Questions for Reflection: November 10, 2019

On Sunday, November 10, 2019, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Providence (Esther) – Providential Flip” from Esther 5-7. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. Can you remember a time in your life when you or someone you loved experienced circumstances that felt much like random luck or mere chance? Share some about that time.

2. Bruce said, God, is the Lord of the random, that God’s providence is always on duty. Name some ways that are demonstrated in the story of Esther.

3. What influenced Esther to shift from hesitation to determination? What lessons might there be for you and me today?

4. What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?  Elaborate.

5. Why is pride such a dangerous attitude to have? How have you witnessed pride creating havoc in someone’s life…or you own?

6. How does the concept of divine providence fall short of the notion of fatalism or determinism?  Explain how the theological concept of concurrence sheds light on this issue. Why can these principles be so hard for us to grasp?

7. God is always at work, always in control, always moving in circumstances and events.  Even when He seems absent, He’s present.  Spend some time in prayer asking God to help you trust Him even when things are difficult and confusing.

Sneak Peek: Sunday, November 10, 2019

Have you noticed?  The culture seems to be pushing things earlier and earlier. At the end of October, I saw major stores selling Christmas items at 50% off.  I also saw winter gear (coats, gloves, etc.) going for 50% off.  We used to always see that stuff discounted in December and January. (Tongue in cheek) there’s plenty enough change going on all around us without tampering with and re-writing all the sacred laws of sales.  Yikes!  Let me know if you see any Easter clothes on sale this month. 😉

Sunday we will continue our Providence series with a message entitled, “Providential Flip”. We will be tackling chapters 5-7 of Esther so please read through those chapters before Sunday. Keep an alert eye out for all the providential evidence of God’s hand.

Please be sure to get involved with the Mission Norman Christmas Shoppe as we seek to touch the lives of 600 kids. 600! Visit wildwoodchurch.org/missionnorman for more info AND check out the latest Wildwood podcast (wildwoodchurch.org/thisiswildwood) to hear some great testimony about how God works through the Christmas Shoppe.

A note for future reference…mark your calendar to assist with decorating the church at noon on Sunday, November 24 (free pizza and drinks provided).  Janet and I will be in Sacramento, CA at a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember, so help make up for our absence.  The more hands, the merrier!  If you can lend a hand (it’s a big job) RSVP to rebekahkey@wildwoodchurch.org

Stay warm and stay dry and, Lord willing, we’ll see you on Sunday!

Bruce

Episode 16: This is Wildwood! For the Community with the Mission Norman Christmas Shop

Episode 16: This is Wildwood! For the Community with the Mission Norman Christmas Shop
For the Community

 
 
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Stephanie Berryhill, Rebekah Key, Janet Hess, Sue Tegeler, and Mary Anderson help with the Mission Norman Christmas Shoppe

Wildwood is For the Community following Jesus together with us to the glory of God.  One expression of this is our hosting of the Mission Norman Christmas Shoppe each year.  On the podcast today are the directors of the Christmas Shoppe (Janet Hess and Rebekah Key) together with key volunteers Stephanie Berryhill, Mary Anderson, and Sue Tegeler to share with us some of what God has done in year’s past, and how we can get involved this year!

 

Questions for Reflection: November 3, 2019

On Sunday, November 3, 2019, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Providence (Esther) – Down and Dirty” from Esther 3:1-4:17. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. Think of a time in your life when you faced very difficult circumstances, circumstances that maybe disoriented and overwhelmed you as you faced them.  If you are comfortable, share some about that time.

2. In life when we face times where we can feel God seems invisible and disconnected from us, what biblical truths help to counter those feelings?

3. Do you think Mordecai should have just bowed to Haman?  Why or why not?

4. List some specific ways that Haman personified Proverbs 6:16-19

5. What aspect of God’s providence stood out the most to you in chapters 3 and 4?

6. Bruce stated that God works through people.  Therefore, the job we have, the resources we’ve been given, our gifts and abilities, even our health, are not primarily for ourselves.  God has given them to equip us to point people to Christ, to develop others spiritually, and to help meet needs.
What are some ways right now you can better leverage your God-given resources to accomplish those ends?

7. Take some time to pray that God would further train you to recognize, rest in and trust in His sovereign providence in your life.

Sneak Peek – November 3, 2019

Hello Wildwood Family!

Brrrr.  It’s been a tad chilly the last couple of days. In fact, it’s been chilly in my office (along with Brian’s and Jonathan’s) as one of our heating units has been on the fritz. I hope your home and workplace have been warm and comfy. Warm and comfy is a great blessing on days like these!!

This next Sunday we will continue our Providence series by delving into Esther chapters 3-4 with a message I’ve entitled, Down and Dirty. Please read through those chapters before Sunday.  You’ll get your first glimpse of Snidely Whiplash, er… Haman. It is exciting to see the providence of God played out in real life.

Sunday is also a standout day for two reasons.  One, we “fall back” then as daylight savings time shifts for the winter. Two, we will have a special church family prayer gathering at 8:30 am in the Gathering Hall.  Our Elders and staff will be there and we hope you bring your family for this church-wide prayer time. Refreshments will be available. Our services and classes will be at their normal times.

