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Posts Tagged ‘James Dobkowski’

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Pope Francis recently stated in essence that if you don’t believe in Vatican II, you don’t believe in the work of the Holy Spirit.

If you dig deep into the Vatican II documents, I feel there is nothing that any devout Christian wouldn’t agree with.  In fact, my buddy often reads the Vatican II documents to his congregation — which is a non-denominational congregation with a weekly service with little remnants of the Latin Rite liturgy.

How Vatican II was implemented, on the other hand, may be another story — and most likely not the work of the Holy Spirit.

Archbishop Karol Wojtyla appeared to properly prepare the Polish during the implementation of Vatican II — which is probably why the Polish people are so faithfully loyal and reverent.   (Though I’m obviously biased). Pope Benedict XVI believed giving priests “options” in Mass was possibly a mistake. As Cardinal Ratzinger, he stated in an interview in “L’homme Nouveau,” he thought that the door [was] left open to a false creativity on the part of the celebrants. And though the press has focused mainly on Pope Francis limiting the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), he also spoke about abuses in the “New Order” Mass and the need for Masses to be uniformly reverent.

In his letter accompanying Traditionis Custodes, his motu proprio restricting the celebration of the TLM, Pope Francis wrote, “At the same time, I am saddened by abuses in the celebration of the liturgy on all sides. In common with Benedict XVI, I deplore the fact that ‘in many places, the prescriptions of the new Missal are not observed in celebration, but indeed come to be interpreted as an authorization for or even a requirement of creativity, which leads to almost unbearable distortions.’” [1]

Then there’s the other end of the spectrum on religious rituals.

Many believe they are a hindrance. Some of my closest Christian brothers and sisters completely denounce rituals of any kind. However, they somehow ignore the fact that their worship services are somewhat programmed with weekly familiarity. They also tend to ignore the fact that the celebrations of Christmas and Pascha (Easter) are rituals, deeply rooted in ancient tradition.

So where does that leave things in regard to rituals?

Many of us have had or are in careers where certain steps seem trite or ritualistic, but in the larger scheme, if removed, could cause havoc or possibly a fatal flaw down the road. Think of surgeons, airplane pilots, law enforcement officers, and the daily rituals or safety checks and precautions they carry out routinely throughout the day.

Ritualism, for the sake of ritualism, has little spiritual value — yet, it can still prevent serious error or possible death. 

However, knowing why the rituals were put in place and knowing their importance, leads to greater understanding and an elevation of one’s performance.  This not only applies to both a person’s career — but to one’s spiritual life, as well. So, rituals — especially spiritual rituals — are important!

Sacred rituals given to us by ancient tradition are a gift to be treasured, preserved, and passed on.

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James 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 

As a writer, James has been featured on The Inside Success Show, Bob Salter (CBS Radio),  Mike Siegel, Mancow, and more.  

Beyond writing, James worked with At-Risk youth in Southern California for over six years.  His contributions to the classroom — featured on local television and in the LA Daily News and the Los Angeles Times’ Burbank Leader — earned him the honors of “Teacher of the Year”.    James was also twice honored by a CASDA Scholar as the teacher who had the greatest influence on that student.   As an educator, James also appeared twice on America Live with Megyn Kelly. 

Today, James lives in New York where he continues to teach — and write.   Besides his books, you can follow his musing on this blog Corporation You.

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

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Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Life is not easy and not everyone attains their goals. Trust me, I had some lofty goals — and I came close to attaining many of them. As a father, I hope my boys have lofty goals, as well.

However, the other day, when trying to talk my youngest through a tantrum (a minor one) I let him know about my “ultimate goal.”

“You know what my goal in life is? The only thing I care about?” I asked. “My goal is to get to Heaven. And when I arrive and I open my eyes and see Jesus, I will turn to my left and to my right and look for you … and your brother … and for mommy.

“If you or your brother are not there, then I’ll consider my life a failure.”

Sure, I need to make sure my children have a roof over their heads and food on their plates. However, my ultimate goal in life is to make sure they make it to Heaven!

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James 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 

As a writer, James has been featured on The Inside Success Show, Bob Salter (CBS Radio),  Mike Siegel, Mancow, and more.  

Beyond writing, James worked with At-Risk youth in Southern California for over six years.  His contributions to the classroom — featured on local television and in the LA Daily News and the Los Angeles Times’ Burbank Leader — earned him the honors of “Teacher of the Year”.    James was also twice honored by a CASDA Scholar as the teacher who had the greatest influence on that student.   As an educator, James also appeared twice on America Live with Megyn Kelly. 

Today, James lives in New York where he continues to teach — and write.   Besides his books, you can follow his musing on this blog Corporation You.

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

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Have you ever seen “It’s A Wonderful Life“?

In despair, George Bailey, played by the iconic Jimmy Stewart, offered a simple prayer that changed the direction of his life — and became the turning point of this classic film.

God … oh God … Dear Father in Heaven, I’m not a praying man, but if You’re up there and You can hear me, show me the way. I’m at the end of my rope. Show me the way, Oh God.

It took less than 40 seconds (and less than 40 words, as well) for God to change George Bailey’s life. So, if that’s all it takes, why do we keep praying? Why do we keep asking God for things? Many times, we keep asking for the same thing, and we keep asking day in and day out. Why?

I’ve been struggling with this question lately.

Ironically, I’ve been struggling with this question just around the same time that I traded my theology books for a small 15-page book of prayers and dedicated my mornings to spiritual devotion.

Daily, I just silently read each prayer, many prepared by our great Saints, as I sip a warm cup of coffee. I sit downstairs in my EZ-Chair or outside as the sun rises, alone with only my most loyal family member at my feet.

The words of the prayers don’t change. My requests are usually the same.

I don’t ask for richness or success. I simply ask for guidance, Heavenly protection from the Evil One, and the will to be an example of Christ’s Love if and when called upon. And I do this every day. I do this every day, even though I know God is Ever-present, All-Knowing.

I do this knowing, as a Father, God is always there, always watching, always willing and prepared to help.

Every day, I repeat my prayers even though I know that God does not exist in time. I repeat my prayers even though I know God heard and remembered every word I spoke the day before. And I do this knowing that, just like George Bailey, all it takes is less than 40 seconds and less than 40 words to get my point across.

If fact, God knows exactly what I am going to say and exactly what I’m going to ask. So why do I do it? Why do I pray every single day and dedicate so much of my morning to prayer?

I do it because…

I need to remind myself that God is always watching. I need to keep close to God, not the other way around. Prayer keeps me connected to the Father. Prayer keeps me close to Him and to the Heavenly Hosts. Prayer keeps the temptations of the Evil One at bay — for just a little while, at least.

Prayer doesn’t change God. Prayer changes you and me. Prayer helps you and me “change and become like children” so one day we can “enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Sure, God can change one’s life in less than 40 seconds — and so can Satan.

So, through prayer, I choose to spend my time with the Father. As His child, I seek His loving guidance and protection, daily, the same way my children seek my guidance and protection. In prayer, I willingly accept His loving hand as I cross this chaotic, traffic-filled road called life until I get safely to the other side — and He will do the same for you.

That’s why we pray! Amen.

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James 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 

As a writer, James has been featured on The Inside Success Show, Bob Salter (CBS Radio),  Mike Siegel, Mancow, and more.  

Beyond writing, James worked with At-Risk youth in Southern California for over six years.  His contributions to the classroom — featured on local television and in the LA Daily News and the Los Angeles Times’ Burbank Leader — earned him the honors of “Teacher of the Year”.    James was also twice honored by a CASDA Scholar as the teacher who had the greatest influence on that student.   As an educator, James also appeared twice on America Live with Megyn Kelly. 

