In My Fathers House
“IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE”
Taught by: Carolyn Sissom
Father’s Day, Sunday, June 15, 2008
I wish to honor all fathers today and pray that each of you will be enriched in every good work and blessing of Jesus Christ. I pray “the eyes of your understanding be enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.”
The Lord directed me to a book in my library. The copyright is the year 1976. That means the book is 32 years old. The last time I read this book was 30-years ago. It ministered to my life at the time as our children were nine and four. For that reason, it has remained in my library all these years. I wrote notes in it of prayers and scriptures I claimed at that time with the challenges of parenthood which mostly had to do with the bladder spasms of our four-year old.
The Book is about the years before World War II and the preparation in Corrie ten Boon’s home under the guidance of her father for an extraordinary life and ministry. “This is much more than nostalgia from a rich life. This is the unique lessons of a family preparing for a future, a future which would demand the power of God’s love and strength.” (Carole C. Carson)
1 Corinthians 4:15: “For though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have you not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”
The Father of this family was Casper ten Boom. He died in a Nazi concentration ten days after he entered a prison. She said he spoke to her as he walked through the door of the prison, “Remember, Corrie, the best is yet to be.”
She tells story after story of how the Faith and Love through the years of her Father’s guidance and life of patience and good works kept her through those dark days in prison. This rich inheritance also prepared her for the many years after she was released from prison in the sixty countries where the Lord opened doors for her to minister.
The Everlasting Arms:
Once she was trouble with the death of an aunt, her mother was ill and there was a large bill to be paid. She was talking with her Father at the dining room table. She said, “Father, what must we do? Everything is so terrible!” His reply was, “Don’t forget, Corrie- underneath us are the everlasting arms. We won’t fall.”
Thirty years later as she was lying on a dirty mattress in a concentration it was pitch dark and her sister, Betsie was lying beside her. Betsie was weak, her heartbeat was irregular and she was feeble. She tried to remember something comforting to say to her and suddenly she remembered the day at the dining room table. “Betsie…are you asleep?” “Remember what Father told us; God is our dwelling place. Underneath are the everlasting arms.”
In their home the was Bible read after every meal. “Every room in our house heard our prayers, but the oval table probably experienced more conversations with the Lord than other places. She said her Father was very loyal to the Queen of Holland and always prayed for her.
In the year 1956, more than half a century after Corrie first heard her Father pray for the Queen, Dr. Bob Pierce spoke into her life that she was to meet the Queen of Holland. On return to her homeland, she wrote to Queen Wilhelmina and asked to meet her and bring greetings. The Queen received her, and met with all the people in the Palace.
Corrie was preparing to leave for some meetings that were planned in Germany. The Queen looked at her and said, “I expected you to stay several weeks here, and you’re just staying a few hours. Why are you going to Germany?”
The war had been over for more than ten years, but its memories were still vivid to many Hollanders. “I must go to Germany, Your Highness, because God has called me to tell them of His love and forgiveness.”
On her return Holland, the Queen sent word for her to come and stay in the palace for a longer time. Princess Wilhelmina knew her Bible very well, and they spent many hours in her lovely chamber talking about the Lord.
She says, “I believe that Father’s prayers many, many years before were answered when God allowed the daughter of the watchmaker to carry His message of love to the Queen… I was able to spend hours with that great lady who had reigned over our little country in a time when two world wars had wounded Europe.”
They had a family game they played at Bible Study. Each member of the family had a Bible in a different language. Her brother, Willem usually had the original in Hebrew and Greek; she would have the English; Mother the Dutch; Her sister, Nollie, the French, and Betsie or Father, German. Everyone would take turns reading the same scripture in a different language.
In concentration camp in Germany, over 40-years later, Betsie was able to use that verse—and many more—to speak to the prisoners and the guards about God’s love.
The wonders of the stories go on. Her Father encouraged them to have opportunities to know people from other countries and other denominations. She said, “I learned more about Christians who did not have the exact beliefs in some doctrines which we did. As a little girl, I had always thought the Dutch Reformed Church was the only one which had the right theology. Others could love the Lord, I granted, but they really had a lot to learn!"
Her Father taught them about the Stundists in Russia. He said, “God has given Russia a great blessing by sending these Christians to that country. They live in the vast area of Siberia in a kind of community life where young and old are trained to glorify the Lord.”
