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Brokenbutstanding

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#THIS IS MY STORY

Introduction.
I have been thinking lately that I want my children to remember me as a woman who did not let herself be silenced and stood for what she believed in.  Over the years I have seen a lot of disrespect in the world for human life.  At times this occurs in the church as well.  I am no perfect person, far from it. I am a broken person and this is a small part of my story. If what I have written can serve to comfort just one single person, clarify someone’s mind, answer one person’s question, give a little hope it will all have been worth the tears, pain and confusion I have experienced, and no doubt will still experience, throughout the years.

My Family.
My parents were missionaries in Italy for over 50 years (John and Maureen Gilmore). As far as I was concerned the church they pastored was a second home and most of the people in it were my second family.  I can truly say I loved that church and its congregation. I think this made things more complex when the story I am about to tell began.

The beginning of something strange.
My dad was nearing 80 and he was realizing the time for him acting as full-time pastor was probably coming to an end. His idea was basically to remain in Italy and act as mentor to a new pastor (to be chosen and appointed by my dad, the church and of course the mission through prayer) in order to help him wisely lead the church he had before him. I remember there were two or three “candidates”. I had already moved away but I was in touch daily with both my parents and followed the situation from afar and also from a different perspective.  At a certain point something undefined, to my mind, began to take place. I can’t put my finger on it. But it began. The situation became unclear, complex and totally out of hand.  The final choice was made without my dad’s approval or opinion really – I think the Mission discussed things with some of the men in the church: in a way my father was cast to one side. I felt I was an insider looking on from outside. It was a very strange feeling. There was one candidate left I guess. I don't know what happened exactly to the others. 

The Mission, with which Daddy and Mummy served, had always stated, verbally, they could remain in the flat, the Mission’s property, for as long as they needed and wanted.
My parents did not have another house. They had given all their lives, as well as money, to the church and for the spreading of the Word. Daddy had never received support from the church itself. The Mission paid a minimum wage on a monthly basis. I know we lacked nothing but did not navigate in gold. A rather different scenario from other 'missionaries' today. The Mission owned the house they lived in as well as the church property. Although my parents did not pay rent they covered all expenses of the flat they lived in, such as light, gas and so on by themselves. The church looked after its own administrative expenses through the collection: tithing was encouraged but not forced.

Near Christmas 2009 (I believe that to be the year) daddy received an e-mail informing him that as from January 2010 his role as pastor would terminate and the house would be put for sale. There were financial difficulties in the Mission.That was what he was told particularly with regard to the house. A new pastor would take his place.The only candidate left of course!

I think this was one of the biggest blows my parents had ever had: basically they had nowhere to go. The Mission had no pension scheme for its missionaries, so they basically lost everything. Just like that. The emotional blow was the strongest. It left us all speechless. Helpless.

I sought for help in my church family back in my home town; amongst those people I had known for years and who had known me in the good as well as in the bad days. I wrote to quite a few of them asking them what was going on, what they thought about if and so on.  It was so strange. It was as though I could not communicate with them. If I had to represent that phase I would describe it as trying to make my way through a very thick fog while wading through a muddy swamp. It’s hard to explain.

My parents became isolated. When the new pastor was appointed my father was not even invited to the induction service, although he was living a 5-minute walk away from the church itself. It just went that way. I could no longer recognize people and a ‘system’ I had known for years.


The End.
Mummy and Daddy left alone one night by car. They had thrown most of their belongings away not knowing exactly what was going to happen next. They came to live with us for a while and then rented a small apartment.

In the midst of all this I can really say there were and are some wonderful people. During the last, complex months in Italy some people in the congregation attempted to find accommodation for my parents, however at the time we did not know that my mother, in particular, was having severe health problems and the whole situation of stress and hurt was too much for her to bear. I guess for some she was being unreasonable, but as the years have gone by it has become clear to me that if they had remained in Italy their psychological suffering would have been too much for them to cope with. I want to acknowledge this because I am grateful of the support they received at the time and do not want it to go unnoticed. The financial support of two sisters in Christ also allowed them to live independently for a short time since these lovely ladies paid my parents’ monthly rent whilst they lived in the same city as myself and my family. To these people goes my gratitude.

