to breathe. Finally at 6:35 pm I called my brother to pick me up from work (yes, I was still at work) and take me to the hospital. As soon as we arrived at the ER, I was given oxygen, an EKG, and several tests. At first they thought I'd had a mild heart attack because there was damage to the right side of my heart. But it was later confirmed that I was suffering from acute Bilateral Pulmonary Embolisms or, multiple blood clots in both lungs. Later that night I was admitted to a room on the Cardiac floor of Jefferson Hospital, connected to machines that beeped all night and specialists who visited all day. I stayed there for 5 days and 5 nights while my body was nursed back to health.
When I think about those 50 minutes from 5:45 pm to 6:35 pm when I did everything but call for help, tears well up in my eyes. I was told by the cardiologist that "you shouldn’t be here". That usually a patient like me "wouldn’t have made it". That I was "pretty lucky". But rather than luck, I like to call it my ‘50 Minutes of Grace.’ During those 50 minutes, even though I was anxious and afraid, I never stopped praying. Even though I didn't realize it at the time, God's preceding word had already answered my prayers ("Before they call, I will answer" Isaiah 65:24).
His word had already gone out - God's preceding word - through the words the Lord whispered to me two years prior; through the theme I was asked to speak on; and through the lyrics of the two songs that had ministered to that whole week. Yes, God's word had gone out of His mouth - just like my pastor preached and just like the scripture says - His word "did not return to Him void but accomplished the purpose that He intended" (Isaiah 55:11). And three years later to the day that word is still true. Every breath I take is Grace. I am Still Standing. I am Still Strong. I don't look like what I've been through. He thought I was Worth saving. And I gotta, I gotta, I gotta Testimony.
God has led me share my testimony in spoken word, here on this blog, and in testimonies in church.
Today, He has blessed me to share this testimony, along with five others, in my newly released book titled "Fifty Minutes of Grace And Other Stories of God’s Undeserved
Poetricia Publishing © 2020
Click HERE to purchase. Thank you for reading my blog. Don’t forget to leave a comment.
For information about Blood Clots click HERE
For information about my church click HERE
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For information about The Ambassador Seed of Love Church click HERE
As the Sunday school classes made their presentations this year, like many adults who were in attendance, I sat back smiling and taking it all in. Once I was even moved to tears. Our theme this year was WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM from Matthew 2:1-12. After the fourth or fifth presentation, I noticed a reoccurring theme developing. Sort of theme within the theme. It was WORSHIP. After seeing “His star” - the proof that the King of the Jews had been born, wise men followed it from the East all the way to Jerusalem, with one intention only: to worship Him.
That revelation made me look up other events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ in the scriptures. I was looking for more instances of worship, and I found them. Mary’s song of worship after receiving the prophecy of His birth (Luke 1:46-55); the sounds of worship by the multitude of angels as they announced His birth (Luke 2:13-14); and the shepherd’s acts of worship after witnessing and testifying about His birth (Luke 2:20).
All that happened before the wise men began following the star. But after Jesus was born, the scriptures said they saw His star, followed it to Jerusalem, and after a meeting with King Herod, they continued following the star until rested over the place where Jesus was. Historians say that by that time, Jesus was about two years old and scriptures bear proof of this in Matthew 2:11, referring to Jesus as a young child, not a baby, and the location where they were as a house and not a manger.
More often than not, the portrayal of the wise men is usually centered around the gifts they presented to Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And much has been written about the spiritual purpose behind each gift: gold - a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) - a symbol of deity, and myrrh (an embalming oil) - a symbol of death.
Whenever they are portrayed in images of art, film, cards, etc. the wise men are either on camels traveling, or standing in a nativity scene each holding a gift in his hands. Very rare is the image of wise men bowed in worship, and in the few instances that they are, only one is bowed. The other two are always standing, and again, they’re holding the gifts in their hands. Some would say that their giving was an expression of worship, but take another look at the scriptures.
