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Is a Life Plan Community/ Continuing Care Retirement Community Right for You?

Life Plan Communities or Continuing Care Retirement Communities (communities like Trinity Woods) can be a wonderful solution for older adults who are independent and active today, but who seek the peace of mind that comes with living in a community that can provide assisted living or health care services if and when needed. But how do you know if a CCRC is right for you?

If you answer yes to most of these introductory questions, then it may be worth exploring your options further:

Do you want to downsize your homeowner responsibilities? (interior/exterior maintenance and repairs)

Do you like to plan ahead to control, reduce or eliminate the uncertainty about future housing and health care costs?

If you ever need assisted living or advanced healthcare services, do you want assurance that such services are guaranteed and provided by the community in which you live?

Would you prefer a social and active community environment—with various services and amenities available to you—that also affords you privacy and independence?

Are you interested in having easy access to a variety of wellness programs and other activities?

Would you like to reduce the number of meals you prepare by having access to a meal plan and possibly bistro-style dining options?

Do you want to reduce the chance that your adult children or other family members will be responsible to provide or coordinate assisted living or nursing care if you need it?

Are you prepared to possibly pay an entry fee and monthly service fees in exchange for the above?

Content provided with express written permission from myLifeSite | www.mylifesite.net

God Made You To Be You

By Weldon Tisdale, Chaplain
“Just be yourself!” The resounding encouragement most likely to be spoken to someone doubting their abilities. In the smash hit Frozen, Elsa had to learn to be herself, discarding the “conceal” message her parents had instilled in her as a child and harnessing her unique powers for the good of her kingdom.
In the smash hit Coco, young Miguel had to break out of the “make shoes” message of his parents and learn to be himself, a music-loving Mexican singer who brought joy to his village.

How does God feel about this message to “be yourself”? After reading the Bible, I would say that God cautiously loves it. We see God’s love for our uniqueness in Paul’s masterful analogy of the human body “God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be” 1 Corinthians 12:18. Just as God wants elbows to be elbows and eyeballs to be eyeballs, so also God wants you to be you. The idea that we are unique and are uniquely made for a purpose is wonderfully biblical. That begs the question—Who are you?

I’ve come to realize that I can read faster, write more clearly, and speak more easily than the average person. For me, “be you” looks like investing as much of my time into these God-given talents so that more people can get connected to Jesus.

And you? Are you wired for emotion, compassion, or comforting people? Do you have the courage to take that first step as a leader? Do you have the ability to come up with fresh ideas? I don’t know exactly how God made you, but I do know that God made you to be you…for Him. Because when you are who God created you to be for Him, you’ll be the best you possible.

Adapted from Pastor Mike Novotny at timeofgrace.org

May STARS Employee of the Month

Sandra Price – Dietary Aide

Start Date: December 2010
Born and Raised: Tulsa, OK
Wanted to be as a Kid: Fire Fighter
Favorite Sport: Hopscotch
One Meal Forever: Pork Chops and Cabbage
Described by Friends: Nice, Kind and Giving
Hobbies: Watching Movies
Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving
Favorite Bible Verse: “Honor your mother and father.”
Family Recipe: Sweet Potato Pie
Favorite Book: Bible
Collects: Old Coins
Free Time: Watching grandkids.
Fun Fact: I like to have fun and play jokes!
What her supervisor says: “Sandra is always kind and compassionate with the members. She is willing to help staff and members daily. She is a pleasure to have on the Dietary Team and dependable.” – Liz Misak, Dietary Manager

May Issue of The Trail Mix

In This Issue:

Garrett Lee, New Trinity Woods CEO,

A new era is beginning, not only for Trinity Woods, but for newly hired CEO Garrett Lee. With over 16 years of combined executive-level operational, finance, compliance, and acquisitional experience, in the health care industry Garrett is ready to start his journey with Trinity Woods.

