Thursday, February 15, 2018

CANOE CAMPING ON AN ISLAND!!

Join GTD for our annual PADDLE PROWL Canoe Camping weekender on Feb 24-25 in the Ten Thousand Islands region of south Florida.

It's the perfect time for outdoor adventures in Florida!!

COST: $59 (plus meals and parking fees)
... (Only $50 for Ministry Partners)

Click here for DETAILS & REGISTRATION

Thursday, February 8, 2018

14 YEARS IN A ROW!


14 YEARS IN A ROW!  WELCOME BACK FCD (FAMILY CENTER ON DEAFNESS)!!

GTD is honored and thrilled to be hosting one of our favorite groups AGAIN for another outdoor excursion. FCD is heading back to Tennessee with GTD this summer for a 5 day Adventure Trip!! We are already counting down the days... CAN'T WAIT!


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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

ATTENTION MEN!

Men's outdoor event coming March 2-3 to Lake Tarpon in Tarpon Springs, FL!!

GTD is honored to be partnering again with Calvary Church of Clearwater's Men's Ministry for our 7th Annual Men's Advance Outdoor Event (because real men advance, they don't retreat!).

ACTIVITIES: camping, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, boating, hammocking, campfire, Bible study, and more

THEME: Conviction / Commitment / Courage

DATE...
Starts: March 2 (anytime after 11am)
Ends: March 3 (3pm)

COST: $75 (includes FREE SHIRT, food, tents, cots, and scheduled activities)

This type of event should be a MANdatory part of every man's yearly calendar!

DETAILS & REGISTER HERE: https://calvary.us/mensadvance/

Saturday, February 3, 2018

BE AGGRESSIVE;  B - E  AGGRESSIVE!

To win the day you have to own the mornings! You have to create a morning routine that propels you like an unstoppable force. Your morning routine must include all your shoulds because shoulds don't inherently have the same built-in motivational compulsions that your have-to's possess. You automatically do your have-to's because you have to. But your shoulds are different. They are just as important, if not more important, than your have-to's, but there is no immediate dire consequence that forces you to accomplish your shoulds. Things like, I should wake up a little bit earlier; I should workout; I should pray and talk to God about these things that are on my mind; I should read my Bible more; I should make a healthy breakfast and throw together a healthy lunch; I should read a chapter from that one book I've been needing to read. I should take care of a couple of chores so they aren't piled up at the end of the week; I should have a few minutes of solitude each morning to sip my favorite morning drink and enjoy the peace and quiet; I should write that thank you note. We all have a list of shoulds that try to plague and occupy or minds all day long robbing us of the enjoyment of being completely alive in the moment. But there is a way to subdue all those nagging and distracting shoulds that are demanding your attention. You simply have to be aggressive and set up a basic morning routine that you do 4-6 days each week that chips away each day at your shoulds. It doesn't have to be 2 hours long. It just needs to be a little bit of intentional time that assertively takes ownership of your day, which will actually empower you to take ownership of your life. Doing a little each day adds up to a lot each week which adds up to a ton each month which adds up to a life change each year. You will be amazed at how much freedom and enjoyment you will experience for the next 15 hours when you invest 1 hour in the morning to aggressively tackle your shoulds. To help you gain an hour more in the morning you can start by not looking at your phone. Don't check your notifications. Don't go on any social media. Don't check your email. Don't turn on the news. Avoid anything and everything that will derail your new morning routine. You can also go to bed 30 minutes earlier. Trust me, the benefits of creating a morning routine and owning your mornings is literally life changing. I have my first 10 "plays" (like a football game) planned out for 6 days of the week. I start the day with the same 10 plays each morning to aggressively tackle all of my shoulds (those things that I need to do, but if I don't do them in the morning then they likely won't get done as they are pushed aside by the busy-ness of the day). I arranged all my morning shoulds into a strategic order and created an acronym to help me remember each thing and the order that I like to accomplish them. The acronym is: A.R.I.S.E.&.G.R.O.W. Each letter represents a different should and I tackle each one as soon as I wake up. I become an unstoppable force to take on and navigate the immovable objects that litter the day ahead. Developing an effective morning routine is one of the most powerful things you can do to have a successful, abundant, overflowing, and impactful life. And the main ingredient to making all this possible is a little bit of healthy self discipline and self control. It's a game changer! Sometimes you've got to be aggressive about taking a stand for the things in your life that matter. Seize the morning and you SEIZE THE DAY!! Carpe Diem!!

Here's a couple examples of Jesus being assertive and aggressive about things that matter:

"Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves." - Matthew 21:12

"At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you. He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’" - Luke 13:31-32

STRiVE to THRiVE!

Friday, February 2, 2018

IT'S BACK!.... FEB 24-25!... PADDLE PROWL!

PADDLE PROWL Canoe Camping Trip in the Ten Thousand Island region!!

Hey Weekend Adventure Warriors!! Join us for one of our favorite adventures... canoe camping on an island in south Florida!!

Date: Feb 24-25, 2018 (Sat-Sun)
Location: Ten Thousand Islands (near Naples, FL)
Cost: $59/person (plus food)

Discount: Ministry Partners get a $9/person discount (Trip = $50/person plus food)

This is the PERFECT time of the year to enjoy Florida's incredible outdoor opportunities!!

