Category Archives: Family

A Step Past Hard

What if you went a step past hard in everything?

Your morning run. You say one mile will be hard. Go one mile and one step.

Your work. You have a long list to do. It looks hard. Do the list and one more thing.

Eating Right. You believe it is hard to avoid the ice cream. So avoid the ice cream and eat some broccoli.

Each of these are examples of a step past hard. If you go an extra step everyday on your run then pretty soon you will be going two miles.

If you avoid ice cream long enough and eat enough broccoli then you will be healthy. Well, healthier than you were before.

My point is, anything worth doing is on the other side of hard.

So step past hard every day and you will see some amazing things happen in your life.

I once thought about writing a book called A Step Past Hard. Two hundred pages of how to step past hard. But, in all honesty, that would be a waste of trees. You have everything here you need to reach your next goal.

  1. Define what hard is in respect to that goal.
  2. Go one step past hard.
  3. Repeat Every Day
  4. Reach the goal and then set the next one.

Have a great day as you step through hard.

What is True Faith? 2 Illustrations 1 Step

Several years ago I worked with a gentleman who was trying to explain to me what his understanding of faith was.

He said, ”Richard, faith is like this. You walk up to a wide, fast flowing river. It is so wide and moving so fast that there is no way across it. But God has directed you to cross at that point in the river. So you pray, ‘God you told me to cross right here so give me some rocks to step on to get across this river.’” My friend continued, “When you have faith like that God will give you the rocks to step on and make it across where He directed you to.”

I thanked my friend for this illustration of faith. But I disagreed with him on one point. I still disagree with him on one point.

Faith is like walking up to a wide and fast moving river with no way across. You know God has directed you across this way but it seems impossible. So you pray,”God show me a rock to step on.” God responds with, “Take the step.” Again you say, “God show me a rock to step on.’ Again God says, “Take the step.”

This debate goes on and on until you realize that to be faithful; to have faith, you have to take the step. My point to my friend and my point to you is, faith is taking the step even when it seems like you will sink into the river and be swept away by the current.

Here it is. The payoff. The outcome of truly stepping in faith. As you step out in faith your foot catches a rock below the surface of the river. Yes your foot may get a little wet but you do not sink into the river. You aren’t swept away. God has you the whole time.

That is faith. Not in yourself but in God your creator. True faith.

Today, you may be facing a huge decision. God has directed you to take a step of faith, but you cannot see any rocks to step on. God asks you to step and God will provide a place for your foot to land.  

I challenge you with the thought. Where has God asked you to step out in faith but you are waiting for the path to be shown? How can you take that first step of faith?  

Stepping into a river with no place to stand seems crazy, especially to people in the world. Such is the case with decisions we are asked to make as followers of Christ. Sometimes, God asks us to do things that seem crazy to the world. We must obey.

I would love to hear what decisions you are facing. Start the conversation below.

While you are here, check out this weeks video:



  1. Seek help. You cannot fight this alone.
  2. Don’t keep it a secret.
  3. Do something for someone else. Often, depression causes us to only focus on ourselves. Find a way to do something for someone else.
  4. Try to get the focus off of yourself. I know this is hard.
  5. Pray.
  6. Read your Bible.
  7. Pray some more.
  8. Go see your medical doctor.
  9. Pray some more. Do not give up.
  10. Find a friend you can trust. Talk to them.
  11. Exercise –  Take a 15 minute walk around the block first thing EVERY morning.
  12. Journal. Write down how you feel and why you feel that way. Try to keep track of the things that trigger your depression. If you are not a writer then draw.
  13. Talk to a counselor. It can help tremendously to just talk to someone about how you are feeling.
  14. Find a hobby. Take up something creative like painting, or photography. This will get you up and going.
  15. Set some goals. Depression can leave you hopeless. Write down some simple goals each day. Celebrate when you accomplish those goals each day.
  16. Write yourself a list of positive affirmations. Read them each day. Or better yet record them on your phone and listen to them each morning.
  17. Make and keep a routine. Depression causes us to check out. Create for yourself a routine and  stick with it. This can bring about a feeling of daily accomplishment that helps.
  18. Read some books. Read books that are positive and encouraging. Read books that teach you about your struggle.
  19. Pray without ceasing. Sometime it seems that God does not care when we are suffering. That is just not true. Keep seeking Him and you will find Him.
  20. Do a personal check and make sure there is no besetting sin in your life. Did you hurt someone that you need to apologize to? Are you involved in a secret sin that you struggle with? Search your soul. Often a hidden sin can be the cause of a deep depression. If the Holy Spirit identifies one in your life confess it and start the healing process.

