What is Heaven Like?

Spending eternity with God will be a celebration!

Written by Dan Lee on 26/07/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Heaven, Eternity, Salvation, God
On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine — the best of meats and the finest of wines . . . He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.

Isaiah 25:6,8
Have you ever wondered what heaven will be like? Some people think that in Heaven, we are going to be floating around like a ghost. This is not true.

Let’s see a few things the Bible says about Heaven:

1. Heaven is a Real Place
Revelation 21:1-2 says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

When believers die right now, they are united with God in a heavenly realm. This passage tells us that in the future, Heaven, will be here on the earth. It will be a real place, where we, with resurrected bodies, will walk, talk, sing and worship!

2. Heaven is a Place of Celebration
The Isaiah passage above, describes the great celebration in Heaven — yes, you can call it a party! Another is Revelation 19:9, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

Try to imagine a banquet. Now, think of the feast that “the LORD Almighty will prepare” (Isaiah 25:6)! And it won’t just be eating, but celebrating all of God’s mighty works throughout history for His glory.

3. God is There
Revelation 21:3 goes on to say, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” The best thing about Heaven is that God himself is there. Now, think about the person you love the most here on earth. We will experience those sensations of love when we meet and live with the One who loved us even before we were born.

This and all pleasures will never grow old, but will get better and better for all eternity.

Pray this week:

Lord, help me to find out more from Your word about Heaven. Thank you that all followers of Jesus will live there forever in perfect peace and joy.

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The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist

The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist

 
Marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most technology-dependent functions in business. In 2012 the research and consulting firm Gartner predicted that by 2017, a company’s chief marketing officer would be spending more on technology than its chief information officer was. That oft-quoted claim seems more credible every day.

A new type of executive is emerging at the center of the transformation: the chief marketing technologist. CMTs are part strategist, part creative director, part technology leader, and part teacher. Although they have an array of titles—Kimberly-Clark has a “global head of marketing technology,” while SAP has a “business information officer for global marketing,” for example—they have a common job: aligning marketing technology with business goals, serving as a liaison to IT, and evaluating and choosing technology providers. About half are charged with helping craft new digital business models as well.

Regardless of what they’re called, the best CMTs set a technology vision for marketing. They champion greater experimentation and more agile management of that function’s capabilities. And they are change agents, working within the function and across the company to create competitive advantage.

Before we describe the role in detail,
Let’s consider the forces that gave rise to it.

In a digital world, software is the chief means of engaging prospects and customers. A marketing team’s choice of software and how to configure and operate it, along with how creatively the team applies it, materially affects how the firm perceives and influences its audience and how the audience sees the firm.

As digital marketing and e-commerce increasingly augment or replace traditional touchpoints, the importance of mastering those capabilities grows. Digital marketing budgets are expanding annually at double-digit rates, and CEOs say that digital marketing is now the most important technology-powered investment their firms can make.

This rise in digital budgets is not merely a migration of spending from traditional to digital media. A growing portion of marketing’s budget is now allocated to technology itself. A recent Gartner study found that 67% of marketing departments plan to increase their spending on technology-related activities over the next two years. In addition, 61% are increasing capital expenditures on technology, and 65% are increasing budgets for service providers that have technology-related offerings.

The challenge of effectively managing all this technology is daunting. There are now well over 1,000 marketing software providers worldwide, with offerings ranging from major platforms for CRM, content management, and marketing automation to specialized solutions for social media management, content marketing, and customer-facing apps. Relationships with agencies and service providers now include technical interfaces for the exchange and integration of code and data. And bespoke software projects to develop unique customer experiences and new sources of advantage are proliferating under marketing’s umbrella.

Bridging Marketing and IT

In this new environment, the CMO and the CIO must collaborate closely. But executive-level cooperation isn’t enough; a supporting organizational structure is also needed. A company can’t simply split marketing technology down the middle, King Solomon style, and declare that the CMO gets the marketing half and the CIO gets the technology half. Such a neat division might look good on paper, but it leaves yawning knowledge gaps in practice. Marketing might not understand how to fully leverage what IT can offer, and IT might not understand how to accurately translate marketing requirements into technical capabilities.

Instead, marketing technology must be managed holistically. In a virtuous cycle, what’s possible with technology should inspire what’s desirable for marketing, and vice versa. The right structure will help marketing become proficient with the array of software it must use to attract, acquire, and retain customers. It will help marketing leadership recognize how new technologies can open up new opportunities. And it will allow marketing to deftly handle the technical facets of agency and service provider relationships in both contract negotiations and day-to-day operations.

