Monday, August 29, 2011


The Mayan calendar may run out in 2012, but the GTD calendar is JAM PACKED!! Maybe it's not the end-of-the-world afterall... maybe it's the beginning of a new life full of God-centered adventures!! 2012 GTD calendar coming Sept 1st.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Do U want 2 grow? Do U want to b complete? Do U want to NOT b lacking? Then U must persevere thru difficulties. Whenever U give up, wherever U stop keeping-on keeping-on... that's the level U stay at until U die or until U go back pick up the cross again and go-on. We live n a culture full of peeps that gave up when they were 13 and rebelled against every difficult instruction, chore, authority, law... they countinued to age, but they stopped growing. They've become the drama kings & queens of our time. They are the emotional train wrecks that fill up Reality TV shows. Like a cup full of delicious sugar... it excites the taste buds, but leaves the stomach empty... they are entertaining people, but empty lives. Don't go that route. Persevere! Don't give up when things r tough or else U will always stay right where U quit. To grow the distance U have to GO THE DISTANCE in CHRIST. Check out James 1:2-4

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Lord Willing"

Planning out the rest of the fall, all of 2012, and the upcoming banquet... PRAYERS!!!

James 4:13-15 (NKJV) 13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit";
14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Week In Review

Its been a fun week in TN as we had an unexpected extention to our summer events. As you already know, 8 days ago our transmission in the new truck died during our financially driest part of the year. James 1:2-4 teaches us to "count it all joy when you fall into trials of various kinds." Laurie & I have had a very joyous week as we have put our hope & trust in our Provider. God has supplied us with so many fun opportunities in the mountains of TN during this trial - like daily swims in amazing swimming holes, kayaking down whitewater, jogs thru mountain trails, touring historic small towns, playing with the dogs on open fields, nightly campfires, meeting great southern folks in the Bible belt, relaxing tired bodies on hammocks, reading a GREAT "couples" book together, having wonderful devotions with God in His beautiful creation, and sleeping late if the body asks for 10 more minutes... again & again. And He has also supplied us with provisions through others during this trial - like free cabins at a wonderful camp (plus they sent a van to pull our trailer the rest of the way to the camp), free wifi to do office work, 0% interest on a short-term loan from my parents to pay for the transmission, free towing thru AAA with our annual membership dues, a FANTASTC & trustworthy mechanic to work on the truck, over $250 of discounts off the cost of the repair, a free $200 upgrade in the transmission (plus Alvin - the owner of Aamco - gave us $40 to have dinner out of his own pocket), and amazing weather from the "Weather Man". In summary, its not been a good week... its been a God-awesome week... and it all started with a trial. The trial continues until we raise the funds to pay back the loan, but our faith is firm that where God guides, He provides :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Love The Family of God

I just got off the phone with Alvin from Aamco in Chattanooga, TN. They are rebuilding our transmission. I've had several phone conversations with Alvin and he just confirmed what I already thought, he is a Christ follower. Everytime I talked to him he had this humble, loving, thoughtful, caring, impathetic kindness to him that had J-E-S-U-S spelled all over his tone of voice. He asked about our ministry and I shared with him all about GTD. That's when he told me he is a Christian. That's when he told me his phylosphy for running his business, "We treat every customers like the way we would want our wives treated as customers." I can hear all the wife jokes now... but that's not a punchline to a joke to Alvin... it's a conviction of the heart, even greater, a conviction of the soul. And it's a reflection of his love for his God, his wife, & his customers. Alvin then gave me a $100 internet coupon I didn't know about... then he doubled it... then he gave me another $50 credit... then he upgraded the torque converter to the highest quality (usually a $200 fee) for no additional cost. And why did he do all this? Simply because, as he puts it, "It's the right thing to do." That's the beauty of being changed by Jesus. That's the beauty of being part of the family of God. Another mechanic may have squeezed more money out of us. Another mechanic may have seen another way to make a profit. Not Alvin. Not this brother in Christ. He saw a way to cut his profit to help a ministry he has never heard of simply because his heart is in the hands of God. Thank you Alvin, you touched my heart and encouraged my soul. May the Lord richly bless you... as you have blessed us. =)
And that's not all. The camp that we take students to each summer that provides white water rafting is called White Water Express. They have allowed us to stay in their cabins at no charge while the transmission is repaired. They also, are a Christian based company and have shown us great love & kindness. They have touched our hearts as they have blessed our ministry.
And did I mention that the beautiful truck we have is a donation from 2 dear friends who we greatly love and who greatly love us and this ministry... for those who follow our ministry will remember this amazing truck donation (F250 - King Ranch Edition) that we receieved last year. I am still speechless today.
Oh, and during our financially leanest months of the year (right now: Aug & Sept) my parents - Jerry & Ann Garner (JAG) - have come to the rescue again by providing a 0% interest loan to repair the transmission.
Oh I hate to receive handouts, but that's not what this is... it's a group hug from the family of God... it's how God uses others to bless others. When you are on the giving side it is more blessed than words can describe... when you are on the receiving side it is overwhelming, humbling, and describable by one phrase, "Thank You Jesus!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Transmission Here We Come

