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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

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Today is Ash Wednesday.

For six years, I lived and worked in Southern California, within the bounds of the largest Catholic archdiocese in United States where I attended Mass and services at the parish of St. Finbar in Burbank.

Almost 5 million Catholics work, live, and worship in the Los Angeles community of 11 million people which prides itself on its embrace of multiculturalism.

Oddly enough, when I lived in So Cal, not one Ash Wednesday passed without someone pointing out that I had “something” on my forehead.

The first time it occurred, I was in a Target. The person was kind and concerned as she approached and expressed her concern.

“Excuse me, sir,” she said. “You have something on your forehead.”
“It’s Ashes,” I replied, believing she would then know what I was talking about. She didn’t. “It’s Ash Wednesday,” I continued. Still nothing. “I’m Catholic,” I added. “We put Ashes on our forehead to mark the beginning of the season called Lent.”
“Wow, that’s cool,” she smiled, then walked off.

I have to admit; though I chuckled, I was equally amazed that she didn’t know. The following year, it occurred again.

My wife and I went to have sushi after receiving ashes to meet our holy obligation of eating fish. (And yes, I’m aware that sushi is not the true intended act of penance imposed by the Church to commemorate the day.)

As we we’re leaving the restaurant, the Japanese-accented Sushi Chef called out to us.

“Thank you for coming,” he said. “Have good day.”
“You too!” my wife and I added in unison.
“Excuse me, you have something on you –,” he added, pointing to his forehead.
“Yes, thank you,” I replied. “It’s ashes. It’s Ash Wednesday.”
“Oh my goodness,” he humbly replied seemingly losing his accent. “I’m a lapsed Catholic.”

We chuckled. First at the loss of the shame-filled Sushi’s Chef’s Japanese accent; but also at the fact that it happened again!

I was equally amazed that he didn’t know.

IMG_1351The most noted case of mistaken ashes came when British Sky News reporters, on Ash Wednesday, thought the dirty mark above the brow of then Vice-President Joe Biden was also just something on his forehead.

It’s quite humorous. The reporter, another self-proclaimed lapsed Catholic, finally realizes three minutes and 10 seconds into the broadcast that Joe Biden’s something is, in fact, ashes, and humbly apologizes.

Take a look at it HERE.

In her defense, and the defense of the others, our ashes often lose their intended shape, that of a cross — especially by the end of the day.  (See below)

Though I no longer live in Los Angeles, I, oddly enough, miss those awkward Ash Wednesday incidents.

I don’t miss them because they made me laugh — even though they did.  I miss them because they revealed, to me, the true nature of the season of Lent that lives in the heart of those of goodwill.

Lent is a season of Penance, yes; but it’s also a season of Reflection.

But what exactly should we reflect on?

Well, how about we reflect on being more Holy, more Christ-like; we can do this by reflecting His loving character more.

In fact, I’d argue that the motivation behind these well-intended interactions were, for the most part, just as Christian as the act of receiving and wearing ashes.

How so?

Then let me start with this question: If Jesus was walking down the street and he saw a smudge on someone’s forehead, what would He do? What would He say?

I think that Jesus would stop, point, and say, “Excuse me, sir. You have something on your forehead.”

So, if today, if you are stopped by a well-intended non-believer or non Church-goer, simply smile and say, “No, that’s not dirt on my forehead. It’s Ashes … but thank you!”

Maybe, you could even take this opportunity to start a conversation — and possibly take the first step in introducing someone else to the Love of Christ.

IMG_1353James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, Hail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  As a writer, James has been widely featured on Bob Salter (CBS Radio), Mike Siegel, Mancow, and more.

Today, James lives in New York where he continues to teach — and write.

To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

 

Lent Fun Fact:
The Catholic practice of abstaining from meat on Friday was the reason for the creation of McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish sandwich.

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After reading a passage in the Gospel of Matthew, the pastor of my Church challenged the congregation to keep a Tithe Journal.

He suggested that if we kept a tally of all that which we donated financially to the Church, then wrote down everything we received in return during the week.

“If someone buys you a coffee, write it down,” he said. “If the parking meter ran out and you didn’t get a ticket, write it down.

“I guarantee that God will reward your giving,” he told the Collect. “In fact, if you keep a journal and you don’t get a return 10 times the amount of your giving, I will return everything you gave to the Church.”