Sadly my mother’s health had a rapid decline and this affected my father too.  When we were no longer able to look after them in our home nor were they able to live in their flat, they had to move into sheltered care. Their conditions are worsening.

The Mission never got in contact with them again.  Erased.

Action.
Taking one step back. I had heard of John Mac Arthur and of his ministry, his organization, his literary works. The new pastor had been one of his students in The Master's Seminary. He had followed his teachings. He was already located in Italy working with Mac Arthur's Theological School.

Having come from a family where I had been taught to respect others, to communicate with others, to not do evil, I thought I would be able to openly communicate and thus possibly find some answers to clarify points that to me were totally unclear. I thought I would be helped to understand. Of course I wrote to the Mission, I wrote to Mac Arthur himself, to the new pastor… I wrote quite a lot! Initially I attempted to express my feelings but was ignored. Totally. I tried to get some reaction by stating that such treatment of people is shameful. The only answers I got were basically to keep quiet. And these were usually either from people I did not know or else from people I knew who possibly felt guilty? I was never abusive. Blunt yes, but verbally abusive never. Looking back only one or two felt my pain.

I used my Facebook page as well as snail mail and e-mail. Of course I was criticized by many and supported by few. I never received any answers from the Mission, nor from Mac Arthur and other people linked to him. I really wanted to know how you can reach the point of leaving two elderly people with nothing on the basis of what? I don’t even think some of them even knew of the existence of my parents! I wrote to the church back in my home city. I got an answer.

The new pastor sent me a letter signed by himself and some men in my dad’s ex-church who had known me since I was a child, telling me basically they wanted to live in peace but have nothing else to do with me. The letter also blamed my father for not having been available for a meeting on request. The reasons for this format of taking over a pre-existent church in this way are unknown to me. I do not even find it humanly acceptable let alone under a 'religious' point of view. To my mind there are no valid excuses either.

Confusion.
The congregation was told to have nothing to do with me and although some tried to stand up for me they were verbally silenced. Of course I could not be present since I live kilometres away. I was given the information in bits and pieces - the people who did so were very scared of what might happen to them if they were discovered!
It was as though fear had taken over. People were scared and aggressive, they had changed.

All this was puzzling. I could not put my finger on what was wrong but I knew I was missing an important piece in the puzzle. This was not a regular Christian scenario: it was a big mess. I could perceive fear, rebellion, confusion. I myself was confused.

Once I read that sometimes our pain and sufferings are so great that we are unable to pray; that is when God reads our hearts and hears the words that not even we can say.
I reached that stage. I have reached it many times. I shall no doubt reach it again in my life.

A glimmer of light.
One day I sat at the computer as I had done so many times before. I had searched for that missing piece in so many ways, certain that it was out there somewhere.
I googled: John Mac Arthur Sect.

I don’t know why I actually typed that last word, but I did. I still remember that moment: pages opened before my eyes! (http://www.angelfire.com/planet/ramshorn/studies/macarthurism.htm) That doesn’t happen with all Christian organizations you type, thank God.  Some of them have been mysteriously taken down.

In that very dark moment of my life I received an answer. It was a painful, unexpected answer, but it was the start of an important part of my life: a decision to take a stand which I knew would be more than hard but which I must take.

I was able to see certain kinds of things that would happen in the future to the church which my parents had lovingly pastored: the whole Mission was absorbed by MacArthur’s organization; the name of the church was changed slightly; many of the old members either left or were sent away; the Sunday School was taken over with the use of MacArthur materials. And the list could go on endlessly.

To this day….
I have been accused of being judgmental, of being vindictive. I have obviously been put on the black list and written off by many. I have heard so many pathetic excuses concerning my parents’ last days in Italy like “They didn’t answer the phone.” Or “They didn’t answer the doorbell.” No one thought of slipping a loving note in the letterbox! Or of asking themselves how they may have been feeling. Where was the empathy, the love, the understanding?

