September 2022 Newsletter
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
Thanksgiving, just around the corner, is a time to remember and celebrate the harvest and the many blessings that we have. And no matter how difficult things have been in our circumstances, especially during the past two years, there is always much to be thankful for, recognizing that the giver of gifts, small and large, is our heavenly Father. At CCO we are thankful for faithful therapists, for our dedicated staff, and for the team of directors who are servants working to enact the mission of Jesus to heal the broken, to feed his lambs and to bring hope to the despairing. We are thankful for you, our supporters, who make it possible for us to provide counselling for those who could not otherwise afford the cost. We continue to provide subsidized fees, based on a sliding scale, to make getting help accessible for all. This is our ministry at CCO.
We are thankful that God is a constant. He does not shift like shadows, and we firmly believe that He will continue to provide for our needs as we move forward. Will you be part of His plan to provide for CCO financially or through prayer support? Will you respond to His invitation to help us meet the needs of our clients? Each and every gift, no matter how big or small, is a blessing that can bring relief and hope to an individual, couple or family looking to improve their situation in challenging times. We are very grateful for each gift and all your prayers.
- You can make a donation on our website (www.christiancounsellingottawa.ca)
- Make a donation through Canada Helps (https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/christian-counselling-ottawa)
- Become a monthly partner. Being a monthly partner with us helps us to plan more efficiently and ultimately impacts more people.
- Help us spread the word! Share this letter with your friends and family or share our posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Sue Skinner, Vice Chair
Lord, Teach Us to Pray
by Rev. Dan Guther
In Luke’s account of the Lord’s Prayer (Lk 11:1-4) we find the disciples, after seeing Jesus praying, asking him to teach them how to pray. If we are honest, most of us have asked this same question somewhere along our journey with Christ. Even now in my walk with Jesus I would like to learn how to pray more effectively and understand more deeply how prayer actually works.
Jesus gives them a model prayer which is still used today by many believers. At times I have used it in my own devotions but I usually follow the ACTS prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. The question still remains, what is prayer and why pray at all?
The word Luke uses in verse one “denotes prayer comprehensively,”1 meaning more generally than prayer that is directed, such as petitions, intercessions (I Tim. 2:1) or specifically asking for something (Lk 1:13). “It is understood as a regular habit”2 as Jesus was doing when his disciples asked him to teach them how to pray. The habit of prayer is not, and should not be a ritual. As Jesus explains in Luke 1: 5-13, prayer is trusting in the goodness and providence of God to take care of us and provide for our needs. It is in our own relationship as children of God, by asking in faith, that God will grant what is good for us and establish the kingdom of God.
Practically, Jesus had a regular time, place and way of praying. Prayer does not just happen; we must make it a priority as Jesus did. I know in my life other things crowd out my time if I do not make it of greatest importance. It has been my habit for the past 30 years of ministry to pray every morning before I do anything else.
A final thought about this word. It can be used to mean “a place of prayer”3 as in Acts 16:13 when the Apostle Paul met Lydia by the river (probably in a synagogue) at Philippi. Prayer is not only an individual experience, it is a corporate ministry that we are called to do together. This was a regular habit of both Jesus and Paul as they worshiped with other believers. Participation in a local congregation praying together is not only encouraging to those praying, but also a powerful testimony when we see our prayers answered.
The ministry of CCO needs our prayers individually and corporately. Please make it a habit to pray for the clients, staff, and board members on a regular basis as this ministry impacts our city and beyond.
1 Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Kittel, Gerhard, Editor. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. pg. 807
2 Ibid. 807.
3 Ibid. 808.
Prayer Partners: If you would like to partner with us to pray for CCO, our Prayer Team will send you monthly emails with specific prayer requests. Connect with us at email@example.com
A CHANGE IN FOOD MINDSET
By Megann Wall
The decision to limit sugar intake – or possibly remove it completely – in a person’s diet began years ago. And this was not without cause: high sugar consumption is publicly known to be connected to dangerous side effects, such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and inflammation. All these, as we know, can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Maybe you have been limiting your sugar intake for health reasons, or to lose weight, or to support a loved one who has had a health scare. While being aware that one’s sugar intake is not bad or wrong in and of itself, there are consequences of restrictive dieting that are not talked about enough.