The CMT’s job, broadly, is to enable this holistic approach. He or she is the equivalent of a business unit–level CIO or CTO. People in this role need technical depth—many have backgrounds in IT management or software development—but they must also be passionate about marketing. A common profile is an executive with an undergraduate degree in computer science and a graduate degree in business. Many CMTs have experience in digital agencies or with building customer-facing web products.

 

Most CMTs report primarily to marketing, either to the CMO or to another senior marketing executive, such as the VP of marketing operations or the VP of digital marketing. Many also have dotted-line reporting relationships with IT.

Acting as the connective tissue between different constituencies, these executives engage with four key stakeholders: the CMO and other senior marketing executives, the CIO and the IT organization, the broader marketing team, and outside software and service providers (see the exhibit “At the Nexus”). We will describe their interactions with these stakeholders in turn.

The CMO and other senior marketing executives.

The chief marketing technologist supports these executives’ strategy by ensuring technical capabilities and advocating for approaches enabled by new technologies. For example, Joseph Kurian, Aetna’s head of marketing technology and innovation for enterprise marketing, championed the use of “voice of the customer” software to collect user feedback across the company’s mobile and web interfaces. The software has improved customers’ digital interactions with Aetna—a key strategic priority.

 

 

The CIO and the IT organization.

CMTs facilitate and prioritize technology requests from marketing, translating between technical and marketing requirements and making sure that marketing’s systems adhere to IT policies. Andreas Starke, the business information officer for global marketing at SAP, is the principal point of contact between the two functions and streamlines the planning and execution of marketing technology projects. For example, he led the rollout of a shared automation platform to replace the disjointed systems used by previously siloed marketing groups.

Profile of a CMT

The broader marketing team.

The CMT ensures that the marketing staff has the right software and training. Brian Makas, the director of marketing technology and business intelligence at ThomasNet, saw that field sales reps and support staff were inefficiently coordinating their activities through weekly Excel spreadsheets. He jettisoned that time-­consuming process in favor of real-time views obtained through the company’s CRM system—and implemented the new protocol in just a week.

Outside software and service providers.

Here, the CMT assesses how well providers’ technical capabilities meet marketing’s needs, helps integrate the systems, and monitors their performance. Shawn Goodin, the director of marketing tech­nology at the Clorox Company, led the evaluation of six vendors for a platform that would optimize customers’ experiences across channels and devices and integrate consumer data across marketing, sales, and R&D.

The work of these CMTs shows just how open-ended this new role is—and why an executive fully at home in both marketing and IT is essential for the job.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

 What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

The first Guerrilla Marketing book was published by Houghton Mifflin in l984. Today there are 58 volumes in 62 languages, and more than 21 million copies have been sold worldwide. The book is required reading in many MBA programs throughout the world. The author taught the topic at the University of California, Berkeley Extension Division. He lectures on it worldwide.

This describes guerrilla marketing:

“I’m referring to the soul and essence of guerrilla marketing which remains as always — achieving conventional goals, such as profits and joy, with unconventional methods, such as investing energy instead of money.

“Guerrilla Marketing started out a single volume and has since acted biblically by being fruitful and multiplying into a library of 35 books and counting, an Association, a lush website, an abundance of video and audio versions, an email newsletter, a consulting organization, an internationally-syndicated column for newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, and presentations in enough countries for us to consider forming our own Guerrilla United Nations.

The need for guerrilla marketing can be seen in the light of three facts:

Because of big business downsizing, decentralization, relaxation of government regulations, affordable technology, and a revolution in consciousness, people around the world are gravitating to small business in record numbers.
Small business failures are also establishing record numbers and one of the main reasons for the failures is a failure to understand marketing.
Guerrilla marketing has been proven in action to work for small businesses around the world. It works because it’s simple to understand, easy to implement and outrageously inexpensive.
Guerrilla marketing is needed because it gives small businesses a delightfully unfair advantage: certainty in an uncertain world, an economy in a high-priced world, simplicity in a complicated world, marketing awareness in a clueless world.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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A Bedtime Story for A New Day

A Bedtime Story for A New Day

Every child likes a bedtime story. Great stories motivate the imagination and create a sense of drama and suspense. Stories are as old as the bible and as brand-new as the current released book.

