Tuesday, February 19, 2019

4 HUMANS, 3 KAYAKS, AND 1 GOAT!

PADDLE PROWL 2019 WAS SMALL, BUT UNFORGETTABLE =)

Here are some of the pics from this past weekend's Paddle Prowl Island Camping trip. Dunkin the goat was everyone's highlight... except when he started eating the Bible!! Jesus said man shall not live on bread alone, but from every word that proceeds from the mouth of God... I guess the same is true for goats ;).

The weather was perfect! The people were perfect! The weekend was perfect! God's amazing playground feeds the soul =)

To check out all the Paddle Prowl pics check out the GTD online photo album: https://goingthedistance.smugmug.com/2019/2019-Adv-Trip-PADDLE-PROWL-Public

Going The Distance Adventure Ministry
Est 1996

Love'n Life Because of Jesus Christ!






Sunday, February 17, 2019

Top of the morning!



Good morning from Brush Island =)

PADDLE PROWL 2019

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Sunset In Paradise!


A beautiful sunset from our island campsite in the Ten Thousand Islands area of south FL =)

PADDLE PROWL 2019

Friday, February 15, 2019

Marco Island Bound!

In route to PADDLE PROWL! It's going to be a small trip, but a good one =)

Monday, February 11, 2019

YAKETY YAK! GTD Is Acquiring Kayaks =)

GTD now has 9 more kayaks!!! That gives us a total of 15 (so far)!

We've been on a bargain hunt for good quality pre-owned kayaks and were able to purchase 9 used kayaks with a lot of life left in them from personal owners for ONLY $1280! That's $142 per kayak!! With paddles!!! (Paddles are usually $35 & up)... and upgrades already done by the previous owner (like fishing pole holders, padded seats, etc). They do need a good cleaning, but these things are adventure gems!!! AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE PRICE IS RIGHT FOR A NON-PROFIT'S BUDGET =).

For 15+ years we've been wanting to get kayaks for GTD, but the price for decent quality new kayaks are $600+ per kayak... that means around $10,000 to have enough kayaks for groups of 20-ish. But buying used is a great approach at acquiring kayaks since a lot of people buy them with good intentions on using them, but then they sit idle for years. GTD is literally saving thousands of $$$ by selectively buying used kayaks.

WHY KAYAKS? Great question!

(1) LESS DANGEROUS: Most people would never guess this, but the most dangerous activity we provide isn't rock climbing, rappelling, or white water rafting. It's canoeing. Canoes have a high center of gravity which makes them easy to tip over. Add some wind gusts, choppy conditions, lower temperatures, youth (or elderly) participants, and 10 scattered canoes and you have a life threatening situation. It has happened several times over 23 years. Kayaks are much more stable, maneuverable, and safer.

(2) MORE PREFERRED: Kayaks are the more desirable paddling option. Canoeing is fun, but very outdated. Simply put, most paddlers want to kayak instead of canoe. We can increase our number of events simply by offering kayaks.

(3) WEATHERING THE NEXT RECESSION: The economy is cranking and we pray it continues for the foreseeable future, but the reality is that our country experiences a recession every 7 years. We learned during The Great Recession 10 years ago that our more expensive events aren't a good option during a recession. But our least expensive events - Day Trips - actually thrives during economic downturns. Anything we can add to our Day Trip Program such as kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, inner tubing, fishing, etc is an investment into our viability and longevity. It's simply a wise investment.

(4) DIPPING THE TOE INTO GTD: Day Trips are one of the best ways to get groups to sign up for their first GTD Trip. Then that Day Trip usually leads to retreats, adventure trips, and mission trips. Kayaks have a mass appeal and will allow us to offer more church staff Day Trips during the week which would give us countless opportunities to meet new pastors while giving them a taste of GTD and increasing our annual number of ministry events.

(5) IN OUR OWN BACKYARD: Kayaking in Pinellas County is a game changer for us! GTD travels all over the US, but we already have millions of people from all over the world who visit this area because of our beaches. Kayaking opens up endless local opportunities to tap into the outdoor market in our own backyard. That alone makes any water based activity a worthwhile consideration for the function of GTD.

