Values - The Foundational Walls Of Your Family Culture

Creating Your Family Culture - Part 2

 

By Theron Glenny

Inside (& outside) the Tyrone Armory, you truly get the sense the building is immovable.  The castle-like structure was constructed in the early 1900s with large stones that provide a strong foundation to hold large steel beams that you can see visually from the inside.  Every time I give someone a tour of the Armory, they typically make the statement, ‘Wow! They sure don’t make them like this anymore’.  They are referring to the strength and robustness of the steel beams.  They are truly impressive!  And, if you haven’t seen them, you should stop by and take a look. 

 Inside of the Armory. Notice the stone walls and steel beams.

Inside of the Armory. Notice the stone walls and steel beams.

The reason why the steel beams can exist is because of the strength of the Armory’s foundation - the stone walls.  The foundation is steady, strong and dependable.  In our last article, I wrote about creating your family culture.   Just like the construction of the Armory’s walls, culture doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes significant time, effort and focus to build something strong enough to hold the weight of your family’s purpose.  Culture is an environment that is formed from the collective actions (& behaviors) of a family over time. 

This article should help you build your family’s culture so your family grows healthy and accomplishes everything God designed it to.  Culture is an environment you create that will build identity and character, but begins with a set of values.  Values are like the stones in the Armory’s walls.  They provide a foundation that shapes your character and reflects your culture.  Values are designed to influence your decisions, behaviors and actions.  Think about it, all great companies and sports teams built a culture that shaped the character of the team because of the values it lived by.  When a team embraces the core values it defines, it begins to build momentum to accomplish its mission.   

Here are some examples of values:

  • Take responsibility for our actions
  • Love each other unconditionally
  • Forgive each other quickly
  • Be un-offendable (one of my favorites!)
  • Be humble and operate with an underdog mentality
  • Be honest with each other even when it’s tough
  • Serve others with joy
  • Work with excellence, for it honors God and inspires people

Do you see how these values can powerfully influence your daily home and work environment?  

They are like the bumper lanes at the bowling alley.  They keep you in the right lane so you accomplish your goal, which is striking the pins.  Without shared values like the ones above, it’s impossible to stay in the lane with others in your family or on your team.  Culture is strongest when shared values are defined, agreed upon and lived out. 

If you haven’t defined your family values, please take time to do so. They’ll unify your family and set you on a course to create a powerful family culture that can last generations.  

Note: I listed a lot of examples above, but you do not have to have a ton of core values.  Actually, the more you have the harder it is to fully embrace them because a larger list of ten or more values prohibits your family members from actually remembering them.  Four to six is a healthy amount of values. 

 

Creating Your Family Culture

By Theron Glenny

One year I bought my Dad an apple tree for Father’s Day.  My long-term plan was to buy a fruit tree every year on Father’s Day and eventually, he would have a small orchard for his grandkids to pick fruit from.  Great idea right?  I thought so too, but one problem.  I didn’t realize how much work it takes to steward the growth of an apple tree.  I literally thought I could just plant the tree in the ground and let it grow fruit. Wrong!  Did you know that it takes four years for a fruit tree to produce fruit?  I can assure you this fact was a surprise to me.  It was also a huge surprise to me how much tender-loving care a fruit tree needs to grow.  

Sadly, the orchard never materialized as all the trees I had bought died.  Weeds grew up all around them, gypsy moths and other bugs took over and deer browsed on the branches.  Those trees didn’t have a prayer because I didn’t plan well enough to take care of them so they could grow.  

I tell you this story because as my kids get older I’m finding more and more that my wife and I have to be very intentional about their growth.  Where I messed up the most with the fruit trees was cultivating the right environment for them to grow.  Smart fruit tree farmers know that you have to clear all the weeds and kill them off so they do not come back.  You also have to put fencing up so deer and other animals don’t eat the tree. In addition, you have to water the tree regularly and not solely depend on rainfall.  There are other dynamics as well but you likely get the picture.  I didn’t create the environment needed to foster development and growth.  

Environment and culture are synonymous.  What culture are you creating at your home to foster your family's growth?  

Are you clearing the weeds out?  What are the weeds? What currently sucks life out of your family?  Is your culture positive?  What tv shows do you have on?  What music do you listen to?  In the evening, do you just turn on the tv and watch shows all night or do you try to have real conversations with your family?  What is your bed time routine with your kids?  What is your morning routine?  How do you talk to each other?  How do you pray together?  What words do you declare over each other? 

I’m tossing out a ton of questions because they are too important to overlook.  They all speak to the kind of culture you are building at your home.  Research has increasingly shown the culture of a company cannot be ignored.  Sujan Patel writes, "Companies often take a passive approach to culture. They figure it's not something they can control - or that they need to control. If they leave it alone, it'll all work itself out.”  

Doesn’t this sound like my approach to fruit trees - plant them, leave them alone and they’ll grow?  Basically, ‘It’ll all work itself out’.  I see this applying to parenting too.  Sometimes as parents, we take a passive approach to our family culture because we don’t think it’s something we can influence.  If we embrace a passive mentality to building culture, we make a huge mistake.

I like what Patel writes and I’m going to spin a few of his points on culture so they speak to us as parents.  

  1. Culture builds identity - Every family has an identity.  What is yours?  What is your family known for?  What do you want your family to be known for?  And, what type of culture can you create as a parent that will produce the identity you desire? 
  2. Culture increases the loyalty bond of a family - When a family has a culture that includes a set of values it operates by, it forms an unshakable bond the family shares.  What are the values you and your family want to establish in your home?  
  3. Culture attracts - As humans, we are attracted to clarity.  Why do we love watching movies?  Because movies have clear stories that capture our imagination.  Clarifying your culture will attract your family and in the toughest of times, when confusion seems to be all around you, your culture and it’s values will stand as lighthouses showing your family the way to live together. 

Our home culture is something we as parents can influence and must influence.  Don’t be passive about building culture.  Please don’t put it on the shelf for a rainy day.  It’s too important.  As parents, we have to create the right environment for our family to grow and prosper.  It starts with us being intentional.  

#cleartheweeds

How To Hit Your Targets This Year - Part 4 of 4

BY THERON GLENNY

Over the last four articles, we have been helping you formulate a plan for the new year that includes a set of goals you feel confident and excited about. Here’s a brief recap of each of those articles: 

  • Wrap up the previous year and then capture on paper the dreams you have for the new year.   To wrap up the previous year, look back and write down what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what you’d do differently last year. You’ll learn a ton by doing this.  Then, since the new year is a fresh start where dreams often come alive again, write down a list of things you want to see happen in the new year.  
  • Identify your Areas of Life (AOLs). Segmenting the areas of your life is foundational so it’s easier to know where to put your goals.  That way we are not putting a list of work/career goals on the same list with family goals. Having one comprehensive list of goals is confusing and overwhelming.  Our brains need to be able to segment and place where things fit.  We need swim lanes.  Understanding our swim lanes/AOLs help keep us focused on our goals. 
  • Downsize your list of dreams/goals so they are manageable.  When your goal list is too big, it becomes overwhelming, causing you to lose faith that your goals can be accomplished. When it’s too big, it’s also hard to know what to focus on each day. Just pick one or two goals to put in each AOL.  This may be hard for you to scale down your list, but it is absolutely necessary.  If you don’t, your list will be a junk drawer of cluttered wishes.  
  • Put your list of goals in a place where you see them every day and talk to other regularly about them. As humans, we forget quickly at times.  Putting your goals up in places you frequent will decrease the odds of forgetting about the inspiration you put on paper.  Also, schedule reoccurring times with others to review your goals.  Whether it’s with your spouse, a couple of friends, or mentors, it should be people you trust and that you can receive feedback from without getting offended.  Remember, you have goals you feel passionate about accomplishing.  If you don’t look at them or talk about your progress regularly, then you risk not remembering ‘why’ you set them and you’ll get burnout and frustrated and end up not accomplishing them.

