Wednesday, April 25, 2018

24 HOURS TILL THE BIG UNVEILING!!

Well, I guess it's not actually an unveiling... my possible new house included some free termites hahaha! I knew about it a month ago and part of my mortgage lender's requirements was to have the house treated by the seller before closing. So the house has been fumigated, and Lord willing, tomorrow morning I'm scheduled to close on the house. Stay tuned for updates. I'm beyond thrilled!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT!

There are very few easy victories in life. No matter what your honorable pursuit is it will be met with fierce opposition - whether the opposition is from your own avoidance of pain or self sabotaging emotions or an undisciplined mindset or a lifestyle of foolishness - whether it's from an environment surrounding you of low standards, mediocrity, and complaining attitudes - whether it's the devil himself and his minions of dark spiritual forces scheming for your discouragement, depression, and destruction - whether it's a history of poor choices, major setbacks, or inherited generational sins - whether it's Murphy's Law, a malfunctioning alarm clock, or an unexpected health ailment - the reality is that EVERYDAY opposition attempts to rob you of your future by defeating your present. So what do you do? Roll over in your bed? Hide under the covers? Drift with the current? No! You FIGHT! You anticipate daily oppositions from every direction and even the enemy within and you develop a WARRIOR'S mentality. You learn to love to FIGHT! You live for the FIGHT! You run to the FIGHT! Every night is FIGHT NIGHT! You FIGHT for every inch of progress. As you train yourself to become a 24/7 vigilant fighter something amazing begins to happen. You stop losing and you start winning. The wins start mounting. You stay humble knowing you are just one foolish decision away from being defeated. And fight after fight after fight you become who God made you to be. You become more than a conqueror. And you keep running back into the arena for the next opponent, the next fight. Does it ever get easy? NEVER! But FIGHTERS don't want it easy!! You have to have a mentality that matches reality. Life is a NON-STOP FIGHT. You FIGHT or you die. For too many people life is just a long drawn out dying process. Don't tap out! Answer the bell! Your alarm clock is the bell! Rise & FIGHT!!!

"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. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." - Ephesians 6:10-13

"Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses." - 1 Timothy 6:12

STRiVE to THRiVE!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Mothers & Sons Paddle The Hillsborough River!

It was a full day of adventure as we paddled with the mother & sons of Relevant Church through an obstacle course of downed trees, spectating alligators, and raw Florida beauty on 4 miles of the Hillsborough River in Tampa, FL. It was a really good day!

THE ARK ENCOUNTER WEBSITE IS COMPLETE!




.

Friday, April 20, 2018

REASON #1 TO GO TO IGNITE >>> JESUS IS GOING!!

Join us for our annual GTD IGNITE Camping Retreat April 27-29, 2018 at Word of Life in Hudson, FL and let the Creator of the universe - Jesus - REVIVE YOUR SOUL!

Cost = $35/person (2 days / 2 nights; includes all meals & equipment)

Click here for Details & Registration

UPDATE: NEW GTD OFFICE / HOME SEARCH

I'm 6 days away from closing on my first house / new GTD office... there are no guarantees... it could all fall through in the last minute or soar through with flying colors... either way, it has been an awesome journey that has already enriched my life in many ways. Sometimes it's easy to miss the enjoyment of the process in a rush to get to the destination. Not this time. Not for me. So much of this was about the journey as well as aiming for the right & best destination. 7 days from now I will either own a home, be seeking a different home, or had some sort of delay in the process. Whichever it is, it will have been prayed through thoroughly, and I will continue to rejoice in the moment knowing that it's all working out to my good and God's glory! Win! Win! Win!

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The ARK ENCOUNTER Website Link Almost Done!

THE ARK ENCOUNTER TRIP!! (Coming June 6-10)

Our website link is nearing completion for our inaugural GTD DestiNATION Trip to the tri-state area of Kentucky, Indiana, & Ohio as we visit:

- The ARK Encounter
- The Creation Museum
- Versailles State Park (kayaking & swimming)
- Great American Ball Park (optional)

Come join us for an outdoor & educational adventure of a lifetime as we journey to the largest timber frame structure in the world (510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high) - a full-size Noah's Ark!!

In-between our daily adventures we will be staying in 5000 sq ft private colonial style mini-mansion!

You don't want to miss this NEW GTD Event!

