Religion Today: His Outstretched Arms
Guest Writer Spotlight: His Outstretched Arms – By Richard Lewis
Originally delivered on November 28, 2010 as a Communion Meditation at Pathway Christian Church in Riverside California
Mark 10:16 And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
Shortly after I became a Christian, a close friend suffered a horrible tragedy. The grandfather had taken the grandchildren to explore an abandoned mine, something that we have a lot of in Arizona. Once inside the old mine the little girl got scared and ran deeper into the mine falling into a hidden shaft. In his final act of sacrifice, the grandfather tried to reach her but they were both overcome by poisonous fumes and perished. I remember the mother looking at me through her tears and asking me what possible reason God could have for allowing this to happen to her family.
SEE OTHE RECENT DEVOTIONALS BY RICHARD LEWIS:
At the time I did not know what to say and I’m not really sure, that standing here today some 40 years later, I would have anything I could say to bring her comfort at the loss of her father and her daughter in the same tragic accident. There are no simple answers to her question. How could such a thing happen? How can we explain God’s purpose in this? We believe that God does not cause these tragedies but try explaining that to someone who has suffered so greatly and is in such incredible pain.
In a scene from the movie “The Ultimate Gift” a little girl with terminal cancer is sitting in a chapel looking up at a statue of Jesus standing with outstretched arms. She was crying and wondering what the future would bring for her and imagining what Heaven might be like. The friend with her has the best quote of the movie when he says, “I don’t know much about God or much about Jesus but I think those outstretched arms are made for you.”
In these impossible situations we must trust our loved ones, our friends and ourselves to His outstretched arms and His care. These are the outstretched arms that blessed the little children. It was with His outstretched arms He touched the sick and made them well and touched the blind and made them see. He even reached out and touched one of the men sent to arrest Him and healed the cut on his ear. He stretched out His arms to be nailed to a cross so He could be the perfect sacrifice for your sins and mine. And He later stretched out His arms to show everyone the nail prints in His hands and to prove that He had risen from the dead.
If you are here today and have fears overwhelming you, or have suffered loss and are in pain, please be assured that His outstretched arms are made for you. He says in Matt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. If you are here today and you don’t know much about God or much about Jesus, we as individuals and as a church want to assure you that His outstretched arms are made for you, too. He loved you so much that He stretched out those arms to die for you. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son for you.
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.