Now that you have your plan for the year on paper, the next step is to understand the reality of what those goals represent in time, effort and resources.  It’s always wise to 'count the cost' by understanding the time, effort and resources you’ll spend on accomplishing what God has put in your heart to do.  

In Luke 14:28, Jesus said "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.”  Counting the cost is a reality check.  It’s a gut check.  I’m not advocating that you need to do an in-depth analysis on what each goal will require, but rather, having a general idea in mind so you understand what you are committing yourself to.  Without understanding what is required of you to accomplish what’s on your list, you subscribe to naivety unintentionally.  

Once you ‘count the cost’ then it’s time to take the final step before it’s time to take action - commit them to God.  Why should you commit your plans to the Lord?  Because you’ll need His guidance along the way.  

Here are two scripture verses that will serve you well: 

  • Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established. - Proverbs 16:3
  • Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.  - Psalm 37:5

Committing your works/ways to the Lord are committing to accomplish your goals with His help.  Set aside some time to pray.  Get with God alone and be honest with Him.  If you are like me, you know that you need His help.  Personally, there’s no way I can accomplish what’s on my list without His help.  Let’s commit to Him our plans and trust that He will give us what’s needed to bring the plans to pass.  

We hope these articles help make this year the best yet for you.  Please reach out if you have any questions or if we can help in any way.  We are cheering for you!  With God’s help, you can do it!  Philippians 4:13 says “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives me strength.” 

 

How To Hit Your Targets This Year - Goal Setting Part 3 of 4

Learn From My Failures: How To Hit Your Targets This Year - Goal Setting Part 3 of 4

By Theron Glenny

Here at Joshua House, we are passionate about helping people find purpose and live their purpose out.  Your life is like an arrow.  It’s got a flight and it’s meant to hit targets. In the last two articles, we have helped you take your dreams and goals for the new year and create a manageable list you can realistically pursue and accomplish.  We did this by…

  • helping you identify the areas of your life (AOLs) in the season you are in, and…
  • encouraging you to only choose one or two goals to put under each of your AOLs

Many make the mistake of having too many goals, which can become overwhelming very fast.   Now that you have a solid list of AOLs and goals to target, your focus is pointed.  

This next tip I’m about to give you is crucial.  For me, it was a missing ingredient in helping me accomplish my goals.  For years, I've identified my AOLs and been selective with goals by only choosing one or two goals for each area of my life.  I learned this next tip from my job selling sales engagement software to sales and marketing leaders in mid-market to enterprise level companies.  Every sales person has a quota they are trying to hit.  They have a revenue number they are going after.  It’s their goal.  Their yearly goal is broken down into monthly goals.  Every sales person knows their number very well.  Why?  Because they are responsible to hit it in order for the company to grow and because every week, they meet with their leaders to discuss where they are in relation to their goal.  

My point in telling you this is that a sales person’s goals and where they stand in relation to their goals are viewed by more than just themselves.  Their colleagues, manager and senior leaders know. Everyone has visibility.  Because there is visibility, there is accountability.  Without visibility and accountability, you run the risk of not focusing on goals you spent a ton of time identifying.  

Here’s what works for me, put your list of goals in a place where you see them every day.  For you, maybe it’s on your refrigerator, on your bathroom mirror, or on your desk at work.  If you can, put them in multiple places.  Put them where you have to look at them.  The point is for your goals not to get lost or forgotten causing you not to remember the inspiration you had at the beginning of the year.  

The second recommendation is to schedule re-occuring times with others to review your goals.  Whether it’s with your spouse, a couple of friends, or mentors, it should be people you trust and that you can receive feedback from without getting offended.  Proverbs 15:22 says, "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed."  Remember, you have goals you feel passionate about accomplishing.  If you don’t look at them or talk about your progress regularly, then you risk not remembering ‘why’ you set them and you’ll get burnout and frustrated and end up not accomplishing them.  Author Jon Gordon says, “ people don’t experience burnout because of what they do, but because they forget why they do it.”    

Pro tip: If your goals are important to you and your family, utilize your calendar to block time off to regularly work towards your goals.  My philosophy is, if it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t get done.  Block time off.  Schedule it.  In your brain, blocking time off on your calendar gives you permission to work on your goals.  It will help you prioritize your schedule to work on what matters most to you.

How to hit your targets this year - Goal Setting Part 2 of 4

Learn From My Failures: How To Hit Your Targets This Year - Goal Setting Part 2 of 4

By Theron Glenny

Growing up, when we needed a rubber band, battery, screw or nail, there was one place to look, the junk drawer. Do you have a junk drawer?  Maybe you even have a cabinet where you throw your clutter. It’s likely the place where you stuff items when a visitor comes. We have one too.  Everyone does.  They are very useful at times.  The problem with junk drawers and cabinets is when you really want to find something, good luck!  They’re a mess.  Stuff is everywhere so it’s hard to find what you need when you need it.  

In the last couple articles, we’ve been discussing dreams and goals for the new year.  In our last article, I shared the importance of segmenting the areas of your life so it’s easier to know where to put your goals.  Having one comprehensive list of goals is confusing and overwhelming.  Our brains need to be able to segment and place where things fit.  We need swim lanes.  Understanding our swim lanes help keep us focused on our goals. I call these swim lanes, 'areas of life'.  In every season of life, we have areas of life (AOLs).  Some examples of AOLs could be your family, career, volunteer work, hobby, etc. Failure to identify AOLs will cause confusion about the main focuses you have in the season you are in.  

Now that you have your areas of life defined, take your list of dreams and goals for the new year and put them under the right AOLs.  This helps your brain see where they fit.  Many times, we make a goal list and it’s so big and unorganized that its like a junk drawer.  In the past I’ve made the mistake of having too big of a list.  When your goal list is too big, it becomes overwhelming, causing you to lose faith that your goals can be accomplished. When it’s too big, it’s also hard to know what to focus on each day. 

Don’t go overboard with goals or there will be too many and you will get overwhelmed.  The result will be frustration and dissatisfaction because you didn’t accomplish it. I’ve been there.  I’ve made this mistake way too many times.  

Here’s the secret.  Just pick one or two goals to put in each AOL.  This may be hard for you to scale down your list, but it is absolutely necessary.  If you don’t, your list will be a junk drawer of cluttered wishes.  

Pro tip: If you are unsure of what to focus on for the year and there are multiple projects you desire to go after, consider writing a 1-page business plan on each one defining each project, it’s scope, why you want to do it, what it will accomplish in it’s impact to others, financial commitments, etc…and then present each plan to some close friends/advisors to get their opinion.  I’ve done this and it really helped me clarify what I’m to focus on.  This allowed me to take a list of dozens of possible goals for the year down to 4-5 that I can be laser focused on.

