|"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."|
Giving Is Not The Main Ingredient In Prosperity
|Monday, November 10, 2014. Lord please help me to understand all the ingredients of the prosperity that pleases You.|
God's Mercy To Nineveh
|Sunday, November 9, 2014. My God delights in mercy!|
You Can Live In The Kingdom Of Love
|Saturday, November 8, 2014. I choose to live forever in God's Kingdom of Love.|
Sing A New Song
|Friday, November 7, 2014. I will sing a new song to the Lord.|
|Thursday, November 6, 2014. Lord, open my eyes. Give me understanding and insight.|
Some More Truths About Money
|Wednesday, November 5, 2014. Thank You Lord for showing me what the Bible teaches about money.|
Some Truths About Money
|Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Thank You Lord for teaching me truth about money.|
Ministers Should Teach The Truth About Money
|Monday, November 3, 2014. Lord, please help me to understand and to teach the truth about money.|
|Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.|
Obama's Push to Digitize Health Care Boosts Startups
By Ari Levy
President Barack Obama's effort to bring the health-care system into the digital age is boosting a couple of software startups -- ZocDoc and Practice Fusion -- that are trying to do just that.
ZocDoc, which lets patients book medical appointments via the web, said today that former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist have joined the advisory board to help the New York City-based company expand.
Practice Fusion, meanwhile, announced today it raised $2 million in debt from a group of angel investors, following a $23 million round of financing last year. Physicians use Practice Fusion's software to track their patients' medical history, schedule appointments, prescribe medication and provide referral letters.
While companies big and small have spent years trying to crack the electronic medical records market, it was President Obama's 2009 economic stimulus plan that sped up the process. As part of the plan, the government will invest up to $27.4 billion by 2021 to get health organizations on board.
ZocDoc is taking a bipartisan approach. Frist, a former heart and lung transplant surgeon, is a Republican and served as his party's leader in the Senate. Daschle led the Democrats in the Senate and now works at law firm DLA Piper, where he provides advice to clients on health care.
"They know a lot about the existing health-care establishment," said ZocDoc Chief Executive Officer Cyrus Massoumi. "Having people who have spent time at the highest level fixing the U.S. health-care system will help us leverage what we've done."
ZocDoc, founded in 2007, is used by about 800,000 people. The site lets users search for physicians in a particular practice and city and book the appointment online, rather than having to call around. Doctors pay $250 per month for the system, which is free for patients.
Practice Fusion, which opened its doors two years earlier, says its service for storing data is used by more than 130,000 medical professionals serving 29 million patients. The system is free for all users, and the San Francisco-based company currently generates all of its revenue from advertising on the site.
Venture capitalists and other investors have poured a combined $133 million into the companies, and there's plenty of overlap. Peter Thiel's Founders Fund and Ron Conway's SV Angel are investors in both. Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff backed ZocDoc, while his company is an investor in Practice Fusion.
Jive Is Flying High, But Is It Really in the Cloud?
By Ari Levy
Jive Software'sinitial public offeringthis week sparked a debate over the meaning and merits of "cloud software."
As a decade-old company that got started when business software was delivered in packages, Jive didn't start selling Web-based subscriptions until 2007. About 60 percent of its business is now in the cloud. Clients use their software to collaborate with each other and customers.
The cloud model is cheaper to operate, allows for faster product updates and is better at collecting large amounts of data. Companies like Salesforce.com and SuccessFactors, which SAP agreed to acquire this month, are completely Web-based and valued more highly by the public markets on a price-to-sales basis than Oracle and Microsoft.
At the close of trading today, Jive had a stock market valuation of $859.5 million, or 12 times revenue over the past year. SAP paid 11.7 timessales for SuccessFactors, while Oracle has a ratio of 4.1 and Microsoft's is 3.
"There's just one problem with Jive trying to ride the coattails of SuccessFactors and other cloud company valuations: Jive is not cloud," says David Sacks, founder of Yammer, which also provides social-networking software to businesses.
If you believe Jive's pitch, it gets the best of both worlds. The company competes for customers that are pure cloud and comfortable having all their data hosted off-site. Yet, it can also sell to more highly-regulated companies in health care and financial services that need dedicated servers and aren't ready to make the move.
"We're not religious about it," Jive CEO Tony Zingale said in an interview yesterday, after ringing the opening bell on the Nasdaq Stock Market. "We let customers choose."
Taleo, like Yammer, prefers not to offer the choice. Its software, which competes with SuccessFactors in delivering talent management software, is for companies that are in the cloud or quickly migrating. Trying to deliver products the old way would just slow it down, says Jason Blessing, an executive vice president at Taleo.
What about security and privacy concerns? Those are overblown, he says. Taleo sells to the U.S. Department of Justice, and it doesn't get much more sensitive than that.
"Security issues have almost faded completely into oblivion," he says.
Apple's Holiday Shutdown Puts Rush on App Developers
By Adam Satariano
Apple has given developers a holiday deadline if they want the most recent versions of their games, photography, productivity or other applications available in the App Store when people start cashing in their iTunes gift cards.
