Friday, September 30, 2016

National Park #4: Bryce Canyon!

National Park #4: Bryce Canyon!

There's just no way to accurately describe the incredible uniqueness of a Hoodoo... you just have to see them for yourself... or better yet, hike among them like we did!

This was a one-of-a-kind God-awesome adventure! We loved every minute of it!!

Byway 12 (UT 2016)

We have been on-the-go nonstop since the trip started! But thankfully, even the journey from place to place is as majestic as the actual destination!

Byway 12 in Utah is considered one of the most scenic drives in the United States. We can now attest to that! We were blessed to travel on it for several hours as our minds were blown away by the sheer beauty that surrounded us as far as the eye could see!

UT2016 (GTD's Utah Trip 2016)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

National Park #3: Capitol Reef!!

National Park #3: Capitol Reef!!

Apple picking amongst the deers!!!!!

This is one of the lesser known National Parks, but one of my favorites. We spent our time picking apples just a few feet away from wild deer that don't feel threatened by human beings. It was so cool! And the apples are delicious!!

Afterwards we spent time in God's Word. Our theme this week is taken from the current advertising campaign & slogan of Utah: "Life Elevated". That campaign has increased Utah's tourism by millions upon millions. We are taking time to discuss what "Life Elevated" looks like in a spiritual sense. God elevates us from lost to found, dead to alive, servant to friend, tail to head. In fact, Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came to not just give us live, but moreover to give us an abundant life. He elevates our lives with a supernatural abundance because He's a Good Father and because we are now a part His "Life Elevated" slogan and authentic advertising campaign to reach a lost and deflated world. Although I live a very financially humble life, I can attest that because of Christ alone I experience a supernatural abundance and joy that has elevated my life since I asked Jesus in my heart when I was 8 years old. He immediately took me to Life Elevated and all I want to do is invite people on this supernatural Life Elevated "balloon ride" to taste and see that God is good!

We are having an amazing time on our Mighty 5 Utah Trip. We finished our time at Capitol Reef with a 20 mile driving tour of this phenomenal relatively unknown National Park. Good times!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Magnificent Moment

One of my favorite pictures from our visit to Arches National Park is this silhouette picture of David Wainscott (72 years old) hiking on the edge of the approach trail to Delicate Arch as the sun was rising. The path itself is probably the best lead up trail to a magnificent landmark that I've ever experienced. As you reach the top and turn the corner you encounter a breathtaking view of the most photographed arch in the world! And this was just one highlight from an entire day of magnificent moments! God is amazing!

Stop #2: Arches National Park

Today we visited Arches National Park and it was spectacular!! It was our 2nd National Park on GTD's "Mighty 5" Utah Trip. Keep checking back for updates... (More pics to come!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Let The Utah Trip Begin!

And just like that, GTD's inaugural Mighty 5 Utah Trip has begun!! So honored to have 12 fantastic participants on this trip =). First Stop: Canyonlands National Park!!

Monday, September 26, 2016


For 14-16 hours per day nearly everyday for the past 4 weeks I have awakened early and worked late. From "OhCrud:30 am" till "OhCrud:30 pm" I have attacked my Wall Of Tasks with an obsessed intensity. These tasks represent the last wall that stands between where I've been stuck for 6+ years and where God has called me to be. I've been pounding on walls like this since 2009-ish, never giving up never backing down. Six years ago The Great Recession nearly devastated our humble ministry. It nearly ended 19 years of hard work. We had to let go of our staff and all of our volunteers had to move on. It was like we were building a big house with 30 workers and everything was going great and the house was taking shape. Then in a matter of a few months in 2010 there were only a couple of workers that could continue to build the house. We've had so many wonderful supporters, contributors, and encourages that continued to fund our humble budget. Everyday Laurie and I have risen, picked up the hammer, and continued to build this house called GTD. It has been excruciating. It has been exhausting. It has been the hardest thing I've ever done. And everyday I've shown up for work. Everyday I've continued to build the house. I've sacrificed nearly everything in order to continue this building. A 60 hour work week is a short week. And inch by excruciating inch the house has continued to take shape. Now I'm standing at a Wall of Tasks that represents the end of that tough chapter, and the beginning of something even more beautiful for GTD... a strong and healthy future. We're not quite there, but we almost are and I can feel the celebration welling up inside of me. I've had to push pause on the tasks for now to run our trips out west, but I can't wait to return to keep tearing down this wall and marching on to much bigger and better things in GTD. Houses are meant for more than just constructing them... they are meant to house great works of ministry. And we are almost there! Praise Jesus!!

"Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." - Psalm 127:1
(I wrote this a couple of days ago on our flight to Vegas, but didn't get a chance to post it until now.)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Salt Lake City Here We Come

Driving 400 miles to Salt Lake City, amazing scenery everywhere!!! Our first ever GTD Utah trip starts tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Where do you think GTD should go next? What destination would you like to see added onto GTD's list of adventure locations?? Where should we venture to in 2017??? Who knows, you may just have some influence in where we start taking groups next year (or in the next 5 years). We are looking at some exciting potential places. I'm already leaning towards one specific amazing place. Lord willing, we are going to add on at least one new "Bucket List" destination onto our playground menu for 2017. Give us your suggestions. If we use your idea or if you happen to guess a place we've already decided on for 2017 then we are going to give you $20 of GTD merchandise (T-shirt, coffee mug, water bottles... you choose). Whatever we decide we are going to announce it at our Annual Banquet on Nov 15th. And then start counting down the days to 2017! Thanks for your suggestions!

