News From All Corners

5 Social Security changes coming in 2015
By Emily Brandon, US News
Social Security recipients will receive 1.7 percent bigger checks in 2015, the Social Security Administration announced today. And some groups of workers will begin receiving benefit statements in the mail with a list of taxes paid and an estimate of their future retirement benefit. Here's a look at the new Social Security benefits, taxes and services workers and retirees will experience in 2015: Bigger payments. The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment is expected to result in the typical retiree getting about $22 more per month.
Free Shipping Is Going to Cost You More
By Laura Stevens And Shelly Banjo, The Wall Street Journal
Free shipping is getting more expensive. Retailers including Amazon.com Inc., Best Buy Co. and Gap Inc. are boosting the amount online shoppers must spend to qualify for free shipping, hoping to cover the growing cost of providing the perk. On average, a customer now has to spend $82 on merchandise to qualify for free shipping, based on July data from 113 major retailers—up from $76 the same month a year earlier, according to StellaService Inc., which collects data about online shopping.
Companies try to escape ObamaCare penalties
By Anna Wilde Mathews and Juile Jargon, The Wall Street Journal
With companies set to face fines next year for not complying with the new mandate to offer health insurance, some are pursuing strategies like enrolling employees in Medicaid to avoid penalties and hold down costs. The health law’s penalties, which can amount to about $2,000 per employee, were supposed to start this year, but the Obama administration delayed them until 2015, when they take effect for firms that employ at least 100 people.

Blogosphere

God and Business
By Gary Selman
What do you believe about the relationship between God, His Word, faith and work? Have you ever given it any thought? If you’re like most people, even Christians, the answer is probably no. Yet your deepest beliefs, understanding, core values and practices about faith and work have a profound influence on your daily work life. Your foundational beliefs and views on faith and work will determine if you pursue the divine calling God has placed in your heart (spirit). It will also determine the level of trust and reliance you have in God’s Word and your willingness to submit to and obey the Holy Spirit as He leads and guides you throughout the day, helping you to face challenges, make decisions, respond to problems, and interact with others.
Virus on the Page
By Douglas Gehrman
It was 1987, I was forty-seven years old, and I had just left my job at a struggling offshore drilling company. The slogan around the office was, “Fix it in 86 or Chapter 11 in 87.” 1986 had come and gone, and the future for the drilling industry still looked bleak. I began a new job as vice president of human resources with a mortgage company—the largest, privately-held mortgage company in Texas—which had recently been bought by a New York financial institution. The vision for the firm was national expansion, using the deep pockets in New York through its new ownership. I felt good about the opportunity and was optimistic about my future.
Do You Lead with Joy?
By Mike Bonem
“If ‘the joy of the Lord is your presence,’ then please inform your face!” Ellie Lofaro’s words resonated deeply with me as I listened to her keynote speech at the 2013 Christian Leadership Alliance conference. It raises a question for me and for you: Do we lead with joy? Leadership is hard work. Long hours, disappointing results, difficult decisions, and unseen obstacles are simply part of the journey for a leader. Leadership is also important work. In our churches and ministries, we have an opportunity to partner with God to make a profound difference in the lives of others. It’s a calling that we should take seriously. But does the seriousness of your calling keep you from smiling?

The Legal Corner

Uber-Capitalists and Food Trucks
By T. Kyle Bryant
The Houston political scene has seen its share of hot-button issues lately. In June, I wrote about the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which the City Council passed in May. In the intervening months, the City has undergone a public debate concerning two separate industries and whether to allow certain forms of competition in the marketplace. First, there’s the restaurant industry’s battle with Mobile Food Units (food trucks). As anyone who has lived in Houston for a while knows, food trucks have become increasingly popular in the last five years or so. These culinary caravans hop from spot to spot serving up interesting and unique food choices—mostly dishes that you can serve in a plastic bowl or in a paper bag. Food trucks must be permitted, inspected, and follow similar health regulations as brick and mortar restaurants. They are also subject to other requirements but generally permitted to serve food wherever they want—except for downtown, which boasts a bustling daytime population and, therefore, an opportunity for increased revenue for the food trucks.
The Increasing Vulnerability of Religious Liberty
By John Oliver Tyler
Two recent legal developments significantly impact Constitutional liberties. The first is the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision. The second is John Boehner's decision to sue Obama. Like Ulysses' Trojan horse, both developments appear to be victories for liberty. Beneath their surface, however, both developments carry significant threats to liberty, particularly religious liberty.

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