GTD Truck heading for repairs. New transmission = $3700... a summer of impacted lives by Jesus = Pricele$$!! THANK YOU JAG for the short-term loan... you rescued me & GTD again!! Anybody ready for some GTD fundrai$er$??? =)

Friday, August 12, 2011

FL Bound

The FCD grp & GTD volunteers are on their way home. They left Ducktown, TN around 2:30pm. Thank you to everyone who helped make this trip fUntastic!! We will be uploading all the pics soon :)

Rafting, Manhunt, & Blown Transmission

The group enjoyed a fun time swimming & jumping off rocks at Blue Hole yesterday. Blue Hole is a segment of the Ocoee River designed for the 1996 Olympic kayaking events. During the weekends Blue Hole becomes class 4's & 5's rapids for white water rafting, but during the weekdays the water is dammed off & rerouted through hydrolyic power plants. This leaves standing water in the river bed which creates amazing swimming holes. It's a fantastic place to bring groups & families :).

After Blue Hole the group made their way to White Water Express (WWX) to stay in cabins for the night & go rafting today. They LOVE this place!! They played volleyball, frisbee, ping pong, cards, pranks... and manhunt for hours. After a few hours of actual sleep the students had breakfast and just departed on their white water rafting adventure. Laurie is riding along the river and taking pictures at some of the best rapids so everyone will be able to share in the rafting experience (after we upload the pics).

Unfortunately, the GTD truck's transmission bit the dust yesterday while pulling the equipment trailer through the mountains. Praise the Lord, the WWX staff drove to the rescue as they picked up the trailer and towed it to the outpost. We were able to put the truck in 4 wheel drive and "limp" the remaining 5 miles to WWX. I (Doug) will be spending the morning working on a gameplan for our trip home this afternoon... more info to come. After 15 years of running a mobile ministry I have learned to "count it all joy" (James 1:2) as I know God is going to work it all out in a way that adds more memories, more team unity & more spiritual growth. I'm looking fwd to what lies ahead :).

More updates to come :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Great Times!

The FCD group had a blast yesterday... scenic drive on the Cherohala Skyway followed by bridge jumping, 40' cliff jumping (a thrilling place called Top Gun), and several hrs back at Baby Falls (itz so much fun there)!! Then we went back to camp for pizzadillas, campfire, highlights of the day, and movie night (last night we watched Facing The Giants).

This morning we packed up all of camp and are on our way to Ducktown... going swimming at Blue Hole this afternoon & white water rafting on the Ocoee River tmw morning. Tonight we are staying in cabins.

The trip is going great... another great group of young people :). God is so good to us :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rock Climbing & Rappelling 2day!!

After waiting out the rain yesterday we returned back to Baby Falls for an amazing time... the group can't get enough waterfall sliding, cliff jumping & exploring. Afterwards we headed back to camp and enjoyed a delicious dinner of chicken fetticine alfredo. During the campfire time we relived the highlights of the day then watched Finding Nemo on a big bed sheet with a movie projector... it was a good day with a lot of fun people... see pics of Baby Falls

Today we got up at 5.30am to head to our rock climbing spot. After the drive we had a long uphill strenuous hike to the rock faces. The group did great on the 3 climbing routes & 1 rappel station we set up on the mountain. We saw several people encounter & overcome fears as they rappelled down nearly 8 stories and climbed up 7 story routes. We are thanking God for the incredible weather we've had all day... it was perfect for all we were doing. We will have some climbing & rappelling pics uploaded in the next couple of days.

Right now we are heading back to camp for a nice meal, (portable) warm showers (or swimsuit showers in the waterfalls), a campfire, and another outdoor movie :). Tomorrow is a full day of H2O fun... bridge jumping, cliff jumping, & waterfalls, as well as some travels to beautiful overlooks on the Cherohala Skyway. Thanks for all the prayers!!! More updates to come :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Team Building, Baby Falls, Rain

The group arrived around 7pm last night. We set up camp & got hit with a bunch of rain. After a delicious taco dinner we had orientation... and eventually went to sleep. This morning we had french toast for breakfast then spent some time doing some team building. After hamburgers & hot dogs for lunch we set out for Baby Falls... everyone LOVES it!! ... waterfall sliding, cliff jumping & exploring... it's amazing!! We just got hit with another thunderstorm and are waiting out the storm in town... everyone is having a great time... more updates coming soon :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Check-in/OK message from GTD (GPS Alert) SPOT Messenger

GTD (GPS Alert)
GPS location Date/Time:08/07/2011 20:45:43 EDT

Message:Quick update from GTD: All's good! Everyone is safe & sound. U can track our GPS coord below. God bless =)

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link:,-84.12836&ll=35.32802,-84.12836&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

GTD (GPS Alert)

You have received this message because GTD (GPS Alert) has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.

12 Miles To Go!!

We are about 20 minutes away from camp... no more cell coverage in a couple of minutes. Looking fwd to a fantastic wk w/ FCD!!

Almost There!

