View this ezine on our web page

May 2007



Hello, friends!

Summer is fast approaching and with it comes preparation for National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. I'm so excited about our theme this year.

I was hoping our logo would be done by the time I sent this out, but the company is still working hard on it. It's going to be a fun little roller coaster and the theme is... (drum roll)

Living with invisible illness is a roller coaster! Help a friend hold on.

And some of the items (like t-shirts) will say

Living with invisible illness is a roller coaster!
Please be patient. I don't like heights.

I am in the process of updating our web site at so soon it should be ready to go. Be sure to take our survey about what kinds of products you would like to help spread the word. We will have lots of fun items for purchase, but we'll also put everything up on the web site that we can for you to simply download and print to save funds. But now is the time to talk to your pastor or support group about Sept 10-16, 2007 being a time to encourage those with chronic illness and help others become aware of how GOOD we can sometimes look, even though we don't feel so hot.

You are all such a blessing to me. As I hear the stories about people getting together and for fellowship who have met via the internet and then vacationed in to other states, or the outreach people do sending notes to others... it just blows me away how much MINISTRY goes on behind the scenes that I may never even know about. But God knows. Thank you, friends, for making this ministry what it is.

Lisa Copen
Rest Ministries Founder/Director

PS: One of our main pieces of software that provides email follow-ups has not been working. We've upgraded but have been having problems with the transition. If you've sent in a prayer request or signed up for the ezine, etc. we've received your email, but have not been responding as promptly as usual. My apologies! I hope to have it fixed soon. I've worked on it a bit each day. --Lisa

Are fonts too small on your screen? If you have Internet Explorere go to "view"-"text size"-"largest" or see Ability Net for more details.


Click Here for
Pain Relief Products

Managing your pain doesn't have to be a pain! You can find all kinds of goodies to get the kinks out all at the Chronic Pain Store.

This new store is owned by Dr. Barbra Hanna who is a board certified OB/GYN who had to leave the practice of clinical medicine two years ago due to inflammatory arthritis in her hands. So she has designed this store with us in mind!

You can search via your symptom, your illness/condition or by category!

Plus, Rest Ministries receives 10% of every purchase made by our readers! (Just select "referred by Rest Ministries/hopekeepers" at checkout.)


Do you search online? Shop? Buy flowers, office supplies, pharamaceutical stuff? Anything through Amazon? Don't forget to use of one our links when you do it!

  • Download Good Search and use it as your search engine (We've raised $4.36)
  • Shop through our Amazon link so we gain a percentage (We've raised $0)
  • Shop through Shop for Charity Day or IGive for all kinds of stuff and we will gain a percentage (In April, we raised $10.21--all from Lisa and her husband's purchases)
  • Download the Alexa Toolbar for fast access to our web site and our Amazon account
  • Download our free screensaver and remember to pray for us when it pops up on your screen each day.
  • Have you read a book by Lisa Copen? Pleeeease take a moment to write a few sentences to review it at It helps us play the "Amazon game" by bumping our books up higher when people search for "chronic illness!"


Will God Heal Me?
God's Power and Purpose in Suffering

This is one of the best books I've ever read on healing and the emotional struggle while we wait to see what God will do. I had a lot of "ah ha" moments the first time I read it. And I was so relieved to see healing explained so well in an actual book!

When it originally went out of print, I grieved and bought up all the copies I could afford. We had them until they ran out a few years ago! It's one of the books Rest Ministries should have available! Thankfully, it's now back in print. I'm so excited to have it for you! ~Lisa

  • What does it mean when God
    seemingly chooses to heal some illnesses but not others?
  • Why is it that some people pray in
    faith, believing, but the suffering continues?

Author Ron Dunn tackles these difficult, real-life issues, proposing that the ultimate issue is not our healing, but our faith in God's will for us, that we may learn to trust Him fully, whichever way His sovereignty may lead. Will God Heal Me? ministers to everyone who faces a frightening illness or prolonged suffering, and to all who have a family member or friend facing the same.

