Meet George Kirchoff

(Dr. John Ed Mathison) - He may have had a part in saving your life – or the life of one of your family members. Or he is playing a part in possibly saving your life in the future.

His name is George Kirchoff. I met him when I was preaching at the Fairhope United Methodist Church. He helped develop the whole idea of the airbag for cars. He has eleven patents on these safely mechanisms!

His life is an example of how God can use people to make a difference in the lives of other people. What he did with airbags came from a strong commitment to biblical principles.

When he was 40-years-old he had three kids and was working in the aerospace industry in North Carolina. The big company for which he worked downsized. He was left without a job. What does a man with a wife and three kids do?

He said at first he thought about feeling sorry for himself and trying to find someone to blame. He then decided that wouldn’t get him anywhere. He began to look for something where he could utilize his gifts and talents and make a difference in the lives of people. Read I Corinthians 10:24.

He loaded up his family and moved out to the northern part of Utah. He began to collect ideas about safety. He met some big obstacles. He had some failures, but he didn’t let his failure become fatal. He never quit. Hebrews 10:36 says “Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” NLT

He gives God the credit for his ideas and accomplishments. George told me that one of his big honors was when Ralph Nader gave him an award in Washington. He said he wanted to make it clear to everyone that it was not his accomplishments but how God had used him. Read Acts 4:7-10.

His eleven patents and the widespread use of airbags as a safety device in vehicles, helped me deal with some important questions of life. If I lose my job, do I complain and grow sour or do I look for a better opportunity ahead? When God closes one door, He always opens another door. When I encounter temporary failure, do I quit or do I stay focused on the purpose God has for me? Do I take credit for what I accomplished, or do I know that God provided everything for me? Am I utilizing my gift to help people? Am I more interested in making money or making a difference?

George is a lay speaker in the United Methodist Church. He is very energetic, enthusiastic, and excited about his local church. He is giving leadership in his church to make a difference.

George’s church has been studying the Treasures of the Transformed Life. With great excitement he looked me in the eye and said “I love your book and your study. It puts into focus what I have experienced in my life.” Wow!

I hope you never have to use what George has patented. If you do, thank God for a man who is making a difference.

Are we making a difference?