Journey of Hope With Rodney Mathers (118)


There are many offenders that return home to a parenting responsibility. The challenges are numerous. As if parenting under "normal" circumstances had no challenges! In my view, those of us who are able to continue in our role as parent upon returning home are blessed and the challenges, though somewhat unique to our situation, are not insurmountable with the right guidance and the proper dose of determination.
My guest this week, Lynn Sandburg, has a good grasp on what it takes to make these relationships work. In her book, Heaven on Earth, Lynn lays out a biblical model for raising children that covers the questions ex-offenders need answers for without actually targeting our demographic. Amazing how that happens! 
Lynn Sandburg, Heaven on Earth
If God is for you, who can be against you?
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Journey of Hope With Rodney Mathers (117)

Hi everyone!

I hope you are continuing to experience more success all the time. We all slip. We all have experiences that discourage us from time to time. You are are not alone in this. Here's the key: As long as you don't re-offend, you are O.K.! Keep trying. Never re-offend. if you do those two things, I am totally convinced that eventually, everything will smooth out for you. 
My guest this week, Richard Waldman, has some solid suggestions on how to continue to move forward. Remember, we can always take at least something from one of these interviews. Richard is an author and runs a 10 week re-entry program in California. He knows what he is talking about. 
Always remember, If God is for you, who can be against you?
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Journey of Hope With Rodney Mathers (116)

Hi yall!

My guest this week calls in from London, England to discuss one possible methodology for changing your life for the better. 

His book, How to Change Your Life: One Day at a Time is a great read for an ex-offender looking for some ideas on how to start over. His approach is effective and utilizes goal setting as an outline for success. During our discussion, we get a good idea of how to set goals and why this can be effective.

Join me for our interview as I really feel there are, at the very least, morsels of information you can use to help facilitate and continue your successful return home.

Remember, if God is for you, who can be against you?
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Journey of Hope With Rodney Mathers (115)

Welcome to this week's episode!

My guest this week, calling in from Australia, is Nick Theophilou. Nick has been providing counseling for 30 years and has written a book that really caught my attention. The title of his book is Ten Stories About What Men Are Doing Right. Frankly, I didn't know we were doing much right when it comes to relationships but apparently we are!

Nick has some great insight through his many years of counseling people and his ideas are especially important to ex-offenders who have, as a general rule, unique challenges when it comes to relationships. 

Join me this week for my interview and discussion with Nick Theophilou

Remember, if God is for you, who can be against you?

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Journey of Hope With Rodney Mathers (114)


It's primary season around where I live and before we get into this week's show and guest, I wanted to share a thought or two. First, I don't know why this is but I find that most people assume that a convicted felon is either apathetic toward the democratic process and the current issues driving campaigns or a convicted felon is somehow anti-American. Their assumptions couldn't be further from the truth.

While it's true that some convicted felons do not regain their right to vote after discharge, most do. Here in Texas I was eligible to start voting again as soon as my sentence discharged. Former felons like to exercise their right to vote and my guess would be they do so with more vigor and frequency than those Americans that have never lost that right. 

Just because I went to prison that doesn't mean I don't love my country and the processes that keep it free and safe. I fly the American flag at my house and I am proud to do so. I also vote. Anytime there is a bond election or a local election, I am there and I am proud to have a small voice and to participate in the process. 

Let no one assume that that a felony conviction disassociates an American from their love of country or rights and responsibilities in the process.

O.K. - Got that off my chest. My guest this week is Jana Flaig. Jana has worn many hats in life. She has worked as a television reporter in major markets, is a comedian, and has authored books. She has a unique perspective on on how to fight the fears we may face in life and to how to use that strength to negotiate difficult circumstances. Please join me for my discussion with Jana Flaig. ( click her name to learn more about her )

Remember, if God is for you, who can be against you?
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Journey of Hope With Rodney Mathers (113)

Hi Everyone!

It always amazes me that there are some us (us = men and women that have been to prison and includes me) that insist on keeping the prison mentality when they are released. They use prison jargon and slang. They dress like someone looking for trouble with baggy pants and obligatory hoody. 

I have a few words for this small, ridiculous looking and acting minority of former offenders. First of all, if you think you look cool with your attempts to be a thug, you don't. You look like an idiot. You act like an idiot. I hope you like waiting for chow, going to commissary, and hoping you get a visit because that will be your life....forever. You'll be going back to that crap soon. I really, really hope you come to your senses before its too late. I think maybe you've been duped into thinking there is something glamorous about being a thug. There is nothing glamorous about doing long stretches of time in prison. Do everything in your power to show people that you have ditched that life style. 

