Questions for Reflection – July 24, 2022

On Sunday, July 24, 2022, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Abilities/Personality – Part 4” from our sermon series “Divinely Designed to Serve”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. Share about an acquired ability (a skill) that you have been able to cultivate. How did it happen?

2. Share also about an ability (either a natural ability or an acquired ability) that you have seen God use to serve and encourage others.

3. In Ephesians 2:10 Bruce pointed out that when Paul discusses “the good works that God prepared for us beforehand,” he goes on to say, “that we should walk in them.” The verb “walk” is in the subjunctive mood (yes, that’s technical language talk).

It means it is not guaranteed that we will live them out. Why do you think Paul constructed the verse that way?  What are some reasons why we may NOT “walk in them?”

4. If God is truly sovereign, it only makes sense that the abilities we received when formed in our mother’s womb would be indicators of His will for us. Exodus 36 talks about individuals in whom the LORD has put skill. Why is it that people often cave to a self-perception that I have no ability to serve others?

5. Take advantage of the Personality Contrasts sheet you can find at wildwoodchurch.org/serve to gain some fresh concrete ideas of your personality. Is it easy or hard to realize God can and will use your personality when it comes to serving others?  Elaborate.

6. Share a time when someone with a complementary personality teamed up with you to accomplish a ministry task.

7. Wrestle some with the two Key Questions Bruce mentioned:  1) Am I currently serving the Lord and others?  2) How can I serve and invest in others?

8. Spend some time brainstorming about people you know to whom you can give affirmation regarding how you’ve seen God use them in ministering to others.

Sneak Peek – July 24, 2022

Hey Wildwood Family!

Anyone noticed it’s been a tad on the warm side? Certainly, we all have!

I can guarantee you the 35 Pine Cove City leaders have noticed this week as they’ve ministered to some 180 children (serving sometimes inside and many times outside with fun water slides, climbing towers, etc.).

It’s been a great week and it is a joy to see the kids flourishing under the guidance of the Pine Cove City staff.  There have been some truly energized worship times and encouraging interactions! We are grateful for Pine Cove and look forward to a renewed adventure again next summer.

God is still at work in many ways. For example, this Sunday a group of 20 students and leaders will head for Kansas City to serve others in ministry.  Pray for their safety as they travel and for safety from all the heat!

This Sunday will be installment #4 in our series Divinely Designed to Serve. We will continue to build out our acrostic S-H-A-P-E, gaining insight into how He designs us and shapes us to serve Him and others.  This Sunday we add the A and the P by examining the truth that God uses both our Abilities and our Personality in serving others.  Encouraging stuff!

See you Sunday!

Bruce

Questions for Reflection – July 17, 2022

On Sunday, July 17, 2022, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Spiritual Gifts – Part 3” from our sermon series“Divinely Designed to Serve”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. Most of us are passionate about a particular sports team or type of music. Briefly share about which team or style of music you are passionate about and why.

2. Part of what Bruce said was that there is no one exactly like you. Indeed, you are God’s unique handiwork/masterpiece/His special composition. Why is it we so often struggle to believe that emotionally?

3. Bruce laid out a short summary of what is meant by Heart Passion. Recall and share some of the descriptions that were given of what Heart Passion is.

4. It was stated that there are two sources for our Heart Passion: How God wired us and How God is at work in us. What have you learned about yourself from each of those sources?

5. Reflect, think through, discuss the following questions: – What ministry possibilities excite you? – What would you rather do for others more than anything else? – Who are you most excited to serve? – What would you desire to do for others if $$$ or time were not an issue?

6. Spend some time in the coming days creatively reflecting on (and praying about) filling in the blanks on the statements below:

– My ministry dream is ________.

– I would love for God to use me to ________.

-At the end of my life I’d like to be able to look back and know I’d done _________ for others.

​​​​​​​7. Praise the Lord that He has Divinely Designed you to Serve!

Sneak Peek – July 17, 2022

To many families, summer means camping…a way to break the routine and experience the fun of the outdoors. Well, summer also means camping time at Wildwood. Two camping events are on the schedule for Wildwood.

First, our Wildwood Students leave today for the WS camp. This exciting event involves some 150+ students and 31 WS leaders. Please pray for them as they travel, as they gather around God’s truth, and as they deepen relationships. Pray that there is plenty of fun too!

Second, beginning Monday, Pine Cove City camp commences at our facility as 180 children and some 35 Pine Cove staffers launch into a great week of camp. Pray for open ears for the gospel message and for another spiritual boatload of relationships and fun!

On Sunday we will continue our series on Divinely Designed to Serve with part 3. How does He S-H-A-P-E us to serve? This week we will unveil the letter H from the acrostic S-H-A-P-E. I believe you will find our time to be highly intriguing, so don’t miss it!

See you Sunday,

Bruce

Questions for Reflection – July 10, 2022

On Sunday, July 10, 2022, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Spiritual Gifts – Part 2” from our sermon series“Divinely Designed to Serve”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. Think of a time when something you got or bought didn’t fit what you needed it for, OR a time when you discovered something you had that no longer fit. Share a little about it. In a sense, we want our key ministry/serving activities to “fit” with the way God designed us to serve.

