Think I Can Afford to Splurge a Little

By that I mean that I can probably afford to do the stuff that normal people take for granted. It is going to be necessary to stay on budget, but the worst part of it is over. I had to cut a lot of corners to get in this house. It is not a big house and it does not sit on much land, but it is my house. At least it will be once I pay the bank. I was looking at direct tv packages today. Right now I am not getting any channels except the ones that come over the air. It is not the greatest thing, but we are obviously trying to get the place in our name. That is how you have to roll if you want to get to where you need to be. A house is a big step for us and we had to give up a lot of little things to get it in our name.

Of course we are in a much better place at this point in time and I am thinking that I can afford to let a bit of money go as easy. It was not as though I have not really sacrificed that much for the house. I am making about a quarter as much more now than I was when I saved up the money for the down payment on the house. It saved us a lot of money actually once we got in the place and now we have some money saved up. We have to pay about two thirds as much in a house payment as we were paying for rent on a one bedroom apartment before we moved here. That is the easy part of it, but you have to save up money for a rainy day too.

My Parents Will Need Some Home Care

We have started to work on figuring out how to take care of my Mom and Dad as they get older. My Dad is on dialysis and he needs a walker to get around. He goes to the kidney center three days a week and spends four hours at a time in. I have been talking to a place called WD home care in Los Angeles about what they will charge to have home visits for the two of them, mostly meaning my Mom. She is still able to get around just fine and she can still drive, although I admit that it can be pretty scary to watch her try to get around in traffic. She has been doing okay, but she has a whole lot of little things that need to be attended to. It is going to be hard to get her to allow a nurse into her home. She is really determined to hold onto her independence as long as she is able to do so. The good thing is that money is not a huge issue for the foreseeable future. Continue reading “My Parents Will Need Some Home Care”

Getting Healthier is Easier Than I Thought

I watch a lot of daytime television, and I kept seeing the same thing over and over. It is just not healthy to be overweight in today’s times, and it finally sunk in enough for me to want to get some help. I already knew that I did not have the willpower to do this on my own. If I did, I would not have been overweight in the first place. I remember one of the shows talking about Idealshape coupon codes. I liked the idea of Ideal Shape when I first heard about it, so I went online to see if I could find out more about it along with some information on coupon codes to help me with the initial cost.

I was really surprised to see just what all Ideal Shape has for people who want to get healthier. They don’t just sell shakes, which a lot of companies do. They also sell energy bars along with supplements and educational materials to help people finally get their health where it should be. I did not have very much motivation prior to this, because I just did not know better. Continue reading “Getting Healthier is Easier Than I Thought”

The Importance Of Training Videos

The way many people learn, either individually or for their business, will look a lot different today than it did some ten years ago, and that is largely due to the advance in technology.

Online learning and training is something that has grabbed the educational world by storm and allows people to learn new knowledge and skills from the comfort of their home or office.


In fact, many universities have already caught onto the amount of people enrolling on online courses and are looking to work with companies to help them offer courses online.

With ease of accessibility from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, people are able to benefit from a classroom environment remotely. All things like transport, accommodation and other costs are greatly reduced or eliminated with online video too.

Training videos are there to help grow individual knowledge and skill and can be learnt at their own pace, so regardless of whether the employee is a fast learner or like to take their time to absorb the message, they can do so in their own time.

When people can learn something in their own time and at their own pace, they tend to enjoy it more. And when they enjoy learning more, the message is better understood. A lot of people enjoy spending time on the internet too, so it makes sense to learn through video.

Businesses don’t just need to learn from other people’s videos, but they can also create training videos to help improve their credibility by helping other businesses and individuals. Training video production is something relatively easy-to-do, especially when left to the experts, but when you create them you will need to ensure that they not only look good quality but the content is of high-use too.

Growth within business is important and is what every company strives for and many companies can be held-back by the skill-set of their employees, making training videos even more important.  Make sure your business continues moving in the right direction by investing some time and money in training videos.

Watch Your Dreams Come To Fruition With These Affiliate Marketing Tips

3231330545_4489f5d5731Although people sometimes have trouble setting up affiliate programs, the process is not that difficult. Web referral tech has made great leaps in effectiveness and can bring ease and savings to your program. This article is meant to guide you through the process of beginning an internet marketing program with helpful tips and advice.

After you have established yourself as a money maker for your enlisted program, consider asking for a raise. If you utilize proper marketing techniques and generate enough revenue, the program you’re affiliated with will do anything to keep you as a partner, including giving you a raise.

Although most users react positively or not at all, full disclosure of the fact that you are posting affiliate links is usually required. When you’re honest good things come back to you, this is true with web marketing as well. If your visitors see that you are using affiliate marketing in a positive way, they will mostly respond in a positive way as well.

Keep your most profitable affiliates in your program. One thing that you will want to consider is to give your affiliates a review. Eliminate the affiliates that aren’t giving you results to open up your budget for ones that can.

Trying to be a “super” affiliate may be a mistake for many affiliate program members. Generally speaking, they attempt to sell more products than they can effectively promote, and ended dropping the ball on all of them. Remember that there is no such thing as maximum results. It’s best to take all the time necessarily to find the method that works for you.

You are going to want to make sure that you choose an affiliate that provides a diverse amount of payment options. There are companies that only pay out upon reaching a specific amount of money, but others will pay you for each transaction.

