Schlagwort-Archive: start

When Cancer Came to Our Home

No one in this life is exempt from struggles, heartaches, and difficulties.

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Cancer, Difficulty, Healing, Hope, Sickness
Nearly 20 years after Patricia and I were married, we faced the biggest challenge of our lives when she discovered a lump in one breast. We were just finishing a six-city speaking tour in Scotland— and rushed back home to Portland, Oregon. Yes, there was a problem. A biopsy was necessary. Then came the doctor’s verdict.

For a moment we sat in stunned silence, trying to block out his awful words. “The tumor is malignant and radical surgery must be performed immediately. We can’t delay.” Surgery was scheduled for the following Monday.

Pat had cancer.

When we got back to the house, I headed to my office in the basement. Somehow I had to come to grips with this terrible blow, I told myself. But a hundred emotions welled up inside me, and I began to weep. This was the sort of thing that happens to other people, but not to my wife. Not to Pat.

My thoughts were instantly interrupted by the strains of a familiar old hymn. Where was it coming from? Our four boys were all at school. No one was in the house except Pat and me.

Slowly it dawned on me—Pat herself was playing the piano and singing, “How Firm a Foundation.” As the bottom was falling out of our lives, the Lord reminded us both how desperately we needed to base our security and strength in Him alone.

No one in this life is exempt from struggles, heartaches, and difficulties, of course. I’d known that since I was a boy. My own mother had been widowed at age thirty-five. That she was even able to keep our family together was a miracle. I was reminded, God will see us through these deep waters, too.

Deep waters they were
After I broke the news to our four boys, there was a long moment of silence. Then my youngest son, Steve, who was only eleven years old at the time, blurted out, “But, Daddy, people die from cancer!”

“That’s true, but we believe God is going to make Mommy better again. She won’t be feeling very well for a long time, so that will mean some changes around here, for all of us. You guys are going to have to not only learn to take care of yourselves, but also to help Mommy every way you can.”

While Pat was recuperating at home after surgery, we carefully reviewed all our well-laid plans. Everything was up for grabs. Pat didn’t want me to cancel a huge speaking engagement in Los Angeles, but I was torn up inside. I ended up taking the two youngest boys with me on my next trip. They were used to traveling with me from time to time. It turned out to be a good decision, one that helped ease the turbulent feelings we all were experiencing. Yes, Mommy was sick. But we would take good care of her while she tried to get better.

Pat started chemotherapy treatment, at first every week, then every other week when she got too sick. We knew the current statistics of survival rates and all the rest. But we refused to play the “What if?” game. Pat’s life was in God’s hands. We also refused to give in to blasphemy. We dared not shake our fist in God’s face, no matter what so-called experts said about “the need to vent your feelings.” Third, we refused to second-guess the medical treatment she was receiving. Her doctor knew what he was doing.

You wouldn’t believe the amount of free advice people dished out to us. I waylaid most of the least helpful articles and books that arrived in the mail to spare Pat the grief of tossing them herself. At one point I had to tell someone, “Look, lady, you can cut people’s hair, but you are not going to give us medical advice!” That was the last thing Pat needed at that point.

What she did need and so appreciated were the calls and visits of friends who listened and shared an appropriate verse of Scripture with Pat. Jeremiah 29:11 became a favorite:

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
When Andrew, Steve, and I got back from Los Angeles, Pat and I talked again about my schedule. Hard decisions had to be made. That included canceling a trip in June to an international conference where I was scheduled to give a major address. Instead, after conferring with my colleagues, I decided to take the next year to focus more on media opportunities close to home.

The next year I did accept a speaking engagement in San Diego. It was delightful to have Pat join me. She spoke one morning to a group of 2,000 women about her struggles with cancer and the need to trust Jesus Christ to stand strong through life’s storms. I didn’t keep it a secret how much I admired her strength and endurance the past fourteen months despite repeated periods of weariness, sickness, discomfort, and pain.

Our two oldest sons, Kevin and Keith, flew out of the nest that fall, for their first semester at college. They returned home for the holidays a few days after a bone scan revealed Pat had no signs of cancer anywhere. We celebrated Christmas and New Year’s in a big way. We were all back together again. And Pat’s cancer was gone!

As a family, we couldn’t thank the Lord enough for sparing Pat’s life. In my heart, I also thanked God for using that time of adversity to give Pat a wider platform for ministry. Suddenly, editors were asking her for articles. She started receiving many more invitations to speak at women’s conferences and other events. With our four sons getting older, the timing couldn’t have been better.

