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hopekeepers(R) Magazine is a real magazine that is published 4 times per year. It's 64 pages, digest size.

We email out a condensed version too. hopenotes is the "E-zine" version that comes "in between" the 4 issues of hopekeepers Magazine.

We hope you enjoy getting to know Rest Ministries, the publisher of hopekeepers Magazine, as we love getting to know you! YOU make our ministry what it is!


Buy anything in the Comfort Zone bookstore the first 2 weeks of December and you'll be entered to win a Peppermint Bath Gift set. They have a bath gel, salts, foot scrub and foot lotion in a pretty little white box with a red ribbon. Gift recipients will be notified via email and the gift sent right out. 1 will be given away each week and their names announced here next month!



Dear [firstname],

It's hard to believe that another autumn is nearly over and I'm pulling out the Christmas lights. I went to the store today and purchased a couple extra extension cords and wrapping paper in preparation for the 4-day weekend ahead filled with decorating and wrapping. My goal is to try to wrap up gifts and send them off to family in the other states quickly so that I can concentrate on just experiencing JOY this season and not "Just Opportunities to Yell..."

This last week has been a big reminder that this world is only temporary. One friend discovered that her adoption plans for a baby girl to arrive Christmas Day (due date of Dec. 26th) fell through. Last week, my other dearest friend and mentor experienced the horror of her 25-year-old son taking his life. Her entire life has revolved around a ministry of praying for her son, writing books about being a mom, and creating music and lyrics about her son growing up. I felt like someone punched me in the stomach-- and then the next day we got up and went to take our son to see Thomas the Train. While Connie stepped on a plane to go see to her son, we went to an outlet mall. It seemed so unfair that I just got to "go on with life" when other's around me will never be the same. Her husband serves on Rest Ministries board of directors and so does the other girlfriend I mentioned above.

I shudder to realize that my mind has been on the next magazine coming out, getting to the store before they are out of turkeys, and making sure my kid can get a photo with "Thomas the Train." After a physically difficult August and September, I am enjoying a bit of "coasting" and the precious moments... like last night when Josh said "Baby Jesus" for the first time.But those around me are suffering; it doesn't seem right.

2 Corinthians 4:18 says, "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

We can't fix this world... as much as we'd like to. But we CAN fix our eyes on Jesus and for the eternal world filled with JOY that will be completely uncomprehensible.

I am very grateful for all that I have and the many blessings God has given me. However, this Thanksgiving I think I will be singing praises that we were not made for this world! In John 16:20 Jesus reminds us, "I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy."

While those around us seem to be without health problems, we may weep and morn, but when we rejoice--and we WILL--our joy will be eternal. For that I am very grateful. I look forward to sharing a Thanksgiving banquet with you on that day!

Founder, Director Rest Ministries
Editor, hopekeepers Magazine

In case you haven't heard, I've actually succumbed to the internet trend of "blogging." I hope my ramblings might "introduce" you to me a bit more in case you're interested in knowing who is behind Rest Ministries. You can read here.


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We'd like to keep you informed of
areas of Rest Ministries that need
your prayer! You
can send your requests to us too and the Encourager Club will pray
for you.

Becki, our hopekeepers online leader, was admitted to a hospital in Pasadena, CA late Saturday night "on the
suspicion she may have
suffered a mild stroke on
Friday. They ran more tests
11/21 checking for a blockage
in the carotid artery. We just
need to keep her in our prayers
and pray for wisdom for the
doctors. It would be so
wonderful if they could find
what has been giving her
such terrible headaches and
then the weakness she felt
Friday. She is really hoping
they will find something they
can 'fix!'"
- Susan


"When the doctor said I couldn't exercise, not even walk around our beautiful neighborhood, because exercise makes post-polio muscle problems worse, that was a difficult thing to hear. I felt cut off from part of life. Then we got a tandem bicycle. My husband does the work and I get to get out of the house!" ~Tricia Truax
Wilmington, NC
Post Polio Syndrome

Nominate yourself or a friend
for our Reader Spotlight & send us photos!


