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Lisa's Latest Article:
Chronic Illness and Dinner Time Blues: Fast Healthy Dinner Plans

hopekeepers Magazine Updates
We are in the processing of deciding how to proceed with our magazine. We keep hearing wonderful things about but with the economy, no one is advertising! We will keep you posted. Many magazines are shutting down right now (sadly, especially Christian ones) and we don't want to do that! We may substitute the complete magazine online in a digital format and just print the minimum necessary to get by. We'll keep you posted, but yes, the last issue was Jan/Feb/March that shipped in March. We aren't particularly happy about the delay either (yes, Lisa does lose sleep over it) but we do want to honor your trust and gift of supporting us.

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. Even if you already have one it's another one to drop off at your local doctor's waiting room.


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

Think no one gets your illness? Guess what? Some people really do... here are some of our favorites from authors who understand!

Why Can't I Make People Understand? Discovering the Validation Those With Chronic Illness Seek and Why
By Lisa Copen
Regularly $14.00
Just $10.00
[price is increasing closer to
retail price in October so order today!]

You Look So Good!
By Sherri Connell
Just $6.00

Beyond Casseroles: 505
Ways to Encourage a
Chronically Ill Friend

By Lisa Copen
Regularly $7.00
Just 3 for $15
[price is increasing closer to
retail price in October so order today!]

"Not By Sight" helps friends and family to see the courage and faith that abounds in those with debilitating conditions.

Being Sick Well
Jeffrey H. Boyd
Regularly $14.99
Just $10.99

Just Fine: Unmasking Concealed Chronic Illness And Pain
By Carol Sveilich
Regularly $15.95
Just $14.50


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 don't know exactly where to start, other than to say thank you for all of your prayers for me. I have been adjusting to getting up at 6:30 (despite sometimes getting to sleep by 4 a.m.) as Josh has started Kindergarten. He likes it but it's a long day (8-2:20). All seems to be going well with his teacher understanding some of the sensory processing issues and you'd be proud of me. I have a schedule on my fridge just like Super Nanny suggests!

I've been working around the clock on National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week stuff and it's been exciting to see how your enthusiasm has spread throughout the internet and beyond. Information about our blogging badge is below, but havingdaily guest bloggers at our site as well as people all over the net blogging about invisible illness is so fun!

What I want to remind everyone who receives this newsletter is to please pray for II Week and the lives we can touch through it. As a Christian organization that started this week, we basically can reach out to anyone and share the same experiences about living with an illness that is invisible. But we also have the opportunity to show them what Jesus is like through how we cope with daily pain.

I've gotten a few emails from people that were unhappy a CHRISTIAN organization was behind the campaign, and I just kindly write them back and say that we aren't hiding that fact. What the 5-year-old in me wants to say is, "Well, we thought of it first! So like it or lump it, but that's just how it is." (Please kindly pray God will use me and Rest Ministries despite my childish attitude sometimes.)

But when people are in pain, they just may be interested in hearing how you deal with it. Don't hide the truth-- the struggles, and the strength you find, (and where you find it.)

Thanks personally to Rhonda Sawtelle who started a prayer for me in the Sunroom this week. Satan is working overtime right along with me and he got me good Friday night with my shoulder freezing up pretty badly despite gobs of drugs, creams, patches, etc. I DO need prayer desperately right now, so I thank you in advance for asking for protection for my body, my family, my computer technology, my home--anything that has the potential to slow the Lord's work down.

I see God working overtime too, so I am not feeling overwhelmed, just a bit annoyed that I can't do all I want to do sometimes. I think most of you can relate. At the bottom of this you'll read a bunch of responses from people about the "hardest part of living with illness is..."

I love you, friends,

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 Promotion Going Strong!

We are so excited about all of the speakers we have for Invisible Illness Week. These will be posted this week at the website. Thanks to the efforts of many of you we have had a lot of people finding out about us through the "blogger badge" that shows you are blogging for II Week. This can be placed in your social network, blog, web site, MySpace, etc. You can find the code here. You can also get the logo code there for your web site!

If you haven't yet visited our blog for Invisible Illness Week, you're missing out! We are having daily guest bloggers, articles, ways to help spread the word and more. Lots of you have been wonderful to answer our surveys, give your feedback, and tell others and we'll be posting some of our prize winners this week from random drawings! See the cool prizes here.

Some Guest Blogger Posts:

Media Releases So Far...
(you have permission to reprint these anywhere)

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

Congratulations to Friend of Rest Ministries Featured in Paper!