- DATE: June 6-10, 2018 (Wed-Sun)
- START / END POINT: Cincinnati (CVG) Airport
- DURATION: 5 Days / 4 Nights
- COST: $399/person (or 2 for $748)... Minisitry Partner Discount = $299/person!!
- Optional (add $25/person)...
<> Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball Game at the Great American Ball Park -or-
<> Self Tour of Newport Aquarium

Completed website almost done (comment below or message me to reserve your spot).


.

REASON #61 TO GO TO IGNITE >>> SWIMMING POOL & HOT TUB!!

Join us for our annual GTD IGNITE Camping Retreat April 27-29, 2018 at Word of Life in Hudson, FL and enjoy a little refreshment in the swimming pool & hot tub!

Cost = $35/person (2 days / 2 nights; includes all meals & equipment)

Details & Registration

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

GTD's 23rd ANNUAL SLAMMED ADVENTURE TRIP!!


JOIN US JULY 11-15, 2018 .....TAKE THE PLUNGE!

Location: Tellico Plains, TN
Date: July 11-15, 2018 (Wed - Sun)
Cost: $199 (plus rafting, if selected)
Activities: Waterfall Slide, Cliff Jumping, Bridge Jumping, Rock Climbing, Rappelling, White Water Rafting (optional: add $40), Camping, Daily Devotionals, Campfires, and more!

SIGN-UP TODAY FOR THIS GOD-AWESOME ADVENTURE!

Click Here for Details & Registration


.

Monday, April 16, 2018

REASON #53 TO GO TO IGNITE: DODGEBALL!!

Join us for our annual GTD IGNITE Camping Retreat April 27-29, 2018 at Word of Life in Hudson, FL and play some Dodgeball!

Cost = $35/person (includes FREE blows to the face during Dodgeball games!!)

Details & Registration

Saturday, April 14, 2018

THIS YEAR'S IGNITE IS FREE TO ALL CURRENT GTD MINISTRY PARTNERS!!

We are excited to announce that our annual Ignite Camping Retreat at Word of Life in Hudson, FL (scheduled for April 27-29, 2018) is FREE for all current GTD Ministry Partners!! That means that if you have donated $100 or more in 2017 or 2018 OR are a current monthly supporter then you qualify for a FREE Ignite Retreat (for you and your immediate family!). It's a very small way that we can say THANK YOU for the immeasurable impact you've had during our greatest comeback in 22 years of ministry! We would love for you to not only support GTD, but to also come out and experience GTD!

Somewhat Limited Spots!! Due to a limitation on equipment, gear, & space we have 50 of these FREE SPOTS available so register as soon as possible!!

THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting GTD! We are so blessed to have you in our ministry family!!

*NOTE: This deal does not cover any optional add-on expenses such as paintball or upgardes to cabins.

**Make sure you select the "OTHER" option in the Registration Form where it asks, "How Will You Be Paying?"

Click here for Details & Registration


.

DISCIPLINE PICKS UP WHERE MOTIVATION LEAVES OFF!

Motivation is a launching force, not a sustaining force. It's designed to start momentum, not keep momentum. The launching fuel of motivation runs out quickly. So how do you continue on in your endeavor until you're successful? Discipline picks up where motivation leaves off. Do you want to reach your full potential in any area of your life, better yet, in every area of your life? Then desire, embrace, and develop healthy self discipline. Don't naively treat discipline like a genetic predisposition that a small percentage of people are born with. Instead, embrace it more like the skeletal muscular system that everyone is endowed with but relies on your intentional usage to develop. Discipline isn't a natural ability; it's a developed skill. It isn't naively thinking you're going to wake up each morning and naturally want to (AKA: be motivated) to do what you should do. It's soberly realizing that you will rarely wake up naturally motivated to do anything you know you should do. And that's the point of discipline. It's this amazing invention God created and prepackaged into human beings. It doesn't rely on emotions for movement. It doesn't depend on your feelings to operate. It doesn't care about weather you want to do what you know you should do. It's bigger and so much better than emotions. It's so much higher than fair-weather motivation. Discipline is an all-weather all-terrain decision to take action... regardless of how you feel... and even in spite of how you feel. It's absolutely amazing! Discipline bridges the distance between your dreams and the fulfillment of those dreams. It takes you from being out of shape to great health, from debt to prosperity, from bondage to breakthrough. If your dreams have any value at all then they won't be easy to accomplish. Your going to have to move on days you don't want to move. Your emotions will persuade you to relax, but discipline needs to throat punch your emotions and say,