So called “secret links” can be a subtle, yet effective strategy. You can find techniques that let you put links in your text to affiliates without the links looking obvious. You should be up front when you are doing this. Tell your readers what the context of your link is so they will not be suspicious of its content.

A lot of people tend to unsubscribe eventually, and when that happens, you will need to look for new customers. In order to attract the attention of potential new customers from the very first moment they hear from you, you’ll need to have your best-performing emails on file.

Affiliates would do well to employ text services to help them earn commissions. This is a fairly new service, but many affiliates are using it to help promote products and keep their customer base informed of any new offers.

Make sure that the affiliate links on your site are related to the subject of your site. For example, if your blog is about sports, your customers want sports-related products. Do your best to select websites and products relevant to your theme. Visitors are most likely to shop at affiliates if the sites are related to the content on your site.

Choose the affiliates that are most likely to put you in front of your target audience. Advertising products that are a poor fit won’t do you any good; get products that your readers will want and they’ll appreciate it.

Affiliate Marketers

Ethical affiliate marketers don’t try to hide the fact that they are affiliate marketers. Be honest with your customers by listing your affiliations, and provide a clear statement about what your business is about. If visitors do not feel like you are being honest about the affiliations you are a part of, they can just click out of your site and buy straight from the merchant selling the product.

As with any business, the more you are familiar with internet marketing, the more successful you will be. You should have a high as possible rating on search engines. The higher your ranking, the more visibility your site will get, which leads to more money.

If you want to make a lot of money in your affiliate promotion venture, go for companies that convert customers easily. Use a one percent conversion ratio.

Marketing Program

You are probably beginning to understand that being involved in an affiliate marketing program is no longer as expensive or complex as it previously was. By using the tips offered in this article, you’ll be able to create a successful internet marketing program and keep your costs down.

High Risk Merchant Accounts and Your Business

Electronic transactions and merchant accounts are a major facet of business that new business owners, particularly those in a high risk sector, may not fully understand. It is without a doubt one of the most important aspects of commerce—and you must know how it works. For small businesses and start-ups you’re already walking on a knife’s edge; there’s so little margin for error. High risk industries are cut-throat, competitive and prone to obstacles that can break you. Here is a breakdown to answer all your questions about high risk merchant accounts.

What is a High Risk Merchant Account?

A high risk merchant account is your business’ gateway to accepting electronic transactions. To accept credit and debit accounts you need to open a merchant account. Most standard commercial businesses will open a merchant account with a bank or traditional financial institution. Yet, banks and financial institutions are hesitant to open a merchant account for businesses that are in a ‘high risk’ industry.

Why Don’t Banks Support High Risk Merchant Accounts?

Banks don’t support high risk merchant accounts because of the risk. There are two primary risks that banks and institutions examine when they consider opening a merchant account for your business: financial risk and reputation risk.

Financial risk is an analysis of the viability of your business. A bank will examine your financial history, your business plan, credit history, and your chargeback rate. Chargeback rates will be put under a microscope as the high risk sector is characterized by high chargeback rates, which will hurt the bank each time one occurs. An example of a high risk business that can create an onslaught of chargebacks is penny auctions. Customers who are unhappy they didn’t win the auction or those who don’t understand how penny auctions operate may try to cancel the transaction, thus creating a chargeback.

Reputation risk is another major consideration for banks. Banks do not want to be associated with a merchant in a sector that is unseemly or represents a legal risk. An example of the latter is medical marijuana. In states where there’s still a gray area regarding State and Federal laws for marijuana, banks will not run the risk of being prosecuted as an accessory to an illegal dispensary.

What are the Differences Between a Merchant Account and a High Risk Merchant Account?

The first and most obvious difference is who actually operates your merchant account. The majority of high risk merchant accounts are opened by banks overseas that are not inhibited by US law and less scrupulous of the risks mentioned above. Of course, due to the international nature and the risks involved in an overseas bank account, rates are considerably higher than normal merchant accounts. Also, there may be chargeback penalties to encourage productive management of your chargeback rates.

Some online, high risk merchant accounts will create contracts that could be damaging to your business. When opening a high risk merchant account, take care when you pick your merchant services provider.

Does my Business Need a High Risk Merchant Account?

The quick answer is it depends on what business you’re in. High risk sectors are typically anything related to adult content, debt collection, firearms, e-cigarettes, marijuana dispensaries, and any credit-repair or bad credit business. These industries are almost a lock for the ‘high risk’ tag.

The other way to find out if you need one is to apply with banks. If the banks won’t open a merchant account for you due to the risks involved for them, it’s a good bet you’re going to be forced to do business elsewhere.

Being in a high risk business often means you’re in a lucrative business. There is no reason to be extra-fearful of opening a high risk merchant account. The majority of high risk merchant services providers are legitimate businesses interested in the potential of your high risk business. Once you have a fundamental, easy understanding of how high risk merchant accounts look and operate, setting one up for your business should be straightforward.


Invesments: The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself

The average for disposable personal income rose in February 2014, by 0.3 percent or $42.3 billion dollars according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. This news would suggest that Americans have more money available to invest and put aside in to their respective rainy day funds. However, the rate of savings in this country is at the midpoint of other developed countries. What may be worse for the financial security of the nation, is those individuals with higher personal incomes and wealth spend more and save less.

Understanding how investing works, and why it is important to incorporate into your financial life, will help you yield the best gift that you can give yourself: a more secure financial future. Making your money work for you by foregoing expensive purchases and frivolous buys and focusing on financing you future needs will result in you having the money you need, when you need it, to make easier such needs as retirement, funding a child’s college education, and purchasing a home.