Cindy LaFreniere shares, "I was interviewed by my local newspaper last week and they did a full page feature story on me about living with chronic pain. I'd like to share it with all of you so that you in turn can share it with others to help them. Anyway, if you're interested, please let me know. Thank you and God bless:

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

hopekeepers Member Starts a Ministry Newsletter

Jolie Taylor, 34, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about a year ago. She has been married for 11 years to her wonderful husband Scott and they have an eight year old son named Austin. She shares, "This has been a very hard year for all of us. I have bounced from doctor to doctor, searching for the one who will understand. I have been a part of a hopekeepers support group here in Charlotte for the past year. I don’t know what I would do without the support I have received from people who truly understand. My faith in God allows me to do things I never thought were possible. It is hard living every day in pain. Through my pain, I have discovered a gift of writing. I started a newsletter for people suffering from chronic illnesses. I have touched people through my writing. I know that the Holy Spirit gives me the words to say. When I read what I have written, I realize that the Lord is not only speaking to them, He is speaking to me."

To receive a copy just drop her a note at



Share your experience, story, testimony about living with an invisible illness in our Sunroom.

We've set up a special group in the Sunroom just for II Week.

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

Download a banner or button for Invisible Illness Week. Check out the cute animated logo with the flowers growing for our theme "Hope Can Grow From the Soil of Illness."

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

Thanks to Hillary who shared this in the Sunroom
When Your Hut is on Fire

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?' Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.

The Moral of This Story: It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

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

It's Not Too Late to Let Your Pastor Know About II Week

We have a template all ready to go that you can edit and send out. Even if he just let's you have the "rack cards" available on a resource table... hey, it's a step and maybe next year will be a bigger step!



Richard and his wife Selpher are Pastors and Missionaries in Kenya. They are on our mailing list and have offered great prayer support for Rest Ministries despite their own challenges. Richard recently wrote to me (Lisa) when he received the first new issue of Hope Notes... I encourage you to visit their web site and read more about their ministry. There are also some wonderful photos of their ministry. I asked him to share more about what is going on in their lives so that we could pray for them as well. His response is below.

Dear Lisa,

So sorry for the sickness [you have experienced]. We have been remembering you in our prayers-- as our prayer team is always in prayer for all saints and the prayer requests sent to us every Saturday.

We had wondered as to what happened to Hope Notes as they have always encouraged us. I have been busy all through due to the refugees in our church that came running for help when we had trouble clashes here soon after the presidential elections were announced last year on the 30th December 2007. God has been good to us as we have in this time of trauma had to believe God for victory.

God bless you and look forward for your kind reply to us.

Pastor Richard and Selpher,


Dear Lisa and friends,

Greetings from Kenya again! It may have taken some time to reach to you again but I just wanted to let you know and celebrate with us the victory and miracle the Lord has done to our family during our time of silence. You may understand that Kenya has been facing some great difficulties and civil wars have been the talk of Kenyans and the whole nation had been immersed in the fire of conflict due to the disputed presidential election results that were announced on 30th Dec. 2007.

The story of Kenya falling apart was that top story to almost every country’s newspapers, radios and church pulpits in the whole world. During this time, the house we were staying in was set on flame the day we were at the church holding the Sunday services and we lost all things in that fire. Praise God that our family was protected by God. A few of our friends were told of this story but we withheld it from others. Soon after things had began settling down, we had to get to the bank and the bank gave us a soft loan and we bought a small farm in Bungoma city. We had to construct a house and now we have moved in there.

After the conflict we learned a lesson of staying amidst your own people, the people of your own language, as Africa is full of ethnic wars. This is a true story in Africa for due to many tribes and the colonial government divided the lands in tribal basis, when they went back the governments that took over after them again favored their own people--chasing people in a place and forcing people of their tribes there-- so this is a continuous problem in the African lands...

> 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

"Blessed is he who is kind to the needy." Proverbs 14:20


Are You a Pet Lover? You'll Love This Story

In the true story, Gracie Comes Home, by Diane Dike. Ph.D., a broken little Italian Greyhound is rescued from a life of loneliness in a animal hospital in Colorado. Diane, who suffers from a rare, incurable blood diseases, nurtures Gracie back to life. Gracie rescues Diane right back by becoming her service dog. This story inspired the founding of Second Chance with Saving Grace, a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging people to live victorious lives and educating them on disability awareness as it pertains to the use and treatment of service animals. Gracie and Diane make a difference in the world by visiting schools, children in hospitals, prisoners, churches, civic groups, and other organizations with a message of HOPE and encouragement! Be sure to visit her web site and if you live in the Edwards, CO area, check out her speaking at an event along with guest singer, Michael W. Smith

Want to Pray for the USA?
Join the Presidential Prayer Team for free and get weekly updates on what's happening in Washington and who to pray for. Visit their web site at for updates on the election, foreign relations, and more. It also keeps you up to date on health and medical programs that are being discussed in congress which impact your life!

Is Your Medication Not Working?
Did you know anyone can report a medication failure to the FDA’s Medwatch program via an easy form to fill out or you can call 800-FDA-1088 or FAX 1-800-FDA-0178. You should try to have the lot number, expiration date, and basis for suspecting failure should be included. And keep samples of the drug in case they are needed for testing. You can also find out about side effects being reported for different medications.