Garrett writes an open letter to the Trinity Woods community expressing his excitement for this new opportunity. “I cannot tell you how excited I am to join the Trinity Woods family and help continue the good work that has gone on here for many years, making it the amazing place it is today. Perhaps what
I am most looking forward to is getting to know and building meaningful relationships with each
of YOU.”

Your won’t want to miss special feature articles: one from Tom Simmons, Trinity Woods resident, about growing a garden. The other asks the questions, is a Life Plan Community right for you?

May STAR Employee of the Month announced – Sandra!

May Wellness Events

Wellness Nurse, Lupina Fry, encourages us to get outside for better health. With springtime in our grasp is the perfect time to observe nature and receive mental and physical health benefits.

This month’s featured events include a performance from Tulsa Performing Arts Center’s Orbit Initiative, amateur senior thespians from around Tulsa, who will be performing Cinderella. Supper and a Show will feature young professional singers and Trinity Woods audience favorites Sam Briggs and Alex Johnson, accompanied by pianist Christy Stalcup, present a program all about spring. And more concerts, classes and book reviews!

New Neighbors
Meet Zella!

The Heart of Rock and Roll…and the Brain…and the Body!

By Alison McMillan, Wellness Manager

Crank the tunes and jam out to improve your health! No, really! Music has an astonishing and profound positive effect on our bodies in so many ways.

Several studies done regarding music’s activation of the brain have found that not only does it stimulate the sound reception areas in your brain, but it also activates the parts of the brain involved in memory, emotion, and the motor system. Because of that kind of widespread activation, it’s been shown that music
can help stroke survivors recover their ability to speak and move.

One study showed that participants who took a weekly dance class saw improved Parkinson’s symptoms including improved speech, better balance, reduced tremors, and more. Another study showed positive effects on Alzheimer’s by music stimulating the brain to grow new nerve cells, build new neuron connections, and stimulate dopamine – a neurotransmitter that typically is deficient in Alzheimer’s, and that impacts mood and executive skills like memory, problem solving, and inhibition control.

Not only does music impact the brain positively, but it creates positive effects in the circulatory system too! It stimulates the autonomic nervous system which controls the cardiac and respiratory systems. One meta-analysis showed that slower music tempo led to reduced blood pressure and heart rate which helps the physical body and the mind relax. Participating in music by singing means expanding and using the lungs, controlling your breathing, and thus improving lung function. It can even help reduce shortness of breath and help improve the strength of your respiratory muscles.

Music can also improve your performance during physical activity and exercise. Some studies found evidence to support music increasing endurance and adherence to activity, improving blood flow and helping the heart rate and blood pressure return to a normal resting state faster after exercise, and reducing exercise-perceived exertion, helping you get more out of your workout.

With all these awesome benefits, why not press play on your favorite song the next time you exercise, work around the house, or wind down after a long day before bed? Or, take a music based class in the Spann Wellness Center! The Spann Wellness Team offers a class for tapping, line dancing, and a cardio and strength rhythm-based class, and new to the schedule is a music opportunity that allows for any style of dance. Also, the Trinity Woods Chorus starts again in April. Make sure you check out the Wellness Calendar for class days and times.

Trinity Woods: A Dementia Friendly Community

By Lupina Fry, Wellness Nurse

It’s funny how time changes our perceptions of what is considered normal. Not long ago, the word cancer was taboo. Lack of community involvement made the fight for your life one you fought almost alone. But time and understanding, and increased support have changed things, and it took a while to
get there. The diagnosis of dementia is following the same slow path.

Today we acknowledge that dementia issues are a real challenge to our collective future. All of us are likely to encounter cognitive challenges with those around us. Science tells us as we age one in four of us will be diagnosed with some type of dementia. And that person will need at least three people to provide adequate care. It can be a difficult road for each person in that scenario. With support, compassion and understanding for a person living with dementia and their loved ones, we can make a difference. Trinity Woods is a dementia friendly community, and we are proud of the work we’ve done to support families and loved ones living with dementia. We understand it takes a community to change the tide.

