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!




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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).


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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


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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


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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!

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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 =)


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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!!


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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!!


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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!


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Sunday, April 1, 2018

HAPPY EASTER!!

We have so much to celebrate!