The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

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Today’s Hope Notes is Up with Loads of News and Encouragement

Our September 2nd edition of HopeNotes is now available to read! Lots of news about Invisible Illness Week stuff, our new web site, and an amazing video we hope you will watch!

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Why I Began Invisible Illness Week

09_logo-facebookThe last couple of weeks I’ve been juggling more stuff preparing for Invisible Illness Week whihc is Sept 14-20, 2009.

Our web site for #iiwk09 (as known in the Twitter world, you can follow me here) is at www.invisibleillness.com .

You can find articles, guest blog posts, and even a “blog tour” where I am interviewed on different web sites about Invisible Illness Week.

I began this in 2002 and the week has only grown and reached more people because of readers like you who tell their friends about it, post something at Facebook and join our “cause” group there, pass out cards to their support group, and much more.

In fact, the best way to share my heart with you about why I do what I do is to just post my interview here (see above).

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is the annual outreach where Rest Ministries steps back from our every day events and and really shares with nonbelievers where we find our daily strength despite our illness and pain. [And I have to say, it annoys some people that a Christian group came up with this event!]

It’s a time we can invite people to our online seminars during our virtual conference, and give them the chance to be encouraged (and not judged… which many people are in their every day lives.) I hope you will support our efforts by heloing in any way possible. There ae lots of ways to get involved –most of them free and with just a few minutes of your time.

Thank you in advance and thanks for your prayers in pulling this off. With God’s strength (and my surrender — a big challenge) I know it will turn out wonderfully!

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Host Interview with Lisa for Invisible Illness Week Blog Tour

handstypingGuess what? Lisa is doing a blog tour to help spread the word about Invisible Illness Week and we are opening up our calendar so book your blog today! The tour is July 27 – September 13th and Lisa hopes to help spread the word about Invisible Illness Week! How does it work?

You sign up for the day that you would like to post an interview with Lisa on your blog. Lisa has answered a variety of questions about NICIAW and you will receive a unique “article” to post—meaning each post may say something similar but the article in itself is unique.

(We are pointing that out because many blog tours provide all blogs with the same exact article, which can cause Google to see it as duplicate content. The wording of the article for your blog site will be completely unique, so Google will actually like it!)

We provide the article with hyperlinks already embedded into the code and graphics that you can upload.

When you sign up you can also submit 2 questions of your own to Lisa that she will answer and email back to you to post with the interview. You can write the intro paragraph, change the wording of the questions, make it sound “like you.”

We are excited to reach many blogs that represent a wide variety of medical professions, as well as illnesses. If you have to wonder if an illness “applies” – it does. And invisible illness can be anything from cancer to migraines, bipolar disorder to lupus, or fibromyalgia to autism. bk_beyondcasseroles

Every blog host will receive a free copy of Lisa’s book, “Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend.” It’s a paperback book but we will be giving away a free pdf digital version.

Thank you for your influence in the illness community by sharing your own experiences as well as bringing people together. Once your date is confirmed we will:

  • Post your participation on our Twitter accounts, Facebook, My Space, etc.
  • The day your blog posts we will post it on our Twitter as well. We will do a Twitter post of any blog hosts who have a Twitter account
  • It will be added to our mass calendar for II Week
  • The schedule will be announced via a press release at SBWire.com where it will also hit Google News. The schedule will also be posted on all of our social networks, Invisible Illness Week web site, illnesstwitters.ning.com and more.

We are excited to let people discover how many spectacular health, illness and medical bloggers are out there. If you are interested in hosting, please click here to sign up ASAP to grab your preferred slot!

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Come & Care – What Church Should Be About

A picture of Pisgah Baptist Church in Four Oak...
Image via Wikipedia

As Christians it’s easy to get caught up in all of the marketing and social networking of the rest of the world. We can say that we need to get back to basics, but let’s face it–Facebook and Twitter, cell phones and iphones are the way people connect now days.

It would have been odd for the church to never take anyone’s phone number years ago when the telephone was invested, because the church didn’t want to  get caught up in that technology.

That said, we need to remember that all of these social networking devices are TOOLS that we should use to carry out scripture. We should use them to reach more people — rather than letting them use us. I say that with a bit of guilty because I’ve told my son as he hovers over my shoulder, just a minute and mommy will get off the computer.  And I’m actually reading an article on how to be a better parent. Ironic, huh?

Occasionally I read a blog about church marketing and how “the church” can improve how it reaches out to people. When does it work right? When do we go overboard?

For example, one church in my town sent out postcards to the entire neighborhood, assuring them the church service would end early to accommodate the Chargers (football) game, plus, if they stayed and watched the game at the church on the TV provided, they might win some Charger’s gear. Is that cross the line into “tackiness” or is that just me?

Anyway, they recently posted this and it got my attention:

I asked my friend how he has continued to be a part of growing a healthy church community for so many years. Two words, he said, “come and care.”

Instead of spending his time trying to get people to come to church, he invests his time getting the people that do come to actually care. When people care, there is no longer an issue of getting people to come, he said. The people who care will get people to come which gets more people to care… and the cycle continues.