In the next article, I’ll share with you a secret in how to keep momentum to accomplish your goals this year.  Hint:  It’s where you put them and who sees them.

How to hit your targets this year - Goal Setting Part 1 of 4

Learn From My Failures: How To Hit Your Targets This Year - Goal Setting Part 1 of 4

By: Theron Glenny

 

Here at Joshua House, we are passionate about helping people find purpose and live their purpose out.  Your life is like an arrow.  It’s got a flight and it’s meant to hit targets. What targets do you want to hit this year?   In our last article, How to prepare your family for a new year, we left you with a list of questions to ask yourselves to help you think about your new year.  The questions were designed to tap into your heart and get you dreaming and thinking of what could be this year.  

In this article, we focus on how to take those dreams and act on them. Before we get into ‘how', you have to know first, that I have hated goal setting for years.  Hate is a strong word I know, but is very appropriate for how I felt towards goals.  Why is it that people who teach goal setting make it seem so easy?  This drives me nuts.  Why the sour taste?  In the past, I have rarely hit or completed goals I've set.  If you are like me, you also hate the feeling of losing and not being successful.    

This article, the first in a series of four, is a labor of love because I’m sharing with you my failures and how my failures can help you…

  1. Not make the same mistakes I did, causing you not to succeed
  2. Turn the dreams God puts in your heart into goals you can target and ultimately hit. 

I personally love dreaming and getting ideas that God gives me out onto paper.  The challenge that many people never overcome is vetting the ideas, turning them into goals and then executing them.  I’ve struggled with this as well. This is not an easy thing.  But, today, let me give you a starting place.  If you haven’t already go back to our last article and spend some time answering the questions we give.  It will help you tremendously with what I’m about to share. 

Failure #1 - Not identifying your areas of life. 

Having one comprehensive list of goals is confusing and overwhelming.  Our brains need to be able to segment and place where things fit.  We need swim lanes.  Understanding our swim lanes help keep us focused on our goals. I call these swim lanes, 'areas of life'.  In every season of life, we have areas of life (AOLs).  Failure to identify AOLs will cause confusion about the main focuses you have in the season you are in.  

For me, my AOLs right now are: 

  1. Family (includes my marriage, parenting, finances, and personal stuff)
  2. Work (my occupation) - normally with your occupation, you’ll have a set of goals you and your company leadership set together. 
  3. Ministry/Community service - for me, this is my work with Joshua House and our church. 

Everything I do in life falls in one of these three buckets.  Yours may be similar or different.  

For a teenager, it could be: 

  1. Personal
  2. Family
  3. School
  4. Sports

Again, these are just examples.  Now it’s time to identify yours.  What are your areas of life?  Take a few minutes to identify your areas of life and write them down.

Next, take a look at the your answers to the questions we asked in our last article and see if you can put your answers (your dreams/ideas/wishes/goals) into your AOLs.  Where do they fit?  Put them in the correct swim lane. Here’s an example:

1. Family (includes my marriage, parenting, finances, and personal stuff)

  • Go to the gym 3x/week
  • Take family on vacation in July
  • Save $____
  • Read 5 new books

2. Work (your occupation)

  • Generate $_____ revenue for company
  • Develop new product line ______.  

3. Ministry/Community service - for me, this is my work with Joshua House and our church. 

  • Give $_____ to ________.
  • Volunteer 10 hrs/mth every month @ _______. 

In the next three articles in this series, we’ll help you take what you’ve identified and give you specific tips (learned from my failures) to help you accomplish your goals.  

How to Prepare Your Family for a New Year

By Theron and Mizpah Glenny

The beginning of the year is always one of our favorite times.  There’s a newness about it…a fresh start, a new beginning.  Dreams come alive again.  Our wheels start spinning again as the potential of what could be floods into our brains.  We get that sparkle in our eyes and smile on our face.  As we enter into this new year, it’s important to capture these sparks so you can identify which sparks to grind.  

In this article, we want to share the process we use to put a bow on the previous year by wrapping it up properly so we have legs to leap into the next year.  We share the questions we not only ask ourselves, but also our kids.  It allows them to think deeply and journal their answers, which make beautiful memories to remember years from now. 

Please note, we strongly encourage you to set aside 1-2 hours to do this.  We’ve learned that if something is really important to us, we schedule it on the calendar so our brains know the time is set aside.  So, reserve some time for yourself and your family.  The clarity you’ll get doing the exercise will make the pain of blocking the time off well worth it. 

Before you start thinking about the new year, first look back on the previous year and write down what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what you’d do differently.  Here are some questions you and your kids can ask yourselves:

  • What were your favorite moments?
  • What brought you the most satisfaction?
  • What did you learn last year?
  • What new friendship did you start? And why do you enjoy being friends with them? 
  • What was your favorite book you read? 
  • What was something hard you faced? Did you overcome it and if so, how?
  • What scripture or piece of advice really helped you?
  • Would you change anything or do anything different?

Once you answer these questions, you should feel good about moving on to start thinking about this new year, but be sure to take the time as a family to share.  Don’t feel pressure to share everything as there may be things you don’t want to share, but it’s important to share some things in order for you and your kids to connect to the story God wrote in you as a family the previous year. 

Now, time to think about the new year!  Here are some questions to ask yourselves (and be sure to write down your answers):

  • What do you want to accomplish, and why?
  • What are some fun things you want to do? 
  • What person(s) do you want to be closer to?
  • How will you serve others this year?
  • What are some things you’d like to learn this year? Are there areas of your life you want to grow and mature in?
  • What book(s) are you going to read? 
  • What mentors will you seek counsel from? Another way to ask this is, who do you want to learn from this year?
  • What could hold you back from accomplishing what you wrote above? …and, how will you overcome the fear with God’s help?  

As mentioned before, be open to sharing your answers with each other.  Knowing what is in each person's heart to do in the new year provides another connection point and an opportunity to encourage each other.

In the next article, we’ll focus on helping you overcome fears and limitations.  We believe this year is a year of ’no limits’ and want to equip you and your family to be all that God wants you to be this new year.  

Please reach out to us and let us know how the above questions helped you and your kids prepare for an amazing new year.  We want to hear some stories.  

The article above also appeared in the Tyrone Daily Herald. 

Video: Announcing Cross-town Basketball 2018

2018 Cross-town Basketball League Registration is now open!  

The Cross-town Basketball League is for teenagers in 7th through 12th grade not playing on a varsity basketball team.  The league runs from January to March.

Practices: Wednesday nights from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm @ the Armory

Games: Saturday nights starting at 5 pm @ the Armory.  First game is January 20th.

CLICK HERE to register!!!  Registration deadline is January 10th.

2017 Year in Review Video

What an AMAZING year!  Please watch our 2017 Year in Review video below.

Click here to give your year-end financial gift for 2017. 

As we reviewed the programs and events of the 2017 (including our race series and HoopsFest), we realized that throughout this year, we have been able to touch close to 6,000 lives in big and small ways.  We are so thankful for your support via finances, time, energy, and prayers!  Hundreds of people like yourself willingly gave of their time and resources to impact this next generation. …and there was so much fruit!  