Today, James lives in New York where he continues to teach — and write.   Besides his books, you can follow his musing on this blog Corporation You.

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

The photo of Jimmy Stewart is from “It’s a Wonderful Life”. George Bailey’s Prayer. (1946) Fair Use: The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S.

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When I first moved to Los Angeles, I got a job teaching kids at a charter school in the San Fernando Valley. This wasn’t your typical Charter School. It was more like the school of last chances.

After my first year, I was asked to take on the responsibility of Dean of Discipline, a position I would share with the school’s English Teacher who had beliefs in religion, politics, etcetera completely opposite to mine. Professionally, however, we shared the same goals and outside of religion and politics, we got along just fine. We also shared some of the same interests.

Additionally, we also both went to Yale. (More on that in a later blog post.)

One day, while we were conversing with the school principal, she said the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.

Before I meet you, I hated men, Catholics, and Republicans — and you’re all three … but I kind of like you.”

It’s been more than 15 years since we both worked with each other. I have since moved back East. And, except for a comment here and there on Facebook, we don’t really communicate much anymore. But for a brief time, we worked closely together and occasionally socialized. When my wife was out-of-town, she and I would grab a bite to eat and truly enjoyed each other’s company. (At least I believe we did.)

In today’s world, I wonder if such a relationship of opposites would ever be able to flourish or grow?

That makes me sad. How else can we truly learn to “love one another”?

James is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul The Christmas Save, Hail Mary series, 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. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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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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I love my Dad...

Dad, I love you because… (c) Corporation YOU 2019

My kids are still young enough where they are assisted in honoring their mother and father by their primary school teacher.

Every year, I can expect something memorable.   

One year, I received a card with the above photo of my oldest. 

As you can see, he’s holding a chalkboard with a handwritten personal response to the statement “Dad I love you because…”  On the slate, his preschool teacher wrote his reply…

You bring me to work.”

Until then, I wasn’t aware how much my boys enjoyed coming to work with me. 

To this day, the card still hangs on the corner of the Smartboard in my classroom.  However, that wasn’t the most eye-opening gift I received from my boys.  

Recently, my son’s elementary school teacher handed out a list of biographical statements that her students had to complete about their dads. 

Age … Profession … Favorite food. Favorite ice cream. Favorite sports team….

Finally, my son was asked to write down, “Something your Dad often says:”   He wrote,

 Did I say ‘I love you’ today?

It’s true.  I say it often.  Actually, I say it more than often.  I say it every day!  What I didn’t realize was that my son was actually listening — and that it mattered, to him that I asked.

I grew up in an era where dads didn’t always say ‘I love you’.  I had a great respect for my Dad and I knew he loved me — even though I didn’t hear him say it very often.  

When he died, I wondered, in his last days, if he regretted holding back?  

One day, I’ll get that answer and many more, but until then, I’m going to make sure that a day doesn’t go by where I don’t remind my kids — whether they had a good day, or not — that I love them!

And that means every day I’ll make sure I’m going to ask them, “Did I say ‘I love you’ today?”

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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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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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

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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.

 

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Once forgiven, I can still remember my sins — but God cannot!

There are several passages in the Bible that shows how deeply God’s mercy goes. Here at two:

Isaiah 43:25 says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”  Hebrews 10:17–18 says,  ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.’ And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.”

Obviously, God is all-knowing.

However, He chooses to not just forgive, but to forget our transgressions.

 

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. 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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Photo: Pixabay.com

“Wow, you are Blessed.  You are truly Blessed.”

I’m sure you’ve heard that say or have stated it yourself.

Personally, I’ve described my life as being “Blessed.”  And often, when I take account of my life — my wife, my children; my job — I truly feel “Blessed” … but am I?

The Gospels are pretty clear on what it is to be “Blessed”. The text of St. Matthew runs as follows:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

So, do you still believe that you’re “Blessed”?

 

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. 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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