In the next few months, a series of presentations will be held to learn more about dementia and dementia care. Topics will include communication techniques, care challenges, the effects of different types of dementia diagnoses and a path forward. Whether you, your friend or a loved one has been diagnosed,
join us. Check your Trinity Woods calendar for information on the date, time, and location or call 918.346.6618.

April STARS Employee of the Month

Cecelia Moti, LPN, Health Center

Start Date: June 2022
Born and Raised: The countryside of Kenya
Wanted to be as a Kid: Police Officer
Favorite Sport: Field Hockey
One Meal Forever: Corn and Beans and Mashed Potatoes
Described by Friends: A good storyteller.
First Job: Teacher
Motivation: My 3 a.m. calls with my mother who reassures me that I’m at the right place, at the right time, with the right people, and to always pray.
Favorite Movie: Gran Torino
Favorite Book: The River and the Source by Grace Ogolla
Free Time: Play acoustic guitar.
Fun Fact: She is a minimalist and never celebrates birthdays.
Favorite Bible Verse: Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalms 46:10
What her supervisor says: “Compassion, professionalism, and exceptional care – Cecilia embodies the true essence of a caregiver who goes above and beyond for the well-being of our elders here at Trinity Woods.” – Anderson Bambokile, Priddy Harbor Household Manager

Seasons of Change and Transition

By Weldon Tisdale, Chaplain

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV)

Through seasons of change and transition, we can rest assured that one thing never changes, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.” As we look at what the Bible says about the divisions of the year known as the seasons, we find assurance for the seasons of our lives as they change and transition. In the Bible, winter, spring, summer, and autumn are spoken about in relation to the agricultural
activities of planting, growing, and harvesting. The seasons of change and transition are also used to describe the lives of God’s people.

Everyone will experience change; however, change is not always the problem, it’s the transition or the adjustment to or acceptance of change. In other words, my difficulty lies in transitioning my internal
response to the external stimuli of change.

Change and transition are related concepts, but they have distinct meanings:
Change:
*Change refers to an alteration in a situation, circumstance, or condition. It can be external or internal.
*It is often visible and tangible—for example, moving to a new city, switching jobs, or adopting a new hairstyle.

Change can be sudden or gradual, and it can be planned or unexpected.
In an organizational context, change might involve restructuring, process improvements, technology upgrades or new leadership at the top.

Transition:
*Transition goes beyond the surface-level change. It encompasses the psychological and emotional process that accompanies change.
*It involves adjusting to the new reality, letting go of the old, and embracing the unknown.
*Transitions are more about the internal journey—the feelings, thoughts, and adaptations.
*In an organizational context it can be when someone retires: the change is leaving the workplace, but the transition involves finding a new sense of purpose and identity.

In summary, change is the external shift, while transition is the internal process of adapting to that change. Both are intertwined and essential for growth and development. And remember we can all rely upon the One who does not change, Jesus Christ, to help us face all of life’s personal transitions.

April STARS Employee of the Month

Tasha Thomas, CMA, Memory Care Assisted Living Houses

Start Date: August 2023
Born and Raised: Okmulgee, OK
Wanted to be as a Kid: Ballerina
Favorite Sport: Track and Field
One Meal Forever: Lasagna
Described by Friends: Goofy and very friendly
Hobbies: Writing Poetry and shopping
Favorite Bible Verse: The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. Psalms 23
First Car: 1991 Mazda 626
Favorite Movie: Sleepers staring Robert DeNiro
Favorite Book: While My Pretty One Sleeps by Anne Canadeo
Motivated By: Knowing one day someone will care for me and I would like to be treated well.
What her supervisor says: “Tasha is a ‘one of a kind’ employee. She demonstrates all the values of Trinity Woods. She is honest, dependable, kind and is an asset to have on our team.” – Kathy Cloyde, Memory Care Households Manager

20 Years of Serving in the Spirit of Christ

By Steve Dickie, CEO

Serving Trinity Woods for the past 20 years has been one of the greatest privileges of my career.
This month I want to take the opportunity to say thank you as we pass the torch to a new leader.

