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Corrie ten Boom and the Tennessee Vols

corrie-ten-boom-and-tennessee-volsI think Corrie ten Boom might have appreciated American college football, especially the Tennessee Vols!  She loved and worked with youth, and she was well-acquainted with hard work, discipline, coordination and team work, given her early experiences and later profound ministry to others.

Last Saturday night, I enjoyed watching my husband watch college football!

 

Philip can take or leave the pro’s, he says, but he loves seeing young people at these schools. Loves all the color, energy and excitement that goes with them sharing the best years of their youth together.

The Tennessee Vols football team had lost to the Florida Gators for the past eleven years, and Philip and I looked forward to cheering “our team” on to victory in this latest matchup. In our (also) eleven years of marriage, Philip has taught me a lot about football and the strategy of the game. I’ve learned to really enjoy football. So, popcorn popped, pizza in mind, we snuggled on the couch to enjoy the match.

Sad to say, watching the first half of the September 24th game was less than inspiring, with Tennessee dropping the ball six times, and fans in the bleachers looking as if the Rapture had happened, and they had missed it. At the half, the score was Florida 21, Vols 0.

It made me think how… as we run our personal “race” in life… it often happens that, when things seem to be going “south” (no pun intended), we give up as if its game-over, before we wait to see the final score.

Philip was disappointed, “How do you drop six balls that even I could have caught?”

“Well, the one thing we haven’t done is prayed!” I said, not trying to sound pious. He smiled, “It’s a football game!!”

“You have not, because you ask not, somebody said somewhere… in ALL things!” Hmmm! I prayed!

So what happened? If the Tennessee Vols team had left the field at the half looking down in the mouth, they bounded out of the locker room with new resolve. In fact, you might have thought it was a whole new team… like maybe Alabama had donned the Vols uniforms and hit the field!?

But, no… play after determined play, the Vols fought the good fight to claim a 38 to 28 victory over their long-undefeated Florida foe. Odd thing was, Florida… the team that could do no wrong in the first half, seemed to be unable to move the ball in the second half.

Philip smiled again about my prayer, “Really?” But, he had that high-five look all over his face.

For me, watching the explosion of cheers and tears on the faces of 100,000 Tennessee fans, then seeing them, arms linked, swaying to the strains of “The Tennessee Waltz” was a touching moment in time for those of us who hoped for Tennessee’s victory. I thought, “Would that so many would gather together to cheer the One who laid down His life to allow us the greatest victory of all… eternal victory!”

Corrie ten Boom’s true life story is a lesson in victorious living! Life well lived… love of family and others… faith in the One she had learned was trustworthy always… ups and downs, but never taking her eyes off the goal… deep personal assurance, even in the face of the fiercest enemy in world history. As I said earlier, I think Corrie might have liked American college football!

Our hope is, as the next generations live out their lives… dreaming their dreams, even if their world might seem at the point of “game-over”… that they will not let negative input, “political correctness,” or anything else rob them of Truth, and the most important goal possible for their lives: eternal victory in Jesus Christ. “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

 

[Ten Boom the Musical shares the true and powerful story of Corrie ten Boom. To present this musical at your church or venue, contact us at 615-425-2652, 615-300-8591, or email us at [email protected]]

Gramma Jama | Corrie’s Work With Youth

gramma-jamma-party“Gramma Jama” parties… a great way to make lasting memories with your family!

Did you know Corrie ten Boom spent many years organizing Boys and Girls Clubs, even clubs for young servicemen and women, during the worst days of World War 2?

Here was a single woman who gave much of her time and herself, encouraging and teaching young people in her hometown—Haarlem, Holland.

What an extraordinary person she was, who always surrounded herself with loving family and friends, making wonderful memories that, as she later said, “would hold us like an anchor in the storm when the time came for us to walk into hell itself!”

I believe it’s why Corrie ten Boom maintained a giving and joyful spirit, even as the Nazis took over her homeland, and she and her family were arrested for hiding 800 Jewish people who were being hunted for extermination then.  You wonder, could that happen again?  Could a powerful political force take over the lives of so many others like that again?

Corrie ten Boom never married, and never had children of her own, yet she took time to make memories for, and speak into the lives of many of them then, during the most important years of their lives and one of the scariest times in world history for people of any age.

