Mar 2018

Hans Nielsen Hauge, Apostle of Norway

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Dr. Nora Hughes

Who is this guy? I’ve never heard of him and he has such a funny name: Hans Nielsen Hauge. I’m not even sure how to pronounce it. You say he started more than 30 businesses? And he was a preacher? AND he was in prison? Who could do all that?  OK, tell me his story.

Hans – lets just call him Hans for short – lived in the late 1800s in what is now Norway. However, Norway had been taken over by Denmark and wasn’t even a country anymore. Denmark was Christian – sorta. Christianity was the state religion and controlled by the Danish King.  To be a pastor you had to go through the proper schools and be appointed by the government. If you didn’t follow the rules: prison.

Hans didn’t follow the rules.

He was a farm boy from a family of strong bible-believing Christians. His parents had family bible time every day.

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Mar 2018

Is Marketing Biblical?

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Excerpts From our Marketing Workbook

Build it and they will come 

Field of Dreams is a 1989 movie in which a farmer hears a voice saying, “Build it and they will come”. So he plows up his field of corn and builds a baseball diamond. Because this is a movie and not reality, a long-dead baseball hero, Shoeless Joe, turns up and everyone comes to play baseball.

That’s how we often look at building a business. If we have a product, surely everyone will see the need for that product. If I build it, they will come and buy it. So we fire off our baseballs assuming we have a hit but find we aren’t even in the ballpark. We are disappointed.

Christians sometimes have a fundamental biblical issue with marketing because much of the marketing in the world’s business system is pure puffery and lies. Will that diet drink really allow me to lose 15 pounds or KGs in 2 weeks? Will that new car really make me so happy that I will never worry about the payments? Marketing often seems like the devil’s lie, but when I build it, they don’t come. So what do I do?

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Feb 2018

From Ordinary Business to Extraordinary Purpose

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From Ordinary Business to Extraordinary Purpose

Our small band of fourteen Singapore business people made their way to the Philippines, not sure what God would do with them, but excited to find out. Having breakfast together at the Singapore Airport we were all a bit nervous. This was the first time for many to speak to other business people about doing business biblically.

I was one of the 14, even though I have moved back to the US. (I love being an honorary Singaporean.) We were all part of Covenant Church in Singapore, moving in faith to see what God could do with ordinary business people sharing His love and the ways of biblical business. Only about 15% of Singaporeans are Christian, but they “punch above their weight” in their influence in the surrounding countries. Much like Antioch in the Bible.

Our Fearless Leader was Matthew Kok, a banker. He’s led this process in Covenant for several years and is gifted in his ability both to organize and to speak clearly about business.

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Feb 2018

The Big Guys Help The Little Guys

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We’re a Little Guy.

B4B is not among the big movers and shakers of the world of business. 

 But, wanting to do things right, we applied to the US Patent and Trademark Office for a Trademark for our B4B logo. The examiner, though a Nice Guy, turned us down saying there was a Big Guy that we would be confused with. You see, the law is that B4B could have the same trademark if we were in completely different areas of business. The Big Guy held the trademark for the words/number B4B and the trademark examiner thought there was “a likelihood of confusion” between our businesses. I wasn’t so sure. My competitor for the trademark is a financial institution that earned about 34 Billion annually, with pre-tax profit of about 8 Billion. Yep, that’s Billion with a B – clearly a really Big Guy.  We’re not in their league, though it is amusing that the trademark examiner thought B4B might be confused with this financial giant. Besides, B4B is our name, but their use of the trademark was a small part of what they do.

 Over a couple of years I filed numerous responses giving arguments as to why there really was no “likelihood of confusion” between us, but could not prevail. Finally, in desperation I sent a certified letter to the CEO of this Big Guy to see if he would help me.

 Within a day of receiving my letter his corporate attorney called me and offered to help. She wrote a legal brief, which we both signed, giving B4B the right to use the trademark with their blessing. I filed it with the US Patent and Trademark office.

 And so, B4B has a registered trademark. 

I would gladly give the Big Guy public credit, but they didn’t want it. So this is my small way of saying “Thank You”. It’s easy to see the faults of corporations, but a big blessing to see their compassion and willingness to help The Little Guy. And, of course, we know that our Father blesses us at just the time when we need it.


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Jan 2018

Mother’s Soup

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I struggled through the crowds and got off the Hong Kong MTR at Prince Edward Station as instructed. Finding exit C2, I came out to the street and walked the prescribed 50 meters down Prince Edward Street to number 100. There it was! My destination: Mother’s Soup. The automatic door opened and I saw the restaurant was full. No tables available, but my host, Ron Yu, waved me over to the table he had snagged for us. Ron had insisted that I meet him here for lunch. He wanted me to see for myself this special place.

As I sat down, Ron ordered lunch for us. The Mother’s Soup, for which the restaurant was named, turned out to be a good soup without any MSG. Additionally there was a full Chinese menu with great Chinese food. Ron began to tell me what was so special about this place that he wanted me to see it for myself. You see, Monday through Saturday it is a busy restaurant, but on Sunday the restaurant space turns into a church – a church for poor people called “Christ Transcending Poverty Church.”

With a break in the lunch rush, Carmen, the

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