I'd like to nominate Carlene Bean! Although she has plenty on her own plate she continues to be a wonderful moderator and encourager. She always prays for the needs expressed by our Splash members and often sends out snail mail cards too. Love, Sheryl

Nominate one of Rest
Ministries volunteers

What's going on around Rest Ministries web site? It's gotten so big that sometimes those of us in leadership don't even know about all the happenings. This will be a place where you can tell us. Send us your experience or what's new in your group. Photos are great too! We look forward to hearing from you -- both participants and volunteers.

Our big news is that are now an affiliate of Joni and Friends. This means we will have the chance to partner with them in various events, etc. We were recently encouraged to join them by a Director of Communications, Steve Appel, who has chronic fatigue syndrome. He's been an amazing advocate for Rest Ministries and people with chronic illness within this already all-encompassing ministry. We're eager to see how God directs our partnership to His glory. (And it's pretty exciting for our director, Lisa, who remembers watching the movie "Joni" and reading the book when she was just a kid. We're thrilled with the honor!)

"A Time of Refreshments" chats have started back up after a summer break. Meet with special guests and authors each Wednesday at 11 a.m. pacific (USA). Watch the daily devotionals for announcements. Don't miss November 30 on the topic of "Communication with Family is Refreshing."
http://www.restministries.org/pro-refresh.htm (Time converter too)

hopekeepers Magazine is offering free trial copies to EVERYONE! Over 100 people have signed up their friends in the last 24 hours since we made this announcement! Sign up for your friends to get a free copy at:

Celebration Community Church in Cameron Park, CA asks for prayers as they launch a new church specifically welcoming people who live with chronic illness. Pastor Vince Warde says, " I am currently networking with churches, chaplains, hospice, etc. We are also trying out voice conferencing software that will allow us to conduct online Bible study without leaving those who cannot type behind. Creating a Christian Community is the greatest challenge - but I think the technology is available to include even those who cannot attend."

Did you know... 3033 people get our free online daily devotional! Wow! If you don't yet get it, it's a great way to be encouraged and also get daily announcements in the footers from Rest Ministries. Sign up here:

Special cheers to Judy Gann, Rest Ministries' coordinator for Vencher Quencher, our writer's group. Judy is the author of God of All Comfort (a devotional in our bookstore for the chronically ill). And she has been traipsing all over the country doing TV and radio interviews. She was recently on "Aspiring Women" in Chicago and "The Harvest Show" in South Bend, Indiana. And lots of radio programs. Congratulations, Judy, and thanks so much for spreading the word about Rest Ministries and how God really does comfort us in our troubles. See her schedule.

We're excited to announce Robert Farrar as our new moderator of the group "Wife with Illness." This group of men is awesome and supporting and praying for one another and has needed a moderator for some time! We're blessed he is so qualified as a caregiver, an ordained minister, and years of technical experience in office equipment, software, and computer networking. Welcome, Robert!

One of Rest Ministries participants, Rev. Greg Harvey, has a new book out called, Finding God Faithful in Turbulent Times. Greg has managed chronic degenerative disc disease with two failed back surgeries and has struggled with spine issues for 25 years. For a signed copy of the book email Greg at gaharvey@sunflower.com. Cost is about$10.


Thank you for your testimonies...

"Thank you for your encouraging site. It is almost 2 a.m. and I cannot sleep so decided to come online and I came across the website by chance. I no longer feel isolated. God bless you." Vicky in UK

"My love for your ministry is abounding--not a day goes by the Holy Spirit doesn't touch me in some way with a message of admonishment, love, encouragement,confidence." Sharon

"I want to shout from the roof tops how EXCITED I am that I have found Rest Ministries! I came here a depressed person and God told me he wanted to start praying for people. I did and it has taken my mind off of me and helped other people feel encouraged! I thank God for this place. You are my new "FAMILY" online. I used to lay on the couch feeling sorry for myself but now I have a place to come! Praise Jesus that I can pray, share and chat with people. You are SUCH a blessing to me. I could not have made it w/o this website. Thank you." Penny

Share an experience you've had at Rest Ministries!