Details & Registration Information


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GRATIFYING vs SATISFYING

Rarely do wants line up with shoulds. The greatest rewards in life come through doing what you should do which is oftentimes in contrast to what you want to do. Working out verses sleeping in. Eating vegetables verses eating donuts. Drinking water verses drinking soda. Saving money verses buying impulsively. Spending time with loved ones verses watching Netflix. Time with God verses social media. Enjoying your family verses watching the news. Constantly indulging that which momentarily gratifies often comes at a price of a lifetime that satisfies. Healthy God breathed self control and self discipline can launch you from daily regrets and missed opportunities to a life that overflows. But the journey starts with one profound thought: Maybe my emotions and my heart aren't very accurate at directing my life.

"The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?" - Jeremiah 17:9

"There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death." - Proverbs 14:12

STRiVE to THRiVE!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

MASTERING THE MUNDANE

I'm starting my 7th month of striving after healthy championship level disciplines. Last year God revealed to me that I have the discipline of a winner, but not of a CHAMPION. Challenge accepted! Thank you Coach Jesus! Last month was my hardest month. My daily routine was getting (and still is) mundane regardless of attempts to infuse variety. There wasn't a single day that I felt like working out. In fact, I DIDN'T WANT TO workout EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. So what did I do??? Well, WINNERS are pleased with 6 months of consistency and start relaxing their disciplines. But CHAMPIONS persevere through the boredom. I'm happy to say that I never missed a single day. And I can sense the breakthrough happening. It's an awesome thing!

It's been said that the key to success in any diet or nutrition plan is endurance... to stay consistent even after the excitement, newness, and urgency for change turns into a feeling of "same ole, same ole". That same truth holds true for just about any healthy endeavor. At some point you're going to lose all motivation and desire to keep doing healthy things over and over day after day. Not because you're not SEEING the importance of what you're striving after. But rather because you're not FEELING the importance of what you're striving after. Most people give up in this moment not realizing that this is the most vital time to push through. It's your MUNDANE MOMENT that happens in every great endeavor. You've grown a little bored with your routine and no matter how much you try to change things up, it still feels mundane and almost "lifeless" even though it is actually producing life. What is this? This is your personal self imposed limitation that you've been developing over a lifetime. It marks the highest you've ever pushed yourself to reach and the furthest you've ever pushed yourself to go without a coach or team or partner helping you push through. What do you do? You push through. You master the mundane. You stop letting your life, your health, your finances, your walk with God, your unmet potential be sabotaged by your feelings. This is your opportunity to grow past the limits of your emotions and breaking through to greater and greater things. The only solution for mastering the mundane moments is by getting up and fighting. Fight for your life. Fight for your health. Fight for finances. Fight for your walk with God. Fight for your family. Fight for your God-breathed potential. Stop letting your emotions dictate your behavior. Grow. Grow. Grow. Let wisdom and fruit and results influence your behavior. Push through the mundane moments because everything you're striving after lies on the other side of your emotional blockades. Maturity is a beautiful and wonderful thing. It's worth every effort, every bead of sweat, every momentary sacrifice. But to get there you have to make yourself do what you don't feel like doing. That's what healthy self discipline is... it's fighting for things worth fighting for when you feel like staying in bed or you feel like giving up. Push through the boredom. It's temporary. Master the mundane. It's like a fleeting test. It's a measurement of your growth thus far, not a ceiling to how high you can grow. Push through. Press on. Master the mundane.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9

STRiVE to THRiVE!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

MAILING OUT OUR 2017 DONATION RECEIPTS!!

Thank you so much to all of our donors and supporters from 2017!! Your impact is still being felt and propelling us into 2018! God bless YOU =)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

TOP 18 PICTURES FROM OUR ADVENTURES IN A "GATOR HOLE" IN THE EVERGLADES!

Wow, now this was thrilling! What a great group of brave & fun (and maybe even slightly crazy) adventurers!! This place was so beautiful!

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What are Gator Holes?

Gator Holes are basically deeper depressions or "holes" located throughout the Everglades that retain water during the dry season. It doesn't mean that alligators are present in the holes, but rather that it's a place that would provide alligators the resources they need, especially during the dry season. We always approach with caution and look for any evidence of alligator presence before proceeding. Surprisingly, with more than 200 miles hiked in the swamps of the Everglades over the past 19 years, I've never encountered or even seen an alligator other than in the canals during the drive along I-75 (It's actually a little disappointing!). They stay in the canals along the interstate year-round because the canals don't go through dry seasons. The gators have learned that if they just stay put in the canals then they no longer need to migrate throughout the swampland during dry seasons.

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SWAMP THING 2018

Monday, January 29, 2018

SWAMP THING PICS UPLOADED!

Nearly 400 pictures and videos uploaded from our annual SWAMP THING Backpacking Trip to the GTD Online Photo Album!

Click here to check out this unique adventure!

More pictures coming soon =)

Here's a glimpse at how challenging the swamp hike is.

