Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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

Walnut Grove shows a bit of historic Japan

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Walnut Grove: Fun facts, things to see

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

Ryde Hotel: A speakeasy from the past

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

 
Solano County supervisors get raise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A2, 10 Comments

Solano helps after Napa quake

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Weather for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B3

Solano supervisors declare quake state of emergency

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
 
Solano promotes hand washing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Solano College to host college transfer fair

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

 
Golf tournament to benefit college sport’s teams

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

Man steals car from Fairfield resident

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6, 6 Comments

 
Learn about local travel opportunities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Pierce Brosnan thriller kicks off week’s new films

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
 
Museum guild schedules trip to historic San Francisco home

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A8

 
3 die in I-680 crash; 2 from Vacaville

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A9, 9 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Obama defends handling of veterans affairs issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 10 Comments

 
American woman held hostage in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Arab strikes in Libya show impatience with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
AP sources: US surveillance planes fly over Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 2 Comments

Napa quake stirs clamor for warning system

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Putin and Poroshenko meet for bilateral talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

Group files petition to idle coastal nuke plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Israel, Hamas agree to open-ended Gaza cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

Los Angeles schools halt iPad deal amid criticism

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Report finds 1,400 children exploited in UK town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

Police: Slain woman ID’d ex-deputy as her attacker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Officials: Instructor accidentally killed by girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 11 Comments

Judges blast Indiana, Wisconsin gay marriage bans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

How to reduce taxes without busting the budget

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11

 
Abandoned carts are everyone’s responsibility

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 12 Comments

Editorial cartoons for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Question of the week: Is US policy on hostages correct?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

Obama risks alienating Latinos from Dems

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

We were good parents. Why won’t our adult children help us out?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 27, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

Choosing chutney

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B7

 
Banishing the blues with healthy blueberry muffins

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Women talk about sports on CBS Sports Network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Miley Cyrus’ date wanted by Oregon police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NBC’s Emmycast logs robust 15.6 million viewership

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

49ers prepare for possible Aldon Smith suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Serena Williams beats American teen at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Carter’s HR in 8th leads Astros over A’s 4-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

US teen Bellis, 15, stuns Cibulkova at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders CB DJ Hayden to start season on PUP list

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Latest Astrodome proposal: massive indoor park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bumgarner flirts with perfection, finishes with 1-hitter in Giants win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

No reason to feel sorry for Jim Furyk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
TMS 2015 schedule springs back to night race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Love struck: Kevin Love pledges commitment to Cavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sarkisian: USC looking into Shaw’s heroic story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Davis, US men beat Slovenia in basketball exhibition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

UN health agency urges crackdown on e-cigarettes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Survey: US consumer confidence near a 7-year high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

Burger King buys, plans expansion of Tim Hortons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

Florentino”Paul” Castaneda Bersola

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Nadine L Wetherell

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Lyle Cullum

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6