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Hi Friends,Lisa Copen

Well... can I just say ya'll are awesome in helping us bring in some income! I've been WORRIED... In the past few days you ordered some shirts, mousepads, books and have even made some donations. You don't know HOW much this has helped. My bank accounts were empty and I was nearly out of Rest Ministries brochures, didn't have funds to buy Invisible Illness Week brochures, we were out of some of our books (they were ordered, but the second half of the balance was due and I was wondering how I was going to pay for them.) I know it sounds like I hot-footed it off to Florida this month, but right now those expenses are on my own personal credit card. I'm praying God will make ends meet.

So in the last 24 hours you have helped me order some of the things we really needed! Plus, we paid the phone bill. My deepest appreciation!

This week Josh and I have squeezed in a showing of Charlotte's web, Little Gym, grocery shopping, playing at a friend's house-- oh, wait, that was just yesterday. I am ready for life to get back to normal with Josh in school and my husband coming home at night (he worked until 1 a.m. again last night.)

And I have to admit I'm a bit sick at tired of my sick and tired body. My left hand is having surgery in September, my right wrist is growing a bump so the tendons are getting stuck, my foot can still not take weight normally, and I am just plain falling apart. I saw a woman walking yesterday, shuffling, with her walker. And I thought... "Is that me in 10 years? 5?" I have moments where I can take it all in stride and other times I just want to scream and cry about it not being fair. I'm sure you can relate.

This summer I've been working on the concept of being optimistic versus pessimistic with Josh. And how life is easier when we are optimistic too. It basically comes down to God's word in Philippians 4:8. The Message version says, "Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."

Yes, life is hard. But each day we have to choose (and it's sometimes a difficult choice when you are in pain!) to fill our minds with the right thoughts. I find myself learning more through explaining God's concepts to my 5-year-old than through the most deepest theological discussions or books.

Thanks for all your prayers,

Lisa's signature

Lisa Copen
Rest Ministries Director and Founder

Yes! I can make a donation to help Rest Ministries continue their outreach!



National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
Can hope grow? We say, "YES!"

September 8-14, 2008 is this year's week to bring awareness about invisible illness. Our theme is "Hope can grow from the soil of illness." We have a wide selection of goodies available for purchase now (tote bags, T-shirts, jewelry and more). We found a great company that will "drop ship it." So the day you order an item, we will order it from the company directly, and they will ship it to you to arrive in 8 days or less.

If you placed an order last week... it is on it's way! Brochures/rack cards and stickers are coming soon (any day they should arrive), but check out the rest today at the Invisible Illness web site.

HOW DO YOU... plan to help out during Invisible Illness Week? Will you blog about it, wear a T-shirt? We want to hear it so we can say thanks and share it with others too! Tell us here.

for Invisible Illness Week Expenses?

We send out press releases, give away some brochures and are securing telephone workshops right now at the best price possible. If you are interested in placing a "First Giving Widget" on your web site to help us raise funds for Invisible Illness Week, we appreciate it! These tend to do especially well on social networks like MySpace and blogs.

An example of what it looks like is on the right. If you click it you will see where you would lead people if this was on YOUR web site.

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Rest Ministries Recommends
Someone Cares Christian Caregiver Conference

Nearly 1 in 2 people in the United States live with a chronic condition. Millions of these people have someone special in their life who could be called a caregiver. Caregivers can be someone who has a formal education in caregiving, to a spouse who regards himself simply as a husband who is standing by his wife "in sickness" as he promised. Regardless of how one may describe his or her relationship to the person who lives with illness, however, one thing is certain: they care.

I am excited to announce Rest Ministries' endorsement of the Someone Cares Christian Caregiver Conference, put on by Lifeway. Organized by Carmen Leal, author of The Twenty-third Psalms for Caregivers and many other books, this is a conference full of practical tools as well and spiritual nourishment. Held September 16-18, 2008 at the beautiful Ridgecrest Lifeway Conference Center, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, caregivers will find strength for this journey of caregiving.

>>Lisa has written a formal letter of endorsement for this amazing conference which you can read on her blog. Please pass it along to anyone who may be interested in attending... if not this year, then next!

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One of Those Times When Life Doesn't Make Sense...

