Monday, September 17, 2018
GET AHEAD OF THE GAME! ...LET GTD CUSTOM BUILD A GOD-AWESOME CHRIST-CENTERED EVENT FOR YOUR GROUP IN 2019!
Costa Rica Mission Trips:
Adventure Trips to GA, NC, & TN:
Weekend & Spring Break Retreats to FL:
Day Trips in the Tampa Bay area:
OR... a customized trip to:
--> The Grand Canyon - AZ (S. Rim, N. Rim, or Horseshoe Bend)
--> Havasu Falls - AZ
--> Zion National Park - UT
--> Bryce Canyon National Park - UT
--> The Mighty 5 - UT
--> Durango / Telluride / Silverton / Ouray - CO
--> Backpacking on the Appalachian Trail
--> Backpacking on the Florida Trail
--> Canoe Camping to Coastal Islands - FL
If it's outdoors - something we're familiar with - and glorifies God > we want to build a dream trip for your group!
(Feel free to share this your Pastors & Group Leaders!)
Friday, September 14, 2018
Special thanks to my awesome next door neighbor (Jerry Mullins) who gave me nearly 60 sections of his old wooden fencing along with the 4x4 posts a few months ago. Obviously it's weathered and has portions that are rotting, but I've got some clever and creative ideas of how I can repurpose this into something useful, stylish (hopefully!), and inexpensive. Will it work??? We will see!
I'm hopeful to kick off the house renovation projects sometime in early October... just in time for milder temperatures. Right now I'm collecting supplies on the cheap. More updates to come =)
PS: Thank you Carson for your hard work and efforts to help me pick up, transport, and stack the word fencing!
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Still cherishing our 16 mile overnight backpacking trip through The Narrows last week in Utah's Zion National Park with Calvary Church of Clearwater!!
It was full of endless river crossings, technical footing, and slow plodding, but it is such a unique and special national treasure... a feast for the eyes! UTAH ROCKS!!
Monday, September 10, 2018
Sunday, September 9, 2018
We spent the last 2 days cleaning and repacking the GTD adventure equipment at our gear cache in Flagstaff, AZ.
Each trip out here we add a little more gear. It may not look like it in the pictures, but GTD has amassed over $5000 worth of quality equipment that currently enables us to outfit 12 multi-night backpackers, 12 day hikers, and 12 base campers. We are steadily building our "GTD West" footprint =).
We are already working on our 2019 out west adventure calendar and hope you can be a part of the great, unique, & God-awesome experiences that the western United States has to offer!
Thank you to all of our donors, supporters, and participants that help enable the growth, development, and expansion of GTD!! We love you guys! God bless you!!
Friday, September 7, 2018
Thursday, September 6, 2018
We completed one of the most brutally challenging backpacking treks that we've ever done in one of the most majestic places that we've ever seen - 16 miles on The Narrows of Zion National Park.
The trip included one night of camping alongside of the Virgin River.
It was a brutal trail, but all 12 of us completed what we started... including 10 from Calvary Church of Clearwater.
Way to go hikers!!
More pics to share soon =)
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Last night Team GTD pre-packed 12 backpacks in preparation for one of the greatest hikes on earth!
A huge thanks to my fellow partners in ministry =)
Here we gooooooooo!!
Calvary Church of Clearwater arrived safely in Las Vegas and we competed our 3 hour drive to Zion National Park.
We are all tucked into bed in this amazing luxury rental cabin. Our first big adventure begins Tuesday morning!! It's going to be an unforgettable week!
Sunday, September 2, 2018
(The original team that recon'd Utah 3 years ago)
Erin has arrived and we are 3 strong going into this week's Utah Trip, but not before we catch a show in Vegas!! Thanks to Erin we are about to see Cirque Du Soleil - Mystere - at Treasure Island!!! What a way to kick off an unforgettable week!
Saturday, September 1, 2018
Thursday, August 30, 2018
We've been working hard for the past few weeks preparing for our annual Ministry Partner Mailout. It's a time when we can give back some gifts to our supporters as a small token of our deep love & appreciation for the vital role they play as investors in our ministry. It has been a phenomenal year and we are blessed with some of the greatest supporters in the world! In God's economy the sower, the waterer, and the harvester are equally indispensable in the process of bearing fruit. This ministry is bearing a lot of fruit and we have a small army of people to thank. God bless you supporters, prayer warriors, and encouragers!!! We couldn't do what we do without YOU!! We love you and praise God for you!
(PS: the annual mailout is a couple of months behind due to the house / office move... but, praise God, we are getting caught up on so much!!)
Friday, August 24, 2018
God's majesty can be seen everywhere in His creation, but there is something unique and amazing about the western United States. People come from all over the world every year to experience what the U.S. has to offer out west. To many, out WEST is simply the BEST!
GTD is excited to take you there for a God-awesome trip of a lifetime! So keep your eyes open for our 2019 GTD West Trips... you don't want to miss them!
(PS: Considering a private adventure out west for your group next year? Contact GTD to custom build a Christ-centered adventure to the west! GTD Adventure Line: (727) FYI-9-GTD [394-9483] / Toll Free Adventure Line: 1-888-697-2479)
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Over the course of the next month or so I will be posting updates and progress reports from 2018 that we haven't had a chance to share yet.
This year has been moving at warp speed and with the big (and time consuming) move to the new property along with running our yearly programs it has been impossible to get all the updates posted. So now is the time!
One of the first updates is a BIG ONE! Earlier this year one of our supporters used their personal money to give GTD an interest-free (0%!!) $45,000 loan to shift a majority of our remaining debt incurred during The Great Recession away from various loans with interest rates. That's a BIG DEAL!! The selfless generosity of this supporter translates into much lower monthly payments and thousands of dollars saved in interest charges over the course of the next few years as we continue to eradicate all debt. It's a GAME CHANGER that more firmly stabilizes GTD and prepares to launch us towards greater things in the years ahead.
We can't thank our magnanimous friends enough for their selfless act. We even offered to pay them some sort of interest so that they would receive something, but they refused to take anything. We are so blessed to know such generous, thoughtful, and selfless heroes that lay down their own "interest" for the "interest" of others (pun!). God bless you generous friends!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." - Philippians 2:3-4
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
It's almost here! We are just a couple of weeks away from hiking 16 miles in the Virgin River and camping overnight in one of the most extraordinary places on earth - The Narrows of Utah's Zion National Park. Beyond thrilled!!!
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Just over one year ago God challenged me to make a paradigm shift in how I approach life from primarily being passion driven "pulled" (led by my heart) to becoming primarily discipline directed "pushed" (led by wisdom). I've always had good discipline, but God challenged me last year to allow Him to develop a championship level of healthy discipline in my approach to life. What does that look like? It's the difference between working out (or any other healthy priority) when I "feel" like it verses working out (or any other healthy priority) at a set time on set days regardless of whether I feel like it or not. That goes for everything - eating healthy, drinking primarily water, daily devotions, sleep habits, washing dishes, taking out the garbage, getting my annual physical, attacking the day early, calling friends... literally just about every activity you do in the course of your day. Living more disciplined hasn't been boring at all. It has actually led to a greater abundance of freedom, health, peace of mind, effectiveness, fruitfulness, and consistency. It has led to one of the best years of my life!! Self control / self discipline is one of the fruits of the Spirit (I would argue that it's the one fruit that holds all the others together). It's the very first tool & instruction God gave to Adam to navigate in a world with free access to temptation and disobedience (sin) to God's design for our lives. It's probably the most dominant trait in the greatest missionary that ever lived (the apostle Paul) as well as his admonishment to us to live a life that "wins the prize". Healthy self discipline sounds extremely boring and rigid, but it leads to some of the greatest satisfactions in life! It enables us to live out or "shoulds" before it's too late and they become "have-to's" in order to survive. Healthy self discipline leads to a whole lot of freedom, inner satisfaction, fulfilled potential, intimacy with God, and fruitfulness for God's glory while eliminating regrets, inconsistency, strongholds, wasted days, ineffective prayers, inefficient hours, and a lack of free time. It may be the single most important character trait that unlocks every other character traits, benefits, and opportunities. It isn't prideful self reliance; it's intentionally plugging into God's wisdom and the Holy Spirit's power. I'm only 1 year into it and I can't wait to see the compound interest in blessings and breakthroughs as I embark on my 2nd year. I'm not at a championship level of discipline yet, but I'm way further along than I was a year ago and pushing forward to that championship level that God has designed us all for. This has been one of the greatest years of my life! Praise God for His truths and guidance that lead to abundance, freedoms, and promise lands!! One year and counting!! Glory to God!
"I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified." - 1 Corinthians 9:27
"You must be self-controlled and alert, to be able to pray." - 1 Peter 4:7
"But if you don't do well, sin is lying outside your door ready to attack. It wants to control you, but you must master it." - Genesis 4:7
STRiVE to THRiVE!
Saturday, August 18, 2018
The last 3 months have been going at warp speed that I've rarely had a chance to reply back to comments or post updates, but God is doing so much in the ministry and in my personal life that I'm eager to share. So keep your eyes open for the upcoming daily deluge of good news, progress reports, & updates, as well as mishaps & challenges that are all just a part of living this amazing obstacle course called life!!
CREATED TO THRiVE!
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - Jesus (John 10:10)
Friday, August 17, 2018
I've literally got dozens and dozens of renovation projects to tackle over the next two years, but replacing this particular section of drywall wasn't one of them!! Ahhhhhh & LOL in the same breath!
One of the GTD Dogz (Courage) has pretty bad separation anxiety, but has learned to cope with it by destroying things I value. It's our little game... I leave, she gets upset and destroys something I value (she rarely chooses any of her 20 dog toys or available cardboard boxes), then I return to her "surprise" for me, then I get upset, and then she looks at me with her puppy dog eyes and seems to say, "Now you know how I feel when you leave." It's really a wonderful game! Surprises, rollercoaster emotions, tension, forgiveness, unconditional love (she's mastered that one!).
I will add this project to the renovation list as well as an indestructible kennel for the dogs for when I leave the house. Hopefully Courage can put this talent to work when it's time to demolish the old kitchen, etc. Hahaha!
Monday, August 13, 2018
Monday, August 6, 2018
Whether it's mowing the yard, paying the electric bill, replacing an old toilet, placing charcoal throughout to absorb the old musty smells, pulling up 25 year old carpet, treating for termites, setting up temporary usable areas, still unpacking boxes, making the monthly mortgage payment, strategizing two year's worth of renovations, figuring out where to park vehicles, planning to convert the garage into a workshop / gym / home office / laundry room, daydreaming about a place for people to visit AND a treehouse AND a zipline AND a fireman pool AND an indoor slide from the 2nd floor AND a place to play dodgeball AND an endless amount of ideas, seeking God & others for wisdom, looking on Pinterest for cool cost saving DIY ideas, receiving & collecting free used materials from family & friends, watching fixer upper shows, downloading helpful apps, reading home improvement articles, having a humble budget that forces creativity - resourcefulness - ingenuity - and faith driven prayers, having to ride the brakes on my immediate ambitions to give room for God to supernaturally work in His ways & His timing, and countless other thoughts, dreams, desires, and repair needs.... I'M THANKFUL, GRATEFUL, BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE, AND THOROUGHLY LOVING EVERY ASPECT OF BEING A STUART OF A HOME & PIECE OF LAND!! It could all be wiped out by a fire, tornado, or hurricane in under a minute, but none of that can extinguish the joy I authentically have on this day, during this hour, and in this moment. Nothing can take away the experience of the present-tense. The house doesn't own me. God owns me. I get to be a temporary caretaker of this house and this piece of land for however long or short it is, and 3 months into it, it is surprisingly one of the greatest blessings and joys I've ever experienced. I knew I would like it... I never knew I would love it this much! Had to share =)
The attached video was made for my homeowner's insurance a few weeks after purchasing the house. I had to leave shortly afterwards to run our summer camps in GA & TN so the renovations and work projects had to be paused (that's the hardest part when you're eager to make progress!).
Now I'm back home looking forward to splitting time between my fulltime job, my life responsibilities, my daily disciplines, and my house projects.
A FAVORITE VERSE...
- "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." - 1 Timothy 6:17
(I love that it's important to God that we experience His joy & His provisions that foster enjoyment as we journey through life. Any and every gift from God has the potential for personal enjoyment as long as our hope is in the Giver and not in the gift. The great challenge for all of us is to not put the gift above the Giver, and not to seek the Giver with the pretense to get the gifts.)
I can't thank the people involved in this purchase enough for the role they played! My heart overflows with eternal gratitude!
*Note: I keep Laurie's cats here. She lives with my parents, but her cats stay here with the dogs (AKA: The GTD Zoo haha!).