Understanding Investments and the Cost of Not Investing

Inflation means that one dollar today will be worth less in the future, once you factor in inflation. Inflation works to effectively erode the purchasing power of your money, making it worth less over time. Put in other words, the amount of goods and services that a dollar can buy today will be less in the future. This of course should be of no surprise to you. Each year that you work, you expect (or anticipate) that you will receive a raise that is at least equal to the cost of living, a measure of inflation. As prices go up if your salary does not increase, the amount of goods and services you buy will become more expensive.

Investing is a good way to help your money grow at a rate that is in line with inflation. Unfortunately, the approach of many Americans is to invest results in low risk ventures, foregoing potentially higher returns by taking on more risk. What is a better place for your money, an investment in a safe, guaranteed U.S. government bond or newly launched tech stock? The investment choice you make says a lot about your investment style and aversion to risk. Gaining a better understanding of how investing works and how to take appropriate risks will only benefit you in the long-run.

Paying Yourself First

There is an old expression in investing circles that goes you have to pay yourself first before you pay others. What this refers to is the process of accumulating wealth by setting aside some predetermined amount of what you earn on a periodic and consistent basis. This set aside should be placed in a structured portfolio of different types of investment assets designed to meet your short, medium, and long range investment goals and objectives.Begin with a Plan

Investing starts with a plan – begin with the end in mind. This is accomplished by creating a financial plan to act as a blueprint. This plan will help you clarify your goals and give you a vision of what may come of your efforts through a systematic and disciplined investment program. Without a plan, it is too easy to become distracted and either abandon the plan when the market is more volatile, or lose focus and jump between investments and miss on potential returns. Establish a plan and begin the process of paying yourself in order to reap bigger gifts in the future.

This article was written by Richard Craft, an MBA student who hopes to help you with your finances. He writes this on behalf of US Emerald Energy, your number one choice when looking for help with learning how to invest in oil wells. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!

The Return of the American Factory: List of Companies That Are Bringing Home Their Manufacturing

There was a time when the phrase “Made in the USA” applied to almost every product put out on store shelves in the United States. That was when the economy centered around the USA and the nation was the leading importer and exporter of goods and services. Nowadays, however, those days can be a fuzzy memory. Products tout their American manufacture as a special designation, and it’s been a general complaint that traditionally US-based jobs have gone to support foreign economies.

Outsourcing, or sending jobs overseas to save on the cost of wages and manufacturing, picked up pace in the late 1970s and really gained momentum in the 1990s. As economies in countries like China and India began a period of explosive growth, American jobs slowly trickled overseas and left people wondering where their “Made in the USA” products had gone. Luckily, times are beginning to change. The jobs are coming back. But why?

Coming Home to America

In the late 1990s, companies added two jobs at home for every job sent overseas. By the next decade, that ratio slipped just under 1:1. There were 2.4 million jobs added overseas and 2.9 million cut back home. As investors pressured companies to cut costs and bring back higher profits, the pace picked up. As the numbers indicate, such a vast amount of outsourcing was detrimental to the American employment rate.

But something has changed in the past few years. Many of these same companies are finding out there really is no place like home. A fact sheet released in 2012 suggested companies were coming back from overseas for the same reasons many of these firms left the United States in the first place. As wages rose in the USA, companies looked for places where these same jobs could be performed for much less. As wages in foreign countries rise and US wages stagnate, it makes sense for businesses to bring their manufacturing back to the home shore.

Companies Doing Their Part

The nation’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, has committed to bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in manufacturing back to the USA through production agreements with some of the companies that make Wal-Mart’s in-store products. A Washington Post article stated Kent Bicycles would build a plant in South Carolina after being overseas with its production since the 1990s. As there are increasingly numerous incentives to return, such as tax breaks, companies eager to find ways to save money are doing their part to “get a piece of the pie.”

Car manufacturers such as General Motors and Ford have opened up shop at some plants long closed or converted into other uses. Forbes published an article predicting the end of Chinese manufacturing, asserting that one million robots would be added to plants over several years’ time because Chinese labor had gotten too bloated and expensive.

Tesla, makers of an in-demand fully electric car, have manufactured all of their vehicles in the tech-rich Silicon Valley area of California outside San Francisco. This is in part due to Tesla being founded in San Carlos, so one could say that Tesla is staying true to its West Coast roots. Their development facility employs 350 workers, with the possibility of going up to 650 if demand warrants.

Companies such as Caterpillar, whose industrial equipment employed many in the “Rust Belt” of Illinois, Iowa and Michigan, are coming back to find jobs that cost less for the company and offer fewer benefits. Instead of returning to jobs in the Midwest, however, Caterpillar is relocating to states such as Texas and South Carolina. The corporate tax environments there are friendlier than others. Illinois in particular is having trouble attracting job creators due to higher taxes and higher regulations, whereas southern states are using less regulation and lower taxes to attract business.

A Trend, or Something Else?

Time will tell if this is merely a cycle or the beginning of a new manufacturing era. Basic competition is the name of the game, and the pendulum has swung back to the US because of the hardworking sensibilities of American citizens. As the face of the world economy continues to grow and change, the return of the American worker will prove a force in creating jobs at home, strengthening the US economy and creating safe products that people want to buy.