(6) LARGER GROUP CAPACITY: With 9 more kayaks added to our total paddling fleet we can now take 50 people out on the water at one time... that's a big deal for that once or twice a year opportunity to take a large youth group or school grade out on a God-awesome adventure.

Wow, I could go on & on. This is a really big deal for us... a total game changer!! I'm absolutely thrilled at the prospect of what this opens up for us in the future!!

We are continuing to look for great pre-owned kayak deals as well as preparing to fund raise for pre-owned stand-up paddleboards.

Thank you to all of our donors & supporters that make GTD's growth & development possible!!!

AND... if you have any kayaks, paddleboards, wave runners, boats, etc and want to donate them... or if you want to help fund these purchases by adopting an adventure we would love to talk to you!





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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

IT'S CAMPING SEASON!! ....10 DAYS TILL PADDLE PROWL.... & 1 MONTH TILL IGNITE!



Here are 2 inexpensive God-awesome & unique GTD camping trips coming up in February & March. We hope you can join us for one... or both!

Feb 16-17: PADDLE PROWL Canoe Camping ($23+/person) - Ten Thousand Islands (Marco Island, FL)....Details & Registration

Mar 8-10: IGNITE Camping Retreat ($23+/person) - Word of Life (Hudson, FL)....Details & Registration

Get outside & live the adventure!

Going The Distance Adventure Ministry, Inc
(Est 1996)


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Monday, February 4, 2019

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF KNOWING JESUS!

40 years ago today - February 4, 1979 - I made the best decision of my life. At age 8, from the back pew of First Baptist Church of Pinellas Park, I comprehended the sermon of Pastor Jimmy Hammond and accepted the invitation he gave to anyone willing to receive it. That message was the gospel. It was (and is) the Good News that God created us for a personal relationship with Him, but the generational curse passed down from Adam was separation from our Creator. But God's only Son, Jesus, came and died on a cross for humanity's sin then rose from the dead in order to bridge that gap of separation. Jesus gives everyone who wants to receive it through faith the free gift of salvation. That free gift reconciles us with our Creator and gives us a personal relationship with the God who loves us. At age 8 I understood that simple but profound salvation message. I stood up from where I was seated and made my way to the aisle. I walked down that long aisle to the front of the church and prayed with Pastor Hammond to ask Jesus into my heart. I was only 8 years old and that moment transformed every part & piece of my life forever. I instantaneously wanted to please God. I wanted to obey and honor my parents. I didn't want to live for my own selfishness, but rather for God's glory. I immediately had access to every spiritual blessing - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control, and so much more. I could now read the Bible and understand what most of it was saying. I was fully alive inside! It was the greatest day of my life that has never ended. I would (and do) wish it upon everyone. The inner freedom I experience as I obey God can't be compared to anything. Life didn't automatically become easy. In many ways it became much harder. But through Christ I now had access to tools (such as wisdom & self control) and spiritual weapons (such as prayer, scripture, faith, truth, & much more) that enabled me to fight and have victory over spiritual forces of evil, life situations, and any unfavorable circumstances. My spiritual journey of growth started that day. I've had a fair share of spiritual losses along the way, but glory to God, I've had far more spiritual victories. And today, 40 years later, I'm still head-over-heels in love with Jesus! I'm still transformed. I'm still growing. And I still thank God for an obedient man of God who faithfully shared the gospel, and for a church that invested in school buses that traveled throughout the city every Sunday morning giving free rides to & from church. I sometimes wonder where I would be today if I missed church that day or if the pastor didn't give a salvation invitation. Would I have heard the gospel somewhere else? Would I have had ears to hear on another day? Or would I have started hanging out with the wrong crowd and traveled down roads of great heartache and regret? God only knows. I'm just so happy that this one great decision 40 years ago saved me from so many wrong paths... and eventually ushered me into full-time ministry. Thank You Jesus!! I rejoice! Forty years later and I still rejoice!! I look forward to eternity =)


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