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Can You be Friends If They
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Faking Your Illness?

hopekeepers Magazine Updates
If you are a subscriber or one of the lucky ones who got a complimentary copy it should have arrived by now. If you are sure you subscribed but have yet to get one, click here to see if we sent it out. If there was an error, we want to follow up!

And don't forget! You can get a complimentary issue by ordering anything in our store (even a $.50 item) and we'll stick one in your envelope.


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

Check out these cool new license plates! Lisa just got hers and the quality is top notch!

Have another saying you'd like us to make for you? We can order a custom one for $16, but the one's below are just $13.




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



Hi Friends,Lisa Copen

I am going to get this out on time, so I apologize for my notes being short. It's been a whirwind of a week with our ISP flaking on us last weekend, and after having our web site down for over 9 hours we switched servers. Only then my email stopped reaching me (it is now). And as all this was happening, my favorite, can't-live-without-mouse stopped working. I've had it since my first computer in 1996 and it fit my hand perfectly with my rheumatoid arthritis. Basically, anything related to technology has given me a bad time this week. My ipod and the player, even the lamp in my office, and the freezer too!

[2 days laster..] The plan was to get the ezine out, but errors kept happening on the graphics and then Friday we had an "end of summer backyard bash" for Josh's friends and kids in the neighborhood at my house. Out of about 15 families, 3 came, so it was a low turnout, but he had fun. We jumped in the car 30 minutes later to run to Josh's OT appointment for a "home plan." Joel got off work early to go so we could get ideas together about morning routines, etc. since school starts next week. We had dinner at Joe's Crab Shack (Josh danced with the waiters) and then we all came home and collapsted in bed by 9 p.m.

Thanks for your prayers and understanding as always. In the midst of everything I am filling orders and answering emails as fast as I can. I love you all so much!

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 Theme Announced

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've had some wonderful feedback from you on our postings and we thank you. Doesn't it feel good to know you aren't alone in it all? And we also appreciate the fact when you answer surveys because we will be using your quotes and statistics to form press releases to keep invisible illness issues in the news.

Some of our recent posts include:

  • WANTED: Bloggers on Chronic Illness
    “You’re Too Young to Feel That Bad!”
  • PRODUCT REVIEW: Skeptical People In Charge? Wear a Bracelet!
  • Invisible Illness Week “Brochures” are here!
  • What is the hardest part of living with an invisible illness?
  • Washington Post Features Illness Stories - Send Yours
  • MEDIA RELEASE: Invisible Illness Week Theme Offers Hope Despite Pain
  • Do You Have a MySpace Site?
  • ARTICLE: How can Churches Reach Out to the Chronically Ill?
  • But You Look So Good!… What do you say?
    > click here to read the Invisible Illness Week Posts

Do you want to be a guest blogger for NICIAW? We are doing 30 days of guest bloogers and we need your help! Send us your submission here.

Our cards/brochures are in! Order today so start passing them out to your doctor's waiting room, support group, church, friends, therpists, you get the idea!

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. So, you have the choice of lots of different items, but we aren't investing money up front for most of them. We hope it will work out best for you to get what you'd like and us to be able to be a good steward of our funds.

Brochures/rack cards and stickers are coming soon, but check out the rest today at the Invisible Illness web site.

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Prayer Room at Church Reaches Many

When hopekeepers leader, Dorothy, discovered that her church, McIntosh United Methodist Church Florida was going to celebrate the National Day of Prayer, she organized a special prayer room. She had a special place where people could come and prayer. Candles, special books, scriptures, and music all set the scene for a place of quiet, rest, and alone time with the Lord. We will soon be posting photos on our hopenotes Blog. If you would like to reach Dorothy for suggestions for your own prayer room, email her at:

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Amazing Woman and HopeKeeper Leader Help Put On Workshop for Stephen Ministers About Rest Ministries

We can't tell you how excited we were to receive this email from Irma. We are eagerly awaiting to see if she can make a video of her next presentation so we can have more to share with you in case you want to do this too! Please pray that this may be a wonderful connection for us to start sharing ministry ideas with Stephen Ministries

"Recently, one of the Stephen Ministers on my team has been given a care receiver, who suffers tremendously. We were desperate to find resources for this gentleman. Word of mouth led me to tour website and I'm so very grateful. I was so impressed with it and the many helpful materials referenced that I put together an hour-long Continuing Education program for all our Stephen Ministers giving them samples and sharing the benefit of going on-line at Rest Ministries. I connected with a facilitator from a local hopekeepers Group and she came to our program, so she could share her personal experiences and insights and spread the word about the availability of her support group. Now I have some neighboring Stephen Ministry teams that also want this info shared with their group."

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Joni and Friends Conference in Janaury - Put it on Your Calendar

The Disabilities Ministry Summit on the West Coast, sponsored by Joni and Friends International Disability Center, has been scheduled for January 23-24, 2009. It will be held at "Paz Naz" and the theme is “The Luke 14 Mandate: Ministry, Missions, and Movement!” Be sure to add it to your calendar. Lisa will be presenting at least one or two workshops and exhibiting. For more information and to see workshops as they are scheduled see the web site. Joni Eareckson Tada will be a Keynote Speaker.

