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Looking for a new Bible study
for your HopeKeepers Group?
"The Silver Bullet" and
Choices are both terrific!

Order them directly from
the author

(or other RM stuff)

Lisa's Latest Article:
Planning a Womens Retreat so Those with Chronic Illness Can Come

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


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

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 have found some wonderful options for going to a "digital format" and then printing just a few issues for those who are unable to access the magazine online. We know this is not ideal, and we don't want it to be permanent, but we'd rather get you the magazine in some format than have it keep being delayed. Stay tuned and watch here for more updates.

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

Looking for a fun gift idea
for people on your
Christmas list?

This was one of our favorites last year and we still love it!

Driving Reflections
Comfort Theme
Order here

Choose your card.
Bible verses paraphrased as
1st person affirmations.

Place it on the dashboard

Read the reflection


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

Precious. It's a simple word that carries significant emotions. As Christmas approaches I am very reflective this year on what I consider precious. I know I've been quiet lately. I was surprised to find that my fatigue and pain has been much greater the past 4 weeks after coming home from the hospital than the actual week that I was there. The doctor said for a "healthy person" it takes 1 week of recovery per day one spends in the hospital. Though that made me feel "better" to know the fatigue was explainable, it didn't provide any more energy.

I've been taking one moment at a time. For example, yesterday I finally got the PICC line out and I hired a baby-sitter to come in the afternoon so I could lay down for awhile in the afternoon. My husband is grateful to have a job, but it's requiring overtime. My parents helped for 4 weeks, but left last week. I'm sure you've experienced some sort of medical set back in your life and after 2 weeks everyone assumes you are "all better." And chronic illness makes that schedule even more confusing. As my ankle wounds heal, so does the amount of time I am off of my main arthritis medication, so I am flaring more each day. In the meantime, I am receiving amazing Christmas newsletters from all of the people I admire who work in various areas of ministry. They all sound so "perfect" with encouraging words and even lessons--so "put together." I still feel like taking a shower is an accomplishment, so I feel so inadequate to minister to you.

But what does all of this mean to you? This Christmas I have learned priorities. I've not purchased one gift yet. (I have a few to run out and get in the next couple of days, but haven't made it yet.) Money is really tight plus my feet cannot make it through a store. As my parents helped me decorate for the holiday I didn't get out all the stuff. I said, "We're going to get out what is important to me and Joshua (my son.)" That means the tree ornaments, the nativity, the singing skiing moose. I didn't rearrange the lights on the tree after my husband put them on. I said "everyone grab an ornament."

I've missed so much church but God has sent wonderful messages from a televised church program that were exactly what I needed to hear. Last Friday, a friend invited me over to her neighborhood where all the kids had a talent show, snacks, and then acted out the Christmas program in the front yard. I threw a gray blanket over Josh's head and we had a "Linus" sort of shepherd costume. To watch him kneel beside baby Jesus (a sweet real little baby) was truly precious. (I couldn't help but include a photo.)

Our plan is to drive to Phoenix next week to spend Christmas at my sister's new house. We're taking a moment at a time and going with the plans as "Lord willing." In the spirit of Christmas my family has said, "If you can't come, we'll come to you."

I pray that despite whatever you are going through right now God will reveal precious moments to you in the next week. Luke 2:19 says, "Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." Despite difficult circumstances, look for the small joys that surround us, and the large blessing of the birth of Christ, and ponder this in your heart this week.

Blessings to you,

Lisa's signature


Lisa Copen
Rest Ministries Director and Founder

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

PS: Wondering what I am up to or how to pray for me?
I appreciate your prayers so much! Follow me on Twitter.

PPS: Have you listened to the Invisible Illness Week seminars? They are here archived forever...


Videos on Lisa's Blog Through End of Year

There are some wonderfully inspiring and encouraging videos out there if you can track them down. I've taken a few minutes to share some of my favorites with you each day through the end of the new year. They are sure to put you in the spirit of Christmas, give you a few giggles, and encourage you too. Check it out each day!

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Top Health Blogger - Wellsphere

Rest Ministries Represented with Lisa as a New "TopHealth" Blogger at Wellsphere

WellSphere is a new large health web site that offers loads of medical information from doctors, experts and bloggers and all sorts of topics such as individual illnesses to chronic pain. We're honored that Lisa has been chosen to be a guest blogger here. You can visit Lisa's profile and read her articles here.

