Dose of Truth

Burgers to blessings

Picture of Tim Richards

Tim Richards

March 6, 2024

Ray Kroc was an incredibly successful entrepreneur. The 52-year-old believed he had discovered a gold mine when he entered Richard and Maurice’s restaurant in 1955. He soon convinced the brothers to allow him to franchise their burger business. Kroc would turn the McDonald brothers’ restaurant into the world’s largest fast-food chain. Now, 40 years after he died in 1984, McDonald’s has nearly 42,000 restaurants. It is the second largest employer in the world with 1.7 million employees. It is the sixth most valuable company globally and serves more than 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries.

No one can question Kroc’s remarkable business ability. He was relentless in his pursuit of ever-higher profits. In 1961, he persuaded the McDonald brothers to sell their company to him for $2.7 million, a remarkable sum at the time. Still, considering the company is now worth nearly $210 billion, it was also an incredible bargain.

Although Kroc saw himself as the Walt Disney of fast-food America and maintained a wholesome public image, he was not a good man. In “The One Year Book of Amazing Stories,” Robert Peterson wrote, “Ray always knew a good thing when he saw it. And he would stoop to any dirty tricks to get it. The same was true for women. Ray Kroc was a serial home wrecker.”

The year he met the McDonald brothers, he also met a beautiful married 28-year-old blonde bar singer named Joan. He destroyed her marriage, and she eventually became his third wife. It was not a happy relationship. Kroc was selfish and driven, he had a volatile temper and a serious thirst for whiskey. In time, Joan filed for divorce but then changed her mind. According to Peterson, she concluded she could put up with an unhappy marriage if she could use Ray’s fortune to make the world a better place.

After Ray’s death, Joan began giving away their fortune. She helped pioneer the hospice movement and generously funded early AIDS research. In 2003, after learning she had terminal cancer, Joan began giving away her fortune in earnest. She had been generous with the Salvation Army before but would soon give them the largest one-time gift ever recorded, $1.6 billion!

Joan’s example reminds me of these words from scripture, “You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35, NLT) While I never met Joan, I have been around many generous people and can confidently say most of them are happy.

Stingy people focus on themselves and what they want; they are rarely happy. Those who hoard their blessings are seldom satisfied, while those who share what they have realize they are very blessed. Jesus was right; it is “more blessed to give than to receive.”

Tim Richards

has been a pastor for 37 years, serving five churches, including his current church, The Refuge in St. Louis, which he founded. He and the congregation minister to those who are hurting and do their part to expand God’s kingdom. Tim and his wife Kelly have five children. “A Dose of Truth” which he has written for more than 25 years appears in 13 newspapers. His book, “Thriving in the Storm: Discovering God’s Peace and Perspective in Turbulent Times,” is available from Amazon. Feel free to contact him at Photography is another of his skills. Pastor Tim’s photos may be viewed at