According to a note Apple sent to developers last month, the company is shutting down from Dec. 22-29 for the winter holidays. That means in addition to engineers setting aside the development of future iPhones and iPads, the company's developer relations and application review teams are also heading for the eggnog. (Apple's retail operation will remain open.)
Apple approves each application that's available in its App Store. While it's Cupertino, California, headquarters are closed, no apps can be approved. Apple, which also closed the week of Thanksgiving, warned developers that any apps scheduled to go live during the company shutdown would be delayed until after employees return from the holiday reprieve.
Those not paying attention to the warning may find their apps temporarily dropped from the App Store. Apple told developers not to schedule any app pricing changes during that period because the system will be closed and the price change will cause the app to be unavailable for purchase.
After rushing to get their apps turned in, perhaps the slew of startups making the more than 500,000 applications available in the App Store will use the shutdown to take their own holiday break.
AT&T, Other ISIS Partners Eye Mobile Payments Overseas
By Olga Kharif
A joint venture of AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless wants to bring its mobile-payment technology to markets outside the U.S., as companies try to grab a piece of the fast-growing digital wallet business.
The venture,ISIS, has held discussions to explore international opportunities, said Jaymee Johnson, a spokesman. He declined to name prospective partners, who could choose to use ISIS's brand or its technology.
ISIS is competing with Google Inc. and other consortiums and startups in the mobile payments arena. Their goal: To allow consumers to use their phones to make credit- or debit-card purchases in stores. The worldwide market is expected to reach $670 billion in total transactions by 2015, up from $240 billion this year, according to Juniper Research.
``The underlying equity partners in ISIS give us some degree of visibility and awareness beyond the U.S.,'' Johnson said in an interview. One of Verizon Wireless's two parent companies is Vodafone Group Plc, based in the U.K., while T-Mobile USA is owned by Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG.
ISIS is playing catch-up with Google in the U.S. The company's Google Wallet service launched in September, while ISIS's effort will start in two cities in mid-2012. Google's service has recently run into problems: Verizon Wirelessblocked itfrom the new Galaxy Nexus smartphone, citing security concerns.
Industry support for ISIS is growing. This week, the venture announced that Gemalto NV will be one of its technology providers in the U.S. The company is the world's biggest maker of smart cards, which contain embedded memory chips used to carry out various functions such as access control and payment transactions.
ISIS has also announced agreements with payment networks including Visa Inc. and handset makers including Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.
Rocket Fuel Aims for 2012 IPO to Boost Online Ad Sales
By Brian Womack
Rocket Fuel Inc., an online advertising company, may join what's becoming a long parade of technology companies.
If market conditions allow, Rocket Fuel is aiming for an initial public offering in 2012 as the company expands its sales, said Chief Executive Officer George John. Rocket Fuel will have more than $40 million in revenue this year, up from about $16 million in 2010, he said. That's more thanZillow Inc., the online real estate company, had before its IPO earlier this year, John said.
The company, which helps companies place ads on websites and mobile devices in real time, is benefiting from international growth and strong demand from current customers. More than 90 percent of its clients renewed spending on Rocket Fuel in the third quarter from the second quarter, he said. Those customers increased their spending by an average of 50 percent.
The company's backers includeNokia Growth Partnersand Northgate Capital. Before a potential public offering, the Redwood City, California-based company plans to raise capital in the first quarter to fund growth and acquisitions, he said.
``If there's a speed limit for us, we haven't found it yet,'' John said.
Other initial public offerings this past year include Groupon Inc., the daily deals site, and LinkedIn Corp., the professional services networking service.
Google's Home State Increases Investigations of Digital Crimes
By Olga Kharif
California Attorney General Kamala Harris today unveiled a new push to fight technology crimes and identity theft in a state that's home to companies such as Google Inc., Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc.
Comprising 20 investigators and prosecutors, a high-tech unit announced today may be the largest such team in the country and will tackle crimes such as identity theft, child pornography and software piracy, as well as thefts of iPads and other devices made and imported into California, said Shum Preston, a spokesman for the California State Department of Justice. The agency's ECrime unit, formed in August, has filed 20 criminal cases to date and is investigating an additional 24, Preston said in a telephone interview.
More than 1 million Californians become victims of identity theft every year and total losses in the state exceeded $46 million in 2010, according to a department statement.
The ECrime unit will target criminals who ``increasingly use the Internet, smartphones, and other digital devices to victimize people online and offline,'' Harris said in the statement.
Christmas-Tree Lots Push Square Past 1 Million Customer Mark
By Danielle Kucera
Christmas-tree farmers like Joe and Kay Gersch helped push Square Inc. past the one-million merchant customer mark in time for the yearend holidays.
Square, the mobile-payments provider created by Twitter Inc. co-founder Jack Dorsey, reached the milestone last week.