  • 25 Dauntless Generation teens served on a missions trip to inner city Baltimore and received leadership training
  • 7 teens got baptized after committing their lives to follow Jesus!
  • 50 kids participated in Summer Camps
  • 75 kids participated in our Youth Running Club during the school year
  • Cross-town basketball has 6 teams and 29 players ages 13-18
  • Tyrone Roller Hockey League (TRHL) celebrated it’s 10th year and had 7 teams and 80 players
  • 314 ran in our 5k/10k/15k race series
  • Thousands heard the gospel through HoopsFest
  • HoopsFest expanded into Altoona and had 53 teams, 212 players, and 40+ volunteers
  • HoopsFest Tyrone had 244 teams, 976 players and 150+ volunteers
  • We served 400 meals to students during the school year
  • We fed close 500 at our community Thanksgiving meal
  • We started a new column in our local paper, the Tyrone Daily Herald, that runs every other Monday that's focused on helping parents help their family find and live with purpose.  All articles are also posted on our blog.
  • Operation Christmas Blessing provided Christmas gifts for 31 families, 65 kids

We believe 2018 will be just as impacting as we focus on renovation projects in the Armory.  The project to renovate the upstairs gathering room at the Armory is a big step to drive forward our mission to help youth find purpose.  It will serve as an amazing training and equipping hub for Dauntless teens to be called out of wandering and into a life of purpose!

As 2017 draws to a close, would you consider giving towards this project?  Again, our goal is to raise $12,000 to be able to complete that room.  Your gift can truly make a difference!  

Click here to make a year-end contribution!

Thank you again for your past and future support!  We are honored & inspired to do more!

May 2018 be a year of revived purpose and deep impact!

Many blessings to you in the New Year!

Sincerely,

The Joshua House Team

 

End of the Year Message to Dauntless Generation

Here is the prophetic word Mizpah shared in the video for the teenagers of Dauntless Generation...

"Some of you had very significant things happen this year. Some of you were baptized. Some heard God speak to you for the first time. Some of you stepped out to lead or start a group and take a stand for God. Some of you got saved! Some of you were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. Some of you received prophetic words that rocked you. Some of you felt God's presence for the first time. Some of you saw people healed. Some of you were healed. Some of you prayed for people and saw God touch them!

In all of these things, God did something new in you and it has shaped you and prepared you for the future...it has pointed you in the direction of your purpose and destiny. We want to challenge you. Do not take this lightly. For Christmas this year, do not let it be the same. Recognize that because Christ came to be with us on this earth, you are forever marked, you can live with purpose, knowing you have a future that He has carved out for you. Celebrate the fact that He came to be with YOU. He came so that He could spend eternity with YOU.  

Then from that foundation, we pray that you are launched into 2018 with newly revived purpose. That you know without a shadow of a doubt that He has called you to to do great things for such a time as this. Do not doubt the call on your life. Let Him pull you back deep into His heart, let Him aim and launch you to your target. During this holiday, take the time to hear Him speak to you about 2018 and be ready to live life to the fullest and give Him everything this year." 

How To Make Christmas Meaningful For Your Family 

By Theron and Mizpah Glenny

 

Christmas is a magical time of year, but it can also be stressful for parents trying to figure out how to make it meaningful for their family.  Every year heading into Christmas, we find ourselves excited for Christmas, but also asking ourselves some tough questions.  Like you, we want our kids to see Christmas as more than just getting gifts.  We want Christmas to be meaningful to them with memories they will cherish into their adult life.  

In our last article, we talked about how to prepare your kids for the holiday season by establishing traditions that will help your kids gain the proper perspective. In this article, we will walk through some specifics that will help you as parents ensure Christmas is meaningful for your family. 

What experiences do you want your family to have?

This is important to think through.  What do you want Christmas Eve to be like?  What about Christmas Day?  Plans will likely vary from family to family.  For us, we want life to slow down for maximum enjoyment. We want to spend it together cherishing each other. On Christmas Eve, we spend it with close friends and read a special story together when we get home - see our book recommendations at the end of this article. 

For us, we start the day doing something that puts things in perspective. Last year on Christmas day, we made a fire in our fireplace and let the presents just sit under the tree. Miz played the piano, we sipped hot drinks and sang some songs. It was awesome! It is His birthday, so why not start the day celebrating Jesus?  Have fun with this. Make a plan.  Just don’t make it about getting stuff.  

But, what do you buy your kids?

Every parent asks this question.  You want to get your kids some things, but you want the gifts to be meaningful.  There are so many choices that it can be overwhelming!  We got the following list off of Pinterest and thought it was very valuable and wanted to share.  This will help you keep Christmas shopping simple, but meaningful. 

Here’s how to shop for your kids for Christmas:

1.     Something they want - this can be a big ticket item they’ve been asking for…obviously within your financial budget. 

2.     Something they need - sports equipment? Hobby related item? 

3.     Something to wear - Clothing not usually bought…maybe something brand attire or fun accessories.

4.     Something to read - we are huge on this. Is there a book?  Magazine subscription?  We’ve bought books like Tim Tebow’s Through My Eyes for our son that has had a big impact. 

5.     Something to do - Movie ticket? Event or game ticket? 

6.     Something for ‘Me’ - This is a keepsake like an ornament, photo album, framed photo, letter or something you made for them.  Theron loves writing letters. 

7.     Something for family - Board game? Movie? A family outing? 

Note, not all categories need to be bought for, but this list provides you with a solid road map.

How do you teach your kids to be thankful? 

Thankfulness leads to contentment.  It’s painful to watch (and hear) a whiny, selfish and ungrateful kid.  Here’s how you can prevent that this Christmas. 

1. Prep them - walk through what Christmas day will be like.  Tell them they will likely receive some gifts from you and others.  Ask them what they should do when someone gives them a gift.  Don’t expect them to thank people who give them gifts if you didn’t instruct them to.  Prepping them gets them thinking about being thankful no matter the gift.  

We tell our kids they probably won’t get everything they want and there may be gifts they get that they didn't want…but that someone thought enough about them to shop and spend their hard earned money on them…and for that, they need to be thankful.

2. Give them the look! - Yes, you know that look...the look that communicates, ‘What did you forget to do?’ We learn by repetition, so it is totally fine reminding your kids throughout the day to thank each person who gave them a gift.  Make sure they look the person in the eyes, be vocal, and give hugs.  

Lastly, we want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!  May it be filled with love, hope, joy and peace.  Be blessed.  

Recommended Christmas tunes:

•    TobyMac - Light of Christmas

•    Kim Walker Smith - When Christmas Comes

Recommended books to read as a family during the Christmas season:

•    The Best Christmas Ever - Junior Discovers Contentment  by Dave Ramsey

•    Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann Voskamp 

•    Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco - This is an absolute tear jerker 

This article also appeared in The Daily Herald today. 

How To Prepare Your Kids For The Holidays

By Theron Glenny

If you are like us, you love this time of year.  Your house has a slight aroma of Thanksgiving dinner goodness and you are starting to decorate for Christmas.  It is a very exciting and full season so we wanted to pass along some advice to help you make this holiday season special by helping you prepare your kids.  

We can’t encourage you enough to help your kiddos process through what they are thankful for. Don’t assume they have already processed through things.  Take time to connect on a heart-level with them by asking them what they are thankful for.  

