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A Memorial Day Prayer

On this Memorial Day, the following is a prayer from Donna Peele, director of Pastoral Care at Lexington Medical Center. We thank our heroes for their service and sacrifice.

USA flags3Gracious, Sovereign God, Lord of all nations,

On this Memorial Day, we pause to reflect upon our blessings as a nation and the high cost of those blessings for many.

Thank you for the freedom we enjoy in this country, for opportunities to flourish, and for the security of our land.

Thank you for those who have served in the armed services of our country, risking their lives for our liberty.

Thank you for those who have given their lives in service to our country, sacrificing in such a costly way for the sake of others.

Thank you for a day set apart, not just for celebration, but also for solemn remembrance as we consider the sacrifices of so many in our military.

O Lord, may we be more aware of just how blessed we are as a nation. May we be more grateful for our blessings, more faithful in stewarding them well, more eager to share them with others.

We pray today for the families and friends of those who have given their lives in service to our nation. May they be comforted in their sadness. May they be reassured that the sacrifice of their loved ones contributes to a worthy cause. May they be proud of those they have lost, entrusting their ultimate fate into your gracious hands.

US FlagsXXEven as we remember those who have given their lives in the past, we also think of those whose lives are on the line today. We think especially of the men and women who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in other places of conflict and violence. Protect them. Encourage them. Bring them home safely . . . and soon.

Give wisdom to the leaders of our armed services, that they might know how best to deploy the troops in the cause of freedom. May their efforts be successful, so that true peace with justice might be established in our world.

Guide those who lead our nation in international affairs. Help them to pursue diplomatic paths that prevent needless conflict. May they have your wisdom about when and how to use the military might you have entrusted to us.

God of peace, stir in the hearts of the leaders of all nations, and in all who would use violence to further their cause. Change their hearts and minds. Give them a passion for peace. Bring an end to the pain, suffering, injustice, and violence in our world.

We know, dear Lord, that ultimate peace will not come until your kingdom is here in all of its fullness. Nevertheless, we pray for a foretaste of the future. We ask for the growth of peace throughout our world today, so that fewer and fewer men and women will have to risk and even to sacrifice their lives. May your kingdom come, Lord, and your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven!

All praise be to you, God of grace, God of mercy, God of justice, God of peace!

Amen

Celebrate National Chocolate Chip Day: May 15th

by Morgan Robbins RD, LD at LMC

Before you sit down with your glass of milk and cookie on May 15th, take some time to read about how chocolate, in moderation, can promote health. Chocolate, made from the cocoa bean, is rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are most commonly known for their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants may prevent, or delay cell damage by blocking free radicals.

cookies4Flavanols are the main type of flavonoid found in chocolate. Flavanols have multiple health benefits including lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the heart and brain as well as their antioxidant properties. Flavanols are also found in onions, apples, celery, red wine and tea.

Keep in mind, not all chocolate is created equal. Cocoa’s natural flavor is strong and pungent; the steps taken to process cocoa will reduce this taste. It used to be said the darker the chocolate, the higher the antioxidant properties. Research shows the more processed the chocolate is, the less flavanols the chocolate will have, meaning darker doesn’t always mean better. Commercial chocolate (i.e. Reeses, Snickers, etc.) are highly processed and therefore lack the heart healthy antioxidant properties.

For now, your safest bet is to stick with darker chocolate; it is too difficult to determine the exact path your chocolate has taken to arrive to your table. Additional sugar, fat and oils are added to milk chocolate, making it the less healthy choice of the two. Be mindful of the type of dark chocolate you eat, added ingredients (nuts, caramel, nougat) all mean additional processing. As with anything, moderation is key, keep your chocolate serving to one ounce or less, only a few times weekly.

In honor of National Chocolate Chip Day, try adding some dark chocolate chips or chunks to your yogurt, oatmeal or to a homemade trail mix!

Source: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/nutrition/food-choices/benefits-of-chocolate.aspx

Stroke: Every Second Counts!

Please join Lexington Medical Center on Monday, May 19 for a free physician lecture called “Stroke – Every Second Matters!” The lecture is at 6:00 p.m. inside the Lexington Medical Park 1 Auditorium on the hospital campus.

Dr. Francisco Albert

Dr. Francisco Albert

Dr. Francisco Albert of Lexington Medical Center will give the lecture. Statistics show that the Southeast region of the United States has a higher incidence of stroke than the rest of the nation. Nationally, about 2.5% of Americans will suffer a stroke. In the Southeast, nearly 4% of residents will have a stroke. Dr. Albert will talk about risk factors, symptoms, types of strokes, the role of blood pressure in stroke risk and the importance of timely treatment.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs and begins to die. According to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

“Stroke – Every Second Matters!” is free and open to the public. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions. Light refreshments will be served. The event is part of the hospital’s monthly physician lecture series and also recognizes May as Stroke Awareness Month. For more information on the physician lecture series, visit LexMed.com