When they arrived in Jerusalem and stood before King Herod, they said, “We have come to worship Him” and when arrived at the house where Jesus was, “When they saw the young child, they fell down and worshipped Him”. The next verse begins, “Then after opening their treasure chests, they presented to Him gifts”.
Although they brought precious, costly, gifts with them to give the King, their first thought was to present themselves before the King and worship Him. They followed the star from the East, through Jerusalem, all the way to Bethlehem for one purpose: to worship Him. Not to receive a blessing. Not for fortune or fame. Not for healing, long life, or wisdom, or favor. But just to worship Him.
A subtle reminder to us that regardless of what gifts we have to offer Jesus, our primary reason for coming into His presence should be to worship Him.
I started my Poetricia Publishing 10 years ago today, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just purchased a new car and had decided this time I wanted a personalized license plate. I can still see myself writing down variations of the word poet: Poet4Him, HisPoet, HisPen, Poetess, Poetress. Then I wrote my name next to the word poet and there it was: POETRICIA. How perfect. But one too many characters for a personalized license plate in the state of New Jersey. So, I put away the scraps of paper and life went on. That was April of 2006.
A few years later, in 2009, I had decided I was ready to publish my first book of poetry (A Time to Write). Prior to that decision, I’d done a lot of research on self publishing. When I was in the early stages of preparing my manuscript, I remembered reading that one step in self publishing included choosing a business name for your publishing company. Almost immediately POETRICIA came back to mind Poetricia Publishing was born.
Initially Poetricia Publishing would be the vehicle through which I would publish all the manuscripts I had been sitting on for the past 20 years. In my excitement I didn’t realize that my goal was “all about me”.
As time went on, my vision refocused and “specializing in publishing services for the Christian minded poet” became my focus. My goal became assisting other Christian poets in creating print ready manuscripts of inspirational poetry.
My journey sort of reminds me of Joseph and his dreams. In Genesis 37:5-11 we read of Joseph’s divine dreams. In the first dream he and his brothers were out in the field, tying up bundles of wheat when his bundle stood up and his brother’s bundles gathered around and bowed down to it. In the second dream the sun, moon and stars bowed down to him. Based on his father’s words we know that symbolically the bundles of wheat and the stars represented his brothers and the sun and moon represented his mother and father. Joseph’s dreams of greatness seemed to be all about him. He was 17 years old.
Many years later – after he was betrayed, falsely accused, imprisoned, set free, and had forgiven his brothers – those two dreams were fulfilled, and Joseph was promoted second in command over all the land of Egypt. He said to his brothers, “you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:20). Joseph realized it was not all about him. I did too.
Today my vision is even sharper. While a few unpublished manuscripts of my own remain on my to-do list, working as a freelance editor, writing coach, and publishing consultant has brought me such joy. My company’s tagline sums it up like this: “I’ve written my vision. Let me help you write yours.”
Life lessons sometimes come in the most unexpected ways.
One morning my left contact lens split in half as soon as I put it in my eye. I got the larger piece out, but the smaller piece floated under my eye lid, instigating a rather peculiar game of hide and seek. After praying off a major panic attack, I closed my eyes and focused on slowing rolling them around and around (the fact that I've mastered eye rolling over the years was a major help – LOL). As I continued rolling my eyes up, down, and sideways, I could see flashes of light outside my lids. Finally, I felt the plastic particle float down to the corner of my eye. When I opened my eyes, it came out with my tears.
Moral of the story: When something rips apart in your life and you’ve tried all you can to get the unwanted pieces out, panic won’t help, but praying, crying and rolling your eyes upward will. Sooner or later those unwanted things will wash out with your tears.
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.”
hI missed the Ardmore years. I missed Darby years. But I had heard Bishop Todd preach the gospel many times. That was because since May of 2006 I worked for WTMR 800 AM and at one time I produced his broadcast during my Saturday afternoon shift. I knew him to be a man of authority in the kingdom of God with a dynamic anointing and a down to earth personality. I remember once when he visited the station he told me about his daughter who led the drama ministry. Another time he spoke about an Azusa Street prophecy that was coming to pass in the kingdom, and another time about the importance of true praise and worship. Wherever he went, Bishop Todd was a true man of God.