Everyone one sat silently impressed at the Pastor’s faith in the scriptures. You can actually say that he was less-than-confident in his challenge because Matthew promises, in Chapter 13, a return of at least 30 times for some, and up to a hundredfold for others.

In Matthew 19:29, the Gospel author again repeats a hundredfold reward, as does Luke in Chapter 8 verse 8.

Though I never kept a Tithe Journal, I have kept a mindful account of my returns.

Recently, my wife and I decided to contact a electrician to check out our home’s electrical system. Though I often brag that our house is state-of-the-art, I quickly remind everyone listening that its state-of-the-art 1970’s!

The first estimate we received was north of $4,000. Though costly, we value our family’s safety. However, before moving forward, we decided to get a second bid.

At the end of a Knights of Columbus meeting, I asked some of the older gentlemen if they had the name of a reliable electrician. One quickly came to mind.

The next day, I called and spoke to the wife of the electrician who promised that her husband would call and set up an appointment when he came home from work. I didn’t expect a phone call that evening, but I did expect a call within a day or so.

After a week went by, I was surprised that I didn’t receive a call. So, after almost two weeks of waiting, I decided to try again — solely because the electrician was so highly recommended.

Again the wife answer. She recognized my name — there are not too many Dobkowskis around here or anywhere, except maybe Poland — and she sincerely apologized. Her husband called me the next day, on a Saturday, and asked if he could come over right away.

He arrived shortly and knocked firmly on our front door.

I quickly opened the door and we exchanged greetings. Afterwards, he pointed to the markings on my door. You see, every Christmas on the Epiphany, we mark our front door with chalk and pray a blessing.

Bless, + O Lord God almighty, this home, that in it there may be health, purity, the strength of victory, humility, goodness and mercy, the fulfillment of Thy law, the thanksgiving to God the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. And may this blessing remain upon this home and upon all who dwell herein. Through Christ our Lord.

“Are you Catholic?” he asked.

“I am,” I added. “In fact, I got your name from the Knights.”

After discussing our problem, I escorted the electrician to the circuit breaker box.

“This can be an easy fix or a bleep show,” he said as he pulled out his screwdriver and went to work. A few minutes later, he was done. Next he check the lights and tested the surge I was concerned about.

“Everything looks good,” he said.

“What about updating everything?” I asked, referring to the earlier estimate I received.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he concluded.

“Okay, what do I owe you?”

He calculated his time in his head, then said, “Forty dollars.”

I gladly paid him and escorted him outside. We chatted as he smoked a cigarette, then went on his way.

Forty times 100 is 4,000! That’s a’hundred fold in savings — and almost 100 fold of my weekly tithe.

We tend to overlook the little things. The penny tray on the counter of the convenience store. The loose change found in your pants pocket. The unexpected gift like when a former student of mine who stepped forward on the line at Stewart’s to purchase my morning cup of Joe.

The list goes on and on.

You many be skeptical, as was I, sitting in that pew so many years ago. So, do what I did. Stop taking just taking account of what you give and start taking account of every thing you receive — everything!

You may very well discover that it may be 10, 30, or a hundred fold of what you gave.

James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, The Christmas Save and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to All.   For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. James would like to thank Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay for contributing the image for this blog post. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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“Meet them where they are.” It’s a reference to Luke 24:13-35.

It’s often used by Christians who are more patient than I with other Christians who are not quite there yet.

“We’re all sinners” is another one.

I get it. Christians are supposed to be kind and loving. All I can say is that I try. However, that’s not to say that we’re also not supposed to be truthful when it comes to our Faith.

Let me give you a perfect example.

Almost a decade ago, my wife and I moved to Los Angeles so I could pursue a writing career. I’ve written about that pursuit several times in this blog, so I’m not going to repeat myself here. With that said, I quickly found myself swimming with the big fish.

A few months in, I was talking on the phone with Monsignor James McDonald, a Catholic priest with who I stayed in contact with most of my life. Filled with pride, I began discussing my accomplishments. As I began to describe the storyline behind the screenplay that was giving me the most accolades, a horror film titled Fortune Five, about a serial killer written in the same vein of Silence of the Lambs, Fr. McDonald quickly interrupted me.

“Jimmy … YOU’RE A WHORE!” he shouted over the phone. “You’re nothing but a whore!”

Though most people are shocked when they hear my story, I very much appreciated Fr. McDonald’s candor. After the initial smackdown, I explain, Fr. McDonald proceeded to catechize me. However, most folks can’t get over a priest seemingly being so unkind.

