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Lisa's Latest Article:
7 Highly Effective Habits of
Happy People With Illness

Feel Like No One Gets
What Your Daily Life
is Really Like?

But You LOOK Good:
A Guide to Understanding and Encouraging People with Chronic, Debilitating Illness
and Pain

Sherri Connell is the author of this 44-page guide to understanding debilitating illness. It's a convenient, informative way to educate loved ones about what people with chronic, debilitating illness and pain struggle with, fight for and need from their friends and family. It is easy to read, gives practical ideas on how loved ones can be supportive and is not too long for readers to lose interest.

> Read more


Did you know... this newsletter is posted on its own blog! Each section is posted separately under different categories and then the whole ezine is also posted as a text file.

This means you can search fast for what you read in a previous issue, get a Widget to put it on your own web page or blog and also comment on the articles... which we hope you will do!

> Click here to see it

Do you want to share your testimony or story? Do you have news you think would help others? We'd love to hear from you!

> Submit content

hopekeepers Magazine Updates
Just to inform you...

Wondering if an issue is heading your way? You can click here to see. If you want one and aren't on the list, you can get one by ordering anything in our store (even a $.50 item) and we'll stick one in your envelope.

What's This is the Sunroom?

This is a fun easy way for you to get your web site listed in one our top spots and give a small donation to RM at the same time. It's supposed to be kind of a "tip jar" but you get a link back to your site. All links must be approved by RM.

The cost is just 6-bucks and your link will appear at the top and then move on down as more people participate.

With so many people asking us how to help spread the word about their books, blogs, chats, web sites, etc. we thought this was an easy way (and really inexpensive compared to most advertising costs) to help people at RM know what you have to offer!

Want to participate? Just click here and scroll down to the graphic on the left side of the screen! We'll soon have a few of them in our new web site in different niche areas. We hope are readers will find new resources and those that have them can reach more people on small budgets.

We kicked it off with a link to the Comfort Zone Bookstore!





Hi Friends,Lisa Copen

I'm really starting to enjoy having the chance to connect with you all through the weekly newsletter. It's a great way to be able to share things with you on a more regular basis, from my weekly events to things going on in the worlds of ministry, pain-- whatever! Thanks for humoring me and reading my anecdotes.

(Written Thursday afternoon) This week has been a busy one as I've been registering Josh for Kindergarten (which means you have to dig out a zillion pieces of paperwork, immunization records, social security number, etc.) I ran all over town last week chasing down his medical records which kept being transferred between two doctors. Monday afternoon we had our weekly visit to Children's Hospital where he tries new foods and other things for sensory issues. I'm excited that next week I will be interviewed for a national parenting magazine by a writer doing an article on Sensory Processing Disorder. I'm eager to help spread the word about this little-known condition that many kids (and adults!) struggle with.

My husband has been working lots; he plays the keyboards and he had a gig Tuesday night and a recording Wednesday night. Last night about 7:30 Josh saw the cat was in pain. She had an abscess on her cheek so we rushed her to the emergency animal hospital. Likely another cat got her and then it got infected (It's that mean tabby cat that keeps sneaking into our house. "Our kitty is not interested in you, so go find another love interest!" I want to tell him!) Five hours later and $600 (gasp!) surgery was completed and she came home this morning. Josh and I left to go to his school for more assessment testing and she was sound asleep on the couch, a bit pitiful with her "cone head" on her, but resting.

When we came home she was no where to be found. My sweet son evidently thinks the rapture happened and we missed it because he found her cone sitting where she had been earlier and said, "Why did God take our cat??" We've looked everywhere possible and can't find where she is hiding. My whole house smells like tuna with plates of it in every room, but so far... no cat. (Friday update: 6 plates of tuna all over the house brought her out eventually. Gee, my house smells dandy, but at least she's doing fine.)

Other things happening. . . American Bible Society Presents has scheduled the filming of my interview and visiting a hopekeepers Group for May 19th. I thought I would try to cut down prednisone a bit from my 14 mg back to my original 7 mg I was on before Christmas to try to get rid of the puffiness in my face. But two days and two milligrams later my hands feel more like claws and I can feel the fibro aching all over my back like a bad sunburn under the skin. I think it would be better to hire a good make up artist so I plan to visit the beauty school soon to see what they can offer for twenty-five bucks (how much concealer can you buy for $25?)

