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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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“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

In my job I meet with many men who are stuck in life. Stuck by various means and ways, but always by their own doing. My solution is simple, I tell them to just turn to Jesus; and they say, “you do not know how hard that is.”
Now think of a child, the Bible says you must be child-like to have saving faith. I have five grandchildren; the young ones are so much easier to manage; they follow what I say because they completely trust me. The older grandchildren somewhat trust me, but they hesitate as they process my instructions for themselves. I find myself coaching them to do the right thing.

Much of my time in discipling men is to help them unlearn what they think they know and become a learner of the Bible and trust what it says. i.e. childlike faith. Although I have failed myself many times, Jesus has never failed me and yet I want to trust me before Him. I have NEVER found the Bible false or untrue.

A friend told me long ago, that I am my greatest enemy to me and my family. I have found this to be true as well. Praise God that He loves us with an unfathomable love and never gives up. Even the stuck guys will acknowledge the thread of God’s grace and mercy in their lives and yet they hold out.

The conclusion is simple. God’s ways are not our ways-they defy our logic, He is not bound by time and space-we are, He is not a consumer, yet we are. He is sinless and we are not. He will be our Savior and we want to believe that. He wants to be our Lord, but we would rather labor on our own terms. Yet, he sets the terms…the wages of our labor still leads to death. Now who is the fool?

My heart truly goes out to those guys stuck in life, it seems I want it more than they do. Like my older grandchildren they have to process life for themselves. I call that their dreaded freewill.

Finally, by enough trial and fail, I have come to some conclusions. God is right, His Word has proven true over and over. He has not, even cannot fail me. So, I resist my impulses to go astray. I gladly take on His yoke and become His learner; what better way to learn than to be yoked walking step by step right beside my teacher, Savior, and Lord. Once again, I have found his Word to be true and His way which is becoming my way – easy and light!

Today, God is calling you to come to Him and stop resisting or making up some fanciful terms that just delay. Become a learner, take on His yoke and walk in step with Him. In time you will take on His traits of gentleness and humility; and you will find rest for your soul.

Stan Risinger

Guest author Stan Risinger is the 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.

One comment on “Easy and Light

  1. I like how Diedrich Bonhoffer handled a conversation like this in the Cost of Discipleship.

    He places the burden on the man who is stuck by saying you must simultaneously believe AND act. This prevents the man from saying that he cannot turn because he’s now taking both of the actions required.

    Like

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