In 2011 I began to seek the Lord in earnest for a new place of worship. Not going into details but, my heart was hurting, my spirit was empty, and I had grown tired of driving on spiritual fumes. The word God gave me during that year of seeking Him was "Go to a land I will show you" (Gen. 12:1). In the beginning I had a peace about it because I knew those were the same words He spoke to Abram, so even though I didn't know where I would end up, I knew that God would show me. And so my journey began.
The very first church I visited was Christ Haven. It was on a Sunday morning in mid-August of that year and Assistant Pastor Elder Donald Fraser’s message was “The Bridegroom is Coming.” After that I visited a church in Philadelphia, a church in Camden N.J., and one in Magnolia N.J. My stay ranged from one visit to three months. Then I began to grow weary, so I sought the Lord again in desperation. He answered with, "Go back to the first church." That first church was Christ Haven!
When I walked back into Christ Haven for the second time, I had missed Sunday School and as I entered I saw Bishop Todd along with others assembling to march in. He said "Oh, it's Sister Pat from WTMR, Praise the Lord!" and I said "Praise the Lord Bishop Todd I've been looking for a home church and the Lord led me here." He kinda had that "Okaaaaayyyy" look on his face because I blurted that out (I have a habit of doing that when I'm excited) and they were about to march in. Before I entered the sanctuary I went in to the ladies room for a once over. As I entered I heard someone singing and noticed a beautiful silver-haired mother of Zion. She smiled and said “Praise the Lord, welcome and thank you for coming.” I was so surprised that she knew I was a visitor. She was so sweet and friendly. I found out later on during the announcements that she was none other than Mother Todd!
Once I started attending regularly, joined and began serving I came to know that Bishop Todd also had a heart for souls, a sense of humor, was a great teacher as well as preacher, and possessed the standard and integrity we all look for and deserve in a pastor who has watch for our souls. I didn't think I'd ever find that again, but God.
I'm typing this through my tears as I remember the times I sat in his Sunday school class literally tearing up because his teaching had reminded me so much of my own father in the gospel. I didn't think I'd ever find that again, but God.
I remember the Sunday he had a word of correction for me. You see, he was aware of an incident that had happened the week before that I hadn't handled very well. So during the week I was praying about it and before the end of the week I heard from the Lord how I should handle things so that type of thing should ever happen again. Well, after Sunday School that next Sunday Bishop says "Sister Middleton I want to have a quick word with you. In the future........" And he proceeded to say exactly what the Lord had spoken to me! I started smiling and blurted out "Bishop that's exactly what the Lord said to me!!" He started smiling too and then we both said something like "Well praise the Lord" and "Well look at God" and started laughing. I never thought I'd find that again in a pastor, but God.
I remember the time he approved me teaching VBS when I was still so new. The many times he encouraged me about my writing and my poetry. He trusted the gifts God has given me to minister and that has meant so much to me. I will never forget the time he went out of his way to let me know that he knew sometimes it was a struggle for me to be there because of physical limitations and that he appreciated it.
And so while he wasn't my pastor for very long, my heart is broken and my spirit is low. I mean, I know that in that great gettin' up morning I will see him again, but I will miss Bishop Todd. The long and short of it is that I prayed and God's answer was Christ Haven. My soul needed a place to heal, to take root again and to continue to grow and God led me to Christ Haven. Knowing all that would transpire and all that is yet to come, God led me here and I shall not be moved. I will continue to work and learn and grow and support my Christ Haven family.