Small businesses likeYawn Station Christmas Tree Farm, located in Independence, Louisiana, are crucial to helping Square compete in the market for mobile payments, which may exceed $170 billion by 2015, compared withan estimated $60 billionthis year, according to Juniper Research. The company is vying with companies such as EBay Inc.'s PayPal, which has 103 million users and also is encouraging shoppers to use smartphones to buy through its payments network.
Square's technology lets businesses handle payments via Apple Inc.'s iPhone and iPad, as well as devices running on Google Inc.'s Android software. The card reader plugs into the headphone jack of the mobile device and lets merchants swipe customers' credit and debit cards.
The ability to take credit cards has increased sales by about 40 percent at Yawn Station Christmas Tree Farm, Joe Gersch said. ``If everyone came and paid with credit or debit it would save me money, because it would cost me less than I pay in gas to go to the bank and deliver the deposits,'' he said. ``Most of my older customers already knew I only accepted cash or check, so the people that I've already used Square with have been new.''
Square is targeting small businesses that may not be able to afford traditional machinery that handles credit cards, Chief Operating Officer Keith Rabois has said. Gersch, 65, had to buy his first smartphone to operate the card reader. He signed up for the service about three weeks ago after Square called and pitched its service, he said.
Customers who visit Yawn Station sometimes spend the whole day at the farm, picking a tree and chopping it down themselves. Before now, someone without cash would have to drive 20 miles to the nearest automated teller machine before they bought a tree or any of the add-ons the farm offers - wreaths, for instance, or a horse-drawn carriage ride, Gersch said.
The sales will help Yawn Station sell 1,000 to 1,200 trees this season at an average $55 to $60 apiece, more than the 800 it sold last year, Gersch said. ``Customers don't realize I work 365 days a year to provide that tree,'' said Gersch, whose farm has about 7,000 trees. ``We're trying to provide an entire experience when you come here.''
Tibco CEO's Soiree Draws HP's Whitman, Valley Revelers
(This story was updated to include Ranadive's title in the headline).
By Aaron Ricadela
Meg Whitman, Chad Hurley, Tom Siebel and a passel of Golden State Warriors joined more than 300 other guests crammed in Tibco Software CEO Vivek Ranadive's Atherton, Calif., mansion Saturday night for the executive's annual Christmas bash. Amid the Indian buffet, sushi station and several wet bars deployed around the manse, Whitman took time out to tell me about her long-term plans at Hewlett-Packard, where she's CEO.
Whitman, who took the reins Sept. 22, says she plans to stay at HP for a while. The company needs a CEO who's going to stick around, she says, and she decided when accepting the job that she wouldn't take a future position working for her friend and political ally Mitt Romney, should he win next year's presidential election. Whitman is HP's third CEO in a year and a half; she replaced Leo Apotheker, who lasted less than 11 months after succeeding Mark Hurd.
"I couldn't take it and then leave," says Whitman, who attended with her husband, the neurosurgeon Griffith Harsh.
After losing last year's California gubernatorial election to Jerry Brown, Whitman -- who was CEO of EBay for 10 years until 2008 -- didn't plan on becoming a CEO again, she says. Now, she's taking a pragmatic approach to solving HP's woes, which included several quarters of disappointing sales forecasts under Apotheker and his ill-fated decision to explore a spin-out of HP's PC group.
Other guests at the swanky soiree, staffed by legions of waiters, bartenders and valets, included the Siebel Systems founder, YouTube founder Hurley, SAP Chief Technology Officer Vishal Sikka, and the academic Vivek Wadhwa. Also in attendance were players for the NBA's Golden State Warriors, which Ranadive partly owns.
Ranadive, who runs business software maker Tibco, has also beenprofiledby the New Yorker's Malcolm Gladwell for the way he coached his daughter's school basketball team, whichended up at the national championships. During the party, Ranadive's home basketball court, which sits below his finished basement, became a dance floor for the younger attendees.
Before Zynga, Pincus Thrived as Investor
By Douglas MacMillan
As Mark Pincus enters the final days of Zynga'sroad show, he's aiming to sell investors on the prospects for the social-gaming startup, set to raise $1 billion in an initial public offering later this week.
It's a reversal of roles for Pincus, a finance whiz who once worked as an investment banking analyst and who has, over the past decade-and-a-half, amassed a portfolio of early investments in some of tech's hottest startups.
Pincus is one of the earliest and most consistent backers of social media. Through an acquaintance with Peter Thiel, Pincus got a chance in 2004 to participate in the first outside funding round of Facebook, as I wrote in aprofilethis week.
According to Thiel, Pincus and Reid Hoffman were the only angel investors who were interested in taking a chance on the startup at the time. Pincus was also an investor in Friendster, the social media pioneer that was quickly overshadowed by MySpace and Facebook. While that bet soured as Friendster fizzled, Pincus may fare better from his stakes in three social-Web up-and-comers: Twitter, Buddy Media and LikeALittle.
A few of the bets placed by Zynga founder have already paid off. Impulse Buy Network, an e-commerce service provider, was acquired in 1999 by Inktomi for about $112 million. Spam blocker Brightmail, another Pincus investment, was bought by Symantec in 2004 for about $300 million.