These are some of the things that have helped me over that last several months. Feel free to comment some other ideas or let me know if I missed on some of these.
You are not alone in your fight against the darkness of depression. Join the conversation.  

This Weeks Message:

8 Ways To Help a Friend Suffering with Depression

A 2015 report from the Child Mind Institute found that only about 20 percent of young people with diagnosable anxiety disorder get treatment. That means that many of your friends in class and on campus who struggle with depression and other mental disorders are not getting help.

Combine that with another survey that suggests that 1 in 5 students has considered the possibility of suicide and we have a lot of hurting people around us. You may know some of these who are hurting. You may have experienced a friend that wanted to commit suicide.

What did you do?

How did you handle the situation?   

Were you able to help?

I hope you were able to provide help to this friend that was hurting. But some of you may not know what to do. I wanted to provide for you some ways to help a friend or friends who are suffering under the weight of depression.

Here is a list of some ideas. Feel free to leave a comment and add some other ideas if you have them.

  1. Be there to listen. Make conversations about what they’re going through easy and open. Ask them what you can do – find out what they find helpful during tough times. Make sure you acknowledge they are feeling down but try and remain positive and encouraging. Send them notes of encouragement. Send them texts to help them get through the day.
  2. Choose when to talk. If you want to bring up a sensitive issue with someone, try and choose a time when you are both relaxed.
  3. Accept their condition. If someone is suffering from symptoms of depression, it isn’t possible for them to just snap out of it, cheer up, or forget about it. Asking them to do this can come across like you’re not taking their feelings seriously and could upset them. It is difficult for someone who has never been through depression to understand what it is like. If there was an instantaneous solution the person would have already done that to be well. It just does not work that way. Add an extra measure of compassion when you are helping a person suffering from depression.
  4. Get informed. Finding out more info about depression might help you better understand what someone is going through. There are various website, books, and blogs that can help you become informed about the situation your friend is in.
  5. Encourage them to get help. If you have a friend with depression, it’s really important that they seek help. It is a good first step to have them speak with their counselor if you are on a school campus. It is also a good idea to have them visit their medical doctor. Sometimes there are some real physical problems that can cause depression. If no solution is found down that avenue then their medical doctor can help them take the next step. If they are uncomfortable you might offer to go with them as an encouragement and support system.
  6. Back down if they aren’t ready. If you think a friend needs to visit an expert but they didn’t respond well to the suggestion, don’t force the issue or put too much pressure on them – it could put them off getting help. Remain supportive by offering help and suggestions when asked.
  7. The exception to #6 is if you think someone may be in danger or at risk of hurting themselves or someone else. In this case it’s important that you seek help immediately.
  8. Finally, remember that depression is hard to explain and often a very lonely experience. When you are there to support a friend just by being available it can have a tremendous impact in their lives. Never underestimate the importance of just being there.

What other ideas do you have? How can you better help a friend who is going through a dark period in life?
Feel free to comment.

This Weeks Message:

13 Reasons Why (5 Reasons to Live)

As many of you know the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why launched on March 31. Since then it has gained a lot of attention from teens and parents to educators and politicians. There are some very important conversations taking place because of this series.

We could argue all day long about the content of the series and the level of appropriateness of the material provided in the series. I do not want to do that. What I would like to do is point out a main concern of mine. My concern is that this series will normalize this behavior among your generation. Well, maybe not so much normalize that act of suicide, but normalize the possibility of suicide. When something becomes a possibility in the mind the action is easier to take. I do not want that to happen for you.  I do not want suicide to become a valid option for escape. There are other solutions.