We are saddened to announce that Christopher Laurie, son of Pastor Greg Laurie and Cathe Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, died this week in a car accident in Riverside. A resident of Huntington Beach, Laurie, 33, served as the art director at Harvest Christian Fellowship for the past three years. He will sadly be missed by his wife Brittany, and daughter, Stella, and the daughter that he and his wife are expecting in November. A private memorial service was held on Friday, August 1, at 11 a.m., Pacific Time. You can send condolences through the Greg Laurie's web site

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We WANT Your Junk Mail!
Because... Beyond Casseroles Should be in Catalogs!

Do you receive some of those off-the-wall catalogs like Dream Products or Harriet Carter? They often have lots of "health" or "disability aids" products and we think our book Beyond Casseroles would be a good fit for some of them! Lisa is sending out the catalogs some information. If you want to send Lisa your catalogs that have health aids, etc. send them to her at PO Box 502928, San Diego, CA 92150. The catalogs don't have to sell books! They just have to have some sort of products that reach out to seniors, those with health challenges, caregivers, etc. Thanks!


Lisa Signs Books and Visits with Many
at The International Christian Retail Show

I don't want to go on and on about the adventures... but let me share this: please keep telling your churches, your church bookstore owners and your Christian bookstore owners that you need and want books for those who are living (not just being healed) with chronic illness. We had many excited people who were said, "I am so glad to see this book! We need this resource!" Other bookstore owners said, "There are so many people coming into our stores looking for ways to reach out to someone with illness." So... keep on keeping on with your message. Caregiving books, bibles, resources, and even cards are beginning to appear in bookstores, so it's just a matter of time before they see the need for those with the actual illness to have support too!

For your information, we have a publisher's web site called Rest Ministries Publishers. Here bookstore owners can read more about what our purpose is as well as get a free list of the top 100 Christian books we recommend for people with illness.

We have 3 of our books listed with Spring Arbor or Ingram (the 2 major distributors Christian bookstore owners use). These are:

If you want to let a bookstore owner know about the books, you would want to have the title, author (Lisa Copen) and tell them that the books can be ordered through either Spring Arbor or Ingram. They should be able to look them up and find them on their computer system.

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Have you visited the new Rest Ministries web site yet?

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A Sunroom Announcement...

This is a friendly reminder about our policies in the Sunroom regarding advertising or soliciting. Some questions have come up and want to clarify. This sounds rather blunt (as most legalese stuff does) but we are in the position of having to state it clearly.

Rest Ministries Sunroom is not for commercial use in any way. The network is built for individuals who wish to develop relationships with others, share their insights, encourage one another in their spiritual walk, etc. All members should always feel safe that they will not be solicited for any product, another group, or a service. This means that there is NO advertising or soliciting. This includes describing, offering, recommending or selling any of your products or services to our members. We have allowed authors or those with other ministries to include a 15-word blurb at the end of their posts. We want to be able to share books that may be helpful to you that we just are not able to carry. But one is not allowed to post links or messages to drive traffic elsewhere for information or to entice inquiries about your goods. If you do not abide by the guidelines you will receive one warning and then be banned from participating in the Sunroom.

Okay... we hope this assures most of you that we are trying to protect your best interests and not have this open up to a forum of people trying to sell you goods. We recognize that most people have "good intentions" and want to share "what has worked for them" whether it be a juice, a magnet, or whatever. But this is not the place to do it. If you have any concerns about your own page in the Sunroom, or someone else's, please let us know.


Marriage and Children, While Living
with Disabilities, Can Be Lonely

This story is about me but also about my wife who is the one that has a spinal cord injury.

I have been in healthcare for more than thirty years and I really feel that it is my calling in life. I enjoy helping people and if I get a chance I share the Word of God with them and pray for them. I spent over seven years working in a rehab unit with people with head injuries, burn patients, and people with those with spinal cord injuries. After I left the rehab unit I worked in what is called a "transitional unit" which helps people with spinal cord injuries learn how to live life in a wheelchair.

A lot of people just kind of gave up. Their friends disappeared and they were all alone. This is where I meet my wife Jeri. She was different. She had a gusto for life, she went to school, paying no attention to the stares and the name calling and all the difficulties of just being in a chair. All of her friends still came to see her and take her out and do what ever they had to do to make sure she had a good time. I noticed there was something different about her. And she has always said she noticed something different about me too. She said that I always smiled and I had this gleam in my eyes.