As parents, we consistently put effort into making sure our kids hearts are in the right place.  A heart in the right place to us is ready and willing to be respectful, to love, to honor, to receive instruction and to serve.  A heart gets to that place by first being thankful.  We live in a very 'me-focused' culture.  Being thankful helps take our eyes off ourselves to see the big picture.  It provides the right perspective.  It’s the cure for arrogance, depression and entitlement.  

What traditions do you have or that you can establish this year that can help your kids get the proper perspective?

Thankfulness requires a response.  It requires action.  For us in the Glenny home, we make a Thanksgiving list together. We think back over the current year and remember what God has done for us.  This tradition may sound simple, but it is extremely powerful. It helps both us as parents and our kids see the big picture because we decided to be thankful. …and it’s fun to look back at what our kids wrote on our thanksgiving lists from past years. 

What about you?  What will you do?  Here are some questions to ask yourself…

  • What books will we read together? 
  • What movies will we watch, and why? Remember, think about the message and/or perspective you want your kids to have.  How do you want them to think and feel about Christmas? 
  • Who will we go visit together?
  • Who should our kids buy gifts for? Is it someone in their class? Teacher? Sibling? Grandma? Take time to ask them questions to help them think through what they could give. 
  • When our kid receives a gift, what will we teach them to do? This can be difficult especially for younger kids, but teach your kids to thank the giver right away and to keep eye contact so they are genuine. For younger kids, this takes time to develop. 

Joshua House’s Operation Christmas Blessing

Most parents want their kids to be thankful and generous. Developing generosity in your children does not happen overnight.  It takes time and deliberate effort.  We look for opportunities to develop generosity.  For example, another tradition for us is participating in Joshua House’s Operation Christmas Blessing program.  It’s an amazing program that helps parents in need provide their children a great Christmas.  We set aside money in our Christmas budget so our kids can sponsor other kids (whom our kids do not know as identities are kept confidential).  We usually choose kids who are around the same age as our kids.  When you sponsor a child or teenager, you are told whether they are a Male or Female, what age they are and what they would like for Christmas.  It’s a fabulous way to bless families and help your kids think beyond themselves and develop a generous heart.  

Please note, there are still kids who do not have sponsors yet for this Christmas.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child, please call Joshua House directly at 814-684-2032.

Make a plan to ensure your traditions happen.

Our last piece of advice is the key to making the holiday season special.  We find that if our plans are not on the calendar, they do not happen.  There’s a big difference between us saying we want to do something and actually scheduling it.  Take time to think through the things we listed above and then schedule them.  You’ll be glad you did as your Christmas season will be special for your entire family. 

This article also appeared in The Daily Herald today. 

Announcing Community Thanksgiving Dinner

We are so excited to invite you to our annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner held at the Joshua House Armory (926 Logan Ave. in Tyrone, PA) tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 21st 4:30-6:30 pm!  We want to emphasize that this is a community dinner, not just about feeding people, but an opportunity for the community of Tyrone (and beyond) to come share a meal together at the Armory.  If you need to pick up takeout meals or have them delivered to your home, please call us at (814) 684-2032 to reserve yours. 

As you come, we will be accepting donations of canned goods and non-perishable items that will go into Christmas baskets for families in need in our community.  This is part of our Operation Christmas Blessing program that provides gifts for children and baskets of household items and food for families here in Tyrone during the Christmas season.

Come join us tomorrow evening!  We would love to see you at the Armory for our Community Thanksgiving Dinner!

Purpose Starts At Home - Part 4

By Theron Glenny

Preface: Whether you are a Mom or Dad, Uncle or Aunt, a grandparent, teacher or coach, if you work with youth, this bi-weekly column is designed to encourage you and equip you to impact the next generation.  Here at Joshua House, helping youth find purpose is our mission.  It is our heartbeat.  It is what drives us. We have learned over the years that modeling purpose starts at home.  

The following article is the fourth of a four-part series where we walk through how you as a parent can model at home how to live with purpose so your kids will live with a sense of destiny.  

In our last article, we shared how your mindset in every situation can stir up faith in your family or, make your family miserable.  Our message was you can take the bait by complaining, but you'll remain in your circumstance. The alternative is you can be positive, praise and be thankful and then be raised up.  It’s easy to complain.  It’s hard to praise, but the more you do it the easier it becomes and you will see victory.  The environment in your home, which is your responsibility to create as the parent, will become an environment full of faith and purpose because you chose to be thankful and praise.  

The fourth key is a call to seek the Lord with all your heart.  

Let’s first start with, why?  Why is it important to do this as a parent? Kids naturally imitate their parents.  They watch you like a hawk.  They see your life behind the public curtain.  They know whether you are the real deal or not.  They know if you are just a Sunday church goer or someone that has a real, genuine relationship with God and seeking Him and letting Him lead you.  You do not have to be a know-it-all…but you should know Who to go to that does know-it-all.  Purpose starts at home.  If you are seeking the Lord for direction and purpose in your own life, you are establishing your home on a firm foundation.  Parents, remember that more is ‘caught’ by your kids than ‘taught’. 

   
  
   
  
    
  
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    Caption: Recent picture of me with my Dad and two brothers on our hunt together this year in Missouri.  Dad (& my Mom) laid a great foundation for us boys by putting God first and seeking the Lord for wisdom for guiding our family. Now, all three of us have kids and can do the same for our own families. #generationalblessing

Caption: Recent picture of me with my Dad and two brothers on our hunt together this year in Missouri.  Dad (& my Mom) laid a great foundation for us boys by putting God first and seeking the Lord for wisdom for guiding our family. Now, all three of us have kids and can do the same for our own families. #generationalblessing

My Dad worked in construction and operated heavy equipment on large road jobs.  He woke up typically around 3:30/4 am each morning.  I have fond memories of coming out to the dining room for breakfast, hours after he left, to see his bible open and his notebook on the table. Then, there was another notebook on the dishwasher with a handwritten note to us.  Each day he would write a note to my Mom and then to me and my two brothers.  It is still astonishing to me he did this daily.  I could always tell that he knew what was going on in our lives by the things he wrote to us.  I’m so appreciative that my Dad put first things first.  He sought God first and the wisdom he received, he passed on to us with great love and care.   

It is a very powerful thing when parents seek the Lord. God has a way of doing amazing things when He’s put in the right place.  Families become close.  They connect. They heal. They live with purpose.  My parents inspired me to put first things first - to put God first and ahead of the other areas of my life.  

If God made us on purpose and for a purpose, shouldn’t we seek Him since He holds the keys to unlocking our purpose? The Bible teaches us to seek, to ask, and to draw near to Jesus.   Here’s a few verses:  

  • Matthew 6:33 says, But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
  • Jeremiah 29:13 says, And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
  • James 4:8 says, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 

Ask yourself, ‘where am I going to find and hear inspiration, get purpose and fulfillment’? God?

Joshua 24:15 says, And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” 

There are other gods and mediums out there that are not healthy for you nor your family which tap into other spirits.  Here’s our advice… Don’t waste time on that stuff. Seek the real God, Jesus Christ. You’ll find Him when you seek Him with all your heart.  …and your kids will see the fruit in your life and have great respect for you. 

