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Terry Benge

Terry is currently serving the Lord as Executive Director of Salem4Youth Ranch Ministries. Terry and his wife Stacey have two children. Their son Nathan serves as a Deputy Sheriff and their daughter Jordan is currently pursuing her Master’s in Biblical Counseling. Terry currently preaches on the Ranch and has worked with teenagers for over 25 years as a coach, mentor and Youth group leader. Terry loves hunting and the outdoors.

 

Gabriel Jackson

Gabe is currently serving the Lord as the Residential Program Director at Salem4Youth Ranch. He has been involved in ministering to young people since he was a teenager – mentoring, teaching, church ministry, camps, retreats, and residential ministry. Gabe attended Lincoln Christian University and Columbia International University, graduating from CIU in 2002 with majors in both Bible and Youth Ministry. He and his wife, Nikki (also a graduate of LCU and ISU with degrees in Jr. High Education and Bible), are busy with 3 children in gradeschool and jr. high. Gabe is an avid fly fisherman and enjoys spending time outdoors with his family as often as possible.

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But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise. ~ Psalm 79:13

Parents Pasture is a blog site created primarily to minister to the families whose lives have intersected in some way with Salem4Youth Ranch. Psalm 79:13 is a verse that will be highly visible throughout this site as it speaks so pointedly to Christian parents. This statement was penned when God’s people were suffering difficult times, it is the final statement of a prayer to God for deliverance in trouble. From this simple sentence we can take three themes that should speak to us as we work to please God through the difficulties of parenting children.

The author, speaking on behalf of the people, recognizes their right relationship to God. They are His people, they are of His pasture. This implies a submission to God, and a relinquishing of control and pride. This is also a plea to God to remember them based on his possession of them; it is an appeal to a relationship that exists.

Second, the people look forward with faith and gratitude to the future acts of God. Their circumstances are dark, but they know to whom they belong, and they know that God is faithful and true. They look forward with trust and thankfulness for what God will do.

Lastly, they recognize the need to pass on this faith in God and gratitude for His works to their children. There is a generational focus here. They recognize that they belong to God, they trust Him to be their shepherd, and they promise to pass this faith on to their21317858_1525722784154815_5463899369374414339_n children and their children’s children in such a way that God will be praised for generations to come.

So it should be with us. It is our prayer that through this effort, the parents and grandparents who visit this site will be encouraged, taught, and challenged as they seek to follow God and raise Godly teenagers through difficult times. That we will all be able echo the thoughts of Charles Spurgeon when he wrote:

“We have a history which will survive all other records, and it is bright in every line with the glory of the Lord. From the direst calamities God’s glory springs, and the dark days of his people become the prelude to unusual displays of the Lord’s love and power.” (C.H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David)

 

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