Other startups he's backed include Napster, Xoom, Seesmic, Grockit, EVDB (later renamed Eventful), Technorati, Feedster, Socialtext, Nanosolar, Mahalo and 360buy.
Pincus is also an avid investor in the public markets, and has described his investing strategy onhis blog. "I love investing, especially in public securities where you get an immediate score card of how you're doing," hewrote in 2005. "My reality is that I will always be a macro investor, meaning I invest in big picture themes rather than based on detailed fundamental analysis."
He got in onGoogle's IPOin 2004, a bet that has netted fivefold returns. In 2005,he recommendedbuying Amazon.com and shorting eBay, writing, "it seems clear that Amazon should one day be worth more than eBay." Six years later, Amazon's $86 billion market cap is more than double eBay's. Pincus alsobraggedin 2007 that he sold Yahoo when the stock was trading at $32. It's now trading at less than half that.
Pincus is not one to shy away from sharing investing insights. In late 2002, he called his friend and fellow tech entrepreneur Auren Hoffman, advising him to buy shares of Corio Inc., a little-known software outfit then trading at about 50 cents. Hoffman shrugged off the stock tip, and then watched as Corio shares rose seven-fold over the next year. It was later bought by IBM.
"He's incredibly perceptive financially -- much more so than any tech entrepreneur I know," says Hoffman, who now runs Web analytics firm Rapleaf. "You should always bet on Mark."
Board Turnover Falls Again at Tech Firms, Survey Says
By Peter Burrows
After Sarbanes-Oxley became the law of the land in 2002, there was hand-wringing over whether public companies would be able to keep great directors on their boards. In the tech industry, at least, the more pressing issue seems to be getting them to leave.
According to a survey in late November by recruiting firm Spencer Stuart, board turnover at tech firms fell for the third year in a row this year. Only 29 percent of Silicon Valley firms added a new director in 2011, compared to 50 percent in 2008.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. During turbulent economic times, it's best to stick with proven quantities rather than introduce even more change, says study co-author Jonathan Visbal. "Boards have been battening down the hatches to ensure consistency," he says.
Another reason to stick with known quantities is the increasing difficulty in finding the people most CEOs would most like to have on their boards: other CEOs. In recent years, many boards have added by-laws that restrict their CEO from sitting on more than one or two outside boards. In particularly short supply: CEOs who have expertise in digital media, to help companies acclimate to the post-Facebook world.
"Often companies go with younger candidates who may not have much experience, but that's the trade-off they need to make," says Visbal.
As for the directors themselves, it seems the trade-offs are getting easier. For the year, the average number of board meetings fell to 8, from 9.7 two years ago. Yet director pay increased 14 percent, to an average of $251,630. And the pay is far more reliable, since more of it is paid in cold hard cash. The number of companies that gave stock options to directors fell to 60 percent, from 72 percent in 2010. Restricted stock awards were also down, to 58 percent from 65 percent in 2010. While cash retainers fell slightly as well for the year, they're up 78 percent since 2003, says study co-author Nyla Rizk.
The data comes in a year that has had more than its share of corporate governance fiascos. YahoofiredCarol Bartz without having a successor in place. HP pushed outLeo Apothekerafter less than a year on the job, and replaced him with director Meg Whitman. Still, the co-authors say the data does not suggest a decline in the quality of governance in tech.
"Governance has gotten better," says Rizk, who notes that the number of boards that separate the chairman and CEO duties has risen from 45 percent in 2003 to 73 percent.
Since one wouldn't expect a recruiter to bash his potential clients, I asked Paul Hodgson, a researcher with the Corporate Library, a corporate governance advisory firm, if he agreed that the fall in turnover was no cause for concern. He did.
"It's a smart thing to do to stick with people who know the business well -- unless, of course, you have a lousy board," he says.
Amazon, Microsoft Shine in the Cloud, Others Don't
By Ari Levy
As we fasten our seatbelts and take off for the cloud, we must be mindful of who's flying the plane. That's the message from astudyto be released today by Nasuni Corp., which concludes that only six of the leading 16 cloud storage providers are ready for primetime.
Since April 2009, Nasuni has been evaluating the market, testing storage vendors for performance, stability and scalability. The top performers were Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure, the study found. The other services to pass the test were from AT&T, Nirvanix, Peer 1 Hosting andRackspace.
Which 10 failed? Nasuni spared those names, and for good reason. It wants them to get better, not go away. The Natick, Massachusetts-based startup provides storage technology and services built on top of existing cloud infrastructure. So the more providers in the market the better the competition and the more prices likely fall for Nasuni, which buys cloud storage and bundles in its proprietary technology to then sell to customers.
"Our hope is that everyone who is not at the top of their game looks at where there are holes and improves upon those," says Andres Rodriguez, Nasuni's chief executive officer. "We want to have as many low-cost high volume providers of cloud storage out there as there can possibly be."