"Not today. Not on my watch. We don't make progress when we listen to you. You create regrets. You rob me of my future. You steal my dreams. You destroy my potential. You make me look back at the end of my day and see nothing but wasted time and unused energy. You set me up for failure. The devil doesn't even need to torment me because you're doing his work for him. We're not listening to you anymore. I'm listening to my discipline. I'm developing my discipline. And you no longer rule my life. I get up weather I feel like it or not. I workout weather I feel like it or not. I read weather I feel like it or not. I eat healthy weather I feel like it or not. I pray weather I feel like it or not. I do what I should do when I should do it and how I should do it weather I feel like it or not. I'm taking back the God-given self control I was given and using it the way it was designed to be used. Get out of my way emotions! This life is under new management!"

Discipline isn't something that keeps you from living life fully. It's something that God gave us to keep us from squandering our life foolishly. Discipline leads to a fuller richer life. Discipline isn't the enemy. It's actually our greatest endowed ally.

If you're underdeveloped in healthy self discipline then right now is the best time to start developing those discipline muscles. Pick something simple you should be doing and start doing it consistently as often as you should be doing it regardless of how you feel (ex: drinking the right amount of water each day while stopping drinking sodas). Develop a strategy and gameplan (ex: Use a checklist & checkmark to track your daily water intake. Get a cool looking favorite water bottle. Give yourself 1 cheat day each week to drink soda. Give yourself some kind of achievement award for sticking to it for 1 month. Etc, etc). Part of the fun of discipline is strategizing and formulating a gameplan to beat your self destructive tendencies.

Enjoy!

"Go to the ant, you sluggard;
    consider its ways and be wise!
... How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
    When will you get up from your sleep?
 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
 and poverty will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.
... the reproofs of discipline are the way to life..."
- Excerpts from Proverbs 6 (NIV & ESV)

STRiVE to THRiVE!

.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

UPDATE: OFFICE / HOME SEARCH

I've signed a contract on a home! (But there are still more hurdles to clear.)

As I shared a couple of weeks ago, the current location of the rental GTD Office (which is also where I live 7-9 months per year) is coming to an end. It has been a great & affordable run for 12 years! I can't thank the owners enough for all they've done to bless me and the ministry! (And many thanks to my friend Steve for steering me to this place 12 years ago!!)

For the past 4 months I've been learning as much as I can about buying a home. Although I'm 47 years old, buying a home has never been on my radar. So family, friends, and Google have been teaching me so much. It has been a very fun and educational journey! It's also very time consuming. It has been a 2nd full-time job for me. Although the objective is very simple - buy a home... the process is full of complexities and overflows with "middle-men". For most people like me, buying a home is the single most expensive purchase of their/our lives. Thankfully I've so thoroughly prayed about this that it isn't a worry, concern, or source of stress... it's the next part of God's adventure for me and I'm full of eagerness and sober excitement!

So the update is that I've found at least 20 homes that I love, but one of them stands out the most to me. It was the only one that I felt like "I could live here for the next 20 years!". I absolutely love it! Mind you, it's a fixer-upper. But, it would be a perfect fit for all the big priorities in my life - family, ministry, fitness, personal enjoyment, financial investment, animals, etc. I won't go into details about it, because I'm still going through the process. It's not a done deal. Several things could still prevent the purchase from going through, but every couple of days a new hurdle is cleared. My family and friends like it. I've been approved for the loan. I've got an experienced real estate agent. We've negotiated the price. I've signed a contract. I've paid for the inspections. I've completed my 8 hour mandatory First Time Buyer Educational Course (see picture). Most importantly, I've prayed through every aspect of this journey. Now I'm awaiting the appraisal. If that comes back fine then I move on to the next hurdles like a title search, etc. Lord willing, the closing date is set for the end of April. If we run into any big snags then we navigate them or move on to another home. Either way, my hope is in God, not an outcome. I'm guardedly ecstatic! Life is a crazy and exciting ride, but you'll get emotionally wrecked if you invest your hopes, dreams, and emotions into a certain expected outcome. It's much more fun to keep the outcome as a suspense and enjoy running the obstacle course one obstacle at a time =)

I want to continue to thank our prayer warriors for lifting this up to God in prayer. I believe that wherever I end up - it will be a great blessing.

