Honoring the Sacrifice & Service of our Veterans

burdenToday is the day for  the fine  people of El Dorado, Kansas to kick off their week-long activities that begin with the annual Celebration of Freedom Parade.  This is the week where we pay homage to those who have served this country.memorial

The names of many of these are etched in stone at the Celebration of Freedom Memorial.  The brick-paved sidewalk reflects the names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and paid the price of freedom with their lives.  Many veterans will pause here today, and they will see their names beside their feet, and they will remember what they can never forget–the faces of those who fought beside them and the battlefield scars that still mark their bodies and minds.  brick

Regardless of whether they served in a time of peace or a time of war, this memorial has a special place in the hearts of those who pledged their sacred honor to defend this great nation.

As a tribute to all veterans and as a reminder to everyone, I am including this brief video clip of one of President Reagan’s stirring speeches:  A Soldier’s Pledge

The Power of Green

Video_Landing-Page_0007_20131227_093457Before last week, there is a good chance that your roof was not at the top of your list of major concerns.  If it was pelted by hail during the recent storm, your roof may have become a source of worry. Because of the massive damage in the short-lived storm, Butler County has been swarmed by colonies of contractors hoping to make a buck off of you.

Unless you are a roofer by trade, you may given little thought to the decking, shingles, and the other components that are used to build a roof.  A movement underway to change the constitution of roofs, may change that.

Facebook, the social media giant, installed a 9-acre green roof at its office in Menlo Park, California.  “Green roofs can reduce the retention of heat in urban areas, help to cool down buildings and thereby lower their energy use, and even pull some carbon dioxide from the air and feed it back into plant growth (The Washington Post).”

In the June edition of the Journal of Environmental Psychology, a report focuses on the psychological benefit of green roofs: 40-second Green Roof Views Sustain Attention: The Role of Micro-Breaks in Attention Restoration.

Kate Lee, the lead researcher of the study (University of Melbourne) has concluded that “Modern work drains attention throughout the day, so providing boosted ‘green micro-breaks’ may provide mental top-ups to offset declining attention.” If a person can look outside his office window and see a flowering meadow green roof instead of a bare concrete roof, he will experience cognitive benefits.

This new research, reminds me of a very old peace in the Bible.  This piece of peace is found in Psalm 23 where David spoke of God leading him to the “green pastures” and “still waters” to “restore his soul.”

To help you have a “green” moment, take just a second or two to read Psalm 23 from  The Message:

God, my shepherd!

    I don’t need a thing.

You have bedded me down in lush meadows,

    you find me quiet pools to drink from.

True to your word,

    you let me catch my breath

    and send me in the right direction.

Whatever your concern might be today, remember God is able!