The test was aimed at showing how providers perform in mid-size organizations. Those would be companies that need more storage, security and recovery capacity than startups and mom-and-pop shops but might not get thecustomer support of a Fortune 500 company because they don't deliver enough business.
Facebook Move May Mean $366 Million in Construction
By Olga Kharif
Facebook Inc.'s decision to relocate to Menlo Park, California, may result in $366 million in new temporary construction spending in the surrounding county, according to study commissioned by the company.
The construction budget is $250 million, and the project may generate $116 million in additional activity, economic research firmBrion&Associatessaid in a study of the impact over three to four years. It may also mean 2,441 temporary construction jobs, according to the research, released today.
Facebook, the largest social network, is expanding operations while preparing for an initial public offering. The company aims to raise about $10 billion in the IPO, which would value it at more than $100 billion, a person familiar with the matter has said. Facebook also is expanding itssatellite locations, including a new engineering center in New York.
The company decided to move its headquarters to San Mateo County from Palo Alto, which is located in Santa Clara County, because it needed more office space for a burgeoning staff. The new headquarters are designed to eventually house as many as 9,400 employees in two adjacent sites. Draft environmental and economic impact reports of the move are being released this week.
The shift may also result in $29 million in total annual retail spending at nearby lodging and retail businesses, Brion&Associates said. The findings were previously covered by theAlmanac Online, which reports on community news in Menlo Park.
Social Networkers Bet on Education as Next Frontier
By Ari Levy
Reid Hoffmanand Matt Cohler, two of Silicon Valley's social-networking pioneers, are throwing their hats into the education ring.
The entrepreneurs-turned-venture capitalists today led a $15 million investment inEdmodo, a free learning site for teachers and students that claims almost 5 million registered users. The cash pile, from Greylock Partners and Benchmark Capital, gives the management team the runway to hire developers and add products without doing the one thing they prefer not to talk about: making money.
"The platform will always be free for teachers, students and schools and we don't plan on advertising at all," says Nic Borg, founder and chief executive officer of the San Mateo, California-based company. "The purpose of this raise and the folks that are coming on board is about driving forward this grassroots movement."
A free Web service with no ads? Sounds like the early days of Facebook, where Cohler was one of the first employees. But that was back in 2005. This year, the social-networking site is poised to reap more than $2 billion in display-ad sales, according to EMarketer, thanks to brands such as Coca-Cola, Subway and Adidas.
Then there's LinkedIn, the professional-networking site founded by Hoffman, and Cohler's employer before he joined Facebook. While many of the site's 100 million plus users don't pay a cent, they're subsidized by premium subscribers and advertisers. LinkedIn's revenue more than doubled in the third quarter to $139.5 million. Cohler is now a partner at Benchmark and Hoffman is at Greylock.
In the press release today, Hoffman called Edmodo the "educational graph for learning," similar to Facebook's role as the connector of friends and LinkedIn's position in the workplace. Teachers at more than 60,000 schools, three-quarters of them in the U.S., are using the site to assign and grade homework, post educational videos, and share content with other teachers and classrooms. Edmodo works in the browser and on mobile devices such as smartphones and the iPod Touch.
Rob Hutter, the company's chairman, said the new financing gives the company "several years" to build and expand the product without worrying about generating revenue. He and Borg are looking for developers who are passionate about education and want to build something that they say is helping change education.
Of course, venture capitalists don't invest in startups unless they see the opportunity to make several times their money back, and Greylock and Benchmark have been among the most successful firms in that regard.
While expectations for Edmodo are surely no different, Cohler wouldn't divulge any more than the company, reiterating that the emphasis now is on reaching more people and hiring engineers.
"Revenue opportunities that emerge over time that we get excited about will be ones that are consistent with the mission of the business," Cohler says.
As for generating revenue today? "That's not what we're focused on at this point," he says.
Why So-Called Experts Make Lousy Decisions
Data analytics, which is popular in business, is catching on in cities around the world. As Irecently wrote, Memphis has reduced crimes such as robberies and rapes to their lowest levels in a quarter-century, thanks in part to IBM's analytical software.
Why has this approach been so successful? Or put another way: Why did decision-makers, prior to data analytics, make such poor decisions? Part of that answer has to do with a kink in human reasoning, according Michael Lewis, author of "Moneyball," which told the story of how the Oakland A's turned to data analysis to find undervalued players passed over by baseball experts.
Lewis writes in the December issue ofVanity Fairthat he did not know the answer to this questionuntil he discovered the work of Nobel laureateDaniel Kahnemanand his collaboratorAmos Tversky. Both were psychologists and published work on judgment and decision-making.
"They had found that people, including experts, unwittingly use all sorts of irrelevant criteria in decision-making," writes Lewis. This problem has to do with the way the brain accesses or remembers information. When making a decision, people tend to base it on examples that are easily remembered. But "reliable statistical evidence will outperform" that thinking, the article says.
Since this is a human problem, it affects not only baseball experts but also hedge fund managers, CEOs and even police officers.
In Memphis, police officers were able to get a better handle on crime patterns once they started using IBM's data analytics software to figure out crime patterns and forecast where it was going to occur.
