Every Day Really Is a Battle – In More Ways Than We Realize

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Fighting our illness is a daily battle, but ultimately we are fighting for our soul. Lisa shares. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). Ever since my son was young he loved the Bible's battle stories. Whether it was David versus Goliath or a battle against a storm, He wanted to hear how God entered the battle and defeated the enemy. Many of us take comfort in Exodus 14:14, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Sounds simple, right? God will fight our battles. Yet, just as David had to find the courage to walk forward with a few rocks … [Read more...]

Embracing Our Freedom In the Middle of Pain

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God gives us freedom. Lisa shares how this applies to her at this moment today. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (Galatians 5:1). It is the Fourth of July here in the USA. We celebrate the freedom that we are so very blessed to have. For the first time in years my family has plan to go to the home of some friends for a BBQ. I had 2 decent days this week, finally recovering from my Rituxan infusion. And then a new infection hit. Hard. I believe it improved the smallest bit this morning so I am hoping to avoid ER on this holiday when it is sure to be busy at the hospital. Still... my body is tired from fighting this … [Read more...]

Are You Wasting Your Life by Ignoring ‘Little’ Sins?

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The suffering of illness can allow in sinful thoughts or actions and we become too tired to address them. Lisa shares. "Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy" (Proverbs 28:13). What struggle are you facing today that is causing you to respond with sin? Physical pain was the greatest tool satan used when trying to get Job to turn from God (Job 2:7). He is still using physical pain in our lives, attempting to separate us from the Lord. While we may appear spiritually healthy to those around us, it is easy for our illness to allow sin into our lives in small ways. These can quickly escalate and take over, destroying relationships, our spiritual walk, and even our body. So … [Read more...]

A Summer Parenting Creed for Chronically Ill Moms

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Are you ready for the next few months? If you are a parent, you are realizing. . . it is that time of year. School is out--or nearly so--and you may be experiencing a feeling of panic. It's not an unusual feeling for many parents, but for those of us with chronic illness, it can be a big concern. How will we keep up with their energy? What will we do? How will we make all those fun memories despite our pain level and our limited budget? How can we make sure our kids aren't lacking what other kids are--like camping trips and hikes, bicycle rides and trips to the amusement park? It can feel like a marathon. We start trying to build ourselves up for it, training ever since they went back to school after Spring Vacation. We looked … [Read more...]

When Everyone Seems to Have God’s Blessings But You

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Odds are, if you are counting your blessings Lisa explains how your list may be less representative of Jesus' blessings for you than you imagined. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness" (Matthew 5:3-6, 10). Have you looked around at your circumstances and wondered why you seem to be lacking God's blessings? I am quick to say how blessed I am, but sometimes it's because it is what I am supposed to … [Read more...]

Are You Spending Yourself or Squandering Yourself?

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When you consider how you are spending yourself and who you are, despite your chronic illness and pain, are you encouraged or discouraged? Lisa shares. "If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame" (Isaiah 58:10-11a). It is hard to truly appreciate each day, isn't it? We are told to not take anything for granted. As more natural disasters are occurring, from earthquakes, tornadoes, mudslides, and fires, we pray for those who have lost their lives. And yet we get up and try to accomplish a list of … [Read more...]

Can You Explain Your Hope Despite Your Illness?

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When did someone last ask you to explain the source of your hope? Lisa takes a look at one of her favorite scriptures. "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15). Do others ask about your hope? Here are my insights on one of my favorite scriptures. Always be prepared . . . We will not always feel like encouraging someone or sharing about our hope, but we are never exempt being prepared to share about eternal life. When we are weary is when God does His best work in us. . . . to give an answer. . . When did you last share with a nonbeliever why you believe what you do? Practice with a friend so you feel … [Read more...]

Celebrate! You Have a Huge Inheritance!

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Consider how you would be jumping up and down if you got a phone call today about an inheritance you had received. Lisa explains. "This inheritance is kept in heaven for you" (1 Peter 1:3). Have you noticed this world isn't perfect? It is hardly even comfortable. We struggle, we fight to have a better life and leave our children with a better life than we had. Have you ever lost someone you loved, and then discovered you were left an unexpected inheritance of some kind? It may have been a financial gift or a sentimental item you would treasure. Consider the joy you felt when you discovered that in the midst if your pain there was something to cling to that brought delight. This is what God has done for us and yet He doesn't … [Read more...]

New Video From Lisa

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Just wanted to give you a head's up on Sunroom news and more. I am hoping I will be in surgery the day this posts --if my blood pressure was low enough! God bless you and thanks for the prayers. Talk with you soon. Lisa … [Read more...]

When Life Has A Shipwreck

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When the tough challenges overwhelm you, consider them shipwrecks God has already planned in advance--to save you. Lisa explains. "So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island" (Acts 27:25,26). At some point after diagnosis, in our cycle of grief, we stop looking for a cure and begin to advocate being "as well as possible"--for as long as possible. It stops being about delaying life until we are cured, but enjoying the moment. Most days I handle the losses of illness pretty well. I will likely have rheumatoid arthritis all the days of my life. I am okay with that. God has used it astronomically more than I ever could have imagined. I … [Read more...]

Putting Aside Resolutions and Resting In Your Testimony

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Don't focus on resolutions, but instead on how God is going to shine through you in 2014. Lisa shares. "Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me." (Psalm 66:16) The commercials have already begin. Weight loss, exercise equipment, and goals, goals, goals! For those of us with illness we are physically--and maybe emotionally--flat on our back. Talk of resolutions to be better, do more, improve something--can quickly make us more discouraged than ever. So. . . stop. You are among friends here at Rest Ministries. In fact, we should have a contest to see who keeps up their holiday decorations the longest (I think last year there were still some up at Easter time.) Goals and resolutions can be a nice … [Read more...]

How to Make Painful Mornings Easier

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Mornings are difficult for those with chronic pain. Lisa shares how to find joy despite the pain. "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23) Mornings are difficult for me. Despite being physically ready for bed by 8 PM you may find me doing dishes at 11:15 at night because regardless of my pain level, it will double in a few more hours. Morning stiffness can last for a few hours, or even all day, as it has the last few months. There are many scriptures in the Bible that tell us the joys of mornings. Mornings are a time to rejoice. (Psalm 30:50) God's love will satisfy us each morning. (Psalm 90:14) And a … [Read more...]