... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Tuesday, September 12, 2006


A friend told me that because of her chronic illness, she no longer had a ministry. I did not hesitate one second, "Wrong! Your ministry has just changed."
Interesting considering I did not know her well then nor did I know what her ministry had been. What I did know was that she encouraged me every time I saw her.

This week is National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week sponsored by HopeKeepers Magazine and Rest Ministries. One out of every two Americans has a chronic condition. 10% of Americans are significantly disabled; 75% of them use no assistive devices like walkers, canes or wheelchairs or other indications of their illness. It is estimated that 70% of the 9/11 rescue and clean up workers now have a chronic lung condition.

Let's put this in perspective. If you have a church with 200 people, 100 of them have a chronic condition, 20 are disabled, 5 of them use something that indicates their disability like a cane. That means that 15 people have invisible chronic pain and /or illness.

Examples of invisible conditions are arthritis, asthma, brain injury, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain of most types, Cushing's syndrome, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, endometriosis, heart disease, lupus, Lyme disease, Meniere's disease, migraine, multiple sclerosis in the early stages, neurological and seizure disorders, osteoporosis, organ transplant, and ParkinsonÂ’s disease.

The theme this week is Hope Is a Choice: My Illness Is Invisible But My Hope Shines Through. If you have an invisible illness or know someone who does, Rest Ministries is a source for information and encouragement. Their magazine HopeKeepers is written by and for those with chronic illness or chronic pain. It is available online or per mail by subscription. The website is at Rest Ministries dot com.

My friend's illness is visible and limits her abilities, but she does have a ministry of prayer and encouragement. I am blessed knowing her and having her as part of my writing support team.

I am also one of the invisible as I have more than two chronic conditions; and I am a Parish Nurse so I understand the needs from both perspectives. I am asking:
What are you doing to help? What is your church doing? Don't know what to do? Contact Rest Ministries; they have many resources to help.

Lastly, Proverb11:25 reminds us "... he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." (NIV)


Shalom, Connie

Tuesday Prays: teachers and those receiving treatment.

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