The underwater trail is muddy, slippery, uneven, and full of tripping hazards (such as cypress knobs, broken-off water logged tree branches, limestone potholes, and more). Once the mud is stirred up it's impossible to see beneath the water's surface so each step is a blind step of unknown adventures! The cypress trees thrive in this environment and oftentimes are the only thing that prevents a hiker from falling every few steps. It's easy to feel like you are a human pinball or attempting to learn a funky new swamp dance as you shift to the left then slide to the right only to see time and time again your natural reactions quickly moving your legs, feet, and arms to keep you staying upright. It's absolutely amazing that many hikers never completely fall and most don't fall more than 2 or 3 times during the entire 7 mile roundtrip journey. Swamp hiking is very slow. We average about 1 mph compared to 2-3 miles per hour on a typical hiking trail. Swamp hiking is also very physically and psychologically demanding because your feet sink into the mud and it taxes your hip flexors, leg muscles, stabilizers, ligaments, and tendons. This can easily result in fatigue, frustration, and the temptation to give up. But these are also the reasons why the hike is so rewarding and satisfying. It's a 2 day lesson and test on overcoming. There's no better reward than experiencing the exhilaration of overcoming... of beating a challenge from a worthy opponent. And that's what the swamp is - a hauntingly beautiful worthy opponent that's always trying to knock you down. These kind of adventures give immense value to your life as you learn to overcome difficult circumstances, adversity, trials, strongholds, and even spiritual warfare. These types of adventure equip you with the tools needed to become a victor instead of seeing yourself as a victim. And it helps to have optimistic, fun-loving, "challenge-accepted" type of people to share your journey with. From my experience, the type of people willing to go on a swamp hike are a very rare breed... I'd guess it's less than 1% of the American population. But I love hiking with that 1% who often meet difficulties with laughter. This was a great group of swamp hikers!!

We hiked 7 miles roundtrip on the southern most portion of the Florida Trail. The Florida Trail stretches 1300 miles from the southern swamps to the northwestern panhandle of Florida. The Everglades portion that we hiked in is considered the most difficult section, but I would wish this adventure upon everyone!

SWAMP THING 2018

IN LESS THAN 48 HOURS A LIFELONG MEMORY WAS BUILT!

Some adventures are like a high speed video recorder... so many classic moments happen in such a concentrated amount of time that when it's replayed in the normal speed of the brain's memory it feels like slow motion. A month or year's worth of highlights happens in under 2 days and it feels like we spent weeks together.

We were blessed to do this crazy adventure with 10 off the charts fun-loving outdoor enthusiasts that helped make this year's SWAMP THING an unforgettable God-awesome journey into God's amazing creation!!

"Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy." - Psalm 96:11-12

Stay tuned for some incredible pics from our romp in the swamp.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Good morning from the swamps of The Everglades =)

Rise and shine! Good morning from the swamps of The Everglades =). Perfect temps last night after a physically "robust" hike and enjoyable campfire... I slept like a baby. We have a great group of 10 adventurers! These people are so much fun!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

SWAMP THING 2018 (Day 1)

Wow, what an arduously awesome day of 1 MPH adventure! Making lifelong memories one swampy step at a time =).

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Richest Man In Babylon

Finally finished reading "The Resolution For Men" (great book!) and now I'm on to a short read called "The Richest Man In Babylon" written nearly 100 years ago. Jim Rohn calls it one of the most important books ever written about understanding personal economics and the fundamental laws of thriving financially. (I'm guessing I won't be reading anything about bitcoin LOL!)

January's focus = The DISCIPLINES of thriving in physical health & fitness

February's focus = The DISCIPLINES of thriving in financial freedom & good stewardship

All the knowledge, understanding, wisdom, passion, great intentions, and physical capabilities in the world is utterly useless without the discipline to apply it.

There is no thriving without striving.

"Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth." - Proverbs 10:4

STRiVE to THRiVE!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

SWAMP THING 2018 (3 days to go!)

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
       - Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken)

SWAMP THING 2018 (3 days to go!)

Live the adventure!!









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Monday, January 22, 2018

COUNTDOWN... 5 DAYS TO GO TILL SWAMP THING!!

Yip! Yip!

Are we a little bit crazy??? ABSOLUTELY!
.....Is there any other way to adventurously live life?!?!

Interested in adding a little swamp water to your life??? Click here for details.

Going The Distance Adventure Ministry

FULLY LIVIN' BECAUSE WE'RE FORGIVEN!



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Thursday, January 18, 2018

30 degrees in the suncoast of FL =)

We love the cold!! Have a doggone great rest of the day =)

DON'T GIVE UP! PRESS ON!!

Every worthwhile goal is not a sprint, it's a marathon! And during every marathon you're going to hit your wall... hit those moments when the emotional motivation is gone, the mundane process has set in, and the finish line seems way too far away. In that moment everything inside of you is attempting to persuade you to give up and throw the towel in. BUT DON'T GIVE UP!!! You're simply hitting your wall that's trying to keep you from great great GREAT things. In that moment make whatever adjustment you need to make in order to keep pressing on... walk out the next mile, listen to a 15 minute motivational speech on YouTube, listen to your favorite songs that activate your inner drive, read inspirational quotes, get a friend to partner up with you for a few days... make whatever small adjustment(s) you need to make that keeps you pressing on. BUT DON'T GIVE UP!! You may feel like you're standing on the verge of a breakdown, but in reality you're standing on the verge of a BREAKTHROUGH! Every goal setter and dream pursuer hits a wall. If you give up in that moment then you will never achieve the goal or dream you're striving after. But, if instead of giving up, you make a few adjustments and keep pressing on you will experience a breakthrough that will cause amazing character growth that will propel you through this wall, and prepare you for your next wall, and that will grow you more to propel you through the wall after that, and so on, and so on until you not only achieve your goals and dreams, but more importantly, the process of breaking through wall after wall will actually build an UNCONQUERABLE CHARACTER that is conditioned to achieve your next goal and achieve your next dream, and then the next goal & next dream, and then the next goal & next dream. In fact, your ENTIRE LIFE lies on the other side of the wall standing right in front of you. DON'T GIVE UP! PRESS ON!!