For example, Memphis police officers had long known that burglaries tended to spike in the month of March. But until the use of data analytics, nobody realized that the spike corresponded with Spring Break in Memphis-area schools. Once the police added more patrols during that week, the burglary rate dropped.
HP's Whitman Helps Tech VIPs Raise Funds for Romney
By Aaron Ricadela
Silicon Valley is putting on the ritz for Romney. Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman is among the tech luminaries hosting a fundraising dinner for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney tonight in Burlingame, according to an invitation posted on a Web site of Bay Area Republican Party events.
The CEO of the world's largest computer maker and her husband, Griffith Harsh, are among the chairs of the fundraiser, which will be held at the Marriott hotel not far from San Francisco International Airport, according to theinvitation.
Whitman, who was also CEO of EBay from 1998 to 2008 and ran for California governor last year, is one of the fundraiser's "dinner chairs," according to the invitation. TPG Capital partner Dick Boyce and former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy and his wife Susan McNealy are among the other chairs listed.
Whitman, who became HP's CEO Sept. 22 after the ouster of former chief executive Leo Apotheker, worked with Romney at Bain&Co. in the 1980s and supported his 2008 presidential campaign. Romney also was a supporter of Whitman's failed bid for California governor. In October, Whitman said at a conference that she consulted with mentors including Romney when weighing whether to take the HP job. Romney advised her to work for the company, which he called an"American icon," she said.
Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts, is vying with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for the Republican nomination to run against President Barack Obama next November.
Dealing with the Truth
Working as a Unit
Bahais in Tanzania
|Tanzanian culture stresses education for boys, but not for girls. There are, however, those who rise above the culture. Sohaila Loftus, a representative of the religious community that founded the Ruha secondary school for girls stated their purpose: ''It is essential for the child to interact face to face with an educated, intelligent, loving, caring mother who will give this child the moral and spiritual grounding he/she needs in order to grow into an effective adult." These caring leaders founded the school in 1986, and now educate some 400 girls. They have also provided funding for a health outreach project and a printing operation in Zaire that produces low-cost educational materials.|
Who then are these caring ones who are concerned about the "moral and religious grounding" that children need? They are the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of Tanzania.
What is their view of "spiritual grounding?" They claim to honor Jesus. However, they also honor their founder, Baha'u'lla', Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, and Mohammed. Do these eight shepherds all guide the flock to one heavenly pasture? No! Jesus said, "I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved" (John 10:7-9 NIV).
Pray that the Bahais in Tanzania will find the One true shepherd, Jesus Christ.-CH
Comorians in Tanzania
|The Comorian woman lay quietly in her Tanzanian home. A deep excruciating pain pulsed through every fiber of her body. AIDS was taking it's toll. She looked toward the corner of the room and saw tears falling down the cheeks of her five-year-old son. He was rocking back and forth holding his stomach. The unhealthy water they were drinking was weakening him. The Comorian mother cried; she was too weak in her sickness to hold him. Even if she had the strength to hold him, there was nothing she could do. The village they lived in had no health facilities and no clean water.|
As the mother drifted in and out of sleep, she remembered a story. Not long ago her friend Fauna had visited. Fauna told her about people called missionaries. These people came to Fauna's country to help them with food and medical treatment. They taught them how to get clean water. They prayed for them when they were sick, and they got better. These missionaries shared the story of Jesus, the son of God who wanted all people to commit their lives to Him. As the Comorian woman fell into a deep sleep, she hoped that missionaries would one day come to her village.
Pray for missionaries to minister God's grace to Comorians who live in Tanzania, and also those living in their homeland, the Comoro Islands.-NW
Fix Your Eyes on Jesus
Somalis in Tanzania
|It was a quiet evening. The Somali families' herds were now settled near a new grazing land in northern Tanzania. The youngest daughter noticed a tall man approaching their home. She watched her father cautiously walk toward the man.|
The little girl's father returned and told his three wives along with their children to go and sit under the nearby tree. He had agreed to watch the story of a man named Jesus. The little girl sat down and watched the story with wide eyes. Jesus was speaking in the Somali language!
Near the end of the story Jesus was nailed to a wooden cross. He was lifted up, bleeding, left to die. The little girl began to sob. At this point her father abruptly got up, brushed off his clothes and commanded his family to return to their home. As they walked away, the little girl turned back and saw her father waving his finger at the tall man. She heard him yelling, "Do not bring this story of Jesus to my family again! We believe only in Islam. This is trickery!"
Pray for the Holy Spirit to begin to touch the heart of the Somali people in northern Tanzania as they watch the JESUS Film. Pray that their elders will understand that following Him will mean taking the opportunity to trade in their tragic lives for ones that are lived to "the full."-NW
Serving In Mission (SIM) Work
|Serving in Mission (SIM) has a simple motto: "By prayer." It is by prayer that the organization began in l893.|
That was the year Walter Gowans, Rowland Bingham and Thomas Kent arrived in Logos, Nigeria. Their intention was to "evangelize the 'Soudan' region of Africa." Despite much prayer, Gowans and Kent quickly died of malaria. Bingham went home, regrouped, and returned, only to contract malaria. He did, however, manage to send a third team that planted a base in l902.