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Devotional Coordinator is Taking a Sabbatical

Kay, who has done our daily devotionals since 1996, is taking a few months off. If you write devotionals keep sending them to the same place. Carolann, who was our chat coordinator, has graciously volunteered to step in. Kay says, "Just a note to let you all know how very special you are to me. Lately, I have been struggling emotionally with my childhood issues. I have found myself drained and spent. The past month has been very difficult for me to handle. Today in therapy, I make some significant breakthroughs which have taken me 38 years to get to.I would request that you keep me in your prayers that I am able to get the much needed rest that has kept me from enjoying life due to my panic disorder. My heart health is fine for now and my emotional health has made a sharp u-turn as of today. I pray it continues. Please keep me in your prayers that I may find some devotional time with Jesus and grow in His Word."

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hopekeepers Magazine Represented at Canby Christian Writers Conference

Special thanks to Judy Gann, author of God of All Comfort (devotionals for the chronically ill), who is Rest Ministries writer's coordinator and also hopekeepers Magazine's acquisitions editor. She participated in the conference on behalf of Rest Ministries and talked with many nice people who shared their stories and interest in our ministry.


Do you read Lisa's blog?

She says, "I go through phases where I am a "good consistent blogger" and then sometimes I have other priorities... but I try! And I'd love for you to join me and give some feedback to topics I touch on. Some from the past couple weeks include these (and with no comments from you! I need your 2-cents!)"

Recent Posts

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Have you visited the new Rest Ministries web site yet?

Rhonda says, "Hi Lisa, I finally joined the Sunroom. Not sure why I never got around to it before now. What an awesome name for it. It's perfect. I just joined today and already have sent messages back and forth with other Sunroom members. Thank you for all the work you do to make it easy for the rest of us to gain many blessings. Create a positive day!"

Thanks, Rhonda! We're at 577 MEMBERS... and still growing daily. Somehow, with all of the different groups, however, people are still able to connect with those they have the most in common with. Got kids under 10? Are you a stay-at-home dad? Whereever you are "at" in this journey, there are people there waiting to get to know you!



I remember when I first became aware of Rest Ministries, I was attending a seminar on Invisible Chronic Illness that was being sponsored by our local hospital. I had just been diagnosed with both Osteo Arthritis and Rheumatiod Arthritis, and my dear friend who was attending with me was dealing with Fibromyalgia.

We were amazed at the number of people in attendance at the seminar, both men and women, all of whom looked perfectly normal and healthy just as we did. But as I looked closer around the room I could see the visible signs of the Invisible Illnesses.

The mis-shaped hands of the chronic arthritis sufferer or the grimace on the face of someone who simply needed to change position in their chair.

Yes, we all looked the picture of health, but when we are grocery shopping we walk slower, have trouble reaching items on high shelves, can't bend down to get things from the low shelves, or worse yet, we only go shopping when someone can go with us to help with these issues and more, like carrying the groceries into the house and putting them away.

Some of us even still feel guilty when we park in a handicaped parking place, we look so normal, but have so many issues to deal with and by the time we get home from errands or even one errand, we have to recouperate before accomplishing even the simplest task at home.

Chronic Invisible Illness means living a delicate balance between what needs to be done and what we can actually accomplish, between knowing our limits and making sure the others in our lives take these limitations seriously.

Carolyn Johnson

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

"Oh satisfy us in the morning with thy lovingkindness, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:14

American Standard Version


Just a reminder...
Presidential Candidates are at Saddleback this Weekend

I just read the article on Rick Warren in Time magazine, author of The Purpose Driven Life. You have to hand it to the man for getting both candidates to talk with him in a public forum. More information is at The Civil Forum on the Presidency web site. It's August 16, (Saturday - tonight!) at 5-7 p.m. Pacific time, and can be watched online, FOX news, or CNN. Rick Warren will be on Larry King Live Monday night, 9 p.m. Easter time, talking about what went on "behind the scenes" and more.

How do USA journalists cover medical news?

Everytime I see a commercial for a rheumatoid arthritis medication and the person is playing tennis, wacking the ball with all of her strength, I want to scream. How about you?

Is the news media doing a good job of reporting on new treatments, tests, products, and procedures? Ray Moynihan and colleagues analyzed how often news stories quantified the costs, benefits, and harms of the interventions being discussed, and how often they reported potential conflicts of interest in story sources [1]. Of the 207 newspaper and television stories that they studied, 53% had no information about potential harms of the treatment, and 70% made no mention of treatment costs. Of 170 stories that cited an expert or a scientific study, 85 (50%) cited at least one with a financial tie to the manufacturer of the drug, a tie that was disclosed in only 33 of the 85 stories. Read more here.

Are Your Feet Wobbly?

Visit this web site to watch the little video about "I-Sole" Insoles . Basically, they have you walk around with some shoes on with a computer inside it and then it relays information back to software which can tell a doctor or shoe designer how you walk and how you can best keep balance. Though they are targetting the needs of the elderly who suffer from many broken hips, this sounds like a God-send to us with some deformed feet from illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis.