I am often reminded of this experience when I hear or read the discourse between Jesus and Cleopas & gang on the road to Emmaus.

After listening to the disciples, Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are….”

Much like Fr. McDonald, the Risen Lord gave them a bit of a tongue-lashing before proceeding to catechize them. He catechized them for hours.

Jesus did not just teach the disciples about Himself and His ministry, He started “with Moses and the Prophets [and] explained how the Old Testament is in the New concealed and the New Testament is in the Old revealed.

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.”

Luke 24:27

St. Augustine put it this way. “This grace hid itself under a veil in the Old Testament, but it has been revealed in the New Testament according to the most perfectly ordered dispensation of the ages, forasmuch as God knew how to dispose of all things.” [On the Spirit and the Letter. Chapter 27.]

Only after Our Lord “opened the scriptures to them” that “He took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.” Only after the disciples were catechized did they come to the table to celebrate the Eucharist.

Have you ever noticed that the first reading is always the Old Testament? It is where the New is concealed. The Gospel reading is where the Old is revealed. The readings are a road map to Emmaus, a pathway to the table of the Lord and the Supper of the Lamb.

Every Mass we journey on the road to Emmaus.

Come to the Lord prepared. Every week walk with Him. Learn from Him. Live your life like you’re on the road to Emmaus — because you really are!

Dr. Brant Pitre offers this in-depth explanation on Understanding the Sunday Readings. Watch it!

James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul,  and two children books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to All.   For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. With sincere gratitude, James would like to thank 👀 Mabel Amber, from Pixabay, for providing the image for this blog post on CorporationYou.com.

To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

 

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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

When I lived in L.A, I belonged to a Christian Men’s Fellowship Group. Weekly, we would meet and study the Word. Since most of us were in the Film Industry, in one form or another, we jokingly referred to ourselves as “The Christian Underground.” (Though, there was more truth in that name than we were willing to admit.)

Before and since, I’ve never belonged to such a rewarding group of Christian brothers — and I moved from Los Angeles over a decade ago.

Most of my brothers in this group were raised Catholic, however, at the time, only two of us practiced Catholicism as adults. Today, I believe, I’m the only member of “The Underground” who still attends Mass weekly.

Though I understand many of the reasons for their exodus — one has to go to where they believe they are being feed — nothing makes me as sad as hearing that one of the Collect has left the Church.

Bishop Fulton Sheen may have put it best when he said, “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”

Most people leave the Catholic Church because they have been poorly catechized. (Most. Not all.) Additionally, most wrongly perceive how the Catholic Church worships — including many Catholics.

We don’t solely worship with song and sermon, thought that is an part of our celebration; they’re not truly the part of our worship. We worship with sacrifice; the sacrifice of the Eucharist, to be precise — and it sometimes takes a lifetime to understand that Sacrifice.

Sure, Evangelical services are uplifting. They are filled with great music. Their pastors give moving, powerful sermons. I love Evangelical Sunday services — and that’s why I don’t go to them.

Worship of the Lord is not about us. Worship of the Risen Lord is all about Him — or at least should be.

People often say, “I don’t get anything out of a Catholic Mass.” The retort of many Catholic priests or those of us who study our Faith is usually “Well, you don’t understand what’s going on.”

And maybe that’s so, but that’s not the right response.

Father Mike Schmitz has given the best responses, here and here. In both videos, he explains that there are plenty of things to get out of Mass. However, one does not go to Mass to get, one goes to Mass to give.

On Monday, I would go with anyone to a Tent Revival. On Tuesday, invite me to hear Christian brothers and sisters witness. On Wednesday, we can share in fellowship and study the Word. Thursday: Let’s all answer the Altar Call together and get slain by the Spirit. Friday: We can all quiet our minds and experience Taizé prayer. Saturday, let’s loudly sing contemporary music together in praise. But on Sunday…

Sunday is offered to us so we can disconnect from the world and all its distractions, stand before God and His awe, and simply make a sacrifice — and give. Sunday is all about God. God is Love and Love always demands some kind of sacrifice.

Love calls us to sacrifice ourselves.

In short, if you are not personally getting anything out of your Sunday worship, you’re probably doing it right.

James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul,  and two children books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to All.   For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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The other day I came home and learned from my mom that my seven-year-old misbehaved for most of the day.