We have 2 professionals docs on our magazine staff to help answer your questions. Send
us your questions!
Medical: ask Dr. Chai
Marriage: ask Dr. Thomas

hopekeepers(R) Magazine
Rest Ministries, Inc.

PO Box 502928
San Diego, CA 92150
Toll-free 888-751-7378





Let us know what is happening in your hopekeepers group! Changed lives, health faires, radio programs, parties! We'd love to post your photos too.


A ministry fair at my church last spring prompted me to establish a booth for a new support group for the chronically ill. Our hopekeepers(R) chapter began that weekend as many people signed up, grateful to discover a place where they could be accepted and understood. As is true for most groups, our members represent a variety of diseases and conditions, but our common "language" is the same-a desire to be validated as a believer who faces the challenges of a situation they can't control, but whose faith and trust in the Lord is unwavering.

God has continued to add to our numbers each month as the awareness of our hopekeepers chapter has grown. Our members have formed a tight bond with each other, yet extend welcoming arms to those who arrive in our "country" due to their own discovery of a diagnosis. Our time together each month is spent exchanging thoughts about our situations, praying for one another's needs and reviewing a Bible lesson provided through the resources of Rest Ministries.

Just listen to how some of our members feel about the group at Grace Church, Saint Louis, MO:

  • I found hopekeepers after crying out for a life preserver. Jesus provided a life raft full of others; and never again will I feel alone and hopeless. -Beth C.
    hopekeepers is a group of individuals who feel comfortable talking with one another about the invisible! The members of hopekeepers have a common thread woven between them. When someone needs to share, the others will listen and understand. -Jim G.
  • We come together to encourage one another in our walk with Jesus. Along with encouragement the group provides a forum to exchange all types of medical, emotional and personal concerns. It strengthens my faith. God has a plan for all of us. He is in control. I look forward to every meeting. -Delores F.
  • Our hopekeepers group is a safe, supportive environment where I can open up and be completely transparent knowing everyone else in the group understands-it's Christ-centered. Illness is hard enough to deal with, but it gets much easier knowing He is in perfect control. I'm comforted that He has a plan for each of us battling a chronic illness, and is using it for good. Every time I leave one of our meetings I feel nourished spiritually, and am reassured of God's involvement in all of this. It has been a light in the midst of a difficult journey. -Bob B.

In Paul's letter to the church at Galatia, he encourages the believers there to "carry one another's burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ," (Galatians 6:2, NLV). Certainly, the weight of bearing a chronic illness can be a heavy load, given all the various physical and emotional challenges it can bring. But distributing that weight to a group that is willing, even out of their own pain, to bear the burdens of others must indeed please God. Our hopekeepers group at Grace, like so many He has raised up across the nation, demonstrates a fulfillment of the law of love which honors Christ by loving one another.

Kristy Howell will be happy to give you more information about her group. Contact her at Khowell52@aol.com or her church at 314-291-6647. Kristy is a member of the pastoral staff at Grace Church, Saint Louis in Maryland Heights, MO. She also is the director of the Steps to Freedom ministry and Bible teacher at the church. Kristy is married to her junior high sweetheart, Randy, who is a physician at Washington University School or Medicine. They are proud of their four children and son-in-law. Kristy has Parkinson's Disease.


Are you organizing a
hopekeepers table
at your ministry fair?

Be sure to check out
the hopekeepers goodies
to help your table shine!

Our ministry is fully supported by the sales of books, t-shirts, and other resources on our web site AND by the donations of people like you. We know that nearly all of those we serve have financial shortages, but if you are looking for encouragement in books or gifts for friends, etc. we encourage you to purchase from us! Because of your generosity we are able to stay online. And we don't pay any salaries--all the funds "just keep us going!"

If God is so Good Why Do I Hurt so Bad? Just $4.99
David Biebel's keen insight and experience in human suffering makes this book a must read. Written from a Christian perspective, the material contained in these pages will help you make sense of pain and suffering, while providing hope for your situation. Simply put, this is a great book that I would recommend to anyone going through a difficult time in life.


