Can't read this? It's on our web site! See here


Welcome to the November issue of hopenotes, the online magazine of Rest Ministries, Inc and hopekeepers Magazine. If you know someone who would be encouraged by our message please click on the "forward this to a friendl" link at the bottom of this page. God bless you.

Rest Ministries Director

Are fonts too small on your screen? If you have Internet Explorere go to "view"-"text size"-"largest" or see Ability Net for more details.

In this issue
Sponsor HIGHLIGHTS @ REST MINISTRIES - hopekeepers

We're kicking off our ezine again! Welcome back to hopenotes. We've finally found an affordable way to send it to you!

Are you a scrapbooker?
We've put together an 8 x 8 scrapbook/journal with clear overlays to record your personal journey (yeah, it's with an illness, but maybe you've got things to record that the Lord is revealing to you!) We're donating 2 scrapbooks to the first two volunteers who are willing to: (1) fill out the 20-page scrapbook; (2) allow us to show your pages on the web [the writing won't show up]; (3) be a resource for anyone who has questions about how the journal works. Email us! Books will be available in about 3 weeks. We'd like to have the 2 volunteers avaiable by January.

Volunteer position open:
The position of Chat Coordinator for A Time of Refreshment is currently open. It's about a 5-7 hours/weekly position, with internet research, emailing potential guests and getting Lisa the information to post on the web site, and hosting the weekly chat (1 hour). Read here and email us if interested.

hopekeepers/Rest Ministries Promotional DVD
We're putting together a DVD for Rest Ministries and hopekeepers. Although we're specifically asking groups to participate, if you want to send us a video of you giving your testimony about Rest Ministries, we'd love it! Details here.

Have a Shoebox?

Put it to good use! This week is collection week for Samaritan's Purse ministry, Operation Christmas Child, run by Franklin Graham. Just fill up a shoebox with goodies for a child at Christmas overseas and send it or drop it off at a local participating church. Find details of appropriate items, ages, etc. at the web site or you can just donate $7 and it will "buy" 1 box of items. Collection week ends Nov. 20.


Sale of the Week


Don't miss these great CDs of worship music, gospel and more with your favorite artists that have toured with Women of Faith. Regularly about $16 ea.

We've got them for just $4.50 ea.

Prize of the Week Welcome New hopekeepers Groups

Win the Life Recovery Bible (softcover)
"A great resource and tool for those in Recovery who want to go deeper with God." - John Baker, Pastor of Celebrate Recovery at Saddleback Church

Read more

Enter by inviting 3 friends to sign up for this ezine!

Wow! So many new hopekeepers Groups! We're thrilled! They
are in alpha order below by state to see if there is one near you.
And don't forget to check our map.

NEW ZEALAND, Heretanga Christian Centre (1st in NZ!)
Helena, AL, Riverside Baptist Church
Thousand Oaks, CA, Evangelical Free
Vacaville, CA, The Father's House
Bristol, CT, Hillside Community Church
Panacea, FL, Ochlockonee Bay/Sopchoppy United Methodist Church
Hailey, ID, The Life Church
Elgin, IL, Christ the Lord Lutheran Church
Grayslake, IL, Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church
Marcus, IA, Faith Lutheran Church
New Albany, IN, Northside Christian Church
Covington, KY, Daybreak Community Church
Troy, MI, Troy Christian Chapel
Marion, MI, Pisgah Heights Wesleyan Church
Holland, MI, Ridge Point Community Church
Buffalo, MO, Lindley Christian Church
Grace Church, St. Louis, Maryland Heights, MO
Statesville, NC, Western Avenue Baptist Church
Willoughby, OH , Church Willoughby Hills Evangelical Friends
Allison Park, PA, Network of Hope (org)
Bethlehem, PA, Lehigh Valley Grace Bretheren Church
Southampton, PA, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Columbia, SC, Forest Pines Gracious Living Retirement Center
Columbia, SC, Shandon Baptist Church
Belton, TX, Hope Community Church
San Antonio, TX, Community Group
Walla Walla, WA, Amazing Grace Church of the Nazarene

"Make me laugh"

Send us something
to make us laugh!
A photo, a story, a quote, we want to hear what tickles you!

Special Thanks

Think pastors rarely have physical pain and are always surrounded by supportive congregations? Think again. One man shares his story. . .

For the last 8 years, I've lived with daily chronic pain in my back and neck. In 2000, a rheumatologist diagnosed me with a muscular condition similar to fibromyalgia. I learned to accept pain flare-ups, sleep problems, medications, regular medical appointments, seasonal depression, and alternative treatments as part of my lifestyle. Sometimes it seems like my pain has become part of who I am, because it comes with me wherever I go and has affected every part of my life. My wife Jane and our teenage children learned to adapt to the struggles and extra medical bills related to my pain.

