Saturday, September 30, 2017
I'm 8 weeks into one of the most exciting seasons of my life!
It's a period of time in which I'm striving for thriving at one of the deepest levels of my life. I'm on a quest of wisdom acquisition and wisdom application.
I've been incredibly blessed and immensely fortunate to have come to know Jesus at the age of 8 years old. Since that time I've acquired many truths, many life principles, and many "gold nuggets" of wisdom that have internally, externally, and eternally blessed my life beyond measure, and - just as importantly - prevented me from pursuing a lot of self destructive choices. That's not to say that I haven't made some dumb and unwise decisions along the way as well as experienced broken dreams, broken bones, and failed pursuits. But, by the grace of God, I've been very blessed to keep my personal vices and "self inflicted wounds" to a minimum for 47 years. I've also been very proactive to chase down and overcome most of my fears, foolish tendencies, generational sins, and impulsive temptations. Even though I own very little and have not experienced many of the things that our culture screams is necessary to "be happy" (never been drunk, never done drugs, never had sex outside of marriage... and, since I've never been married, that makes me a 47 year old virgin) I do experience a high level of freedom, happiness, joy, zeal, excitement, and fulfillment. BUT, I still haven't reached my full potential. Not even close. I still haven't been as fruitful for God's glory as He has given me the capacity to be. I still haven't developed more strategies in life to be successful other than hard work and perseverance. My solution usually is to work harder not smarter. But that's all changing right now. I'm at a moment in my personal history when I'm striving to push beyond just grit and tenacity in order to achieve. Those are 2 very important character qualities that prevent giving up (which is the definition of failure), but they are the same ingredients that drive sleep deprivation, over working, under nourishing, and a myriad of lifestyle choices that, in time, can actually be counterproductive. Now is the time when I'm making the bold switch from being primarily a "grinder" to becoming a WISE grinder... from someone who works 60-80 hours a week (I love my job! And I LOVE to work!!) and hates sleep to becoming someone who infuses greater levels of WISDOM & DISCIPLINE into my lifestyle so that I'm working less hours, getting more sleep, and yet achieving more. I have the discipline of a winner, but now I'm striving for the discipline of a CHAMPION!
So I'm already 8 weeks into this God-awesome transformation and the initial results are off the charts. I'm beyond excited about each small WISE new DISCIPLINE I'm experimenting with and it's immediate positive impact on reaching my full potential in Christ. I look forward to sharing all the details as I continue my quest to STRiVE to THRiVE. Since I own my own business (for a lack of a better term), and it's very physically - emotionally - mentally demanding, and my career requires that I spend up to 5 months each year travelling, these elements add an entirely more complicated approach to reaching my goals. But it is obtainable and it is sustainable. I just need to do it in a WISER and MORE DISCIPLINED way in order to THRiVE at the level God designed me for. This is the quest I'm already 8 weeks into pursuing and I look forward to sharing my successes and failures along the way 😊.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - Jesus (John 10:10)
"By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples." - Jesus (John 15:8)
Friday, September 29, 2017
We've spent the last 2 weeks getting everything back up and operational in the office after evacuating for Hurricane Irma as well as starting to tackle some of our autumn restoration projects. We've got 5 trailers, 1 pontoon boat, 5 trucks, 10 canoes, a 1000 sq ft office, and several pieces of equipment that need maintenance, repairs, and/or restoration as we set our aim on a powerful & impacting 2018. Full steam ahead!!
Thursday, September 14, 2017
- Evacuate hurricane to north GA
- Quality time with great friends
- Organize gear cache in Hiawassee
- Pick up repaired trailer with new axles in Milledgeville (it took 1 month for the repair shop to get the specific axles)
In route back to Florida right now =)
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Trying to keep our daily routine consistent while we are waiting to head back to Florida =).
"Coach K" (the 8 year old son of Kevin and Ashley) is taking us through his favorite daily workouts. This kid is AWESOME!!
Monday, September 11, 2017
So far I keep hearing good reports from family and friends in Florida impacted by Hurricane Irma. By the time it hit the Tampa Bay area its strength was greatly diminished. I am thankful. But since our good fortune may have come at the expense of our fellow Floridians bearing the brunt of the hurricane's path there is no celebration, but rather a love, appreciation, and readiness to help those who unexpectedly buffered us from greater loss. To my fellow safe Floridians, some of the time, energy, effort, and resources that would have gone into our own personal clean up and rebuilding could be considered as possible opportunities to help and bless those not as fortunate.
