Friday, May 29, 2020


It took 2 years, but Carson and I finally rappelled out of the awesome tree in the backyard! I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to climb this tree, rappel out of it, build a treehouse, zipline out of it, hang a hammock in it, build a rope swing... this is GTD's adventure tree... I guess you could say we are officially an adventure "minisTREE" ;)


Thursday, May 28, 2020


One of the biggest things I've been working on & praying about over the past 2 months is our gameplan for our peak season of outdoor ministry summer camps. With many of our churches & groups needing to cancel their GTD summer camp due to all the Coronavirus stuff we have been looking at several different options for the summer & fall. And now that we have a lot more information as May comes to a close it's time to nail down our summer plan. As always, we are beyond grateful for all of our all-weather supporters and prayer warriors who uphold this ministry. We've seen a lot of things over 24 years of ministry, and while this is very different it's also very familiar. We've got a lot of experience in unexpected challenges. We are a tried & tested all-weather ministry so we are always looking forward to see how God works and the new things that He gives birth to through each new challenge (aka: opportunity). More info to come =)


Thursday, May 21, 2020


It has taken several weeks of slow moving plodding progress, but the renovation of the exterior of the house & GTD office is continuing to move forward.

The title above and the attached pictures pretty much say it all. The days have been full of removing, repairing, & replacing old termite damage, wood rot, compromised studs, decaying siding, and all the old trim.

Thankfully I've had a little help along the way =)

Now all the damaged studs, posts, & siding have been repaired. It's caulking time... sanding time... pressure washing time... priming time... and painting time.

Slowly but surely it's coming together =)

Wednesday, May 13, 2020


One of the biggest tasks I've been able to tackle over the past 6 weeks is applying for & locking in GTD's PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) forgivable federal loan.

I'm happy to report that GTD was approved for and has already received our PPP.

Once it became apparent that several of our groups were going to have to cancel their upcoming group adventures specifically because of the government shutdown of public gatherings I began the application process for the PPP.

I put a lot of research into finding out what the best approach was for increasing our probabilities of getting approved for the PPP. I started with prayer and God reminded me of the book of Nehemiah and how God funded the rebuilding of the walls through the government.

I went on to follow the advice of many news articles, bloggers, and even my bank by applying for the PPP through several small banks, credit unions, & lenders. While the banks took the applications on a first come, first serve basis it was the lenders who could pick & choose which applications to service first... and some lenders were caught favoring bigger businesses to increase their own bottom line. Since our PPP was less than $12,000 there was a good possibility that we would be overlooked by some lenders. So applying through multiple banks & lenders became the prudent choice. It was time consuming, but that advice paid off.

My original application was through an account I rarely use at Achieva Credit Union. After 3 days I received a voicemail that Achieva was overwhelmed with applications and wouldn't be able to service my PPP request. Good thing I didn't put all my eggs in that basket because I would have lost 3 days in the race to acquire the PPP before the funds ran out again. I applied through 3 other banks and lenders. It was a great thing that I had just completed updating all of our finances for the past 7 months because they needed most of that data to move forward with the application.

Each application took about 3-4 hours to complete, and then the waiting game began... as well as the silence. Since the SBA is trying to field the equivalent of 14 years worth of loan applications in a matter of a couple of months it's understandable that communication will be scarce, but that makes the entire process borderline brutal. The applicant has very little to work with... usually just a confirmation email that your application was received. Then silence, more silence, and even more silence. It becomes crucial to check your emails, voicemails, and lender websites at least every 2 hours so that when that rare movement happens you are ready to respond. Usually they are seeking more data or information to move forward with the application process. It's very time consuming and intrusive to the momentum of the work day, but it's a small price to pay in order to lock in your organization's PPP.

From start to finish it took 13 days from the initial application to receiving the funds. All in all our PPP journey was very positive. The lenders I worked with were very helpful as the process progressed. It was all done electronically online. It took about 3 full days to get the initial applications in and follow-up with the initial requirements. After that it was just a constant checking up for any movement. Once there was movement then the momentum picked up until the closing happened and the funds were transferred.

For us the PPP is one part of navigating the setbacks to our events. Hopefully it will fill in the gaps from the revenues lost from the events that were lost.

All in all we are doing good, and much of that is because of our incredible faithful supporters  - which is the subject of an upcoming update.

Thank you for following GTD and our journey through COVID-19 in our 24th year of ministry.

We are thankful and full of faith & confidence in Christ =)

More updates to come.


Friday, May 8, 2020


I've been in my fixer upper house / GTD home office for 2 years now and I haven't been able to tackle one MAJOR renovation project... until now, that is!

I've collected A LOT of supplies (mostly good deals off of Offer Up) and I've amassed a good collection of tools & equipment since I was a teenager... aaaaaand I've watched a ton of home improvement shows as well as YouTube videos about the specific projects on my to-do list.

(I had my roof replaced last year, but that was done by a roofing company.)

I've completed a handful of smaller projects, but I just haven't had the chance to tackle any major renovation projects... and that has been killing me for 2 years now.

GTD originally had April open on the calendar and we were lining up a bunch of GTD volunteers to help with the work projects for April & May... but then the Coronavirus hit.

The social distancing prevented getting a bunch of volunteers, but the self isolation afforded me the opportunity to tackle MY FIRST MAJOR HOME RENOVATION - the exterior of the house (and GTD home office).

Prior to purchasing the house I had it treated for termites. I knew there was some damage, but there was no way of telling the extent of the damage without getting inside of the walls.

After extensive pressure washing, removal of decorative trim boards, and picking away at rotten wood siding it became apparent that I had a pretty big job ahead of me.

Thankfully it appears that at least 75% of the house seems to have strong bones, but that's honestly a guesstimate because I lost my Xray vision when I turned 49.

That leaves about 25% of the siding and structure that has significant past termite damage and wood rot. AKA, MY FIRST MAJOR HOME RENOVATION PROJECT!!

So about 5 weeks ago I started on the renovation of my home's exterior. I honestly thought it would take me 1 week to complete. WRONG! I'm 5 weeks into this and still have a few more weeks to go.

It may sound a little weird, but I've always wanted a fixer-upper and to tackle all kinds of major renovations... so while this is a "rotten" situation it's actually a wanted situation. I'm actually living my dreams (and all while enjoying some amazing weather outside!)!

So I work from morning till early evening about 5 days per week on this project.

I apologize because I'm way behind on ministry updates and there are several people to whom (is that the right time to use "whom"? haha) I need to return calls, texts, & emails. I'm kind of knee deep in a major project that is taking way longer than imagined... and I need to complete it before rainy season & adventure camps begin.

So here are some pics of the damage I've encountered... I'm currently right in the middle of the biggest repair to date which is on the last section of the house. I intentionally left the worst for last so that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm so glad I didn't start with the worst section because I think it may have slowed my momentum.

Stay tuned for more pics & updates... and hopefully the "after" pictures of Phase 1 of a newly renovated exterior =)

Living the dream... one rotten board at a time ;)

Thank You Jesus!

Stay safe! Stay healthy! Advance your position!