More updates to come =)


.

NEW EVENT ALERT!!! ...THE ARK ENCOUNTER!


GTD is thrilled to announce that our NEW EVENT & DestiNATION for 2018 is The Ark Encounter in Kentucky!

Join us in 3 months (June 6-10, 2018) for GTD's inaugural 5-day trip in Kentucky / Ohio to visit:
   - The Ark Encounter
   - The Creation Museum
   - A day of kayaking at Versailles State Park
   - An optional (add $25/person)...
       <> Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball Game at the Great American Ball Park
       <> Self Tour of Newport Aquarium

All while lodging in a 5000 sq ft private colonial style mini-mansion!

This trip is going to be EPIC from start to finish!!

Details:
   - DATE: June 6-10, 2018 (Wed-Sun)
   - DURATION: 5 Days / 4 Nights
   - COST: $399/person (or 2 for $748)... Minisitry Partner Discount = $299/person!!
   - INCLUDED: Event planning, PLUSH accommodations, transportation during event from & back-to CVG Airport, full-time guides & drivers, rental van, fuel, Ark Encounter entrance fee, Creation Museum entrance fee, State Park entrance fee, kayak rentals, spiritual emphasis, fellowship, and a lifelong memory!
   - NOT INCLUDED: Meals (you have to eat those days anyways!) & round-trip airfare (or ground transportation) arrival to and departure from CVG Airport.

^^^ The trip cost above is ONLY $60-$80 per day per person! That's a GREAT DEAL, especially since we do all the work for you! (trip planning, reservations, chauffeur, 24/7 tour guides, and so much more!)

Website with details & registration currently under construction. Contact GTD to reserve your spot(s)!!

PS: Special thanks to Pastor Dave Ungar (one of our dear friends and Ministry Partners) for suggesting this destination! We're excited to add it to our list of trips!!


.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

IT'S BACK! ...IT'S THIS MONTH!! ...AND IT'S ONLY $35!!!


JOIN US APRIL 27-29 FOR OUR ANNUAL ADVENTURE FILLED CAMPING RETREAT >>> IGNITE!!

LOCATION: Word of Life (Hudson, FL)

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES: Camping, Morning Devotions, High Ropes Course, Climbing Wall, Zipline, Low Ropes Course / Team Building, Team Sports (such as dodgeball, volleyball, ultimate, basketball), Camp Games, Swimming Pool, Nightly Campfires, Bible-Based Messages, Smores, Outdoor Movie (with family friendly editing)... it's all a perfect combination!

ADD-ON OPTIONS (EXTRA COSTS):
   <> Paintball (Optional Add-On).... Add $30/person
   <> Bunkhouse Cabins (Optional Add-On).... Add $30/person ($15/night per person)

Click here for Details & Registration

GET FIRED UP FOR IGNITE!!


.

Monday, April 2, 2018

MY MANTRA!