There are many different kind of bedtime stories, but the best ones are stories that moms and dads can check out to their children; a story that grandparents can show their grandchildren. Every excellent story invites the reader to ask the concern, "What's coming next?" Too, a good bedtime story intrigues readers, helps them sleep well, and gets them excited to welcome a brand-new day when they wake up.

Girls and children are captured up in this negative way of thinking since the stories they hear are filled with violence and terrorism that destroy human relationships. These stories feed upon misunderstanding, hatred, and intolerance– lumbering along like dinosaurs that squash millions in the wake of their actions to make a world of fear, anxiety, and darkness. It is time for the light of a brand-new day– a day of understanding, peace, and love in our world.

A brand name brand-new book, The Rainbow Chronicles: A Bedtime Story for a New Day offers a positive option. Fathers and moms, kids and daughters can read this book and make the story turn into something beautiful. Our world needs old and young people to share their beauty and join with the majesty of all people. Our world requires the favorable examples of grownups to be function models who influence youths to live joy-filled, favorable lives. Our world needs the faith, prayers, and effort of youths to spread out the Gospel of Jesus Christ, like petals of the dark-purple tulips, so that future generations will wake up to a much better day.

Each people is called to be a house place for the Rainbow's End. Each people is invited to welcome the Throne of the Almighty into our hearts. No matter what belief system, physical appearance, gender, age, family background, race, or ethnic heritage, whether wed or single, I motivate you making a difference for excellent in the method you and your household touch the lives of others through loving actions.

So, exactly what is coming next? More dinosaurs or more flowers? A desert or a garden? In lots of methods, it's up to you! Make certain to purchase, read and act on this book. May you bring the Rainbow's End house to yourself, your family, community, and neighborhood, your location of worship, and yes, to the ends of our earth. May you aim to assist others write The Rainbow Chronicles in their lives. May the breath of the Almighty, the Holy Spirit, always whisper love in and through you.

Every kid loves a bedtime story. There are many different type of bedtime stories, but the finest ones are stories that dads and mamas can check out to their kids; a story that grandparents can share with their grandchildren. Too, an excellent bedtime story intrigues readers, assists them sleep well, and gets them delighted to greet a brand-new day when they wake up.

These stories feed upon hatred, intolerance, and misconception– lumbering along like dinosaurs that trample millions in the wake of their steps to make a world of worry, stress and anxiety, and darkness. A brand name new book, The Rainbow Chronicles: A Bedtime Story for a New Day provides a positive alternative.

Contributor
Charles R Juarez Jr
210-338-0275

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Walk In The Word

Walk In The Word
For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and
judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD (Psalm 33:4-5).
We read in our opening verse that the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
To whose advantage do you think that is? It’s the Church’s advantage! What you have to learn is how
to walk in the Word to enjoy God’s best—His divine provisions. Everything God created was specially made for your comfort and provision. He’s already given you
everything that you require to fulfil your destiny and live triumphantly for His glory (2 Peter 1:3).
1 Corinthians 3:21 says all things are yours. Therefore, you don’t have to suffer or settle for the
lesser things in life. The Lord Jesus suffered in your place, to usher you into a life of glory. Hebrews 2:10 says, “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” These aren’t promises but present-hour realities. He tells us in Isaiah 1:19-20, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land….”According to the Scriptures, we’re not called to obeythe Word but to walk in the Word. We practise and do the Word; that’s where the blessing is: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.…But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being nota forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man
shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:22-25).
How much you enjoy life, and all that Christ has
done for you and made you, depends on how much
of God’s Word you live-out, walk in or live by.

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Valentus Specialty Chemicals Completes Second Acquisition

Huron Capital's Valentus Specialty Chemicals Completes Second Acquisition

DETROIT, April 14, 2016, /PRNewswire/ — Huron Capital Partners LLC ("Huron Capital") today announced its specialty coatings ExecFactor® platform, Valentus Specialty Chemicals, Inc. ("Valentus"), has acquired the floor finishes a business of Memphis, TN-based Precision Technology LLC. ("Precision").  Huron Capital formed Valentus in partnership with coatings industry veterans Ray Chlodney, John Ragazzini and Bob Taylor to pursue a buy-and-build initiative in the industrial coatings sector.  Valentus closed its first investment in December 2015 with the acquisition of coatings manufacturer National Paint Industries ("NPI"). 

