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Maybe Dad Was Wrong……

Many of us were taught as a young child that boys don’t cry and as men we often bury our feelings in an attempt to conform to social pressure. However, we now know that the benefits associated with crying include healing and warding off heart disease and reducing pain.

  • Crying releases stress. According to Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist who has treated and  revitalized patients with even the most advanced forms of cardiovascular disease there’s nothing like a good cry when it comes to healing and warding heart disease risk factors. Crying frees the heart  of muscular tension and rigidity,  while enhancing oxygen delivery. The ability to feel emotions deeply, to cry during times of intense sadness and heartbreak, are essential in the prevention of heart disease risk factors. It is important to not allow your stress or emotions to remain bottled up inside you.  
  • Weight loss from crying? Crying releases toxins that assist your body in ridding itself of chemicals that raise cortisol levels. Controlling cortisol helps you cope with stress. (Cortisol is the hormone that puts fat around your belly, so controlling cortisol could contribute to weight loss.) 
  • Pain tolerance Our emotional pain tolerance increases after we have cried because tears from emotional crying contain “leucine-enkephalin,” an endorphin which improves mood and reduces pain.  Whenever you cry your mental health and your physical body receive the occasional vulnerable state (and euphoria) that emotional crying provides.The feeling of relief we experience after crying allowing us to settle down almost instantly  comes from the  “feel-good” hormones and neurotransmitters that are released. It feels good  to let those tears out and then blow your nose.
  • Tears are antibacterial. An article published by Medical Daily found that tears (which contain lysozyme) can kill up to 95 percent of bacteria in under 10 minutes!
  • Crying improves communication. Babies cry to let us know about their discomfort.  Adults, seeing another person’s tears quickly sense the extreme level of anger, frustration or sadness that words fail to convey.

While some prefer to cry alone in the shower, crying is a sign of a kind-hearted sensitive man; not a sign of weakness like you might have been taught as a child.   Jesus wept. John 11:35

Like crying, laughing  be a tremendous remedy for the heart as laughter helps us breathe deeply and releases  tension in our chests. If we laugh hard enough, we may even cry.

In order to restore balance to both your body and mind, it is important that we give ourselves permission to cry and embrace the lacrimation (flow of tears).

  Read more on this subject from  Suzy Cohen “America’s Most Trusted Pharmacist



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  • CVS and Target offer coupons frequently for gift cards if you purchase a new or transferred prescription through them. Watch the weekly ads for those and also
  • Walmart has some for $4. *
  • Reasors in Tulsa free prescription antibiotic and vitamins.
  • K-Mart sales ~  Gold K prescription discounts are available up to 20% off for those age 50+.
  • Genscripts in TulsaA reader just advised us that  “Walmart & GenScripts have lists of prescriptions that are totally free. Ask your doctor to look to see if  there is a similar medication on those lists to the one(s) he is prescribing.   I carry Insurance in case we need an expensive cancer or heart drug or something like that in the future, but for now, we spend about $25 per month each. You can get the list from GenScripts.” Genscripts is located on the north side of 41st St and Hudson Ave, facing Hudson.  Hudson Ave. is at the stop light at 41st St. and Hudson right across from Pet Smart.
  • Costco no membership is needed to fill a prescription!! Costco’s prescription list   Savings are estimated up to 70% off and calculated at the time of sale according to this page of Costco’s site.    6 things you can do at Costco without a-membership


  • Ask your doctor for samples.
  • Ask your pharmacist if there are any discounts.
  • Google the name of the drug to find the manufacturer of the drug you were prescribed, to see if you the manufacturer can help with a discount.
  • 5 Hacks for Lowering Your Prescription Drug Costs


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Simple Way Successful People Accomplish More in a Day

Charles M. Schwab, one of the richest men in the world at the time, was president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the largest shipbuilder and the second-largest steel producer in America. He was also business manager for Andrew Carnegie, the the father of the steel Industry in the United States.

Constantly seeking an edge over the competition, in 1918, Schwab asked Ivy Lee, who had worked for the great industrialist John D. Rockefeller,  what the cost would be for him to  increase the efficiency of his team at Bethlehem Steel.

Lee replied, “Nothing, unless it works. After three months, send me a check for whatever you feel it’s worth to you.”

Spending 15 minutes with each of Schwab’s executives Lee explained the simple method for achieving peak productivity that is said to have also been used by J.P. Morgan, who died in 1913:

1.) At the end of each  day, write down the  most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow, including all your appointments and work items, then prioritize those  tasks in order of their true importance.
2.) In the morning, concentrate only on the first task until it is finished. Then go to the next one on  the list and work it until it is finished. Work you way down the list in the same fashion. Move any unfinished items to a new list for the following day.

After less than three months, Schwab was so pleased with how much more that he and his executive team were able to achieve in a day that he wrote Lee a check for $25,000, the equivalent of $431,614.96 in 2016.

Many successful and world-class experts use this method for the simple reason that mastery requires focus and consistency.  Fewer priorities leads to better focus leading to better outcome. Trimming away everything that isn’t absolutely necessary eliminates feeling overwhelmed and disorganized when constantly trying to divide your time several different ways.

While we have been repeatedly told that multi-tasking is good, according to neuroscientist Earl Miller the exact opposite is true.   Miller, professor of neuroscience at MIT,  warns that the human brain simply can’t fully focus on more than one thing at a time. While we may switch back and forth quickly between tasks that isn’t multitasking.

Doing the most important things first, each day is the way to be successful.


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Nothing Bundt Cakes

If you have already signed up you probably got it in your e-mail.

If you haven’t signed up yet,  join Nothing Bundt Cakes E-Club to receive exclusive offers, new flavor announcements and a free bundtlet on your birthday.

These are wonderful for gifting. Think Valentine’s Day or Random Acts of Kindness week which is Feb. 12-18 in 2017.

In the Tulsa area, Nothing Bundt Cakes is located next to Rustic Cuff on South Memorial. We wish they’d go in at Tulsa Hills.

Posted in All in Fun, Baby Boomers, Birthdays and Anniversaries, Chocolate, Christmas, Coupons, Food, Grandparenting, Great Deals, Random Acts of Kindness, Things to see and do in Tulsa | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Truly Making a Difference in the Life of Another.

When you get face-to-face with those in need, it’s seeing them through Christ’s eyes.
You realize just how much you have in common.  We are all poor; we just have different
forms of poverty.

There are wonderful individuals with tremendous economic needs, who have had difficult lives. A handout often leads to co-dependency, not self-sufficiency. By teaching people ‘how to fish, instead of just giving them fish’, we help them make long-term, real life changes with employment skills, sobriety, good family relationships, budgeting and good spending habits.

They need to know how much God loves them; that He finds them acceptable, complete
and fully pleasing to Him. It requires a network of people working together. Amazing life
changes are being witnessed in the many individuals that Stand in the Gap is empowering.

– Buddy Stone, co-founder of Stand in the Gap


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No Longer Running: The Rhonda Bear Story

Hiding from the police under a brush pile,  while sleet fell around me, I lay shivering  inside the black plastic trash bag of laundry where I slept.

It seems that I had always been running, trying to escape the sexual abuse  when I was 8 years old, a violent step-dad, deep poverty,  parental abandonment…

The Valium from my soccer coach at age 12  to calm my nerves before a tournament was the best feeling I’d ever had. I began using cocaine and dealing drugs before I was in high school….shooting up meth and stealing to support my habit,  kicked out of  a foster home, 8th grade dropout…sexual relationships  with  the lawyers prosecuting my case to make the charges go away…running away…joining a  biker gang…involved with the boss of an organized crime group…drug-induced blackouts…marriage to a Baptist minister’s son who believed he could help…bringing children born  while using methamphetamine and cocaine injected with a needle…drugs broke up the marriage ….selling drugs to support my kids…an attempted suicide…

I had been off the needle for six years, was in a drug recovery program, had obtained my GED and was working toward a social work degree when a  ‘one time’ shot of methamphetamine led immediately to an even more severe addiction.

I was wanted in six counties and two states for various crimes burglary, illegal drug possession, assault on a police officer and passing a bogus check.

The freezing cold and the wounds of childhood were nothing compared to the anguish I felt about the pain and shame my children were suffering.  The bounty on my head had kept me from seeing them because I knew the authorities expected me to show up there.    It is not unusual for children to turn to criminal activity to obtain drugs to deaden the pain. Emotional distress and household instability may lead to the child becoming homeless.

There in the darkness,  completely alone and isolated from everyone, I decided I would do whatever it took to get my kids back and protect them from living a life like this.
I didn’t really know if God was listening as I prayed for courage to change and do something with my life.
10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’   Isaiah 41:10  (NKJV)

Wanting to spare my children the trauma of seeing their mother arrested, I contacted the district attorney, promising that, if allowed  to spend one full day with my kids, I would turn myself  in. Celebrating Christmas early that year, I looked each of them in the eyes, apologized for being the mom that I had been and assured them that I would be different when I returned for them.

The Sequoyah County judge, who sentenced me to 10 years in prison, added a provision to suspend the rest of my sentence  if, while incarcerated, I completed a  12 month drug-treatment program.

Imprisonment destroys families by disrupting the nurturing relationships that bond mothers and their children.  During a mother’s incarceration many kids end up living in poverty. Often others pass unfair judgment on children whose parents are imprisoned, making children feel undeserved shame and social stigma, leading to behavioral problems, depression and low self esteem. Wondering what they did wrong, a child’s embarrassment and pain can manifest as attachment disorders, physical health problems and attention problems in school that lowers academic performance. Thus, children do the time with their mothers.

While some children live with a grandparent, intergenerational incarceration is common, with grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, and aunts  imprisoned at the same time.  Nationwide, an estimated 70 percent of children with an incarcerated parent will someday also become incarcerated. (Source: Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

Prisons were not created to address the brokenness and poverty from which many inmates come.