As I celebrate 8 months of amped up healthy discipline I'm experiencing what one book calls, "The Compound Effect". It's the same idea as "compound interest" on an investment in which your investment funds earn interest and then that interest earns more interest and so on and so on. Over time, IF YOU HAVE THE FINANCIAL DISCIPLINE AND DON'T SPEND IT, the multiplication affect causes your small consistent deposits to eventually become a massive fortune. For example, if you started investing $2000 per year at the age of 18 for the next 8 years (total investment of $16,000) at 12% interest and had the discipline to not spend it then by the time you turn 64 years old you'll have 2.3 million dollars! That's astounding! The key is small consistencies over time in wise directions (because a simple savings account won't yield the same results). The key that holds it all together is healthy self discipline. The discipline to save and invest money you could easily spent and the discipline to not withdrawal the growing money when you're tempted to indulge yourself and purchase something you really want, but don't need. That same compound effect doesn't just apply to money. It applies to every "investment" in your life - your nutrition, your fitness, your health, your relationships, your closeness to God, your wisdom, your knowledge, your discernment, your decision making, your time, your giftedness, your career, your joy, your freedom, your self control, your self discipline - everything! I call it, The Compound Blessing. Small consistent areas of obedience to God's Word over time yields an abundance of blessing (what the Bible refers to as "fruit") that overflows out of your life. My big problem was consistency (more accurately, it was the discipline to stay consistent). Living on the road (usually in a tent) 3-5 months each year and working 16 hour days during our events makes maintaining a consistent structure challenging. But I used those challenges to make an excuse for eating junk food, missing my workouts, having less effective devotions, etc. I would come back from a summer of awesome ministry events completely depleted and to the reality that I had just taken 1 step forward and 3 steps backwards. It's like saving a thousand dollars for a road trip, but then spending $4000 on the trip. You come back with some amazing memories, but your current reality is that you're in debt and owing more back than before you left. It's not a healthy way to live, moving forward then backward then forward then backward. It adds unnecessary struggles to your life that prevents compound blessings from taking place. So I wrestled with God in prayer over it 9 months ago. Coach Jesus pinpointed my issue. I had the discipline of a winner while I was at home and in my structure, but I didn't have the discipline of a CHAMPION to stay disciplined outside of my structure. It's like a football team that can only win home games. There is no championship in your future until you also learn to win your road games. So that's what I'm doing now. Winning my home games AND my road games. The result is compound blessings. They've always been within reach, but I had to amp up my DISCIPLINE. Now I'm 8 months into this transformation and I'm experiencing a personal resurrection of sorts. Freedoms, joys, conquests, relationships, etc that had been buried under piles of unending work hours, well intended priorities, and some areas neglect. But I serve a God of resurrection, and He had resurrected me. This song is my mantra. It captures exactly what I'm experiencing as I invest each day in wise directions. I'm more alive now than ever before... And I'm on a rescue mission along the way to share this life giving message of Jesus to anyone ready to rise from their own ashes... to step out of their own premature tomb... and move from a life of just surviving and on to a life of thriving! (John 10:10)

STRiVE to THRiVE!


.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

HAPPY EASTER!!

We have so much to celebrate!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

DEMOLISHING STRONGHOLDS

I recently finished reading, "Demolishing Strongholds" by Johnny Hunt (it was part of an 8 week men's Bible study at Calvary Church of Clearwater). It's a fantastic book that deals head-on with common struggles among men (pride, greed, pornography, inaction, etc) that tend to become deep-rooted habitual self-destructive behaviors ("strongholds") that not only limit our potential and push away God's desired blessings, but also act similarly in our lives as a very treatable (and preventable) chronic disease slowly killing our spiritual life as well as our quality of life. The ironic thing about most strongholds is that we are the ones who invite them into our lives and give them residency, comfort, and nourishment. Strongholds thrive on our own foolishness, lack of self discipline, and apathy. God gives us the wisdom, self discipline, and fighting spirit to overcome any and all strongholds in His power, but we tend to ignore these options and opt to feed the enemies within instead of starve them to death. The payoff for keeping the stronghold is usually an instant short-term emotional & psychological thrill. BUT it comes at a high price typically costing us our joy, freedom, peace of mind, fullness of life, closeness to God & others, longevity, full potential, greater opportunities, future, marriages, friendships, and the list of casualties goes on and on. The capacity to demolish strongholds is one of the many things Jesus came to provide through His death and resurrection (aka: Happy Easter!). The amazing gift of God to enable us to engage in spiritual warfare and valiantly fight to take back lost territory currently occupied by the enemy is, in actuality, the ultimate opportunity to live out Gladiator & Braveheart everyday. This real life fight is better than any movie or video game ever created. And the real life ecstasy that is experienced by regaining each inch, each yard, each acre of your lost & stolen territory is almost indescribable. It's possible. It's real. And it's AMAZING! But it doesn't just happen. You have to be intentional. You have to be strategic. You have to be partnered with the power of the Holy Spirit and armed with a sharp sword (God's Word) & a shield of faith. And just as importantly you have to FIGHT. Relentlessly. Ruthlessly. Ferociously. You have to run to the battle draw your sword and take on every occupier of your territory. With each advancement you'll gain back lost freedom, lost joy, lost fullness of life, lost fruit, lost respect, lost opportunities, lost potential. You'll be unleashed. Unstoppable. Nothing will be out of reach. Pick a stronghold. Develop a wise strategy with The General. And fight like a WARRIOR! Your freedom is worth it! Demolish your strongholds in Jesus name!!