And maybe without even noticing, in each decision to press on, you didn't even realize that you were learning the life-changing and life-producing God-created quality of self discipline... and your life will never be lukewarm or mediocre again.

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:12-14

STRiVE to THRiVE!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

UPDATE: $78,498 RAISED!! ...ONLY $21.5k LEFT TO GO!! ...2018 THEME: "PIVOTAL"

UPDATE: $78,498 RAISED!!
.......ONLY $21.5k LEFT TO GO!!

(100k Goal Deadline: Jan 31st)

2018 THEME: "PIVOTAL" / "PIVOT-ALL"

We continue to be blown away by our supporters!! Even over the holidays our ministry family continued to give. We are jaw dropped! Thank you so much generous friends!!!

With 18 full days remaining, our 100k fundraising goal is within reach!

We are only 1.5k away from 80k, then 10k away from 90k, then 10k from hitting our God-sized goal of 100k!! That's absolutely AMAZING!!

Our theme for 2018 is: "PIVOTAL" (or PIVOT-ALL). This is the year we begin to pivot to bigger and better things while maintaining all the God-awesome aspects of GTD that have been developed over the past 22 years. This is the year we begin to pivot our focus to deeper education, equipping, and training in areas of discipleship, leadership development, and character development. IN ADDITION, this is the year when we begin to pivot in prayer for a "Joshua" to start phasing in as my apprentice to one day lead the next generation of adventurers. I've still got A LOT left in the tank, but we will eventually need a younger person to effectively connect with the next few generations while I pivot to training, teaching, writing, speaking, and ministry planting. God's vision for us is BIG, and it requires us to be able to pivot at pivotal times. We are drafting a 3, 5, and 10 year plan to make a greater impact in the upcoming generations. Now is the time to begin to pivot our dreams & imagination to what could be possible 10 years from now if we are willing to pivot today.

Laurie and I look forward to sharing much more with you about this year's vision & theme as we return to our Facebook Live videos next week.

STAY TUNED & KEEP SEEKING HIM FIRST!!

(To invest and GTD and help propel us to our 100k goal by Jan 31st click on this link. God bless you!!)


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OUR MOST UNPOPULAR EVENT OF THE YEAR IS 2 WEEKS AWAY!

Whether it's fear, discomfort, or an overly active imagination the sentiment is almost universal when it comes to our annual SWAMP THING Everglades Backpacking Trip: "I'll go on any other GTD event, but there ain't no way I'm EVER going on that swamp hike!" That's the 98%.

But there's another 2% out there who relish the challenge to go where others refuse to go and do what others refuse to do.

They're a rare breed made up of men, women, and even kids who are motivated by the challenge.

The very reasons that others state why they won't go are the very same reasons why the adventurer is compelled to go.

It's not because they're crazy or have some kind of superpower. They simply refuse to be mastered by intimidation.

They want to take on their fears, their discomforts, and their imaginations so that they can live boldly, fiercely, and fully. And they want a picture too ;)

So, to the 2% out there, come join us on one of the most unique weekend adventures to one of the rarest terrains in the world!

SWAMP THING 2018
Everglades Backpacking Trip
Jan 27-28, 2018 (Sat-Sun)
$59/person (practically free!)
Naples, FL

CLICK HERE for Registration & Details

Thursday, January 11, 2018

GOOD morning =)

Nothing keeps us closer to our Best Friend, transforms our lives beyond measure, and ushers us into greater depths of freedom than consistent daily time with God. God can do more in our lives in 5 minutes than we could accomplish in a lifetime. It's that powerful!

Daily time with God doesn't just happen. It doesn't always come natural. Like so many healthy things in life we often don't feel like exerting the effort to follow through even though we know it's the best decision we could make. And add to that the fact that we have an advisory dedicated to intruding on our quality time with God. But none of those are legitimate reasons to skip out on time with God. They're excuses not reasons. That's why God invented self discipline. That's why He made self control part of the fruit of the Spirit. I know it doesn't sound "exciting", but it leads to exciting abundance. He gave us this mighty tool of self discipline so that we don't have to be a slave to our unreliable emotions and erratic wants. Self discipline moves us to where we need to go even when we don't feel like it, and it rescues us from wrong paths we find ourselves wanting to go down.

Healthy self discipline isn't overly rigid or scheduling every second of our day. It's simply a developable character quality that positions ourselves for great success. It's not grueling will power; it's the simple act of making good choices... It's not the engine; it's the steering wheel. Those disciplined choices steer your life to great great GREAT things.

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." - Psalm 34:8

STRiVE to THRiVE!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

GTD TURNS 22 YEARS OLD!

GTD TURNS 22 YEARS OLD!
   ...HAPPY NEW YEAR & HAPPY BIRTHDAY GTD!!