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Newsletter with Information for
Parents of Special Needs Kids

Sylvia McGrath, a freelance writer; has a new online newsletter titled “Professor Owls Book Corner” for children with special needs, chronic illness and learning challenges. In every months newsletter there are special activities and crafts for children who are sick or have needs out of the ordinary. These activities include reading challenges, games, safe web surfing, prizes and a special page; where each month a special child is showcased from the Variety Village Foundation’s hero list; and their stories told on how they have overcome or are living with their illness. To subscribe, visit her web site.

If you are the parent of a special needs child, you may also want to visit Rest Ministries Sunroom which has a group for moms and dads like you!

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November Chronic Pain Blog Carnival

If you haven't had a chance to read the November Pain Blog Carnival from How To Cope With Pain on the topic of Thankfulness it's not too late! As always, I am honored to participate... this time sharing my post about having new priorities this year during the holiday.

This is a wonderful blog of real life stories about the ups and downs and daily details of living with illness or pain... and yet, O so encouraging too!


I Believe...

Read Lisa's blog that reflects on some "beliefs" that can make our life simpler.

  • I believe . . . That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.
  • I believe . . . That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
  • I believe . . . That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
  • I believe . . . That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
    > read more

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Are You Feeling Blue this Season?

We've set up a special group in the Sunroom called, "Thoughts of Depression and Suicide during Holiday Season" that you can participate in to get you through the dark moments.

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Invisible Illness Week Seminars at iTunes!

You can now download the seminars for the week at iTunes, so you can add it to your ipod or MP3 player and listen to them whenever you want or when you need a pick-me-up (great to listen to if you are a walker!) And it's free! Just click "subscribe."


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5 Things You May Not Know
Exist at Rest Ministries Web Site

  1. A beautiful screensaver you can download free to your computer
  2. Articles, links web site and more specifically for pastors who are interested in understanding more about chronic illness or who want their church to better outreach to the chronically ill.
  3. Daily updates from our founder Lisa from her Twitter (fast and easy to read and also available on the right column of the Sunroom)
  4. Resources for how to help a friend with a chronic illness
  5. Special groups in the Sunroom like



God's Faithfulness Through an Illness Journey

I began to experience problems in my early forties, fatigue which lead to a wrong diagnosis of chronic fibromyalgia and a confirmed case of Lyme Disease. I was put on wrong medications, and actually became a guinea pig for ten years as I went from doctor to doctor.

Prednisone, doxicylin, and several other methods of treatment took their toll and I began to get sicker. Finally the doctor said he was sending me to the University of San Francisco for help. It was in the Head of Dermatology where they found I was dealing with a rare disease called Dermyosistits. I was treated for tumors though out my body. Before that the doctor thought I might have MS. Thank goodness I did not, but the messages from the brain to my limbs was so limited, I could not get out of bed.

With Prednisone, I was able to finally move and bring my muscles back to life after they begin to atrophy. I finally found a good female rheumatolgist who confirmed that I also had lupus and three types of arthritis. [Between illnesses and medications, the doctor said] she didn't know how I was alive. I just turned 58.

God has been so good in directing me to the right doctors and giving me strength to not give up. I have been in remission for almost eight years. I have a hip replacement... my muscles aren't as strong as I would wish, but I am thankful because I am moving.

I am thankful to my husband, mother and daughter for their loving support. My pets have come into play big time too. My cat, actually taught me how to walk again after being afraid to get up with the new hip. A horse, named Inca, inspired me to start writing again and that is what my first novel is about. Today, I am freelancing and am praying about speaking engagements to encourage and help others, especially disabled people. Not only am I disabled, but my sweet husband has recently been put on disability for a terminal lung disease. It is rare and probably from chemical burns in Vietnam, specifically Agent Orange.

Our God is Great and Faithful. He cares deeply for us and we are "awesified!" (My own personal word!) One of the biggest lessons I have learned is, it is truly important to forgive those who have harmed us in any way. But....that is another story!