This article was written by Richard Craft, an MBA student who hopes to help you understand economics and business. He writes this on behalf of Workhorse Power, your number one choice when looking for manufacturing products to help you with your projects. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!

Success Is Around The Corner: Affiliate Marketing Advice That Works

14155344855_a0dbbdf2d0This stage is the perfect time to do it. This article can answer questions you may have on how to get started. Listed below are some tips that can help you with your affiliate promotion aspirations.

Do not take advantage of these cookies, and don’t allow your affiliate partners to do so. When visitors discover such exploits, they will at the very least be angry with the exploiter. At worst, it may lose important information or transmit viruses and malware.

Disclosing your use of online marketing will let you know if it influences your readers in a positive way. Honesty is still the best policy, even when it comes to online marketing. Providing an explanation for the marketing you use will make your users more likely to check out the links you offer.

Make sure to go into partnerships with affiliates who offer the products and services you’re looking to sell. Getting agreements executed with several affiliate companies gives you a wide variety of products and services to sell, bringing you many income streams. Do some research before you accept an affiliate to ensure that you feel comfortable promoting them.

You may not want to market things that are considered to be the hottest products. Quality is important, but you must recognize the quality product can be something that isn’t necessarily extremely popular. On top of that, you run the risk of facing still competition. You may be unable to make any money.

Many marketers work too hard to be a “super” affiliate. They end up spreading their efforts too thin, with an overload of products and promotions that end up being much less than effective in the highly competitive affiliate market. Remember that maximum results are very individual, and you need not always push so hard to try and compete. Once you find the approach that works for you, you can make a lot of money in affiliate marketing.

As far as getting your hands on the money is concerned, it is best to select an affiliate company which offers multiple payment options. While some companies send money right to your bank or use e-wallet alternatives, others just send a paper check once you hit the payout threshold.

Affiliates need to apply text services that can help them gain additional commissions. Although this is a new service, many affiliates are already using it to communicate with customers as well as promote new affiliate offers and products.

Affiliates Happy

You should only work with affiliate companies that pay a fair wage. You should not partner with a company who is offering a commission that is less than 20% for items sold. A good affiliate company knows that a higher commission will keep their best affiliates happy, and that keeping their affiliates happy is necessary to good business.

Do what you can to get your readers to trust you. If you have people that like you and the content of your website, they will help you out. They will click on your referral links more often, and chances are they will buy some of the products that you are promoting.

Disclose your affiliations to your readers. They will feel that you are more trustworthy. This is the beginning of a relationship that may lead to more sales.

Once you have made your decisions regarding affiliate products you wish to sell, you should focus your marketing campaign on the correct target audience. If selling cheaper products, you can probably make decent money if you can attract a high volume of traffic, even if their click-through ratio is low. Products that are more expensive need more focused selling techniques. These products will have a larger number of visitors than actual customers.

To earn more money via affiliate marketing, enhance your product review by including enticements such as screenshots and videos. This will bring more viewers who will want to see, and purchase, your product. Additionally, make sure that your review is as specific as possible. People researching a product want to know as much about it as they can before investing their money.

Affiliate Promotion Plan

You should feel much more confident when you sit down to create your affiliate promotion plan. When you enter the internet marketing arena with an arsenal of advice, you are already on your way to success. The information given here can lead you in the right direction in terms of a successful affiliate promotion plan.

You Can’t Go Wrong With These Affiliate Marketing Tips!

10334192434_84eba9d37aYou can use online marketing to generate extra revenue for your online business. You must be knowledgeable of certain aspects of web marketing to be successful. The information in this article can help you see tips helpful to other successful affiliates.

Try to see how affiliated companies track outside orders. You should ensure that your affiliates have a tracking a method of tracking orders that are not placed online to ensure your commission payments.

A lot of people receive their tasks through email, which can waste time if handled poorly. One way to save time is to copy the information from the emails and place them into a Notepad document. Instead of having to go back and check your mail, you can simply reference your Notepad.

Great advice for making the most of your web marketing efforts is to locate companies that are producing products on a continuous basis. Join a reliable company that has multiple products for great repeated business. There are always some products whose sales shoot up and dazzle briefly, but they fade out before long–and your commissions will also.

Eventually, many will discontinue their subscriptions, and it will be necessary to recruit new prospects. To get yourself new customers, send out your best e-mail formats to attract them via first contact.

Employing a text service to help earn commissions is an excellent tool for affiliates. Potential buyers are already being reached by a multitude of affiliates who employ the new versions of text services.

It’s no secret that affiliate programs differ. The options to consider vary among each one as well.

Affiliate websites can often differ in quality. Some of these type websites tend to be complicated and hard to navigate. Obviously this is not desirable, but a proactive, profit-seeking website manager won’t be impeded by a low-quality affiliate website. This is very helpful because it encourages people to buy your product, and it builds trust.

If you really want to get the most income from affiliate promotion, you will need to pay for some advertising, such as using Google Ads. Purchasing keyword-driven advertising doesn’t just send traffic to your website, it sends prospective customers who have already shown they are interested in the keyword.

Engage in affiliate promotion in a clear and honest manner. Inform them about your affiliations and give them some idea of the purpose of your website. If visitors sense dishonesty about your affiliations with the retailer of the product they wish to purchase, they will just pass you up and purchase directly from the merchant.

Be sure to choose companies that have high conversion ratios, when it comes to sales, in order for you to get the best from your affiliate program. If you use 1% of sales to visitors as a benchmark for conversion, that should be acceptable.