PS: Thank you Calvary Church of Clearwater (and many other churches) for investing in men's ministries! Eternity will one day show the eternal dividends of this investment =)

STRiVE to THRiVE!

Friday, March 30, 2018

GOOD FRIDAYS GIVE BIRTH TO RESURRECTION SUNDAYS!

Happy Good Friday!! One of the endless things I love about being a Christian is having a Christ-centered perspective. Who celebrates the death of an innocent honorable faithful man? We do! Or more personally, I do! What may appear as bad news to the natural perspective is actually good news to supernatural perspective. In order for new ways to begin old ways have to die. In order for new transformations to happen old systems have to die. In order for new liberation to live old bondages have to die. When eternal life & the fullness of life are the direct result of the death of someone who intentionally selflessly dives on the mother of all grenades in order to absorb the shrapnel of sin, self destruction, and eternal separation from God it becomes a day for the rescued to celebrate! Today I celebrate my Hero & Best Friend - Jesus - who lovingly, courageously, & selflessly took all of my sin and the shell fragments that would have shredded my body and soul into and onto Himself. To be so lavishly loved is an everyday reality for the Christian who walks with a renewed mind. Today I celebrate Jesus dying on the cross as "good" because I know it translates into something great. Happy Good Friday friends! We have so much to celebrate! (Not the least of which is that Resurrection Sunday is on the way!)


.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

MOON RISES. FIRE BURNS. MEN PRAISE!

Here's a great shot of the Feather Sound Church men singing praise & worship songs under the stars while around the fire. MAN CAMP had gotten off to a powerful start. Looking fwd to a full day of MANtivities!

CAMP LIFE!

Friday, March 23, 2018

MAN CAMP HAS BEGUN...

...WITH A NIGHT CLIMB!

MAN CAMP STARTS TODAY!

GTD is excited to be hosting Feather Sound Church's 2-Day MAN CAMP which is kicking off today! We expect it to be a MAN-TASTIC time full of MANtivities and just the right amount of MANual labor camp work propelled by God given MAN-power!

Man, that was a fun post to write!

CAMP LIFE!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

GTD OFFICE & HOME SEARCH

I've been blessed to live and work from a 1000 sq ft office / apartment above a boat dealership & classic car garage for the past 12 years. The monthly rent amount has been incredible. The owners are amazing people and have blessed our ministry immensely (Thanks Dom & Clide Forte!). I never thought I would be here this long. And now it's time to start packing up and transitioning to another place locally. The owners need the space for immediate needs, and it's time for me to make a wise investment and become a home / GTD office "owner" (I'm actually the manager... God owns it all!). For the past 4 months I've become addicted to Zillow. I've gone to approximately 35 open houses. I've gone from about a 3rd grade understanding of real estate to a solid middle school level thanks to some great family members and friends. I've got a great Mortgage Lender (Thanks Adam & Heather Zima!). I've received my pre-approved loan amount. I've got an experienced & savvy Realtor (Thanks Debbie Schmidt!). I've got a highly recommended Home Inspector (Thanks PPI!). And, if the seller is willing, I've got a phenomenal Closing Company (Thanks Dana R. Ward!). While all of this may be a stress inducing event to many people, it has been nothing less than a thrilling & exciting undertaking for me. I've loved the entire process! It's the largest purchase in a person's life and I'm divinely blessed to be completely worry free (Thanks Jesus!). I'm filled with so much anticipation and faith about this journey. It's so much fun to grow, and learn, and dream, and embrace new challenges. It's an extremely time consuming process so it has absorbed a lot of work & personal time... in fact, it has felt like a 2nd full time job - but it has all been time well spent. And now I'm to the point of starting to make offers. So I'm asking our prayer warriors to pray for me / us / GTD... for wisdom, discernment, divine opportunities, and faith-filled decisive actions. I'm excited about what lies ahead - even busted water pipes and all the unexpected home repairs. It's part of "owning" something. So here we go on a whole new adventure of another kind!! Thanks for your prayers & support!! I believe this will continue to launch GTD to new levels in so many ways... and I can hardly wait for the path ahead =). More updates to come!


.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

PRAY FOR JIM!

