Reflections on the Rest Ministries chat room

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Autumn trees in my neighborhood.

It is wonderful how God has worked thru our chat room to help so many people.  To some folks, it’s a lifeline, especially those who are housebound or nearly so.  To others it’s a place to compare notes about doctors and meds and to enjoy talking to others that have similar experiences -- and how God has helped us.  For some, I think it’s a refuge from well meaning Christians who discourage them by telling them they must not have enough faith or God would heal them.  As we talk in the room, we do find God answers prayer and walks with us thru these things.  Praying in the chat room is amazing, God would meets us there!  That still amazes me.

Of course, we who chat there are human and so the room isn’t perfect.  I would like to clarify, for example, that while this is a Christian chat room, that does not mean you have to be a Christian in order to come to the room, nor does it mean you have to convert if you want to keep coming to the room.  Now, mind you, you are likely to hear the gospel, though I encourage Christians in the room to be gentle in sharing, building on relationships and showing we care for folks first.  The room is there to support for all who have chronic illness, not just Christians with chronic illness.  Please be careful to show God’s love to all who come.

I do realize some are nervous about talking to newbies as we have had a few newbies that were either hoaxing or just there to cause trouble.  We do need to be careful about what we say in a public chat room -- as this is a public chat room.  I could go on for quite a while on keeping safe and would like to blog on this subject, but for the moment, I suggest you:

  1. Decide ahead of time what you’re willing to share about yourself in terms of location and your name, etc, and then keep to that with everyone in the room except, perhaps, the admins and hosts.  Note that if you do decide to share name, email, etc, with others in the room, it’s best to do that in private chat (or pm=private messaging).
  2. Consider setting up an email account which does not show your full name to give to folks you meet in the room.
  3. Trust God with the rest.  There’s no perfect way to protect ourselves in a chat room or anywhere else.

It is a privilege to be able to help others out in the room, comforting them with the comfort we have received.  It’s also good to know that God can still use us even though we are limited by our illnesses.  We do need to coordinate what we’re doing.

If you find yourself helping out someone who has serious problems or a history of abuse, please let an admin know.  This is partly to protect you and partly to coordinate what different people are doing.  There have been times when more than one person was pm’ing someone to help them about the same thing; this is not helpful.

Please email me if you have any questions or comments.

As an aside, I just wanted to mention that Lisa’s house did survive the San Diego fires and she was even able to attend the Joni and Friends conference the following weekend.  Also, AppleOfHisEye has uploaded lots more pictures of her new nephew.  My picture above hints of the wonderful fall colors we have in our area.

Thank You, Lord, for answered prayer 
and Your help in our room.
Thank You for this beautiful world You’ve given us.
Guide us as we help newbies and the hurting people
that come to our room.
Help them to know Your amazing love and peace.
In Jesus’ Loving Name,
amen

© liz4cps 2011