Twenty years later, Pat and I occasion think back on those heart wrenching days while she battled cancer. The truth of Jeremiah 29:11 is more real to us than ever. We praise God for truly giving us a hope and a future.

God is a God of healing, but sometimes the healing is not of the physical body. Do you trust God enough to heal you in His way, even if that meant He was going to take you home? Ask for prayer for whatever sickness you have in your life.

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

How Technology Is Changing The Future Of Our Grocery Stores

According to a recent report, analysts believe that the online grocery market will grow from 4% of total sales to 20% by 2025, which is not too far away. The study points out that while most people will be concerned that the rise of online grocery could kill brick and mortar stores, they also believe that grocery stores will actually adjust their strategies to appeal to the digital shopper.

Before they can arrive at this shopping destination utopia of the future, grocery stores need to make an increased investment in a multi-channel experience and have a greater focus on incentivized digital loyalty programs. If they successfully do that, grocery stores will be able to co-exist in an environment that is quickly changing.

Tom Caporaso, the CEO of Clarus Commerce, an e-commerce solutions provider believes that Amazon’s decision to test several Go store concepts highlights the potential opportunities in the grocery industry in the coming years.

Caporaso advised, after moderate grocery sales growth in recent years, Amazon sees a chance to implement new bricks-and-mortar models that cater to consumers’ changing behaviors. Meanwhile, a new report says that online spending on groceries could increase five-fold by 2025, from its current 4.3% share of the market to 20%.

Established supermarkets clearly have to step up their efforts to retain and grow their audiences. That includes enhancing their online capabilities; expanding their ordering, pick-up, and delivery services to better suit their customers; and creating a seamless, convenient shopping experience across multiple channels — computers, mobile devices, and the stores themselves.

It also includes strengthening their loyalty programs. Shoppers are already more likely to join grocers’ programs than those of other businesses, and more liable to shop and spend more at stores that reward them for doing so. Caporaso also believes the key is to engage them with compelling offers that meet their evolving interests and desires.

Interestingly, cash back and rebates rank just behind product discounts as the most attractive benefits among shoppers of all ages, including Millennials, who now make up the largest demographic.

Amazon and countless other companies now see a variety of growth opportunities in the grocery industry. Supermarkets, therefore, need to keep exploring new offers and approaches; analyze their customer data incessantly; and use the lessons learned to develop a broad range of services, benefits, and messages that appeal to an increasingly digital consumer audience.

There is no longer a one size fits all approach with shoppers seamlessly switching between the art of showrooming and webrooming depending on what type of item they are purchasing. Maybe, we shouldn’t be too surprised to see that Amazon is aggressively pushing forward into the grocery market and while physical store Walmart increases their online presence.

In commerce, the blurred lines that have existed between our online and offline worlds are rapidly disappearing. But this can only be a positive thing as companies begin to understand exactly what the digital transformation means for businesses.

It seems that the future success of retailers in our imminent future is not about being online or offline but both. Caporaso recently revealed further insight into this fascinating topic on my podcast where he also talks about the strategy that both Amazon and Wal-Mart are already following.

Retail
 
Startups
 
Technology
 Neil Hughes Neil Hughes
Owner • Tech Blog Writer

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

Daily Bread: A Rock Solid Foundation Do you have unhealthy relationships influencing you?

Prepare
Do you ever wonder what it takes to please God? It couldn’t be clearer than in Proverbs. Ask God to give you a willing heart as you prepare to be counseled by Him.

Read
Proverbs 1:1-19

Explore
There is a well-known saying in Spanish – “Tell me who you walk with and I will tell you who you are.”

Who you associate with tells a lot about a person. And in Proverbs, the Lord wastes no time warning against such basic mistakes.

It is interesting that the fear of the Lord (vs 1-7) and choosing friends (vs 10-19) are the first two subjects in the book of Proverbs. We should not take lightly this first passage – one of the longest in the whole book. As Solomon, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, lays the foundation on how to live a successful life, he gives us two clear points of emphasis – wisdom through the fear of the Lord and foolishness through poor relationships (v 7).

Take time to check out Psalm 128:1, Psalm 112:1, Proverbs 8:3, Job 1:1, and 2 Corinthians 5:11a. In each passage, the fear of the Lord has a direct correlation to walking in His ways, finding delight in His commands, and hating evil. It is a direct rebuke of foolish, undisciplined living.

