Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

We have so much to celebrate in Christ! He is the gift that just keeps on giving. Wishing you the very best this CHRISTmas season!
From The GTD Staff - Doug & Laurie


Friday, December 9, 2011

All Nighter

Laurie & I are first in line to reserve the Ft DeSoto youth campsite for a March retreat with an awesome youth group from Canada. We've been here since 2am. We are pulling an all nighter parked in front of the camp office to make sure we get the camp. They have a strict policy of only allowing reservations to be made up to 90 days in advance and first-come first-served.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Action Camcorder Donated!!

Thank you Paul & Susan Salce (Laurie's parents) for your generous donation of the Drift HD170 Action Camcorder to GTD!!! We can't wait to use it!!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

"give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
- 1 Thes 5:18

The reality as Christians is that we have so much to be thankful for... whether our circumstances are great or our circumstances are brutal. Whether rich or poor, healthy or sick, happy or sad we were designed with a capacity for an unconquerable attitude of gratitude because of who Jesus is in us, who Jesus is to us, and who Jesus is through us. God has not made us to be fair-weather appreciators, but rather all-weather thankers. Our faith rises above our circumstances. Our wings soar not only above the storm, but more importantly, right through the storm. And that's the point. In a dark world that is upside down we don't have to wait until everything is made right before we glow with thanksgiving. We don't have to feel great to be thankful. On this wonderful day called Thanksgiving God reminds us that the best day of the year to give thanks is everyday of the year.

I thank You Father for all good things that come from above.
And I thank You in all things for how You work for my good and for Your glory.
Thank You Jesus!!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bonding Times!

Fathers & sons adventuring together!!

BREAKFAST for Body & Soul

After a nice breakfast of eggs, sausage gravy & biscuits the fathers & sons had morning devotions together =)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Father / Son Retreat Has Begun

38 dads & sons from Tampa Covenant Church arrived safe & sound to camp tonight. The camp set-up went smooth and everyone was a huge help :). We had chili for dinner and smores & hot cocoa for dessert around a kickin' campfire! Our Impact Point centered around the Transfiguration events recorded in Matt 17. In the story God the Father declares loudly & publicly that Jesus is His Son whom he loves and in whom He is well pleased. Likewise we had all the dads publicly declare their love for their sons and share with the rest of us what they are most pleased with. It was a very touching display of love & affirmation =)

Great Videos From The Banquet

These are the videos that were shown at our Annual Banquet... all produced by Laurie Finger!! They include our 2011 Highlight Video, our Costa Rica Experience Video, and 3 introduction videos for 3 different speakers - Pastor Aaron Walp, Laurie Finger, & Doug Garner. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mission Accomplished!!

$20,231 RAISED!!!!

Thank you to all the table sponsors, donors, monthly partners, attendees, supporter, hard working volunteers, staff, workers, and businesses that played a vital role in making our 10th Annual Banquet a great success!!
And a very special thanks to all the speakers that shared on stage last night... great job!!
Leigh Anne Presley (mother)
CR Intern: Savannah Jenkins (daughter)
Fred Byda (Liquid, Slammed & Grand Canyon partcipant)
Pastor Aaron Walp (Pastor of Family Ministries at Calvary Baptist of Clearwater)
And, of course, thank you to our Lord who enabled us to surpass our goal last night!! GLORY TO GOD!!

Thank U Set Up Crew

I ran out of time to post these, but here are a few pics from our banquet set-up yesterday. Our many thanks to the set-up crew & volunteers that poured their hearts into the banquet. The results of the night will be posted soon =)

Monday, November 14, 2011

GTD Banquet Tmw Night!!

We have our 10th Annual Banquet for GTD tmw night at Ruth Eckerd Hall... catered by Carrabba's!! Can't wait!! Celebrating 15 years of ministry!! Thank U Jesus!!