So she asked me once "What makes you look like that?" and I told her it was because I had Jesus in my heart. She said she admired that. We started talking from that day on and I could tell that she had a hunger in her heart that wasn't being filled by anything. Yes I did ask her out, and I also took her to my church. With the help of one of her close friend and myself she accepted Christ and ask for forgiveness.

Later that year I went on a Billy Graham crusade in Amsterdam the Netherlands and was supposed to be gone for two months...

> 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

"But that's no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you."

Ephesians 4:22-24, The Message


Are You Getting Married... Despite the Challenges You've Faced?

We recently received word that the TV channel "TLC" is seeking stories about couples who are getting married and have faced tremendous challenges. A new show "Wedding Day" wants to profile them and help them have a memorable wedding. If you or someone you know has faced a tough situation, and they are getting married, contact her about it. They're taping in August. Danya Berman, "Wedding Day" or 310-903-5541.

Looking for Ways to Clip Coupons?

The web site we love best is . And if you sign up now... and purchase anything through them by August 15th, guess what? Rest Ministries gets $10! So check it out. You may just already be shopping at some of the stores they have listed (We use all the time to get rebates on our printing!)

  • provides coupons on various items found at grocery stores. To print the coupons, a special software must be downloaded to the computer. No registration is required to gain access and local discounts are also available with a zip code locator
  • allows one to search for coupons within a specific geographic region. Once you have entered a zip code, city or state you will be given a choice of categories from which to choose from. Select a category and you will be presented with a list of businesses in your area and the coupons they offer. The coupons you get in the mail can also be printed.
  • CouponMountain and CouponCabin For discounts on big ticket items, try your luck at these sites. Both sites provide you with printable coupons for in-store purchases and promotional codes for online sales. These sites cover thousands of retailers, making it easy to save as much as 25% on non-sale purchases at retailers like the Gap, Gateway Computers, or
  • you can find discounts arranged by category, geographic location and even check their hot deals of the day. They list all sorts of coupons, from pets and grocery, to small business and clothing. Registration is required.
  • lets you sign up for email notification when particular retailers offer discounts.

Kids Getting Bored at the End of Summer? Put Together Some Encouragement in a Box for a Sick Child!

Check out Hugs and Hope for Sick Kids. Created by Marsha Jordan in October 2000, it's a ministry of encouragement for children battling critical illness. Every month they feature new stories and photos of sick children on their website. Visitors and volunteers pray for, encourage, and send these children cheery postal mail (a.k.a."happy mail"). You can find their current needs and where to send items here.

USA Presidential Candidates & Disability Issues

On Saturday, July 26, 2008 Able Newspaper, sponsored the National Forum on Disability Issues at the Conference & Technology Center in Columbus, Ohio. The forum was a celebration of the 18th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark civil rights legislation that has helped to transform the lives of more than 50 million Americans who have disabilities.

Thousands of Americans with disabilities from across the country joined together at the National Forum on Disability Issues. The forum featured a non-partisan presidential forum organized by the Ohio Disability Vote Coalition and the American Association of People with Disabilities from 12:30 to 4:00. A representative for presidential candidate Barack Obama and John McCain presented their visions for the future of disability policy in America to this influential voting block. Questions were posed to them by the forum moderator, news anchor and journalist Judy Woodruff (“The News House with Jim Lehrer”) The candidates were invited to address their disability policy positions on employment, healthcare, long-term services and supports, housing, transportation, technology, and education.

There was no charge to attend The National Forum on Disability Issues and it was open to the public. For those who could not make it to Ohio, Disaboom ( hosted a live webcast of the event.

In addition, Presidential Candidates Barack Obama and John McCain have been invited to the Abilities Expo/Minnesota being held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, September 12-14, 2008. Tom Hauser, Chief Political Reporter for KSPT-TV (ABC) has been invited to moderate this political discussion, scheduled for Friday September 12, 2008 at 11:00 am. For more information visit (Reprinted from the Abilities Buzz ezine)


Coming Soon! There just have not been enough hours in the day!

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.


Thank you to our kind friends who tell us how Rest Ministries is making a difference. We share this with you, not to toot our own horn, but because so many of YOU ARE our ministry! Your kindness to strangers in the Sunroom, your answering prayer requests, writing devotionals, or encouraging devotional writers... You are all appreciated and we want you to hear just how much God uses you ever day!

A Big Cheer for Joni and Friends Handing Out Beyond Casseroles Books!

