Good Mourning: Craziness All in One Morning

In My thoughts, Uncategorized on December 24, 2008 at 5:01 pm

This morning I awoke at 9:30am to the sounds of a woman being beaten and attacked. My neighbor (my bedroom wall is connected to one of her rooms) was yelling at the top of her lungs while sobbing, “Get off me! Get off me! Stop!” I must’ve heard the words 20 times before I woke up fully and realized it was real.

Today is Christmas Eve.

I began to think: What could anyone possibly be so angry about on such a joyful day like today? What triggered this man? Is this the first time he’s hurt her? Why do things like this happen anyway? What should I do to help her?

I got up with the intention of calling the police. When I got to my living room, I heard a woman outside my door on the phone with 911 explaining, “he’s beating her face. He’s standing over her…no, they’re inside!”  Knowing that the proper authorities were being notified, I did the only other thing I knew to do. I prayed.

It was one of those desperate prayers when you really don’t know what to pray other then “Lord! Please help!”

I read the book, The Shack and it mentions how things we consider “bad” often aren’t necessarily bad, but will rather work out for the greater good of humanity at some point down the line. I know the reasons why this had to happen are layered deeper then I can trace, but I’m pretty sure it starts somewhere way back in Genesis.

After I prayed, the police had arrived and I realized for the first time in a while, I was actually still while talking to God. “Man,” I thought, “it’s been a minute since I just sat & talked to you!”

Anthony Evans has a song that I love called “I Choose Now.” I think I may have blogged about it once before, but the lyrics still sing my heart’s song.

I don’t want tragedy to be the only thing that leads me to Your throne.
With every moment of my life
pain or joy
I will cry, you are God alone
You’ve given me the joys to kneel and walk away,
I struggled with surrender long enough to say
I choose now,
to be humbled by your presence
I choose now,
to fall on my face
cause one day, every knee will bow
but Jesus, I choose Now

How many of us say that God is #1 in our lives? Or that everything we are and do is because of God? Or how about this one! God is my #1 priority in life! Really?

So, what does that all mean? What is the quantifiable action that translates the validity of this statement for an individual?

Many say, “well if I wake up and first thing every morning spend 30mins-1hr with God in quiet time, I’m making him a priority.” Is that really true?

A priority is that of greatest importance. I believe that priorities are not determined by the order in which things are done. Making God a priority means making him MOST important throughout the ENTIRE day, not just for a portion of the day.

So how is this done?

God is always with us, it’s just a matter of whether we decide to include him or tune him out. We tune him out all the time. Listening to certain songs, watching television, gossiping, being angry or frustrated…the list goes on.

Now, I’m not saying don’t watch television and don’t listen to secular music. I do both, but I am saying that we have to have a greater consciousness when it comes to the things of God. He’s in our minds 24/7, literally, he’s there! Even when we’re sleeping! So making God a priority could simply be listening to the things in your mind for once.

Usually he’s saying the stuff we resist or try to ignore like, “You see that homeless man on that corner? Run to subway and take him a sandwich.” Or he’s notorious for “Ask so-and-so if they would like to have a relationship with me?” Or how about “Call someone you haven’t talked to in years because of something they did to you and apologize to them even though you weren’t in the wrong.”

Here’s an excerpt from God is Closer Than You Think by John Ortberg, a book I HIGHLY recommend you read or listen to (audiobook) as I did:

The “Everywhereness” of God

God is closer than we think. He is never farther than a prayer away. All it takes is the barest effort, the lift of a finger. Every moment—this moment right now, as you read these words—is the “one timeless moment” of divine endowment, of life with God.

The Scriptures are full of what might be called the everywhereness of God’s speaking. “The heavens are telling the glory of God; . . . day to day pours forth speech.”

