Monday, May 23, 2022


We are working hard to schedule our monthly PUBLIC EVENTS up to a year in advance to put our God-awesome adventures on your radar... and hopefully on your calendar. Our PUBLIC events are open to anyone who wants to come out and play in God's amazing playground. We try to have at least one different PUBLIC EVENT per month all year long, and we try to do it for FREE or at a greatly reduced rate to be a blessing to those who love to "GTD" (Get The Discount)!
Here's what we are looking at for the next 12 months:
"SLAMMED" Adventure Trip in Tiger, GA (June 8-12) ... pretty much sold out, but may be able to squeeze a few more in
"REVAMP"... Part of GTD's Summer Mission Project in Pinellas Park, FL (June, July, & Aug)... more info to come!
"SHABANG!" Park Day & Cookout >>> recreational kayaking, touring kayaking, paddleboarding, group games, team sports, playground, cookout >>> The Whole "Shabang"!!! (Sept 24)
CAMPING RETREAT in Ocala National Forest (FL) >>> we are going to have a contest to name this event... more info to come (Oct 28-30)
"ANNUAL BANQUET" in Largo, FL (Nov 15)
<<< DEC OFF >>> No PUBLIC EVENTS in Dec as of now (due to Christmas holiday)
"SWAMP THING" Everglades Backpacking Trip (Jan 7-8)
"PADDLE PROWL" Kayak & Island Camping Adventure in central Florida (Feb 4-5)
"IGNITE" Weekend Camping Retreat in Hudson, FL (Mar 3-5)
"LIQUID" Kayaking Day Trek in Pinellas County Florida (Apr 8)
"SIDEWINDER" SUP Paddleboarding Day Trek in St Petersburg, FL (May 6)
We have the dates for our PUBLIC EVENTS for the next 12 months so now we will move on to building / updating each link on the website with details, costs, registration, etc. Save the above dates on your calendar so we can go play together!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022


This past Saturday GTD hosted our 2nd annual SIDEWINDER SUP trek... and we had such an enjoyable time! The weather was perfect! The water temperature was perfect! And the people were okay! Haha, just kidding, they were perfect too!
Unfortunately we had 9 participants that had to cancel in the days leading up to the event, but that didn't take away from the 7 paddlers, 2 kids, & 1 goat that came out to play :) 
And my incredible Dad came out to prepare a delicious lunch for everyone! Aaaaaaaaand longtime GTDer - Jim Butski - came out to cheer us on & help pack up the gear!
It was a really good day and I can't tell how much I thoroughly enjoy paddleboarding!! 
Thank you to all our wonderful donors, supporters, and prayer warriors that help make these events happen!

Monday, May 16, 2022


I had the honor of speaking before 300+ kids, teachers, and parents this past Friday at the final Chapel of the school-year for Keswick Christian Elementary & Pre-K School this past Friday. I may have come to delivery a message, but I left there inspired by the enthusiasm & zeal these kids had for Jesus... not to mention the encouragement I received by getting a glimpse of the love & hard work the teachers are obviously pouring into their students. It was a wonderful morning!
My message to the kids was simply relaying how much God believes in a young person's ability and capacity through Jesus to make a BIG difference in this world and in other people's lives. Sometimes when you're a kid you think you can't make a BIG difference until you become an adult. BUT, God doesn't see it that way! In fact, God makes some of the BIGGEST impacts in this world in and through young people. 
Did you know that the youngest King mentioned in the Bible was only 7 years old?! 2 Chronicles 24 says that, "Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years... Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord... Joash decided to restore the temple of the Lord." WOW! A 7 year old King that reigned for 40 years, did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and took on the visionary ambition to restore the temple of the Lord - now that's impressive!
Consider how important Jesus says kids are in the Kingdom of God and the importance of maintaining childlikeness throughout your life: "He [Jesus] called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:2-4).
Did you know that the older you get the less likely you are to ask Jesus into your heart? It's not because you get older and wiser and come to the "realization" that "God is a fairy tale" or an "imaginary friend". It's because you either get bad information, make bad decisions, and/or make friends with some bad influences. It's not that you become older and wiser; it's because you become older and jaded... which causes your heart to become harder & harder to the reality of God. That's not only true when it comes to salvation- it's also true when it comes to the quality & enjoyment of life. Many times as we get older we take on too much seriousness, heaviness, & no-nonsense not realizing that the abandonment of wonder, silliness, playfulness, and childlikeness actually makes your life more rigid, dull, boring, less efficient, less effective, unhealthy, and joyless. God's message to us is (and I'm paraphrasing here): Always stay a kid-at-heart.
Think of baby Jesus or Jesus as a kid... He was ALREADY changing the world, impacting the people around Him, and inspiring adults. Never underestimate the ability and capacity of a kid.
If all of that wasn't enough to illustrate the value and potential that God puts on young people then I leave you with this verse from 1 Timothy 4:12: "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." God believes in young people! God calls young people! God inspires us through young people!
I happen to run a ministry that works a lot with kids, teens, and young adults. I've beat this drum since Day One of GTD - we don't look down on young people. Some of our best volunteers have been kids! When young people show up for their adventure we expect them to help set up their tents, set up their cots, help make meals, help clean-up around camp, and so much more. It actually makes the adventures more fun and the overall adventure experience better and more satisfying. One of the biggest disservices of our culture in the past 50 years is pacifying kids with and addicting kids to entertainment, social media, and video games... then expecting them to be mature & responsible when they turn 18 years old. It doesn't work. Kids are so incredibly capable. Deep down they want to help in meaningful and constructive ways.
I could tell you countless stories about kids & youth that have come on GTD adventures and inspired us and even taught us as adults. There are times when I've learned more from a kid sharing what a Bible verse meant to them than I did from a theologian with a seminary degree. I've watched fearless kids jump off a cliff into the water be the inspiration to a fearful adult to have the courage to do the same thing. Never underestimate the ability and capacity of a kid.
I wrapped up my speech on Friday with this encouragement. I'm 51 years old. I've made a lot of decisions in my life, BUT the 2 BEST DECISIONS I ever made was when I was in elementary school. The #1 BEST decision I ever made was when I was 8 years old I asked Jesus into my heart. In the 43 years since that decision I have yet to make a decision that even comes close to how outstanding that one decision was. I'm 1000% sure I would have either be an alcoholic, addicted to something, in jail, or in hell right now. That one decision as an 8 years old kid changed the entire trajectory of my life. The #2 BEST decision I ever made came when I was 10 years old just a couple of years after asking Jesus into my heart. My Mom was going through one of the worst emotional pains a person can experience in life. She worked so hard to keep my Sister and I from knowing how devastated she was. But I would wake up at night and I could hear her sobbing in bed and it crushed my heart more than I could ever articulate. I would start sobbing from hearing my Mom and I would put a pillow over my face so she couldn't hear me. It was in that moment that I made the 2nd BEST decision of my life. At 10 years old and with a heart softened by Jesus, I decided that I would never do anything that would ever add grief or sadness to my Mom's life. My Mom suffered in silence for several years to protect us - her kids. From that point on one of my life's top ambitions has been to be a joy to my Mom. I'm humbled & happy to say that mission was accomplished. 43 years later her joy continues to be one of the driving forces of my life, and more importantly it was the greatest gift I could have ever given my Mom. I've never been married and I don't have kids, but I can imagine how much a wayward child would have burdened a parent's heart & mind for years. Likewise, I can imagine how much a faithful child would be an unending source of joy to a parent's heart & mind. I see that in my Mom's eyes. I see that kind of joy when she sees her kids. I wanted to build my Mom a mansion to live in. Unfortunately I started a non-profit (LOL!). Besides that, Jesus said that was His job. He builds the mansions. I found that the best gift I could ever give my Mom & my Dad was to live in a way that never added grief or sadness to their life. I'm certainly far from perfect, but I never did anything I'm aware of that gave them an ulcer, a migraine, or grief... even with all my practical jokes haha!
I made the 2 BEST decisions of my life as an elementary school aged kid. Don't miss that important fact. Don't underestimate kids. There is a capacity in young people that God does not overlook, and neither should we.
(Special thanks to Amanda Marie for making this happen!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2022