By the time I arrived home from work, my wife had already disciplined him and served up a consequence for his behavior before darting off to work. So, instead of hearing what happened from my bride, I sat him down and asked my son what happened.

After hearing his confession, I asked him what consequence he received for his actions.

“Mommy said I can’t watch T.V. tonight,” he confessed.

“Wow, you must’ve been pretty bad,” I replied.

Yes, he nodded.

Later that night, we prepared and ate dinner. After we cleared off the table, I plopped down on the couch to relax and turned on the television, forgetting all about the incident. As his big bro and I were scrolling through the selections on Prime, I noticed my seven-year-old son was pacing in the hall.

“What’s the matter?” I asked, having forgot that he was punished.

“I’m not allowed to watch T.V.” he said with a sigh, “and I don’t know what else to do.”

“Go read a book,” I sternly added, pretending to have remembered.

“Okay,” he pouted and went off to his room.

With that, I kindly asked my mom if she would mind keeping him company. She quickly agreed to read with him, impressed that he first honestly confessed and then voluntarily forfeited television without having to be reminded. I was impressed, as well.

Later, when his mom arrived home from work, I called him out of his room and praised him in front of her, for accepting his consequences. I also came clean and told him that I had forgotten that he was punished, then boasted to my wife that her reminded me.

Together, we praised him. “You are definitely on the path of becoming a strong Christian man” I added with a sense of pride, then we sent him off to bed with hugs and kisses.

Full disclosure, as a father, I don’t know what I’m doing to bring about such an amazing behavior.

The only thing I may do differently than other dads is that I constantly remind my boys that it’s my job to make sure they grow up to be strong Christian men.  I also share with them with my hope that on the day that I open my eyes in Heaven, I will find my entire family standing at my side — along with their families.

Maybe that’s the secret? Or maybe the secret is just having the love and support of a strong Christian woman as a wife?

I don’t know.  

Right now, I’ll take it — either way. 

James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul,  and two children books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to All.   For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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life-belt-498453_640 (1)

Image by Picography from Pixabay

About five years ago, I had hip-resurfacing surgery.  Though my condition was congenital, I lived a fairly active life until my mid-thirties.

I tried everything possible to heal myself, but could not.  I was nearly crippled by the time I decided to put my fate in someone else’s hands and go under the knife.

My post-surgical transformation has been nothing but miraculous; there’s really no activity I cannot do with my kids.

You can say that I have been physically reborn!

A day doesn’t go by that I’m not thankful to this man who healed me.  Today, I continue to go out of my way to talk to anyone I see on crutches or with a limp, to tell them about this miracle worker and the hospital where he practices.

It made me start to think: Isn’t this how the earlier Christians acted; those who saw Jesus perform His miracles?

Maybe that’s why they were so fearless in their praise and worship?

So, what about us?  Why are so many of us not talking to everybody about the miraculous transformation Jesus’ has had on our life?

Well, maybe you haven’t experienced a miracle in your life?

Okay…

Instead, imagine that this miracle worker just saved a life?   Maybe it’s your life? Or a life of a loved one?

What would you do FIRST?

In the initial moment, I would guess that you would be beyond grateful. Most likely, you’d be thankful to that person for the rest of your life.

I’d suspect that you wouldn’t be afraid to go around telling everybody you could about this person.  You’d most likely tell anyone who would listen how he or she saved you — and not worry if some people weren’t interest in what you had to say or were even put off by it.

It wouldn’t surprise anyone if you set aside a day to give that person thanks.  Maybe you might even ask the local government to honor him or her?

Eventually, however, you’ll come to realize that there’s really no way to pay this person back; or anyway to even pay forward on something like this.

Besides the honor and praise, you might start to evaluate your own life.  You might even change your habits.  Eat better.  Exercise.

Love deeper.  Speak sweeter.  Give forgiveness to those you’ve been denying.

You know how the song goes…

But the reality is: beside giving this person the honor and praise they rightfully deserve, there’s nothing you can do to express your gratitude except, maybe, to start valuing life over all other things.

But being human, you may finally feel a need to do something.  So, you might ask that person what they need? Or ask one or two of his or her friends?

These desires are all innate, given to us by the God who created us, as is the natural order of this process that begins with thanksgiving and followed by continuous honor and praise, and ends with the action to please.

As a Catholic Christian, when catechizing our children, I feel that we are no longer properly fostering the natural order of  desire when it comes to the One who saved us.

Instead, we have moved the need to do something, first and foremost, and with that, we have placed the teaching and practice of social justice before the praise and honor of the Savior.

Unlike the Social Justice teachings given to us by Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum and expanded upon by Pius XI in Quadragesimo anno, today’s social justice catechism perpetuates the gross misunderstanding that our Christian life and salvation starts and ends with acts of good works, a teaching supported and promoted by the “good feelings” such acts of kindness bring.

The Church does not teach this — nor has it ever!

In fact, the Church teaches that “[w]e cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved” [Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1533-1534]. CCC 2005

We are saved solely by the Grace of God; the God who so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Much like our poorly catechized 16th century brothers and sisters, this present-day catechism, taught in many of our parishes across the United States, has appeared to repackaged “good works” under the guise of true social justice.

In today’s social justice catechism, however, there’s little talk about the Son as the Christ who saved us, and therefore, even less discussion on why He deserves our daily devotion, let alone a day of Thanksgiving (Eucharist) during the week where we put aside all things  to honor and praise Him.

When discussing this, I can’t stop thinking about the last scene of Saving Private Ryan.   

After watching Captain John H. Miller, played by Tom Hanks, take his last breath, Matt Damon’s character morphs on screen to the present.   We discover that citizen Ryan has brought his entire family to pay homage — not because they were commanded to come, but because they wanted to join their father in this moment of honor and praise.

As he kneels in front of the stone-carved ivory cross that bears the name of the man who saved him, he humbly states, “Every day, I think of about what you said to me….”  Finally, he turns to his beloved wife and says, “Tell me I’m a good man”.

Absent such honor and praise, Religion becomes nothing more than a venue for service projects that anyone can do anywhere turning our service to  God into a mode of self-gratification — feelings and works — absent of a true reason or holy cause.

This is why, I believe, so many of our young people are leaving the Church in droves.

You cannot proclaim the nature of your service. You cannot say: This is what I will do!  This is how! and when! and why!  [As if] you are trying to match your will with God’s and call it service. [1]

Such service lacks Truth.  You know it and the Nones certainly know it.  And, that’s the  betrayal of the social justice catechism.

The only Truth is that there’s no possible way to pay back the One who has saved you — especially the One Who gave His life while trying to save yours.

All you can do is act like someone who truly believes that your life has been saved.

 

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul,and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL

 

1.  Taken from The Staircase (1998) about the Miraculous Staircase of the Loretto Chapel in New Mexico, USA.

 

 

 

 

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Every time that I kiss my kids goodbye or good night, I say this very simple prayer:

Mother Mary look after you;

Saint Joseph pray for you;

Jesus guide you;

And St. Michael the Archangel protect you.

May the Sign of the Cross be your salvation, your protection, and your guide.

Amen.

I love you!

 

That’s my simple daily prayer.

James Henry is also the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, James DobkowskiTwasHail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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Man Angel

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

There has been a lot of people that have influenced my life.  In fact, you can say that I’ve been blessed with an over-abundance of role models and influential friends.

Today, when people meet me, they see a person that is fairly self-assured.  Truth be told, however, I wasn’t always.

For the most part, I am overly shy.

Though I’ve overcome my shyness for the most part.  I still needed to crawl back into my shell at the end of most days and re-generate.

However, of all the people who, arguably, greatly contributed to my life, there is but one person, today, I credit for my confidence.  A man named Mike Lavorata.

The story leading up to my life path becoming entwined with his is long and convoluted.

To make a long story short, let’s just say that one day I found myself in the limelight under the direction of Mike, a wildly enthusiastic man.

Now, there’s nothing more uncomfortable for an introvert, like I was, to be tossed into the limelight — unless you add over-enthusiasm to the mix.  But there I was — or should I say we.

For the longest time, I avoided meeting Mike’s wife, though he constantly invited me over for dinner, fearing a double dose of enthusiasm.    However, it’s hard to say “no” to Mike, so one day I accepted his invitation.

Finally, I met Mike’s wife, Helen.  Much to my surprise, I discovered a soft-spoken and elegantly beautiful, woman of great faith in total contrast with my overly passionate adviser.

At first glance, they appeared to be polar opposites when in reality they were the perfect compliments of each other.   That evening I came to see Mike, not as an overly ardent devotee, but as Helen saw him, a person with an enormously large heart with a caring and giving nature.