Explain to your readers why your affiliates are a good fit for you and for them. Being honest like this helps readers feel that they can trust you.

Make sure you attract a good audience for the products you sell with affiliate partners. If you have an inexpensive product, you can get by with a high-volume approach with low click-through. The pricier products especially require this thoughtful approach appealing to a clear, specific need. This will help turn visitors into customers for these high-priced products.

Craft your newsletter well, so people will want to become a part of your mailing list. Several years ago, people used to love getting emails. Nowadays, people are weary of the constant stream of spam, so you have to make sure that your newsletter is something they genuinely want to see.

Acquiring numerous high quality backlinks to your site is perhaps a vital part of affilate marketing. When creating backlinks, however, take care not to deceive internet users. If you put a link up that says where it is going make sure it goes there! Although you might think your strategy is clever, page mismatch could remove trust from visitors.

Employ positive language at every opportunity when you create content for affiliate promotion. You should avoid any wording that has a negative slant, such as “do not miss this opportunity” or “do not worry.”

Always try to come across as a legitimate business in your affiliate marketing campaign. Make sure the links are not too obvious. Do this the right way and your customers will view your role as more than that of an affiliate.

When you are using affiliate promotion, it is important that you can vouch your product. You can demonstrate your product’s usefulness by submitting informational material and reviews to directories and blogs. There are countless forums that you can join to discuss the product and promote it. When you post online, include a link to your affiliate marketing so that the readers are able to make a purchase.

100% Commission

Not every company that says they offer 100% commission is a scam. Do some research and read all the fine print before dismissing the program. Some companies do this for the reason that they only compensate you on the initial sale, not the subsequent subscription. The right 100% commission offer can make you a lot of money, so don’t just pass on them without investigating.

One way to boost your affiliate promotion commission is through contests. This encourages repeat visits as people check to see what you are offering next. It also creates excellent word-of-mouth advertising if your prizes or contests are exciting enough.

With this article, we hope you have learned how you can start or enhance your affiliate program to increase your bottom line. Always take some time to read the up-to-date information about marketing to make sure that you can achieve the best results. In addition to the products or services already being provided on your website, internet marketing can be used to earn some additional income. Twice as nice! “

Negative Space: Why Nothing At All Is (Sometimes) Better

Believe it or not, leaving empty space in your design is as important as text, images or you actual logo design to your website design or business card. This lack of content, known as negative or white space, can serve both function and format purposes. Thoughtful use of white space helps your logo, business cards and website look more professional and polished.


What is negative space?

You’re probably already familiar with white space, which doesn’t actually have to be white like the name suggests. And it frequently isn’t when it comes to Web design. Think of an optical illusion where the colored or black portion suggests a different image than the blank space around the object. This use of white space obviously has a purpose, and while your logo or website design won’t necessarily be an optical design, you can see how this becomes a useful element and not just an “empty” space.

Negative space also helps to define elements. When it comes to website design, negative space might help to frame blog posts or separate the header, footer, sidebar and main section. This is especially important for websites with large amounts of text because negative space helps reduce strain on the reader’s eye. White space between quotes and images and around text headings is also necessary to break up large chunks or text and add non-text elements without decreasing visibility.

However, even small white space counts as useful negative space. For example, the same between your letters and lines (line height) can help or impede your design. In smaller designs, including logos and business cards, improperly-spaced words don’t look like themselves. Imagine an instance where the lowercase letter “r” displayed twice. Without the proper white space, those letters squish together and look like an “m.”

For another example, think about Design Spinners. Their business card might use the catchphrase “logo design Los Angeles.” But if there isn’t enough white space, “Los” might look like “BS,” and nobody wants that! Obviously, logo negative space is important.

White Space in Dark Places

As we mentioned, negative/white space doesn’t have to be white; although, it is more often than not. If you’re working with a Web design or even a business card with a dark background, you’ll have to treat negative space a little differently. In general, increase negative space as much as possible to create a more comfortable environment for your reader. This includes:

  • Font site
  • Space between letters and words
  • Line height
  • Padding around images, links, quotes
  • Padding around blocks of text

If you’ve never given it a second though or you’re accustomed to looking at your own site, you might not realize how shocking it can be to the visitor’s eyes to go from a white Web to your site or blog. Working with font colors that have less contrast than white on black also helps to increase readability.

White space in logo design helps your logo feel clean and free of clutter, which is important if you plan to use it in a variety of sizes.

Design Spinners is a logo design Los Angeles businesses frequently use to create professional logos.

Location, Location, Location: Where Your Business Matters

Finding the right location for your company can make a drastic difference in your sales, visibility, and the overall success of your business. It is important to search around for the right location in order to maximize your potential success. Correct planning and research may help you find the right location in order to grow your company.

Understanding Your Business Needs

One of the key elements in finding a location is understanding your business needs as far as space is concerned. While you want to find a location that provides exposure to your customers, there are other factors to consider which have a great impact on your sales. Are you setting up shop too close to your competitors? Is your business in an easy to access area for your suppliers? Does the area have a large pool of potential employees? Are you selecting a location that is safe for your employees and customers? Does your company have specific zoning requirements it must meet to comply with city ordinances? Is there enough parking available, can your customers easily find you? These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself and your Realtor while exploring potential locations.