What people with illness have said about this book. . .

It is MUST READING for anyone interested in a balanced and Biblical approach to the subject of healing. This subject is much misunderstood and Ron Dunn nails it down with integrity and compassion.

This book dispells the falsehoods that believers often have about faith and explains true, Biblical faith. It also gives encouragement and inspiration to those with chronic conditions.

If you have ever wondered about the Christian who WAS NOT divnely healed of a terminal illness you should read this book... It is scriptural and it shatters the myth that illness only strikes believers who have transgressed God in some way or that healing cannot be imparted based simply upon a lack of faith. Order it here

Read about The Bible Experience below!


Get ready for
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week!

September 10-16, 2007

We will soon have our web page updated with all the ways you can get involved, like requesting proclamations, slapping a bumper sticker on your car, or emailing out friends or even press. We are a GRASSROOTS campaign and we all hope that we'll get enough coverage to need a ride on lawn mower!

We need your help!

Take our survey to help us decide what items you would be interested in to help promote Invisible Illness week! Take it today, the survey closes June 5, 2007.

A free screensaver you'll love! We've designed a gorgeous screensaver you can download for free with scenery and scriptures. A sampling of photos are below.

Click here to download


hopekeepers Magazine Update--Yes! We are all caught up and going to print soon. I am currently in touch with the designer and some advertisers and hope to have a firm date soon. Thank you for your patience while we took care of our debt. All subscriptions will be honored with 4 issues. We'll keep you posted on how it's going, but be assured that it's in the works and back on track!

We're organizating an article database for ANY articles on illness

You can even contribute too. We'll announce it in the next ezine. Right now I'm in the process of gettng the software running. These are articles you can read, reprint and more.

Podcasts are coming! Do you have any topic ideas?

Lisa is putting together topics and planning recordings and hope to have them up soon. You can listen to them online or on an mp3 player. One of the additional benefits is that is multiplies our outreach considerably, being able to be listed in dozens of Podcasts directories, etc. If you have some subject ideas for about 3-5 minute Podcasts, or would like to be interviewed on a topic related to your illness, coping, etc. please email me!

Prayers with Rev. Sherri's Family

Sadly, we lost a hopekeepers leader. Thankfully, we know she's dancing in heaven pain-free! In an article a friend says, "I believe that in her dying, Sherri showed all of us how to live. In her final weeks of life, she embraced life with an intentional expression of her faith in Christ. She would say, 'I should live what I preached. If I believed in Christ resurrected from the dead, then I have nothing to fear.'" There is a beautiful article on this hopekeepers group leader with the Cincinnati Post.

Do you know a woman of worth who is making a difference?

L'Oreal is now accepting nominations for women you know who has a record of exemplary service within her community and the community at large and is aspirational and inspirational to others. Click here to nominate someone who inspires you!

Find a Therapist has a new "find a therapist" tool where you can submit your preferences, such as the faith and gender of the therapist. Chronic illness/pain is also listed as a specialty you can request your therapist to specialize in.

Special Thanks To. . .

Christian Literature editor of BellaOnline, Diana Pederson, wrote magnificent reviews for some books by Lisa Copen. You can read about Beyond Casseroles and Why Can't I Make People Understand here or Mosaic Moments here.

Chronic Babe founder, Jenni Prokopy, had a contest and gave away 5 copies of our book, Beyond Casseroles, to the winners. She asked people to, "think about the most thoughtful or creative way someone has helped you. Describe what they did, and how it made you feel. Provide as many details as possible." You can see the winners here. (Read more about Chronic Babe below - we love it!)

Lisa did a 10-minute interview last week with Salem Radio News Network. No idea when it will air yet, but it's sure to get Rest Ministries some great exposure. SRN News is the only Christian-focused news organization with fully-equipped broadcast facilities at the U.S. House, Senate, and White House manned by full-time correspondents -- ensuring timely, on-the-spot coverage of breaking news.

The American Academy of Pain Management posted an article in their ezine about our press release (below). Special thanks to Ada who forwarded this to us so we'd know!