Our current list of destinations include: the Tampa Bay area, central Florida, south Florida, the Everglades, The Keys, north Georgia, eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, the Grand Canyon South Rim, the Grand Canyon North Rim, Utah, and Costa Rica.


Friday, September 16, 2016


Been working like crazy for the past 3 weeks on my top 100 immediate GTD work tasks. My goal is to complete all of these by the end of the year. To make it on my "Wall of Tasks" it has to be something that NEEDS to get done along with one of the following criteria:

   1) It will take several hours or days to complete
   2) It will significantly impact the ministry in a positive way
   3) If it doesn't get done it will create much more work or problems
   4) It's important and timely and the right thing to do

I have plenty of other smaller or routine tasks that don't make it on the wall. This wall represents my most important tasks... some of which I've been working on for more than 5 years and they are now within reach of completion.

I can't tell you how excited this nerd is that I'm within a few months of getting caught up on things I started falling way behind on 6 years ago when we encountered The Great Recession and had to let our staff go and lost most of our volunteers to other life priorities.

I've been fighting hard for 6 years to not only stay on top of my current priorities, but also to get caught up on hundreds of things that had to be put on the "back burner" (for which I had to chip away at day-after-day-after-day).

I've been chopping on this tree for many years... and it's about to fall (Praise God!).

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Never Forget!

Remembering the attacks of 9/11. God comfort the families and friends of those who lost their lives 15 years ago today as well as those who sacrificed limbs and lives to defend our country from that point on. And God bless the brave and heroic first responders who risked their lives as they ran directly into the places people were trying to escape from in order to protect and serve and aid. Never forget!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Can You Imagine?

Can you imagine hiking 10 miles to see these awe inspiring views right here in our own backyard? 

Where the rock walls really are that red and the water really is that color blue?  

Can you imagine taking in the majestic site of this 100 ft waterfall found hidden deep within the canyon walls and swimming in it's refreshing blue waters?  

How about hiking just a little further down to see another one just like it but taller and more adventurous to get to?  

Can you imagine popping a tent up along side the river here or laying alongside it in a hammock reading your favorite book or eating a nice hot dinner?  

If so, you need to join GTD on our next adventure to Havasu Falls in Arizona! 

Every year Havasu Falls is open to a limited amount of campers and we personally spend hours, days and weeks on the phone trying to reserve spots for participants to go with us. This is a highly sought after location, a bucket-list trip!  A place travelers come to from all over the world to see. 

If you'd like to reserve a spot, be sure to contact us immediately as time is running out. 

The trip starts November 18th and ends the 23rd. (6 Days/5 Nights tot) (4 Days/3 Nights down in the Grand Canyon)

GTD will provide your backpacking and camping gear, full time guides, trip planning, transportation to and from designated areas, accommodations, permits, entrance and camping fees. (Does not include airfare, upgrades, or restaurant meals.). 

For more details and costs click on the Havasu Falls link found to the left of this page. (If you're on a mobile device you can find it in the drop down menu at the top of the page). 

Landry Academy Appalachian Trail Backpacking Pics Uploaded!

Over 600 pictures from our Appalachian Trail Backpacking Trip with Landry Academy have been uploaded to our GTD Online Photo Album! Check out all the pics of this exciting adventure with so many phenomenal people =). Click here to see them.


Thursday, September 1, 2016


Well our Segway Tour got cancelled by a little storm named Hermine. Not a problem for ALL-WEATHER friends. Nothing that a little chocolate fondue, Publix subs, and an episode of The Office couldn't fix. It was our last time to hang out with Alex Powell before he heads off to serve 2 years with YWAM in Hawaii and our first time hanging out with Erin Powell since she officially became an RN (or eRiN as I now like to call her). Laurie & I dearly love this great SisBro combo and their hearts for Christ as well as their FUN LOVING attitudes!! Looking forward to many more God-awesome adventures with these 2... maybe even one in Hawaii!! So thankful for the wonderful time we've had together as "The Real D.E.A.L" (Doug, Erin, Alex, Laurie). Journeying on wherever God leads!


Sometimes my job requires all nighters, late nighters, or 3am wake-up alarms. This morning I had to fax our group reservation request for the only group cabin located 10 miles down trail inside of the Grand Canyon. The request is for Sept 2017, but the earliest you can submit a request for Sept 2017 is at 12am (3am my time) on Sept 1, 2016. Each request is evaluated in the order it is received and if the fax arrives 1 second (or more) before 12am then it goes to the bottom of the pile. Tens of thousands apply every year, but only a few get the reservation. Sept & Oct are 2 of their most popular months. It took 1 hour and 20 minutes of constant faxing (kept getting the busy signal) to get through. We use an online fax service that will attempt to connect for 10 minutes before timing out if it only gets a constant busy signal. So every 10 minutes I had to try re-faxing until it went through. Now it's the waiting game to see if we get approved. It takes up to 3 weeks to get a response. I will let you know what the results are as soon as we find out. Hoping for success!