The Helping Hand for Winter (December – February) 2023-2024, titled “Faith that Pleases God”, is available for purchase in English and Spanish both physically from the SDB Center, digitally from our online store, and on Amazon for Kindle. Print copies should have arrived already to subscribers. Please contact us immediately if your copy has not yet arrived.
Subscribers to the print edition have also been informed by mail of a price increase for the publication for the new volume, which begins with this issue, in the amount of $2.00/issue. As of this issue, print copies of individual issues in the USA/Canada now cost $7, with yearly subscriptions in the USA/Canada increasingly accordingly to $28. International subscriptions have increased by the same amount to $8/issue, $32/annually. This increase, as we informed print subscribers, is due to rising costs in printing and mailing, as well as adjustments to the compensation of those who are actively writing and editing the publication. We are aware that this increase in price could be a burden to some subscribers, so we once again suggest that those struggling with the cost of the print edition consider the digital versions, which have retained their lower price point for the time being. As we have in the past, we encourage international subscribers who are concerned about price and the increasing unpredictably of international postal service to likewise consider the digital version. It is recommended that all subscribers, given this price increase, review their shipping addresses to insure prompt and correct delivery. If subscribers have any questions, they are encouraged to contact Director Nick Kersten.
Editor Steve Osborn introduces the new issue in this way:
In Sabbath School as a child, we sang a song that said, “Faith is just believing, what God said, He will do.” In all my years of biblical and theological study, that is the definition of faith I always come back to. We worship a God who loves to make and keep promises. When we trust Him, there is no limit to what He can do in our lives.
This quarter explores faith that pleases God. Any person seeking God must believe God exists and must know God rewards those who are seeking Him. We will learn additional information about faith that pleases God as we review the description of faith and observe faith in action. We will understand why it is so important to have faith that pleases God in our lifestyle of faith today.
Unit I, “Profiles in Faith,” has five lessons drawn from Ruth, 1 Samuel, and Matthew. As we review these profiles in faith, we begin to see faith in action: Ruth trusting that God would provide for her and her mother-in-law; David trusting that God would enable him to slay the giant Goliath; the women in Jesus’ genealogy showing how God’s plans unfold in ways we often least expect; Elizabeth and Mary trusting that God is sending the Christ Child to bring salvation to Israel; and the wise men trusting that God sent the Messiah for all nations.
Unit II, “Learning about Faith,” has four lessons drawn from Hebrews, Proverbs, 2 Chronicles, and Romans. The lesson from Hebrews assists our understanding of why “faith that pleases God” matters. Similarly, Proverbs admonishes us to have faith, trusting God and depending on God to enable us to live in faith. In 2 Chronicles God empowered Jehoshaphat’s witness to Judah that they need not fear or be dismayed because God was going to fight their battle for them. The lesson from Romans reminds Christians that through faith, their existence must not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewal of their minds.
Unit III, “The Righteous Live by Faith,” has four lessons drawn from Isaiah, Daniel, and Habakkuk. Isaiah reminds us how living by faith the righteous can see the power of God throughout all Creation; Daniel allows us to see how living by faith the three Hebrew boys trusted God to protect them in the fiery furnace and how Daniel, living by faith, trusted God to protect him in the lion’s den; Habakkuk living by faith received instructions reminding him to be still and wait on God because the righteous live by faith.
The contributors to the new issue are as follows:
Daily Bible Meditations
Cheri Appel loves to write, especially about our God, His Word, and His work in our lives. She is a retired Educator, living with her husband, Rob, in Palm Desert, CA, near her daughter’s family. Her community offers many opportunities to work with others and share her faith in Jesus Christ, her BFF.
Tiffany Anne Crowder (Rankhorn) grew up in the Boulder, CO (now Frontier-Carbon Valley) SDB Church. She currently lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband and son as she pursues a master’s degree in writing.
Jasmine Lynch is an Associate Pastor at the West Palm Beach Seventh Day Baptist Church. She is a retired educator from the Palm Beach County School District where she served as an English teacher for 18 years and Guidance Counselor for middle and high school for 18 years. She has two sons and four grand-daughters. Above all, she is a compassionate woman of God empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Kay Samuels is an active member of the Miami Seventh Day Baptist Church. She is striving to find out where God is working so she can join Him in what He is doing.
Understanding and Living
Ericessen Cooper is the pastor of the New York City SDB Church in Brooklyn, New York. He and wife Crystal have three children and a rambunctious grandson. He presently serves on the General Council of the SDB Conference, USA and Canada.
Norman Fearon lives in Florida with his wife Alethia and sons Norman Jr and Josiah. He pastors the Seventh Day Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale (FL).
Jennifer Lewis-Berg is active in the Riverside SDB church and lives in Riverside, California with her husband, Kurt. She is a retired school counselor and music teacher.
Steve Hinton is currently Pastor of the First Seventh Day Baptist Church of Hebron, located in Coudersport Pennsylvania. He is married to Lori and they have 3 grown children and 3 grandchildren with a 4th on the way this December.