We're now off to our weekly Little Gym visit so Josh can "wear out his batteries." I pray that everyone feels God's comfort this weekend. I know there are many blessed moms. But after dealing with infertility myself, I know Mother's Day can also be emotionally draining. Many of you wish you were moms, many of you have lost children who are now in heaven, many of you have prodigals. This week I've been told by my son, "I don't want to be your mommy any more!" (He got his words a bit mixed up) and later, "You're the best mommy in the whole world." Being a mom has certainly made me understand the Lord's relationship with us better, because like kids, we tend to throw up these same odd comments to Him. "I don't need this! I don't want to follow your rules any more!" and then moments later, "Lord, what would I do without you? You are the best!"

Love you all. May you feel His peace,

Lisa's signature


Lisa Copen
Rest Ministries Director and Founder



Rest Ministries is Going to Be on TV!
Lisa is so excited that May 19th has been confirmed as the filming date by the television show, American Bible Society Presents. (You can watch an episode online here if you want.) No word yet on when the viewing date will be, but we'll keep you posted.

Where we need prayer: They want to film a local hopekeepers group, which would be at Lisa's church. Unfortunately no one in the group was able to accommodate the date change or else they didn't want to be on TV. So Lisa is prayerfully trying to gather local people together for a time of fellowship so that the film crew has a "group" environment for the taping. Please pray that it will all come together and be glorifying to the Lord (and that the things that need to happen do. For example, Lisa does need a makeover to try to get rid of some of the puffy prednisone face. She should get her carpets cleaned. Her office is still pretty clean but needs a clean "sweep." We'll see what really needs to happen!) Please pray that this will be an amazing tool that will gather us more media attention so our ministry can continue to grow and find the financial support to help us do so too.

New Web Site Debuts This Weekend
At last the new Rest Ministries web site is complete and everything seems to be working well. Lisa will be updating it this weekend. It's will take about 3 hours to upload and make sure everything is working correctly. If you visit us this weekend and our site is down for a few minutes, don't worry! Just come back soon. If we had hired this project out it would have cost about $30,000, but Lisa has stretched her web design skills to (she hopes!) pull it off. We have found that some pages are taking longer to load then we'd like and will be working on some design tips to make it faster. We look forward to your feedback.

This Just in From Franklin Graham
Our hearts go out to the people of Myanmar. Billy Graham's son is there and will be keeping people updated on where support and prayer is needed. This morning he sent out the following email:

I am currently in Asia, and the news of Myanmar’s devastating Cyclone Nargis is on every TV and newspaper. As I write, the death toll is reported at nearly 23,000, but some believe it could be as high as 100,000. More than 42,000 people are reported missing, and up to 1 million may have lost their homes after a 12-foot storm surge swept away entire villages. M yanmar is bordered by China, Thailand, India, and Bangladesh, and more than 90 percent of the population does not know Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is our prayer that many would find new life in Him.

To stay updated see


Did you know our web site has hundreds of pages of information? Lisa is nearly done with a complete overhaul of the web site and we'll use this place to let you know about pages, articles and other resources you may not even know exist on our web site!

New Web Site Coming This Weekend!

We are excited for you to visit our site and check out the hundreds of resource links. For example, we have a lot of pages dedicated to health resource links.

These include:

  • Ministries about Bio-ethics and Theology Issues
  • Blogs we Like
  • Chronic Pain Resources
  • Christian Illness Resources
  • How to Help a Co-Worker with a Serious Illness
  • How to Organize Care for an Ill Friend
  • Health Resources
  • Christian Health Resources
  • Disability Christian Ministry Resources
  • Disability Interfaith Resources
  • Nursing Home Ministries

... and lots more! Are pages will always be changing as new resources are found or available. We look forward to your suggestions of web sites and resources that you've found that you think we'd love.

What are people talking about in the Sunroom this week?

Anyone who struggles with chronic pain has searched for the silver bullet--that magic elixir that will end the incessant suffering and return one's life to normal. If we search for God's prescription, however, we will soon discover that our silver bullet is not quick fixes and magic cures. Instead, God's prescription is a relationship with a person, Jesus Christ. In Him we have assurance of a spiritually fruitful life no matter what our circumstances may be.

I remember that there was a time when people who talked to themselves were to be avoided - the general feeling being that there was "something wrong" with them. Now I laugh because I routinely see people walking through the world totally alone and yet carrying on very animated conversations. Very strange - until I look closely and see an earpiece nestled in their ear. I've actually gone as far as answering some of these lonesome talkers, thinking that they were asking me a question!