Precision's floor coating business has a proven acid cure floor coating system which includes the Swedish Finish & Swedish Crown product lines and the Precision Polyurethane oil-based finish.  Lanny Trottman, founder, and owner of Precision will retain ownership of Precision's wood filler and wood patch products, maintenance products, and roller and brush products, which are not part of the transaction.  The floor coating business will move to NPI's facility in North Brunswick, New Jersey. 

Valentus CEO Chlodney said, "The NPI team has known Precision for a long time and has always thought highly of the business.  We are excited to add these products to the Valentus lineup as we look to expand our presence in the floor coatings market.  In partnership with Huron Capital, we are actively looking for additional complementary coatings companies as we continue to grow the Valentus platform."

Mike Beauregard, Senior Partner at Huron Capital, added, "This is the type of strategic add-on acquisition we envisioned when we created the Valentus ExecFactor® initiative, and we are pleased that it came less than four months after the first Valentus investment.  We are excited about partnering with Ray, John, and Bob, and will be looking to expand Valentus into additional geographies and new product lines."

About Huron Capital Partners LLC

Based in Detroit, Huron Capital is an operationally-focused private equity firm with a long history of growing lower middle-market companies through our proprietary ExecFactor® buy-and-build investment model. We prefer complex situations where we can help companies reach their full potential by combining our operational approach, substantial capital base, and transaction experience with seasoned operating executives. Founded in 1999, Huron Capital has raised over $1.1 billion in capital through four committed private equity funds and invested in over 100 companies, and our portfolio companies have employed over 11,000 people throughout North America. The Huron Capital buy-and-build investment model includes equity recapitalizations, family succession transactions, market-entry strategies, corporate carve-outs, and management buyouts of companies having revenues up to $200 million. Huron Capital targets both majority and less-than-majority equity stakes in fundamentally-sound companies that can benefit from the firm's operational approach to creating value. Huron Capital's sector focus includes business services, consumer products & services, specialty manufacturing and healthcare.

SOURCE Huron Capital Partners LLC

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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4 Skills Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed — No Talent Required

Brian de HaaffFollowingUnfollowBrian de Haaff
CEO, Aha! — #1 product roadmap software
Some memes make the rounds online regularly. One that often pops up is the list of “10 things that require zero talent.” From big-picture traits like passion to daily habits like being on time, the list is a good reminder that success as an entrepreneur requires a strong foundation.

Building a business is hard work. It requires constant vigilance — and always being on the lookout for hidden opportunities.
That is why, rather than sleeping through a flight, you might spend two hours talking shop with your seatmate, who is an ideal consumer for your product — because you could pick up some valuable information. In fact, something similar just happened to me during a conversation where I learned that a parent on my son’s soccer team was a VP of product.

Most entrepreneurs that I know already do most of those 10 things that require zero talent. They have no problem being prepared or putting in extra effort.
But successful entrepreneurs take it farther with four more skills that set them apart. And luckily, those skills do not require special knowledge, an expensive degree, or any talent to cultivate.

So, what are these special skills — and how can you use them to build your own business?

Listening
The success of your business depends on how you solve your customer’s problems. How closely do you listen? How quickly do you interrupt with what you want to say? Instead of butting in, try attentive listening to understand the frustrations and challenges your customer faces. You will be better able to empathize and provide real solutions.

Prioritization
Do you feel like you are putting out fires every day — and not getting anywhere? The trouble may be that you consider all tasks to be created equal. Take time to prioritize what aligns to your strategic goals. Then set a plan to tackle (with tasks ordered by priority) and stick to it. You will accomplish more and see real progress.

Responsiveness 
Want to instantly make your customers happier? It costs you nothing to be more responsive. That means immediately following up on voicemails and responding to emails. Your customers will appreciate your fast response — and you find will more opportunities to connect.

Openness  
Here is another skill — keeping an open mind. Start by expanding what you typically read to include materials that offer an alternate point of view, even the opposite of yours. Strike up a conversation with a stranger. When you challenge yourself to consider new ideas, you can more easily engage and build solid relationships with customers and your team.

These skills do not require any talent or cost to develop. But they do require an investment of time and effort.
You will not suddenly become a better listener or more open-minded overnight. But you can make these skills a priority. Your dedication will pay off in dividends — once you have a stronger, more nimble business to show for it.