HopeKeeper T-shirts
Features on back "Top 10 Things
to NOT to Say to Someone with
a Chronic Illness" $15 each

A great fun way to spread the word.
At the bottom it says, "Care enough
to be informed."



I come across a lot of news and there just isn't room to share it all in hopekeepers Magazine's print format. I thought you may find the following of interest.

San Diego minister in mental
illness documentary on ABC-TV

Susan Gregg-Schroeder of San Diego, an ordained United Methodist minister, will appear in a documentary, Shadow Voices: Finding Hope in Mental Illness airing Dec. 4 through Feb. 4 at the discretion of local ABC stations. Gregg-Schroeder founded an organization called Mental Health Ministries which operates in conjunction with the California Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church. She educates people in faith communities on mental health issues. Gregg-Schroeder, who kept her depression secret for two years, eventually broke silence and says, "If you look out on a congregation on a Sunday morning, one in four families has a member struggling with a mental illness. That is something unfortunately that most of our churches do not address. Many of our parishioners are struggling in silence."

The program was produced for the "Vision and Values" series for ABC-TV by Mennonite Media in partnership with the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission and the Communications Commission of National Council of Churches. For more information visit www.ShadowVoices.com. The program will be available on VHS and DVD for purchase after Dec. 15. The DVD includes bonus content. Resources for educating congregations on mental health issues are available at www.MentalHealthMinistries.net

You aren't alone in pain

You may feel like no one understands, but the truth is more people may understand your pain than you realize! More than half of Americans suffer from chronic or recurrent pain, and nearly half (46%) of poll takers reported pain in the last two weeks. This doesn't count the "usual minor annoyances," says the ABCNews/USA Today/Stanford University Medical Center poll. After hearing the descriptions, recurrent pain was cited by 34% of poll takers, and nearly one in five (19%) said they had chronic pain. Forty-four percent said their pain was acute.

Here is where people hurt:
Backs: 25%
Knees: 12%
Head/migraine: 9%
Legs (not counting knees): 7%
Shoulders: 7%
Feet: 5%
Hands/fingers: 4%
Stomach/indigestion: 4%
So what is the upside?
Rest Ministries is NEEDED! Whenever
you hear of someone saying they are
in chronic pain, take a chance and tell
them about us! (Hint: most people are
interested in the magazine,
hopekeepers, even if they are not a
believer.) It's a great way to introduce
us to them. Tell them to go to

they can sign up to get a free copy!

November is National Family Caregivers Month

We want to personally thank all of you who are caregivers (and the many caregivers who live with illness themselves.) The National Family Caregivers Association has put together a nice list "Guide for Congregations and Parishes" which has a list of ways to help.

For example: Say a prayer during each service, not only for those who are sick, but also for their family caregivers. Family caregivers tend to be invisible and their contributions minimized or ignored. But illness and disability are a family affair and by offering prayers for caregivers and care receivers during the weekly service you will be both raising the self esteem of caregivers and honoring the bonds of family devotion that are part of every faith tradition. Consider disseminating a prayer chain to those who pray independently at home. Print out the guide by clicking here.

Do you have an item that is you think is newsworthy? Send it to us for consideration!


Each day in our online daily devotionals we have a question and ask you to TALK BACK! You do and your answers are a great source of encouragement to others who live with chronic illnesses. It's nice to know we are not alone.

Where do you find encouragement when things get tough?

When I need support and encouragement I fall on my face before the Lord Jesus and cry out to... and draw near to Him. HIS WORD is filled with comfort and guidance...especially The Psalms. During times of "mountain top" days or moments when the Lord has spoken to my heart I have made marks in my Bibles so that when I fall into discouragement (not having physical and/or mental strength to do much more than OPEN His Word)...those marked places jump off the pages at me. There is no substitute for the Scriptures to create comfort and consolation to a hurting, downtrodden soul. These words from Scripture may come from Christian radio, Gospel music, Preaching and teaching of God's Word and from fellow
believers in conversation along life's way. My task is to make myself "available" to HEAR and receive HIS WORD! MaryLou Hartman, New Bern, North Carolina

