JUNE 2015


2015 Banquet by the Numbers

Mental Health on the Big Screen
On the Shelf–June
2015 Banquet

Dear friends,

As June draws to a close, many of us have a different rhythm to life. Backyard barbeques or time away with family at the beach or mountains now fill up free places on our schedules. Others of us relish time outside with flower or vegetable gardens or children’s sports activities.

Colossians 3:17 tells us “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

May your recreation bring glory to God. My prayer for you and for me is that this season will fulfill the definition of “recreation”--re-creating, re-filling, renewing each of us for love and service.

With gratitude for each of you,

Heath Greene

2015 Banquet by the Numbers

  • More than doubled The number of monthly donors—those who have an amount autodrafted each month for Associates—more than doubled.
  • 222% The dollar amount given monthly went up by a large percentage. It’s a convenient way to give, and we are grateful for these monthly partners!
  • 167 email addresses added to the email newsletter list (Welcome, new readers!)
  • $50 A gift card for Julianna Strickland, added to the E-News list and drawn at random.
  • 4th In 16 years of Associates’ banquets, 2015 clocked in at the fourth highest total raised---but the three banquets ahead on the list all had an anonymous matching gift that boosted totals. The 2015 banquet did not have a matching gift opportunity, making it the highest-grossing event without that addition.

 Mental Health on the Big Screen

Inside Out
Rated PG


The major characters are not living toys but emotions: Joy (Amy Poehler), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). They live in the brain of Riley, a precocious Minnesota girl who likes hockey but gets hauled to San Francisco when her dad’s work precipitates a family move.

As soon as Joy draws a tight circle around Sadness and tells her to stay in it, Inside Out lets us know it isn’t comfortable with Riley’s mom telling her they need to “keep smiling” (regardless of what they actually feel) for dad’s sake. The film is culturally subversive in daring to question the idea that our highest good comes from pursuing happiness.

Inside Out also features parents who are mostly both loving and attentive. Riley’s  distress is a natural consequence of growing up, rather than precipitated by some unreasonable maternal expectation or careless paternal blunder.

Infinitely Polar Bear
Rated R


Mark Ruffalo is superb as a man with bipolar disorder struggling to keep his family together. The film, set in the 1970s, is written and directed by Maya Forbes, who is basically telling the story of her own childhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts. When she was 6, her world imploded when her father, who had bipolar, had a series of manic episodes, leading to her parents’ separation.

“I wrote Infinitely Polar Bear about this difficult time,” Forbes says. “In the end, it worked. We became our own version of a family.”

Forbes says she wanted “a film that was funny, sad, authentic, and warm. I wanted a humane film about the effects of mental illness on a family. I wanted to see real, resilient children. I wanted to see a movie about love and the hard choices people have to make every day.”

On the Shelf–June

Adventures in Saying Yes: A Journey from Fear to Faith
Carl Medearis with Chris Medearis (Bethany House Publishers)

Medearis, an expert in Muslim–Christian relations, moved his family to Beirut in 1992, when wounds from Lebanon’s long civil war were fresh. Adventures in Saying Yes recalls the many risks he has taken traveling across the Middle East to promote religious and political reconciliation between long-standing enemies. But Medearis avoids portraying himself as a hero. His book urges all believers to free themselves from the grip of comfort and take bold steps for the gospel. “Feeling safe and secure is a good thing,” he writes, “until . . . it isn’t. Stop for a moment and think of all the things that your need for security might actually stop you from doing.”

Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition, and the Life of Faith
Jen Pollock Michel (InterVarsity Press)

Michel challenges conventional Christian notions about heeding desire. She helps us understand that what we want isn't our enemy, but one of God's most powerful tools for shaping and directing us. We might easily think of desire as all bad, but Michel argues that desire, rightly understood, should be followed.
"Wanting derails into selfishness, greed, and demanding ingratitude when we've failed to recognize and receive the good that God has already given,” Michel writes. “Trust is at the center of holy desire: trust that God is good and wills good for His people."



June Words to Keep

Mourning for Charleston

“Those of us within the body of Christ must grieve with our brothers and sisters in Charleston. When the apostle Paul says that ‘if one part suffers, every part suffers with it’ (1 Cor. 12:26), he is saying that when evil visits Charleston, it visits all of us.”
Christena Cleveland, Relevant, Standing With Charleston: Solidarity in the Church

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 34:18

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This e-newsletter is published monthly by Associates in Christian Counseling Andrea Greene, Editor
©2015 Associates in Christian Counseling, all rights reserved.
Questions or comments—e-mail us at info@christiancounseling.org