Do you desire to be filled with wisdom and knowledge? Do you want to honor God with your life and fear Him with a holy fear? Then start by looking at your influences. Who do you spend time with? Who influences you? Is it God, or is it unhealthy friendships?

Respond
Heavenly Father, I look to you from the depths of my heart to give me daily direction for every aspect of my life. Thank you for your personal counsel.

Is Jesus the rock in your foundation? Do you believe He can truly calm the storms in your life? Talk to one of our volunteers about the storms going on in your life and ask for prayer.

Ask for Prayer

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

9 Free Business Productivity Tools For Startups

Starting a business can be a daunting endeavor, especially if all you have is a cool product and not enough capital. In the tech world, or in any other niche for that matter, most startuppers fail not because they have bad products but because they are unable to generate enough consumer interest in their products. 

Considering overheads and other back-office expenses, this scenario doesn’t come as a surprise. So if you’re still starting out and find yourself strapped for much needed funding to keep your startup afloat, the following free business productivity tools are worth checking out.

9 Free Business Productivity Tools For Startups

# 1. Bitrix24.com

If you need a collaboration tool your staff are most likely to adopt with relative ease and minimum training, take the social intranet route.

Bitrix24.com is the fastest growing social intranet that’s free for businesses with 12 employees or less. The application comes as a combination of several different work tools like CRM, project management, real-time streaming, activity planner, file sharing, to name just a few. As it is cloud-based, access can be anywhere, whether using your computer or smartphone. An upgrade to unlimited users starts at $99 per month.

# 2. GotFreeFax.com

In this era of e-mail and instant messaging, you’d think fax machines are no longer relevant. But if a LinkedIn survey as reported by Mashable is to be believed, fax machines are still in until 2017 steps in.

As you might have already guessed from the site’s name, GotFreeFax.com is an online service that allows you to send up to three pages of fax for free (maximum of two faxes per day) to any number in the United States or Canada. The site also offers premium pay-per-fax service should you need to send more.

# 3. RememberTheMilk.com

RememberTheMilk.com is an online productivity tool that assists in task and time management. Remember The Milk essentially functions as your all-in-one task manager, electronic calendar and to-do list. Aside from allowing you to share and split tasks with other people, the application can be integrated with GMail, too.

The pro account is priced at $25 for one year and comes with exclusive mobile app features and Microsoft Outlook integration.

# 4. Kolab.org

Kolab.org is an open-source group collaboration server that allows for sharing of notes, e-mail access, calendar organization, task management, address book maintenance, news aggregation, phone sync and journal integration. Kolab is secure, scalable, reliable, mobile and professional, ensuring productivity every step of the way. As a whole, the application requires some getting used to. But once you get the hang of it, the hassle can be all worth it.

# 5. WaveApps.com

Formerly WaveAccounting.com, WaveApps.com is an accounting software that’s fast, simple and easy to use, offering unlimited invoicing and expense tracking. 100% free for small businesses with nine employees or less, it’s accountant-approved and specifically designed for non-accountants. You can also securely connect your bank and PayPal accounts or other sources of data, and your transactions are automatically imported into the accounting software.

# 6. PRLog.org

To make your business presence known, one surefire route to take is through the distribution of press releases. PRLog.org is a site where you can dispense press releases for free. And if you feel you don’t have the necessary expertise to create a killer press release, the site provides instructions on how to write one, even how to embed videos where necessary.

# 7. Weebly.com

One cardinal business rule is that businesses should have their own websites to boost their market presence online. Weebly.com is a free website creator that doesn’t require website creation expertise. Until you’re ready to go for more complex and/or self-hosted sites that would require monthly or yearly payments, Weebly.com is a good alternative.

# 8. Join.me

For those meetings or web conferences on the fly, Join.me is a simple-to-use teleconferencing application that allows you to review documents and designs, train staff, do product demonstrations – basically to get everyone apprised of company updates. You can do transatlantic web conferences and presentations, too.

# 9. IFTTT.com

IFTTT.com, which is short for “if this, then that,” functions like a computer program repeatedly uttering if/then logic all day long. With IFTTT, you set up “recipes” to assist you with task automation. For a recipe to work, you have to have a channel, a trigger and an action. Examples of channels are Facebook, e-mail, Evernote, LinkedIn, just to mention a few.

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e