In the fall of ‘05, my pain increased, as it did every year when the weather turned cold, but this time, my pain level was significantly worse. My condition gradually sank as my weeks of severe pain turned into long winter months of prolonged fatigue and pain. My family life, work, and social life suffered because of my severe fatigue. My doctors ordered tests and tried new medications that were ineffective.

Sometimes I shared my troubles with friends, but they could not seem to understand or know how to help me. I felt like I was living in a foreign world, a lonely world of hurt. Living with so much pain was like facing a daily obstacle course that was invisible to those around me. My struggles seemed overwhelming at times. Every area of my life seemed to be falling apart. My hope gradually faded away.

In Psalm 13:1-2, David prayed to his Lord, "How long will you hide your face from me?" I often prayed and cried out to God for help, but instead of an answer from God, my body and heart continued to ache. I felt despair. Occasionally, suicide seemed to be the only way for me to escape my aching body, and faith in Christ assured me of the hope of a pain-free life in heaven.

On a sunny day in March, I drove to a state park to go for a walk. I wrote a letter about why I felt like ending my life and put it in a garbage can. I went home, did a few errands, and later my family came home. Shortly after supper, a sheriff's deputy came to our door and said that the letter had been found and turned into them. When he told my family about it, they were shocked. He called a member of the emergency response team, who came and sat in our living room. He asked about what led to my suicidal thoughts, and I shared about my pain, depression and fatigue. He said he thought I needed to go to the hospital, and I reluctantly agreed to go to the hospital.

It was humbling to be admitted to the hospital's mental health wing. . .

>> Read the conclusion of this article here.


Thanks to all who participated in National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week! We encourage you to visit the web site and read the transcripts. All our special guests have their web sites listed for you to visit too!

Overheard. . .

The chat rooms and Tuesday meetings online have really been a help to me. I am so thankful that I found Rest Ministries' website. Thanks to the writers who do the daily devotionals. You are so real in what you present. Many times I feel as if you are reading my mind. Love and hugs, Maggie"


If you have a Vons or Safeway near you, you can save lots on groceries during the holidays and even have them delivered! First, sign up with and Rest Ministries will earn a % of what you spend (at no cost to you). Then click "shopping" or "the mall" and look for groceries. Vons/ Safeway has dozens of "buy 1 get 1 free" items that are only available via the internet. Check your local groceries' web sites. Many offer delivery for just $5 and if you are disabled, sometimes it's complimentary.


In the next month I'm going to be presenting the idea of a hopekeepers group to my pastor. Where do I start?

First, we're excited to say that we have a new volunteer who will be helping us as hopekeepers Coordinator, keeping in touch with group leaders, finding out your needs, and making sure we have updated information from you. Pam Bunney has led a hk group off an on since about 1998. If you are a current hopekeepers leader and have questions about anything, feel free to email her at and she will get back to you ASAP.

Go to the hopekeepers section on our web site and download the free hk Info Packet. After this you will start to receive a weekly email from us that will help lead you through many Q/A's you will have along the way. You DON'T need the hk Kit to start the group, but with it you can have all of the materials at one time. Costs, however, should never keep you from following your heart in this ministry. Anyone can do it. We'll work with you to make sure you get what you need.

After reading the packet you may want to purchase "So You Want to Start a Chronic Illness/Pain Ministry" and a Bible study too. Then sit down and write out why you feel called to start a hopekeepers group, where you've seen and felt the need. You can find staggering statistics in the media section of our web site or at our "sister" site for National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week (media and "get involved" secttions). We recommend putting together an outline of topics you want to address. Some people call this a mission statement or a proposal. Here is one leader's example. If you are a current hopekeepers leaders and would be willing to share your written proposal we'd love to include it on our web site as a reference for others.

You can find all of this information and more here. May God bless you on this new journey!

1 Way to Share RM NEWS TO KNOW
Let a friend know that they can sign up to receive free online daily devotionals from us! Visit the site or send a blank email by pressing here.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicade have just released the 2007 version of "Medicare and You"-- the official government handbook with important information about ¦ what's new ¦ what's covered ¦ health plans ¦ prescription drug plans ¦ rights.
    You can download this document

    It is 116 pages, so it takes forever to download unless you have high speed internet, but more user friendly than last year. There is a summary at the start dealing with the most critical issues. Thanks to Patricia K. Gleich, EdS of Associate for National Health Ministries for sharing this info. Visit her web site here.
  • U.K. doctors Hangwi Tang and Jennifer Hwee Kwoon Ng found that their patients often use the popular Google Internet search engine to try to diagnose their own illnesses. So they tried in in a study of their own and found that Google came up with the correct diagnosis 58% of the time. -BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal

  • The Breast Cancer site donates at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "donating a mammogram" for free (pink window in the middle). It's free. Corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising. Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.
  • Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder, Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries has written a brochure, Mental Illness: Coping with the Holidays. It provides tips for persons with a mental illness, their family and friends, and guidelines for faith communities as we approach the holiday season. Be sure to visit her web site for a wealth of information.
We like this link!