I realized then what I never realized before…

The platitudes coming from his lips were real.  His hugs were sincere.  And though I’ve received hugs and compliments my whole life, they were always from someone who I knew; someone who had to love me.

I never really believed in myself.

Finally, I stopped looking at myself through my own eyes and I started looking at myself through Mike Lavorata’s eyes — and I saw the person that he saw, the man I am today!

I’m writing this because, without getting into details, Mike and his wife need your prayers.  There’s no other way that I can think of to pay Mike back then to ask those who read my blog to pray for him and his wife — and pray with great devotion.

And, if you are shy, like I am,  insecure or lack a lot of confidence like I once was, then find your own Mike Lavorata and look at yourself through his or her eyes.

I promise: you’re going to find someone you really like and another person who is always worth praying for!

UPDATE:

If you would like do more for Mike and his wife, go to MealTrain.com.  I will be donating 100% of my profits from my book Corporation YOU to MealTrain.com on behalf of the Lavarata family.

James Henry is also the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, James DobkowskiTwasHail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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Faith Ties (Smaller)

It seems like a lifetime ago since my wife and I moved to Los Angeles so I could pursue a career as a screenplay writer.  You can kinda, sorta read about it here.

I experienced a modicum of success in Hollywood, but not the kind I had hoped.

Before we moved West, my wife and I made a deal: Once my name appeared on the silver screen, we would come home.

I came close — several times.

However, be it the Writer’s Strike, egos, whathaveyou, something always impeded my ultimate success.  Eventually, I had to come home to take care of family.  Since I did so, without keeping my promise,  there has always been that emptiness; that sense of what if

71d9672b77-poster

Recently, my cohort in Cali, John “Rusty” Proctor, has taken a scene from a project he and I co-created, called Faith Ties, and turned it into a short that has been making it big.  Here’s a clip.

Around the same time, my wife noticed a change in me.

“You seem happier,” she told me. “More focused.” More focused on me, I believe she meant to say.

It’s all kind of ironic since recently I’ve let go of so much.  Letting go and letting God, you might say.  It’s kind of ironic because Faith Ties is simply a story about “Letting go and letting God.”

The truth was that I appeared more focused because I had stopped following rainbows and looking for greener pastures.

Not that I was giving up.  I’ll never give up!

But by letting go and letting God, the Almighty gave me new lenses to clearly see what I should have been seeing all along — that I was already standing on the greener side of life and I had found my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow on the day I said “I do” to my beloved wife!   (He also gave me two beautiful Leprechauns to go along with my good fortune.)

All that self-awareness, however, and I still wasn’t feeling like I was really home.

Maybe that’s because I have always felt that my promise, to come home, was truly unfulfilled — until now!

Now, my name finally has appeared on the silver screen.

And there something else I discovered. The more I let go, the more my name keeps appearing on screens in film festivals across the nation.

So yes, I’m noticeably happier.

I’m noticeably happier because finally … I’m home!

James Henry is also the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, James DobkowskiTwasHail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

 

 

Postscript:  If you think the short film Faith Ties – The Alley is tearing it up, wait until the complete film comes out in 2021!  I’ll keep you posted.

 

Buy Now!

 

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My blog this week was to mark the 40th year of my Dad’s premature passing from cancer.  It started sadly like this…

It always begins around the end of April.

Right around the time the snow melts and the trees begin to bud, the itch begins.  It’s hardly noticeable at first, then it begins to intensify.  Over time, an abrasion shows.  Soon, it becomes sore and finally, it opens into a small wound.

It’s been going on like this for years — 40 years exactly this week.

The more I try not to notice it, the harder it is to ignore.  Soon, I am reminded of the scar it left behind.

I stopped there — at a loss for words.  The plan was to write about the sadness of losing a loved one.  The continual pain it causes; its lasting side-effects, especially when a child loses a parent.

But I just could not find the words or the strength to continue. Then it happened…

On the anniversary of my dad’s death, I received a text from a close childhood friend, whose wife, also a dear friend, has been in her own grudge-match with cancer.   

In short, it read:

We went to the doctor on Monday and … the tumor has disappeared!

Coincidence?  There are no coincidences with God.

The day that has been marked by sadness for decades now has been transformed into a day of celebration; and like that, the words came to me:

A song of praise rose from the silence, gliding on the wind, capturing my full attention.  and these words were whispered into my ear.

“Rejoice!  Your Dad is up here with Me!”

 

James Henry is also the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, James DobkowskiTwasHail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

 

 

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