#CHSTRONG #wepreachchrist #makeHispraiseglorious
Photo Credit Christ Haven Church, Philadelphia PA
QUESTIONS FROM A YOUNG WRITER
An Interview with Patricia Middleton by Nathan Aponte, 2012
1. What is your definition of success and what determines whether or not a person has achieved that level of success?
"The meaning of success for me has changed over the years. When I was younger, success meant a high paying career, no financial woes, receiving love beyond measure, and my name in lights. Today success means setting and accomplishing personal goals, having a reasonable portion of health, giving love beyond measure, and most importantly walking in the purpose for which I was created."
2. What influenced you to become a writer, and who are your current influences?
"I first began writing poetry at the age of fourteen, the same age I began keeping a daily diary/journal. I grew up in very tumultuous household and reading and writing poetry became an escape for me. It was a safe place where I could be calm, confident and comforted. My greatest influence then was Nikki Giovanni. As I grew older and my faith became the central focus of my life and my writing, my influences changed to Helen Steiner Rice, James Weldon Johnson, and the Holy Scriptures."
3. Are there any other forms of writing that you enjoy doing, such as journalism or technical writing?
"In addition to poetry, I write song lyrics, workshops on biblical principles and inspirational messages. I also really enjoy editing and proofreading for other writers. Journaling also continues to be something that I enjoy, although now instead of daily journals written in a 'Dear Diary' fashion, I have several different on-going 'theme-based' journals."
4. What was your background before you became a published author?
"I spent over twenty years working for a Verizon and five years working as an administrative assistant for a non-profit agency that mentored children of prisoners. Since 2007, I've been working as a Traffic Manager and Morning Host of WTMR 800 AM, a local Christian Radio Station in Camden N.J."
5. What was the determining factor that led you to the decision to leave corporate America, start your own business, and subsequently pursue the true American Dream of the Free Enterprise System?
"My department was declared surplus, and we were let go. When I left, I had large and lofty dreams of become an overnight success in the literary world. That fantasy was quickly challenged as I discovered just how much work goes into pursuing your dreams. Re-entry into the work force continues to challenge just how much time and energy can be poured into my small publishing company, but I have learned that faith and patience are my strongest weapons in continuing to pursue and accomplish my dreams."
6. What obstacles and challenges have you had to overcome to get to the level of success you are at now, and do you view your adversity as something that pulled you down or something that helped you and made you stronger in the end?
"If you had asked me this question ten years ago, I would have said being a struggling single parent, being a woman, being African American, maybe even being a Christian. But now I know that my greatest obstacle and my largest challenge is one word, and that word is fear. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, even fear of success. Realizing that my greatest adversary wasn't a particular set of circumstances, but rather something from within was half the battle. Discovering what weapon to use was the other half. Faith became that weapon. Not only the set of beliefs that make up my faith, but faith itself: faith in God, faith in myself, faith in my dreams, faith in my writing."
7. What are your ultimate goals in life not, just in regards to your poetry, but general life goals as well?
"My main goals in life will always be intertwined in writing. To use my gifts and talents to express myself, to share my life experiences, to portray the love of God, and to encourage mankind."
8. How did you get published and who is your publisher?
"Poetricia Publishing: It's who I am and what I do. I decided long ago that I would self publish. Back then I didn't know what that really meant. It has been an exciting, educational, encouraging, and expensive journey, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
9. What advice can you give to other aspiring writers/entrepreneurs that wish to reach your level of success and accomplishments but have limited resources?
"I would say that as you discover, develop, and display your natural gifts, talents, and abilities never forget that success takes time. Read the autobiographies of those you most admire. You will see that for many, that is the common denominator. I'll say it again: success takes time. I am no where near where I desire to be in terms of success.
"Also I would add the following: learn how to rid yourself (and your life) of hatred, anger, jealously, greed, unforgiveness and low self-esteem. Carrying these poisons (and being closely associated with others who carry them) will delay your progress and stifle your gift. If you think this cannot be done, think again. It can. Trust me, I know."