Most diet changes are well-intentioned, but the truth is that the body is not wired for change of habit, and the self control to maintain that change can oftentimes be draining. Not only is it wearing but labeling certain foods as “bad” encourages restrictive eating which has been linked to induce food cravings (Pelchat and Schaeffer, 2000), mood disturbances (Timkho and Perone, 2005), and increased binge eating (Linardon and Mitchell, 2017), among other disordered eating activities. Regrettably, it appears that rigidity in meal planning and having an ‘all-or-nothing’ attitude is destined for a cycle of collapse and can cause more emotional and physical harm than good.
However, there is hope.
As in most areas of life, psychology plays an immense role in our relationship with food. When we label food as “good” or “bad”, we are giving it morality – which clearly, it cannot have. But when we view food as “more nutritious” or “less nutritious”, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to fuel our body, while still allowing ourselves to occasionally eat a bowl of ice cream or an extra sweet latte.
We read throughout the Bible that God “formed us in our mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13) and that “we are his workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10). He created our every detail and wants us to worship Him wholeheartedly with each of those details. This includes the way we view ourselves. We are told from a young age to love others as we love ourselves, though we would never tell another person, “Don’t eat that, it’s not good for you”, or “I can’t believe you had another chocolate bar today, you’re such a failure”. Why then would we say this to ourselves? When we are more mindful about what we are eating, we give ourselves the permission and the freedom to make the decision to eat what we want to, when we want to – whether it be a healthy quinoa salad or a croissant from the local bakery – rather than reaching mindlessly for the first thing in the cabinet. We give ourselves the opportunity to be aware of the nutrients we are fueling our body with as well as the chance to enjoy the treats we’re indulging in.
All this of course is not to say eat all the treats your sweet-tooth desires. Instead, when faced with a decision of what – or if – to have a snack or a slice of the birthday cake, take a moment and be mindful of what present state you are in.
Why am I reaching for this food?
Will it make me feel better physically? Emotionally?
Is food the best remedy for what I am feeling?
Can I slow down and enjoy this treat to appreciate the taste, smell, and texture of it?
Does this food align with my current health goals? By eating this, am I improving my relationship with food?
Keep in mind, no matter what the answer is, you have permission to eat it. All food serves a purpose. Changing your mindset on food can rewire your attitude towards health. You have the power to make the right health choices, and health includes your relationship with food. God created us beautifully and wants us to make good decisions, but sometimes enjoying chocolate fondue with friends, free of guilt, is the best decision.
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
by Sue Skinner
I’ll Start Again Monday
This book by Lysa TerKeurst is for all of us who have unsuccessfully tried one diet after the other to break our cycle of unhealthy eating patterns. When we blow it, yet once again, we promise ourselves that we will start again next week. Lysa’s insights come from personal struggles and wisdom she has gained.
Unlike other dieting books, this book is not about counting calories nor does it offer recipes for healthy eating. It is a call to grow deeper in our relationship with Christ, and an invitation to allow the Holy Spirit to help us develop self discipline in all areas of our life, including what we eat. Lysa tells us that “God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we redirect our misguided cravings to the only one capable of satisfying them.”
Being a condensed version of TerKeurst’s book, “Made to Crave,” this small book (literally) is humorous, easy to read and could be devoured in a single afternoon. But that would be missing the point. This book is intended to be savoured slowly, chapter by chapter, inviting you to reflect on the insights and scriptures that are shared to feed our malnourished souls. Scriptures are power in times of need and help us to experience true freedom, when we are victorious in dealing with temptations and anything that becomes an idol in our lives.
Even if you don’t have an issue with your weight, this book can provide insight into developing self discipline in a pursuit of holiness to follow Jesus.
People to serve on the Board of Directors. If you have time, expertise and sense God leading you to serve in this role, please contact Rosanne at firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Director. Do you enjoy meeting new people, sharing the story of vision and mission, and building relationships with new donors? We are looking for someone to lead our charity. Visit our website to find out more, including a job description.
Christian Counselling Ottawa
63 Glencoe St #303, Ottawa, ON K2H 8S5