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Henry Ford gave away millions of dollars to many different causes in his lifetime, but he was notorious for the fact that he refused to give any money at all to schools. He felt that well-meaning but non-businesslike people frequently mishandled those gifts.

Now, there was a woman named Martha Berry who had begun a school in Mt. Berry, Georgia. She’d started the school because she was shocked to discover that many of rural children attended neither a church nor school and were unfamiliar with stories from the Bible. So she decided to start a school where the poor could learn to read and write and do arithmetic and to know basic Bible stories.

But she needed more money than she had.

Now, she was aware of the fact that Ford never gave money to schools but she went to him anyway and asked for an endowment. As expected, Ford refused.

So Miss Berry, said "Well, then, would you give me a dime to buy a sack of raw peanuts?"

Ford was a little taken back, and he asked why she wanted just a dime. She replied: "A dime is all I want, Mr. Ford, but I do want to show you what I can do with ten cents."

Berry returned to her school, and she and her students planted and replanted the peanuts. Then she sold the crop for $600 and took the money to Ford.

She stood face-to-face with Henry Ford, and said, "See how practical we are in the use of money at the Martha Berry School?"

Mr. Ford was so pleased with what she’d done, he gave Miss Berry the $600 back--and added $2 million to it. Martha Berry took the money and built the buildings that became Berry College in Mt. Berry, GA.

The difference between God and Henry Ford is -- God believes we are capable of making good use of what He’s given us. He believes in us, and He trusts us to be faithful. The question for us today: what have we done with the seed God gave us?

(Source: from a sermon by Jeff Strite, "Scattering the Seed" 7/13/08,

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