I have found that in life we tend to make excuses especially when we know we are at fault. Compassion and humility go together. They are not easy to nurture. I have had different people tell me that we must leave everything in God’s hands. I fully agree with this last statement, but I have also been taught that God uses his people to do His works and when we can no longer do anything, He steps in. This is what I believe: active Christianity not passive.

Now what….?
So why am I writing this? Is it to pay someone back? To make personal events public?
Not at all. I have been very careful in being respectful and not breach anyone’s privacy.
However, I do not want anyone to be treated like my parents were treated. I do not want this to happen again to anyone in the Christian world. That is the first point.

Secondly I think that Christians should be aware of many of the dangers in MacArthur’s organization. There is a lot of material available on the internet (certainly not written by me!). You may agree with it or disagree but it is there and and you are free to weigh everything personally.
http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2012/03/02/john-macarthurs-instruction-to-abuse-victims-aaaaargh-by-jeff-crippen/
http://paulspassingthoughts.com/2012/04/23/shame-on-you-john-macarthur/
http://forum.culteducation.com/read.php?14,76955,page=20
http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/exposes/macarthur/general.htm
Plus all the material on this website of course.
Pay heed to what your children are seeing, what they are learning: they are our Christian future! Pay heed to what you are being taught and learning too. This of course goes for me as well!

Thirdly I am sure there will be “victims”, if there are not already, in the future. People who will be confused, who will have been shunned, who will have a broken spirit and suffer psychologically, who will not agree with all that is taught and will try to take a stand. To those of you who may be in this position I just want to say that there are people who want to help you, listen to you and understand you to the best of their ability.

People who have truly suffered are not out to hurt others. Be aware of what is happening in the country of Italy. Ask yourself if you are happy to be part of a group/church/organization in which people are allowed to be treated in such a way.
Do not be passive. Choose knowingly.

And in closing…
Lastly, I want to say that in this long journey I am meeting and have met so many amazing people who have uplifted my spirit. I have not lost my faith in God.
In fact as the years go by I have come to understand and see how we are placed in the right place at the right time for the right purpose. It’s up to us to make it worthwhile or not.

I have tried to write facts. There are of course many other things which I have not said. All I want is for people to stop and think if all this is good. There are so many broken people out there and I am amongst them. Through our brokenness I pray God can bring some Light.

This is my story.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Of course there is so much more to be said but I had to start somewhere. Please feel free to ask questions. Bear in mind that this is an article I have posted which will go on to be translated into Italian. I have also noticed that many websites I had looked at, including victim forums, have been taken down. There is a lot less available supporting anti-macarthurites.

watchmanwakes

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks very much for telling us this story.  It's a sad one indeed.  And it corroborates the others who have testified to the coldness and lack of grace and love within Macarthur's organization.  This new pastor from The Masters Seminary treated your parents in a most heartless manner.  How are your parents today and where are they now?

You say that this new pastor that took over your father's church was "already working in Italy with Macarthur's theological school."  This sounds to me to be TMAI Italy.  Was your father's church taken over by Macarthur's Italian Theological Academy
Brokenbutstanding

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Yes, the pastor who was nominated was already working for TMAI Italy.The HQS of the school belonged to the Mission.Just like the church buildings.This meant a lot of financial savings for Mac Arthur and his organization: money they could spend on other things I guess. NOT helping my parents that is for sure.
I will tell you a short story: we had a piano in that flat and there was no way to bring it up north.It had belonged to my mother and had arrived to us from Wales on the death of her mum. I needed to get it physically brought down from the second floor.I asked a few of the congregation I was still in touch with to help.No one was available.In the end a NUN helped me and together with the only young man who had seen my parents leave alone and was shocked and three homeless men found thanks to the nun, I managed to get the piano here.With mainly the help of strangers and 600 euros.I wrote to the Mission and told them they could help financially but they answered there was no money.My parents were already here and I was able to surprise them one day.
No money for love.
My mum has cancer on part of her brain and is beginning to lose her memory.She has lost her hearing in one ear and has 30% in the other.She can basically no longer walk.She will often cry.Daddy can barely walk now.He is diabetic and has had a rapid decline lately.They are in a Christian Home in Uk in a small room with borrowed furniture.They are living off their savings and get a minimum pension in Britain.They have no support from their ex mission.The Mission they were in was taken over by the new pastor and soon he became the director.It is visible for all to see on internet.
bjw