January 1st not only represented a new year on the calendar, it also marked another wonderful milestone for us... 22 years of God-awesome outdoor outreach for Going The Distance Adventure Ministry!!

Over 10,000 lives impacted since 1996!

Thank you adventure participants! Thank you generous donors! Thank you selfless volunteers! Thank you awesome staffers (past & present)! Thank you amazing supporters! Thank You Jesus!!

Lord willing, we still have so much more ahead!!!

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:12-14

"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.'” - James 4:13-15

GTD - CELEBRATING 22 YEARS OF MINISTRY!!


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Monday, January 8, 2018

BACK TO THE GRIND =)

After 3 weeks of hibernating I'm back full force to the daily grind! The "ceasing from striving" sabbatical was nice, but oh how I missed my daily disciplines!! I'm fueled up and ready to go for 2018. So many battles to fight, obstacles to overcome, victories to take hold of... life is war, and I've got a spiritual enemy that roams around like a roaring lion looking for an opportunity to kill, steal, destroy, & devour the unprepared. But I've got a King who offers every spiritual resource for strategic victories. I like my odds ;)

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." - 1 Peter 5:8

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." - John 10:10

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes." - Ephesians 6:10-11

STRIVE to THRiVE!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

HUMBLY OVERJOYED!! ... $7500 YEAR-END DONATION RECEIVED!!

HUMBLY OVERJOYED!!
   ... $7500 YEAR-END DONATION RECEIVED!!
     ... $75,000 RAISED IN 1 MONTH!!
       ... (Only $25k to go by Jan 31st!)

A VERY GENEROUS local charitable foundation has made a $7500 year-end donation to GTD!!!

WOW! I will say it again, WOW! I will say it backwards, WOW!

We are humbly overjoyed. We are in uncharted territory. This is $10k more than we've ever raised. It's not only an overwhelming show of support from our Ministry Family, but an indisputable display of strong support by the very hand of God. I can't quite describe how that fact alone profoundly impacts us. Deep humility. Overflowing joy. Quiet abounding confidence. Exuberant invigoration. The list goes on.

This has been an epic David & Goliath type of year. The first half of 2017 was a sucker punch to the gut followed by an upper-cut to the jaw from Goliath sized set-backs. We were knocked down, but not knocked out. This kind of fight only ends with a tap-out or death. We wouldn't tap-out. We wouldn't die. We kept rising back up and fighting back. I had been here before so I could draw from experience and a developed faith that was up for the fight. But I was physically worn out. Laurie was exhausted & burned out. But still we fought on. I sought God for His intervention and rescue. There's an old saying that goes like this, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime." I was seeking God for a fish. He was more interested in teaching me a life lesson. His lesson to me, "You are a winner, but you're not a champion. You have the discipline of a winner, but you don't have the discipline of a champion." That truth changed my life. That truth set me free. From that moment (at the beginning of last summer) I've wholeheartedly obeyed His instructions to me. I've been on an amazing journey of developing a champion's level of discipline. I'm not completely there yet, but I'm "approaching the green" (to use a golf metaphor). It's not an overbearing "military dad" type of discipline. It's a life-producing, life-preserving wise discipline. It's not boring at all. In fact, I can't stop talking about it. 

So what does that have to do with fundraising? Nothing. And EVERYTHING. When our hearts are completely God's, He strongly supports us.

The year is ending much differently than it began. Goliath has been slayed. Our mourning has been changed to dancing. Our exhaustion has been changed to exhilaration. Our heavy hearts now freely rejoice. This has been a comeback story that will forever change the trajectory of this ministry and our very lives. We have so many people to thank... people who never gave up on us... people who saw the need and took the initiative. God used you to strongly support this ministry and us. We praise God for Him. And we praise God for YOU!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!! GOD BLESS YOU!

"For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His." - 2 Chronicles 16:9


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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

THE KEY TO VICTORY IS TO "PUMMEL YOUR BODY"!

THE KEY TO VICTORY IS TO "PUMMEL YOUR BODY"!

(AKA: Self Discipline; Self Control)

Are you on pace to win the race? Are you going to take first place?

Second place? Third? Last?

Are you running in such a way as to win the prize?

Or, like so many people, are you running aimlessly in life? Are you wildly throwing punches at your opposition that are easily dodged? Are your upper-cuts ineffective whiffs... an energy wasting swing and a miss??

While your expensive entry fee into the race (salvation) is a free gift offered from God through faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross, the outcome of the race - how you compete, enjoy, and ultimately finish - is completely up to YOU!

That's not pride. That's God's design from the beginning to the end of the Bible. HE puts the emphasis squarely on YOU. In fact, He eventually judges YOU based on YOUR DECISIONS. We won't be able to point the finger at God at the end of the race and blame Him for our lifetime of choices.

Don't blame God if you're losing the race because you're not implementing the resources, tools, and strategies He has generously provided for your success.

Don't blame God if you let fear, pain, hurt, & disappointments keep you on the sidelines instead of getting out on the field.

Don't blame God if you spend your whole life chasing things that don't matter.

Don't blame God for shallow perspectives, cliches, and half truths that keep you stuck in life ("Whatever will be will be.", "Everything happens for a reason.", "If it's meant to be, it will be.") when He provides wisdom & truth that can set you free and usher in fullness of life.