Hello from the GTD team!  Just a few more hours before we reach our final destination in Tennesse for the FCD Adventure Trip!  We are thankful God has blessed us with a great day of travel!

FCD is making good time with there travels.  Last we heard they had just finished lunch and are back on the road.

Volunteering with us this week is Chris, Sydney, Tyler, Jessie,Laurie and Stacey!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Benefits of Recreation

Outdoor Adventures May Turn You Into A Superhero... Like Kevin Starner (above)
We all know recreation is fun, but did you realize that it is vital to your well being. Sometimes it's easy to forget that God created us to be active in His creation. The very first thing He did with Adam is give him a purposeful activity (work) in the great outdoors. We weren't designed to be inside sitting in a chair being relatively inactive. It's not good for our body, our mind, our emotions, or our soul. The fastest way to grow old is to do nothing. As Athletic Trainer (and my best friend) Chuck Peterman puts it, "It's not that people become old; it's that they become inactive." It's not that people are wearing out; it's that they are rusting out. Outdoor recreation is not only fun, but it literally changes every aspect of your life in a positive way. It certainly can't fill the the whole in our soul (only Jesus can do that), but it does make every aspect of our life better. The California Outdoor Recreation Planning Program (CORPP) did an extensive study into the benefits of recreation and found that recreation has the following positive impacts on individuals, as well as society:
  • helps prevent (or control) obesity
  • boosts the immune system
  • diminishes the risk of diseases
  • increases life expectancy
  • contributes to one's mental health
  • contributes to one's quality of life
  • decreases depression
  • relieves stress
  • improves self esteem
  • aids in personal growth
  • strengthens communities
  • promotes social bonds
  • supports the youth by improving their education
  • supports the youth by deterring negative behaviors
  • increases family bonds
The report summarized their findings about recreation by stating that, "It can provide multiple benefits all at the same time... The combined values that may be gained are almost endless... Recreation provides us with family and community bonds that last a lifetime."

As the Director of an Outdoor Adventure Ministry I can verify that I have seen these benefits happen over and over again. We must resist the notion that recreation is something that we only do when we are kids and it is somehow unimportant. If we adopt these notions then we start dying away. I encourage you to get involved in outdoor recreation. And I invite you to do an event with us where we combine recreation with worship to create a God-awesome complete experience. Now go play! ... and to read a devotion that I wrote that is similar to this topic called Have Fun click here. To check out one of our Upcoming Events click here.

God Bless,
duG <><

Friday, August 5, 2011

GTD Now Uses The SPOT (Thanks Traci!)

Thanks to my amazing sister's donation of this very cool gadget, GTD will now be using The SPOT GPS Messenger. In places where we don't have cell phone coverage we will use The SPOT to send out pre-made messages so family & friends know that we are safe & sound (or if we need help sent to our GPS coordinates). Messages have been programed to update the GTD Bullhorn Blog, the GTD Facebook Page, and the gtdALERTS Twitter Page so any and everyone should know our status as soon as we send the message. You can even click on the GPS coordinates to see a map of where we were when the message was sent. It's a fun way to follow our daily adventures. The SPOT is going to be a great addition to GTD. Thanks Traci!!


(This isn't me... it's just a picture off the internet)
I've been working many late hours over the past two weeks to get caught up on 7 weeks of office work piled up on my desk (and all around my desk). It's the challenging part of being gone for so long, even after 50 straight days of 16 hour work days in the field, much office work awaits me upon my return.

About 75% of GTD work is actually office work. Many people would probably be surprised to find out that on average I probably put in 60 hours a week working on the administrative aspects of running this amazing ministry, and most of that is in front of a computer screen. You will probably find that is true with most small business owners. I've been doing that for 15 years. It has to be a passion or else all the unending needs of your organization will overwhelm you and literally suck the life out of you. That has happened to me several times. That also happened to the Apostle Paul and several disciples as they carried on the Great Commission after Jesus ascended. I praise God that my spiritual gift is administration or else I'm sure all the time in the office would burn me out (again =)).

It's been 2 full years since we had to downsize our full time staff to just me and Laurie. In many ways, the work load stayed the same, but we've had less workers. Thankfully, through the power of Christ, I have been working tirelessly for the past 2 years to get GTD to a place where it can be managed by only two full time staffers... and it's almost there. My goal is to cut our office hours in half to 30 hours per week so we can spend more time investing in the lives of our interns and volunteers and young people. I feel like I've been chopping down the same tree for 2 years... trees don't fall until you've chopped about 90% of the way through. That means that 90% of the time you are chopping you don't see much movement. When you look up at the tree it's still standing very tall. You have to keep chopping. You have to see the significance in each little splinter of wood that flies out with each chop. I'm 85% of the way through this tree. I can hear the remaining 15% cracking. That signifies it can't resist my perseverance much longer. I'm about to win a major victory as this tree falls to forces of gravity (the Holy Spirit) and the inspired efforts of a Christ follower who won't give up. Oh, I look forward to yelling one joyous shout very soon... "Timber!"

- duG (dependent upon God)