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Thank you for having the courage to share your story with us, I am sure it will help others who may potentially be hurt by this cult in the future.  I know from experience it is not easy.  We have discussed four people on this forum who lost their lives because of MacArthur's teachings, so telling your story where others can make an informed decision may prevent others from suffering in the future, so know you are making a difference.

A few observations...

You mention it was not a Christian scenario, and this is what I noticed at first as well.  The first week I met these people I had a feeling something was wrong with it.  Their behavior alone confirms this.  It sounds like people at the church were being told to shun you and your family.  This is typical cultic behavior.

Your story also provides further proof that their claims of not being a denomination are false.  Even if they claim to not be a cult, they cannot deny this.  The churches that are part of Grace Advance and TMAI are all bound by the same doctrines and rules, use the same books, and probably report all their activities upward to Mark Tatlock.  They are trying to become a worldwide denomination and they might as well admit it, even if they don't want to call it Lordship Salvation.

As for the Italy academy, it looks like they are offering the "institute" vocational certificate program that has been in use since the 90s.  This usually includes 8 courses:  Old Testament I/II, New Testament I/II, Theology, Hermeneutics, Nouthetic Counseling, and an Exegetical Course (usually indoctrination from MacArthur's hardback reference library on Romans or another NT book of comparable size).  This is basically what minoring in Bible for a TMC student entails.  So, another way to shortchange the people who can't afford to come out to California for 5 years.  It's nothing but a money grab and a way to expand the cult all over the world.

Please continue posting on here with more of your thoughts as they come to you.  You never know who might be reading, and it may set someone free from a life of misery.  With the internet we can now validate the truth of each other's experiences.  Also, please tell your parents I will keep you and them in my prayers.

Brokenbutstanding

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Thanks BJW.I remember that daddy never has close contact with that Italian school but This dis not mean he was out to hurt theml.This Is why I am convinced there is something vert wrong because there was no GOOD.Two elderly people kicked out and literally left on the Street,a church that undergoes a division,fear,confusion,hostility..closure.The good there is we are bringing out ourselves.Individually.But here no one wants to know.It Is frustrating.I will tell my parents.Thanks a lot.
watch-pray

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Broken, it should help to know that what happened to your parents is not an isolated case, and they should not take it personally. They are suffering for Christ's sake and He will reward them one day:

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Matt. 5:10-12

Your godly parents can rejoice that they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ:

"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." 1 Pet 4:12-14


The way your missionary parents have been treated is not unusual these days. For the past several decades church takeovers have been happening in all denominations all over the world. This is part of the global Masonic conspiracy to destroy Christianity and replace it with a counterfeit Christianity which will unite with all other religions to usher in the Antichrist.

I have personally witnessed church takeovers in various denominations and they are usually very ugly.  Godly people are devastated, families are torn apart, friendships are ruined, the faith of young people is shattered and faithful pastors are forced out with nowhere to go and no financial support.  Freemasons then take over the church and subtly introduce false teachings and liberalize the church. 

It's important to have the perspective that this infiltration of the Church by evil men and departure from the true faith was foretold in Scripture:

"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." Acts 20:29-30

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition..." 2 Thes. 2:3
Brokenbutstanding