More than half a century passed when she went to Russia and traveled to Siberia. There she found a lively church, so dedicated to the Lord that it was a light in that dreary land. These people were Stundists, and I remembered Father’s story and prayers.
A very old woman, stooped with age, a lifetime of extreme hardships written on her face, came to me and said, “Corrie ten Boom, I have prayed daily for you for years.”
I was astonished, “How did you know about me?”
“Once I got a Care package from Germany, One of the boxes was packed with a page from a Christian magazine, and I read about your experiences.
Blessed Money and Cursed Money:
Corrie learned the tradeof her father and was a licensed watchmaker. She was the first female watchmaker licensed in the Netherlands. She tells of a time when they were faced with a real financial crisis. A large bill had to be paid, and there simply wasn’t enough money. One day a very well-dressed gentleman walked into the shop and was looking at some very expensive watches. He pulled out the cash to buy a watch.
The gentleman began to tell the story of how his new watch was not working. He had purchased from another local watchmaker. Mr. ten Boom asked him to see the faulty watch. Within seconds, he was able to repair the watch. He asked for the expensive back and handed the money back to him. Mr. ten Boom then advised the customer to go back to the young watchmaker who sold it to him to buy the new watch from him.
Corrie was horrified. She already saw herself paying off the troublesome bill. Her Father reminded her that he had just preached the funeral of the young watchmaker’s father a few days before.
“Corrie what do think that young man would have said when he heard that one of his good customers had gone to Mr. ten Boom? Do you think that the name of the Lord would be honored? There is blessed money and cursed money. Trust the Lord. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He will take care of us.
“Yes Father”. I answered quietly. Who was I answering, my earthly father or my Father in heaven? Could I really trust Him—with an unpaid bill?
The workshop was opened every morning with prayer and Bible reading. If there were problems, they were prayed over. Father practiced what Paul advised: “…whatever happens make sure that your everyday life is worthy of the Gospel of Christ.” (Philippians 1:27 Phillips).
“I experienced the miracle that the highest potential of God’s love and power is available to us in the trivial things of everyday life.”
“Today I know that memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives when we let God use them become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do.”
“When Jesus takes your hand He keeps you tight. When Jesus keeps you tight He leads you through life. When Jesus leads you through life He brings you safely home."
So many times we wonder why God has certain things happen to us. We try to understand the circumstances of our lives, and we are left wondering. But God’s foolishness is so much wiser than our wisdom.
From generation to generation, from small beginnings and little lessons, he has a purpose for those who know and trust Him.
God has no problems—just plans.”
Fathers make the time to pray for and with your children. Make the time to read the Bible with them. Be an example of Godliness and Wisdom.
The United States of America is under judgment. We are at war at two fronts and a third front is looming. Gas prices are at an all time high. Part of our nation is under flood waters. Two other areas are in drought and burning with wild fires. Same sex marriages are declared legal in two of our states. Part of the nation’s crop is under flood waters. Tomatoes are contaminated. There are strange gods and strange religious views with strongholds over this nation.
When Corrie ten Boon grew up, Holland was a safe and free nation. In 1940, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands. In 1942, she and her family had become very active in the Dutch underground hiding refugees. They rescued many Jews from certain death at the hands of the Nazi SS. Corrie’s family were strong Christians.
The Germans arrested the entire ten Boom family on February 28, 1944. Corrie’s father died in Scheveningen prison. Betsie died in a concentration camp in Germany.
Corrie was released on Christmas Day of December 1944. Her release was a clerical error. The women prisoners her age in the camp were killed the week following her
After the war, Corrie returned to the Netherlands to set up rehabilitation centers. She wrote her most famous book, The Hiding Place (1971).
We, in America are protected and sheltered. Our churches are losing true Godliness and sanctification. As ministers of the gospel, are we preparing People for the challenges of the future? Very few are of the quality of the ten Boom family.
The Lord prepared this family for the ministry of the gospel of the Kingdom through a natural father who was also a spiritual father. Through the ministry and life of this father, the gospel reached sixty nations and people lives are still being changed through the prayers and ministry of the inheritance left to us by the prayers of this one Father.
1Cor. 4:17: “For this cause have I sent unto you Timothy, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.”
1 John 2:13-14: I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written unto you fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you that you have overcome the wicked one.”
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries, Inc.
Scripture quotes from King James Version and Phillips. Text from “In My Father’s House” by Corrie ten Boon. Comments are my own.