What warms my heart as I say “goodbye”? I am thankful for the strong governance provided by the Board. I am grateful for the dedication and commitment of my colleagues on the leadership team. I am appreciative of all the love and support offered by the members of this great community.

As we look back on the last 20 years who could have imagined all the progress we would make as an organization? Moving to a person-centered model of healthcare, completing the development of Crestwood, promoting whole-person wellness, building the new Holliman Center, adding Memory Care Assisted Living, and completing the Community Life Center have all been major accomplishments!

Nothing is more gratifying to me than to witness the positive impact Trinity Woods has on the people and the families we serve.

Trinity Woods has an outstanding Mission: Serving the Trinity Woods family in the spirit of Christ. None of us lit the flame. That happened 68 years ago! But we are all responsible for keeping the flame of the mission of Trinity Woods burning bright.

I am pleased to share the Board voted unanimously to hire Garrett Lee as the next CEO of Trinity Woods. Next month’s issue of the Trail Mix will be devoted to introducing Garrett to the community. I look forward to seeing all that God still has in store for Trinity Woods.

Your neighbor and friend,
Steve Dickie

Please be watching for communication about events to honor Steve.

April Issue of The Trail Mix

In This Issue:

Trinity Woods CEO, Steve Dickie Says Thank You

After 20 years of serving the Trinity Woods community, Steve Dickies says farewell and thank you.

What warms my heart as I say “goodbye”? I am thankful for the strong governance provided by the board. I am grateful for the dedication and commitment of my colleagues on the leadership team. I am appreciative of all the love and support offered by the members of this great community.

As we look back on the last 20 years who could have imagined all the progress we would make as an organization? Moving to person-centered model of healthcare, completing the development of Crestwood, promoting whole-person wellness, building the new Holliman Center, adding Memory Care Assisted Living, and completing the Community Life Center have all been major accomplishments!

April STAR Employees of the Month announced – Cecelia and Tasha!

April Wellness Events

Wellness Manager, Alison McMillan shares interesting information on music has astonishing and profound effect on our bodies and minds.

This month’s featured events include a performance from Metro Christian Academy’s theater department. Supper and a Show will feature the works of Henry Mancini performed by Janet Rutland, John Wooley and Scott McQuade. And more concerts, classes and book reviews!

New Neighbors
Meet Ron and Martha!

We Stand on Giant’s Shoulders

By Steve Dickie, CEO

All of us share a common debt to the many others who “prepared the way” for us by shaping our community and giving of themselves in ways which served to our benefit. Because of their kindness and
generosity our lives have been enriched and as they served the greater good. There is a collective blessing we inherit that we are now obligated to build upon and pass on to others. It is true: we stand on the shoulders of giants.

Rev. Elson Hargrove joined the staff of Trinity Woods (then Oklahoma Methodist Manor) as Assistant
Health Care Administrator in 1984. He went on to be Health Care Administrator and later Executive
Director prior to his retirement in 1996.

During his tenure he was involved in the construction of the Fleming Center, the Patio Homes, and the Health Center. Rev. Hargrove had the distinction of hiring Dennis Graham (now Chief Operating
Officer) as a contractor in 1995.

Dennis described Rev. Hargrove as a kind and compassionate leader who was always looking out for the residents and staff.

Elson and Joyce Hargrove now reside in the very Health Center he helped to build. It is an honor and a privilege for all of us to serve those who served us so well.

Seven Dimensions of Wellness: Social

By Alison McMillan, Wellness Manager

When I was a child, my grandmother used to sing to me, “Make new friends, and keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold!” I never knew what she really meant until I was much older, but the intention there was to encourage me to continue being social and to grow my connections past the handful I
already had. Social relationships and friendships are extremely important in our lives and make up one entire dimension of the Seven Dimensions of Wellness.