You really can do the fall and winter holidays without the sugar. Find some amazing recipes that really taste great!

Recent Prize Winner

We had lots of people participate during Invisible Illness Week but it seemed very few actually figured out how to send an email to be eligible for the prizes provided! So, we've randomly chosen names from our mailing list and posted the winners here!

We thank you in advance for your prayers for Rest Ministries and our volunteers who somehow manage to donate time and energy despite their own challenges.

Some volunteers we are aware of who can use your prayers are:

Chyrell Keeling, has stage four cancer and has had surgery to remove a tumor.

Nancy DeLacure is having cataract surgery.

Cynthia "Jake" Simons Trench, Encouragers' Club Coordinator can use prayer for her family. One son is having testing done for his heart and the other one will be re-enlisting in the military for a possible second tour-of-duty.

If you are a volunteer who would like your prayer requests known, please email us. If you are a reader, we have an Encouragers Club of 80 people who will pray for you! Click here.


That's how many visitors came to our web site during September, thanks to our annual outreach with National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. We usually have around 63,000! Thanks for your help in making it a sucess!

We now have hopekeepers groups in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Africa, and even Alaska. Be sure to find out if there is one near you!



So few books on living with chronic illness are published in the Christian industry that when I saw this book I immediately grabbed it up to read. You won't be disappointed. Written by a man who is an ordained minister and served in a church, his interests eventually led him to degrees in public health and epidemiology from Yale. He currently serves on the board of Journal of Religion and Health.

His research into what makes people able to live joyfully despite chronic illness are shared in this book through 20 strategies-- Some may seem a bit familiar as you've likely tried them already, but others will leave you with fresh ideas, or at least a renewed sense of humor that you aren't alone in trying to pinpoint the joy in the midst of your health challenges. I highly recommend it! -- Lisa Copen

Read more or buy it here - on sale! Just $10.99 (not $14.99)


Welcome our new hopenotes Editor, Debbie Spence.

Debbie currently lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and two boys. She has taught elementary and middle school for over 16 years. Diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, she is taking time off to focus on her health, as well as, reaching out to others in their pain/illness.

Baptized at the age of 16, she did what she thought was the "right" thing to do. However, she didn't totally give her heart to God. It wasn't until 10 years later, at the age of 26, when she fell on her knees in her tiny apartment and cried out to God for help. He was right there with her… and has been ever since.

She struggles with issues just like everyone else does, but she wants to use those struggles to help others. She is very thankful for this ministry-God moves us when we are close and quiet enough to listen. "He is taking me in a new direction with Rest Ministries and I am extremely excited to be here," says Debbie. "I feel called to this ministry because I know exactly how you feel. I understand and I want to help others understand that God will not leave us. He has brought us way too far to just turn and leave us now. No way! The journey is just beginning! I truly desire to walk with Him and you (I will need you all desperately) as we learn and grow together through God's anointing of Rest Ministries."

Debbie is also will be facilitating a new hopekeepers group in the Oklahoma City area. "We will meet at Victory Church once a week to do our Bible Study. We will also have other activities (most likely one a month) where we can join together for fellowship, fun, relaxation, and friendship. Our first meeting will be October 20, 2006. Whew hoo!"

Visit us again soon at .


Bookmark them now in a "shop for RM folder"

can help Rest Ministries!

Okay, so we swear we're cutting back this year, but do you shop a little, even just for medications? If you buy items through one of our links Rest Ministries will gain a percentage. Please keep this email and click on these links before placing any purchases this season and we could easily earn a couple thousands dollars (much needed!) It costs nothing for you!

What kinds of stores are at
these "charity malls?" TONS!

Best Deal Magazines
Discover card
Diabetes store
Dollar Rent a Car
Dr. Leonard's Catalog
Eddie Bauer Outlet
Entertainment Book
Family Christian Stores
Golf Outlets
H & R Block
Home Depot
Hooked on Phonics
Joanne (Fab/Crafts)
Just My Size
KB Toys
Land's End
Land Bryant
Montgomery Ward
Netflix (movies)

Oriental Trading Company
Relax the Back
South Beach Diet
Tower Records
USA Today
Yahoo! Small Biz
Yahoo! Personals
Zone Diet

You can read more about it
and the stores here


Tidbits. . .

You are reading a page of hopenotes, the online supplement to hopekeepers Magazine. Go to the home page of hopenotes or Rest Ministries web site. Copyright 2006, Lisa Copen