We will follow two parallel accounts in this scene.
First, we will follow the story of Abraham and his descendants as they enter Egypt. We will also
see how God sets the stage for the creation of the nation of Israel and how the channel for the
Second, we will look at the story of Job and reflect on the “problem of evil.”
Week 2: Day 1
Today’s reading is Genesis 12-13
-God promises Abraham that he will make him a great nation and bless other people through
him. How might this promise lay a foundation for the biblical emphasis on the way God’s
people should treat their enemies, a theme developed in both the Old and New Testaments?
Act 1 showed us that rebellion against God is the central conflict of the biblical narrative. It also
showed us that while God punished those who sinned, he also displayed mercy as he began his
great plan of salvation.
Act 2 is the story of God establishing a covenant people and being faithful in his relationship
This video will go into the settings, main characters and plot summery for Act 2.
Plot summary for Act 2
The plot for Act 2 can be summarized in three phases:
1) Rising action
2) Falling action
3) Sustaining action
As you go through Act 2, use the lens of “God’s covenant people” to help interpret the story.
Have you ever wanted to read through the Bible in a year?
Maybe you’ve tried and somewhere along the way, life got overwhelmingly busy or perhaps you tried reading it straight through from Genesis to Revelation and simply lost your motivation or desire to stick with it, because all you saw were random stories and fragmented historical accounts, instead of the Grand Story of Jesus Christ.
If that’s you, I want to invite you to join me and read through the Bible chronologically.
Deaf 316 is utilizing the CSB Day by Day Chronological Bible in hopes to help you experience the grand narrative of God’s Word. The books, chapters and verses of this Bible are arranged so you as the reader can follow the story of Scripture, day-by-day, from beginning to end. This will help you understand the flow of events and how the grand narrative of Scripture applies to everyday life.
The cool thing about this Bible is that you don’t have to start January 1 st of any given year. It is set up as days rather than dates which means you can begin this Bible reading plan at any point in the calendar year.
Deaf 316’s daily videos will coincide with the daily guided readings. Each day, Dr. George Guthrie, the author of the guided readings, will provide you extra insight through details and reflective questions to consider as you follow along with the Bible text. Deaf 316’s videos will provide sign language interpretation of Dr. Guthrie’s daily reading introductions, not the Scriptures.
Understand you can also use any translation of Scripture. This Bible is the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), but if you prefer NIV, NASB, ESV, etc., you can use the guided daily readings with your preferred Bible translation.
I hope you feel excited and encouraged to take the next step and make today the day you start your read through the Bible in a year journey.
Order your copy of Day-by-Day Chronological Bible by Dr. George Guthrie below:
Here you’ll find a detailed explanation of Deaf 316’s grand vision, starting with where we came from, where we currently are, and where we feel God is leading us.
From an island to the Deep South
The idea of Deaf 316 Ministries casually began in 2015 as my husband Andrew and I were finishing a year of living on an island in the pacific. We realized we were nearly done with our volunteer teaching year and had to ask ourselves, “what’s next?” We had no job prospects, little money and no plan. Thankfully right before we returned to the United States, Andrew secured a job which would take us into the heart of the next step of our journey – Columbia, SC. Because of the great need for sign language interpreters across the country, I knew I would be able to easily find work for myself.
A new idea
After a few months in SC and working freelance for two different agencies, I thought about this casual idea we had while on the island for a nonprofit start up and out of frustration asked God boldly, “What is it you want me to do?!” I don’t think I have ever in my life heard the voice of God more clearly and with more direction and force than I did on that afternoon in our apartment. I grabbed my computer as ideas began to flood my mind and in a short time, I had several pages typed out and a heaviness in my heart wondering how in the world will this happen.
Fortunately for me, I didn’t make up the ideas and the reality that because God gave it to me, He would surely guide my every step moving forward. The ideas were innovative, unique and completely unaccomplished by anyone serving the population of the deaf, both reached and unreached by the gospel in the world. The first step was to write devotionals, followed by translating that content from English into written American Sign Language (ASL) and then finally filming myself interpreting them in ASL. These are the very devotionals that now appear on the website.
