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Posts Tagged ‘James Dobkowski’

Photo: Ghirella Rosary on Jonathon Roumie’s Facebook page.

In our family, we have a new weekly tradition. We gather for the Rosary and after our prayers, we watch the next version of The Chosen. Immediately, my youngest started calling it “The Chosary.”

First, the Rosary is more than just a series of rote prayers. It is a meditation on the Divine Mysterious of Our Lord.

Depending on what day you watch the latest episode, you journey through the Joyous, Glorious, Luminous, or Sorrowful Mysteries, reflecting on the life and times of Jesus.

The Rosaries and The Chosen go perfectly together. You can also mix it up like we do.

Sometimes we pray the Rosary ourselves, where each person in our family circle prays a decade, and our children alternate reading one of the five Mysteries. Or we pray along with someone reciting the Rosary online. For example, we sometimes pray as we watch The Rosary by Bishop Barron. (My personal favorite.)

Not only is Bishop Barron reverent as he prays, but his sermons on the Mysteries are also a mini-catechism. Further, as Bishop Barron recites the next decade of prayers, the TV screen is filled with a montage of artwork, all focusing on the specific mystery — a storyboard, if you will, of that Divine and Holy scene.

Much like Dallas, you will see how artists for centuries have been trying to interpret the life of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and all the chosen!

There are other online options besides Bishop Barron. You can pray The Rosary with Jonathon Roumie, the actor who plays Jesus on The Chosen. (But of course, you know who he is.) There’s also the Divine Mercy Chaplet Rosary.

Again, you can pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet along with Jonathon Roumie.

Here’s a Divine Mercy Chaplet with great imagery of Jesus’s Passion. If you only have a few minutes before the episode begins, here are two DM chaplets that are less than 10 minutes. (One is by the Franciscan Friars. The other is by Ascension Press.) Finally, if you’re looking for a Gregorian-style Divine Mercy Chaplet, may I recommend this one done by one of our local parish priests.

No matter what you choose, praying the Rosary quiets our minds and perfectly prepares our souls to be focused on the next episode of The Chosen.

So, this week, join me and my family in “The Chosary”.

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

As a writer, James’s appearances include Newsweek, The Inside Success Show, Bob Salter (CBS Radio), Mike Siegel, Mancow, Megyn Kelly, 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) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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Photo credit: By Kancelaria Prezydenta RP – prezydent.pl, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11813191

It’s not constant, but this week we’ve kept ETWN on in our home to watch the coverage of the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict.

Last night, before grace, we prayed for the repose of his soul with little doubt that this philosopher-king has been granted entry into the Eternal. After we prayed, I couldn’t help to notice how different things were this time.

I’ve lived through the passing of four Popes: Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and now Pope Benedict. The difference now, however, is the absence of anticipation of who will be Peter’s successor.

I’m not saying that’s good or bad. Just different.

I remember crying after hearing that Pope John Paul II died. His papacy had such an impact on my life. Maybe that’s why I cried? But I also felt a paternal loss. I cried at the passing of my hometown parish priest, Monsignor James McDonald, and I cried again, recently, when our present parish priest, Fr. Tom Morrette, announced that he was being transferred.

Each time, I felt like my dad had died all over again. However, I didn’t cry when I heard the news about Pope Benedict’s death. As much as I was connected with Pope John Paul II and the other two priests, I identified more with Pope Benedict.

An avid reader of all things Catholic, I felt a much greater connection to the works of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger than the writings of Saint John Paul the Great, which greatly inspired me. And while the election of Pope John Paul II surprised and captivated me (along with the rest of the world), I felt so connected to Cardinal Ratzinger that I predicted his election as Pope and subsequently, defended him throughout his papacy — though he truly needed no defending.

Yet, even though I feel like we have suffered a great loss with his passing, I didn’t cry. I didn’t cry and haven’t cried because I am still torn over the fact that he resigned.

I understand that he was wanting to retire before his election as Holy Father and that, he felt that was getting too old to continue as Pope. Maybe, if I am blessed with old age, and make it to 85, I’ll have a stronger understanding. But right now, I don’t.

Let me make it clear. I’m not judging Pope Benedict XVI. I’m just torn.

Should the successor of Peter be allowed to quit? Priests and bishops are required to retire. Why not Popes?

According to news reports, Pope Francis has a letter of resignation prepared. This is not a Benedictine trend continued by Pope Francis. Pope Paul also had one as did Pope Pius VII and Pius XXII, both were concerned about being kidnapped; and Pope John Paul II wrote two. [1]

The Apostle John, who according to St. Epiphanius lived to 94, appeared to pass the reigns to his successors in his old age.

St. Jerome handed down the story that when Saint John “was no longer able to preach or make long discourses to the people, he used always to be carried to the assembly of the faithful by his disciples with great difficulty; and every time said to his flock only these words, ‘My dear children, love one another‘.”

Though not the Pope at the time, the office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of the apostles united to its head. (CCC 1444). So, passing on the keys has to fall under Apostolic Tradition?

So then, what present-day lesson are we supposed to take from this “new” tradition in the reign of Peter? Always the teacher, with Joseph Ratzinger, there always is a lesson somewhere. What is it?