As we age, social well-being becomes even more important than ever. According to the CDC, social isolation and Loneliness are significant health risks, increasing the risk of developing dementia, depression, heart disease, and more. The CDC also reports that nearly one fourth of adults over the age of 65 can be considered socially isolated. Conversely, the National Institute of Aging reports that people who regularly engage in meaningful and productive activities tend to live longer lives, have greater
mood boosts, and report feeling a strong sense of purpose.

There are many ways to increase your social activity to better care for your social well-being. One of them is through physical activity! A study published in June of 2021 found that increased physical activity in women over 60 helped foster social links to improve social relationships. Try an exercise class or join a walking group – it’s a good way to boost your social life by meeting new people and exploring new friendships. Another way is to find a new hobby or activity to explore. Not only will you learn a new
skill, but you will gain lifelong connections with people eager to meet you and teach you their interest.

Trinity Woods offers so many social opportunities. From Wii Bowling to Bingo, Fun Fit Boxing to Tai Chi, Weavers and Pickle Ballers, Walking Adventures, Concerts, and programs like Meet the Chef and Supper and a Show, there are endless options for attending social events. Each one is designed to help you fully
engage in Seven Dimensions of Wellness. Remember: building connections can lead to a healthier you.

What I Am Doing Here?

By Duane Blankenship, Trinity Woods Resident

Janice and I lived in three wonderful homes east of Broken Arrow for a total of 46 years. In May of
2023, we acknowledged that we needed a plan that would define how and where we would spend
our Golden Years. Two weeks later we attended a presentation by Trinity Woods’ CEO Steve
Dickie and the sales team. Our eyes were opened! Early the next morning we headed to Trinity
Woods for a tour of available properties and received answers to all our questions.

Together, we had decided that now was a great time to implement plans for a final move. We
were getting older, had no relatives living near us, and did not want to leave the Tulsa area where I
had lived for nearly 60 years. Plus, I cherished the thought of no more mowing, edging, trimming,
replacing broken sprinkler heads, repairing or replacing appliances, making repairs to our home
and property as needed, no more utility bills, etc. And we did not want to be a burden to our kids
as we got older. Getting the idea?

We’ve now lived in our new Trinity Woods patio home for seven months and there is no place we
would rather be! Every aspect of Trinity Woods has exceeded our expectations! We love our new
home and the Trinity Woods community. It’s a perfect fit for us! We never expected to make so
many friends so quickly. There are so many activities in which to participate to keep our brains
and bodies healthy and the entire community is welcoming, helpful, friendly, and fun! Our kids
are delighted that we are so happy, and our friends compliment us for making the decision to
move to Trinity Woods.

Charter Oak, Cypress Grill and Tree Top, combine to provide exceptional dining choices for
breakfast, lunch and dinner. And all the food at Trinity Woods is excellent! Plus, seemingly endless
amenities, entertainment and opportunities for self improvement abound!
In short, Janice and I feel like we’ve moved to a fine resort to spend the remainder of our Golden
Years with wonderful, new friends!

And just for the record, we know what we’re doing with our future! Do you?

March STARS Employee of the Month

Sherrick Sanford, Cook on the Dining Team

Start Date: July 2023
Born and Raised: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Education: Tulsa Technology Center
Wanted to be as a Kid: An Athlete
Favorite Sport: Football, Basketball, Wresting, UFC
One Meal Forever: Breakfast – “A very awesome meal!”
Described by Friends: Words can’t describe Sherrick
Hobbies: Music, Sports and Reading
First Job: Landscaping
Favorite Holiday: Christmas – I love giving gifts!
Family Recipe: Gumbo
Favorite Book: Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Collects: Vinyl Records
What his supervisor says: “Positive and always willing to help staff and members. Sherrick is willing to assists those around him and is very pleasant to work with.” – Ling Pham, Executive Chef

Easter and the Legend of the Dogwood Tree

Legend holds that the Dogwood Tree was once very large and because its wood was strong and sturdy, it provided building material for a variety of purposes. According to the story, it was the Dogwood Tree
that provided the wood used to build the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

Because of its role in the crucifixion, it is said that God both cursed and blessed the tree. It was cursed to be small forever, so it would never grow large enough to be used again as a cross for a crucifixion. Its branches would be narrow and crooked, which makes it no good for building. At the same time, however, the tree was blessed so it would produce beautiful flowers each spring, just in time for Easter.

