Apr 2018

The Hidden Red Eggs

Posted by / in Albania, Blog, issues of the day / No comments yet

Photo courtesy of: ΙΣΧΣΝΙΚΑ-888 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26070591

The Hidden Red Eggs

The little girl followed her grandmother into the hidden room. It was like a dungeon concealed in the rocks – a secret room – grandma’s prayer room. The little girl knew she was special – grandma’s favorite. She knew that grandma trusted her to keep the secret. The Secret? That grandma was a Christian who practiced her faith with the risk of being sent to prison or put to death. That was how it was during communism in Albania. Religion wasn’t tolerated.

The communists in the village would look for anyone practicing Christianity and tell the authorities. No one could be trusted. But in the hidden room, Grandma Kaliopi could pray and keep her faith. Most children were not told about the parents or grandparents’ practice of Christianity because they might accidentally slip and tell someone. But grandma trusted Majlinda, her favorite.

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Mar 2018

Is Marketing Biblical?

Posted by / in Blog, Business Principles, History, issues of the day, Marketing, Strategies That Bless / No comments yet

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

Posted by / in B4Blessing News, Blog, Business Principles, Strategies That Bless / No comments yet

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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Mar 2017

Albania, Land of the Eagles, Ancient Shqipëria: Lets do business

Posted by / in Albania, B4Blessing News, Blog, Business Principles, History, INVE$TING in the Kingdom, Nora's Adventures, Strategies That Bless / No comments yet


By: Nora Hughes

Albania swiss airThe first time I flew into Albania, the German engineer sitting next to me said, “the plane will circle a couple of times because the runway isn’t really a runway it’s a collection of paving tiles so the pilot has to find the best way to land.” Sure enough, that is what happened. I found myself in the poorest country I had ever seen. Everything was broken, factories were destroyed, nothing could be purchased, not even a jar of jam. The year was 1993 and Albania had just overthrown its oppressive communist government and hoped to have a democracy. Albania was the North Korea of Europe – a Xenophobic dictator, totally closed to the outside world.

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