A secondary concern that I have for those viewing this series is the series dismisses personal responsibility. How? It is in the premise of the show. Hannah sends cassette tapes to the 13 people who caused her suicide. Each of the 13 people receives a tape that says “Welcome to your tape {Name Inserted Here}” Hannah blames these 13 people for her suicide. Clearly, this dismisses her own personal responsibility in her suicide. Society does not teach it and many try to ignore it but you are responsible for your actions. Even when people are being cruel, evil, hateful and ugly, you are responsible for the actions that you take. We cannot allow this series to suggest otherwise.

Certainly, I do not want to make light of all that happened to Hannah in her young life. This young lady had to endure so much in her life. More than anyone should have to. But that still does not make suicide the best option. Suicide should never be an option at all.

Because of that I want to provide 5 Reasons to Live.

Here is the truth. Suicide is the number 3 killer of teens and college students in our country today. A recent survey found that 1 in 5 high schoolers has thought about committing suicide. ONE IN FIVE!

This is certainly an issue that we must talk about. And if nothing else 13 Reasons Why has opened up that conversation.

Maybe you have found this blog and you are having a tough time right now. Maybe you have considered suicide. Maybe someone has hurt you deeply and you just want out. Please don’t do that. Please get help. Talk to an adult or a friend.  If you want you can email me anonymously and we can talk. Email:

Here are 5 reasons to live:

  1. You are an image bearer. Genesis 1:27 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him male and female He created them.” Being created in the image of God does not mean that you look like God in body (because God is not confined to a body) but that you show His image in His moral attributes. What does that mean? We, as humans, display God’s attributes like love, joy, peace, holiness, truth, etc. in this world. I realize that I am speaking in ideal terms. But you must know that you bear the image of God in the attributes that you display to others.
  2. You are loved. 1 John 4:9 “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him.” Two things here. 1. The love of God. The word used here for love is the word used to express unconditional love. It is a love based NOT on family affections, romantic passions, or fondness. God loves you with NO conditions. 2. God sent His son so that you might live. God’s unconditional love, expressed through the giving of His Son, is the only avenue for life. No matter what you have done or what has been done to you, you can have life.   
  3. You are a masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand so that we could walk in them.” The word here workmanship makes reference to an artist creating a masterful work of art. You have been created by the great artist as a masterpiece. A portrait that takes time and focus and care to create. As a masterpiece you are cared for during and after the creation process. God, your creator, longs for you to understand just how important you are to Him.
  4. You have something to offer. So many times when you are struggling through the clouds of mental darkness you become very self focused. But when you realize there are others out there that need help and you begin to provide for them in simple ways then you realize “Life is not quite as bad as I thought.” You have time, talent, and resources to offer. Go and make a difference for someone else.  
  5. Future Relationships. At this point in your life you may feel like no one cares. You may feel like nobody wants to know you. But here is the truth. You will make new relationships as you move to different stages of life. Things will change. You will find people that love you and that you can love. There are what? 8 billion or 9 billion people in the world. I’m sure you can find someone. Change your circumstances. Change your outlook. Change your circle of relationships and you will see some new possibilities.

The purpose of this post is simple. You have options. There are so many options other than suicide.

Here I came up with five reasons to live. You should sit down and write down as many more reasons to live that you can think of. Nothing is too small. It could be that your dog or cat will miss you. Or that your parents will have no one to take the trash out for them. Write them all down so that you can begin to see all the reasons, big and small, that you have to live.

And once again I say. Do not keep it a secret. Get help. Talk to an adult. Or talk to 10 adults if you have to. Just find someone who will listen. You can email me and we can talk:

God Bless and Never Give Up!

This Weeks Message:

Church Planter Brian Shepard – Planting Mars [Ep. 006]

“Our Story is probably not what you would expect. So maybe this story will be helpful to others.” – Brian Shepard

Welcome to episode 6 of Planting Mars. In this episode I interview church planter Brian Shepard. Brian is from Oklahoma but is currently planting a church in San Francisco, California.  As you listen you will find that Brian’s story is unique in that his approach to ministry in San Francisco has transitioned over time. He will explain that transition to you in this interview.