To remember God’s promise to the tree, it is said He gave it a few traits so that whoever looks upon it will never forget. For example, the petals form the shape of a cross. Upon close examination, the blooms of the tree always have four petals. The middle of the dogwood flower is a tight grouping that resembles a crown of thorns. And the tips of each of the petals are indented, as if they bear a nail dent. There are even colors in the petals that bring to mind the drops of blood that spilled during the crucifixion.

The Legend of the Dogwood Tree. Happy Easter!

The Lamb of God

By Weldon Tisdale, Trinity Woods Chaplain

In the Bible, Jesus is often referred to as the Passover Lamb. Let’s explore why this analogy is significant as we enter the Lenten Season in preparation for Easter:

1. ORIGINS OF THE PASSOVER:
The concept of Passover originates from the book of Exodus. During the time when the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, God instructed them to celebrate the Passover as a memorial of their deliverance. In Exodus 12, God commanded the Israelites to take an unblemished one-year-old lamb and sacrifice it during the Passover feast. The blood of this lamb was to be applied to their doorposts, signifying protection from death. The Passover commemorated God’s grace in sparing the Israelites from the final plague that struck Egypt, where the firstborn of every household died. The blood on the doorposts allowed death to “pass over” their homes.

2. SYMBOLISM OF THE PASSOVER LAMB:
The lamb sacrificed during the Passover served as a substitute. Its innocent blood protected the Israelites
from death. This sacrificial provision pointed forward to the coming of Jesus Christ, who would be the ultimate and perfect Lamb of God. Just as the Passover lamb’s blood shielded the Israelites, Jesus’ blood would provide salvation for all humanity.

3. JESUS AS THE LAMB OF GOD:
John the Baptist recognized Jesus as the Lamb of God. In John 1:29, he declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Isaiah 53:7 also prophesied about Jesus: “He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter.” Jesus willingly sacrificed Himself on the cross, shedding His innocent blood. His death became the ultimate Passover sacrifice. By accepting Jesus as the Lamb of God, we can be saved from spiritual death. His sacrifice offers redemption and eternal life.

4. NEW CREATION AND SPIRITUAL LIFE:
Jesus’ sacrifice goes beyond physical deliverance. He is the Passover Lamb who brings about the true exodus. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus initiates a spiritual new creation. He raises His people from spiritual death to spiritual life. As the Lamb of God, Jesus fulfills the symbolism of the Passover lamb, providing salvation for all who believe in Him.

In summary, Jesus’ role as the Passover Lamb signifies His sacrificial love, redemption, and the opportunity for humanity to escape spiritual death through faith in Him.

March Issue of The Trail Mix

In This Issue:

Trinity Woods Resident Answers the Question – Why Trinity Woods?

When people move to Trinity Woods, friends and family starting asking a lot of questions. This was no different for the Blankenships. In this month’s issue Duane answers the questions of why and specifically why now?

After 46 years of homeownership, they made the “best decision” for them to live their best lives. The Blankenships talk about their “why” and what have been the biggest surprises along the way. Learn more about their journey to retirement living – the way they chose!

In March we will celebrate Holy Week. Learn more about opportunities to increase your spiritual health.

March STAR Employee of the Month announced – Sherrick!

March Wellness Events

The calendar is full of ways to connect, listen to music, read books and more!

This month we feature a special St. Patrick’s Day event to welcome new residents. Entertainment will include dancers from the Goode Academy of Irish Dance and an educational performance by the City of Tulsa Pipes & Drums band. Erin go bragh!

