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Hi Friends,Lisa Copen

I've been trying to get this newsletter out to you for a few days. The new web site is up! I will talk more about all the goodies available there next week, but be sure to check it out. I am also doing some work to make pages load faster, so if you can be patient now, I promise it will speed up soon.

Monday (tomorrow) the film crew from American Bible Society Presents TV show comes to interview me in my home and then we all go over and visit a hopekeepers group; they will tape and interview some people there.

To tell you "it takes a village" to get ready is an understatement. After going 3 years (embarking!) of not cleaning my carpets, I had them done Thursday. Except as I was just finishing up this newsletter the circuits blew. After twice, I turned the computers off.

I limped all over the mall Friday night trying to find something to wear. The weight gain from prednisone had ruled out previous clothes, and you aren't to wear black, white, patterns, brights, etc. (what's left?) and I insisted on something without a big scoop neck that would only make my face appear more bloated. Have you seen the styles lately of clothes? It's back to the 70s! I ended up with a brown jacket and a light turquoise shirt.

I think it's all come together, the house is picked up (I had loads of help) everything on my desk will temporarily be scooped into a box and put in the garage. Plants are potted. I am running to Costoc to get snacks for the crew and hopekeepers meeting.

Now I just have to want to touch up the gray in my roots. I had my hair professionally done, but I pointed out to the gal that the color didn't take to the gray at all. (Gray hair? At 39!) She said "I just don't see it." I said, "It's the wiry ones springing out." "Hmm," she said, "I don't see it." I said (politely of course) "That's because you're 18." (She was; she'd told me.)

I asked for a little makeup lesson to ease the puffy face. "Do you know how to do eye shadow?" she asked. "Uh... well, I've been pulling it off for 25 years, but maybe you could give me some tips," I said. "I stopped buying Teen Beat magazine a long time ago and they don't really have eye shadow lessons in Good Housekeeping." She spent 15 minutes with 4 brushes on one eye and it looked idential to my 2-second sweep from Cover Girl. Go figure.

Other than all this, I promise the show will be authentic!

I am excited to see what God will do with it, as it will expose thousands of people to Rest Ministries and provide the assurance that they are not the only Christians out there who have not been healed. I pray God puts the right words into my mouth and that even my appearance can assure them that I am in the thick of illness too and not some model who once was ill for a few days.

The truth is I am exhausted. My knees are flaring and popping out of place. My neck is flaring just enough to not freeze up. My whole body aches from the fibromyalgia. My feet are a mess, barely able to put weight on any area. You may have watched our YouTube video and my recollections of my grandmother. My walking and swollen feet appear more like hers every day. I grieve and praise at the same time.

My family has been great, but as a mom I blew it yesterday. Despite my busy weekend, I knew my son's friend's birthday party would be relaxing (our families are good friends.) We made a quick trip to Walmart to buy a birthday gift for a friend's pool party and drove 15 miles and we got there and... the party is next Saturday. (And to think I am dying my hair more blond!)

Please cover all of this in prayer. My sanity, God's ability to be glorified despite any goofs I may make, my ability to represent all of you who work so hard to make Rest Ministries the sanctuary it is. Habakkuk 2:3 says, "But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed."

As I watch the tragedies that are occurring across our world now, like in Burma and China I am reminded of my pastor's words that the Bible says the end of times will be like birthing pains. And with birthing pains, the contractions grow closer together and more intense. I do believe that the time of Jesus' return is not thousands of years away, but perhaps even in our lifetimes. It gives a new sense of urgency to encourage people who are hurting with illness that not only is there hope that they can reflect God's goodness and faithfulness through their illness, but that their illness could in fact be a witnessing tool for them to bring others to Christ.

Please pray Thy Will Be Done.

Lisa's signature

 

Lisa Copen
Rest Ministries Director and Founder

 

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New hopekeepers Groups Meeting
Missy Brenton, who recently started a group in Georgia shared the following: "I had my second hk meeting yesterday. It was awesome! There were only four people there, but it was still a really good meeting. I had a local dr come in and speak on the psychosocial aspect of pain and how it affects a person, and in turn the family as well. We had some family there to voice their concerns, and everyone participated in the discussion, it was just really cool. My husband was there as well. He is the pastor of the church, and he offered a personal and spiritual side to it. It was really cool how it all came full circle back to God and our dependence on Him. We must trust Him in all things And with his love, all things are possible."

 

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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!

Be sure to visit our Sunroom to join in for some excellent discussions!

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It's A Quake, for Goodness Sake

Although there is nothing funny about the dangers of an earthquake or the challenges of Parkinson's Disease, the Lord did provided a rare opportunity for some giggles in the midst of them both recently. At precisely 4:36 a.m. on April 18th, my husband and I were awakened in our home near St. Louis by a rumbling, shaking motion.

Earthquakes are not common in this area, especially at the level of 5.4 on the Richter scale. So with surprise, Randy nudged me and stated "That was a tremor!" at which I responded " Well, it wasn't me!"

We both started laughing and began a dialogue of one-liners that would rival the old comedy routines of George Burns and Gracie Allen.
Randy: "That tremor woke me up"
Kristy: "Maybe, but this time it wasn't my "fault."
Randy: "That really "shook" me up!"
Kristy: "I know the feeling!"