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Watch-Pray first of all  thank you for your words of encouragement.  I have decided to tell this story not because of the fact that my parents suffered (and as you can imagine all our family) and to pay anyone back, rather because I am convinced that it has happened amongst other things for a reason. What that reason is I may never personally find out with regard to other people, however in my life I have truly seen changes. Lessons are not always easy to learn but once we try to look at things from a different perspective and try hard to "find the good" well it can help somewhat ease the pain.
Of course the physical condition of my parents has nothing to do with Macarthurism or Missions. However I must say that if things had been different they would not have the financial issues they have and possibly, and I say possibly, we may have been able to keep them closer to us and provide 24/7/365 hours care - if the people who so easily took over had also been loving.  
I don't know how to put this into words that do not come out wrong: I see the situation as double: on one side there are the dottrinal issues, the theological issues and beliefs which I know my dad did not wholly accept and he is where he is to my mind because he did not compromise. Then there is the human part: the part that acknowledges other humans, other people regardless of all the details but because they are human and part of God's planet. Hope this view is clear.  I am struck by the lack of respect and heartlessness. I cannot fathom it. Yet the verses you wrote are true and clear, but I can tell you that when you are in a situation like this you also need the comfort of other people, understanding and Love.
Watch, you say there are others who have been thrown out, gone through the same things. Could you share my story with them? If there were support from others, others who have been in the system and tossed out maybe the message would be stronger. I cannot understand all this silence around events such as these.  No one speaks, everything is hush-hush...I myself have been branded in the years for speaking out. I felt a little better when I discovered there were other 'victims', others who had cried and feared and hurt.  Don't you think that if others took a stand it would be good? They don't need their name put public, but they need to tell their stories. It is the only way to start a healing process. It is only together we can stand. Thank you again and I hope all I have written is not to confused. Last night I received a call and realized my mum is just getting worse - I am a little distressed. Sorry.

Brokenbutstanding

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokenbutstanding
Thanks BJW.I remember that daddy never had close contact with that Italian school but this does not mean he was out to hurt them.This Is why I am convinced there is something very wrong because there was no GOOD.Two elderly people kicked out and literally left on the Street,a church that undergoes a division,fear,confusion,hostility..closure.The good there is we are bringing out ourselves.Individually.But here no one wants to know.It Is frustrating.I will tell my parents.Thanks a lot.
bjw

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Brokenbutstanding, watchpray and watchmanwakes probably have more info for you regarding other organizations that have been affected by this.  However, let me give some input regarding the second part of the problem you mentioned, which is the people involved.
 
Many were subjected to a very lengthy mind control process, as you probably know from the other threads.  Also, Nouthetic Counselors keep confessional folders of everything you open up about during a session.  Some have left the organization but are afraid of retaliation, since the ministry has personal information on them.  I personally have three friends who no longer speak to me and want nothing to do with anyone from the time they knew me, because they now have families and do not want to deal with any problems.  In my final days there I had a private detective follow me and was falsely accused of a crime.  Something similar happened to a friend of mine.  Make no mistake, this is not a Christian ministry, and they do not follow a "turn the other cheek" philosophy.  List 3 that they follow says they must "guard" Lordship Salvation to be saved, and this is taken very seriously.
 
As for other organizations that suffered a similar fate to your church, the churches in the immediate vicinity of TMC have mostly been taken over, with TMC and TMS staff running the churches with an occasional intern from the college being allowed to be a guest pastor.  They are monitored heavily by the main organization.  Some forego night services so members can attend GCC.  They are allowed to keep their names (Community, Bible Church, Baptist, EV Free, etc.)

They have been on damage control as of late by having MacArthur give sermons against Freemasonry and globalism, just so they can trot out the quotes when someone stumbles onto sites like this.  One former member of this forum even put a link to a MacArthur sermon on masonry on her site.  However,  when you research this further it is obvious this cult has many hidden layers.  I highly recommend reading both this site and watchpray's site, there was much that I had no clue about before I saw it on here.

Brokenbutstanding

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Thanks BJW.It is hard to believe isn't it when you find yourself thrown into the midst of it all.When I mention things to friends they don't want to know.
bjw

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokenbutstanding
Thanks BJW.It is hard to believe isn't it when you find yourself thrown into the midst of it all.When I mention things to friends they don't want to know.
I have ran into this same problem, people do not want to know. There have been people on the net defending MacArthur claiming they were helped by a book, sermon, or program he did. They should realize it works like a mouse trap, the cheese tastes good so that you get taken in a little at a time. These things are supposed to be helpful to you so you will get deeper involved.