All day I have been out of sorts - snapping a people, yelling at other drivers, unable to even think coherently. I blamed it on the weather, the messy house, the absent husband and children - I blamed everything my eyes saw for the sadness and irritability that was becoming an actual physical sensation, not just a "mind thing." Even my Bible study didn't seem to help. I read through the third chapter of Joshua, one of my favorites. I carefully noted in my spiritual journal the miracle of faith…


About "My Story" - We enjoy hearing people's testimonies about how God has impacted their life, often through their illness. For length, we start the "story" off here and end it on our blog. But oftentimes the beginning half of people's stories is them sharing about their illness and the struggles they encountered. The second half (on the blog) is where it gets encouraging. So... please click "read more" each week at the bottom. We know the beginning can always sound somewhat depressing and we don't want you to miss out on the good stuff!


Jolene Shares How Her Pain Ministry Came to Be

My name is Jolene. I am a mother of five children-- three at home. Last year changed my life. I was diagnosed with Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, a diagnosis of which there is no cure and is described as burning constant pain.

I woke up one morning with my foot swelled and down it went from there. I started researching all this on the internet, and of course didn't realize that I was filling my mind with negative information. Yes awareness is good, but I didn't realize how important encouragement, support, and prayer was until this happened.

I started getting really sick lost a lot of weight, ached all over, and couldn't walk. Depression and severe anxiety set in. The first doctor I went to about...

> read more here

We need your stories! We know many of you have shared them with others in different areas of our web site. Please share a bit about yourself, what illness is teaching you, your struggles, whatever!

> Click here to submit your own story

"Even now, take your stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes."
-1 Samuel 12:16


May 12th is National Fibromyalgia Day
Fibromyaliga impacts the lives of thousands, but is also a secondary illness for many people who have other chronic illnesses too. So we wanted to make sure you knew about May 12th. Find out more info at the National Fibromyalgia Association web site.

Trying to Plan a Vacation on a Budget?
Check out . You can search their database for free attractions and free things to do in all 50 United States and over 1,500 U.S. Cities. Listings include Free Museums, Free Parks, Free Concerts, Free Parades, Free Festivals, and Free Zoos.

You can also find some great tips at Club Mom for planning a vacation on a budget. If you are flying be sure to check out all the latest up-to-date fees for everything from a second suitcase to gas tax and golf clubs or pets at Smart Travel. And wondering about disability access at places? Just Google a few words like disability access travel for all kinds of tips, travel agents and more. You may also want to call certain attractions ahead of time. See our poll at the bottom of the newsletter for more on this!

2 Bits of Info from the US Post Office
May 12th marks the day that postage goes up 1-cent for your 1 oz. letter, but you can by the "forever stamp" until May 11th. Find more information here. Secondly, May 10th is "Stamp Out Hunger" program. Leave any unperishable foods outside by your mailbox in a bag and your postman will pick it up! It will help feed people in your area who are in need.

Want Your Voice Heard?
Join The Patients Voice, a forum where patients, their families and friends can participate in a wide variety of market research projects about health care and medicine. They say, "Patients' opinions have become essential: with the growing number of medical treatments and advice becoming more readily available and accessible, we now have a better understanding of what is happening and the different methods being utilized."


Coming Soon! Honestly!

Log on at the Hope Endures web site to hear the broadcast. You can either listen to it online, with your MP3 or ipod player, or... you can call a phone number and listen to it over the phone. Stay tuned... because once we have a selection of shows they will also be available on CD.


Thanks for Sharing!

I just received my hopekeepers Magazine the other day and I was so excited! I just finished reading it today. It has such validating and heartwarming stories. I really enjoyed it. Just wanted to let you know.
All My Best, Sue Jones
(Note from editor: Sue is the author of Crack Up at the Wake of Dawn, a book of poetry and anecdotes that I recently reviewed. Check it out at the link above.)

Ever Felt Like You Are Herding Cats?

When this commercial played during a "Best Super Bowl Commercials" TV show Lisa laughed out loud and replayed it a few times for her family. Now you too can enjoy this moment thanks to YouTube. Whether you have cats, dogs, children, or grandchildren, we're sure you've had moments where it felt like you were herding cats! Click here to play.


> Have something silly to share?


People are always asking, "How can I help Rest Ministries?" With the internet, it's easy to help spread the word. With just a few of us working together to write a review someone or "Stumble Upon" an article, Rest Ministries can gain tons of exposure without having to spend a dime! We'll share a suggestion here each week, where if you can take a minute it will help us reach more people!

