Thursday, June 23, 2016

Check-in/OK message from SPOT GTD (GPS Alert)

GTD (GPS Alert)
Latitude:34.97632
Longitude:-84.59444
GPS location Date/Time:06/23/2016 18:21:01 EDT

Message:Quick update from GTD: All's good! Everyone is safe & sound. Click on links to see our location. God bless =)

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/YGuiy/34.97632N/84.59444W

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=34.97632,-84.59444&ll=34.97632,-84.59444&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

GTD (GPS Alert)

You have received this message because GTD (GPS Alert) has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Ready for Adventure
FindMeSPOT.com

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Check-in/OK message from SPOT GTD (GPS Alert)

GTD (GPS Alert)
Latitude:34.95650
Longitude:-84.55054
GPS location Date/Time:06/22/2016 21:00:03 EDT

Message:Quick update from GTD: All's good! Everyone is safe & sound. Click on links to see our location. God bless =)

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/YEaF5/34.95650N/84.55054W

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=34.95650,-84.55054&ll=34.95650,-84.55054&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

GTD (GPS Alert)

You have received this message because GTD (GPS Alert) has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Ready for Adventure
FindMeSPOT.com

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Living The Dream!

We packed gear till 1:30am... then feel asleep in our climate controlled storage unit... it's always an adventure just getting to the adventure!

Friday, June 17, 2016

TN BOUND!

TN bound with 2 Jr Guides and an Amazing Woman!!

Keep us in your prayers as we tackle 2 backpacking trips, 3 adventure trips, and 1 Costa Rica mission trip.

Special thanks to our Jr Guides - Carson and Garrett - for volunteering for another summer of servanthood, and to our Zoo Keeper Richard as he takes care of the dogs & cats and works on some office repairs!

Ministry is a team sport! Get involved. And you'll never be the same!

Never Stop Exploring

NEVER STOP EXPLORING...

It's time to reserve your spot for GTD's next adventure to Havasu Canyon this November 18th thru 23rd. 

Together we will hike 10 miles of this jaw dropping destination to explore the 100 ft and 200ft turquoise colored Havasu and Mooney Falls while spending 3 relaxing nights camped along side Havasu Creek.  

Don't have your own gear?  Don't let that stop you, we'll provide it for you!  

For more information check out our Havasu link on the left side of this page. 

Spots are limited, so be sure to reserve your spot A.S.A.P.! 

Today Marks Our 1st Annual Summer Adventures... of Our Next 20 Years!


Today we kick off our journey to our 21st annual summer of Adventure Trips... or another way to look at it is to say we are kicking off our 1st annual Adventure Trips of our next 20 years! Either way, I'd just like to thank Jesus, our Ministry Partners, our Donors, our Supporters, our Encouragers, our Participants, our current & former Staff, our Volunteers, and the countless people who have played a role in the existence and subsistence of Going The Distance Adventure Ministry (or "GTD" as we like to call it). There is so much to say, but no time to say it now. As usual, we are scurrying to hit the road. We are about to start trekking to the mountains of TN. We have 6 God-awesome adventures planned over the next 8 weeks, and we can't wait to see what God's going to do in the lives of everyone involved. Keep us in your prayers and follow our daily blog of adventure highlights and praise reports. We don't know what lies ahead, but one thing is for sure, it's never boring! Here's to the first summer trips of our next 20 years... GLORY TO GOD!!


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pathways Canoeing Trip Was Refreshing!


We had a wonderful time today canoeing with 22 great guys from Pathways Community Church of Largo, FL. The overcast day gave us plenty of extra shade and kept the temps down. Our destination was Weedon Island Preserves. We paddled 4 miles through a maze of mangrove canopies. Our devotion was titled, "God's Love Language". It was a beautiful setting with some fantastic guys in God's liquid playground. We loved every minute of it!



Special thanks to Jesse Altamarino for all of his help and hard work that blessed so many people, especially us here at GTD!


Click here to see all of the pics from today's adventure!