I have several sources: (1). My family--my mother, my husband; (2). I have a friend who is dearer than life to me; (3). My boss; (4). My doctors; (5). I have a CD burner on my computer, so I went through the CD's I have and chose every encouraging song I could. I burned those onto CD's that I listen to whenever I am down. I am up to two CD's and I am sure I will find more songs to add to make another. I play them at work a lot, and one day a customer came in and heard one of the songs and ordered the original CD. It was pretty neat. My boss lets me play Christian music, so it is a testimony to our customers. Becky Guinn

Besides the obvious--devotions and time spent with the Lord, as well as Fibrosplash/ Rest Ministries -- I am blessed with a wonderful family and great friends. My next-door neighbor, Lynn, is a Godsend! She also has some health issues but we get together as often as we can and go
walking around our housing tract. She's a really neat Christian and I'm so glad God chose to make us neighbors. Carie Anderson, Oklahoma City

My husband is my major source of encouragement. He shows me he believe in me even on days when I can't lift a finger to help around the house. Chris Corliss, Plymouth, MI

I find encouragement from the word of God and Jesus Christ. I love Billy, Ruth, Franklin, Ann and all the Grahams. They are such a blessing with their Decision magazine and newsletters. My husband is my angel sent
from heaven who picks me up. God is definititely using him and I am so grateful. I also love to read and listen to Dr. David Jeremiah. I have so much to be thankful for. Thank you all at Rest Ministeries for your caring letters.
Linda Smith

I have discovered that support and encouragement can come from many sources which include:
(1) being the leader of a hopekeepers group;
(2) thinking of others - sending a card, making a phone call, visitation;
(3) the unconditional love and affection from two great dogs - Madison, a four year old golden retreiver and Darie, an 11 year old rescued Greyhound; |
(4) listening to gospel music or watching a Gaither video;
(5) spending time with a friend;
(6) solitude in a great environment- ocean, mountains, path in the woods;
(7) allowing friends to help - making your needs known; being vulnerable;
(8) focusing on God through scripture, prayer and waiting for His still small voice offering love, compassion and hope. Lucy Gay

I find encouragment in praying for other, praising God for answered prayer for others, my church family, Musice and other devotionals. I always Thank God for my chronic health problems when I see and know of others worse off than I am. I also have two scriptures God has given me when I am down. Romans 8:28 and Phillipans 4:13. Beckie

One of the things God has shown me is that suffering is a good thing! In the early years of my illness I was thinking one day about how people say that God allows us to go through things. I was thinking about the word "allows." It's like he lets us go through it. As children we are "allowed" to do things by our parents and they are always good things, not things that are bad for us. Shortly after this I found the scripture Philippians 1:29 which says "For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him." In my NIV study Bible it says that the word "granted" means "given as a gift or privilege". So that means that my suffering is a gift and a privilege. He has chosen me to suffer for good reasons! I don't know what all those reasons are, but I can trust God that he only wants what's best for me. I know that some of those reasons are to bring me into a closer relationship with him and to refine my character, hopefully making me into a better person. My suffering has caused me to rely on God more than I needed to in the past. I feel privileged that I have this experience, because healthy people who are full of energy don't have to rely on God the way I do. I hope that all makes sense! Debbie McLaren

I often find support through friendship. I am so enjoying this daily devotional! Thank you. Trisha Lewis

I have the CD My Utmost for His Highest and it gets regular play time in my worship music which I play during the days I can't concentrate on reading the Bible. It stays right beside the CD player by my bed. It is so uplifting. I also have the sequel to it. Linda Dalgliesh, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

I have a MS swim group I join every Tuesday & Thursday.A few of us go out for a little lunch afterwards.It's a great network for me. Mary Jo Winzenburg





hopenotes is a complimentary e-zine supplement to hopekeepers(R) Magazine
Publisher: Rest Ministries, Inc., PO Box 502928, San Diego, CA 92150
Toll-free 888-751-7378 | www.restministries.org | www.hopekeepersmagazine.com


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