Wednesday, March 30, 2022


Our registration for IGNITE 2022 reached a record high of 93 people! Then the weather forecast came, and everything changed. 
With a line of intense storms predicted, temps were projected to drop from the 80's on Friday down into the 30's on Saturday. The forecast included windchills into the 20's, intense storms, & tornado watches. Perfect camping weather as we like to say ;) . 
So it wasn't surprising when 43 wise people cancelled going on IGNITE. What was surprising was that 50 crazy people elected to journey on into this wild & unpredictable weekend adventure (including staying in tents)! 
We got up early on Saturday and removed all the tops off of the canopies, fortified the tents, and "battened down the hatches". Thankfully for us the intense storm line passed through quickly on Saturday morning. Unfortunately a couple tornadoes hit towns to the north of our location. We bunkered down in the Word of Life student cafeteria and ate breakfast, played games, and enjoyed our morning devotions as a group until the coast was clear. We were especially grateful that we had no damage back at the campsite.
The schedule was a nightmare from an Organizer's perspective. The weather impacted every activity we originally planned. So like a quarterback calling an audible when he sees how the defense lines up I had to keep changing the plan based on the conditions every 4 hours. 
The participants were so flexible, understanding, & go-with-the-flow. And Word of Life was fantastic to work with (as usual)! We switched the climbing tower & ziplines till after dinner on Saturday night so the wall could dry out. We pushed the kayaking & swimming pool back till Sunday. We allowed people to just hangout around the campfire or do their own thing as temps kept dropping & winds picked up all day Saturday.
Sometimes the weather becomes the main event on camping trips and you just keep adjusting to whatever the conditions require.
Aaaaaaaaand because of the wind affecting frisbees, volleyballs, etc we opted to play a game we invented several years ago called TrashBall, but this time we used a soccer goal instead of a trashcan... and a soccer goalie instead of a hockey goalie with a jousting baton. It was a blast for all ages and everyone who played loved it!
Probably the biggest highlight for me was that Traci brought my parents again out to IGNITE! My Mom loves the campfire, and my Dad was thrilled that Carson was able to bring the smoker so he could smoke up 4 Boston butts & one spiral ham!! It was a huge hit for the group! Several people enjoyed helping Dad smoke the meat, and everyone LOVED eating the delicious pulled pork and smoked ham!!!
Jason Hebert kept the huge fire going all weekend long to everyone's delight! And the golf cart donated by Jerry Mullins was a big hit for kids of all ages... young & old!
Basically, we all had a great time as we adjusted hour by hour to the constantly changing conditions. As you can see in the pictures IGNITE is a popular event for many families! As inflation continues to rise and gas prices balloon I want to thank all of our amazing supporters and donors for their incredible generosity that allows us to do a weekend event like this for only $26/person!! So many families and young people have been blessed by these low priced events and so much good is coming from them. Our hearts overflow with gratitude for out small army of generosity warriors!!
We're already planning IGNITE 2023 as well as a HUGE camping retreat planned for Oct 28-30 in Ocala National Forest!! More details to come!

Check out our upcoming events!
To God be the Glory!
Going The Distance Adventure Ministry 
God-awesome adventures since 1996!

Friday, March 18, 2022


Happy Birthday to the BEST MOM IN THE UNIVERSE!! Yesterday was "St Annie's Day" as we celebrated Mom's 91st birthday which falls each year on St Patrick's Day. I could never put into words just how much I love & respect my Mom... even with Alzheimer's she never stops loving, supporting, caring, and being the best Mom I could ever imagine. Her heart pumps with unending motherly love! 91 is quite the accomplishment!! I was curious how many heartbeats her heart has pumped non-stop without taking a literal second off over the course of 91 years... so I did the math at 80 beats per minute for 91 years and calculated that Mom's heart has beat an astonishing 3.8 BILLION times!!! Wow!! Now that's amazing! God not only created a miraculous pump that never takes a break until it permanently stops... He also created a miraculous role called "being a mother" that never takes a break until they breathe their last breath... only death can interrupt a Mom from being a Mom. Thank You God for such an amazing woman to be my Mom!! Happy Birthday Mom! You never stop impressing me!! You have more heart than a calculator could ever calculate!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2022


Our annual IGNITE Camping Retreat is one of our most popular events, but this year it has taken on a life of its own! We were originally limiting this event to 50 people, but the sign-ups on the Waiting List haven't stopped so we are pulling together all of our tents & sleeping mats from our kayak camping trips and backpacking trips so that we can add up to 50 more people to cap this event at an even 100 people! (Our former record was around 70 campers on IGNITE.)
The caveat is that the weather forecast for this weekend is horrible! Rain, thunderstorms, & a cold front dropping temps into the high 30's at night!! We may get a mass exodus from this event, but as for GTD, we are an all-weather ministry so we try to press on regardless of the forecast.
I'm excited to share that, at this point, my parents will be on this event too. They will be staying in the hotel style accommodations at the Word of Life Conference Center and coming out to the campsite when possible. Aaaaaaaaand we are trailering up my Dad's smoker because he is planning to smoke 4 Boston Butts!! We may be cold & wet, but we are going to eat good haha!
If you like to suffer and be miserable then this weekend's forecast is for you! Click on the link below to sign-up on our IGNITE Waiting List... there's a very good chance we can squeeze you in! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

It was a really good week for the folks last week...

It was a really good week for the folks last week... they are trending in a healthier direction.
Dad has lost 56 pounds since his highest weight of 218 about 2 years ago. He is down to 162. His kidneys have stabilized. His diabetes level has dropped down to "pre-diabetes" level. He has done reluctantly well at eating healthier and it's helping his whole body. He felt so much better that he went down the street to 3 yard sales (nooooooooo!!). Does anyone need any 1990's looking full length curtains??
Mom has been very sweet and soooooo funny with all her unfiltered witty comments. She loves going out to eat as much as possible. Her short term memory is still about 10 seconds and when the sundowners hits around 5pm she gets extremely confused thinking she is at someone else's home and she wants to call her mother just about every night (her Mom passed away over 30 years ago). Thanks to you guys & your input we have been using some supplements to add to Mom's water to help prevent UTI's, and Traci has been a champion to shower Mom more regularly (Mom thinks she showers every day)... these things are helping to prevent the UTI's (Urinary Tract Infections) that can send Mom over the edge. Her Alzheimer's is constantly there, but it is somewhat stabilized. And her balance has gotten better so near falls have been greatly lessened.
Here's a few pics from last week. Mom & Dad felt good enough to walk Sam's Club using the carts as walkers... the other pic is from Dad's physical therapy... Mom joined in with a couple of soup cans haha!
Thanks for all the prayers, love, and support friends & family!