Like Joshua, maybe you need to make a declaration in your house that you will seek and serve the Lord Jesus.  We can’t encourage you enough to take that step and commitment as parents.  You’ll be laying the right foundation.  Commit to serving the Lord and watch God orchestrate something beautiful with your family. 

The above article also appeared in today's Tyrone Daily Herald. 

 

Announcing After-School Hours

Today we are excited to announce we are opening up for After-School Hours starting next Monday, November 6th!  Ever since we purchased the Armory, we wanted to utilize the it in multiple ways to serve the Tyrone community.  Our desire is provide a place for students to come after school to have a safe and healthy environment, opportunities to be physically active with open gym time, and positive adult influence in their lives during those critical after-school hours until parents get home from work.  

This year, we are very thankful for a grant from United Way of Blair County to help staff the program and provide after-school snacks and a weekly meal for these youth.   The grant enables the program to be free and open to any students in 5th-9th grades.  

Joshua House Founder and Director, Jim Kilmartin, states, "Providing an opportunity after school for the youth in our community that is safe, fun, and a place where they can connect is incredibly important.  We want the Armory to be a hub for the community and a safe haven for the kids to become all that God created them to be.  When our youth see themselves as God sees them then they can be empowered to make a the world around them better.”  

Tyrone Area School District Superintendent, Cathy Harlow, expressed her excitement about this program, stating, "This is such a worthy endeavor which will directly benefit our students.”  

Starting next Monday, November 6th, the Joshua House Armory will be open Mondays through Thursdays, after school until 5:30 pm on school days.  Please note that we will follow the Tyrone Area School District calendar.  

All 5th-9th grade students are invited to come down after school for:

  • Daily snacks
  • Meal (Wednesdays only)
  • Get homework done (and receive academic tutoring if needed) 
  • Open gym time

The Armory address is 926 Logan Avenue in Tyrone, PA.  

For more details or to volunteer to help with this program, call us at  814-684-2032 or email our program director, Mizpah Glenny at mizpah@joshuahouse.com.  

Purpose Starts At Home - Part 3

By: Mizpah Glenny

Preface: Whether you are a Mom or Dad, Uncle or Aunt, a grandparent, teacher or coach, if you work with youth, this bi-weekly column is designed to encourage you and equip you to impact the next generation.  Here at Joshua House, helping youth find purpose is our mission.  It is our heart beat.  It is what drives us. We have learned over the years that modeling purpose starts at home.  

The following article is the third of a four-part series where we walk through how you as a parent can model at home how to live with purpose so your kids will live with a sense of destiny.  

In our last article, we gave you a challenge to do things that require faith.  As you walk out your purpose and model it for your kids, you will need to step out in faith and take risks at times. Those moments are critical in building that foundation of courage and purpose in yourself and your kids.  The third key we’d like to give you will help you overcome a potential trap that could hold you and your family back from living fully alive.

Complain and remain, praise and be raised.

We’ve all been around those people.  Ones that cannot say anything positive, no matter what good thing may have just happened to them.  Complainers and whiners.  They are not fun to be around.  You can feel it when they walk in the room.  Holding onto the negative, glass-half-empty, outlook in life.  If you step back and look at their lives, generally, these types of people will stay stagnant in life, not moving forward into new and better things. This is what happened to the Israelites when they were on their way to the Promised Land.

After leaving slavery in Egypt, as they were approaching the land that God had promised them, Moses sent out 12 spies to check out the land.  All but 2 of them came back full of fear, basically proclaiming that there was no possible way to overcome those giants (Numbers 13). Even though they had experienced miracle after miracle of God protecting them and providing for them in the wilderness, they couldn’t see any way that God would continue to do the same for them going into the Promised Land.  They were blinded by fear and they complained.  Their attitude stirred up fear in the rest of the Israelites.  “And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, ‘If only we had died in the land of Egypt! …Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?’” (Numbers 14).

Return to Egypt?!?  The land where they were slaves, forced to make bricks all the days of their lives?  They would rather stay in slavery than enter the land of freedom that God had promised them?  When God heard this, he decided that the complainers would not go into that Promised Land.  They were going to remain in that wilderness, wandering and circling, never to find a place to call home.  No purpose, no vision, just wandering.  They complained and they remained.  

Joshua and Caleb came with a 'different spirit';  They had an attitude of faith, a glass-half- full, positive, “we can do this!” attitude!  They believed that God would do what He said He would. Caleb tried to rally the people believing fully that they could overcome it.  Joshua also tried to persuade them know that it was a good land that God said He would give them.  He remembered God’s goodness and believed they could take the land.  He praised God in the midst of the challenge, and he was raised up to lead the people of Israel after Moses died. Just like the Israelites, we have a promised land that God wants us to overtake and inhabit.  

As parents, it is our job to lead our families to that place of purpose.  Like archers aiming their arrows at the targets, we have the privilege of aiming our kids in the direction of their Promised Land(s) and launching them to those targets.  In order to see the next generation get to those places, we have to drop the complaining and take on the perspective of faith.  Like Joshua, we need to remember and proclaim the goodness of God — praise and be raised — so that our kids see the power of praise.  

Ask yourself, what could happen if I really believed His goodness?  In our homes, let's believe in the power, promises and goodness of God.  Let’s quit complaining and walk in that “different spirit” — believing and moving forward into our Promised Land!

The above article was also published today in the Tyrone Daily Herald.

Purpose Starts At Home - Part 2

BY THERON & MIZPAH GLENNY

Preface: The following article is the second of a four-part series where we walk through how you as a parent can model at home how to live with purpose so your kids will live with a sense of destiny.  

In our last article, we shared the importance of remembering God has purpose for your life.  To model purpose to your family, you first have to remember you have it.  When you remember that you matter and have reason for existence on the earth, your sense of destiny will rub off on your family.  The second key to modeling purpose is to do things that require faith.  

I remember it vividly.  We were walking through the city streets of Buffalo and there was a homeless person just ahead.  This wasn’t a time to debate whether I was going to help the guy or not.  My kids were watching. I know they were asking themselves ‘what is Daddy going to do?’   As we approached I engaged the fellow in conversation. As I talked to the man, he sadly shared with us that he had cancer throughout his whole body and was dying.  I think it shocked my kids.  Frankly, it shocked me.  Our hearts immediately went out to him.  We couldn’t have provided enough money to solve his problem.  We did give him some money, but more importantly, we spent some time with him and shared with him how much Jesus loved him and how he had purpose…even now while he was fighting cancer.  We asked him if we could pray that God would heal him and he welcomed us to.  So, we all laid hands on him right there on that crowded street and we asked God to come and heal him.  We prayed he would feel God’s presence wherever he goes and in every situation.  

We don’t know what happened to that man, whether he was healed or not, but what I do know is this, I did what I was supposed to do.  My job was to step out in faith.  Please hear me on this: We don’t get it right all the time folks.  We aren’t superman and wonder-woman.  We’re just like you wanting to impart faith and courage to our kids.  But, what I can tell you is this - the more you step out in faith, the more you will see your kids have the courage to step out. My kids have become accustomed to this now.  Everywhere we go, they know Dad and Mom will step out in faith.   