Don't blame God for outcomes that He has delegated to you.

Don't blame God for messes that you made.

Don't blame God for things that you're reaping from what you've been sowing.

Too many Christians don't realize that so much of the victory that God makes available lies within our God given capacity to choose. To choose to pray. To choose to seek. To choose knock. To choose to ask. To choose to rely on the Holy Spirit. To choose to flee temptation. To choose to forgive. To choose to love. To choose to overcome. To choose to tear down idols. To choose to be thankful. To choose to eat unhealthy foods. To choose to work hard as unto the Lord. To choose to persevere. To choose to rest. To choose to learn. To choose to read. To choose to strive. To choose to workout. To choose to prioritize. To choose to stay stuck. To choose bad relationships. To choose bad influences as friends. To choose another 10 minutes in bed or to choose the discipline to get up. It's all a choice!

The very first gift God gave man was the freedom of choice... To pull from sources that bring life or sources that bring death.

God gave instructions, clarity, and discernment, but He delegated the actual freedom of choice to each person.

And He gave us a litmus test to distinguish good choices from bad choices - FRUIT. What does my decision produce? WHAT'S THE FRUIT? Decay? Withering? Confusion? Unnecessary suffering? Destruction? Premature Death? More fat? Less cardio endurance? More stress? Dehydration? STD's? Emptiness? Well then you may want to change your choices to bring about different results.

Good Godly choices bear life-giving, life-producing FRUIT. It's delicious! You get to eat of it and others do too.

That's part of the benefits of winning your race - FULLNESS OF LIFE!!

But, in order to win, you have to choose self control & self discipline. The literal Greek translation is that you have to PUMMEL YOUR BODY & MAKE IT YOUR SLAVE. God gives out race entries (salvation) for free, but He doesn't give out participation trophies. You've got to earn the gold medal. You get one lifetime to do it in. Discipline, discipline, discipline. It's not your enemy; it's one of your BEST FRIENDS!

The current catch phrase is, "adulting". You've got to grow up. Your parents may have let you down by trying to be your buddy instead of teaching you self control and self discipline, but that doesn't let you off the hook. There are many great ways to develop healthy life-producing self discipline. That's part of the fruit of the Spirit so God is already eager to develop it in you. You just need to lean into Him.

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1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (ESV)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control*, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

*1 Corinthians 9:27 (literal Greek translation): I pummel my body and make it a slave
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STRiVE to THRiVE!

Friday, December 22, 2017

We've got one of the BEST MINISTRY FAMILIES on the planet!!

Thank you so much Tina for these surprise custom made gifts we received in the mail - personalized GTD snowglobe Christmas tree ornaments!!! THEY'RE AWESOME!! WE LOVE THEM!!! This will only make setting up the Christmas tree each year more special! We love you! Merry CHRISTmas to you and your family!!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

WHAT A WAY TO END THE YEAR!!

We have an anonymous generous donor that has issued a $2500 Donor Match Challenge from now thru Dec 31st!!

They will match your one time donation AND/OR monthly pledges up to $2500 (cumulative)!! That means that for every dollar you donate or pledge they will match it dollar for dollar up to $2500 cumulatively!! WOW!!!!

Your donation of $25 instantly becomes $50. Your monthly pledge of $25 per month (x 12 months = $300) instantly becomes $600!!

4 people donating $55/month would take care of the whole donor match challenge!! That's the power of a few generous people making a huge impact in a modest, but impactful ministry!

To make a one time donation or adopt this ministry for 1 year then now would be a great time as you watch your donation instantly get doubled!!

We are $33,000 away from hitting our goal of raising $100k by Jan 31, 2018. Hitting this donor match challenge would instantly knock out 15% of that remaining amount!! That's HUGE!

CLICK HERE to donate, become a monthly partner, or simply track the total funds raised.

Thank you so much for believing in and investing in this ministry!! God bless you!

Going The Distance Adventure Ministry
Glorify God. Love Man. Have Fun!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

IT'S BAAAAAAACK! .... SWAMP THING 2018!

Hey Weekend Warriors, Thrill Seekers, Bucket-Listers, & Outdoor Adventurers...

The official date for GTD's annual Swamp Thing Everglades Backpacking Trip is Jan 27-28, 2018 (just over 1 month away!)

This is the hike your Mama warned you about!

Click here for Details & Registration.

Monday, December 18, 2017

RADICAL SABBATICAL... 3 WEEKS OF STRATEGIC ACTIVE REST & RECOVERY

I'm in the midst of several transformational "upgrades" in my approach to life that I'm ABSOLUTELY THRILLED about.

God has been guiding me away from overstriding and on towards abundant striding. It's all Spirit led and focuses on implementing healthy wise biblically based daily disciplines in order to become more fruitful and live at full potential for God's glory.

I've been striving after these life changing principles for 4 1/2 months and the breakthroughs and fruitfulness have been profound.

I'm taking a comprehensive approach to abundant living, but the gist of it is that I'm approaching life like I'm an athlete striving to become a championship caliber player in a team sport called LIFE. My year is comprised of 2 "six month seasons" (Jan-June & July-Dec). Each day I'm striving to have a winning day (It's a biblical definition of what a "win" looks like to God... I'll explain more in the future). I try to string daily wins together day after day to have a winning week. If I stay consistent those winning streaks translate into winning weeks and winning months. Since my "season" lasts 6 months I'm striving to have a "championship season" each season (hopefully 2 championship seasons each year) and put together repeats, three-peats, four-peats, and so on to build a dynasty (aka legacy) that glorifies God while inspiring & impacting others.

