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Welcome to this week's podcast! 

Got anger issues? Who doesn't? 
My guest this week, Reneau Peurifoy, is well versed in anxiety issues, emotions, and uncontrolled anger issues. Uncontrolled anger is at the root of many behaviors that result in incarceration. If you or a family member is returning home from an incarceration that was the result of uncontrolled anger, this interview is definitely for you.
Renaue was in private practice for over 20 years as a marriage and family therapist that specialized in anxiety disorder issues. His latest book,  Anger, Taming The Beast, is in its second printing and has sold over 200,000 copies. I got the feeling in our interview that Renaue has a genuine, heart felt desire to help people figure out nondestructive ways to appropriately experience and express anger.
I enjoyed my conversation with Renaue and I'm positive you will too!
If God is for you, who can be against you?
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Hello Everyone!

I hope your summer is going great!

It has taken me 54 years to reach the following realization: " I am in control of my happiness!" I hope it hasn't taken you as long as it has taken me to realize this simple truth. Despite the difficulties associated with re-entry, each individual has the ability to react to those difficulties in any way they wish. The thoughts we have prior to our reaction dictate our general mood and happiness. The better our mood and the greater our happiness - the better we are able to generally cope. Happiness is important to our well being!

My guest this week, Maura Sweeney, has written a series of books entitled, The Art Of Happiness. Each book deals with a specific area like our comfort zones, our judgement, and our ability to influence others. Maura has some great ideas on how our thought life can positively impact these important areas. Join me for my discussion with Maura Sweeney on this week's show. Click the link to find out more about Maura.

If God is for you, who can be against you? 
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Summer Break!

Hey Everyone!

Journey of Hope With Rodney Mathers is on Summer break and will return on August 12 with new guest and more ideas to help you have and maintain a successful reintegration.  

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Hello !

It's always cool to hear a good success story. My guest this week, Trish Macenulty, uses fiction to bring her true life incarceration stories to an appreciative readership. Join me for my interview with Trish as we talk about incarceration, life after incarceration, and her particularly incredible journey.

Check out all her books: CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON TRISH

If God is for you, who can be against you?
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Hello Every One!

I've learned over the past few years that there may very well be a large percentage of ex-offenders that have un-diagnosed ADHD. I have no way of knowing how accurate that assertion may be but it certainly wouldn't surprise me if it was indeed true. For that reason I welcome my guest this week, Melissa Hood. 

Melissa Hood has written her life's story in a book called, Memoirs of an ADHD Mind. Her story is interesting in that her childhood, teen years, and beyond, mirrors the life story of many of us......up to a point. She was a able to tackle and overcome ADHD and lives the successful, meaningful life that many many of us are working toward and are close to achieving.

I really feel like stories of overcoming adversity such as Melissa's have within them at the very least a morsel of something we can use to better ourselves. Check out my interview with Melissa Hood!!

If God is for you, can be against you? 
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Welcome!

I like the idea of of examining the rationality in my life. Isn't doing that...rational? My guest this week, John Vespacian, has examined our rationality in great detail over a series of books ( ten by my count) that deal with the application of rationality in our lives. Vespacian draws on history and philosophy to find some applicable methodologies that can be used to insert a higher dose of rationality in our daily lives. Vespacian has a message that is right on target for anyone that struggles with defeating the impulsive behaviors that come from emotional response. Impulsive behaviors are indeed the reason for many behaviors that have landed people in prison. Obviously some emotional responses are good - I'm referring to bad impulsiveness. So, join me for my interview with John Vespacian as he calls in from the Netherlands on this week's edition of Journey of Hope With Rodney Mathers.
If God is for you, who can be against you?
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Hi Everyone,

Every once in while I like to do a podcast with no guest - just me. It's a great feeling to get some things off my chest. Today, it's just me. I had a little situation recently that I wanted to share so here it is.

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

Are you happy with who you are? My guess would be everyone has a hard time honestly answering that question in the affirmative. Seriously, how many of us ex-offenders can say that 100% of the time we are totally happy with who we are? That said, I say, WHY THE HELL NOT? All human beings in our culture compare themselves to other people. Our appearance, our relationships and our general sense of self are all subject to this kind of "grass is always greener over there" sort of mentality. 

Want to stop doing that? I do. 

My guest this week, Susan Bremer O'Neill, has got some great ideas on how to do this. Check out our chat on this week's episode.

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

It has been brought to my attention recently that an amazing number of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and woman are products of the foster care system. An organization called Arrow Child and Family Ministries claims their research shows 80% of all incarcerated individuals were at some point in foster care and girls in foster care are 600% more likely to become pregnant before age 21.

I did see some slightly lower percentages in an NPR report and some other places but everywhere I looked in preparation for this week's interview had truly shocking numbers. I'm sure there are some very loving foster care environments that provide an atmosphere to flourish and grow in as well.

However, the assumption can be drawn that there are ex-offenders that have unresolved issues resulting from foster care. That brings me to this week's guest. Shenandoah Chefalo is one of a small percentage of foster care children that actually graduate from college and are able to have successful careers ( most estimates put that number around 3%). Shenandoah has overcome this issue and has written about it in a new book, Garbage Bag Suitcase. She has done her homework and has some thoughts for those of you that are ex-offenders and were foster children.

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

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Hey Yall!

Even before my trouble with the law and subsequent incarceration, I've wondered about some people's ability to harness an amazing inner strength to endure rough situations. It seems to exist somewhere in all of us. The ability to find that strength can result in absolutely amazing things. There have been three times in my life where I flirted with tapping into that inner strength.

You wouldn't know it to look at me now but in the early 90's I trained for and ran 4 marathons. For four years in a row I went through a training cycle in which I had to find the place in my mind to acquire and maintain the discipline to do the things necessary to run 26.2 miles. I believe running a marathon is more mental than it is physical. I was able to successfully complete 3 Houston Tenneco Marathons and one Dallas White Rock Marathon. Did that strength come from the same place the strength comes from to maintain a job search, fight an addiction, and generally not give up?

A second time I dug deep was during college. I had one semester to get my GPA up high enough to stay on my degree plan and do my student teaching the following semester. I needed to make four A's and one B on 15 hours to reach the goal. This wasn't going to be easy for someone that was damn glad to get a C in a class! I did it. Was that inner strength the same inner strength we need to successfully reintegrate?

The third time I needed to reach deep inside was was when I entered TDCJ., the years I spent there, and when I left TDCJ and faced the realities of post incarceration life. I look back at it all and I have no idea where the strength came from.

My guest this week, Dr. Christopher Friesen, is an expert in helping elite athletes achieve their optimum and I put this question to him:  Where inside of us does this pool of strength reside and how we can access it? It seems to me the ability to do this just may define the success of our reintegration. Dr. Friesen also works with sex offenders in a prison setting and has a good grip on what we deal with as offenders, no matter what our case was about.  Dr. Friesen also talks about his soon to be published book, Achieve: Find Out Who You Are, What You Really Want, and How To Make It Happen.

Remember, If God is for you, who can be against you.

 

  
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