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Friday, June 10, 2016

FINISHED!

I know I'm the king of lame posts, but that's how us nerds roll.

All you understaffed ministries & small business owners out there can relate to my inner excitement to finishing the yearly financial entries. Yay!!!!!!!

This one has been hanging over my head like never before. We were out of the office & running our programs for 5 months last year and the amount of admin work that piled-up on my desk was unprecedented! I've been working like a mad man to conquer these piles. Last month I finished tackling 3500 emails. 10 days into this month and I've just completed our 2015 finances. Wow, it feels so good!

Now they are ready to go to our awesome accountant (Fredrick James Accounting).

We are getting so much done over here at GTD Headquarters and God is opening many doors of opportunities for us (as you will notice over the coming months).

We keep moving the ball forward by the grace & goodness of God =)

Pathways Canoe Trek Tomorrow

Getting ready for tomorrow's canoeing day trip with the men of Pathways Community Church of Largo, FL.

Can't wait!! Yip! Yip!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Task Triage

1 week till departure! I'm currently sorting and prioritizing all of our ministry tasks so that we can take care of our most important jobs before we hit the road and put the rest of the office work on the "back burner". I call it "Task Triage". We already have so many answered prayers to a lot of "small" things like dog sitters, volunteers, transportation plans, and all the moving parts that allow this ministry to function (thank you Father!). And thankfully I will be back in the office as much as possible between trips to prevent the kind of task pile-up we had last year. But for the next 6 days it's a mad blitz of to-do's!! Thanks for praying for GTD and the opportunities that lie before us. Looking forward to another God-awesome summer of ministry!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

HAVASU FALLS Backpacking Trip Coming This November!


We are thrilled to announce that registration for our Havasu Falls Backpacking Trip begins today! Join GTD on a trip of a lifetime to a modern day Garden of Eden. Spend 4 days and 3 nights in paradise! We only have 15 permits available. Check out all the details as well as a new 4 minute promo video on our website link

DATE: Nov 18-23, 2016
LOCATION: Havasu Falls (within the Grand Canyon - AZ)
EVENT: Backpacking Trip
COST: $799


Monday, June 6, 2016

LOCK-DOWN MODE

These are my tools for a highly productive & effective work week.

For the past 2 weeks I've been in a LOCK-DOWN mode. Sometimes the amount of work that piles up requires me to implement a self-imposed solitary confinement (or LOCK-DOWN mode as I like to call it) of monomanical work. I get up early, lock the door, put my phone on airplane mode, start cranking out the work, and eventually go to bed late. Then press the repeat button. I tend to skip sleep, meals, showers, and anything else that requires time I can use on my tasks. If it wasn't for taking the dogs out 3x per day I usually wouldn't see another person (or even natural sunlight for that matter) for days and sometimes weeks at a time. It's sort of like being manic-depressive, but without the depressive part. Thankfully this time I'm using my Pomodoro Technique to include healthy eating each day and working out regularly because these things are part of my job description. Right now I'm taking a couple of days to come up for air. I went to 2 church services yesterday, spent some quality time with people, and watched some Netflix for diversion. And today, I'm taking care of the domestics (laundry, food prep, phone calls, etc) and getting ready to jump back into another week of LOCK-DOWN MODE.

We have 10 days till our summer trips begin and I have about 2 months of work to do in those 10 days. My goal is 100 Pomodoros this week. I knocked out 93 last week and 106 the week before. A typical work week would be about 50. I absolutely love the Pomodoro Technique and I'm customizing it to make it a perfect fit for my personality and temperament.

I think our Ministry Partners & supporters would be very pleased to see how hard we work to run this ministry. It can often be perceived by the casual onlooker that we just have a bunch of fun in GTD, but the reality is that it takes a lot of hard work to plan, prepare, and provide group events. Thankfully I'm not afraid of hard work, and, in fact, I actually love it.

Please keep us in your prayers as we enter our 20th year of summer camps. We have tons to get done and I can't do it in my own power. It has to be fuel by the Spirit of God.