Camden Welcomes in the Spring With New Author Patricia Middleton
Saturday March 20, 2010 was a beautiful day. The sky was bright and sunny and the temperature reached 72 degrees in the Camden / Philadelphia area. It was the first day of a very welcome Spring after a winter of record breaking snow storms. Never has the first day of a new season been more welcome. But March 20th was also the first day of a new season for local poet Patricia Middleton. It was the day she chose for the book release of her first collection of poetry, A Time To Write.
"I chose the date before the venue was even secured, something unheard of in the rules of event planning. But that prior November as I looked over the calendar for the coming year I realized that the first day of Spring was on a Saturday. That's when I knew March 20th would be the day. It fit perfectly with the subtitle of my book, "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven" (From Ecclesiastes 3:1). I felt that nudging in my spirit that we sometimes feel when God is trying to tell us something. So I set the date and that was that."
Patricia felt that same nudging a few years before when she first visited the Walt Whitman Arts Center in Camden, the location where she held her book release celebration. A church member had invited her to an open mic night at “The Walt” in downtown Camden.
"It was on a week night in early 2007 and the streets were deserted. The complete opposite of Center City Philadelphia, where I'm from. There wasn't much traffic and I didn't see any people walking around. But when I entered the building and walked around to take my seat I felt something. As the various spoken word artists came out on stage to perform, I started looking around at the stage, the walking area, the seating, the balcony and said to myself 'I'm going to have something here one day." Later on that year I briefly attended poetry group meetings at “The Walt” and became more familiar with the building and the area. I was even more sure that some day I would sponsor something there that had to do with poetry."
That was three years ago, but the seed was planted and that feeling became a reality on March 20, 2010. Patricia first called the Walt Whitman Arts Center in early December of 2009. As she suspected, the date was available, and she had no problems reserving the first floor for her book signing. The unorthodox method paid off. She had already set the date, but the venue was available just like she knew it would be.
"Anyone who really knows me knows I'm very particular about dates and I truly believe that there's something to be said for things that are “meant to be”. Nothing can change something that’s meant to be, and I believe those things are the divine will of God, things that God himself ordained and they cannot be altered or destroyed. For me, having the book signing on March 20th was one of those things. I'm very thankful to Pattricia, Mildred and the entire staff at the Walt Whitman Arts Center. They were all pleasant to work with and it was a great experience all the way around."
The day went on without a hitch. There were bouquets of dried flowers, touches of bright green here and there, and warm welcoming smiles everywhere. Friendly hostesses greeted you when you arrived and pointed you around the room. First stop, the book sales area, where along with your book purchase you received a goodie bag. Next the author's table where your book was personally signed and if you liked, you could also have your picture taken with Patricia. The last table was the snack table, everyone's favorite. There, assorted italian cookies, chilled bottles of spring water and a variety of soda was yours for the asking. Once you visited each table, you were invited to settle in the auditorium with your copy of A Time To Write until Patricia's next reading. Some chose to read the book, others watched the ongoing slide show presentation, and some listen to the live music and guest poet performances until Patricia made her way to the stage.
"There's a saying "It takes a village". Well, my family helped tremendously with this event. After listening to me pour out my heart about my dreams for years and years (and years), they didn't stop there. They manned the tables, took pictures, offered advice. They gave there time, talents, and money. My son couldn't be there because he was healing from recent surgery, but when we went to see him afterwards, there he was in his hospital bed, bragging about his mother who just wrote a book to all the nurses who came in his room. My daughter, who's also my business manager, put the day together with grace, style and beauty. Her excellent overseeing of this project made it the success it was. It was her suggestion that we do the day in "rounds" so that no one would have to wait too long for a reading. So there were three "rounds" of selling, signing and reading, so our guests could come in, get their book, have it signed, hear a reading, and then get back to their Saturday errands and appointments. By this being a family friendly occasion and such a gorgeous day weather wise, several guests purchased their books and went outside to sit on the benches of the spacious green lawns of the Walt Whitman Center and read their newly signed copy of A TIME TO WRITE."