We recently sent out a press release!

How frequently do the chronically ill attend church? May 2, 2007--In a survey of six hundred people done by Rest Ministries, a Christian organization that serves those who live with chronic illness or pain, 44.4% of the respondents said that they attended "less frequently" since being diagnosed with a chronic illness. Read the rest of the story



*** Do you remember the survey we asked you to take last year? 600 of you responded and out of that survey we have about 15 press releases of interest regarding chronic illness awareness coming soon. Watch for them and be sure to participate in future surveys! It helps us GET MEDIA ATTENTION - and increase the awareness of illness for both medical and religious professionals. It was the reason I was interviewed on Salem News Radio :) ~Lisa

Every wonder who visits Rest Ministries web site?

==> Average # of visitors per month: 75,000

==> Average # of page views per month: 134,000

==> Top 5 states of visitors for April: Washington, Virginia, California Georgia, and Texas

Where we rank for "chronic illness" on
the search engines-- wow!
MSN - #1
Yahoo - #5
Google - #10

And our promotional video, hosted by
YouTube, reached 1000 views as of May 22, 2007!

Have you seen our promotional video yet?
Just click below!

Praise God from who all blessings and "search
engine algorithms that work in our favor" flow!

I want to thank you--not because of what you are doing--but because of how Christ is being glorified through you. It would be so easy for you to turn inward and not listen to what God was and is teaching you. Please accept a virtual hug from a grateful sister. This group is exactly what I needed. I'm the caregiver of two daughters with daily, intractible migraines and have been struggling with depression for years because it's so hard to see them in so much pain. Your Bible studies and the website have redirected my thinking. Thank you!" --from a member of our RM family


You know you have a chronic illness when...

  • You understand all the medical terminology discussed on the T.V. show Grey's Anatomy.
  • When you hear the term "Club Med" you automatically think of the hospital.
  • You ask your child to open the "child-proof" bottles of medicine because your hands are too sore.
  • Your medical records have to be transported on a cart.
  • To entertain people at parties you recite the side effects of medications as if you are the voice over on a commercial.
  • Your favorite Oprah program is when Dr. Oz is on.
  • To get rid of boredom on road trips, your whole family can go through the alphabet and name a drug that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
  • When you're unable to sleep because of pain, you watch "The Jerry Springer Show" and feel like you actually have a life.


  • Your spelling has improved dramatically, especially on words like "fibromyalgia" and "osteoporosis."
  • Or you've been "Around the World in Thirty Minutes" with CNN's Headline News 57 times in one sitting.
  • You have a panic attack in public and say, "Praise God this is only the fourth one today!"
  • You're invited to the wedding of the gal who works at the hospital lab.
  • You're child thinks watching you do injections of medication is "cool."
  • You have a flashback and don't know what happened and can honestly say, "I don't know where I was or what I was doing but I'll make
    something up if you'd like."
*** SHOPPING ***
Did you know Rest Ministries is fully funded through your donations and purchases at our online store? We appreciate every item you purchase! It keeps us going!

Books to bring you comfort

  • Faith helps!

    A new survey finds that 85 percent of U.S. doctors believe religious faith can help patients have a good outcome.Researchers polled 1,144 doctors for the study, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, The Los Angeles Times reported. Only 1 percent said they believe religious faith and spirituality have a negative effect, while 2 percent said it has no effect and 12 percent said they think the positive and negative effects are balanced. Asked about their own religious beliefs, 54 percent said they think God sometimes intervenes to help patients, 28 percent do not and 18 percent are agnostic.

A survey found pain relief is the number one request for massage, ahead of stress reduction and relaxation.