Watch out mountains of tasks and a summer full of physically demanding trips... I'm coming for you... in Jesus name!

The Secret of Living The Christian Life

Been reading through the minor prophets of the Bible over the past 2 months. Great stuff! So relevant 2500+ years later! In fact, the "secret" to living the Christian life is hidden in plain view in Zechariah 4:6, "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the Lord Almighty. Trying to live out the Christian life in our own power is like pushing our car from point A to point B instead of using the engine to power it. Just like automobiles we were designed to function with an engine... by "horsepower" not "manpower". Unless we have that paradigm shift away from "my energy" and over to "His energy" then the Christian journey will be as exhausting as pushing your car to work. Christians often say that God will not give us more than we can handle. Although it is well intended to comfort those facing immense trials, it isn't Biblically accurate and it shifts the focus away from God and onto our own feeble strength. The paradigm shift that has to take place is that God will always give us more than we can handle. And that's the point. That's why it's not by might nor by power, but by His Spirit. If I could "handle it" then I never realize my need for God and I never reveal a greater power source other than myself. BUT if I fuel up on God's Word and turn the ignition key that revs the engine of the Holy Spirit then I will "walk and not faint, run and not grow weary" while revealing the power of God to those who are watching.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Events Soon To Begin

Just two and a half weeks before we hit the trail for our summer events with GTD!  We'll be kicking the summer off with one of my favorite hikes along Jack's River Trail with Landry Academy, then our Adventure Camps and Mission Trips begin!  

Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare for events and get ready to leave. There are always so many things to do before taking off!  

If you'd like to get involved with an amazing outdoor adventure ministry, or you'd be interested or know someone who might be interested in doing a private event with us (Adventure Camp, Retreat, Mission Trip, Day Trip, hiking, trip to the Grand Canyon or Utah) please share our information. Or if you'd like to come on one of our trips as an individual or as a family check out our calendar events in the left or email us. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day! We benefit from from the sacrifice of many. There is no "i" in team, but there are 2 "i" 's in sacr"i"f"i"ce! That's because there are always 2 people involved in sacrifice - the one who makes it and the family that supports, endures, and grieves the loss from it. It's also because no body can can force genuine sacrifice; it can only be freely given by those making the sacrifice for the betterment of others. It's a personal decision that only  "i" can make. That's why we honor such people, they freely gave up their wants to supply us with our needs. They gave so that we could benefit. Thank you to all the "i" 's out there, especially their families, who made the ultimate sacr"i"f"i"ce so that we could live in the benefits received. God bless you all.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Weekend!

We hope you have a God-Awesome weekend!  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Glorious Moment!

It may only last for 1 minute, but my inbox is finally empty!! It took 3 months of diligent work while managing my other responsibilities, but I acted on, replied back to, sorted, filed, and/or purged 3500+ emails that had piled up in my inbox over the past 18 months (and a few of them had been flagged dating back as far as 2012). I know it's not a very exciting post to read, but I can't tell you the joy I'm feeling at accomplishing this task (that actually led to hundreds of other tasks). With so many forms of communication such as facebook posts, fb messenger, tweets, text messages, phone calls, voicemails, face-to-face meetings, and letters... it's understandable that I'm going to fall behind on emails, especially while I'm traveling off the grid so much... it's nearly impossible to stay on top of everything. But now I'm back on top of one of my least favorite forms of communication - emails. And now I have a better system in place to help keep me on top. It's such a liberating feeling to get that monkey off my back! Thank you Jesus! Bring on the next big task!!!

Interview Added to GTD's YouTube Channel


Our television interview with CTN TV has been uploaded to GTD's YouTube channel. We talk about the ministry, Costa Rica, Utah, the Grand Canyon, Slammed, and much more with BayFocus host Darlene Greenlee. Check it out to learn more about GTD and some of the events we offer!


