Saturday, April 25, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Following the ‘Good Shephard’ through life’s challenges

By
From page D2 | February 16, 2014 |

Today, Feb. 16, is my beloved wife Michelle’s birthday.

I would share her age, but I prefer the interior of our home during rainy season. Over the years nobody has been a dearer friend, a more trusted confidant, a more dependable cheerleader and more respected critic than my “Chelle.”

Happy birthday sweetheart! I love you devotedly.

Just recently we celebrated our 20th anniversary as husband and wife by enjoying a short getaway up to Portland, Ore. We chose Portland because for the past two decades Michelle has heard me rave about it. During my “infamous airline days” with Eastern Airlines back in the 1980s, my favorite layover destination was Portland. As a much younger version of me, I enjoyed the dramatic contrast of the city to the southeastern United States, where I was raised.

Likewise, I loved the climate, the pace of the city, the coffee and the people-watching was mesmerizing. Though I had not been to Portland for 28 long years, I was confident and looking forward to leading Chelle to all the old sights I remembered and treasured.

So, with ticket prices low and a few open days on our hands, we booked our flights and lodging and headed north for some great reconnection-time.

What happened next was totally unanticipated. Once we got there, I didn’t remember a thing. I remembered just a handful of sights, like Pioneer Square, Nordstrom and the “Portland” sign. That’s it! Even the airport was completely foreign to me.

Here was my precious bride trusting me, eager to let me lead her nostalgically throughout the city I loved as a 20-something, and nothing looked remotely familiar. The funniest part? Over the next few days she led me! In no time flat, she oriented herself to our location and became the tour guide and expert on all things Portland. Humbling? You bet. Were we able to laugh about it? Immediately. We still are!

Let me put on my pastor’s hat for a minute and ask you the reader an honest but important question – who are you following? In other words, who is leading you?

Let’s face it. As fellow human beings and sojourners in this world and life together, we face many things that we think we understand, but when actually encountered look very unfamiliar to us – big things like marriage, parenthood, education, career, death, life after divorce, etc. All of us can agree that we never lack for challenges.

It is in these real challenges that the leadership we choose to follow and the directions we heed becomes vital. Someone once said that, “You’re only as good as your leadership.” I agree.

In the New Testament in the gospel of John (chapter 10), Jesus told His audience repeatedly that He was the “good shepherd.” To the ancients, His self-identification plucked a chord of real understanding and peace; for us urbanites in Solano County, maybe not so much. The shepherd was the one who knew his sheep, loved his sheep, led his sheep, cared for his sheep, protected his sheep and knew what was best for his sheep. In return, the sheep knew his voice distinctly and followed him wherever he led them, knowing over their lifetimes that he was someone who could be trusted in their day-to-day existence.

Friends, I have personally found in my life that Jesus is still the good shepherd.

I have also found that as a local pastor in our community, I can only lead and shepherd my family and congregation to the degree that I am willing to follow the good shepherd and be willing to be shepherded by Him. Simply put, he knows me – everything about me. He knows my dreams and ambitions, my less-than-stellar past, my stressors and every single challenge I face.

In spite of my weakness, inconsistencies and fears, he loves me to the point of His own sacrifice and death. His will and his ways toward me are always good, and he knows exactly what he is doing and where he is leading me, even when I don’t.

History proves with countless examples that who you choose, or allow to lead you, makes all the difference.

In a big volatile and unpredictable world where everything seems to look less and less  familiar, who are you following?  Why not say “yes” today to the loving guidance and care of the Good Shepherd?

You’ll never regret it!

Steve Kiefer is the lead pastor at the First Christian Church in Suisun City. He can be reached at www.1stchristianchurch.org. 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
House of Floyd gears up for Vacaville show

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Spring band festival gets new life in Fairfield

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1, 4 Comments

 
Students showcase artistic talents at annual show

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Groups offer ‘The Raising of America’ sneak peek

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B2

 
Muslim women in post 9/11 world topic of play

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B2

Durst will perform at Children’s Network benefit

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B2

 
 
 
 
Dixon May Fair offers sneak peek

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield police log: April 22, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 22, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Few vets getting care through $10 billion VA program

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Pentagon eyes possible use of cyberwarfare in the future

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

San Diego man arrested in terror case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Google CEO compensation tops $100M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Judge denies parole to former Manson Family member

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Evidence building of fracking-caused earthquakes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Wife of slain mayor accused of manslaughter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Cesar Chavez gets full military honors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Petraeus sentenced to 2 years’ probation for military leak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
American, Italian hostages killed in US drone strike

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

New DNA codes for mammoths: Step toward bringing them back?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
 
Gay marriage a difficult issue for GOP White House hopefuls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Loretta Lynch wins confirmation as attorney general

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Armenians mark 100-year anniversary of massacres

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Thousands evacuated following Chilean eruption

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
European leaders rally to solve migrant ship issue

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Living

Community Calendar: April 24, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: Friday, April 24, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

My late husband’s brother still has drum set meant for my son

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: April 24, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview April 24-30, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
American Indian actors quit Adam Sandler movie over names

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Basses discuss being black opera singers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Entertainment Calendar: April 24, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Facing the second album challenge with Alabama Shakes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Vanden girls soccer rally late for 3-3 tie with American Canyon

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Warriors erase 20-point hole, beat Pelicans 123-119 in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Maxwell hits winning single in 10th, Giants sweep Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
 
Prep track: Indians boys roll to win in four-way meet

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7

Tyrone Wallace to stay at Cal for senior season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
BALCO & Biogenesis may be over, but steroids cloud remains

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Toyota to provide 1st hydrogen-fueled pace car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
6 Hall of Famers to announce picks at NFL draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

A’s take hard-luck 2-0 loss despite allowing 1 hit to Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Home run king Barry Bonds’ legacy might always be tarnished

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Sleek new plans released for Los Angeles-area NFL stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Aaron Hernandez moved to new prison after murder conviction

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Manfred: Rose will be allowed to be part of All-Star Game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
New track announcer taking the mike at Churchill Downs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

WNBA’s Griner, fiancee Glory Johnson arrested after fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
This date in sports history for April 24

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Boo Weekley, Brendon de Jonge share Zurich Classic lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Champ Lydia Ko takes first-round lead in Swinging Skirts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Michael Crabtree joins Raiders with something to prove

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

 
5 things to know about GM’s revamped Chevy Malibu

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

Ford unveils new Taurus influenced by China

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Nasdaq closes at record high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

China fines Mercedes after price-fixing probe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Agriculture officials look to curtail emissions from farming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Toyota tops in 1Q global vehicle sales

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Unemployment numbers point to improved job security

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Home sales off to slow start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

Kim Nguyen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Gladys Speaks

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Vernell Stewart

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9