Has he prepared us for a world where the position of the Holy Father is fraught with danger? Where the concern of kidnapping that Popes Pius VII, XXII, and maybe even John Paul II felt become real and possibly constant? Or maybe it’s something simpler? Something paternal and not so apocalyptic?

Fathers, in many of our child-like eyes, appear somewhat invincible like kings who reign mightily until the end.

However, a father’s job is actually a short-lived task. It is to raise strong, faithful Christians and prepare them for adulthood. Most dads, though available when needed, inwardly hope for an early retirement. One enjoyed in comfort with their beloved spouse. He is not a King. For that matter, either is the Pope. He’s a Prime Minister at best.

There is only one True Father and one Reigning King, Jesus Christ Our Lord.

That being the case, then our dearly departed brother Joseph and spiritual father and teacher, Benedict, has carried out his role as Holy Father faithfully and was greeted at the Gate of St. Peter with the heavenly proclamation we all long to hear, “Well done, Faithful Servant.”

So then, why am I still torn? Maybe, just maybe, I’m not ready to cry again.

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

As a writer, James’s appearances include Newsweek, The Inside Success Show, Bob Salter (CBS Radio), Mike Siegel, Mancow, Megyn Kelly, 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) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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It’s New Year’s Day and social media is overflowing with posts about fresh starts. Well, if you’re a follower of this blog or have read my book, Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, I’m living proof that anyone can make a fresh start — over and over.

It’s all about having enough Faith to know that all is going to work out as planned. It just might not be your plan. Having the right person at your side sure is helpful.

You see, life is like a whitewater rafting trip. There’s the preparation. The anticipation. The excitement of the unknown. Once you’re in the water, however, there’s no turning back.

As in life, you go from calm to rapids to calm, again and again. Along the way, there’s laughter and screams — much like a rollercoaster ride. However, with a rollercoaster, you can see the challenge before it starts and for the most part, you see what’s up ahead.

Photo by Hilmi Iu015fu0131lak on Pexels.com

Not so with whitewater rafting. Trees, rocks, and bends often block your view as you edge forward.

Try as you might, you’re still going to hit rocks along the way. The key to success is to wear a life jacket, listen to your guide, and stay in the raft.

So, if you’re hesitant about starting anew, go on a Whitewater rafting trip.

It all makes sense when you make Jesus your life jacket, the Holy Spirit your guide, and the Church your raft. And if you allow it to work out as God planned, the Father will greet you at the shore along with the warmth of a campfire at the end.

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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’s appearances include Newsweek, The Inside Success Show, Bob Salter (CBS Radio), Mike Siegel, Mancow, and Megyn Kelly 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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Photo by Chris Duan on Pexels.com

Full disclosure, when I received a list of questions from my friend (and publicist) Mark Goldman, I didn’t think Newsweek would choose any of my replies. Much to my surprise, they did. In fact, I was one of only two Christian authors for this article: Should Christians Watch ‘Yellowstone?’ Religious Authors Weigh In.

Out of respect for Newsweek, I’ll just post the link to the article here. At a later date, I’ll update this post with all the questions and every one of my responses.

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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’s appearances include Newsweek, The Inside Success Show, Bob Salter (CBS Radio), Mike Siegel, Mancow, and Megyn Kelly 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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The 2022 World Cup is in full swing and Team USA has, so far, stepped up to the challenge exciting the American fan base. We all know the ups and downs of being a fan. As a life-long Mets fan, I can only say that its not always easy being a true fan.

Most of us have heard of “The Bible in a Year” podcast, as well as the face (or voice) of the podcast, Fr. Mike Schmidtz. As dynamic as that series is, it was an interview with the podcast’s lesser-known contributor, Jeff Cavins that had one of the most significant impacts on my life.

Jeff Cavins proposed a very simple question: Are you a fan of Jesus or are you a follower?

I’m not sure whether I heard Jeff Cavins say it during his interview on Pints with Aquinas or someplace else. All I know is that it affected me profoundly.

First, I am definitely a fan of Jesus — or, at least, the Theology on Jesus Christ. In my late teens, I was oddly drawn to the Christian Theology section in bookstores. When many of my high school peers were reading Christian allegory through the works of J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis, I was delving into hermeneutics and the first three books of Jaroslaw Pelikan’s “The Christian Tradition.”

I just couldn’t get enough!

I couldn’t get enough until Jeff Cavins asked, “Are you a fan or a follower of Jesus?” Something like this once happened before. It was the time described in my book, Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, when the mysterious man in the King Kullen parking lot “set his words and propelled at me with precision and grace … [and] pierce my heart with pointed love.”

Back then, I wasn’t sure if it was my imagination playing tricks on me. This time, however, I was certain. Like before, my life changed after hearing Jeff Cavins asked “Are you a fan of Jesus or a follower?”

Before hearing those words, I would gravitate to book racks and old bookstores searching for hardcovers to offer me the perfect words. Since I just spend most of my time in prayer and quiet contemplation.

I’m still a fan of Our Lord. I think in all relationships, there first has to be a sense of admiration of some kind. And, I can’t say I’m always a good follower of Christ. Some days are better than others.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep trying — and I’ll also keep praying for miracles as a fan of my beloved Amazing Mets.

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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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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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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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