I recently took half a week and went to Table Rock Lake for my annual family vacation.  I have never missed spending some time there every summer of my life.  It’s much fun with so many of my family and close friends around me.  It was a relaxing time and a time to reflect on where I am and how far I have come in the last few months.  It was quite surprising to me how much change has come and how welcome and prepared I am in this position and new place in Garden City.  It fits me well and I’m excited and ready to get into the work and ministry and see how God will use me.

In my time at the lake I traveled down the dock to see if any of my friends were hanging out and happened to catch them going out on the lake at about 10 p.m. for a little fun.  We rode out to the middle of the lake, turned off the engine and lights, put the top back, and watched the stars for about 45 minutes.  I know it may seem cliché, but you can definitely see more stars in the wilderness than you can ever see in the city.  It had been so long since I’d sat back and looked for constellations, noticed the north star and big dipper, and gazed at the milky way as it showed itself in the middle of the sky.  If you haven’t taken some time to do this recently, find a cool summer evening (if you can find anything cool at western Kansas in the summer) and take a few minutes to just look at the sky.

A few thoughts came through my mind in those minutes.  First, I remembered how constant those stars are in the sky.  No matter where I went or moved, those stars were still going to shine and rarely would change or move.  Secondly, I thought about the fact that I’ve heard that some of the light we see has traveled thousands of years to get to us so we could see it now.  It is amazing to think that the preparation God has had for this universe as each star was placed individually.  Third, I thought how insignificant and small I am compared to this great mass of stars and galaxies.  Yet, in the midst of those stars, I am reminded of Matthew 10:30 which states that all the hairs on my head are numbered.  This reference by Jesus is a promise made by God in the Old Testament that God would protect someone and that not even a hair on their head would perish.  This is not just a comment about how detailed God is in his record keeping (no matter how many or few hairs you have on your head).  God is reminding us that he will protect us in the midst of our trials and tribulations, in the midst of change and new places, or even an extremely gargantuan universe that includes galaxies and more stars than we can count.  God continues to love us, and, “love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.” 1 Cor. 13:7-8

Many of you in this church have shown me much grace and love in the midst of this change in my life.  I appreciate all of the kind words, actions, and the one pie (which was awesome) and I thank God for you.  I know that David is a great leader and I’m excited to get on board and work with everyone to see the vision and mission of this church be fulfilled.  This church is headed in some exciting directions.  I look forward to this new work for me and seeing how God will use me, remembering that God called me here, he will provide, and he knows me quite well.


Published by: Brad Kirk

I'm an ordained Elder in the Great Plains Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and serve as pastor of Leoti UMC in western Kansas. I am a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary. I love being a husband to Diana and a father to Tobin. Most of all I am a child of God!

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