Going all in
In 2017 I quit my job to work full time on this ministry and in 2018 we moved forward to obtain nonprofit status. We were very focused about wanting others to perceive us with the same serious fierceness that we felt inside. We also moved back to Texas to be close to our support network. In October of 2018, Andrew and I went all in. He quit not just his full time job, but stepped away from his career in order to partner with me in the workload and also with childcare for our son.
First step: Current status
In January 2019 the ministry and website went live. We began adding devotionals that are uploaded every week. We also started fundraising full time in hopes for others like you to partner with us and understand that this isn’t a hobby or a casual idea, but a vision and ministry no one is pursuing to reach deaf people with the gospel. Otherwise, they end up lost, wandering and separated from God for all eternity.
Leaning on God
It’s been a challenge, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. The beginning. The grand vision isn’t even close to being accomplished.
So just how big is Deaf 316’s vision?
Ummm, big. Well, big would be nice. It’s more than that. It’s impossible really. At least under my own human power. But like I said before, it’s not my vision, it is God’s. And He has the power to achieve it.
If this project was easy enough, I wouldn’t need God. Too many people run away from the assignments God gives them because they think they are too big, so they dream small and use their own power. Nobody likes to ask for help, or worse, feel helpless. After all, if they can do it themselves, they won’t need help, let alone God’s help.
If it sounds easy, it’s not big enough.
Next Steps: The Grand Vision
Now that you know where we came from and where we currently stand, see below for the next steps in order to accomplish Deaf 316’s grand vision.
Step 2: Translate existing content
One of the biggest problems facing the unreached deaf community is the lack of biblical resources available to them in their heart language. As a hearing person, there are so many resources at our disposal that we take for granted to grow in our walk with Christ. There are books, audiobooks, podcasts, blogs, commentaries, sermons and the list goes on and on.
Sure, deaf people can read, but ASL is not structured in the same format as written English. Their language has no verbal or written components, it is purely visual. There are a lot of nuances in the written English language that do not translate in a visually clear way into ASL.
There are a few organizations currently working hard to translate the bible into a signed format so then it can also be translated into other sign languages around the globe. This is amazing and I am so happy those organizations are doing that much needed work.
However, there is a lot of content that is being pushed aside as well when it comes to really diving deep in allowing for understanding and clear comprehension to take place among deaf seekers of the truth. As a hearing person, if we don’t understand something we read in the bible, we have a limitless supply of resources to turn to. The deaf do not.
Books can be a tremendous resource to both the new and seasoned Christian. However, because of the language barrier, few deaf individuals routinely read books, let alone Christian ones. We aim to remedy that by translating books into sign language videos, much like how the hearing community utilizes audio books.
Have you ever had a question about what you just read in the bible? Well, no problem. You can just turn to your trusty bible commentary on the shelf or perhaps online. The deaf do not have that option. Much like the general Christian books we plan to translate, we desire to do the same with bible commentaries.
While being involved in a local church is great and recommended, we recognize the benefit of utilizing the sermons of other biblically sound pastors as well. Unfortunately, that is another resource the hearing world takes for granted. We plan to translate the expository sermons of both local and nationally known pastors that have proven their commitment to preaching the Word of God.
Given the technological advances of our time, great biblical resources exist in a variety of forms outside of traditional media, such as online blog posts/articles and podcasts. Our goal is to translate any and all of these biblical resources, regardless of its original medium for the utilization of the deaf community.
As you can see, Deaf 316 desires to provide a myriad of content to deaf users in ASL in the form of visual books, commentaries and other rich resources, so as they are learning the gospel, these other tools can be used to assist and equip them to understand scripture in the most profound way.
Step 3: Provide ASL courses – Limited supply, too much demand
I hear it time and time again… “Oh wow, I would love to learn sign language! But I don’t have the opportunity to take a class.” Or “I’m on a 600 person wait list.” This reality saddens me greatly. If only there were resources that fully engaged those hearing individuals feeling the tug to learn ASL, but face limitations in being able to actively do so.
Deaf 316 feels passionately about placing knowledge in the hands of hearing people who feel called to learn the language in order to communicate with a family member, fulfill the desire to learn another language, or even better, fulfill a calling to engage deaf with the gospel. There are a few online resources that are fairly in-depth when it comes to learning ASL, but the need is great and we want to help fulfill that need too.