Learning About What the Customer Needs

A business needs to understand their customers before they choose to set up shop if they want to be successful. If you run a day-care center, you will want to find a location near younger families rather than nearby a retirement center. It is important to know what your customers need and expect, and where to be located in order to address those needs.

Financial Considerations

A major element in selecting a location will come down to your financial needs. Can you afford a large or small office location? Knowing what you can afford and what type of space you require is vital to becoming successful. There are additional hidden costs you must consider as you evaluate where you want to establish your new business. Will you have money to pay for upgrades? Can you afford the sales tax rates? Every company will have different financial obligations, but your location may impact how high these operating costs are.


Compare different locations you are interested in and determine how visible they are to potential customers. Are the customers able to clearly see your store, and know what products or services you offer when they are driving by? Is your storefront easy to recognize? You should focus on making it easy for the customers to find and access your business in order to become successful as you can. Visibility is a key component, and often the first step towards effective marketing.

Business Friendly

As you scout different locations for your company, always consider the area and if they are friendly to businesses. Some neighborhoods are strict about residential and commercial zoning. Some have limits on the type of businesses allowed within city limits. Look for a town that values your particular businesses and will welcome its addition to the community. Talk to other owners, co-tenants, and potential customers nearby to find out if they like the idea of your company, and if they would support you. Finding the right location to run your business will make you more successful in the long-run.

This article was written by Richard Craft, an MBA student who hopes to help you with your business. He writes this on behalf of Saxe McQuain, your number one choice when looking for professional Houston commercial real estate brokers. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!

Waiting in Hope

So the groundhog has seen his shadow and that means we hunker down for another six weeks of winter. For us here in the Midwest it’s been a polar vortex winter: bitter cold the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades. Another six weeks of cold and snow? Many can’t wait for spring and along with it sun and warmth.

In life there are often seasons of waiting and hoping. The cold cruelties of life chill our spirit. It feels as though our faith goes into hibernation. Where is joy to warm our hearts? Still, we don’t give up hope because just as surely as spring follows winter, when God speaks his Word hope revives.

Are you in a “polar vortex” of pain and despair? Does it seem as though God has gone into hibernation and doesn’t care about your life? Hear God speak to revive your faith:

“Through [Christ] we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:2-5)

Do you want to be close to God so that he can warm your heart during your time of waiting in the winter of sin and guilt? Then remember your baptism for it is there that the Holy Spirit took up residence in your heart. Hear a sermon because through God’s preached Word our heavenly Father puts hope in our hearts. Receive Holy Communion because under the bread and wine Jesus is truly present to “strengthen and preserve you in body and soul to life everlasting” through this salutary gift.

“How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.” – Hosea 11:8

+ Pr. Jim Schulz

The Light Shines in the Darkness – Matthew 4:12-17

Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
    the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people dwelling in darkness
    have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
    on them a light has dawned.”

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 4:12-17

It is significant that Jesus’ public ministry began in the land of Galilee, a land of heathenism and unbelief, a land of spiritual darkness, a land of sinners. Modern marketing experts might dare to tell us that Jesus should have gone to a place where people would be more receptive to the Word of God. But then God’s ways are not our ways, are they? So Jesus began telling people the good news of the kingdom of God in – humanly speaking – the worst possible place to begin mission work. He preached to those who didn’t “deserve” God’s love. And his message was not exactly inviting. It was an in-your-face “repent, sinners, the kingdom is near!” This tells us a lot about the purpose of the gospel and the people it is for. Jesus came to sinners with a message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Jesus withdrew into Galilee after John the Baptist was put into prison. It was the domain of King Herod who eventually beheaded John the Baptist. It was a land of demon possession, a land of non-Jewish people – the Gentiles, a land described by the prophet Isaiah where the people  were “dwelling in darkness, a region and shadow of death.”

How did Galilee become such a dark place? From history we know that this area of the Northern tribes changed dramatically when it was conquered by the Assyrians around 700 years before Jesus was born. The Assyrians took the best and brightest from the land and hauled them away to be used like slaves. In exchange, they settled people from their own land. These people were unbelievers, steeped in the darkness of worship of strange gods. Heathen Gentiles and hard-hearted Jews blended together to create a land of pitch dark unbelief. A land were people lived for themselves without the hope of eternal life.

Our land is not so far off from ancient Israel. Paul once wrote to the Romans words which could very well apply to our land today. He said, “…although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” This is our land, is it not? A land where a woman can abort her child on demand. A land where two people of the same sex can be married. A land where children murder children, a land devoted to carnal pleasures which are destroying families and friendships.

We are aware of this, of course. But let us not only point fingers at the big bad world out there. Because we could just as easily fall back into that darkness. Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature, and following its desires and thoughts”(2:3). And so John warns us in his first epistle: “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” (1:6) So, be on your guard against society’s slide into the darkness of sin. Speak out against abortion on demand and gay marriage. But also be aware of what motivates society’s slide into darkness. It’s the first sin, the sin that still resides in each of our hearts, the sin against the first commandment: “I want to be god. I want what makes my body happy. I want to satisfy my carnal pleasures and find self-esteem in the world’s definition of success and achievement.”

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us acknowledge that except by the grace of God we would slide into the darkness of sin and unbelief, if left to our own sinful desires. Let us acknowledge sin in our hearts that it may be forgiven and our minds renewed in the light of God’s will and promises. Let us heed what Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light…Have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness” (5:8-14).

