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Floodgate East Coast Team
Circa 2006

The summer after my senior year of college I spent the summer traveling to different youth camps across the United States.  I loved the experience and wouldn't trade one moment of the trip (well, except when one of my dearest and closest friends and I got in a huge argument...that wasn't was totally my fault...I earned it...I did knock out the back window of our 15 passenger van).  But all that aside, I remember that summer as one of the best experiences in my life.

Despite the wonderfulness of the trip, I'm sure you can imagine that I might have become homesick at some points in our journey.  During the fourth of July weekend we went to a small cabin of one of the team members family's.  We explored desserted roads, shoot guns, conquered forests.  But one night, I stepped away from the group for a few minutes just to be by myself.  I found myself standing in front of a lake looking at my reflection singing softly Michael Bublè's "Home."

At that moment I didn't really want to go home to be with my family.  (Even though, with the exception of Jesus, they are the greatest gift I've ever received.)  It's almost as if as I was standing at that lake looking down into the waves I wanted to make a new home.  Start something new.  Live a different life than anyone had ever lived.  Conquer the world.  Be the best.  Change people's life.  It's almost as if that place of destiny was home and I wanted to live there.  But I was so far from that place.

Honestly, I still so very far from this divine destiny that I called home that day.  But there are a few things that I'm learning in the journey.

1.  Don't give up.
      Never, ever give up.  It's not worth it.  You know the saying, "It's better to have loved and lost than to never loved at all"?  Well, it's better to dream and to work and to live and never see the end of the dream.

2.  Invest in other people dreams while your waiting for yours.
      No man is a mountain and we can't stand on our own.  You're going to need help to see your destiny fulfilled in your life.  So, even though there is no Biblical precedent to least not one that I can think of, pay it forward.

3.  Pray...pray hard...and don't stop.
     Explanation needed?  I think not.

4.  Stay positive.
      Honestly, I don't like this principle.  Actually, I would much rather be negative and funny, but that's not encouraging to yourself or anybody else.

Well, let me leave you with some pictures of our trip that summer.  I borrowed them (but he's not getting them back) from my friend Allan Howard who happened to be on that journey with me.   Just remember this.  As in the words of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, "There's no place like home."  It's true.  Stepping into your divine destiny is a journey, sometimes even long and hard, but in the end is a place of rest, security, love, and affection.  In the end is home.

The duck taping job performed by Candice after my mishap of running into the side of a building...I hit a roof, ok?
I was trying to save some kids lives or something.

Mandy and me after the belly flop contest.
She was proud.

Potomac District Camp, maybe?

Colorado Springs, Co at the Garden of the gods

This is literally right after a belly flop contest.  I got a black eye, but I won.
Bring it!

Allan and me.
Notice that I was duck facing it before that was a popular picture pose. I'm just saying...

Candice doing something crazy.

Shekianah, our pet turtle for about two hours.

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