What took nine long years, untold hours of prayer, and the lives of several missionaries to establish has since mushroomed under the power of God's Spirit. Today, SIM has l800 missionaries from 37 nations serving in 43 nations on five continents.
In Tanzania, SIM is targeting nine of the unreached groups living in the south. After centuries of Christian work in Africa, there remain people who have not heard or responded to the gospel. Many people groups continue to be steeped in spiritism, animism or Islam. Some practice a combination of all three. But by prayer, this will soon change!
Pray for SIM's work in southern Tanzania. Ask God to give them new methods for rescuing those who are still imprisoned in the dominion of darkness. Pray for Holy Spirit filled indigenous leaders to be raised up to help plant churches. Pray for the Christians of Tanzania to be given a heart and passion for reaching their unreached countrymen with the good news of Jesus Christ.-CL
Africa Inland Mission (AIM) Work
|In l895, Peter Cameron Scott arrived on the coast of East Africa with a team of four men. His goal was to set up a string of mission stations that would stretch across the continent and eventually reach every unreached people group in inland Africa with the gospel. It was a seemingly impossible goal given the primitive conditions and the fact that Scott and his team were on foot. But he believed God could accomplish the impossible.|
One year later, he died of black water fever and the number of missionaries on the team dwindled to one. It was at that point that God accomplished what only God can do. From that tiny, nearly aborted beginning, God gave birth to Africa Inland Mission (AIM). Today, AIM has nearly 800 missionaries in l4 African nations. More than four million people worship in churches planted by AIM.
In Tanzania, there are still 33 people groups waiting to hear the good news, according to the Joshua Project. AIM is dedicated to reaching those groups and planting Christ-centered churches among all African peoples.
Pray for God to continue doing the impossible through the AIM missionaries serving in Tanzania. Ask Him to equip them to faithfully seek out every unreached village and people group still waiting to hear that Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death. Pray for the realization of the AIM goal to establish His church among all African peoples.-CL
I just can't keep quiet.
Outreach in Tanzania
|By praying today, you can help mission minded churches and pastors in Tanzania to network with one another, equip them to do research on the local unreached people groups, send, evangelize, plant churches, and make disciples.|
As you read this, there are committed believers in that country that are saying, "I'm ready for outreach!" Last May, some of these people went on a medical outreach to the animistic Sonjo people. Many of the Sonjo people said that they wanted to receive Jesus, and they knew His message was truth.
One Sonjo woman was eager to accept His lordship, but her husband was reluctant at first. As often happens in the developing world, people take great risks if they make such life changing decisions without the approval of family leaders. Her husband surrendered to Jesus a couple of days later. Now the door is open to Christ in their family.
One of the traditional enemies of the Sonjo people is the Maasai tribe, a group that has had a strong church for many years. Within the last two years, two Maasai pastors committed to taking the gospel to the Sonjos.
Pray for pastors Elijah and Robert to have God's anointing in this effort. Pray for God to empower and protect Tanzanian missionaries, and give them the tenacity to fulfill their tasks. Pray for the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of Sonjo elders so that they will accept Christ's ways for their people.-KC
|For centuries, thousands of Sonjo people have farmed the same area of land in northeast Tanzania. How do they manage to produce crops year after year from the same land with unreliable rainfall? They rotate the crops, they allow fields to rest on alternate years, and they carefully manage their small amount of annual rainfall with a primitive but effective irrigation system.|
The Sonjo people view rainfall as the overflow from a heavenly irrigation system; they consider natural springs sacred. Proof lies in the predictability of their flow. Springs have never been known to fail and are thus conceived of in a different category from unpredictable blessings such as rain or health. Farmers voluntarily join together to repair and maintain the irrigation system after the annual flood season. Maintenance of the system requires no sophisticated tools, spare parts or great sums of money. Their dependence on irrigation creates unity of purpose and helps to preserve their traditional way of life.
They practice forms of folk religion, primarily animism. Christian missions have worked among the Sonjo people for 60 years. Despite their efforts, few have put their trust in Jesus. Intent upon preserving their traditional way of life, the Sonjos have simply merged elements of Christianity into their folk religion.
Pray that spiritual seeds planted by earlier missionaries will be watered by a new generation of culturally-sensitive workers, and that the Sonjo people will grow to know, love and obey Jesus Christ.-JWS
For the Common Good
How Did He Do That?
The LORD looks at the heart.
The Meaning of Mercy
15 Minutes of Fame
An Everlasting Covenant
The Perfect Gift
As Bad as It Gets
David faced a crisis. Pursued by Saul and Israelâs armies, he didnât see any hope. He felt strangled as if by âthe cords of deathâ and ungodliness that came at him in torrents. The assault was so intense that it âterrifiedâ him. This was a life-and-death struggleâ¦as bad as it gets.