More specifically, we want to equip other believers with the tools they need in order to engage the deaf community.
So how would we accomplish this?
At the time of this writing, the idea is that we would use a combination of written material and video classes, as well as the utilization of virtual live instructors. We would also provide in person classes at churches who wish to participate. The course material would go further than just teaching language skills, but would also go into the specifics of deaf culture and deaf ministry in order to engage the deaf successfully for Christ.
Step 4: Translate into other sign languages
Wait, what? Other sign languages? Isn’t there just one?
Nope. Contrary to popular assumption, sign language is not universal. American Sign Language is most prevalently used in, you guessed it, America. Nearly each country worldwide has their own sign language created to fit their unique language needs and cultural intricacies.
Because Deaf 316 cares deeply about the need for biblical resources to be available worldwide to all deaf peoples, we hope to provide separate versions of the ministry website that contain translated content in other sign languages. In other words, we hope to someday have different versions of the website such as Deaf 316 China, Deaf 316 Uganda, Deaf 316 Russia, etc. You get the idea.
Step 5: Boots on the ground – Our own backyard
Right now, Deaf 316’s focus is connecting users online to the gospel through devotional content and other soon to come biblical resources. However, we feel led to take it a step further by helping to start local in-person church sponsored ministries. In this scenario, Deaf 316 would act in a consulting role to help churches who desire to reach the deaf start successful ministries.
What would this look like?
For starters, we would try to change the perception that all a church has to do in order to have a “deaf ministry” is to simply provide a single interpreter and boom!, now they have a deaf ministry. Unfortunately, that is not enough.
Many deaf people who attend church, which is not many, come away from a Sunday sermon with limited understanding. This is caused by a variety of factors. For one, interpreters cannot possibly catch and interpret everything that is said. While very skilled certified interpreters can catch more than others, it is never 100%. This is because an idea or concept that only takes a single sentence (or word) in English to convey, might take several in sign language, which takes more time. Now the interpreter has to somehow catch up, possibly missing some information. To mitigate this problem, they might not take as much time expounding upon the info in order to keep up, thus leaving the deaf with less understanding.
Compounding this issue further is the reality that most interpreter services end there. This leaves them with no access to Sunday school programs, weekly bible studies, discipleship and potentially pastoral care.
Deaf 316 aims to help churches realize that in order to bring deaf people in, keep them there, and disciple them so that they actually begin to grow in Christ, it can’t end with service interpretation. It only starts there.
Step 6: Boots on the ground – Overseas
If I’m honest, a major issue in my heart brings me back to the place where God led me to the realization that deaf people were lost…overseas.
What if Deaf 316 could have a global impact with real face to face people outreaching to the deaf all over the world? This vision includes boots on the ground missions and evangelism connections. There are not many engaged in carrying the good news to the ends of the earth for the deaf and we want to change that. Our hope is to train those with that desire and equip them for field missionary work in order to have an even greater impact among lost deaf peoples.
Step 7: Overcoming access to technology
These resources are truly going to be great, specifically for those that have internet access. After all, the core of this ministry is a website. But what about those who do not have access to the web or even a computer? We know in every community, locally and internationally, whether in a bustling city or a rural village without electricity, deaf people are everywhere. Many of them live in places where internet and electricity are not common luxuries.
What can be done?
These resources that are created will have little impact on them if they don’t have any way to view or use them.
While ideas may change and evolve over time, one idea is to download all ministry content onto a weatherproofed tablet computer paired with a solar charging device in order to have access to these resources in the language they know. They would also need the ability to contact us for any tech issues they may have. Ideally we would have a missionary in the home country that could be a point of contact for tech and content updates.
Now there may be deaf in some of these isolated communities worldwide that have minimal language skills or even no language. This could consist of simple home signs they invent with those living life around them or very little to no language at all. I have met a few deaf individuals who match this label in the United States and I am confident if they exist in the U.S., they most certainly exist in the most remote cities, villages or even bustling cities worldwide.
The goal in these situations would be to have local missionaries in their area live and work with those who have suppressed language and give them language. When language exists, knowledge of the gospel can thrive.