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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"GTD STUDIO B"

We are prepped and ready to go to teach our 2nd online backpacking class to Landry Academy tonight. GTD will be leading up 2 backpacking trips this summer for this incredible school. We love the relationship with Landry & Jen Henriksen that God has blessed us with. Great adventures lie ahead. But as for now, "Lights, camera, ACTION!"

Monday, May 23, 2016

Overnight Backpacking

Have you ever wanted to try overnight backpacking but weren't sure where to start or what you needed?  Let GTD help you! 

We now offer over guided over night backpacking trips for individuals and people looking to put together group events...the coolest part is we can even provide your gear (backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, trekking poles and more)! 

Email us for more information info@goingthedistance.org


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Explore

We hope you take some time to EXPLORE the great outdoors this weekend!  

We hope you'll join us on a adventure soon! 


Friday, May 20, 2016

First Ever Over Night Backpacking Trip

Last year I went on my first ever over night backpacking trip with GTD to scout out a hike for future trips on the A.T.!  I was super excited, but a little sacred of the unknown!  I had no idea what it would be like to have to carry everything I needed for the next few days on my back, but I knew it would be a challenge and one I welcomed. Here is a photo of me right before the trip with my new Osprey backpack. By far it has been one the best purchases for these type of backpacking trips! 



Thursday, May 19, 2016

Havasu Falls

GTD is going back to Havasu Falls November 18-23, 2016 and we can only bring 13 LUCKY people with us as permits are limited and hard to come by!  

Join us on this incredible hike down into a shoot off of the Grand Canyon and explore some of the most beautiful waterfalls you'll ever see and camp along side the pristine teal blue waters of Havasu Creek for 4 days and 3 nights. 

***GTD will provide camping gear if needed.***



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

GTD Costa Rica Mission Trip - VBS

One of the most beautiful things about GTD's Mission Trips to Costa Rica is being able to work with the children.  This summer GTD will be helping the local church put on a 5 day VBS for their community.  If you love children and would like to be a part of this amazing trip go to our July 2-9th Mission Trip Link found HERE l to learn more or to register.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Are You Ready?

Are you ready for some fun and adventure?  Need some friends to travel with?  Join GTD, Going The Distance Adventure Ministry on a one of a kind bucket list adventure and have the time of your life!


Monday, May 16, 2016

Dinner With Heroes!

Laurie & I had the privilege of having dinner tonight with a couple of our spiritual heroes in the faith - Pastor William Rice and his awesome wife Cheryl. They are 2 of the most extraordinary & fun people you could ever know. They are planning a vacation to Utah and wanted to pick our brains about what we learned last year. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our time together.

Save The Date

We are so excited to announce that GTD will be celebrating 20 years of ministry this year at our annual banquet!  Mark your calendar! 

Eye Candy - Grand Canyon Trip

Places like this are like candy to the eyes....popping with colors, depth and beauty you can't even imagine!  This year will be my 6th year traveling out to Arizona with GTD to see the Grand Canyon and I will never grown tired of its beauty and adventures it offers!  

This year GTD will be offering a special add on canoe paddle down the Colorado River and a night camping out at the bottom of this world famous spot called Horseshoe Bend!  Not only that, but our participants will have the opportunity to see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and add on more adventures like Slot Canyons or Kayaking on Lake Powell!  

This 6 day/5 night trip of a life time scheduled for October 3-8th, 2016 is being offered at $799 through the end of May (airfare not included)!  

Spots are limited!!! 

To register for this trip, or to find out more info about what's included click on the Grand Canyon link on the left hand side of this page.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Interview Airs Today

They had to put make-up on me to try to decrease the glare from my bald head - LOL!!! If you want to see what I look like with make-up on then check out our interview on CTN TV today at 11:30am or tomorrow night at 7pm.
GTD TV INTERVIEW!!
The show will air Wednesday morning at 11:30am and Thursday night at 7pm. To watch it on TV in the Tampa Bay area please refer to your cable provider channel guide for WCLF (CTN TV). To watch it online at the times mentioned above click here: http://admin.ottdemo.rrsat.com/multibit/ctntv/index.php

Monday, May 9, 2016

Recorded Bay Focus Interview Today


Laurie and I were honored to be interviewed today at CTN TV (Christian Television Network) as part of a segment on their weekly show called Bay Focus which is hosted by the wonderful Darlene Greenlee. Darlene wanted to highlight some of GTD's upcoming events. We were blessed to receive about 20 minutes of air time to promote several events and aspects of GTD.