But when David cried out to God, everything changed. God dramatically answered his prayer: âThen the earth shook and quaked; and the foundations of the mountains were trembling and were shaken, because He was angryâ (vs. 7-15).
God responded only after David cried out to Him. David recognized that God delivered him âfrom my strong enemy, and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.â He continued to face trouble but knew that God was with him and would deliver him (vs. 16-19).
We can feel Davidâs fear and sense how desperate he felt. Later, we can understand more clearly why he said, âI love You, O LORD, my strength,â and why he looked at God as his rock, fortress, and deliverer (vs. 1-3). It was wonderful to know that God would save him from his enemies!
How do you respond when you face crises or feel trapped in seemingly hopeless situations? Learn from David: These are opportunities to cry out to God, confident that He will hear your prayers.
Make Him your strength. Your rock, fortress, and deliverer. Your shield. Your stronghold. The horn of your salvation. He is worthy to be praised!
God Loves Sinners
|JOHN 3:16 KJV|
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but
have everlasting life.
Speak To Your Mountain
|MARK 11:23 NKJ|
23 "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
`Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in
his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to
pass, he will have whatever he says.
Rejoice In Trouble
Maybe you have been forsaken by your spouse. Or are struggling
with the death of a loved one. Or facing the constant pain of
disease. Or the loss of a job or business. Or, maybe just the
daily grind of life.
Hang On To Your Faith
|The devil's whole strategy is to get you to turn loose of your|
faith in God and His Word.
MARK 4:15 NIV
15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is
sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the
word that was sown in them.
Focus On Jesus
|True Christianity is not a religion based on rules and rituals|
but a living relationship with Jesus Christ.
Many people reduce Christianity down to attending church
meetings and trying not to commit a list of certain sins.
You Can Cast Out Demons
|17 "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name|
they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;
You Have Authority Over The devil
|LUKE 10:19 NKJ|
19 "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
What Are Alms?
|"Alms" are not some kind of tree, but something you should know|
about -- and do.
The Cure For Weak Faith
|MARK 6:6 NIV|
6 And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.
Why Read The Bible?
|"I'm a busy person. I have a lot to do. Why should I spend my|
time reading the Bible? I don't have time to do all I need to
do as it is."
"I already believe in Jesus Christ, that He's the Son of God
and my Savior. I've already heard the Gospel."
Who Can Be Against Us?
|ROMANS 8:31 NKJ|
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us,
who can be against us?
We all face opposition. No one likes it. But opposition is a
fact of life on earth.
Should Poor People Give?
|ACTS 20:35 NIV|
35 . . . the Lord Jesus himself said: `It is more blessed to
give than to receive.'"
Giving benefits the giver. The poorer you are the more you have
a need to give.
How Does God Bless Us?
|Does God bless us by giving us everything we think we should have, even if it's bad for us?|
Does God bless us by always letting us have our way -- whether it's the best way for us, or not?
Does God bless us by letting us get away with self-destructive behavior?
Does God bless us by letting us mistreat other people with impunity?
Does God bless us by giving us more responsibility, more money, or more fame, than we can handle?
|JOHN 14:16-18 NKJ|
16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever,
17 "even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
18 "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
|2 KINGS 6:17 NKJ|
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Be Who You Are
|ROMANS 12:2 Wuest, An Expanded Translation|
2 And stop assuming an outward expression that does not come from within you and is not representative of what you are in your inner being but is patterned after this age; but change your outward expression to one that comes from within and is representative of your inner being, by the renewing of your mind, resulting in your putting to the test what is the will of God, the good and well-pleasing and complete will, and having found that it meets specifications, place your approval upon it.
Faith Is The Victory
|1 JOHN 5:4 NKJ|
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.
We all love to win.
Victory is sweet. One reason it's so sweet is that it's usually not easy. Victory takes effort -- often great effort.
Effort is also required in the spiritual battle of good against evil we are all engaged in. But the effort required of us is to maintain our attitude of faith in God and His Word.
Is Looking A Sin?
|MATTHEW 5:28 NKJ|
28 "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
This Scripture seems to indicate that even seeing a woman, and having the slightest thought of her attractiveness, could be a serious sin.
We must remember that the New Testament was written in the Greek language, and all English versions are translations done by people who are fallible. Whenever a difficult verse confronts us, it can often be helpful to consult those who are expert in the Greek language. One way is to examine how other English translators have rendered the verse. Another way is to consult Bible commentaries.
Lack Of Knowledge
|HOSEA 4:6a NKJ|
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
People wonder why Christians experience so much trouble in life. The reason, according to the Bible, is a lack of knowledge.
The Bible tells us the devil is out to destroy us, but it also makes clear that we can overcome his attacks. The real problem lies with our ignorance.
Honor Your Parents
|EPHESIANS 6:2-3 NKJ|
2 "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise:
3 "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."
Think about this: God himself promises that if you will honor your parents you will have a long and blessed life.
(Note that no exceptions are listed. Even if your parents were terrible, this is still God's Word to you.)
What a promise!