One day in Altoona, my daughter saw a lady walking down the street with a distinct limp that looked painful.  Worse, she looked sad.  My daughter said 'Daddy, do you see that lady and how she’s walking and she looks sad'.  I said 'yes baby, I do'.  Without having to ask her, she said, 'I want to go talk to her and pray for her'.  So, we did.  My little girl took a step of faith.  When we approached the lady, I told her that my daughter wanted to meet her and felt like God wanted her to pray for her.  My daughter was super courageous then.  She laid her little hands on the older lady and prayed out loud. It was a beautiful prayer.  The lady was shocked.  She was taken back at what just happened - a little girl was led to have a conversation with her and pray for her.  I absolutely love seeing my kids be bold like this.  As parents, we should want it to be normal for our kids to do things that require faith.  But, it starts with us.  We can’t expect our kids to be bold in their faith if we aren’t. 

God said to Joshua, “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua was one of the few leaders of the Israelites that was willing to face giants.  He was an overcomer.  He was one who did things that required faith.  When we get scared, we should ask the Lord for courage and strength because He will give it to us.  The next time you come into a situation where you can do something that requires faith, do it and watch what happens.  May you be known by your kids as one who demonstrated faith and inspired them to be courageous. 

In our next article, we’ll share a potential trap that could hold you and your family back from living fully alive. 

The above article was also published today in the Tyrone Daily Herald.

Photo credit: wisdomtimes.com 

Purpose Starts At Home - Part 1

How to live with purpose so your kids will live with a sense of destiny

BY THERON & MIZPAH GLENNY

The following article is from our column published today in the Tyrone Daily Herald. 

Whether you are a Mom or Dad, Uncle or Aunt, a grandparent, teacher or coach, if you work with youth, this bi-weekly column is designed to encourage you and equip you to impact the next generation.  Here at Joshua House, helping youth find purpose is our mission.  It is our heart beat.  It is what drives us. We have learned over the years that modeling purpose starts at home.  The following article is the first of a four-part series where we walk through how you as a parent can model at home how to live with purpose so your kids will live with a sense of destiny.  

As mentioned earlier, purpose starts at home.  It starts with us as parents.This may sound simple, but the first key to modeling living with purpose is to remember you have it. A definition of purpose is "the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists” (online dictionary).  Remember that God created you on purpose for a purpose.  There are reasons why you are alive and breathing today.  Do we ever doubt this?  Is every day full of happy, smiley-face emoji’s?  No.  There are tough days.  There are days where we might not feel like getting out of bed.  There are days where we wonder if there is any purpose at all. We have all been in a place of wandering in life, not knowing what our purpose is and where we are going.  But, we must remember that even on those tough days, purpose still exists.  Our successes in life are determined by how we handle our problems and struggles.  Our battles can birth our victories, if we position ourselves to win.  

In the Bible, Joshua was one of the leaders that brought the Israelites out of a place of wandering into their Promised Land, the land and purpose God had for them from the beginning.  

Joshua 1:2-3 says, "Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.”  

Joshua did not shy away from the destiny he knew was promised to his people because he remembered what God said.  He remembered his purpose.  His story sets an example for how to live with purpose in order to get to the Promised Land that God has for us. But Joshua’s story didn’t start well.  The Israelite people traveled from Egypt where they were in slavery to their promised land and when they got there, many in the group had a change of heart.  Why? The leaders sent out trusted men to spy out the land to see what was there.  Joshua and his colleague Caleb were two of those spies.  They went into the land and found it was everything God had promised.  It was luscious and full of goodness.  There were giants in the land too, but Joshua and Caleb believed the Israelites could take the land and thus, were full of faith.  The key to positioning yourself to win is to remember your purpose so you can be in a position of faith.  Have faith.  Believe you can overcome with God’s help.   

The other spies that were sent out came back full of fear.  They were not full of faith.  They had forgotten God’s promise.  They forgot God said He'd give them that land.  They forgot they had purpose because they were in a place of fear and not faith.  Therefore, the report they brought back about the land scared all of the people and the Israelites did not go and take the land.  They were so close!  They were at the doorstep!  God did miracle after miracle to get them out of slavery in Egypt.  You would have thought they would have been full of faith when they arrived at their destiny moment.  Sadly, they weren’t.  And because they embraced fear, they ended up wandering in a desert for forty years while that generation died off.  Forty years!  

The good news is, Joshua and Caleb out-lived most of that generation and when they were appointed leaders, they led the people into the promised land.  After all those years, they never lost sight of their purpose.  You don’t want to be a family that embraces fear.  You want to be a family that is full of faith because you know you have a promised land.  You have purpose.  

As parents, we know that most often, more is caught than taught.  Our kids absorb and imitate so much more of what we do than what we say.  Will they catch your position?  Yes, they will!  Your words, actions, attitude and behaviors will communicate to them.  The key to staying in a place of faith is to remember you have purpose.  Remember.  Remind yourself.  Remind your spouse.  Remind your kids.  They will watch the way you position yourself to face your challenges and will imitate what you do throughout their lives. Will you have rough days?  Probably.  But don’t lose faith.  Remember God created you on purpose for a purpose.  Remembering will sustain you on tough days.  It will build your faith up.  You got this!

Practical tip: Write it down.  Somewhere in your house, write down ‘I have purpose’ or ‘We have purpose’.  If you know what your purpose is in this season of life, make sure to be specific.  Put it somewhere where you can see it and where your family can see it.  Let it be a memorial to you to help you remember so on your tough days, you'll position yourself to face your challenges with faith. 

Photo credit to Pinterest.

How we got here and where we’re headed

BY THERON & MIZPAH GLENNY

The following article is from our column published today in the Tyrone Daily Herald. 

We are very excited to start this new column focused on helping our youth find
purpose.  Whether you are a Mom or Dad, Uncle or Aunt, a grandparent, teacher or
coach, if you work with youth, this bi-weekly column is designed to encourage you and
equip you to impact the next generation.  In this first installment, we are going to share
a bit of our story so you can get to know us and identify with who we are, where we
came from and our hearts to help youth find purpose, in Tyrone and beyond.

When we first met and fell in love back in our college days at Messiah College, we
didn’t know how our future would unfold.  Mizpah wanted to be a medical missionary
and live in a hut in Africa serving the world’s poorest of humans.  Mizpah’s Dad is a
surgeon in North Carolina but growing up, she would go with her parents on medical
mission trips all over the world and on those trips, she fell in love with other cultures
and people groups and saw first-hand the desperate needs of people that don’t have the
quality of medical care we have here in the United States.  On the contrary, Theron’s
heart was set on moving back to Central Pennsylvania to either start another Joshua
House in Huntingdon or help Jim Kilmartin with Joshua House in Tyrone. Theron grew
up in Juniata Valley and when he was around 12 years old, he met Jim at a youth group
event when Kilmartin was still in high school.  Jim’s life and testimony had a major
impact on Theron and as Theron puts it, “I wanted to be like him.”  After college, Jim
started Joshua House because he saw so many teenagers who were aimless, wandering
through life and without purpose. Theron knew in his heart that he too wanted to help
youth find purpose and dedicated the rest of his life doing so.  