Sunday there will also be a video introducing this year’s Mission Norman Christmas Shoppe. You’ll learn a little more about it and hear about multiple ways you and your family can be involved.  This ministry makes for a great Christmas outreach for both young and old.

Keep warm and see you Sunday!

Bruce

Episode 15: This is Wildwood! For the Next Generation with the Children’s Staff Team

Episode 15: This is Wildwood! For the Next Generation with the Children’s Staff Team
For the Next Generation

 
 
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Wildwood’s Children’s Staff Team: Brooke Harrison (Children’s Pastor), Emily Grave (Special Needs Director), Jennifer Skinner (Children’s Admin), Jolie Williams (Early Childhood), Lessye Cam (Elementary), Melanie Gladhill (Mid-Week Ministries)

At Wildwood, we are For the Next Generation Following Jesus together with us to the glory of God.  One of the clearest expressions of this is our Children’s Ministry.  On today’s episode, we sit down with our children’s staff team to talk about what God is doing among the next generation at Wildwood.

 

  • To find out more information about our children’s ministry click here.
  • To volunteer, call the church office at 405-329-3939

 

Questions for Reflection: October 27, 2019

On Sunday, October 20, 2019, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Providence (Esther) – Two Queens” from Esther 1:3-2:23. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. It was stated by Bruce that the Book of Esther is frequently overlooked.  Why do you think that is? Explain.

2. What’s the biggest banquet you ever attended?  Elaborate

3. From your perspective, what were some of Ahasuerus’ motivations for these banquets?

4. What mistakes did Ahasuerus make in this banquet disaster?  Could or should have Vashti responded differently?  If so, how?

5. In the Book of Daniel, Daniel and his captivity friends Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abed-nego)—at the risk of their lives—took strong stands against demands placed upon them by their captors (see Dan 1, 3, 6).  Should have Mordecai and Esther also taken a strong stand against the King’s beauty contest (which also included participation in a night of unmarried sex with the King)?  If so, why do you think they didn’t?

6. On the other hand, as did Daniel and his friends, Esther and Mordecai found favor with their captors.  What was the common element that they each displayed?

7. Bruce stated that embracing God’s providence has three benefits:
– it eliminates certain notions (list some)
– it neutralizes certain negative reactions to life (list some)
– it breeds certain positive responses to life (list some)

8. Pray for God’s favor in your life at school, at work, at home.

Sneak Peek for Sunday, October 27

Hello Wildwood Family!

Forty-five years ago, the Carpenters released a song entitled, Rainy Days and Mondays. Well, it’s not Monday (actually it’s Thursday), but indeed we have a rainy day before us. In Bruce’s book of life, rainy and chilly don’t go together. As I write this it is 43 degrees with a wind chill feel of 35.  Yikes.

The reality is, however, just a few thousand feet up the sun is shining.  Sometimes life has its hard twists and turns and gloom to it, but the Son is always on the throne and always shining.  So wonderful!!  Life is truly about perspective.

Speaking of perspective, we will continue our new Providence series by looking at Esther chapters 1-2.  I hope you carve out the time to read those chapters before Sunday.  The message this week is entitled, Two Queens.

Just a reminder, our baptism classes will be on Sunday.  The Children’s class will be at 9:45am in the downstairs children’s theater, with the Student/Adult class at 11 am in The Avenue.  More info can be had at wildwoodchurch.org/baptism.

Also, if you know of someone new to Wildwood please encourage them to get to Starting Point (4 sessions total) which also launches this Sunday at 9:45 am in Room 4.  This is an excellent opportunity for them to learn more about Wildwood.

Lots of things happening in the next few weeks.  Be sure to check your bulletin on Sunday!

See you Sunday (and I understand that it will indeed be a Sun day)!

 

Bruce

Episode 14: This is Wildwood! For the Church with John Abernethy and Chad Riopelle

Episode 14: This is Wildwood! For the Church with John Abernethy and Chad Riopelle
For the Church

 
 
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Care Pastor John Abernethy and Chad Riopelle

Wildwood is For the Church Following Jesus together to the glory of God. The programming we do as a church family is designed to help each of us follow Christ in a deeper way.  One of the programs that have to help fathers connect with their children as they help them follow Christ are our Father/Son and Father/Daughter campouts.  In today’s episode we hear from Care Pastor John Abernethy (who oversees our campout ministry) and Wildwood member Chad Riopelle who share a story of how God has been at work through these events.

 

  • To learn more about our campouts and sign up (beginning August 2020), click here.

Episode 13: This is Wildwood! The Importance of Prayer with Natalie and Ann Marie

Episode 13: This is Wildwood! The Importance of Prayer with Natalie and Ann Marie
Prayer

 
 
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Natalie, Ann Marie, and Ciera

As we follow Jesus as a church, one important thing for us always to remember is the dependence we have upon Christ.  One of the most tangible expressions of our dependence upon Him is through prayer.  Prayer is an important part of our relationship with God and our life as a church here at Wildwood.  On today’s episode of the podcast, we interview Natalie (a 7th grader) along with her Student Ministry Leader Ann Marie Hubbard and our Student Ministry Associate Ciera Morren to talk about how Natalie applied what she heard at the most recent “Rooted” Girls Ministry event by praying for her Volleyball team.  Check it out!

 

To find out more about Wildwood’s Student Ministry, click here.