Month: July 2014

Bless The Competition? (中文版, 助/祝競爭者成功?)

A few months ago, the shop next door started remodeling.  We are learning how to dream big dreams, so we started dreaming about what it would be like for a hotel to open.  We could make deals and get tons of new customers.  How exciting!  Then, we found out it was going to be a coffee shop.  They recently started opening and receiving customers.

My thought process in how to deal with this unexpected arrival has been interesting.

  1. At first, I was afraid.  I “knew” we were finished.  But God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear (1 Timothy 1:17), so I knew that was an illegal thought.
  2. Then, I started planning ways we could beat them with our competitive advantages.  I thought about all the new deals we could start or how we were positioned well in the market so that either way we would defeat them (Deuteronomy 20:1-4). But, then it hit me.
  3. The Bible says be a blessing.  It says “pray for the prosperity of the city, because if it prospers, you’ll prosper” (my paraphrase of Jeremiah 29:7).  This has been a huge transition for me from thinking of business being about beating others down to thinking of how the community can be blessed, even the competition.

So, I started sharing these thoughts with people around The Aroma and rather than being afraid of what might happen, we imagined what God wants to do.  He’s good.  All the time.

I know the race isn’t finished yet, but after shifting the way we prayed and thought, we had two days of packed business. Don’t let the world influence your thinking.  The Bible says “be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23).  “You can’t afford to have a thought in your head that’s not in God’s head” (Johnson), so let God renew your thinking.  Soon, you’ll be thinking the way He thinks: Heaven to Earth.

When you run into a situation, you have three choices: be afraid, beat, or bless.

幾個月前,馨香堂隔壁有一間店開始裝修。我們開始學習去想一些美好的計畫,所以我們開始想應該是一間旅館要開店,我們可以做一些促銷來吸引新顧客,想到便覺得振奮人心! 然後我們才發現那將會是一間咖啡店,最近開始營運也有顧客去消費。在我思考如何去面對這突如其來的競爭時,過程時相當有趣。

  1. 一開始我很害怕,我知道我們完蛋了。但是上帝不叫我們懼怕(提摩太前書1:17),所以我知道這是不對的想法。
  2. 然後我開始規劃如何運用我們的競爭優勢去擊敗他們,我開始想一些新點子或是我們在市場中的定位都足以擊敗對手(申命記20:1-4),但是擊敗對手的想法開始影響我。
  3. 聖經說成為一個祝福別人的人,意思是為這個城市的興盛禱告,因為城市興盛你也必興盛(耶利米書29:7的精簡版)。這對我是一個很大的轉變,從商業的角度思考如何擊敗對手,變成即使是面臨競爭的時後還不忘思索如何祝福這個社區。

所以我開始跟馨香堂的弟兄分享這些想法,與其害怕可能會發生的事,我們應該想神想要怎麼做。上帝一直是美善的。我知道這場比賽還沒比完,但是在改變我們的禱告方式與想法後,我們店裡連續兩天都是客滿,不要讓世界改變我們的想法。聖經說”要將你們的心志改換一新(以弗所書 4:23)”你沒辦法承擔不像上帝一樣思考的後果”(Johnson),所以讓上帝更新你的思考,很快的你會跟神想的一樣,行在地上如同行在天上。當面臨問題時,你有三種選擇:害怕,打擊或是協助/祝福。

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Pay Attention To Your Porn

Do you ever pay attention to what you feast your eyes on? What is it you find yourself looking at? What do you usually go back to? Whatever that is; that’s your porn. And it tells you a lot about who you are.

  1. Our obsession with bodies, pornography, is destroying us and our families.
  2. Our constant focus on things, materialism, is destroying our friendships and society.

We were made to worship, but when the object of our worship is something other than Jesus, we suffer, our family suffers, our friends suffer, our romantic relationships suffer, society suffers. Please, pay attention to your porn.