It was really informative to hear Brian share about the four different approaches that church planters take when planning to plant a church. He explains the four approaches and then explains why they are taking the Amos Priority in their church planting efforts.

I really enjoyed visiting with Brian and I believe you will enjoy all that he has to share. As you listen you will really hear and understand Brian’s heart for ministry, his family and his love for the Lord.

Ultimately the goal of the podcast is that you will hear something that is encouraging to you and help your relationship with the Lord grow deeper and stronger.

I hope you enjoy this interview with Brian Shepard.

Subscribe on Android

Selected Links From The Episode:

Connect with Brian:

Instagram: @brianshepard

Facebook: Brian Shepard

twitter: Brian Shepard


Other links mentioned in the episode:

Unlock Hope

Use discount code SAMESHIRTYESTERDAY to receive a 20% discount on your entire order.

Other Items Mentioned:

Guitar Pick Punch Kit (I am not sure if this is the exact one that is mentioned but it is something like this)

Books Mentioned:

The Hardy Boys

Show Notes:

5:00 Brian Shares His Bio.

9:30 Where are you at with the church plant?

13:30 Different Kinds of Church Plants:

  1. The Antioch Priority- Strong Sending Based Churches
  2. The Acts 2 Priority – Multiplying Indigenous Missional Communities
  3. The Amos Priority – Engaging the Gospel in Ministries of Justice
  4. The Athens Priority – Starting Churches Among the Least Reached People Groups

24:30 “No one really wants to hear about the Gospel. And I think more importantly they are wanting to see the Gospel lived out.”

27:00 “What non-Christian people do you have that are asking you not to move?”

27:55 What is the key quote or scripture that motivates you each day?

37:30 Brian explains how he is taking in the scripture at this point in his walk.

43:00 Brian share how he guards his time with his family.

55:10 “Don’t pigeon hole yourself into thinking it is the only context of a church and I need to get paid full time at the church.”Here Brian talks about how ministry may lead you to a place that is not traditional church work.

55:40 “Wherever I land I am on mission. No matter where I am.”

“God do you want me to go around the world or do you just want me to go across the street?

1:00:20 What is your favorite book of all time?

1:01:00 What tweet would you send that everyone in the world would read?

Jesus loves you. He really does save. Trust him today. I’m praying for you.


The Show Is Brought to you By:
Unlock Hope


Make a purchase and use the code SameShirtYesterday at checkout to receive a 20% discount off of your purchase.

Planting Mars [Ep. 004] – Listen As This 6 yr Old Describes the Biggest Problem The World Faces Today

This is an in between episode. I will have the next full interview up next week. But in the mean time I hope you enjoy this 10 minute interview I did with my 6 year old daughter. It was a lot of fun and she has some interesting and funny responses to some of my questions.

In the end she asks me some questions too. This was a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Have a great day!

Subscribe on Android


Planting Mars [Ep. 002] – Keith Baldridge

“Tasks often take a back seat to people.” – Keith Baldridge

In this episode of Planting Mars I interview Pastor Keith Baldridge of The Living Stone Church in Broomfield Colorado. Keith has served in various capacities in ministry over the last several years but is now working to launch the Living Stone Church. Their first service will be on August 21, 2016.

I got to know Keith over the past year as we have taken two mission team to serve with The Living Stone in Broomfield. I can tell you he is the real deal. He loves the Lord, loves his family, and loves the church. I think you will really enjoy our conversation.

In this interview Keith will share with us:

  • the miraculous story that brought him and his family to Broomfield to plant a church.
  • his approach to ministry.
  • the vision God has laid on his heart for The Living Stone Church and for the city of Broomfield.
  • what a win looks like for their ministry there. [It may be different than you think]
  • the challenges that he faces in ministry.
  • the way he ministers to his family.