Patricia is very comfortable on stage standing behind the microphone, expressing herself through poetry. Currently she works in radio, and is behind the mic on a daily basis. Her station, WTMR 800 AM (Where the Master Reigns) serves the Camden / Philadelphia area. She’s the creator and host of an on air poetry radio show called Poetic Praise where weekly she interviews authors of inspirational poetry and occasionally reads her own poetry as well. And she has a lot of material to choose from. She's been writing since she was 14 years old, and performing poetry in front of audiences even longer than that.
"The church I grew up in, Greater Refuge Church of Christ in North Philadelphia, had an awesome format for Sunday School. Each Sunday after we learned our lessons, all the classes would come back together and each class would have to go up to the front of the church, in front of all the other classes, and one by one, each student had to stand up straight, speak in the microphone and say something about the lesson. For some of us, that was the beginning of our lessons in public speaking. Then, every Easter and Christmas, we were given holiday 'pieces' to memorize and recite during those special holiday services. My Sunday School teacher, Sister Ellen Pittman, always gave me the longest poems to memorize. That was the beginning."
Patricia’s voice is both soothing and powerful as she moves across the stage reading selected poems during her book signing. Each "round" of reading from her book, she shared personal testimonies and "the story behind THE RHYME" of the poems she selected. One highlight for her was actually reading the wedding tributes in chapter 4 of her book to two couples in the audience both married more than fifty years.
"It's always an honor to be asked to write someone's wedding poem. Whether I know the couple or not, I always ask them to tell me their story. How they met, how God bought them together, how they knew they were God's choice for one another. And then I pray. I ask God to give me the words, and He always does. I've written over a dozen wedding poems, but the two written for couples married over fifty years are my favorites, especially in this day and age. They are a living testimony that it is possible to have that lasting union called holy matrimony, and they are an example to those of us who've never been married to wait for God to bring you someone, don't try to do it on your own. I really enjoyed reading their poems to them. It was truly an honor."
Many guests compliment Patricia on the design of the book, the color choice and the cover in particular. They are surprised and impressed that she is both author and publisher. Many didn’t realize that she’s been an entrepreneur since 2002. Back then she formed her company, I WRITE THE which consisted of three tiers were Inspirational Poetry, Motivational Workshops, and Administrative Consulting. There were plenty of opportunities with administrative consulting and workshops but Patricia wanted to pour all her energies into poetry. So, in 2009 she revamped the company, changed the name to Poetricia Publishing, and directed all of her focus on her passion: poetry. She's received many compliments on the name Poetricia, as well as many inquiries into how she came up with that name.
"There's a funny story behind that discovery. It was around May of 2008 and it was time for me to renew my New Jersey vehicle registration. I decided I'd also like to get a personalized license plate, so I began doodling with the words poem, poem and poetry. I finally settled on Poetess, but I really didn't like it that much. It sounded too much like Prophetess, and I didn't want anyone to read anything into it. I kept doodling, and I really can't remember what made me write my name down, but as soon as I did, in the midst of all the variations of poet, poetry and poem, I just took the 'a' out of my name and put the 'oe' in, and BAM! There it was: Poetricia. I love it so much, and my only regret is that I didn't discover this name earlier. But, there is a time and a season for everything. I like to say Poetricia is 'who I am and what I do', sounds corny but it's true. And you'll find everything from workshops to original poems to poetry cafe's to publishing consultations at Poetricia Publishing."
As the day came to a close, many were asking Patricia what's next. Three churches have already invited her to come to their locations for book signings and readings, and she's very excited about that. It is also her desire to see her book on the shelves of bookstores both here and abroad.
"I have always imagined walking into a bookstore and seeing my own books on the shelf. For me that would be another dream come true. But I have so many people to thank for this dream coming true, beginning with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without him I am nothing. But with him, I am a published author. To God be the Glory! I also want to thank my family, friends and fellow church members for their your love, support, prayers, fellowship and encouragement. I pray that God continue to bless all I put my hands to do for His Kingdom.