(This may all sound very cheesy to some people, but I find it very motivational and it helps me translate eternal priorities into daily objectives in an athletic, competitive, and fun approach which is how I tick... sometimes you have to construct an approach to life that is custom made for how God designed you. That's what I'm doing and it highly motivates me. There's a strategy to winning and defeating an opponent and this approach helps me adapt daily to my oppositions attempt to defeat me.)

So, like with any highly competitive sport, there has to be an off season to prevent burnout, injuries, boredom, etc, etc. So I've been praying about an off season and asking God what that looks like for me. My prayer time has been so sweet with God as He has been teaching me so much and leading me to solution after solution to each challenge.

I know I have to have an "off season", but my concern is that I don't want to take steps backwards from all the gains and victories God has been blessing me with. I'm aware that rest can easily become retirement if we're not vigilant to fight off complacency, apathy, and the lure of ease & comfort.

God immediately answered my prayers. He impressed on my heart and mind that He already invented an "off season" that infuses rest & recovery while protecting against backsliding. It's called a sabbatical. And it's designed to be a type of rest that continues to propel you forward.

In my terms, it will be the 6th month of each "season" (the months of June & Dec). During that time I will take a break from the daily grind of heavy disciplines and transition to a month of less striving.

For example, instead of lifting weights 3x per week I may go bike riding or kayaking while I give my muscles a few weeks off from heavy lifting.

Obviously I still have priorities and a ministry to run so I'm not saying that I'm not taking care of my responsibilities during this time frame, but more that the mental approach to the striving is more relaxed as well as the actual workload is less heavy.

I'm not sure if that makes sense, but as long as I understand it and implement it into my season is all that counts.

I've always known I was going to have to tackle the "off season" since I started this new life strategy so I've been thinking about it and praying about it for several months.

Now I'm at the point of starting my "off season" for the next 3 weeks and I'm excited about how God continues to guide me each step of the way.

Today I kicked off my 3 weeks of RADICAL SABBATICAL and I don't have it all figured out yet, but I've got the main structure in place. Part of the fun is learning and adjusting each day.

So my goal is propel forward while backing off of the daily grind for 3 weeks. It's a different kind of striving... but it still leads to thriving!

STRiVE to THRiVE!

Friday, December 15, 2017

THANK YOU LETTERS MAILED OUT =)   .... UPDATE: $67,000 RAISED SO FAR!!

Wow! Words fall short of accurately capturing the gratitude in our hearts for our generous donors. A small, but mighty army of 60 big hearted donors teamed up to contribute over $67,000 so far to Going The Distance Adventure Ministry!! That's a new GTD fundraising record that will launch us into 2018!! Praise God! And it puts us within 33k of hitting our 100k goal by Jan 31st!
With full hearts and revived strength for what lies ahead we say THANK YOU SO MUCH to our magnanimous donors! You guys rock! God bless you!!
"I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you." - Romans 1:8

DAILY DISCIPLINES LEAD TO THRIVING LIVES!

DO YOU HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE THAT PRODUCES GREAT RESULTS???

I know this will sound boring,  but for the past 4 1/2 months I've been experimenting with morning (and nightly) routines. The goal is to custom build a morning and nightly gameplan that launches great, healthy, & thriving results that glorify God and produce life-giving fruit.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! God has led me on a really cool journey to discover simple wise consistent daily disciplines that produce great results.

As the New Year quickly approaches I'm reminded that this is the time when many people (myself included) set new year's goals and resolutions in an effort to establish a healthier direction for their lives. Oftentimes these goals are launched from emotions and tend to fade away within 2 or 3 weeks. Emotions can be great starters, but they can't sustain any long-term pursuits. When the excitement and emotions fade there has to be something of substance in place to sustain the daily grind & consistency needed to achieve your goals. That's where discipline comes in! It's this amazing free character quality that is available to most everyone, but has not been cultivated in high concentration over the past 3 generations. Entertainment, self gratification, mediocrity, low pain & low discomfort tolerance, emotional immaturity, and a whole lot of poor parenting has gutted 3 generations of healthy self discipline. And the results are painfully obvious. That's why healthy & wise self discipline is becoming one of the main emphasis of our ministry. It's the one character quality that impacts almost all other character qualities, goals, dreams, calling, and accomplishments. Without it, generations settle for low standards and mediocrity. Without it, people embrace the path of least resistance which leads to the path of greatest misery. Without it, no-one ever reaches their potential in life. Discipline is a word that elicits very little fan fare, but for those who embrace wise discipline it becomes one of the most thrilling words in the dictionary.

Starting in 2018, GTD will start focusing on helping others value, embrace, and implement wise healthy self discipline so they can live out their calling and full potential in Christ.

And I look forward to sharing my own custom built morning routine of daily disciplines that is producing so many great results.

