Can You Spare a Dime?

In a 1997 awards dinner speech, then Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen told a story about a trip that Henry Ford made to his Father's homeland of County Cork, Ireland. By this time Ford was millionaire, so he received celebrity treatment. He was also given plenty of opportunities to give to local charities. One of those charities was the construction of a local hospital, for which Ford pulled out his checkbook and stroked a check for $5000. Imagine his surprise the next morning when he picked up the local newspaper and the headline read, "Ford Contributes $50,000 Dollars for Construction of Local Hospital." The local officials were equally distraught. Upon seeing the headline, they rushed to where Ford was staying, hoping to reassure him. "Mr. Ford," they said, "we're terribly sorry. It wasn't our fault. It must have been a typographical error. We'll be happy to see to it that a retraction is printed in tomorrow's paper." Of course, Ford knew that it would be a PR disaster if the next day's headline were to read, "Ford Withdraws Donation." So he made them an offer. He said, "If you'll give me one wish, I'll give you the balance of $45,000. When the hospital is finished, I want to place a quote of my choice at the entrance." The townspeople agreed. A check was written, and when construction was completed a quote from the KJV translation of Matthew 25:25 was placed above the entrance-"I came to you as a stranger and you took me in." This morning we promise not to "take you in." But we will be reminding you that we want your donations for "At My Gate"-our effort to work with a local church in Uyo, Nigeria to provide aid to widows, orphans and the needy. I promise that we won't be adding any zeroes to your contribution. We will be happy for whatever you can give. This morning you'll get an update from one of our deacons, Inemesit Ekanem on what our funds are helping to accomplish in Nigeria. And I'm going to be sharing some scripture that, I hope, will help us get the bigger picture when it comes to our money and our giving. But that's not the only reason we're here. We're also gathering to celebrate how much God has given to us. We are incredibly blessed today. I hope you'll join men in offering up songs of praise and prayers of thanks to the One who has given us everything.