Join us this Saturday (May 14th / 9:30am - 1pm) for our newest GTD event >>> SIDEWINDER Stand Up Paddleboarding Day Trip!! THE COST IS FREE in celebration of 26 years of ministry! Aaaaaaaaaand it even INCLUDES LUNCH!!! You don't need to have any experience... beginners are welcome & encouraged... in fact, we are beginners ourselves... instructions and a safe practice spot will be provided before we paddle over to a nearby island. Come enjoy a morning of recreation in God's beautiful creation!


Meet at Shelter #2 at 9:30am

Address: 9600 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg, FL 33708

Sunday, May 8, 2022


We were able to break Mom out of the rehab center and transport her away for a wonderful few hours of celebrating her & my sister for Mother's Day! It was a really good day :) 
Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

It's a loooong road ahead...

It's a loooong road ahead, but Mom has been making small steps of steady progress. She isn't able to stand up by herself yet, but with assistance she has been able to stand up and stay standing for 5 minutes, walk with a walker and assistance for 50 ft, and pedal the exercise bike for 15 minutes. Alzheimer's is a wild condition... 10 minutes later she has no idea that she went to physical therapy or that she fell and broke her femur or that she had surgery... but then again, some things are nice to forget haha. She's getting great care, and has physical therapy, occupational therapy, & speech therapy 6 days a week. (She gets speech therapy because they cover cognitive issues... I didn't know that.). Dad is also recovering well from his pacemaker implant. Thanks for praying for them!


Monday, May 2, 2022


Thank you awesome and amazing donors & supporters of GTD!!! Five and a half months ago you generously and lovingly donated to this ministry during our Annual Banquet (for which I'm still trying to properly thank each of you!!), and you enabled GTD to immediately acquire 8 more SUP's (Stand-Up Paddleboards) for which we (and our participants) are absolutely thrilled about!! Paddleboarding is a very popular activity and only continues to increase in demand. It's a fantastic adventure that GTD is so blessed to be able to offer to our participants. We acquired 16 paddleboards, paddles, leashes, life vests, & carry straps at the end of 2020 and added these 8 at the end of 2021 to bring our grand total to 24 complete sets!! That's an even 2 dozen and allows us to take groups of 20-22 people out at a time with 2-4 GTD guides. In addition, this allows us to add more activity options to our in-state weekend retreats. All-in-all this is a BIG WIN for our ministry and the people we serve! From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU SO MUCH AWESOME SUPPORTERS!!!!! You guys rock!!!!!!!!
Aaaaaaaaaand while I'm at it I may as well promote our upcoming FREE SIDEWINDER PADDLEBOARDING TREK coming up on Saturday May 14th at War Veterans Memorial Park in St. Petersburg, Florida. This event includes paddleboarding instructions, lunch, and a half mile trek to an island. For more details and to register for this event while spots are available check out the GTD SIDEWINDER website here
All our deepest gratitude and love to everyone who made this possible!!

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Church at The Rehab Center

So many wonderful people at Belleair Health Care Center who serve the elderly with their whole heart! Mom & I got to attend a church service together today overseen by a minister who has been faithfully coming for 12 years. We were all blessed.