There is so much more to this interview that you will not want to miss. We also get into the issue of health and Keith tells us what his favorite book is that he is reading right now.

Thank you for listening. I would love to hear your comments in the comment section below.

Subscribe on Android

Selected Links From The Episode:

Connect with Keith Baldridge:

Twitter                 Instagram

Connect with The Living Stone Church:

website                Instagram

Seven Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley

Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Wide Mouth w/Flex Cap

Nextdoor: The private social network for your neighborhood.

Show Notes:

[5:38] Keith shares the background about how he wound up in Broomfield Colorado. Keith and His wife felt like they were to plant a church but there was hesitation.

[10:13] God moves through a gift.

[11:48] After looking into planting in several cities the Lord showed them Denver was the place for them.

[12:33] The story comes full circle.

[14:28] What are some ways that Keith stays focused on the present?

[14:58] “Tasks often take a backseat to people.”

[16:38] Keith tells about how he came to the principle of people over tasks.

[17:28] “People Matter above everything else.”

[18:03] What vision has God laid on your heart for the Living Stone Church?

[18:43] “Whatever you measure is what you will focus on.”

[19:08] Keith Describes what a win looks like for the Living Stone Church.

[21:18] What is the biggest challenge you have faced since you have arrived in Broomfield?

[22:26] Keith shares his priority as a pastor.

[24:41] What are some non-negotiables with your family? (You will want to be sure and hear his response)

[26:38] Another non-negotiable for Keith is that he does not hang up his ministry hat when he gets home at night.

[27:16] “Every single day that goes by is one less day that I will have to pour into my girls and pour into my wife.”

[27:58] What is it that motivates you to keep going each day?

[28:22] This one passage: Colossians 1:24-29

[29:56] Paul was focused on pointing people toward Jesus.

[30:58] Keith explains the connection between Mission: Impossible and Colossians 1:24-29

[32:48] “It all boils down to,do you have an eternal perspective?”

[34:58] Here Keith describes what his mornings look like.

[37:58] We discuss issues concerning personal health.

[39:08] Keith talks about why it is important to maintain physical health. (You will want to hear what he shares)

[42:38] Here we discuss what he is really excited about when it comes to The Living Stone Church. In this section he shares a really cool story.

[45:48] “The end goal is to meet needs and to see life transformation.”

[46:48] Listen to how he approached fund raisins for the start of The Living Stone Church.

[49:28] “Everything is relational.”

[50:20] “If you are using people as a means to an end then you will fail.”

[54:53] From this point we talk about some fun questions that I ask.

[1:02:58] Where can listeners find you? The Living Stone Church

Related Posts:

It’s About Community

The Task

These Statistics Are Mind Blowing

This Show Is Brought to You By You.

Please consider supporting the continued production of the Planting Mars Podcast by visiting our Patreon site. You can access it by clicking the button below.


Thank you for listening!

Taking A Week For Vacation

My family and I have been on vacation for the past few days. We left Texas and traveled through Tennessee and Mississippi to Atlanta. In Atlanta we took the girls to the world of Coke.

That place is a genius idea in marketing. They make you pay to be marketed to the whole time. Genius. When you first go in there is a large movie theater and they show this film that is centered around the lives of different people at various points in their life. The video is shot from the viewers perspective and it feels like you are in the lives of the people in the stories. The conclusion shows that Coke is the unifying force in all of their stories. It is just an amazing piece of marketing work. And I paid 12 bucks to watch it. Ha!

I make light of it but the film is truly moving. There is a point in the film that I teared up a little. Whoever developed this concept truly is a genius because they captured the head and the heart with this film.

After the Coke factory we went to eat and then we headed south. Staying the night in a suburb of Atlanta and today we are heading to Florida for four days. Looking forward to relaxing on the beach.

A few adventure pics:

Photo Aug 02, 3 28 49 PM Photo Aug 02, 1 31 00 PM Photo Aug 02, 12 31 43 PM Photo Aug 02, 12 17 35 PM Photo Aug 01, 6 08 53 PM Photo Aug 01, 10 47 18 AM