Hope empowers the women to accomplish their goals leading to restoration of the family, as they become more mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy.  Breaking the cycle of recidivism can save a mother, which in turn can save her children.

Trained volunteers  came along side to support me with love, acceptance and prayer during my transformation toward a normal life, after nearly three decades of drug abuse.

I finished the rehabilitation program in a year and  was released on parole, after serving only 19 months, due to the provision the judge had made.

Inmates are regularly released from jail at midnight on the day their sentence ends. Some have no one to pick them up and no place to go. Few have any savings. The stigma of a prison record  can act as a continued sentence, making it more difficult to gain employment to become productive, in order to support their family and gain acceptance back into society. The WIT volunteers mentor inmates through their entire transition back into society. According to the National Institute of Justice nationally, over 67 percent of released prisoners will return to prison or jail within three years, yet only 3 percent of women who have completed the entire WIT program, have returned to incarceration.

A place to live, a vehicle and a wonderful job, were all in answer to prayer.   God reunited me with my kids; healing and restoring our relationship.

Finding safe housing where women and children can build a new life is very challenging, when landlords will not rent to them.  With support from the wonderful Claremore, OK community, my husband and I opened His House Outreach Ministries, in May 2008. While the original plan was to offer temporary housing for up to two weeks, God had a greater plan!

Today the program includes seven faith-based transitional homes for women recently released from prison. Twenty one women at a time, who focus on getting their children back, are helped with employment, education and goal setting.

Many of the women haven’t completed high school or earned a GED. A lack of skills, an absence of a steady employment history and few resources make it difficult to obtain employment to support their family. Unemployment is a prime motivator in criminal activity, when the only sources of income former prisoners can think of are illegal.

Employment, which is essential in reducing recidivism, allows former inmates to become a productive member of society and part of the community, while providing for their children.


A $300 budget to create a job training program for former inmates might have deterred some folks, but the Lord had already given me a name for the business. The $300 purchased coffee beans, a coffee pot, hot chocolate, a crock pot for apple cider and space at a flea market in downtown Claremore. She Brews Coffee House opened for business, in November 2012, in that rented booth.

When a storefront, nestled in a block of antique stores, became available there was, once again, an outpouring of community support to move the coffee house from the flea market booth to the neat brick building. Donations came in for everything -carpentry work,  furnishings, cooking lessons, kitchen-grade equipment and even membership in the local Chamber of Commerce. A silent auction raised $12,000.

The coffee house provides a place, for women who live at ‘His House’, to gain valuable work experience as they learn responsibility, problem solving  and social skills. Appreciative of the opportunity to interact with members of the community, the ladies take pride in doing their best. Encouraged by the kindness and respect shown them they are eager to prove their trustworthiness.   From the coffee house the women move on to higher paying jobs or pursue degrees to better provide for themselves and their families.

I was an uneducated drug addict who had a life-changing experience. My recovery and transformation has been an amazing journey.  Thanks to the ongoing support of the community many lives have been impacted for the long term– the women, their children, future generations, and society at large. I give God all the glory for the success of the women who have been helped.

I am happy to be going back to prison, where I serve as a Program Manager  to pay forward the generosity of those who gave me the hope I needed to change my life. I teach others the skills that I was taught for a successful transition, which allowed me to get my children back.  Over 1,000 women a year in Oklahoma prisons go through the 12-week course learning how to be productive 

UPDATE: The above is Rhonda Bear’s story. Rhonda’s LinkedIn profile states under experience simply “I love that I get to teach women how to successfully leave prison and reenter society.”

We had to do research on the  internet to learn that, in addition to her work at the coffee shop and  executive director of seven transition  homes, this devoted, wife, mother and grandmother:

  • teaches re-entry courses to more than 1,000 women a year who are leaving  prison.
  • received her degree in Social Work from Northeastern State University, actively advocates for change in our justice system on behalf of incarcerated women at the legislative level  through her role on the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition.
  • a DOC volunteer, she volunteers at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center (where she was named Volunteer of the Year), Mabel Bassett Correctional Center and Rogers County Jail.
  • teaches anger management to women from Turley Correctional Center at St. Luke’s Redemption Church the Tulsa and Rogers county jails, and several Oklahoma City area facilities.
  • became a Kairos volunteer three years after her release.
  • group leader of Women’s Celebrate Recovery at the First Baptist Church of Claremore, OK.


Rhonda doesn’t brag about her awards and recognition, but so far, we found these:

  • Claremore Main Street and the Claremore Chamber recently honored “Leading Ladies” in business and the community. Rhonda received the “Leading Lady of the Year”
  •  Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year.
  • One of the top 10 Young Women in the State by the YMCA  – YWCA Tulsa’s Women of the Year is a distinction  reserved for 10 fearless Green Country women.

A Grateful Heart is a Magnet for Miracles. -author unknown

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