This was Jesus’ message. The darkness is so great, but into this land of darkness a great light shines. Matthew says in his Gospel: “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.’” The greatest need people have in this life is to know that they need to repent of their sin. Forgiveness doesn’t mean much to anyone unless you realize first the depth of your sin. Everyone has that hard-wired into their conscience. Did you ever notice that when a “primitive” tribe is found living in the Amazon River rain forest or the jungles of Africa, – a place where modern civilization has not influenced the people with its culture or traditions or religion—the people always wear loin cloths and worship idols? Who told them that? Who told them they were naked and needed to cover themselves? Why do they have a desire to appease a Supreme Being? It’s because everyone is born with shame and a need to appease God.

We – all people – need the good news of the free and faithful love of God found in his forgiveness in Christ. That is what the kingdom of heaven is all about. It’s about repentance for the forgiveness of sin. It’s about a God who loves the world, who loves you, so much that he gave his Son to atone for your sin, for your dark deeds. Jesus preached about that when he preached the good news of the kingdom of heaven. He told stories about a son that was lost and came home to the open arms of a loving Father. He told the people that the his kingdom was not far away because it was within them through faith. He would tell those who were paralyzed by sin, those who had adulterated their lives with transgressions against God, those who were blind to God’s will, those who were leprous from the effects of sin in the world and their own actions, he would tell them of his Father’s healing, curing, enlightening love shown in his Son’s life and death on their behalf. The placard over his head on the cross would ring true: Jesus is the King and his kingdom is ushered in by his death on the cross. And by rising from the grave he would conquer death itself. Those who believe in him, repenting of their sins, would receive his forgiveness and the hope of eternal life because he would say as he did to Martha at her brother’s funeral: “he who believes in me will never die” (John 11;26).

Someone once said, “Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, ‘you owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.” The light of the world has come into your world of darkness. Jesus came to sinners with a message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

+ Pr. Jim Schulz

I will come to you

On the night he was betrayed, Jesus told his disciples: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). Jesus gave his disciples a source of hope when they would need it most. In just a few hours they would see Jesus suffer and die for crimes he hadn’t committed. But instead of helping him, rescuing him, speaking up for him, they ran away, saved their own skin; one of them even swore that he never knew Jesus. Jesus’ promise to come to his disciples like a loving parent who cares for his children would restore them when they felt as though they deserved to be disinherited from the family of faith.

Jesus promises us the same. We need hope to know that Jesus will not leave us, but will come to us even though we have betrayed and denied him as our Lord and Savior. After we sin, Jesus brings us to repentance and a remembrance of his promise to come to us with loving care as a good parent would. He comes to us with his pardoning love when he speaks a word of forgiveness through his servants of the Word. He makes us one with himself as we receive his very body and blood in Holy Communion and with his body and blood the forgiveness he won by his death on the cross. As much as his body is alive today, so like a vine to the branches so the life of Jesus in the living Word and Sacraments enters our lives to give us eternal life.

You are not alone. Jesus will not leave you as orphans. He comes to you whenever his Word and Sacraments are offered. And just as surely as the promise of his presence is fulfilled in that way, so his promise to come again on the Last Day will come true.

Amen! Come Lord Jesus!

+ Pr. Jim Schulz

God is Known

St. Paul once addressed a group of people in a marketplace in Athens who seemed very certain about their relationship with God, but were in reality very confused. These people were religious, but not spiritual. They didn’t know what to do about knowing the one true God and so they covered their bases by worshiping many gods. In fact, they even set up a monument to “The Unknown God.”

For what was to become a strategic event for the spread of the gospel among the gentiles, it is interesting to note that Paul was in Athens in the Areopagus more by accident than by his own missionary plan. Luke tells us the account in Acts (17:10-34) that Paul had recently been driven from Berea to Athens because of persecution and was waiting for Timothy and Silas to catch up with him. Notice that’s how the Church grew in the early days: by persecution. Paul simply preached the Word wherever he went—and usually starting where there were believers gathered together as a local congregation. When he was in Athens, he went to the synagogues to talk about Jesus and he went to the marketplace or Areopagus, a 370-foot-high hill in Athens, Greece. The hill was the ancient meeting place of a court where murder and other capital crimes were tried. By Paul’s time, the Areopagus was a place to discuss philosophy and religion, and it was something the Athenians loved to do.

Some in the crowd were interested in what Paul had to say, so he addressed them by first complimenting them, “Men of Athens, I see that in every way you are very religious. However, it doesn’t seem like you’ve found the answer to all your questions about God because I see you’ve got this altar here with the words ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD’ on it.” Of course, that was a way to cover all the bases. It only goes to show that unless God reveals himself to you, you will never find him no matter how religious or spiritual you are.

The common catch phrase today is “I’m spiritual, not religious.” People care about the golden rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But we don’t want to get bogged down in the details of knowing and believing what God has said in his Word. Our society appears to be very spiritual, yet stumbles around for the truth. That doesn’t mean people are against looking religious. We have all the trappings of being very religious: “In God we trust” is on our coins. “Under God” is in the pledge of allegiance. We pray before civic and sporting events. But often the name of Jesus and the specific truths of his Word are absent. Many prayers and lives are offered to the idol “Unknown God.” Jesus once said: “The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him” (John 14:17).

It is a good thing God is patient with us. He patiently waits for us to repent and to listen in his Word to what he has done and promises. Paul told the Athenians that Jesus rose from the dead and is therefore the “Known God.” His resurrection is proof that sin has been atoned for and that through faith the last enemy death shall not have power over us. Because Jesus lives, you and I also shall live by faith.