You later learn they define their terms different from Christianity. Grace means the opportunity to commit to a life of works. Faith means obedience. Fellowship means being absolved of confessed sin so God will hear your prayers and you will stop having bad things happen in life. Accepting Christ as lord means entering a commitment where you increase the amount of good works in your life. The atonement is simply Christ dying so we can resurrect. You later learn the cheese in the mousetrap was not what you thought it was and you are in a group that has redefined the terms Christianity uses.

Hopefully through the internet people will learn you can't just rely on what you find in a bookstore, hear on the radio, or see delivered in an emotionally charged sermon to form an opinion on this group. If people knew he defined these things this way or how they will be dealt with later most would not get in. The loaded language is one clever way people get ensnared. If these people who don't want to hear the truth knew this is what they will later be taught these words mean I'm sure most would give MacArthur up, but getting them to believe it is the challenge.

Brokenbutstanding

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Challenge. I am ready or at least I am going to give it my all.  I will be finishing the Italian version of the article and once it is online I shall have to monitor my FB page and emails closely. Last time I really stirred the dust they got into the account and read emails to know what was going on. I happened to find out by chance. Later they did worse. The IP numbers were located in Rome and Sicily. Bingo. 
Callie

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@brokenbutstanding,

The heartbreaking damage your parents and you experienced from this MacArthurite church is being seen around the world. I am so very sorry.

I describe it as Salem Witch Trials II.  It happened in my California church, multiple times over. Any dissent or use of critical thinking skills was punished. People were dragged into meetings (men and women, couples, highly-educated people, professionals, wealthy people).  Just bizarre. Family after family fled. People fled quietly. One woman - the first to be publicly disciplined - refused to come back to my church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley (California) and she was disciplined before all (she wasn't there) for leaving! A married, professional, good and godly Christian was troubled by this MacArthurite church and wanted out. Hundreds of people were told to harass her! The pastors/elders told us they had "worked with her for a long time".  They had berated her for a long time and screamed and yelled at her, according to my interview with her.

Good and godly Christians were and are lied about, falsely accused, and ordered to be excommunicated and shunned. 

I hope you get a Twitter account.  You can get a lot out in 140 characters to many people.  You can also gain twitter followers, follow others, and use hashtags such as #JohnMacArthur #Excommunication #MastersSeminary

People are really catching on to this viciousness.  And it is heartbreaking. I will be praying for you. I went through it myself. Take care.
Brokenbutstanding

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Dear All who have read my story and written kind words, thank you so much. I am writing to inform you that John Gilmore, my dear father, passed away peacefully at the end of January 2017 in a nursing home in UK. My dear mother, Maureen Gilmore, passed away at the end of May 2017.  I have been left with a great loss but I am not going to step out of my fight against injustice.  My parents were deeply hurt and wounded and this must not happen to others. If I can do anything I will do it.  Please do not keep silent, keep on speaking and warning others.

Deborah Gilmore
watchmanwakes

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Deborah, So sorry to hear of your great loss.  I was thinking about you not long ago.  I'm sure that Christians were warned about Macarthur from your story.  Though he continues to deceive many, I believe some with eyes to see and ears to hear have been awakened as to Macarthur's true operations by the testimony of Christians unafraid to tell the truth.  You will always have friends here at this forum and don't hesitate to comment further.  God bless. 

"There is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again...but...if a man die, shall he live again?" (Job 14:7-14)

"For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the later day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another" (Job 19: 25-27).
Brokenbutstanding

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Thank you, Watchman. It has and is indeed a difficult time because although I know they are in Glory I miss them a lot and my heart aches.  
Here is the tribute
http://www.heath-church.org/missionary-outreach/missionaries/john-maureen-gilmore/

They walked out of this world in silence, accompanied by few people. All the years of sacrifice and love went, to my mind, unrecognized in facts but with many empty words.  Not that it matters in the end but it did make me stop and think.  I will of course continue contributing to the forum.  

Thank you again, God bless.
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