We are asking for your fervent prayers. Our dear friend and former GTD Costa Rica Missions Director, Jim Butski, had a stroke last night. We are shocked. Jim was just here in Dec and stayed with me for 3 weeks while visiting friends and was in good health. Jim is only 46. He is in the Neurological ICU at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. Jim loves Jesus, outdoor adventure, and serving others. He knew the signs of a stroke and had a friend call 911 immediately. He was able to get to a hospital quickly and receive meds designed for stroke victims. The meds worked at first, but Jim may have had a 2nd stroke a little while later. The stroke has caused paralysis on his left side. I was able to speak with him & pray with him this morning. We are praying for his healing and full restoration of his body. Thank you prayer warriors!


.

Friday, March 16, 2018

NOW PLAYING...

It's a perfect night for a campfire, hot chocolate, smores, and a family friendly outdoor movie! Building memories one moment at a time =)

CAMP LIFE

CAMP LIFE... BUILDING EVERY DAY ON A ROCK SOLID FOUNDATION!

One of many things I love about being involved in camp ministry is the honor and privilege of starting each day off with morning devotions. Lifetimes are broken down into years, months, weeks, and days. Each day is a 24 hour obstacle course that is infinitely more exciting than any video game full of opportunities, pitfalls, do-overs, and temporary & permanent consequences. Life is a high stakes game with eternal ramifications. Our lifetimes are built day by day, moment by moment, choice by choice. The absolute best choice you can make each day is to start it upon the firm foundation of God's Word in God's presence. During this time you get a daily briefing and guidance that helps you navigate every choice and every obstacle of the day. This morning Relevant Church spent time clustered together in family units reading the Bible, praying together, and discussing truth & decision making. It was a great time of impact that we recommend each family do on a regular basis. We loved listening to the discussions and watching the family interactions! This is a wonderful church!!

CAMP LIFE!

It's Relevant! Day 1

We kicked off the Relevant Church 3-Day Family Camping Retreat with 36 people yesterday! Let the good times roll!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

IS IT RELEVANT??? YES IT IS!

March Madness continues tomorrow as we host Relevant Church for their first ever family camping retreat with GTD!! And the weather is absolutely PERFECT! We can't wait!

Stay tuned for some action pics as we embark on a great family adventure over the next 3 days =)

NOTHING BUILDS BETTER FAMILY BONDS FASTER THAN CAMPING TOGETHER =)

A COMMITMENT TO CAREGIVING

My Dad, Traci, Laurie, and I just finished the inaugural 8 session Caregiver Course offered (FOR FREE) by First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks. It was literally a gold mine of knowledge, insights, resources, love, and Godly encouragement. We've always been committed to being here for our parents as they age and transition into their golden years of life, but had very little idea of exactly what that looks like. This course supplied an incredible wealth of knowledge that will prepare and equip us for the road ahead while saving us from time squandering, energy wasting, and costly trial & error mistakes. In addition, it exposed us to amazing people, opportunities, and resources we would have never known were available that can help lighten the labor of love that lies ahead. We have been so blessed to have parents that have sacrificed and cared for us for our entire lives, and now we are honored and privileged to repay in a comparatively small way that blessing back to them.

We would like to thank Mike Thompson, Brad Graham, & Pastor Tom Owens for seeing the need and taking the initiative of starting this Caregiver Course that is literally already impacting lives!! Thank you men of God for your hard work and giving hearts!!

And I love that God declares it as a "Top 10 Priority" to honor our parents.

- Deuteronomy 5:16: “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you."

- 1 Timothy 5:4,8: “But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God... But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

It won't be easy, but nothing of value in life is easy.

Friday, March 9, 2018

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY DIAL 911... PROVERBS 9:11 THAT IS!

"For by me [wisdom] your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life."

This is just one of many profound ways that APPLIED WISDOM impacts your life.

2 of the BEST investments of your time is at "A.A." ....
A - Acquiring Wisdom
A - Applying Wisdom

Check out the book of Proverbs (and the entire Bible) for life producing & life giving principles that literally increase your quantity & quality of life =)

STRiVE to THRiVE!

Friday, March 2, 2018

TRANSFORMATIONS GIVE BIRTH TO TRANSFORMATIONS!

Today we transformed a backyard into a campground that became a place of spiritual transformation through praise, worship, prayer, teaching, and fellowship. Our annual Men's Advance Camping Trip with Calvary Church of Clearwater is off to a great start!! We love these guys!