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You’re His Voice To Your World

Our opening scripture is the Lord’s instruction to everyone who has received Christ; you’re
to take the message of salvation to your world. You’re to teach those in your world how to live and walk in righteousness; you’re to teach all nations. What does He mean by “teach all nations?” Though synonymously used, it’s important to note that there’s a difference
between nations and countries; countries have borders, but nations don’t.
“Nations” in our theme scripture doesn’t mean countries. It derives from the Greek word “Ethnos,”
which refers to different groups of people, sharing a common interest. It’s our job to take the Gospel to every man’s world: to the different groups (ethnos) to which we belong. They may be in the world of politicians, doctors, artisans, musicians, academicians, lawyers, police or the armed forces; you’re God’s voice to your world. You’re a missionary, an oracle of God, commissioned to help the unconverted in your world You’re His Voice To Your World Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
Amen (Matthew 28:19-20).
Psalms 32-34
Romans 1:1-17
Ephesians
2:11-22
Isaiah 45
Prayer
Thanks be unto God, who has
made me an able minister of
the Gospel, to impact my world
with the knowledge of Christ. I
make full proof of my ministry,
as a preacher and teacher of
righteousness, proclaiming
liberty to the oppressed, and
bringing deliverance and the light
of Christ to those in bondage, by
the power of the Holy Spirit, in
Jesus’ Name. Amen.
receive salvation, and teach them the Word. You’re to show them the path of life, for you’re the light of the world. God has made you a man or woman of influence in your world; use your influence for Him. Make impact with the Gospel. Let more people in your world come to the knowledge of Christ through you. Be bold to preach and teach the Gospel, for you’re His voice to your world.
2 Timothy 4:2; 2 Corinthians 5 -18-19

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Personalization & Search Engine Rankings

Personalization & Search Engine Rankings

 

 

 

 

Years ago, everyone saw exactly the same search results. Today, no one sees exactly the same search results, not on Google, not on Bing. Everyone gets a personalized experience to some degree, even in private browsing windows.

Of course, there’s still a lot commonality. It’s not that everyone sees completely different results. Instead, everyone sees many of the same “generic” listings. But there will also be some listings appearing because of where someone is, whom they know or how they surf the web.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pc: Country

One of the easiest personalization ranking factors to understand is that people are shown results relevant to the country they’re in.

Someone in the US searching for “football” will get results about American football; someone in the UK will get results about the type of football that Americans would call soccer.

If your site isn’t deemed relevant to a particular country, then you’ve got less chance of showing up when country personalization happens. If you feel you should be relevant, then you’ll probably have to work on your international SEO.

Pl: Locality

Search engines don’t stop personalizing at the country level. They’ll tailor results to match the city or metropolitan area based on the user’s location.

As with country personalization, if you want to appear when someone gets city-specific results, you need to ensure your site is relevant to that city.

Ph: Personal History

What has someone been searching for and clicking on from their search results? What sites do they regularly visit? Have they “Liked” a site using Facebook, shared it via Twitter or perhaps +1’d it?

This type of personal history is used to varying degrees and ways by both Google and Bing to influence search results. Unlike country or city personalization, there’s no easy way to try and make yourself more relevant.

Instead, it places more importance on first impressions and brand loyalty. When a user clicks on a “regular” search result, you want to ensure you’re presenting a great experience so they’ll come again. Over time, they may seek out your brand in search results, clicking on it despite it being below other listings.

This behavior reinforces your site as one that they should be shown more frequently to that user. Even better if they initiate a social gesture, such as a Like, +1 or Tweet that indicates a greater affinity for your site or brand.

History is even more important in new search interfaces such as Google Now, which will proactively present “cards” to users based on explicit preferences (i.e. – which sports teams or stocks do you track) and search history.

Ps: Social Connections

What do someone’s friends think about a website? This is one of the newer ranking factors to impact search results. Someone’s social connections can influence what they see on Google and Bing.

Those connections are what truly matter because search engines view those connections as a user’s personal set of advisors. Offline, you might trust and ask your friends to give you advice on a restaurant or gardening.

Increasingly, when you search today search engines are trying to emulate that offline scenario. So if a user is connected to a friend and that friend has reviewed a restaurant or shared an article on growing tomatoes then that restaurant and article may rank higher for that user.

If someone can follow you, or easily share your content, that helps get your site into their circle of trust and increases the odds that others they know will find you. Nowhere is this more transformative than Google+, where circling a site’s Google+ Page will change the personalized search results for that user.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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