Religion Today: The Hand
Guest Writer Spotlight: Richard Lewis
About 40 years ago and 50 pounds ago, I was an avid bicycle rider and racer. A small group of us from the Riverside area went to Northern California to a bicycle racing camp. Now none of us had any aspirations or abilities to be professional cyclists but we were just groupies sitting at the feet of some of the best cyclists in the world including the Tour de France and World Champion Greg LeMond.
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I was never a good hill climber and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains were especially steep. On the first evening’s training ride, the group quickly broke apart on the hills. As fatigue set in and the afternoon light began to fade, I knew that I would have a hard time finding my way back to the training camp headquarters. I was just barely turning the pedals over on a steep grade when suddenly I felt a large powerful hand in the middle of my back accelerating me towards the summit. I turned around and saw the smiling face of the 1984 Olympic Silver Medalist Canadian, Steve Bauer. In a few seconds his powerful legs had propelled both of us back up to speed. Just as quickly and quietly as his unsolicited help had come, he disappeared. The momentum and encouragement of just those few seconds of help carried me to the top of the hill and back into the pack of other homeward bound riders before the cold and darkness could set in.
At dinner that night I learned that I was only one of several riders that had received Steve’s help to make it to the top of the hill. It occurred to me that this is a similar picture of what God is doing in our lives. By His strong hand we are delivered from the darkness and the cold and He’s shown us the way home. Oh, what a strong hand He has to rescue us from the deepest pit we have fallen into or in some cases the pit that we have dug for ourselves and then jumped into. And likewise we need to be available to be God’s strong hand to help others who are tired or lost and about to be overcome by the darkness.
Deuteronomy 3:24 “O Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what God is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?”
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Richard Lewis is a graduate of Arizona State University (Advertising) and California Baptist University (Computer Information Systems). Richard and his wife Sue met while they served as staff members at Campus Crusade for Christ for 8 years in the 1970’s. Richard served in the Campus Ministry at University of Texas at El Paso, Louisiana Tech and at the International Headquarters in San Bernardino, California.
Following their ministry in Campus Crusade Richard was the owner and manager of a bicycle shop in Riverside California for 19 years. After retraining in the computer field at California Baptist University, Richard worked as a Information Systems contractor and employee at Boeing for 17 years. Richard has written over 150 published articles in Information Systems and Computing publications including Windows Magazine and Windows Scripting Solutions. Richard has served in a leadership role as a Deacon and Elder in several churches as well as being a meditation presenter and Men’s Ministry coordinator.
Richard has written hundreds of meditations and devotionals that have been used in church and small group meetings. Many of these have been published in The Upper Room and Racers For Christ publications and on their web sites.
In 2021 Richard published a collection of his devotionals. These are available in a Kindle and paperback format on Amazon (ISBN 979-8705738878) “Life Stories to Uplift and Encourage”.
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Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.