Story with Steven Curtis Chapman

Many of us grieved along with the Chapman family over the loss of his young daughter is the family's driveway. He and his family was recently featured on Larry King Live (very nice interview) Last Thursday evening, Larry King devoted his "Larry King Live" program to interviewing Steven Curtis Chapman, his wife and three surviving children, including the one who was driving. The questions--from Mr. King and internet contributors--were relevant, contemplative and unflinching:

  • "Are you mad at God for what happened?"
  • "How can you still sing about God even though He didn't protect you?"
  • "Who do you blame for this?"
  • "How do you move on from something like this?"
  • "Why are you willing to speak so publicly about something so private?
  • "Will you adopt again?"

It's an amazing interview, one that King said impacted him greatly. Hear in his own words, what the interview meant to him. .. "I wish I had that belief..."

Download Emergency Preparedness Forms

September has been designated National Preparedness Month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. is supporting this effort by providing free e-books, reports, booklets and more on how to perform first aid, prepare temporary shelters, build bomb shelters, defend against terrorism, shield against nuclear fallout, survive earthquakes, storms, floods, and dozens of other potentially catastrophic situations. To support this national effort, has set up a special free downloads page where anybody can download emergency preparedness books and reports such as: Family Emergency Planning, Pandemic Flu Preparedness, Emergency Management Guide For Business & Industry, Emergency Guide For Disabled Employees, Emergency Response To Terrorism, How To Build A Bomb Shelter, Army Corp Radiation Protection Manuel, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention, Home Chemical Emergencies Guide, and many more, absolutely free.

The American Pain Foundation Announces...

The National Pain Care Policy Act has been introduced in the Senate! With the Senate recess rapidly approaching, the time to act is now! Contact your senators to request that they become a co-sponsor of the National Pain Care Policy Act of 2008, S. 3387. A letter is here.

The National Pain Care Policy Act of 2007, HR 2994 has been in the House of Representatives gaining more and more support since July 2007. This bill has now been introduced in the Senate thanks to the efforts of Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT). With this important bill now in both houses of Congress it is important that your Senators hear from you. With the upcoming election and recess, the time is now! To view the National Pain Care Policy Act of 2008, S. 3387, please click here. The bill will soon be available on the official site,

Looking to Save a Few Dollars?

Before pressing "pay" online check out to see if there is a coupon for a discounted or free shipping option.


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!

Thanks to Linda L. for nominating Lisa for The National Pain Foundation's 2008 Triumph Award-Triumph of the Spirit!

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"Ever since I began having problems with my digestive tract accompanied with Osteoarthritis of my joints, Rest Ministries has always been a welcome encouragement to me. I look forward to the Daily Devotionals--They are so timely! I'm a 57-year-old female who suffers with chronic pain from pinched nerves, Osteoarthritis and IBS. I live in Northern CA with my husband and two cats. I have two adult children, a 20-month-old grandson and a grandaughter on the way. The Lord is the Light of my life and my daily portion. He helps me to get through the 'tough times.'"

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Have you read Lisa's new article, "4 Dilemmas Illness Support Group Leaders May Discover." She was delighted to receive this comment on it over at Scribd (a great place for articles to read!) The article was also recently featured this week at MyQ10: Pharmaceutical and Medical News Blog.

"You know many people could benefit from your wisdom. Lawyers, doctors, social workers and others are in this situation of receiving complaints all day long - it is their job but can take a toll on them if they are not prepared by the Divine Hand or by this type of discussion. I'd like to see more of your work as you post online."

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We are honored to be able to receive messages like this! Wow... "Thank you so much for starting this site. It has saved my life. I have been sick for 8 months and still don't have a diagnosis. I have heard everything from MS to cancer. My bloodwork came nack that I do have arthritis inflamation. I know you suffer from the same disease. Thank you again for giving me hope." -H

Ever Have Morning Breath?

You'll get a kick out of Christian comedian, Anita Renfroe's new parody video to the song "Just Breath." Lisa saw here perform this last year and Anita's kind, understanding husband actually ran sound for it! (And yes, that's her husband in the video!)

A little tidebit... this is a cover of Faith Hill's song and before she was married, Faith was a babysitter for Anita's kids.

> 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!

Visit our new Invisible Illness Awareness Week Blog for Tons of ways to get involved, spread the word, take a survey and more!


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.

What is the hardest part of living with an invisible illness?

What is the hardest part of living with an illness that is invisible? Living with a visible illness has it's downfalls--we aren't denying that. But having people think you are making up your illness, just being lazy, or seeking attention isn't fun either!

Tell us what the hardest part of living with an illness that is INVISIBLE is... and you'll be entered to win a copy of the book, "You Look So Good!" Plus, your comments will be used in a press release to be distributed soon!

Answer the question here -- thank you!

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
... we didn't get any responses!
Ask chronic illness and working expert your questions here!

 I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain.

John Henry Newman, Biography

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!

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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