News From All Corners

Rent-to-Own Homes Make a Comeback
By Laura Kusisto, The Wall Street Journal
Wall Street firms have found a new way to profit from consumers with blemished credit who can’t qualify for a mortgage: let them rent a home first with the option to buy it later. Rent-to-own programs, once run mainly by small operators, were popular with cash-strapped consumers during the 1990s. They faded a decade later when easy lending made it possible for almost anyone to buy a home with no money down, but with lenders setting a higher bar, they are making a comeback.
Delta is about to offer one of the coolest upgrades yet—to very few flyers
By Justin Bachman, Bloomberg
Delta Air Lines is cooking up what may be one of the most appealing flight upgrades yet: one that allows you to bag a commercial flight altogether and board a private jet. The new upgrade program, targeted at what Delta calls “high-value customers,” will cost $300 to $800, depending on destination. Beginning as soon as this week, passengers who have achieved elite or “medallion” status in Delta’s SkyMiles frequent-flyer program will be eligible for the upgrade offers. But officials stress that the initial number of private jet flights will be small and focused mainly at Delta’s East Coast hubs
Facebook is now the world's most-used tech product
By Hope King , CNN Money
Think Facebook is passé? Think again. At the end of June, nearly 1.5 billion people used Facebook (FB, Tech30) at least once a month, the company reported on Wednesday. That's more than any other technology product in the world, including Microsoft's (MSFT, Tech30) ubiquitous Windows operating system. This tremendous size has allowed Facebook to build a ton of new features that capitalize on all the data it has on its users -- primarily by selling targeted ads.

Blogosphere

Listening To The Voice of The Customer
By Lane Kramer
Continuous innovation in a business in order to develop new lines of revenue from services or products is of critical importance. A very important part of that process is taking the time and truly being willing to listen to the Voice of Your Customer. This month I had a very interesting experience with a potential vendor at my residence. We need a new front picture window since the old one was about to bite the dust. I telephoned a company that had been highly recommended by a friend of mine awhile back. The first part of the experience was very positive. I called the salesman at 9:30 a.m. on a Wednesday morning and he was able to come over to my house that day at 1:00 p.m.
How to Boost Your Creativity
By Bill Peel
People who think they are not creative need to think again. Creativity is central to what it means to be human and made in the image of God. It’s one of the principle ways man imitates his Creator. Although our creativity is different from God's, who made everything from nothing, the cultural mandate in Genesis 1:26-27 speaks to our creative responsibility. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." (Genesis 1:27-28 )
Spiritual Warfare in the Executive Suite
By Gary L. Selman
Since Adam and Eve fell from grace in the Garden of Eden, Christians have had to walk in full combat gear to deal with the battlefield that constantly rages in their minds. Our eternal salvation hangs in the balance as the battle or spiritual warfare between God and Satan, righteousness and sin, faith and fear, and love and selfishness is continuously set before us, testing our faith, values, and beliefs (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). When ungodly choices are made, the spiritual warfare can wreak havoc and destruction in our lives.

The Legal Corner

How the Same-Sex Marriage Case Might Affect the Texas Abortion Law
By Kyle Bryant
By now it is not news: on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that all states must license same-sex marriages. Many people heralded this decision as an historic win for equality and freedom. While that claim may have philosophical merit, the decision is a radical departure from the Supreme Court’s usual legal analysis. And the underlying reasoning may affect much more than marriage. This ruling may guide the Court to strike down Texas’s new abortion restrictions, effectively keeping open dozens of abortion clinics that would have otherwise shut down.
International Trade and America’s First Freedom
By Sam Webb
Religious liberty is “the condition in which individuals or groups are permitted without restraint to assent to and, within limits, to express and act upon religious convictions and identity free of coercive interference or penalty imposed by outsiders, including the state.” The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta was June 15, 2015, and Magna Carta set forth, for the first time in Western law, the revolutionary idea that all people are subject to the rule of law. Magna Carta propounded 63 distinct liberties, first of which was the freedom of the English Church: “In the first place we grant to God and confirm by this our present charter for ourselves and our heirs in perpetuity that the English Church is to be free and to have all its rights fully and its liberties entirely.”

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