As usual, we had so much fun and enjoyed every second of it! Darlene always sets a great & fun tone. And Laurie knocked it out of the park during her interview!!

The show will air this Wednesday morning at 11:30am and Thursday night at 7pm. To watch it on TV in the Tampa Bay area please refer to your cable provider channel guide for WCLF (CTN TV). To watch it online at the times mentioned above click here.

Thank you Darlene & CTN TV!!


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Thursday, May 5, 2016

LIQUID Pictures Uploaded


The pictures from all 3 LIQUID canoeing trips have been uploaded to our online photo album... enjoy!! Click here to see them.








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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

LIQUID 2016 WAS A SPLASH!


This past Saturday GTD had the privilege of running 3 free canoeing trips for 50 motivated paddlers at Weedon Island Preserve's beautiful kayaking trail in St Petersburg, FL. It was a mangrove canopy of awesomeness!

We had a marvelous time enjoying God's liquid playground! In addition to paddling we had squishee ball wars, canoe races, a water-top devotional, plenty of quality time together, lunch, and a few capsized canoes mixed in for good measure.

It's always an honor to have people take time out of their busy schedules to embark on an adventure with us. And we are very thankful for our staff and volunteers (Laurie Finger, Erin Powell, Jesse Altamarino) who helped make this day achievable. It takes a lot of hard work to provide adventure outings and we are blessed to have a great team of capable & talented people.

Praising God for good times!

Pictures of the event coming very very soon =)


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Monday, April 25, 2016

WHAT A WHIRLWIND WEEKEND OF GOOD STUFF!!


I was honored to officiate the wedding of one of our dear friends and longtime ministry volunteers - Dana Gibbs - to her new husband Barry. The wedding was beautiful and took place outside in the Orlando area. We are so happy for Dana & Barry and wish them the very best on their new adventure together!

Laurie & I then rushed back to Largo to celebrate the 50th Wedding Anniversary of 2 of the most extraordinary people on the planet - Karen & Dick LaBrant. With 200 people in attendance, it was a testament of what God intended marriage to look like. Dick & Karen have mentored, encouraged, and imparted so much wisdom to thousands & thousands of people & young couples through the years. We absolutely cherish them and their friendship, and are honored to have them on our ministry's board of directors.

Over the weekend Laurie & I also had a fantastic time in Lake Mary, FL spending quality time with another dear friend and partner in ministry - Jennifer Hedger (Daniel Hedger was out of town. We missed you Dan!). It's always great getting caught up with close friends. We had a wonderful time hanging out.

In-between the rehearsal, the wedding, the 50th wedding anniversary, and our hurried travels we also got to see so many friends we haven't seen in years as well as friends we do get to see more frequently. There are many ways in which God can bless a person's life, but one of the greatest of these is through healthy close friendships. I've been so blessed to have met so many people with deep and Godly character through many years of involvement in my local churches. I'm very thankful!

We also had just enough time this weekend to squeeze in a young adult church service and leadership meeting. And I got to do all of this with my best friend by my side - Laurie Finger. It was a good weekend! It was a blessed weekend. Thank You JESUS! =)



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Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!  

Sign up today to join GTD on one of our GOD AWESOME adventures to see more of this beautiful world!  

Hike the Grand Canyon or the Appalachian Trail, explore the Mighty 5 National Parks of Utah, hike the Narrows and Walters Wiggles, paddle the Colorado River, walk through the incredible Slot Canyons, let you eyes soak in the majesty of Havasu and Moody Falls or see one of the most photographed destinations in Arizona called Horseshoe Bend.  

