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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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The following is an excerpt from a sermon I preached back on June 14, 2020. As parents, I want to challenge you and to encourage you to consider this short verse in light of not only today’s trouble with the world around us, but I would like you to think and contemplate this verse in light of your home. In view of your day to day struggles within your family walls.

I pray you glean something from this today and truly may God bless you as you give it much consideration. The following paragraphs are a segment from the sermon.

Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? I Peter 3:13

Peter begins these next few verses with a rhetorical question.

“Who is there to harm you

Concern for harm creates fear. Difficult situations produce fear. Circumstances never seen before. We can totally relate to that today. These things bring fear. Peter’s question is a bit like Amos’s question back when we went through the book of Amos. Amos asked in chapter 3 verse 6:

“Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?

The answer….of course not.

(The trumpets were used for several things in those days, for an interesting look at the various uses of the trumpets in the life of a Jewish city, read Numbers 10:1-10)

Make a mental note also – that Amos is making it abundantly clear that disaster does not come, trouble does not happen outside the will of God.

Therefore, Christian, how should you and I respond, react, and contemplate today’s news from across this country? And as you ponder that thought let me ask the non-believers…what do you make of all that is going on in the USA and across the world today?

Does all that is happening make you nervous? Does it cause you any concern? Does it make you a bit anxious? Does the unknown or uncertainty of it cause you to fear? So the question that has to be answered today is “what do you fear?”

We don’t always know what God is doing. We know He is in control of all things but we don’t always know how or what way He may choose to use or by what means He may use? This is a massive struggle and a point of contention with our faith. When bad things happen and we can’t really explain it or understand it or justify it then we go straight into sin because we deny the Sovereignty of Christ.

The god (little g) we have created in our minds would never allow or cause such terrible things to happen so….it can’t be God (with a big G) that did this. One of the greatest examples God has given us of this very truth…is the story of Job. Many Christian’s know the general story of Job.

“Now there was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” Job 1:1

Job was a Godly man, he was a man of great possessions and lived a very blessed life. Yet in a matter of moments he literally lost it all. He lost his health. He lost his family except his wife. He lost his material possessions. He lost his career and his ability to make an income. He lost his credibility amongst his friends. His reputation was damaged. (When I say lost I mean they died his children died, his livestock died and his things got destroyed)

Job even begins, just as you and I would surely do, to question God. His friends pounded him that it was Job’s fault due to sin or unconfessed sin and Job insisted it wasn’t and His wife tried to convince him to just give up and die. In the end God asked questions of Job that he could not answer about creation and life and God Himself.

“Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.” Job 38:3

I heard a preacher one time preaching on Job and he said “God took Job on a nature walk.”

“Then Job answered the LORD and said; I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:1-2

Job said, You are God!

In the end Job is told to pray for His friends even though they were wrong and mean. And all that Job had and more was restored to Him. Yet, nowhere in the entire book of Job does God tell Job why.. as to what happened. God didn’t tell Job why he suffered. God didn’t tell Job why he lost everything. God didn’t tell Job why his children died. God didn’t tell Job why he allowed all the evil things to cause Job to suffer. God doesn’t owe His creation an explanation.

We don’t always get to know what God is doing through very difficult and scary circumstances. We don’t always understand why. What we need to know is that trouble and fear and tough circumstances draw us or should draw us closer to God! Like clutching something in the dark when you are afraid or scared to death. Trials in our life bring glory to God as Christians.

Otherwise, we would not come or look for Him. If you don’t think you are sick you don’t go to the doctor. Most American’s don’t take their car to the shop unless they think there might be a problem.

Today’s Christians are failing this test. Our country is in disarray. Our culture has pushed moral boundaries to the point we never dreamed possible. Civil unrest is at a boiling point. Murder has been legalized and renamed as an abortion, what was once right is the new wrong and what was unthinkable has become mainstream.

What Peter has written here to the Christians who were in a very scary time is going to be and is so important today. In His book “The Gathering Storm” Al Mohler has a list of chapter titles. These illustrate the storms which face us today.

Here are the chapter titles with my description in parenthesis for The Gathering Storm over

  • Western Civilization (external pressure to be like other countries, shocking laws passed in Canada, France and Great Britain)
  • In the Church (caving to culture at the expense of Sola Scriptura)
  • Human life (abortion and choosing who lives and who dies)
  • Marriage (giving new definitions dismantling the institution)
  • Family (removing authority legal threatening of parental indoctrination)
  • Gender and Sexuality (confusion and chaos)
  • Generational (softening today’s generation…creating gov’t dependency)
  • Engines of Culture (Hollywood and media)
  • Religious Liberty (can not exist if we are to be tolerant to all things)
  • Into the Storm (politicizing of the courts especially Supreme Court)

These are the very issues already on us and they are no longer hiding or masquerading their ultimate goal, the ultimate purpose and target. That is – to destroy and distort any and all Biblical truth. Truth about God and the human race. One race.

Satan, the ruler of the cosmos had set his sight on the total destruction of the Triune God. He lost at the cross of Calvary. Therefore, his only goal now is to take as many with him as possible to the deepest darkest pit of hell. The troubling part of this is that he seems to have a lot of willing participants.

Parents, what do you fear? What do your children fear? It is not too early or too late to talk to them about what they fear the most in this life. Be a good listener. Wives, ask your husband what he fears most in life and be a good listener. Husbands, ask your wives what she fears most in this life and be a good listener.

Until next time,

Terry

*All photography used on Parents Pasture is from Salem4Youth; the vast majority has been taken by students in photography class.

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