Here's a hint. My first "10 plays" of each day (M-F) are already set in stone. They're built on the wisdom of God's Word, scientific research, wise advice from good examples, and personal priorities. I custom built my 10-play morning routine game plan to form an acronym (A.R.I.S.E. &. G.R.O.W.). Each letter is the first letter of an individual discipline that starts my day. Although discipline usually conjures up thoughts of oppression and boredom, when used wisely, discipline actually leads to greater freedom and accomplishment while reducing stress and decluttering the mind of nagging "have to's". My morning routine is customized around my personal needs, lifestyle, and situations so it wouldn't work for everyone, but it's working great for me. In fact, I'm thrilled about it! I'll share the details of each discipline in future posts.

A -
R -
I -
S -
E -
 
& -
 
G -
R -
O -
W -

More to come!

STRiVE to THRiVE!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

SLEEP IS ROCKET FUEL! MY BED IS MY LAUNCHING PAD!

I've been focusing on the value of proper amounts of sleep and rest for the past 18 weeks and I keep being astonished by the powerful effects of this free readily available resource.

Until recently I looked at sleep and rest as these "necessary evils" that interrupt momentum and progress.

My body didn't require a lot of sleep in order to function with high energy and amble enthusiasm. I love the mornings and I hate calling an end to the day. I love chasing after dreams and my calling.

But earlier this year I painted myself into a corner. My main solution for solving problems and overcoming unnecessary struggles was to pray harder, work harder, and work more hours until the issue was resolved.

But this year I ran into the inevitable bigger problem... I didn't have anymore hours available to work. I didn't have anymore minutes of sleep time that I could donate to the work hours. I was all used up.

I could no longer draw from my greatest strength of grinding out more work over more time. I was maxed out. My greatest strength could no longer sustain the endless needs of running an organization. In fact, all the extra work and extra hours had become counterproductive.

Not only was it not sustainable, it had crossed over to becoming self destructive. I'm a hardheaded stubborn driven persevering person, and most of the time that is an asset... but my greatest ambition in life is to bear much fruit for God's glory so if I begin to see that my persevering efforts are resulting in diminished returns I eventually relent from driving on in that same direction.

But because God designed me to be naturally persevering I usually will exhaust every ounce of effort until I'm convinced it is a lost cause.

At that point I abandon the approach that proved to be counterproductive and begin seeking God for a new wiser approach.

So in July, after 10+ years of an extremely heavy workload (that often bore good amounts of fruit via more events run and more participants impacted), I abandoned the approach of resolving all challenges by working longer and harder.

I will keep that approach in my back pocket for occasional situations that require that approach, but I've moved on to a more disciplined approach of "LESS IS MORE".

This approach requires a "smarter not harder" approach which means I utilize more wisdom and more discipline in conjunction with staying in tune with the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish more results with less effort in less time.

So sleep has gone from my arch nemesis to  one of my best friends.

In fact, I plain got it wrong when it came to assessing the value of sleep and rest. I know the main characteristics of a sluggard and an unproductive person are laziness and too much sleep. So sleep, in my mind, was synonymous with being a couch potato. I didn't want anything to do with that type of fruitless lifestyle. As someone once said, "I'd rather wear out than rust out."

But, to my own demise,  I devalued the immense importance of the proper amount of sleep and rest.

I've thrillingly found that the wise amount of sleep literally fuels a highly productive day.

Sleep is rocket fuel which makes my bed a launching pad to highly productive and highly fruitful days.

I still let myself have 2 nights each week that I stay up as late as I want, but those 2 nights often remind me of just how valuable the other 5 nights of getting to bed by midnight really are.

It may not sound exciting to you, but disciplining myself to get the wise amount of sleep and rest is earth shattering to me.

Too little sleep doesn't fully refuel the rocket and too much sleep pours excess fuel on the ground.

But the wise amount of sleep and rest fuels the rocket to travel to the moon and back each day.

And I'm excited about that breakthrough in my life!

Thank YOU Jesus!!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." - Mt 11:28-30

STRiVE to THRiVE!

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

STILL SAVORING OUR BANQUET NIGHT!! .... AND RECORD BREAKING NEWS!!! (66k RAISED!)

STILL SAVORING OUR BANQUET NIGHT!!

 .... AND RECORD BREAKING NEWS!!! (66k RAISED!)

   .... ALSO, PICS UPLOADED =)

We are still savoring the special night God blessed us with a few days ago at our Annual Banquet. We are so blessed to have so many incredible people in the GTD family!! It was a time to recognize and thank our supporters, encouragers, participants, and volunteers.

It was also a night to celebrate a year of epic comebacks. We got knocked down over and over again this year, but we kept rising back up and fighting back in faith. 2017 started as a heart-breaker, but ended as record-breaker!! It's so amazing how God turns set-backs into set-ups for victory.

I'm thrilled to announce that our wonderful GTD family continues to donate towards our 100k goal even after the banquet ended. Since Tuesday night we've received an additional 13k in support to bring our total funds raised to $66,000! That's a new record!! It eclipses last year's record total of 65k. And we still have 7 weeks remaining before our Jan 31st fundraising deadline. I feel a miracle in the making!

Thank you again to all of our supporters and prayer warriors! We feel the love!! And we look forward to all that God has in store for 2018 (& beyond).

You can check out all of the banquet pictures in this photo album. Special thanks to Housh, Carson, Laurie, & Matt for all of the great shots =)

God bless! And stay tuned!!