Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Your Moment Of Auto-Erotica: "Oh, How He Tempted Her."

Via and including the most amazing photo/caption combination I've ever seen (well this week, at least). Click through for the image...

Your Moment Of Auto-Erotica: "Oh, How He Tempted Her.":
We recently discovered—but then forget—the incredible phenomenon of NASCAR-themed romance fiction, stories filled with passion and grease and beautiful people being driven swiftly to ecstasy and Victory Lane alike. What follows is a brief selection from one such tale.

From Shades of Love, by Dorien Kelly & Barbara Dunlop:

"When was the last time she had kissed a man with more than just a quick, casual brush of the lips? Claire knew the answer to that question the instant Derek's mouth settled against hers: it had been far too long. She had nearly forgotten the pleasure of having someone so close, of learning someone new."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Do This One Thing and You’ll Rise Above Your Peers | Donald Miller's Blog

Do This One Thing and You’ll Rise Above Your Peers | Donald Miller's Blog

I believe this is true, but I don't want to:

"That said, though, if it’s true leaders are readers, than it’s easier than ever to be a leader. In fact, if you’ll commit to reading a single book, you’ll be, approximately, in the top 50% of all Americans. I’m not kidding. If you’ll read just one more book before you die, you’ll leave half the people around you in the dust.

According to Para Publishing, 1/3 of high school graduates never read another bookfor the rest of their lives. And 42% of college graduates follow suit. 70% of U.S. adults have not stepped into a bookstore in the last 7 years and 80% of American families did not purchase or read a book last year."

That's some rough news. However, Don Miller is totally right... if you're a reader, you'll become a leader. Everyone's looking for the secret to getting ahead, but it could be just as simple as opening up a book, propping up your feet, possibly pouring a class of wine (or scotch), and digging into the thoughts of someone smarter than you.

Couldn't hurt, right?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Welsh View: Aerial London

I, too, love this aerial shot of London... Sonja and I are talking about a trip there this winter/spring. *crossed fingers*

A Welsh View: Aerial London

Haiti - Working in Ktadb (Photo Slideshow)

Here's a short video of my trip to Haiti, if you're interested.

You can also find my full photo albums on Facebook:

Travel Journal from Haiti

Two weeks ago, I visited Haiti. Just over four months removed from the earthquake that wrecked devastation on what was already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, much of the country is still in shambles. And yet, in the midst of the rubble and poverty, there is an enormous wealth of faith, hope, and joy.

I joined a weeklong trip to Port au Prince through Adventures in Missions. We spent the week working in the tent community of Ktadb. This location is on the outskirts of the city and, as far as we knew, hadn’t received any international aid since the January 12th earthquake. Just fewer than 3,600 people live in Ktadb, divided into about 600 handmade shelters.

When we arrived, there wasn’t a single tarp or tent in sight. Families had built homes out of wooden stakes and used bed sheets and clothing sewn together to form walls. It’s the rainy season in Haiti, and when the storms come, they soak through the meager coverings and turn the ground underfoot to thick, sucking mud. Most of the families have literally nothing but the clothes on their backs. The lucky ones sleep on cinderblocks to keep out of the mud—those less fortunate sleep on the dirt. I’ll be honest, it’s painful to see."

We spent the first two days of the trip moving from shelter to shelter, meeting the residents, seeing how they lived, praying for them (and accepting offers from them to pray for us in return). The residents shared their stories and asked about us, too. We didn’t immediately start handing out supplies and food because we wanted to avoid creating a dependency on foreign assistance. Rather, we started building relationships, mobilized the community leaders, played with the kids, helped housewives wash laundry, and dug foundations for new homes alongside some workers. As we pitched in, meeting the Haitians where they lived, I saw things I couldn’t believe.

There was the old man who had lost his son in the quake and struggled with injuries himself—yet he said he praised God every day for life. That’s belief beyond anything I know.

Two students, Reginald and Yvelise, who are both studying to be doctors, proudly talked about how they’ve continued studying at home while the deanship of the university searches for a new site to rebuild the collapsed school. Both have hope that they’ll return to college, finish their degrees, and then use what they’ve learned to help their country recover.

Remy, a 14-year-old boy living in a shelter with his older brother, pitched in to help us place tarps over the homes of single mothers, women with children, and the elderly. He never once asked for us to cover his own home, knowing others needed help more than he did. Remy showed me strength.

Even before we brought out the boxes of donated toys and sporting goods, we saw so much joy on children's faces. They were more than willing to sing and dance and clap their hands, even though many hadn’t eaten in a day, two, or more. All they wanted was to hold my hand, be asked their name, and hear mine. That’s joy in a place where sadness should reign.
Through generous donations, we were able to distribute nearly 200 tarps, making sure that the neediest of the needy received theirs first. We also purchased over $4,200 of rice and beans, which the local community leaders distributed themselves. It will only feed the residents of Ktadb for a couple days, but it’s a start.

I went to Haiti thinking that I could help—and I did in the smallest way possible—but what really happened is that Haiti helped me. If faith, hope, and joy can survive in a place where none of that should exist, then I believe we can have those things here, too. I left Haiti being more thankful for the things that really matter in life—family and friends—than ever before.

I also left with the reminder that we really can do something to care for those in need. It can be as simple as giving the extra canned goods from your pantry to a local food bank or texting “HAITI” to the American Red Cross to donate $10 to the earthquake relief effort. You don’t have to go yourself. Whatever you choose to do, though, you’ll help make the world a little better and make sure that hope spreads out a little further than it did before.

(This article originally appeared here. Sorry it took me so long to get it live on this blog!)