And THANK YOU to all of our Table Sponsors:
  • Real Estate Closing Solutions (Dana & Martha Ward)
  • Mullins Enterprises (Jerry Mullins)
  • JAG (Jerry & Ann Garner) 1
  • JAG (Jerry & Ann Garner) 2
  • Family Center on Deafness
  • Kiwanis Club of Pinellas Park
  • Taylor Family Funeral Home
  • Paul & Heather Williamson
  • Jesse & Amber Altamarino
  • People Helping People of Pinellas Park 1
  • People Helping People of Pinellas Park 2
  • Peter Ward
  • Chris & Melissa Atkins

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Preparing For Our Annual Banquet

We are four days away from our biggest event of the year, our Annual Fundraising Banquet. It will be held at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Tues Nov 15th from 6:30pm - 9pm and catered by Carrabba's. This is our 10th Annual Banquet and we are celebrating 15 years of ministry (praise the Lord!!!). Our goal is to raise $20,000 as well as share highlights from the past year of successes, cast next year's vision, and celebrate our 15 year milestone with our audience.

We have currently raised $9792 ($2700 received & 7092 pledged for 2012). So far we have 11 of 24 monthly partners signed up for 2012 and 13 of 20 tables sponsored. Click here to see the daily updates and details of the event.

Team Building at FCC

One of GTD's Programs is Team Synergy in which we put together team building events for groups. On Tuesday we put together a day of team building with the Lady Suns volleyball team from Florida Christian College (FCC). FCC's head coach for women's volleyball is Jim Butski - a close friend and one of our former Mission Directors in GTD.

If you think about it, we are all members of teams throughout our entire life: school, sports, work, volunteer organizations, church, ministry, friendships, family, and on and on. You can't escape it; life is a team sport. Any team is only as strong as its ability to cooperatively work together towards a common goal and with a strong level of skill & excellence. Good teams can become ineffective through dysfunctional behaviors and attitudes. And poor teams can become great when those same behaviors and attitudes become highly functional.

On Tuesday we put together a mini adventure race with 8 checkpoints. At each checkpoint the FCC team would tackle a different team building intiative (intiatives are basically games or challenges that teach team building principles). The group worked well to accomplish each intiative, learn the principle, and then apply it to their team effort.

The following principles were emphasized at the checkpoints: Checkpoint # (1) = Good Communication, (2) = Imagination & Creativity to Solve Problems, (3) = Find/Invite Jesus Into Everything, (4) = Leadership, (5) = Synergize, (6) = Never Give Up & The Power of Encouragement, (7) = Be Coachable & Be Offendable Because Growth Comes Through Healthy Conflict & Confrontation, (8) Trust

It was a good day =)

Laurie, Jim & Doug
Congratulation Coach Butski - Region Coach Of The Year!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In Route To FCC

Laurie & I are on our way to Florida Christian College (FCC) in Kissimmee to do a team building event with the ladies' volleyball team. We are teaming up with our former Mission Director, Jim Butski, who is now the head coach for FCC's Lady Sun's volleyball team. We are praying for an impacting event that helps to further synergize the team.

BUT, before the FCC event Laurie & I are using one of my Groupons to go off-roading in a 2 passenger dune buggy through Revolution Off Road... it's going to be a fun day!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


This is the last week of our Oct "Fall Sale"...
- 20% OFF Costa Rica Mission Trip (Feb 2-8, 2012) Reg: $750 SALE: $600/person
- 33% OFF Swamp Thing (Oct 6-11, 2011) Reg: $75 SALE: $49
- 40% OFF PRIVATE Fall Group Retreat Reg: $99/person SALE: $59/person
- more specials at

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

IGNITE 2012 (Yes, I said 2012!!)

IGNITE 2011 just completed and I'm excited to inform you that we've already locked in the ultimate location for IGNITE 2012!! It's going to be awesome! We have reserved Doe Lake Group Campsite in Ocala National Forest... one of the hardest sites to reserve because of its popularity and many amenities. Our goal is to have a worhip theme for this retreat. In fact, it's going to be called "IGNITE 2012 - Worship Fest". The camp holds up to 250 people and allows for live bands to play.

Here's a list of some of the amenities at this location (in alphabetical order): Bands/DJs are allowed, Beach, Covered Group Structure, Drinking Water, Dumpster, Fishing, Flush Toilet, Group Cooking Facilities, Group Grill, Ice Machine, Lake, Lake Front Sites, Multi Purpose Building, Photography Opportunities, Picnic Area, Picnic Shelter, Restrooms, Showers, Special Event Area, Water Faucets.

Some of the activities that we are planning are: Caving, Adventure Races, Canoeing, Outdoor Movies, and more!!

Lord willing, it's going to be the BIGGEST & MOST GOD-AWESOME IGNITE ever!!