Two-thirds of the therapists responding to the survey indicated more than half of the treatments they provide are for pain relief, while the other third of therapists indicated more than half of the treatments they provide are for stress reduction and relaxation.
  • High Health Costs Hit U.S. Women Harder
"American women are more likely than men to go without needed health care, because they can't afford it, a new report finds," reports Health Day News. The study, which is available online, was released by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation advocating for improvements to the U.S. health system, and prepared by researchers at the National Women's Law Center.
  • Jody McBrayer leaves Avalon due to health issues

After nearly 12 years with award-winning vocal group Avalon, founding member Jody McBrayer will step down due to health issues, according to the group's label, Sparrow Records. The group, though, will continue to record albums and tour nationally. Currently, McBrayer is in the studio recording his last record with Avalon, which is slated to release this September. McBrayer will travel with the group through the end of the year on its 40-city fall tour.

In March, McBrayer was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Although manageable, the heart condition often affects an individual's ability to undertake physical work, Sparrow Records said. After prayer and discussions with his family, doctors and the members of Avalon, McBrayer decided to resign from Avalon to focus on his health and his family's welfare.

“I am saddened to see Jody leave Avalon,” said Avalon's Janna Long. “He has walked this amazing road with me from the very beginning. And while we will all miss him tremendously as an outstanding vocalist and friend, I know it is in his best interest to step down and take care of himself.” Visit his web site here

Attention, women: Are you a

According to Jenni Prokopy, the founder, "a ChronicBabe is a woman who, despite being a sick chick, still does everything she can to create balance in her life. She’s a woman first, a patient second. Her approach is openminded and creative, and she’s not afraid to stand up for her needs and rights. She tries to have a sense of humor when she can, and she relies on her friends for support when she needs it. She accepts that there are some things about her health she can’t change, and musters up the courage to take charge of the things she can control."

  • New TV Program Features Impact of
    Hope on Chronically Ill

Hollywood Reporter has announced a new medical drama based on The Anatomy of Hope, a book by author Dr. Jerome Groopman. Groopman's new book, How Doctors Think has just been released (Editor's note: I thubmed through it at the bookstore the other day and it looks interesting!) According to sources, there promises to be a great team working on the HBO production of The Anatomy of Hope, including Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams as producer. Tom Schulman, who won an Oscar for Dead Poets Society. The series will focus on the affect of hope in seriously ill patients and promises to be "quite a show." The former ABC TV series, Gideon's Crossing, was based on two of his previous books. See Dr. Groopman's web site here.

  • May is Mental Health Month

    It provides an opportunity for you to educate about brain disorders in your setting. Some thoughts, reflections and prayers related to the Virginia Tech incident are available on the Pathways to Promise website, Click on “Thoughts about Virginia Tech.”


* As with any health information you receive, check with your doctor before
taking anything. No information provided by Rest Ministries is meant to be health advice.


Can't concentrate to read? Missing reading The Word?

Lisa saw the promotional video for The Bible Experience last fall at the Christian retail show and was blown away! She bought it for herself for Christmas. Now YOU can watch this video below, thanks to Zondervan and YouTube.

It truly brings the story to life and features voices from Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Blair Underwood, Yolanda Adams, Shirely Ceasar, Faith Evans, Kirk Franklin, and more.

Do yourself a favor watch the video. It was originally priced at $50 so this is a great deal and you can listen to it in bed! Get it here

Sign a petition! ... of The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD)

It is aimed towards the 2008 presidential candidates. PFCD is a national coalition committed to raising awareness of the policies and practices that improve health and reduce health costs through more effective prevention and management of chronic disease.

The Petition to the 2008 Presidential Candidates states, "We, the undersigned, are concerned that our nation's health care system does a better job taking care of us after we are sick than it does keeping us healthy and preventing illnesses... We ask that you, as a national leader and possibly the next President of the United States, join us in supporting health care and other public policies that proactively address this crisis.

Autism Speaks has created a music video of the Five for Fighting song, "World", which features images of autistic children and their families. It is a truly moving video and was the work of Bill Shea.The band is generously donating $0.49 to Autism Speaks for each time the video is viewed - the funding goes toward research studies to help find a cure. When you have a moment, please visit the link below to watch the video and pass it along to your friends and family. They are aiming for 10,000 hits, but hopefully we can help them to surpass this goal.

Have a cause you want us to announce? Email us your idea


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