Honestly, many of the memories I had made, raising my three children (having spent many of those years on the road performing and thinking I was affording a better life for us), were that I had not really been at home enough to make the most important impact on their lives.  Years later, coming to faith in Jesus Christ, it became a priority for me to be near my children, if they would want that now, and especially to get to know their children.  I wanted to make new memories that might carry me and any of them through the years ahead.  Maybe even through events like Corrie and her family had endured, if it ever came to that!

So here’s an idea, for those who have young people to love, that you want to impact positively:

“Gramma Suzna” (that’s what the first of many grandchildren had called me) was having trouble finding time to keep up with all of them.  Being a modern grandmother—working full-time with my business-owner husband; a busy writing schedule of my own, managing our home, and a seeming million other details needing attention—it seemed impossible to coordinate with other family members’ schedules!

But, I know now, more than ever, good family memories are SO very important!  Children grow up way too fast, and they’re gone.  So, years ago “Gramma Suzna” had to come up with a plan, while the children were smaller, not so mobile themselves, and still interested in what “Gramma” was about.

“YESSSSS! I know what I’ll do,” I thought.  “How about planning a wonderful time for ALL the grandchildren to come to the house and take part in a special day together… no, TWO days!”  Sisters, brothers and cousins all together for an overnight stay… what used to be called a pajama party.

“Yes, that’s IT!” We would call it a GRAMMA JAMA party, and make some memories together!  After all, how hard could it be to bring four, six… oh dear… how many of these little people could I handle by myself!?  What would Corrie do?

If you’re thinking to throw your own “Gramma Jama” parties, here’s how it went for me:

Now, let’s see… First, we need to coordinate everyone’s schedules for a specific weekend, and send out invitations to each child (in care of their parents, of course).   How about they come on a Friday, about 5:00 pm, for about 24 hours of fun together?

Planning “Gramma Jamma” – What to do?  Make a list… crafts, games, music, picnic, trip to zoo, aquarium, maybe the beach, a boat ride?  How about we bake and decorate cookies or candy or pumpkins?

How about FOOD!  Friday night:  Everyone loves Pizza, sodas, popcorn, junk food?  But, then I thought about healthier munchies their parents might approve:  maybe veggy burgers on wheat buns with yummy bean sprouts, slices of cucumber and tomatoes; sweet potato fries, and non-fat yogurt for dessert topped with slices of kiwi?  Sounds like something I would eat, alone, while my grandchildren rolled their eyes.  Nahhh!  It’s just for one or two nights, so…

Pizza AND frankfurters stuffed with mashed potatoes, topped with cheddar cheese, Nacho chips, salsa, and fudge brownies with ice cream.  Now we’re talking!  Saturday breakfast:  how about waffles with strawberry syrup and slices, ringed high with whipped cream smiley faces, with bacon and orange juice.  Later, picnic lunch somewhere… yep, more planning to do!  Just how much can you cram into a 24-hour “Gramma Jama” party?

What should they bring with them?  They’ll stay overnight, so do we have enough beds for them all?  No, that’s no fun… they’ll want to be together in one big room… so SLEEPING BAGS or blankets.  And PILLOWS. Yes, lots of pillows!  PILLOW FIGHT!!!”

I couldn’t wait then to send out special invitations to my grandchildren, to “COME, enjoy a special time with all your sisters, brothers and cousins!”  We made “Gramma Jama” memories for the next few years after that.

I think now about Corrie ten Boom and the boys and girls clubs she organized those years before the War.  Were they all just about food, family and fun fellowship?  That was probably a great part of it, but I know from reading Corrie’s heart in her books, that she also took quality time to read to them and teach them about the most important message she could speak into their lives… about the God who loves them SO much, the importance of getting to know and trust Him, and the power of prayer that would get them through the best and even the hardest events of their lives.

How about making your own “Gramma Jama” memories!?

[Pictured above: Tarah, Olivia, Autumn, Gramma, Amber, Rebekah and Ryan]

[Ten Boom the Musical shares the true and powerful story of Corrie ten Boom. To present this musical at your church or venue, contact us at 615-425-2652, 615-300-8591, or email us at [email protected]]