Religion Today: Hood Ornaments

Guest Writer Spotlight: Richard Lewis 

Hood ornaments are said to date back to the years of chariot drivers decorating their chariots with animal or deity figures. As we fast forward to the days of early automobiles, the hood ornament was sometimes combined with the radiator cap. In the 1920’s, car designers began to mount the radiator and its cap under the bodywork of the car and hood ornaments became more of an art expression of the car builder.

There were birds, animals, angels, goddesses, soldiers, airplanes and rockets. These “car mascots”, as they were sometimes called, were often chosen to reflect some positive aspect of the car like beauty, speed, strength or dependability. Some of the ornaments would light up while others might be animated. Some would even retract into the car body for safety or security and that continues to this day in cars built by Rolls Royce and Mercedes-Benz.


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So how does a hood ornament relate to our spiritual lives? Is there a symbol, aspect or quality of our lives that stands out to others and tells them all they need to know about us and how God is important in our lives? Is there a quality of life that others can sense about us in the first few minutes of meeting us that makes them desire to have what we have and know what we know? Is that hood ornament one that lifts up Jesus and glorifies God? Does it express love to the lost and to the unlovable that we encounter in this life?

I think that when we are filled with God’s Spirit we emanate a sense of God’s Love and Peace in our lives at a nonverbal level. I can remember in vivid detail that day back in college when I embraced Christ in faith. The two people witnessing to me that day had a quality of life – an indescribable peace in their lives that I so wanted to have. The feeling of peace they brought that day was like water for a thirsty soul. That short encounter with them and with God over only about 30 minutes changed my life. I have heard others describe this same situation – They embraced Christ because they saw a quality of life in His followers and they wanted it!

Clearly the early disciples of Jesus had this same quality. In Acts 4:13 the author records, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

Jesus described how love for each other would be the proof that we are truly his disciples. John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

One of my favorite stories was about a small boy sitting in a hospital waiting room. His mother was in for some surgery and his dad left him there with another relative while he went to look in on his wife. The little boy eventually saw a familiar face coming down the hallway, the pastor of their church. Excited to see a face he knew, he exclaimed, “Here comes Jesus!” Suddenly, a hush fell over the waiting room. Many of the other occupants put down their cell phones or peered over the tops of their newspapers or magazines wondering who was coming. When they saw it was just a pastor carrying his Bible, they went back to their reading material. The pastor quickly corrected the little boy on how he was not Jesus but one of Jesus’ helpers. After getting directions he walked away toward the mother’s room. And a little voice was heard whispering, “There goes Jesus”.


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We may be the only little bit of Jesus that someone sees. We are called to be a reflection of His light. We need to ask God to give us that light so we can illuminate the darkness for others.

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

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.

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