So, I guess you could say our paths didn’t necessarily line up - a hut in Africa or Central
PA? We both wanted to serve people and help them become all that God created them
to be, but ‘where' was the question.  Most people when deciding where to live decide
based on where they get a job.  Theron was reading a book at the time by Bob Beckett.
 Bob was a pastor out in Hemet, California and God challenged Bob to be committed to
the people of his city in a radical way so that he could see lasting, and generational
impact.  One of the lessons that Theron learned from this book was that making this
important life decision on where to live was less about where he and Mizpah got a job
and more about who they were to be connected to and do life with. He knew in his heart
they were to be connected to Jim and Jessica Kilmartin and come serve the town of
Tyrone and learn from them.  After getting married in 2005, we moved to Tyrone and
have been here ever since.  When we made the decision to come here, all the other stuff
fell into place - job for Theron, physician assistant school for Mizpah, place to live, etc.

IMG_1377.jpg

Mizpah is a physician assistant by trade and works part time with UPMC Huntingdon
while also directing the programs at Joshua House on a volunteer basis.  Theron works
in software sales for Outreach Corporation based out of Seattle and works with business
leaders throughout the country helping their sales teams generate more revenue.  He
also serves on the board at Joshua House and alongside Mizpah, lead a team of amazing
volunteer leaders who put so much time and energy into investing into our
community’s youth through the various programs Joshua House does. We’ve got two
sweet kiddos (& one on the way!).  Our son Elah Roar is 9 and our daughter Sarah is 7. 

When we are not hanging out with our family and friends or doing Joshua House stuff,
we do have some hobbies.  We are both outdoorsy.  Mizpah loves to go on hikes and
runs.  She also loves to play volleyball.  Theron loves to play hockey.  So much so that
he does a backyard ice rink each year during winter.  He also enjoys bow hunting and fly
fishing. 

We both have been blessed with amazing parents and great mentors over the years.
 Two of those mentors, who have led Joshua House for the last 19 years, are Jim and
Jessica Kilmartin.  Their hearts to serve our area and see our youth impacted is
contagious.  Their efforts, valiant.  This past April, the Kilmartins started a church in
Altoona called Center City Church which exists to see people awakened to God, revived
in His presence, and empowered to see lives, families and communities
transformed. The church is thriving and has grown quickly in just six short months.
 They have a large vision for the church and for Joshua House.  This vision includes
starting other Joshua Houses in multiple towns and cities.  Jim, Jess and their family are
moving to Altoona this Fall, but will continue to provide oversight for Joshua House for
years to come. The mission to help youth find purpose was birthed in them here in
Tyrone, and what was started here will give life and purpose to youth all over
Pennsylvania, and beyond. 

We will be sharing more with you over the coming months on various topics.  If you are
one who has a heart to see our youth become all that God has created them to be, you
won’t want to miss this column.  Our schools, churches, and other community
organizations can put on amazing programs, but kids still have to go home and it’s in
the home where the most influence happens.  Through this column, we want to
encourage you and equip you to impact the next generation in your homes.  It truly
takes a village to raise a child and help them find their God-given purpose.

If you have an interest in joining our mission to help youth find purpose, we would love
to hear from you!  It truly is a blessing and honor to be able to serve the youth and
families of our community, and we would love to have more people join us.  The armory will be undergoing a few renovations this Fall, but later this Fall (likely November), we
plan to open up After-School hours, which provides homework help for students, open
gym time, and free meals.  Details for this program will be available soon, but if you are
interested in helping out, contact Mizpah at mizpah@joshuahouse.com.  For more
information on other Joshua House programs, check out our website:
www.joshuahouse.com.

The Wise Receiver

 Spider Cam View - Credits to oregon.247sports.com 

Spider Cam View - Credits to oregon.247sports.com 

By Theron Glenny

The spider cams they use during football games are really amazing.  They give us fans a perspective of the game we didn't have before, namely, what it looks like on the field from a player's perspective.  You get to see the field the way the quarterback sees it.

The next time you watch a game, keep an eye on the wide receivers.  Many times, the quarterback throws the ball before the wide receiver has turned to catch it.  You will notice great wide-receivers (like Antonio Brown pictured below) make their turn with their hands up ready to receive the pass.  They know the ball could be on the way so they prepare to receive it by getting their hands ready.  All of us in our living rooms say "Wow, did you see how perfect the timing was on that play?  It was perfectly executed." Here's the thing, the timing was perfect primarily because the receiver was ready. He has his hands up because he is expecting to catch the ball.  He can't make a difference on the field and help his team score if he's not ready.  

 Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I think this lesson applies to life - God is ready to throw wisdom our way, but we must turn towards him with our heart open to receive it.  The question is, are we ready to receive it?  Just like a great wide receiver whose hands are ready to catch the ball, a 'wise' receiver prepares their heart to catch the Wisdom that is thrown their way.

1.  Kick apathy to the curb and care about what God thinks.  

What sets a good wide receiver a part from others?  He really wants the ball and will do whatever he can to get it…cross the middle of the field in traffic and risk getting lit up, dive, fight for the ball, run routes hard, etc …but he wants to score.  He can’t score unless he receives the ball first.  He wants it. He cares.

Proverbs 1:7 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction."  Fools don't care.  Fools aren't searching for Wisdom.  Fools aren't seeking God to hear what He thinks about their situation.  

I've watched and played along side football players that don't care.  Do you think they run out for a pass with some gusto?  Do you think they really want the ball?  Heck no.  They could care less.  Do you think they have their hands up to catch the ball?  Maybe, but their hands are probably limp.  

Unfortunately, if you don't care, then you won't be aggressive in pursing God.  You'll give up.   I don't think that is the case though if you are reading this article.  

Be one that cares what God thinks.  Your family and friends need you to care.  They need your leadership.  Listen, you may feel alone in this.  When I rededicated my life to Jesus after high school, none of my family was going to church regularly.  I started going to church and seeking God again and guess what? My parents and brothers started to come.  And now, my entire family is thriving in their walk with God and are positively impacting many lives.  Take the lead.   

2. Getting Wisdom takes action on our part.  

Consider this passage from King Solomon - Proverbs 2:1-6

1 My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
4 If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;

Receive, treasure, incline, apply, cry, lift, seek and search are action words.  

Wisdom is given to those who seek it.  Picture a quarterback throwing the long ball.  Let's name the ball 'wisdom'.  The quarterback drops back in the pocket and launches a long pass towards his streaking receiver who is kicking it into high gear to haul it in.  That receiver isn't jogging down the field.  He isn't 'hoping' to catch the pass.  He's putting the effort in. He is acting.  He's all in folks. He's doing his part to make the play.  Likewise, there is some doing on our part to receive wisdom. 

It is God’s nature to hide things.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Proverbs 25:2 that says, "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter."  

This verse may be shocking to you.  It was to me when I first read it a few years back.  But, it was extremely liberating to me because then I realized why I didn't understand a lot of stuff.  

I want you to really catch this one.  This could change your life.  Grab this... it is God's nature to hide things.  He loves it.  It's His glory.  It's what He does.  

We have to embrace our role in this relationship - "to search out a matter." 

Let's be honest, life can be frustrating at times.  There can be many things in our lives that we don't understand.  However, if you understand your role in this relationship (the seeker - the 'wise' receiver), you will love your part.  

God is luring you in.  Run towards Him.  Open your heart to Him.  Receive Him and what's He's wanting to toss your way.  Be wise, receiver.