Why so big?
I know all of this may sound grand, and quite frankly, impossible, but we serve a big God. If the goals for this ministry seemed easily attainable, then that would be an insult to God. The goals and vision for this ministry are purposefully so ambitious, that they would be unattainable without God’s help.
That is what Deaf 316 Ministries is, God’s ministry.
Deaf 316 Ministries is at ground zero with a basic website and one employee. This is a very exciting time for the ministry and we are asking the Lord to provide the necessary resources to get this ministry off the ground and running so the deaf can start experiencing God’s love and be reached for the gospel.
We need your help!
Now that you know a little more about how this ministry started, where we stand and where we want to go, please consider talking to God about the possibility of partnering with us.
What we need:
We are in need of funding to not only run the website, but to also hire and train staff to fulfill Deaf 316’s mission. We can only grow as big as funding allows, and as you now know, we have BIG goals!
Experienced people like you.
We are also in need of people who have experience doing this kind of work. That would include sign language interpreters as well as people who have experience in the ministry and nonprofit sector. This could be in a consultant role or payed position (funding permitting).
Awareness of other great biblical resources.
We are always on the lookout for great biblical tools to translate. If you know of a book, sermon, podcast, blog post or some other resource that you think would be beneficial and should be translated, please let us know and direct us to that material.
Please pray for us, this ministry and the deaf that need to hear, or rather “see” the gospel in their own language, sign language.
Answering the call
Are you willing to partner with us and receive the joy and blessing of bringing the gospel to the deaf? If so, please CONTACT US.
Maybe you know someone who may be interested in helping, or perhaps you are a business owner or church that is interested in corporate sponsorship. Please reach out to us.
If you have read this far, at the very least please pray for the ministry, the deaf who are dying lost, and that the gospel of Jesus Christ would advance in the deaf community.
For information on how to become a financial partner, check out our SUPPORT PAGE.
For a general overview of the need and how Deaf 316 Ministries aims to meet those needs, please check out our ABOUT PAGE.
5 “This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
Imagine yourself in elementary school science class. A beautiful white carnation is placed in a tall thin vase with water and put on your desk. Each one of your classmates is given their own flower to gaze upon independently. Your teacher tells you to admire its pure beauty. You look at the delicate petals and intricacies of its shape. You see its radiance. Just as you are smiling in your childlike wonder, your teacher walks up to your desk and squeezes several drops of blue food coloring in the vase. She explains part of your classwork for the next several days will include recording observations of your flower. The next day as you arrive to class, you notice your flower has maintained its healthy stance, but the color is no longer white, but blue! All your classmates cannot believe it! Just a day ago your flower was natural in color and a few drops was all it took to alter the edges of the flower, dramatically changing its appearance.
Think of your heart as the beautiful white carnation and your sin as the food coloring. Sin originates inside us and seeps outward, much like the discolored edges in the flower. Sometimes the appearance of sin is dramatic, while other times it’s so slight we nearly deceive ourselves.
Sin taints our human shade much like food coloring drops alter a flowers pigment. You see, the colored drops absorb into the stem of the flower and transform the outer flower shell into something different. When we sin, we are transformed from looking like Christ, to looking like the world.
“Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
Sin can lead us to have various responses, depending on our level of denial. On one hand, we immediately recognize our need for repentance. On the other hand, we deny any trace of dirt. Leaving it unconfessed is dangerous.
ADAM & EVE
When God created Adam and Eve, they were undefiled. Sin had not yet entered the world so they lived in harmony with the blessings God gave them, unaware of the dangers of temptation lurking in the garden. God gave them only one rule; eat anything you want from anywhere in the garden you want, except that tree in the middle of the garden. God named that tree the “tree of knowledge of good and evil.”
Well one perfect day in Genesis 3:1-2, Eve is doing her thing, minding her own business, when she comes face to face with the tempter, Satan. “Did God actually say, you shall not eat of any tree in the garden?” Satan uses God’s own words against Eve in hopes to confuse her and make her question what she really remembered hearing. Satan’s words crumbled in Eve’s response, “We may eat of the fruit of the garden, but God said, you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”
Satan goes for shot number two, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5). After Eve listens to Satan’s pitch, she gazes at the tree and suddenly sees the fruit’s lush appeal. So she eats, gives some to Adam and he eats, then like the flip of a switch, it occurs to them they are naked and need clothes.