Love and Blessings, Paulette Harris

Visit Paulette's blog She is a freelance writer/speaker who lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kitty cats. She has have a gorgeous daughter and five beautiful grandchildren and loves gardening and all types of animals. She says, "Last but not least. I am a believer who loves and follows Jesus Christ."

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

"For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given..."
Isaiah 9:6a


Bad Times are Drawing Bigger Crowds to Church

The New York Times reported 12/14:

Nationwide, congregations large and small are presenting programs of practical advice for people in fiscal straits — from a homegrown series on “Financial Peace” at a Midtown Manhattan church called the Journey, to the “Good Sense” program developed at the 20,000-member Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., and now offered at churches all over the country. Many ministers have for the moment jettisoned standard sermons on marriage and the Beatitudes to preach instead about the theological meaning of the downturn.

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Confused by Your Medical Insurance Plan?

eHealthHelp can help you decipher all that confusing red lape! They say they will help you "get the most effective and efficient use of your health care coverage." They've worked with insurance, managed care, and provider organizations in addition to working with consumers of health care services for over 25 years. They do not recommend any one particular healthcare provider, broker, or supplier. The purpose of their web site is provide the consumer with basic knowledge and some useful organizational aids.

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Christmas - Do You Really Know the Story?

Think you know the Christmas story inside and out? See how well you can separate our traditions of Christmas from what is contained in the actual Biblical passages about the Nativity. This is a great little Christmas Scripture Quiz to take yourself for fun or print out copies for the kids to do on Christmas Day. Another fun Christmas puzzle about scripture can be located here. Fill in the missing words from scripture about the Christmas story.

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Traveling with a Chronic Illness?

"Diabetes Mine" web site put together some great tips. Though some are for those with diabetes, they are helpful for us all. Check them out before jumping on any planes this holiday season.

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Chronic Pain and Depression
Need to Be Treated Separately

Although people often suffer from chronic pain and depression at the same time, the two conditions need to be treated separately.
Pain is depressing. So it is not surprising that people who have fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome, also tend to be depressed.

However, researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Cologne now report that, from brain imaging studies, there is no obvious link between pain intensity and level of depression in fibromyalgia. The answer? Be knowledgeable about this so if you are coping with severe depression, you can talk to your doctor about it and not have him or her "blow it off" as just a side effect of your disease. Source: Arthritis & Rheumatism May 2005

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Want to Do One Nice Thing Today? calls itself a "kindness project" embracing people of all denominations. Each Monday the website offers an easy "nice thing" suggestion. The site also shines the spotlight on exceptionally kind people. The website invites visitors to email their own "nice thing" ideas and names and photos of kind people, which are then posted. Founded in June 2005 in Los Angeles by Debbie Tenzer, the website has members in more than 50 countries.

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Send a Recovering Soldier a Christmas Card

When mailing your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to this address:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20307-5001


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!

We have almost 800 members in our Rest Ministries Sunroom Social Network. Wow! And to call it just a "social network..." Well! There is some ministry going on in there!


First of all, I just finished reading Lisa's update on her health and want her to know that I will keep her in my prayers. Second, I want to thank her and all connected with this service. I've been receiving the email devotions and they have helped me so much. I have been living with chronic pain for years, now, due to spinal stenosis, damaged nerves and arthritis in my spine. I also have fibromyalgia and emphysema, so not being to exercise at all, am way overweight which doesn't help the other conditions at all.

However, as crazy as it sounds, in a way I'm thankful for my condition as it has brought me so much closer to God through Jesus Christ. If I didn't have Him, I wouldn't be able to get through the days. I live alone, with the exception of my little special friend, my dog, Missy. But, because of your site, I have read about so many people who I can certainly identify with and who can identify with me, and so it has helped me tremendously and just wanted to say a great big THANK YOU! I pray for God's blessings on each and every one of you responsible for this site.

Sincerely, Jeanne

We keep finding more inspirational stuff than funny stuff. Feel free to share something special with us that you've found too.

This week we encourage you to watch this video about the "Nativity Story." The music is "Breath of Heaven" by Amy Grant and the video is from the movie "The Nativity" from 2006.

> Have something silly or special to share?

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.

You can 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

 "As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has—or ever will have—
something inside that is unique to all time. It's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression."
- Mister Fred Rogers

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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