Feature Rest Ministries
Daily Devotionals on YOUR Web Site!

Did you know you can feature Rest Ministries Devotionals on your very own web site or blog? It's easy! Just get the code here, put it into your own web site... and each morning when our devotionals post, it will automatically be updated on your own site too!

This is a great way to add fresh content to your own site (which the search engines love by the way) while also providing your visitors with some wonderful encouragement... and letting them know about Rest Ministries!


Take our Poll! Some weeks we will have a poll and whenever we do we will randomly choose a winner and mail you a book or other special gift.

Thanks to the 15 people who responded to last week's survey. We asked, "Share your dream retreat? What should retreat planners know about people with illness? Do you attend retreats more or less often since your diagnoses?"

Congratulations to Mitzi R. who is this week's winner. We will send your prize right out.

  • 73% of you said you attend retreats LESS often SPECIFICALLY because of your illness.
  • Almost 7% attend more retreats since being diagnosed with an illness

Some of your responses include:

What should retreat planners be aware of?
Carol shares, "I was part of the staff that plans many of the retreats in my area before I started having health problems. I am still working as staff, however, there are times I have to step aside and not do everything that I used to do. I have learned that I have to not be in charge of anything so that I am able to stop if I am in too much pain. Being part of the staff has allowed me to see the importance of having opportunities for other people with health problems to take down time and rest. I think that the most important thing is to always be flexible."

Margaret says she doesn't attend retreats anymore because..."people don't want to understand and accept that sometimes I have to retreat from the 'retreat', ie, sometimes I have to go back to my room and just rest, but others decide that I'm escaping from my problems, and demand that I participate in whatever is happening...I'm not wishing to be anti-social and will participate when God enables me to do so, but at the same time when God tells me to rest I must rest despite what the 'timetable' states."

Melody shared with us her DREAM retreat!

  • Comfortable chairs in meeting room
  • Retreats closer to my home - live in a small town and usually have to go pretty far to retreats
  • Massage Therapists, Hot Tubs, Doctors on Call, Drugstores on Premises
  • Menus you can order off of instead of having just the food they give you
  • My own bed and not share with someone else because I won't be able to sleep
    Motorized scooters to move around on the grounds
  • The Holy Spirit would Always Show Up and Always have a Special Word or Touch for each one of us and a Healing would be nice, too
  • Lots of Prizes - Hawaii vacations - hey you said we could dream
Take the Poll - you could win a prize!
We'll announce the weekly winners here too.

Lisa recently discovered a local attraction that moved their easy-access monorail to another side of the park. It required 2 hikes on each end of different "golf cart" rides, plus long waits for the shuttles and not enough benches (Yes, she's writing them a letter!) Out of about 5 people who worked at the park, no one had the correct information.

What's been your best or worst experience at an amusement park, ball game, etc. in regard to your illness or disability? What happened, what was your response, and would you do anything differently now?

> Answer

 Whatever might have happened, not every thing is bad news. Jesus is on your side. You may be forced to spend a lot of time on your own, but utilize that time. I find it enables me to get a lot into the Word, and to pray for many people. I see all the people rushing as I used to do, and many are hurting.

I have learned to sit and watch people. As a lady walks past I say, "Thank you Lord that she can walk. I am sure she needs it more than I now do. Maybe she has family," and I start praying for her needs, and I find that as I do that I can cope with any hurt in my heart. I am convinced there is no hurt in your heart that you cannot overcome as you reach out to the needs of others."

Helga Hopper, Massive Stroke Survivor

Did you know we really need your prayers? In the last few months we've had volunteers who have suffered heart attacks, lost their home, lost a loved one, had additional illnesses diagnosed and more.

Our ministry is blessed, but at the same time we have computer crashes, administrative issues and all kinds of things that just remind us that though God is in control, the enemy desperately wants to slow us down! We have a great list of things you can pray for us about for 2008. Print it out here and stick it in your Bible or on your fridge, and remember us, okay? It's very appreciated!

Visit our Other Websites
Biz Stuff

You are receiving this email because you signed up for hopenotes, the email newsletter of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill. (In case you're confused, it's different than hopekeepers Magazine which we publish and is a real 64-page magazine.) If you want to be removed from receiving this ezine again instructions are below. Thanks!

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Rest Ministries, Inc, PO Box 502928, San Diego, CA 92150; (c) 2008 Rest Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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