I suppose the Athenians setting up an altar to an “unknown god” reflects a desire to be known by god. It is easy to think of ourselves as being “unknowns” – as having no value, cogs in a machine, numbers in a computer, faceless, nameless, unnoticed by the universe. No wonder we feel hopeless. What in the world could be more demotivating and discouraging than to think that nobody cares about you? Paul reminds us that Somebody in this universe not only notices us, but loves us and cares about us. We’re not merely a nameless, faceless blob of protoplasm taking up space in the universe. The God of the universe sees us and loves us. And just so he wants to be known, and wants us to know that we are known.

God does not make himself known through your emotions or reason. Some churches try to know God that way. That’s why drum kits and casual clergy have replaced altars and pulpits. The good news is “The Unknown God” is known through what is tangible, right here and now. God made himself known through Jesus who is God in the flesh. God makes himself known today through Jesus who comes to us through his Word and Sacraments. He’s known by what you can hear, touch, and taste: Word, water, wine, and wheat. Through the preached Word and the earthly elements of Baptism and Holy Communion God makes himself known and comes to us with his forgiveness, life and salvation. Through these means of grace we receive God himself and his gifts of grace. Let the devil have the things of this world, the idols of man’s making. In Christ through Word and Sacrament we live forever.

Today is festival of the Ascension of our Lord into heaven. Jesus has left us visibly, but he has not left us alone. He sends us his Holy Spirit when he gives us himself through his Word and Sacrament. And so he makes himself known that we might know him. Knowing him, we have real and lasting hope.

+ Pr. Jim Schulz

LC-MS Chartering Service, Sunday September 29th, 3:00 PM!

Rejoice with us! All systems are now “go” to receive our Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod charter, presented by Indiana District President Daniel May! The service will take place on Sunday, September 29th at 3:00 PM. Following the service there will be a free catered luncheon by Al Basha restaurant for a time of fellowship. You are welcome to join us as we give thanks to God for this milestone in the life of Divine Savior Lutheran Church! We are grateful for the opportunity to be a partner with the LC-MS in mission and ministry. Again, please note that the service will be at 3:00 PM. There will not be a service at 10:30 AM that Sunday.


“Lord, teach us to pray…” one of the disciples once asked Jesus (Luke 11:1).

How’s your prayer life as a follower of Jesus? Would you like a lesson in prayer? Pray the prayer our Lord taught his disciples, as Luther summarized it in the Small Catechism:


As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

The Introduction
Our Father who art in heaven.

What does this mean?
With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father.

The First Petition
Hallowed be Thy name.

What does this mean?
God’s name is certainly holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy among us also.

How is God’s name kept holy?
God’s name is kept holy when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we, as the children of God, also lead holy lives according to it. Help us to do this, dear Father in heaven! But anyone who teaches or lives contrary to God’s Word profanes the name of God among us. Protect us from this, heavenly Father!

The Second Petition
Thy kingdom come.

What does this mean?
The kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come to us also.

How does God’s kingdom come? God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity.

The Third Petition
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean?
The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.

How is God’s will done?
God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God’s name or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His Word and faith until we die. This is His good and gracious will.

The Fourth Petition
Give us this day our daily bread.

What does this mean?
God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily bread?
Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.

The Fifth Petition
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

What does this mean?
We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look at our sins, or deny our prayer because of them. We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment. So we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

The Sixth Petition
And lead us not into temptation.

What does this mean?
God tempts no one. We pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice. Although we are attacked by these things, we pray that we may finally overcome them and win the victory.

The Seventh Petition
But deliver us from evil.

What does this mean?
We pray in this petition, in summary, that our Father in heaven would rescue us from every evil of body and soul, possessions and reputation, and finally, when our last hour comes, give us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in heaven.

The Conclusion
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.* Amen.

What does this mean?
This means that I should be certain that these petitions are pleasing to our Father in heaven, and are heard by Him; for He Himself has commanded us to pray in this way and has promised to hear us. Amen, amen means “yes, yes, it shall be so.”

*These words were not in Luther’s Small Catechism.

From Luther’s Small Catechism © 1986 Concordia Publishing House,

Pastor’s Welcome


We are so glad you are visiting us today! Divine Savior is a congregation that offers all of God’s grace through Word and Sacrament. If you are looking for a church home, we would be happy to share with you what we have here at Divine Savior.

Divine Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church is a Christian church. A summary of what that means is that each of us at Divine Savior confesses to be….

…a CHRISTIAN: Someone who confesses Christ, true man and true God, as the Savior for the world,

…a LUTHERAN CHRISTIAN: Someone who professes to believe the Word of God as confessed in the Lutheran Confessions. Our congregation is affiliated with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

…a LUTHERAN CHURCH CHRISTIAN:  Someone who joins with other Lutheran Christians in confessing that the Word of God is the only guide for faith and life and that the Lutheran Confessions are a correct exposition of the Word of God,

…an EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH CHRISTIAN:  Someone who believes that the heart of the Bible is the good news: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

…a DIVINE SAVIOR EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH CHRISTIAN: A member of that group of evangelical Lutheran Christians who join to worship and carry out the Lord’s mission under the name Divine Savior.

If you have any questions or comments about our ministries, I am ready to listen and to help.

The Lord be with you.

Rev. James Schulz