Pat, from Lansdale, PA, recently wrote to us, "I can't begin to tell you how much it thrills my soul to see how far you have come with your ministry in just a short time. It only seems like yesterday when I first found your web site. I have been getting your devotionals for a very long time. I have been affiliated with Joni and Friends of Greater Philadelphia for about 4 years now. We are going to be getting material together to give to churches regarding disabled persons. We would love to put a copy of Beyond Casseroles in the packets for the women ministry in these churches." Later she wrote, "While I was at camp in the Poconos I mention that every woman should have a copy of Beyond Casseroles." Wow!

They ordered 100 copies! THANK YOU to people like Pat who are helping spread the word about how to reach out to the chronically ill. So far nearly 1700 copies of this book have been distributed! Would your church be interested in ordering them in bulk? It's a great gift for churches to give them to women's ministries, care ministries, chaplains, parish nurses, Stephen ministers, and just regular folk (after all, we all know a chronically ill friend, right?)

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"I just went to the Sunroom and... it's WONDERFUL! Thank you so much for all you've done. I've had pain for a lot of my life--big pain for about twenty years and then bigger and blinding pain for the last twenty-five or so. There are no answers... and I've just been finally at my wit's end. Finding the Sunroom was like the sun coming into my life. I can't wait to explore more. Just thought you might like to see this if you're tired at day's end. God keep you going, please. Truly love in Christ's family, D."

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"Dear Lisa, As I sit here today feeling really bad in body and spirit, and just getting to the devotional which greatly encouraged me, I just want you to know that you are SO LOVED and SO SPECIAL. I just don't know what in this world I would to do without Rest Ministries and the friends and their love and the encouragement. No one understands but those who are going through it... and we are truly not alone because of Rest Ministries. Thank you from the bottom of my heart--a million times over-- over Rest Ministries. Love you, Kendra"

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Thank you to Plusline, the Seventh Day Adventist ezine that posted an article on their web site about Rest Ministries and National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week here.

Okay, some of you won't think this is funny... but since it's from our very uplifting devotional writer, Denny, we thought you may just get a giggle from it...

From Denny: Most of you know me through the devotionals I write. in knowing my story you know that I recently lost my right eye to cancer. I admit that isn't a very funny thing, but I think you will all enjoy this joke a friend of mine sent to me. You can really laugh out loud on this one - I won't be offended : ) Denny Dowd

A man is dining in a fancy restaurant and there is a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table. He has been checking her out since he sat down, but lacks the nerve to talk with her. Suddenly she sneezes, and her glass eye comes flying out of its socket toward the man. He reflexively reaches out, grabs it out of the air, and hands it back. 'Oh my, I am so sorry,' the woman says as she pops her eye back in place. 'Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you,' she says. They enjoy a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they go to the theatre followed by drinks. They talk, they laugh, she shares her deepest dreams and he shares his. She listens. After paying for everything, she asks him if he would like to come to her place for dinner the next day. He agrees. The next evening, she cooks a gourmet meal with all the trimmings. The guy is amazed. Everything had been SO incredible! 'You know,' he said, 'you are the perfect woman. Are you this nice to every guy you meet?' 'No,' she replies. . .

Wait for it. . It's coming. . The suspense is killing you, isn't it? She says: 'You just happened to catch my eye.

> 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!

Download our Invisible Illness Week Fundraising Button Widget today!


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.
Take the Poll - you could win a prize!
We'll announce the weekly winners here too.
Have you responded yet to our hopenotes Poll - Fun Ideas for Couples? We're going to give it another week and then we will announce the winners from last week's poll AND this week's poll (below) in our next issue.

We've recently been alerted to someone who is designing handbags and she wants our feedback! If you could add your favorite features to a purse/handbag, what would it be? A special opener? Amagnetic clasp? What kinds of compartments? What weight of the bag? What type of straps? Anything you can suggest would be helpful, especially features for those with disabilities or chronic illness!

Tell us!

> Answer

Take a Past Survey

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

> View Past Surveys

Our last winner of a free book was
Christine at irvinew@... Take the poll
today to be our next winner!

 "The greatest Christians in history seem to say that their sufferings ended up bringing them the closest to God - so this is the best thing that could happen, not the worst"

Peter Kreeft

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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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!

This is delivered free via e-mail to subscribers every week. We encourage you to distribute this newsletter freely and ask only that you not change its contents.

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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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