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...]

Won’t I Feel Better If I Understand God’s Reasons?

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When suffering, it is natural to think knowing God's reasons would bring us peace, but Lisa shares why contentment isn't dependent on understanding. "I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me . . . Like a weaned child I am content. (Psalm 131:1b-2) Have you ever gotten to the point where you are willing to accept a trial or situation in life, knowing that God has it under His control, and yet you still long for a reason? Like a child with a parent, we beg God to just give us a reasonable explanation and then we will rest in His arms--then will be able to trust Him completely. With my own illness I took great effort into avoiding allowing the "why's" to enter my thoughts. Even if I understood why God … [Read more...]

How to Pray For Others With True Concern

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Prayer should include the true concerns of the one we care for, not just our own agenda. Lisa explains. "Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to You, for You will answer me." (Psalm 86:6-7) I recall the day a woman asked me to pray with her before she went to the hospital for tests. I called her and we talked and then I prayed for her out loud. I asked God to be with her, comfort her, and to allow her to feel the same pain she had been feeling recently. For God to not give her a pain-free day as the tests were done. Why? Because have you experienced when you know something is "off" with your body for weeks and then the day you go to get the tests done the pain disappears or … [Read more...]

How do You Pray Without Ceasing If The Laundry is Waiting?

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Do you pray as much as you talk on the phone or text a friend? Lisa shares about praying without ceasing. ". . . pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17) When I was a child I couldn't quite understand how one could pray all the time. How do I play with my friends and do my homework if I am supposed to always be praying? I wondered. In recent years, however, I have seen how my life has become one big prayer. As I gulp my morning medications I say a quick prayer of thanksgiving that God has provided the medications, or that I am able to take them without an allergic reaction. I may ask Him to bless their purpose in proving some pain relief, or a plea that the side effects don't occur. Prayer continues throughout my day, whether it … [Read more...]

It is Scary to Be Us

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Have you ever considered it scary to be chronically ill? Lisa shares what to do with those fears. "When I am afraid, I put my trust in You." (Psalm 56:3) I eagerly look forward to the return of Jesus! I enjoy reading about prophesy and how current events are one of the many layers in our history as we grow closer to the last days described in the Bible. I don't know if Jesus will return in a thousand years or less than a hundred, but I do believe the day is drawing near. As my pastor describes, when a woman is in labor, the closer she gets to delivery, the more intense the contractions are and the closer they come together. So it in with Jesus' return. As it grows closer, the pain and suffering, as well as changing laws and political … [Read more...]

Self-Esteem and Chronic Illness: Where Does Faith Come In?

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Lisa Copen Self-esteem and chronic illness can both impact our day to day life in drastic ways. Chronic illness has a way of zapping all kinds of things. It zaps our strength, energy, ability to fight disease, and it can zap our spirit--our zest for life. If we allow it. Before we can fully understand how illness impacts our self-esteem, however, we need to understand what self-esteem really is. Even though this word is well known to most of us, let's look again at what it really means. What is self esteem --really? Wikipedia describes self-esteem as. . . A term used in psychology to reflect a person's overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. Self-esteem … [Read more...]

4 Struggles A Chronically Ill Woman Has About Her Body Image

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Having a healthy body image and self-esteem can be a challenge when you are chronically ill and your body seems out of your control. Lisa shares some of the hurdles in this new blog series this summer. Lisa Copen Who out there has something they would like to conceal? I'm not talking about a weapon, but a big old blackhead or a rash that won't go away? Got something you want to highlight? Tone up? If all else fails, cover up? Most of us. According to Dove research only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful and just 11% of girls globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves. Summer is here, friends, and with it some of us start to wonder how we will get through the next few months of … [Read more...]