><> CAMPLIFE <><

Thursday, March 1, 2018

"MARCH"ING ON! (Happy New Month!)

So much going on that I haven't had much time to post updates lately. I'm celebrating 7 months of consistent daily disciplines that continue to bless and launch my life. For 2018 I'm focusing on a different life priority each month and acquiring as much wisdom as I can about that subject in my spare time and then phasing in those truths into my regular lifestyle. As I transition from month to month I continue to maintain and grow in the previous months' lessons. January was all about nutrition as I learned about and adopted the ketogenic diet. I'm 6 weeks into my new nutrition plan and I absolutely love it! I continue to tweak it and customize it to my own body's needs and uniqueness, but I'm experiencing some good results... and it fits perfect with my daily schedule. February was all about financial health. I loved reading "The Richest Man In Babylon" and having a lot of paradigm shifts in my understanding of universal financial principles. In many ways, like so many truths, it's very simple. It just comes down to having the discipline to apply it. Now I'm moving on to March. This month's focus is about "Infrastructure". What I mean by that is that in order to live life at a higher standard you have to create a framework (aka: infrastructure) that supports each change and improvement. When God created the universe He started working with nothing. The earth was without form and void. Then each day He added structure, borders, boundaries, seasons, and timeframes that would serve as an infrastructure to sustain and propel life. In a similar way (especially since we are created in His image) we have an amazing opportunity to create a life with wise structures, borders, boundaries, seasons, and timeframes that help us live out His call on our lives and our fullest potential. I've spent the past 7 months experimenting with and tweaking an effective morning and nightly routine as well as an optimized work schedule and seasonal adjustments. Now this month I'm focusing on putting it all together into a strategic framework and solid infrastructure that supports everything that God has been teaching me and the direction that He is propelling me in life and ministry. All I can say is that with each new lesson comes a greater blessing in my life that makes me more effective in how God made me, more reflective of His glory, and even more fulfilled & satisfied in this amazing adventure called life. I'm sure it probably sounds very boring to anyone who may have read this far into my post, but it is a thrilling experience to me. So I write about it. Healthy discipline picks up where motivation stops and unlocks the door to fantastic discoveries and indescribable breakthroughs. All it takes is some wisdom, some discipline, and some fight to tear down strongholds and self imposed limitations. Christ is the source, but we have to apply it in order to experience it.  Lord willing, I'm looking forward to what lies ahead for the month of March and beyond =)

STRiVE to THRiVE!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Done!

A fun finish to a great trip!

PADDLE PROWL 2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunrise in paradise!

Greetings from Jackfish Island! I slept so good last night and then woke up to an amazing view of the sunrise from my tent. It's already a good morning =)

Ten Thousand Islands in south Florida

PADDLE PROWL 2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018

7-UP!

A few weeks ago it looked like this year's PADDLE PROWL was going to be sold out, but several people had to cancel for a variety of reasons. Today we embarked on this great adventure with a small group of superb people (including pocket Aqua Dave)! Hey, 7 is the Lord's perfect number =).

We paddled 9 miles in 6 hours from Collier-Seminole State Park to Jackfish Island at the edge of the Ten Thousand Islands in the Gulf of Mexico. The last 2 miles were very challenging, but our destination made it all worth it. We feel like we are in paradise on our own personal island. The cool breeze is extraordinary. Temperatures are perfect. Sunset. Rainbow. Dolphins. Jackson caught a bull shark and a bunch of fish. Delicious meals. Great fellowship & bonding. So many good moments.

Our nightly impact point was about "course corrections" and how God can use canoeing as a modern day parable of staying on course with God or adjusting our course when we start getting off track in our walk with God. We've got a map, GPS, destination, capable bodies, adequate wisdom... but are we trending towards God's plan for our life or getting off course. In Acts 9 God intervened with one of the greatest course corrections in history when Saul was ambushed by Jesus and converted from a persecutor of Christians and transformed into the greatest missionary of all time... with a new name - Paul.

We are all nestled in our tents listening to the crashing waves while being hugged by the most amazing breezes. It's the perfect night =)

Tomorrow we break camp and jump on the prowl by paddling 3 miles to a marina in Goodland. But tonight we simply savor the fruits of our labor =)

I love this trip!!

PADDLE PROWL 2018