WHEELED UP: About 200 bicyclists will pedal into Jersey City, N.J., Aug. 30, marking the end of a cross-country bike tour designed to raise awareness and money to fight poverty. The Sea to Sea Bike Tour, organized by the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC), began in Seattle, Wash., on June 30 and has raised more than $1.8 million dollars due to the hard work of participants like Lynn Verros, a 41-year-old bookkeeper from Knoxville, Iowa. Verros is one of 124 biking all 3,881 miles, and she told WORLD that while the trip is physically rigorous-the group travels an average of 72 miles a day and sleeps in tents at night-she sees it as a unique opportunity "to empathize with people who live with discomfort every day." Proceeds from the event benefit several CRC programs, other churches, and parachurch programs that help the poor.
DIRECTED: In 1982 Mark Carr knelt beside his bed and prayed for God's direction in his career. The next day a mechanic from church approached him about starting an automotive repair business. That launched Christian Brothers Automotive Corporation, a faith-based franchise headquartered in Houston, Texas, now with 53 locations in seven states. CEO and president Carr, 53, told WORLD he built the business on bringing honesty and integrity back to an industry long plagued with a negative reputation: "Our main principle is love your neighbor as yourself-there's not a person on this earth that doesn't want that or who doesn't get that." All franchise owners must be Christians and, after the initial start up, close shop on weekends. Carr said God has honored those standards: The company will do over $50 million in revenue this year and plans 15 more locations a year in the next three years.
REJECTED: Pro-life prosecutor Phill Kline, who in 2007 drew national attention after filing more than 100 criminal complaints against Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, lost his Republican primary bid for a full term as district attorney of Johnson County, Kan. Challenger and fellow pro-life supporter Steve Howe will face Democrat Rick Guinn in the fall.
DIED: Soul singer Isaac Hayes, 65, whose Grammy- and Academy-award winning "Theme From Shaft" topped the charts in 1971, died Aug. 10.
DIED: Actor and comedian Bernie Mac, who starred in the Ocean's Eleven series and the sitcom The Bernie Mac Show, died Aug. 9 of complications from pneumonia. He was 50.
PAIRED: USA Today announced that Democratic strategist Bob Beckel and conservative columnist Cal Thomas ("Brothers in arms," July 26/Aug. 2, 2008) will provide its daily commentary at the Democratic and Republican national conventions.