Sunday, March 1, 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

Peace and patience: Quilters gear up for show

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
School bands compete in Pageantry on Parade

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Calling someone a ‘smoker’ is hilarious

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

Conservancy plans next Quail Ridge Reserve walk

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Police seek suspect in armed robbery

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3, 3 Comments

 
4-H Presentation Day brings fun, education to Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
The agony of the codling moth, ecstasy of worm-free apples

By Christine Macgenn | From Page: C4

 
What you eat can affect your medications

By Marilyn Ranson | From Page: C4

Tri-City NAACP honors community members at gala event

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
CAASC 18th Annual Chinese New Year and Scholarship Celebration

By Steve Reczkowski | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Rollover in Suisun City

By Aaron Rosenblatt | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

State schedules ramp closure at freeway project site

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Appointments on tap for Board of Supervisors meet

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
NY, SF town house prices through the roof

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
Fairfield police log: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Airmen with local ties finish basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Force draws many from South, middle class

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Christie to Calif. Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US missionary abducted in Nigeria is courageous, friends say

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Dress that ‘greatly resembles’ stolen Nyong’o gown found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Churches, synagogues, mosques bear tough New England winter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Hyundai recalls 263,000 cars due to power-steering problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Blind dog rescued after being lost for 2 weeks in the cold

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Details about proposed national monuments in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
National monument supporters in California get antsy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

US drone strike in Yemen kills 3 suspected al-Qaida fighters

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Greece will not seek another bailout, prime minister says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Attacks kill 37 people in and north of Iraq’s capital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Nemtsov a possible ‘sacrificial victim,’ investigators say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Sound off for March 1, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
New school funding plan remains on bumpy path

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

 
Even Gruber deserves a break sometimes

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

I might just vote for a Democrat next time around

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 8 Comments

 
Aging Fairfield housing agency faltering

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon: March 1, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: March 1, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

With numbers falling, Houston-area nuns’ future uncertain

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: March 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Kidney Walk participation helped give me a positive outlook on life

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Take a look – Dr. Seuss has a new book

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Publisher launches line of Warhol e-books

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Q&A: Opera star Deborah Voigt writes of turbulent life

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2Comments are off for this post

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Review: ‘The Girl on the Train’ has realistic plot

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2Comments are off for this post

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

A year after meeting Tiger, Indian golfer on the rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Jeff Gordon takes a final spin at track that meant so much

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Vikings girls looking for first section title

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Local Report: Vaca’s Aquino wins Masters wrestling title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Phegley hopes his style will catch on in Oakland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Environmental activists disrupt meeting by Olympic officials

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hamilton hones Mercedes with fastest time at F1 testing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Thunder’s Russell Westbrook has surgery on cheekbone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anthony Mason, rugged forward of 1990s Knicks, dies at 48

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warriors center Festus Ezeli suspended for a game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Reichelt leads Austrian World Cup downhill sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Players’ union head: future spring games in Cuba possible

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Harrington takes 36-hole lead, then more rain in Florida

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Defending champ Federer beats Djokovic to retain Dubai title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Safarova beats Azarenka to win the Qatar Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stolen No. 44 NASCAR race car found in suburban Atlanta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Harvick wins Xfinity race at Atlanta for 3rd year in a row

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

For many in US, cash saved at gas pump is staying in pockets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Fruits and vegetables get a star-studded marketing push

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Historic snows causing headaches for real estate industry

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Nevada casinos keep $953.7 million in winnings in January

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Greek prime minister rules out third bailout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Boy, 13, builds Braille printer with Legos, starts company

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9Comments are off for this post

Recalls this week: hand trucks, ceiling fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Review: Freedom! These smartwatches leave the phone behind

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

AP Exclusive: Fuel-hauling trains could derail at 10 a year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Thomas Browning

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Leah E. Hoffman

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

John W. Van Wart

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Virgil Albert Hanson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics