Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Being hated, excluded, insulted, & rejected all come as part of the package deal when we wholeheartedly follow Christ. Jesus doesn't say to retaliate or get even or become discouraged... He says REJOICE and LEAP FOR JOY!! The measurement of strong character isn't retaliating at mistreatment, it's rejoicing in mistreatment.
"Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. REJOICE in that day and LEAP FOR JOY, because great is your reward in heaven." - Luke 6:22-23
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
These "special edition" GTD T-Shirts are given out to anyone who makes (or has made) a $100 (or more) general donation during the 2013 calendar year OR signs up to be a Monthly Partner of $10 or more for 2014!!
It's always awesome to get a free T-Shirt so you can imagine how excited we are to get 100 free T-Shirts!!!
Thank you so much Chuck Stewart & AxCelMark Corporation for your generous donation to GTD! We love you guys!!!
If you are looking for a GREAT Christian owned T-Shirt & apparel company to handle your business needs then don't hesitate to contact AxcelMark's Express Direct Store here.
To donate to GTD or become a Monthly Partner click here.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Thursday, November 28, 2013
GTD wants to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!
We know that everyday is a day to give thanks to the Lord, but it's wonderful to have a holiday that serves as a reminder to emphasize a thankful spirit. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says that giving thanks is God's will for our lives... no matter what our circumstances may be.
Sometimes thankfulness naturally erupts from a heart overwhelmed by the goodness of God, and sometimes thankfulness is an act of faith when our hearts are overwhelmed by difficult circumstances. In either case, we are pleasing God and living right in the center of His will for our lives when we give thanks.
Do you know that Webster's Dictionary defines thankfulness as "the consciousness of benefits received"? I know that sounds a little boring, but don't miss the impact of that definition. It's saying that it's possible to have already received benefits (blessings, favor, good things from God) and not be conscious of it. In other words, if you struggle with being thankful, it's probably not because you don't have something to be thankful for, but rather you are not noticing it... you are not conscious of it. For this reason we want to encourage you today to write down 10 things that you are thankful for. Hey, unless you are a turkey today then you have a lot to be thankful for =). As you become aware of all the benefits you have already received thanksgiving will naturally begin to flow from your heart and mind. Many times our emotions follow our thought patterns. Once you are conscious of the blessings in your life your heart just wants to say, "Thank You Jesus!"
And one more thing. Don't forget to convert those blessings into expressions of thanksgiving. It's easy to forget to say, "Thanks!". In Luke 17:11-19 Jesus heals 10 men of Leprosy, a dreaded disease that causes skin lesions, muscle weakness, numbness and often led to bodily disfigurements. Can you imagine the benefit received by those 10 men?!?! They were healed from Leprosy! It is easy to picture these men falling at Jesus' feet while expressing joy, praise and thanksgiving. But, do you know how many men actually returned to give thanks? Only one. And Jesus noticed. He said, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?" Jesus notices not only those who return to give thanks, but also those who don't.
Make time today and everyday to take an inventory of the benefits you have received. Then take a moment to go before the Lord and give thanks.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM DUG, LAURIE, & GTD!
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Our first JAG Award went out to Forte's Inboard & Auto Connection owned by husband & wife team, Dom & Clide (pronounced Clee-day) Forte. The Forte's contribution to our ministry has been monumental! Since 2006 the Forte's have supplied GTD with a 1000 square foot office and tons of storage space for our vehicles, equipment, and trailers for only $500/month. The GTD office is on the 2nd floor and is actually more like an apartment. It has 3 "bedrooms", 1 living room, 1 bathroom, and a kitchen. It serves as the GTD Headquarters where we plan out all of the GTD events. It is also the place where I (Doug) live along with the "GTD Dogz" and 4 cats (the cats belong to Laurie - our Costa Rica Missions Director - who lives at my parent's house in Largo in an extra bedroom). One of the 3 rooms serves as my work office, the 2nd room serves as Laurie's work office, and the 3rd room serves as our fitness room.
We can't thank the Forte's enough for all that they do to bless our ministry. GTD runs on a very lean budget and the Forte's significantly help us reduce our annual expenses by thousands of dollars. Think of how much money GTD saves each year because the Forte's supply us with free storage, free trailer parking, free housing for me, no fuel or vehicle usage commuting to & from work, and on-and-on. All of this is included for the $500/month office rent. In addition, the Forte's are automobile mechanics and keep our vehicles running strong all year long at a discounted rate. It's priceless to have an expert mechanic that you can trust. The rest of their staff (Beth, Chris Forte, & Tony Forte) are always helping & encouraging us in our ministry.
It is with great honor and deep appreciation that we present FORTE'S INBOARD & AUTO CONNECTION with a 2013 JAG Award for the profound impact they make, and have made, in our ministry each year since 2006. Thank you Forte's!! God bless you!!
PS: In addition to being outstanding mechanics, the Forte's also sell high-end Tige Wakeboarding Boats as well as pre-owned ski boats. So, if you are looking for a great trustworthy mechanic or a great sport's boat check out Forte's Inboard & Auto Connection on their website here: http://www.inboardconnection.com/
(ABOUT THE JAG AWARD: At our Annual Banquet each year GTD presents the JAG Award to the person and/or the organization that has significantly enabled our ministry to accomplish our mission. It is the highest award we present. JAG stands for "Jerry & Ann Garner" - the parents of Doug Garner whose love, support, sacrifice, and generosity enabled the establishment & growth of Going The Distance Adventure Ministry. This year 3 JAG Awards were given out at our Annual Banquet to 3 amazing recipients.)
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
Laurie Finger & I have a whirlwind week. Banquet a few days ago followed by a weekend team building retreat for the varsity girl's basketball team from Naples High School this weekend and I'm officiating the wedding for some dear friends while the retreat is going on... so we will be driving back & forth about an hour away. Pray for us to have good weather & that I don't mess up the wedding - LOL! Praise God for awesome volunteers!
Great job Laurie Finger at last night's banquet!! Thanks to her leadership GTD raised $30,000!! That's the most since 2007 and the 3rd most ever raised by GTD!! Glory to God!!
Fill in the poster board with the best comment & win a free GTD T-Shirt!!
Rules: Keep it clean!
Contest ended Nov 12th at 6:30pm.
We will announce the winner very shortly.
Doug & Laurie picked the winner based on whatever criteria they wanted to!! LOL!
This picture was posted on the GTD Facebook Page, GTD Facebook Groups, and our personal Facebook accounts.
Thanks for playing =)
Each year GTD hands out the JAG Award to the person or organization that has significantly enabled our ministry to accomplish our mission.
This year 3 JAG Awards were given out at our Annual Banquet to 3 amazing recipients.
Do you know who these wonderful people are? We will be posting their names very soon!
(JAG stands for Jerry & Ann Garner - the parents of Doug Garner whose love, support, sacrifice, and generosity enabled the establishment & growth of Going The Distance Adventure Ministry)
3 people were recognized this past Tues night for going above & beyond the call of duty to significantly assist GTD in the accomplishment of our mission.
It's a very small way for us to express our thanks to people who profoundly bless our ministry =). We will be posting their names very soon!
Thank you JC & Janessa Jannarone for your generous sponsorship of our Annual Banquet! Your friendship & faithful support of GTD over the years means so much to us! God bless you =)
It's with great appreciation that we announce that the Kiwanis Club of Pinellas Park ALSO sponsored a table at our Annual Banquet!! This is the 5th consecutive year that they have sponsored a table. Thank you Kiwanis for your consistent, thoughtful, & generous support of GTD! God bless you!!
Thank you Adam & Heather Zima of Quick Close Mortgage Services for sponsoring a table at the GTD Annual Banquet!! Thank you for your many years of volunteering and faithful support of this ministry. We love you guys! God bless you =)
We are touched and honored to announce that we had another anonymous table sponsor for our fundraiser banquet. Thank you Mr & Mrs Anonymous for your generosity & support of GTD. We love you guys! God bless you <><
AND.... HERE'S A GREAT WAY TO SUPPORT GTD: Check with your company to see if they will match your donation to non-profit organizations. A few years ago we had a generous donor who donated $5000 to GTD and his company matched it so that the donation was doubled to $10,000!! That's powerful! Over 15,000 companies match donations... does yours?? It's a great way to support GTD!!
Did you know that it takes $175,000 to run GTD each year?
We are happy to report that although GTD is a 501(c)(3) non-profit outdoor adventure ministry we DO NOT need to fund-raise for 100% of our annual budgetary needs like a lot of non-profit organizations have to do.
In fact, we don't need to fund-raise for 80%... or 60%... or 40% ...or 30%... or even 20%. The reality is that of the $175,000 it takes to run GTD each year we only need to fund-raise for about $30,000 of that. THAT IS A MERE 17% OF OUR ANNUAL BUDGET. The remaining 83% ($145,000) of our annual budget comes through all the hard work that goes into running 25-30 events each year.
We believe that the Lord has led us to be a program supported ministry instead of a donation dependent ministry. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any non-profit that is 100% donation dependent, but GTD is a unique non-profit that is able to generate humble revenues through our programs. In fact, our goal over the next few years is to be 100% program supported. That's not to say that we won't still need to receive donations, but rather that those donations will then be able to go towards the growth & expansion of GTD instead of simply sustaining us year-to-year. That's our goal, but we're not quite there yet. We still need to raise $30,000 each year.
Our goal for this year's Annual Banquet was to raise $25,000 of the $30,000 we need to raise over one year. We pray throughout the year for God to prompt the hearts of donors to sporadically donate the remaining $5,000.
We basically try to do all of our annual fund raising at one event, our Annual Banquet in November. That's why every October & November you see us asking people to support GTD by sponsoring banquet tables, making donations, and becoming monthly partners. And that's what we are asking you to consider doing as well.
We invite you to help support the work of GTD. You can still make a donation, and/or become a monthly partner by clicking on this link.
To learn more about GTD click here.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your thoughtful consideration of donating to our cause. God bless you!
Can you find the "G" "t" "D" in each logo below?? This year's "Limited Edition" GTD Logo revolves around the tribal artwork theme.
We want to hear from you! Tell us which one(s) you like and which one(s) you don't. Rank all 4 choices is order from your favorite to your least favorite (ex: 1,4,2,3).
You may just influence the next GTD T-Shirt =)
Monday, November 4, 2013
AND WITH OUR $3500 MATCHING GIFT FROM ANOTHER ANONYMOUS DONOR that $1000 gift instantly becomes $2000!!!
We are blessed beyond words to receive such generous donations from wonderful people!! Thank You Lord for moving the hearts of awesome people to support GTD!!
Our goal is $25,000. Click here for details & donation information.
It's a simple thing, but simple things tend to make things better.
Now I can bake food instead of frying it!
From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank Dana & Martha Ward for their table sponsorship at our upcoming Annual Banquet!!
We can't thank you enough for your support of GTD and and your constant encouragement!!
We love you!!
Thank you so much!
God bless you =)
Started reading the book of Luke... looking fwd to focusing on the life of Christ as we head into the holidays.
"train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things" - 1 Timothy 4:7-8
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross." - Colossians 1:15-20
HE'S... MY SAVIOR. MY LORD. MY BEST FRIEND. MY HERO.