For us personally and as a ministry, we spent several days of focus and hard work preparing for the worst, especially the last 36 hours before evacuating. Boarding windows, safe guarding our equipment, preserving our history, insuring the ministry's future to the best humanly possible, taking care of ourselves, taking care of our pets, stocking food and water for weeks without power, creating several different plans for different paths of the hurricane, and the list goes on. In short, we were being good and wise stewards with what has been entrusted to us, including our own lives. And Laurie was a rock star all week. She did AWESOME with the challenge at hand. We didn't allow hysteria or panic or outside pressures affect our mission or timeline. We collected current and changing information and made fluid & wise decisions. We journeyed on as good soldiers to protect and preserve our own lives as well as that which was entrusted to our care. I'm so pleased with our efforts, our decision making, and our executed plan. It was tiring and exhausting, but it was worth it. And, as hoped and prayed for, it appears that the possible disaster never materialized. For some, they may conclude it as wasted time, energy, and resources. But as an adventure guide it's the only way to approach any challenge. Every backpacking trip we bring something we call "The Brick". It's a 5 lbs sack of survival gear and first aid. In backpacking terms, 5 lbs of anything is way too much weight to bring. Our hope is that we never have to use it. But we bring it every time for that one rare instance when it literally will save lives. Just because it wasn't needed on one backpacking trip and the weight of it added to the burden of your hike doesn't mean that you discard it on the next hike just like you don't stop wearing your seatbelt this time because you weren't in an accident last time. Disasters are unpredictable and unscheduled. Our adventures constantly require us to put in safety measures and back-up safety measures and back-up to the back-up safety measures. Our hope is that all the time, energy, and effort that goes into our safe guards is never actually needed. But that one rare instance that it is needed demands that the effort is made in every instance. Plus the security and peace of mind that it gives is priceless. So our hurricane preparation ended up being a "Hurricane Drill" and never really used... was it a waste of time?? Absolutely not!! I learned so much. My muscles were worked out. I got to strategize and use critical decision making skills. I got to contend against mother nature. My wisdom grew. My time with God was extended. My trust and faith was tested to see how it handled new stresses and pressure... and I passed with flying colors... I had no fear, no panic, no hysteria. I didn't cave to outside pressures to leave sooner nor outside pressures to do nothing at all. I was in tune with God and following the leading of the Holy Spirit and wisdom from His Word. I did what men were created to do- abide in Christ, work hard, please God, and care for the people, animals, and things God has placed in our care. My conscious is so good. My mind expanded. My muscles utilized. My priorities crystallized. I could go on and on. Although the preparation wasn't utilized, it was definitely no waste of time. And I will do it all again (and even bigger & better) next time!
(Special thanks to Kevin & Ashley Starner for lovingly opening their home to 5 people and 8 animals! They are the hands and feet of Christ! And our love and thanks to everyone who reached out to us and prayed for us over the past week... We feel the love!)
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Last night we took naps at a rest stop that was jam packed with fellow hurricane dodgers. To keep the dogs from barking and waking everyone up I decided to crawl into the dog cage with them and catch some Zzzz's. I had no idea just how comfortable I would be! Plenty of leg space to stretch out and the weather was so nice. I didn't want to get out LOL! The dogs and the doug did great and none of us ever barked =)
Departed last night at 7:30pm from Seminole, FL to stay with friends in north GA as Hurricane Irma approaches. No traffic, no storms, and just waking up from a surprisingly comfortable 4 hour nap at a rest stop... great timing for us to evacuate. Praying for those in the path of this massive storm!
Friday, September 8, 2017
The GTD office is on the 2nd floor above a great classic car repair shop & wakeboard boat dealership. Our landlords are the absolute BEST people!! They've been trying to get a roofer to come out to do a few minor roof repairs for a few weeks, but their roofer hasn't been able to make it over. So last night I was able to do about 5 hours of temporary roof repairs in preparation for Hurricane Irma. While I was up there I found a couple of old satellite dishes from the previous owner that I was able to use as a shovel to remove a pile of old acorns. As soon as I finished it started raining. So far so good... the temporary patch jobs are working =).
We've been hurricane prepping for 3 days and making great progress. We are ready to evacuate the area if we need to, but being very proactive with our preparations and planning while we watch the track of Irma. We are in a higher elevation zone with a huge high school (designated hurricane shelter) located less than 1/2 mile away. Taking it serious and having fun at the same time... It's how I roll ;). Continuing to pray for those already impacted by this powerful storm.
Prepare - Watch - Wait - React - Repeat
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Taking the sage approach... We are treating this as if there is a 100% chance of direct impact to our area.
At best it will be a "Hurricane Drill"... at worst it would be "Paradise Lost" and catastrophic ruin to our insubstantial sea level peninsula.
Praying for the best, preparing for the worst, and joyfully embracing whatever does or doesn't come our way!
*Pinellas County (St Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, etc) is the most densely populated (not a dumb joke) county in Florida with nearly 1 million people packed into 274 square miles of land. Thankfully we have a lot of boats!