In other news, my guest today is Jan Marquart. Jan is a licensed Clinical Social Worker and has written several books. Join us as we discuss her tested technique of using writing as a therapeutic tool. I found Jan to be very insightful about the issues that ex-offenders deal with.

Remember, if God is for you, who can be against you?
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Journey of Hope With Rodney Mathers (112)

Hey There! 

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and your New Year is off to a great start. Rose and I had all the kids and grand-kids in and out of the house throughout the holidays and we had a great time.

My guest this week is Dr. Jack Pransky. Jack specializes in helping people live in a state of well being with less stress and healthy relationships.

There are a bunch of good ideas in this interview and I hope there is at least one thing Jack mentions that speaks to you as you work toward achieving and maintaining a successful re-entry. Dr. Jack Pransky has a great book called Somebody Should Have Told Us!  Click the link to find out more about Jack and his book.

Always remember, if God is for you, who can be against you?

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Journey of Hope With Rodney Mathers (111)

Hi Everyone!

Hope everyone is having a great holiday season. ( What I really wanted to say was Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah but I was advised that this no longer cuts it in our politically sensitive world.) Which brings up an interesting point.

In my 16 years plus as a teacher and coach, it was and still is my opinion that our children are overly coddled. I never met a school counselor that was nothing more than an enabler. The result from that sort of thing spills out into our general societal perceptions about almost everything.  We must say things like "mentally challenged", "special needs", and oh, my favorite, "African American", or is the appropriate terminology "black" this year.....I lose track. 

What about ex-offenders? Shouldn't we be called "penal code challenged"? Maybe the correct term should be "temporarily legally indifferent". Obviously this is ridiculous but it does illustrate a point. We have gone way over-bored with the political correctness. Some people, like "vertically challenged" me, may even assert that this country's ever increasing shift to left may be a direct result of all this determination not to offend anyone like a student's parents, a black person, the list goes on and on (but not an ex-offender because it's o.k. to speak to them anyway you want to....right?)  Just a little fodder for thought.

I would like for you to pretend I'm screaming this as loud as I can...............ready?......MERRY CHRISTMAS!

My guest this week is licensed family and marriage therapist Claudia Franzosi. We discussed a variety of issues that are are all beneficial to an ex-offender and his/her family and loved ones. Claudia touches on everything from PTSD to relationships To dealing with stress in a discussion that is packed full of useful information.    

Remember, if God is for you, who can be against you?

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Journey of Hope With Rodney Mathers (110)

Hi Yall!

I really like to talk to people that have turned their lives around. It seems to me, having worked toward doing it myself, that it is an immensely difficult task that takes a level of determination and persistence that far exceed any other challenge I have faced in life. Yet, it is indeed doable! There is no doubt in my mind that you have the ability and the courage necessary to put that event, addiction, situation, whatever it was that cost you your freedom, in your rear view mirror and to begin the productive life you you were meant to live. I like to find examples of people who have actually done this and present them to you in the chance that something they did to get things right is something you can use on your journey.

My guest this week, C.K.Webb is an ex-offender. She is also an author,  a reviewer and contributor to various publications, and hosts her own show on BlogTalk Radio. Join me this week as we speak with C.K. Webb about her past and her future. 

Always remember, if God is for you, who can be against you?

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Journey of Hope With Rodney Mathers (109)

Hello Everybody!

Well, it's that time of the year again...vigilante season. I have a few thoughts for sex offenders.

First, if you are on probation or parole and you put skeletons and goblins on your yard for Halloween and pretty lights in your windows for Christmas, you are an idiot. Period. It doesn't matter what the rules are for your jurisdiction. Don't do it.

For those of you, like me, who have completely discharged your sentence, you most likely have no restrictions in this regard. (PLEASE don't take my word for it and check with your local authorities). I have no restrictions. I can decorate and participate any way I chose to. However it is my opinion, for what it's worth, that any sex-offender that does the lights and decoration thing is not thinking straight. What you are guarding against is the possibility perceived inappropriateness. Among your priorities of not creating another victim, and doing good for society, it is also important to cover your ass at all times. That includes the perception that you have taken your conviction too lightly.

Never give that vigilante mind set even the smallest morsel of fodder! Keep focused on doing the right thing and you will be fine.

My guest this week is Arnold Harvey. Wow! This dude has an amazing story of overcoming adversity and has written a book about it called Every Decision Matters Be sure and click on the link after you listen to his amazing story as told during our interview.

Remember, if God is for you who can be against you?
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