Don’t you love that? It sums up how I feel about churches but also about Rest Ministries. I’m going to repeat it…”The people who care will get people to come which gets more people to care.” (I wish I’d said it!)

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My Favorite New Web Site for “Deals”

So it’s Saturday. Are you one of those garage sale shoppers or has your illness prevented you from getting up to go get those deals at 6 a.m. like me?

I have some good news about a cool new tool I just discovered. If you are looking for an item or news, you can now easily be notified. My husband and I have just had a mattress for six years now and would love to get an inexpensive pine bed, something simple, like from IKEA.

But logging on to Craigslist or other web sites to search for something used can be a hassle and you easily miss the deal to someone else.

Then I found notify.me . That’s right, no .COM on the end, but .ME — notify.me

You just go to the web site and sign up for a free account with your email. Then yougo the the web site that has the product you want to watch or be notified of when it is posted.  So for example, I went to San Diego Craigslist and put in the search terms “pine king bed” and then copied that URL (the http://www.websitehere.com) and posted that in the notify me box.

They have a great video you wcan watch for detailed instructions. You can also be notified via phone, instant message, etc.  They also provide other ideas of how to use notify.me, for example when certain words are on Twitter, or Facebook, or Google News.

Anyway, I haven’t found a bed yet, but I’ve gotten about 5 notifications this week and it’s always nice to know when something has posted. If you are looking for a used item at a good sale price, you may definitely be using this as a tool to find just what you are looking for!

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And here is another web site I haven’t yet used, but have heard good things about: dealalerter.com . You pick an item, and tell them the price you want to pay for it, and then this web site checks its price daily for you. Deal Alerter then sends you an email alert when the item you want to buy drops to the price you set. Has anyone tried this? Good experience? Bad? I’d love to hear!

Pick an item, and we’ll check its price daily for you — then send you an email alert — when the item you want to buy drops to the price you set.

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So Many People Online Do Care…

My social Network on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter...
Image by luc legay via Flickr

As many of you know I am trying to prepare for National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. I am excited about September’s virtual conference! And this year I am becoming more active on the social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

What I have found is thousands of people who have so much passion for whatever illness or condition they are dealing with. For instance, if you search Twitter for #autism you will see hundreds, if not thousands, of people – both moms and dads — who are not only sharing their story with others, but who are advocates for the illness itself.

Blogs and Twitter have given every person a voice. And it’s also provided resources for those who want to talk about the topic. A mom no longer just vents about her frustrations over her child’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan) but can also share her challenge with other moms and give and receive advice.

She can provide a link for people to find out about what bills are in congress to get more services. She can link to a news story about the schools in her community cutting services because of the budget and urge people to make a few phone calls.

She may provide links to coupons for products that may be helpful, interesting facts about the illness, and links to inspiring videos.

And not only can she do all of this with her online community, but it can keep all the information in one place, so that the mom-friends she hangs out with at the park can find it all too without having to worry about brochures that are smashed at the bottom of  a diaper bag.

I’m the first to admit that I’ve spend some wasted hours on the computer but even those wasted hours have introduced me to some amazing people (like you) who have such a passion for Jesus and what He is doing in your life.

You are also a voice, and sometimes the only one it can seem, that speaks out about not just what is happening in our world, but how you find true hope by knowing that the Lord is in control of all of your circumstances, even when the news isn’t all that positive.

Sometimes I am torn about what to post and what not to post here. I think it’s important, for example, for people who are declaring bankruptcy because of health bills (see story below) to know that they are not alone and that it’s not a situation to be ashamed of, but rather the result of a system that is flawed.

And yet, do we really want to read about one more negative thing in the morning about our illness?

I’m always on the look out for GOOD news and how Jesus is making a difference in your day, in this world. I love to find amazing ministries who are quietly serving others and let you know about them. Please always feel free to drop me a link if you find such a story.

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Training Conference Online on How to Start a Ministry

Do you want to know how to begin and succeed in online ministry?

A Woman Inspired is having a virtual conference June 8th – 11th!

They have a great line up of speakers and it’s somewhat similar to the conference we put on for National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week in September.

Here is some info about it. It’s about $12 or so to “attend.”

How do you begin? What should your boundaries be? Must I Twitter and Facebook? If so then what are the advantages. Are these friendships that you are forming real or imagined? Do you need a blog? How can you branch out?

We have a team of ladies who are very educated in the ways of the internet and online ministry. They can show you how to begin, maintain, branch out, and even how to deal with adversity. This conference is for anyone who is ready to make a difference via the internet.

An online audio conference uses the Internet as a conference venue. What this means to you is that you will be able to access the conference from anywhere in the world using standard browser software which we provide. This software is compatible with all computers including Macs and it is provided by us, to you, with the cost of admission. All you need is a computer, internet connection, and speakers!

The conference will happen in real time but it will be recorded so if you can’t be there then you can still download the sessions to listen to at your convenience.

> Read More

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