Religion Today: Red – Right – Returning

Guest Writer Spotlight: Red – Right – Returning: By Richard Lewis

When sailing along a coastline you may see lighthouses along the way to indicate hazards or entryways into harbors. These important aids to navigation only give you a broad brushstroke of where you are. As you get closer to the harbor entrance there will be buoys and lights indicating the exact entrance to the channel.


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When Sue and I first learned to sail, the instructor explained the importance of remembering the refrain, “Red – Right – Returning”. This phrase means that when entering a harbor or heading back up a waterway, the red lights or red buoys indicate the right side of the harbor entrance or channel.

If you are returning and the red lights are on the left of your boat you may be close to the shore or channel sides and may be about to run aground. One can imagine the exhilaration of sailors coming home in the fog when they caught sight of the red light indicating they would soon be sleeping in their own bed at home. It may have been the crew of a fishing vessel gone far off shore in frightening storms seeking the “Deadliest Catch” that would make their fishing season profitable. Or it may have been soldiers returning from World War II, Korea or Vietnam seeing those red lights and knowing they would soon be in the arms of loved ones and enjoying the homemade meal they had dreamed about.

The red lights represented a promise of a homecoming and also indicates a warning. If we navigate correctly then all is well. If we don’t, it may mean getting towed off a sandbar or losing one’s boat on the rocks.

What is God’s message to us if we have been far off and decide to return? On the human side we can imagine an everyday scene such as a prodigal child returning home. At the front door they may face one of two scenarios. The erring child may be told that there is nothing for them there and to go away and never come back again. In the other scenario, they may be gathered into the loving arms of their parents knowing all is forgiven and all is well. Rest assured that our heavenly Father earnestly awaits the return of His prodigal children!


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Paul reminds us that although you were far away you are now been brought near: Ephesians 2:13 “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

There is now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus: Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”

The angels hold a party in your honor when you turn back to God: Luke 15:7 & 10 “In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”

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, 50, 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.