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Posts Tagged ‘James Dobkowski’

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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For the longest time, I lived two lives: The man I was at home and the man I was outside the home.

Outside the home, I was well liked. Inside the home, not so much — and I didn’t know what to do about.

There’s nothing more deflating than being able to write a book that offers inspiration, yet feeling like a failure with the person in your life who you are called to most inspire.

I wasn’t abusive or an adulterer. I wasn’t anything like those other guys.

And though I enjoyed being single, I never missed being single once I was married.  Nor did I ever looked back. I got married because I wanted to spent the rest of my life with the women who finally stole my heart — and I wanted to stay married.

But the harder I tried, the worse things became.

Then it happened.

Like in my book, Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, a mentor entered my life and taught me the time-test lesson for a successful and fruitful relationship.

Along the way, he gave me a book to read: Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs.

From that moment on, my life has never been happier and my marriage has never been stronger.

Maybe you’re in the same situation. Maybe your most important relationship is not as your hoped or dreamed on the day you took your wedding vows.

If this is so, watch this video, If you like what you hear, buy the book Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs.


Source: YouTube

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.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:
I am not receiving any compensation for promoting Emerson Eggerichs’s book: Love & Respect beyond the compensation of knowing it will help.  The only payment is payment of the heart.

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Source: which.co.uk/

F-YOU and the Lord’s Prayer. Now that’s two things which normally DON’T go together — unless you live in my family.

It’s the title I used to describe my Step-Dad life at his funeral memorial. It’s a story of perseverance, rebirth, salvation and, above all, the making of a miracle.

You see, my Step-Dad had Lupus.

He was diagnosed — or misdiagnosed, when he was a teenager in the U.S. Navy.

His whole adult life he suffered from this auto-immune disease.  However, he never let the disease dictate his life. Among his sufferings were frequent strokes.

“I know I’m going to have them,” he informed me one day. “So, I’ve learned to enjoy them.”

He had many. So many, they became almost common place. Almost. However, finally the “big one” hit.

At the time, I was living in Burbank, California. I was at Disneyland when I my Aunt Ro called and gave me the official news.

You see, I knew he had a stroke — and I knew it was severe.

My mom, being my mom, never delivers bad news. My brother and I joke that when we hear my mom say the words, “Everything is going to be alright”, its time to panic.

My sister, being my sister, was just the opposite. Everything was usually blown out of proportion — and usually to the extreme.

Aunt Ro, however, was the voice of reason; my go-to-person, especially in a time like this.

So, when my aunt said, “Maybe it’s time to come home” …  I knew things were serious.

Immediately, my wife and I started making plans to head back East — but for when and for how long? Living long distance from family is never easy.

Daily, my wife and I spoke to my mom as we made arrangements to head home.

“He can say a few words,” she told me as we discussed my step-dad’s condition. “And they’re all curse words.” (This where the F-YOU comes in.)

My mom, being my mom, felt bad for the patient in the bed next to my foul-mouth step father.

“He’s a Rabbi,” she reverently said. “He (my step-dad) got really bad when the Giants were on.”
“He curses at the Giants when he’s well,” I chuckled. “Why don’t you just shut off the game?”
“I did, but he cursed more” she told me. “He remembers his prayers. So, I just have him saying The Lord’s Prayer.” (Part 2 of the title.)
“I’m not sure the Rabbi wants to hear that either,” I joked, though my mom, someone who once considered  being a Catholic Dominican Nun, didn’t laugh. “Keep me posted. I love you.”
“I love you too,” she said, then hung up the phone.

That night, I spoke with my wife. She had a similar conversation with my mom and sensed her concern.

My wife, being my wife, told me that she asked my mom if my step-dad, a former seminarian, remembered his Latin prayers. He did! So, my she suggested, to my mom, that my Step-Dad start reciting his prayers in Latin — and give the Rabbi some relief.

Then, three days later, the miracle occurred.

My wife called the hospital to check on my mom. After a few rings, someone answered the phone.

“Hello,” the voice slurred.
“Hello?” my wife replied.
“Hey kid!” It was my Step Dad, John.
“Where’s Mary Ann,” my wife asked, wondering why my mom was not at his bed side.
“I sent her out,” he added. “She’s driving me [bleeping] crazy.”

The two talked for several minutes until my mom returned to his bedside.

It appeared that his Latin prayers exercised his brain back to repair — at least that what the doctors suspected, though they had no rational explanation as to why my Step-Dad recovered so quickly.

Long-story short, I didn’t have to return home. And, against all odds, my Step-Dad walked out of the hospital, on his own accord.

Granted, he had noticeable signs of a stroke until the end of his life — six years later. But this was “the big one”! He shouldn’t have had the ability to do anything on his own accord — ever again.

The Bible is full of stories about miracles.

They occur in both the New and Old Testament. However, I’ve often heard people say that few people today witness a true miracle like they did in the bible.

The sad truth is that people witness miracles every day — there’s just so many of them today that we fail to recognize many of the events that occur around us, as miracles.

Air travel is miraculous. Wi-fi and iPhones, miraculous.

Heart and brain surgery … hip and knew replacements … Organ-transplants … limb transplant … The list goes on-and-on … all miraculous!

Miracles are so common today, we just take them for granted.

Maybe that’s why Jesus suggested that the Apostles not discuss His miracles, knowing all too well how unimpressed mankind becomes with sensation over time.

Think about it.

Let’s take a look at video games as an example.

My generation thought Pong was pretty awesome. Today, you couldn’t pay a kid the price our parents payed for an Atari Playset, to sit down for an hour and play this two-dimensional, Monaural arcade game.

Granted, miracles are much more impressive than Donkey Kong.

However, after walking on water and raising a few people from the dead, the fascination with the Miracle Maker from Nazareth would’ve eventually ran out if He didn’t have something more substantive to offer than just miracles.

Now, I’m not saying that miracles aren’t important? They are.

However, I believe that the act of recognizing these miracles, as a direct gift from God, is more important than the miracle itself.

It’s important to recognize that all miracles, big and small, come from God. Likewise, its important to realize that God can turn any horrific event into an opportunity of glory.

God can even use the unfiltered words of foul-mouth former sailor to guide us to witness an unfathomable modern-day medical miracle.

That’s why in my family,  F-YOU and The Lord’s Prayer will always go together!

 

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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From YouTube

From YouTube

Often, I am asked, “What is Corporation YOU?”

The simple answer is: Corporation YOU is an inspirational narrative that will lead you up the ladder of personal success and happiness.

However, Corporation YOU is so much more.

So, “What is Corporation YOU?” Watch the video below for the answer…

Now you know the answer to the question “What is Corporation YOU?”

It is a discovery of a world within — a world of higher purpose, a world of action, a world “beyond self.” It is in this world where YOU grow “beyond self”.

And if they can do it, So Can YOU!

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.

ABOUT THE VIDEO:
There is a mission to get Canadians to eat together. Because so much good happens when we do. Learn more at eattogether.presidentschoice.ca/

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