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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 in the vocational training department of Salem4Youth Ranch as a wood working instructor. 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, jr. high, and high school. Gabe is an avid fly fisherman and enjoys spending time outdoors with his family as often as possible.


Stan Risinger

Former Chairman of the Salem4Youth Board of Directors, Stan is currently the Area Director of Men’s Discipleship for the West Central Illinois Man In The Mirror Ministry. When Stan came to faith in Christ God livened his spirit for evangelism and discipleship both locally and internationally. Stan is married to Julie they have four children and are blessed with five grandchildren. Stan and Julie have a love for missions, hospitality and family.

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Parents, you’ve heard it said more than once that reading your Bible is necessary or good. Reading your bible is a good practice. Unfortunately, we tend to hear this “to be a Christian to be a good Christian you must read your bible.”

If you and I only read our Bible to “be good” or to “do good” then my friends we are in desperate trouble!

I would like to draw a greater conclusion and that is reading your Bible is not just a good thing to do, it is critical to your life – like blood and oxygen is to the heart. Without truly studying and reading your Bible you will be anemic, you will be weak, you will be crushed, you will be no match for the daily perils of life, and most concerning, you will never fully know Christ.

36515573_1834825843244506_6825791146128572416_oII Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

In the Bible the book of Matthew the writer references the Old Testament writings over 50 times. He clearly knew the scriptures.

Know your Bible. “Devotions” is a bit of a sensitive subject. To have devotional time is good and I am not saying that it’s not. However, most “devotion” time and material is so shallow and watered down that it leaves you standing at the well with no water. Much of today’s devotional material is about how you should feel good about yourself or feel good about the day because it’s gonna be a good one. It’s just all in how you think, they tell us. It satisfies our Christian box “check” for the day yet all too often it leaves us exposed and naked to the deceptive nature of our heart and the holiness of God’s grace, therefore, missing the mark of devotional “time” altogether.

Here are some simple, brief definitions of “devotion.”

love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.
prayers or religious observances.
Source: Google online Dictionary

A real devotional time needs fervor, needs practiced like exercising, needs enthusiasm. It needs dedication to the purpose of knowing God better and more intimately and gang that just doesn’t happen in 5 or 10 minutes every other day.

Are you aware that your teenager notices when you are reading your Bible? Are you aware that your son or daughter notices when it doesn’t seem to make any difference in your life? Are you aware our kids are fully aware when we read a little “ditty” from the Bible and walk away unscathed?

Are you aware that your children should see36176030_1822943381099419_1445848547755819008_o the difference scripture is making in your life? Are you aware that you are teaching your children whether the Bible is necessary to life or not?

Those eyes are on us all the time. Preschool and Grade School time of life we as parents teach through control. However, as we move into early, middle and late teenage life we should be moving from control into an influence stage of parenting. And what better way to influence to teach our children than with good productive daily practices.

Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

Quit using daily tidbits to fit your daily purpose and start trusting and obeying and living from, and in, the living word of God….the Bible! You and I need to give this serious consideration.

What does your daily or weekly devotional time look like? What does it involve? There is an appropriate place for just some biblical positive thinking or encouragement. Sure. But that should never be allowed or intended to replace in depth reading and meditation on the word of God.

Book studies can be helpful. But to be honest with you they’re never going to reach their full potential and impact on your life if you are not having more Bible time than book time.

Until next time
For His glory not ours,

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