New Neighbors
Meet Jan and Chuck!

Bears That Care

By: Bonnie Polak, VP of Philanthropy and Community Engagement and Editor

Meet Elizabeth Bartlett or, as many people call her, “Mama Bear.” Elizabeth has taken a small gesture, a teddy bear and an encouraging note, and made a profound impact. If you have never heard of the Trinity Bears (or the Manor Bears, as they used to be called) it is a great ministry and service brought about by the passion and heart of one very special lady.

When Elizabeth moved to Trinity Woods in 2009, she was inspired by a group of women who also lived here that made quilts for people who were sick. “This group of ladies were so impressive. Some of them had trouble with their eyesight, some couldn’t sew but they all found a way to be part of the effort.”

In 2010 Elizabeth started making special little bears for the people living at Trinity Woods. She
originally started making them for the birthdays of residents of the Holliman Center and now she focuses her efforts on residents who are in the Trinity Woods Health Center.

When asked why she spends her free time making stuffed bears, she says, “When someone moves to the Health Center, their life really changes and I think people tend to do better when they know other people care about them.”

When Elizabeth first started her passion project, it was just a team of two – she and her late husband Lynn. Now, nearly 15 years later, there is a team of 20 helpers who cut, draw, stuff, sew and deliver the bears to Health Center residents.

Elizabeth says that over 5,000 Trinity Bears have been given out to residents since they started. The bears mean so much to recipients that, even after they leave the Health Center, they or their families often keep their bears as mementoes of the care that was shown to them. She has even shared her pattern and program with people across the country. “A Health Center family member from Alaska once asked if she could start making bears in her community,” said Elizabeth. “I happily gave her the pattern and told her how I did it.”

Each bear is made by hand with a handwritten scripture and note of encouragement. Elizabeth hopes the Trinity Bears legacy goes beyond just individual interactions and contributes to a stronger, more connected community.

If you are interested in getting involved with this group of volunteers, please contact Irene Brown, Trinity Woods Life Enrichment Coordinator, at ibrown@trinitywoodstulsa.com or 918.346.6614.

God is Love

By Weldon Tisdale, Chaplain

February is the month most often associated with love. We start seeing cupids and hearts in the stores and begin thinking of what to give the one we love. Valentines become available in January for sending to loved ones in February. This is a good month to think about what real love is. There are three kinds of love.

*Eros – This is erotic love. It is the first stage of a romantic relationship. It can be felt when you don’t even know the person who is the object of this love. It is a physical love centered on self.
*Philos – This love is based on a friendship between two or more people. It is based on give and take. It is a love that is centered on self but also others. This is “brotherly” love.
*Agape – This is totally selfless and unconditional love. It is love given without expectation of receiving any benefit in return. This is Spiritual love, and it is the highest form of love.

God is love. Here are examples of God’s Agape love:
*God demonstrated His agape love. Even though we were not worthy of His unconditional love, He sent His Son to die as a sacrifice for our unworthiness. We do not deserve His love, but He loves us anyway. Romans 5:8

*Jesus loves me in the same way that God the Father loves Him. He wants me to feel secure in that love. Jesus wants me to love others in the same way He loved me. John 15:9-13

*I am certain that nothing will ever tear me away from God’s love. Nothing in this life or the next, nothing seen or unseen, not even my own fears or worries, absolutely nothing can separate me from God’s love. That’s indescribable love.
Romans 8:38-39

*God is love. The Bible says that when I live in this love, I live in God and God lives in me. I have seen the ability to love others grow in me. Because I love God, I can love other people. I love because God loved me first. 1 John 4:16,19

*Allow the love of God to overwhelm your life this month and the rest of 2024 and then watch how your love for God and self will extend to loving others.

True love, that is deep, abiding love that is impervious to emotional whims or fancy, a choice. It’s a constant commitment to a person regardless of the present circumstances.
Mark Manson

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