MARCH 2014


Associates Welcomes Gus Thomas

A Deeper Look

Annual Banquet 2014

On the Shelf

In the “On the Shelf” article this month, the book Unbroken is highlighted. This story affected me deeply. Louie Zamperini lives a story that is almost unbelievable, with wonderful triumphs and incredible hardships. As a military veteran and prisoner of war, he shows the life of a man who somehow dismisses resentment and embraces life. In everything, he allows God to work in his life to bring forgiveness and healing—perhaps the most amazing part of all.

Next month, Phil Ford will speak at our banquet. He, too, has a life story with triumph and pain to share, and God also has been faithful in his life. I am struck by the faithfulness of our Father to redeem and transform pain into wholeness. As we journey through Lent toward the Cross, may God’s transforming work be done in all of our hearts.


Heath Greene
Executive Director

 Associates Welcomes Gus Thomas

James A. (Gus) Thomas, M.Div., M.A., D.Min., says he “became a therapist by accident.” There are many men and women who are glad he did.

Thomas has joined the staff of Associates following many years in the pulpit and in the Army Reserves. He served for 25 years as a chaplain in the reserves, enjoying the pastoral care aspect of his work. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom for 18 months as an active duty chaplain.READ MORE

 A Deeper Look

“Veterans with untreated mental health problems may face severe consequences to their overall health and ability to fully reintegrate into their communities, exacerbating the potential for chronic mental health conditions. Therefore, failure to intervene early and effectively could have profound long-term costs for the health of this generation of veterans.”
(Source: Testimony by the Wounded Warrior)

25,849 veterans living in Forsyth County
(Source: QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau)

Winston-Salem is one of 16 founding cities in the Homeless Veteran Leadership Network, an initiative focused on ending veteran homelessness. Strategies include vouchers for homeless vets and renovating duplexes for veteran communities.
(Source:, March 12, 2014 press release)

The unemployment rate for veterans outpaces the civilian rate.
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

North Carolina is home to six military installations:

  • Fort Bragg
  • Camp Lejeune
  • Cherry Point Marine Air Corps Station
  • New River Marine Air Corps Station
  • Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
  • Pope Air Force Base

North Carolina is home to more than 116,000 men and women serving in active duty military roles. Another nearly 23,000 serve in the Reserve and National Guard.

On the Shelf during Lent

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Laura Hillenbrand

This is the inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. Louie Zamperini, a juvenile delinquent-turned-Olympic runner-turned-Army hero, crashes into the Pacific with his plane and other crew members. The next three years of his life is the story of a man who somehow maintained his sense of self and humanity despite brutal treatment and degradation. The power of redemption and forgiveness shines through in an unforgettable way.

A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships
Paul E. Miller

How do you love with no love in return?
How do you love when no one notices or cares?

Miller tackles these tough questions at the heart of our struggle to love head-on. Drawing from the book of Ruth, A Loving Life offers the help we need to embrace relationship, endure rejection, cultivate community, and reach out to even the most unlovable around us as we discover the power to live a loving life.

Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle
Ted Loder

This paperback is the twentieth anniversary edition of Methodist minister Ted Loder's lively, poetic, creative, and soul-stretching collection of prayers. It includes devotional material organized around themes like quietness and listening, thanks and praise, unburdening and confession, comfort and reassurance, restoration and renewal, commitment and change.


Lenten Words
to Keep

“Lent is about as counter-cultural as it gets. And I'm quite influenced by our culture. To spend a short part of each year constraining myself, limiting myself, practicing self-denial, is just one way of turning my attention away from the relentless message of self-gratification and instant pleasure offered to me everywhere I turn and instead put my hope and trust (or at least a little bit of it) in the one who truly satisfies this thirsty soul.”
Amy Julia Becker, author and blogger

“Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.”
Pope Francis

“Lent gives me this gift: the deeper I know the pit of my sin, the deeper I’ll drink from the draughts of joy. She who knows her sins much, loves much. The road to heaven is paved with the realization that I deserve Hell. His rising will be all joy, because I know it in the marrow of the bones: He is all my hope.”
Ann Voscamp, author

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