Explore our website to find more details about our trips! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Calvary Pictures Uploaded

We've uploaded all the pictures from our last 2 events onto GTD's online photo album. Hope you enjoy re-living the moments!!

Elevate Excursion (Calvary Baptist of Clearwater): CLICK HERE

Men's Advance Weekend (Calvary Baptist of Clearwater): CLICK HERE


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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thanks For Volunteering!!!

Special thanks to a great cast of volunteers and staff (including 2 guys not pictured here - Richard Dunn & Alan Tripp) that worked incredibly hard this past weekend to make our Men's Advance Weekend so special! God is cultivating a great group of newer volunteers mixed in with some seasoned veterans and we are thrilled to be partnered with such quality people.

The amazing thing about serving God is that you can pour every ounce of energy you have into ministry and somehow (supernaturally) walk away more refreshed, energized, and blessed than when you arrived. It's how God works! These men have no idea exactly how much they blessed mine & Laurie 's lives, 35 men's lives, and the lives that each one of us touches after we depart from an inspiring ministry event like this.

God could supernaturally use thousands of different resources in order to accomplish His ministry, but I learned a long time ago that His primary choice of methods is to utilize people. God's method is man. He uses man to reach man. It's how He includes us in on a worldwide mission with eternal ramifications.

Our profound thanks to these guys for being willing and available vessels and allowing Christ to work through them to be a blessing to others. We are so glad you are on our team! God bless you!!


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Monday, April 18, 2016

REAL MEN DON'T RETREAT. REAL MEN ADVANCE!


We had a colossal God-awesome Men's Advance Campout this past weekend with 35 exceptional men from Calvary Baptist Church of Clearwater!

The event was held in Odessa, FL on a 170 acre private ranch adjoining a beautiful lake and surrounded by thousands of blueberry bushes and plenty of majestic oak trees.

Activities included boating, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, volleyball, shooting at the gun range, Hole Shot, relaxing on hammocks, blueberry picking, watching an outdoor movie, hanging out around the campfire, Biblical lessons and challenges, morning devotions, and a whole lot of shoulder-to-shoulder guy time relationship building. It was the perfect weekend!

Most of the men arrived and didn't know anyone. That's one of the great things about events like this. In the course of 30 hours people can go from complete strangers to good friends (and in many cases we see the birthing of new best friends). The reality is that Christ-centered camping trips are relationship accelerators. There are so many elements within a camping trip that cause teamwork, overcoming, and collaboration. Then when you mix in a Biblical approach with an optimistic perspective, a joyful tone, and mutual encouragement you have a setting that promotes rapid relational growth. We estimate that one weekend event like this is the equivalent of an entire year of casual interaction at church. That's why camps and retreats are (or should be) big priorities to churches... so much growth, development, and salvations happen when we disconnect from the strangle hold of the many distractions found in our day-to-day life.

I want to thank my dear friend Pastor Ron Cooney for all the time, effort, planning, and promoting he did to make this event happen, and especially for the opportunity he gave our ministry to be able to host this event (our 4th time over the past 5 years!). It was a blessing to everyone involved! We are already talking about next year's event!

I want to thank our Staff & Volunteers for the tremendous job they did to turn Calvary's hopes and plans into reality. I can't accurately express how much hard work goes into setting-up camp, breaking-down camp, and everything in-between. They did an amazing job! (I will make a separate post to honor all of their efforts.)

And, as a non-profit organization, I want to thank all of our donors, Monthly Partners, and supporters for their faithful and consistent investment into this ministry. I learned a long time ago that many times God's method is man. He uses man to reach man. He works through willing vessels to make large impacts. Each person's donation to this ministry makes a difference in countless lives and we are forever grateful for your enablement and support that helps make what we do possible. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU SO MUCH!


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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Good Morning Calvary Baptist Men

The guys from the  "Men's Advance" weekend retreat with Calvary Baptist Church of Clearwater started their day off with blueberry pancakes (fresh picked-onsite blueberries) and devotions from Romans 13.  What a blessing to see these men gathered together in Christ!