And so on... Many of us have felt powerless to control our bodies or our circumstances at times in this uncertain journey. I have discovered that laughing is not only good medicine, as Proverbs 17:22 proclaims, but is also very empowering. Ask the Lord to help you find something to laugh about in the midst of your illness. Like the buckling of the earth's crust, sometimes it's necessary to "crack up" and chuckle!

Kristy Howell is a Biblical teacher and counselor at her church in Maryland Heights, MO. Besides being a mother of 4 & grandmother of one, she is married to her junior high sweetheart, Randy, who is an E.R. physician. Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease 9 years ago, she is grateful to the Lord for His grace to live and laugh in spite of it all.

> 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


"In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old."

Isaiah 63:9

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Christian Doc Speculates Why
America is #1 in Mental Illness

Though this article was written in 2005 it's still relevant. Psychiatrist Dr. Robert Rogan, a spokesman for the Christian Medical Association, says one reason for this statistic may be that Americans are more attuned to feelings than people of many other societies. "It certainly appears in our culture that we're noticing mental illness more and more," he notes, and "there certainly is an element of being socially more aware of things." Read more

Eat Out for a Fraction of the Cost
Wanting to have a nice dinner for a special occasion but just can't justify the expense? Lisa has used a great service called Restaurant.com . You go in and browse the restaurants listed in your area and then you buy a "gift certificate" online that you present at the restaurant. Only the certificate isn't full price! You can buy a $25 gift certificate for just $10. Be sure to read if any restrictions apply (some expire a certain number of days after your print out your coupon, etc.) They also send constant discounts on the certificates. Click today and get $25 Gift Certificates for only $5. Just enter discount code CUISINE at checkout. It sounds too good to be true, but Lisa has used it at about 5 different restaurants!

Want to Get Organized This Summer?
Check out My Things. It is a free service that helps you save and organize your receipts online and declutter your home, alerts you to recalls, and much more. Recommended by the New York Times.

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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.

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Special thanks to Jolene who reprinted an article by Lisa this week on her web site. The article is "7 Habits of Happy People Who Live with Illness" and you can find it on her new web site at Peace in Pain . For more articles, devotionals, etc. that you can reprint on your web site for free see articles here and syndication options here.

In response to Lisa's recent review of the book YOU: The Smart Patient, Becki, a hopekeepers leader commented, ""Lisa, Thanks so much for always pointing us in the right direction. You ROCK." (Lisa's never been told "You Rock!" so she just had to put this in the archives to show her son in later days that mommy rocked.)

Need a Giggle? Take a Walk Down TV Memory Lane


Ever feel sad when you're happy? Oscar does! Who better to make you laugh then Big Bird or Grover? Take a minute to watch the same old clips you loved as a kid at the Sesame Street web site (for the Oscar one above search "oscar" "sad." We're partial to the Martians and the Telephone video. Yep yep yep yep yep yep yep yep yep.

And if that doesn't do it for you, check out the weekly podcasts. The "word on the street" this week ANGRY with Oscar the Grouch hosting.

 

> Have something silly to share?

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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!

The best thing you can do for Rest Ministries this week is cover us in prayer!

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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.

Last week we asked you..."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?"

Kate shared a great experience at Disneyland:

My best experience is definitely this past December, when I was able to take my daughter Mckayla, who was just shy of 3 1/2 at the time, to Disneyland for the first time! Oh how I wondered and worried about having enough energy, and what my body would do being on the go for so long. Thankfully we had a wonderful time, we went two times about a week and a half apart, and I didn't get too tired or sick! God is amazing and I am overjoyed that He gave me this special time with my family, and especially for Mckayla. Now when she sees commercials for Disneyland she says "Mommy, maybe we can go there again someday", and I love saying "yes love, we will go again soon." It's amazing to be able to give her such a fun experience, especially since we don't get out on a regular basis.

Sharon had a less than pleasant experience at the fair:

This was some years ago now, at the fair. They have lots nearer the entrances and farther from them - I was in a lane to go to one of the nearer lots and was redirected to the farther ones. When I explained that I needed to park in a nearer lot in order to be able to walk to an entrance gate, the man directing traffic said he was not willing to let me go back there. So I asked the way to the exit. While driving slowly towards the exit, two men ran in front of my car and waved me down.

When I explained that I was leaving the fair (and why), they got upset and claimed I was speeding dangerously and could have killed someone. (I was going about 10 mph at the time.) I said I was heading for the exit and if they didn't get out of the way I would report them to the police who were directing traffic. After much shouting, they finally got out of the way. I mentioned it to the policeman on the way out and he suggested writing the fair organizers. Because of the way South Carolina law is written, I don't qualify for a handicap plate or placard, so I thought leaving was better than fighting - obviously I got a fight I didn't want by trying to leave.


You can still answer our survey! And all the past surveys too! It helps us a lot as we use your comments, suggestions, etc to write articles, educate churches, etc.

> View Past Surveys

The winner of a new book for taking part in
last week's survey is Kate at katenoe...
We will get your free book right out!

Take the Poll - you could win a prize!
We'll announce the weekly winners here too.

 

Coming again next week!

> Answer


 One thing we may be sure of, however: For the believer all pain has meaning; all adversity is profitable. There is no question that adversity is difficult. It usually takes us by surprise and seems to strike where we are most vulnerable. To us it often appears completely senseless and irrational, but to God none of it is either senseless or irrational. He has a purpose in every pain He brings or allows in our lives. We can be sure that in some way He intends it for our profit and His glory."

-Jerry Bridges, Navigators


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!

 
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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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