Sin was born.
It is of course sin which causes division between us and God, but God willingly forgives if we seek it mercifully. Worse can befall us when we live in denial to our sin, not making much of it.
Remember 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” Even when it is hard to admit, we MUST confess our sins. This is a stark contrast to verse 10, “If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” By living in arrogance we deny sin and therefore miss out on the opportunity for the cleansing and wisdom that would follow if we seek after His purity.
Living in denial and letting sin remain unconfessed only hurts you. The process of renewal in Christ can be challenging, but if you let Him, He can wipe your slate clean and create peace and joy within your soul.
“In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus.”
“When I am alone, give me Jesus.”
“When I come to die, give me Jesus.”
When I think, speak and sign His name, a harvest of emotions surface. I want to hold on to the power of His name. The greatest cataclysm in this life is the awareness of so many “Christians” existing in the world. Those who attend church week after week, those who have a general belief in God, yet sadly those same neighbors, friends, coworkers and family believe those factors are enough to identify themselves as a “Christian.” Where is the passion to live with Christ-like conviction and purpose? Where is the urgency of pursuit and refusal to walk through each day suppressing the joy of the Lord in your heart given to you by Christ when He made you new? We express our love for Him, but we are more satisfied in going about our day to day, loving only ourselves.
I’m learning more and more that the days I don’t start with Jesus and spend time with Him, my flesh suffers. He deserves the highest honor by the first fruits of my time, but it is more than what He yearns for me to do. It truly has become a deep tangible desire in my being, to place Him above all else and really know Him as a close intimate friend.
It is not merely enough to go to church once a week. It is not merely enough to say a prayer and be baptized. It is not merely enough to ask and hope your needs will be fulfilled. Would you eat only once a week? Would you bathe once a week? Would you talk to your best friend only once a week? In order for your body to remain healthy physically, we must eat appropriately and practice good hygiene. To grow in relationship with our family and friends, we must communicate and spend time together. To have a solid growing fruitful connection with Christ, He MUST become a priority. He must reign over all else.
The term “Christian” comes from the Greek word christianos, a word formed from the Roman style meaning, “an adherent of Jesus.” This literally means those “stuck to” Jesus.
This term was not commonly used until after His ascension. Are you “stuck to” Jesus? Do you believe He is with your every step, every word and every action whether minuscule or significant of every day?
2 Peter 1:10 urges us to consider our options. “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” We can choose to follow Christ or not, but if you say “yes,” your daily growth should be exponential.
It is time to wear our “Christian” royal sash proudly. We have the richest gift by choosing to follow Him. His riches are unfolded every moment of the day if we seek and earnestly desire to walk close as a brother with Him.
In the gospel books of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, we meet the twelve disciples. Nearly all of the accounts of the calling of the disciples are similar in nature. Jesus chooses them, greets them in person commanding them to, “follow me,” and immediately these men stop what they are doing and abandon their post to be with Jesus. James and John even leave their father to follow Him. “Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.” Matthew 4:22
Some other examples of obedient people in scripture are these:
In Genesis 6 we see one of the first examples of an obedient believer. Abraham was told in Genesis 6 to “leave your father and mother and go to the land I will show you.” He did not argue, He simply took his family and left.
The Apostle Paul said “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
Jesus even spells out to a crowd in the book of Luke, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26
I recall an instance in my life many years ago in which I knew God was calling me to walk away from a friendship. It was a difficult decision. This friend and I were very close, but every time I saw her, I was put in compromising situations. I knew the Lord was asking me to cut ties. I did and it was a lonely time in my post college years. After many months of absence from this friend, the Lord blessed me with friends who, to this day, continue to build up my life and consistently point me towards the Father. These friends did not ask me to choose between my faith convictions and the world. A true follower in the faith will come along side you, they will pour into you with truth and they will always point you to the One who holds tomorrow.
In closing, think about these three questions:
What would it take for you to live with reckless abandonment for Christ?
What are you willing to sacrifice to be His child?