A majority of Americans believe that God can intervene when a family member is dying, according to a new survey
University of Connecticut researchers found that 57 percent the people they polled believe God can save a dying family member. They also found that more than 20 percent of doctors and medical workers felt that God can change a hopeless situation.
Read more.



Coming Soon!

Seriously... Lisa is excited to get to this awesome form of ministry outreach this fall. Now that her son is in school, she can actually do some recording without you hearing race cars in the background!

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!


It's always exciting to see your name in lights... but it's even more exciting to see chronic illness given more awareness by our much-loved ministries like . Here are a few articles they have on their web site. If you happen to drop by, be sure to contact them to say "THANK YOU for mentioning chronic illness!"

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

I am Phyllis in Meridian, ID and have enjoyed your ministry for years. I have not responded to any comments however today I feel I must say to all of you how very much your articles have encouraged me. I had an accident in November, 2001 and have recently fallen and broken my hip. The accident changed my life as it left me with chronic pain and other health issues. However, I thank God everyday that He has been with me and granted me MANY BLESSINGS; ONE BEING YOUR MINISTRY. May God continue to bless you and yours. With love, Phyllis

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

Sheryl Smith, Splashes of Joy Coordinator, shared some good news with us! "I wanted to tell you that I copied and sent a devotional to my friend in prison as I thought it would encourage her. It was the one by Anna Popescu that began "One of my favorite places to spend time is at the coast..." She liked it so well she submitted to their Christian newsletter in the prison, The Spirit Inside. It was published on the front page in July as a devotional from Splashes of Joy with Anna's bio. Just thought you would like to know just how far some of your devotionals go and who they influence."

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

Rhonda shared, "I wanted to thank you for allowing me to be a Guest Blogger for National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness week (Aug 19, How Should the Chronically Ill Respond to Well-meaning Christians? Do They Even Realize What They Said?). I've been blessed to read the comments not only on the Invisible Illness site, but on my blog page in the Sunroom. It's been encouraging to hear how people plan to share the information with their church and others, to help change the perspective of how people view people with pain and illness. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts with others and help make a positive change for those living with chronic illness and pain. Thank you for allowing Guest bloggers and for offering so many different topics."

When all humor seems to disappear, we can always rely on cat jokes. This one says, "No, it's not that bad yet. So far it's just raining cats."

> 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!

Head on over to the Invisible Illness Week blog and check out the categories for Resources for Online Networking . By taking a survey, you help us create news for press releases. By commenting on a blog somewhere about illness and mentioning II Week, you could potentially send hundreds of people are way!

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.

"What's the hardest part of living with a chronic illness?" we asked and you answered... We'll share more soon!

My own perceptions of myself. Some days I feel almost normal and then I think maybe I am getting well. I look in the mirror and expect more of myself even though I am well aware of how I feel on many other days. I have a hard time balancing fighting for my health and leading as normal a life as possible. -Sheryl

The hardest part of living with an invisible chronic illness is that people don't believe that you are as sick as you say you are. -Carrie

Is to be left behind from my family. (Especially during the summer trips!). I am unable to travel or enjoy most activities, so my hubby takes the kids out to enjoy their summer." -Kelley

"One thing that's really bothering me right now is the looks I get when I pull into a handicap parking spot with my state-issued PH plates and get out with my three kids and walk into a store. I do NOT LOOK SICK in any way and I feel like people are judging me, thinking I'm abusing the plates, maybe questioning if they are even mine." -Jennifer

"Missing out on so many activities because of your illness. Your healthy friends say to you let me know what I can do for you, but you don't hear from them. You make the most of the days that you have because you know it is a gift from God and it is to be treasured and you do not when it will be gone." -Carla

"Being able to do the same things other people your age are doing. I'm only 24 and have had this illness since I was born. I've never been able to run and play sports like the other kids my age. I always had to sit on the sidelines and watch." -Erin

"Having more dreams than I have physical ability. I'm learning how to chase my dreams in different ways." -Kathy

"Unrealistic expectations of me. My current family and extended family "angry" that I can't do the things I used to do." - Mary Ellen

Our last winner of a free book was
... Carrie at ccrews2003@...

We'll get it right out to you, Carrie! Thanks for
your comments. We loved the following...

"I have only been a Christian for seven years and I am glad that I have my firm foundation to support me during my rough times. I don't know what plans God has for me, but I know that "He will use my pain to birth my passion" as Beth Moore put it."

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

Ask Rosalind Joffe, author of a new book and chronic illness coach on careers, a question! She will be presenting at II Week and would love to hear any work-related questions you have. What do you tell a potential boss during an interview? What is you can no longer work full-time but want to ask you boss about working part time at home?

Send them in!

> 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

 "The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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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