He talks through burning bushes and braying donkeys; he sends messages through storms and rainbows and earthquakes and dreams, he whispers in a still small voice. He speaks (in the words of Garrison Keillor) in “ordinary things like cooking and small talk, through storytelling, making love, fishing, tending animals and sweet corn and flowers, through sports, music, and books, raising kids—all the places where the gravy soaks in and grace shines through.”

I’m not sure what happened with my neighbor, but I do know no one was arrested so all I can do is hope and pray that all will turn out better eventually.

I am thankful that at the least God used this unfortunate situation to help shift my perspectives on a lot of things. Some things that I was staying up all night working on are no longer as important as they seemed last night.

It’s time to re-shift my focus & what better day then today? God is ALWAYS present. Lets try today to talk to Him and tune in a little more then usual.



Jennifer Hudson’s Mother, Brother Found Shot to Death in Chicago

In In the News on October 24, 2008 at 10:36 pm


CHICAGO – It has been reported that the mother and brother of actress and former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson have been found dead in a home on the city’s South Side.  The station’s website says a family member has confirmed the news, but other details were not immediately available.

The victims were found unresponsive at the home in the 7000 block of South Yale Avenue around 3 p.m., police told myfoxchicago.com.  The Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed that the bodies of a man and woman were found, but their identities were not immediately released. 

Police tape blocks access to the large, white house, where a crowd has gathered outside.

Public listings show a Jennifer Hudson and Darnell Donerson at the address. Hudson, the Oscar-winning actress and singer, grew up in Chicago and her mother’s name is Darnell Donerson.

Jennifer Hudson was an American Idol contestant in 2004, and later went on to star in films including Dreamgirls and Sex and the City the Movie. 

Singer must pay child support

In In the News on October 17, 2008 at 6:45 pm

October 10, 2008

Judge enters default order against West Bloomfield gospel artist J. Moss in Ga. woman’s paternity lawsuit.

Mike Martindale / The Detroit News

PONTIAC — An Oakland Circuit Court judge has signed a default judgment in a paternity case against gospel recording artist J. Moss, ordering him to pay child support to a Georgia woman.

J. Moss, whose real name is James L. Moss Sr. and lives in West Bloomfield Township, was named in a paternity lawsuit filed in June by Lakisha Hughes, 28, of Douglasville, Ga., concerning her son, Christion, born March 15. A court-ordered DNA test subsequently determined the 36-year-old Moss is the boy’s father with “99.9 percent” accuracy, according to the court file.

“I really don’t wish to discuss this — it’s a difficult situation involving children, two families and also careers,” said Hughes on Thursday.

Moss could not be reached for comment at his home or recording studio, PAJAM Music in Oak Park.

When Moss failed to respond to court filings, Oakland Circuit Judge Cheryl Matthews signed a judgment Monday prepared by the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office requiring Moss to pay $1,028 a month support until the boy turns 18 years old.

Court documents reveal Hughes is unemployed, has a teenage daughter and is divorced. Moss is listed as married and has two other children with his wife. Court filings indicate Moss admitted to Hughes as being the father of her son and even sent her text messages regarding her pregnancy and the child — and “I still have them,” she noted in one filing.

Hughes and Moss never lived together, she told the court.

Hughes also said Moss offered to pay abortion expenses but never provided any of the medical care. He never visited the child, but had given her “a total of $450 for Christion,” she wrote.

Moss records and produces recordings under PAJAM Music. Hughes estimated in the court filing his gross monthly earnings at $50,000.

Moss is the son of gospel star Bill Moss Sr. and grew up on tours with his father’s group, Bill Moss and the Celestials, and a cousin’s group, The Clark Sisters. Moss, who grew up in Detroit and attended Michigan State University for two years, is a tenor who plays keyboards and both writes and produces music with his production group PAJAM.

Moss has recorded several albums, including “The J. Moss Project” and was a co-writer and/or producer for others including Karen Clark-Sheard, Hezekiah Walker, N’SYNC, Michelle Williams, Trin-i-tee 5:7, Dru Hill and Boyz II Men. He has been nominated for a Grammy several times.