2. Bruce talked about the “3 V’s of Gifts” from 1 Corinthians 12:4-6. He mentioned how the “3 V’s” assist us in abstaining from the comparison syndrome. Why is that true?

3. Bruce talked about the 9 Consensus Spiritual Gifts. Which among those nine was a newer idea for you? Did you readily identify with one or more of those nine?

4. Bruce mentioned 3 Fascinating Facets about gifts. Can you recall what those were? What do you think about the idea that all the nine spiritual gifts are designed to be models or prototypes to inspire other believers?

5. How do you sense that the Holy Spirit may be encouraging you to be more active in ministry?

6. Who could you encourage this week as you’ve observed them be effective in ministering to and serving others?

7. When you take the Spiritual Gift Indicator profile, discuss the results with at least one other person.

​​​​​​​8. Take time to praise God for divinely designing you to serve Him and others.

Sneak Peak – Sunday, July 10, 2022

Hey Wildwood Family!

The weather the past few days reminded me of a movie song from the 80’s, entitled, The Heat is On. The chorus is simple
The heat is on, the heat is on
The heat is on
Oh it’s on the street The heat is… on
Yep. Pretty much describes the past week in Norman America. I pray you’ve been able to stay cool!

I’m very excited to move into message #2 in our July series on Divinely Designed to Serve. After week one I pray many of you were spiritually refreshed by being reminded that we are God’s workmanship, His handiwork, His masterpiece. We are investigating the question: How did He S-H-A-P-E us to serve Him and others?

This Sunday we will continue the S-H-A-P-E acrostic by delving deeper into the subject of spiritual gifts. I think you will find the message highly informative and helpful. We also will share how you can take our Spiritual Gift Indicator profile to gain insight to your spiritual gifts.

Stay cool and see you Sunday!

Bruce

Questions for Reflection – Sunday, July 3, 2022

On Sunday, July 3, 2022, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Spiritual Gifts” from our sermon series “Devinely Designed to Serve”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

  1. What are some of your favorite aspects of God’s divine handiwork in this world?  Bruce mentioned majestic mountain scenes, sunsets ablaze with colors, and the intricacies of individual snowflakes.  What others might you include?  Explain some
  2. The core passage from part 1 of our series on being Devinely Designed to Serve is Ephesians 2:10.  Read it out loud.  Read it again and this time put your name in the verse (e.g., Bruce is His workmanship… so that he would walk in them.  Do you believe that?  Why do we sometimes struggle believing that concept?
  3. Ray Stedman said, “The whole subject of spiritual gifs is the lost treasure of Christianity.”  Why is that?  What should we do to “recover” that lost treasure?
  4. Bruce stated that the truth about each one of us receiving a spiritual gift(s) alleviates what he called the “I have nothing to offer syndrome.” Why do we sometimes feel like we have little to offer in serving others?
  5. Bruce cited several verses that exhort believers about spiritual gifts. As honestly as possible, might the Holy Spirit be using one of the verses below as directed at/or descriptive of you?  Elaborate
    1. Don’t neglect the spiritual gift that is in you (1 Timothy 4:14)
    2. As you’ve received a spiritual gift employ it in serving one another (1 Peter 4:10)
    3. Rekindle the gift of Gid which is in you (2 Timothy 1:6)
  6. Prayerfully be asking yourself this week: How can I serve and invest in others?

Sneak Peek – Sunday, July 3, 2022

Hey Wildwood Family!

This has been a “different” week for the Hess family.  Our 42-year-old daughter, Emily, started chemo treatment on Tuesday for stage 4 mucinous adeno carcinoma which she’s been diagnosed.  Em has been a traveling surgical technician for some years now.  Currently she is staying with us as she undergoes treatment.

Emily likes to tease that she is following in her daddy’s footsteps as I’ve battled prostate cancer twice.  The prognosis is unclear at this point, but we would covet your prayers for minimal side effects and maximum effectiveness in the chemo process.  Thank you.

My goodness, you blink your eyes and it’s July!  Better hang onto your hat…it’ll be Christmas soon!! 😉

I’m excited to be speaking in the month of July as we start a new series I’ve entitled, Divinity Designed to Serve.  This is a series for all ages and for all followers of Jesus.  We will be mining the phenomenal truth that as followers of Jesus we are true masterpieces that God has specifically designed to serve Him and others.

Part of what we will be looking at on Sunday will be what Ray Stedman described as “the lost treasure of Christianity.”  What is that?  Well, come Sunday and we’ll investigate together!

Please note that this Sunday is one of our rare “All-in” Sundays, an opportunity for the whole family to attend church together.  This Sunday there will no nursey, children’s, student or adult groups meeting.  Let’s ALL huddle at 8:30; 9:45 or 11:00 and worship together!  All classes will resume as normal next week.

Also, for families with students – please note that Wildwood Students camp registration closes soon.  Don’t miss out!

See you Sunday,

Bruce

Questions for Reflection – April 3, 2022

$$first_name$$,

On Sunday, April 3, 2022, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Final Perspective” from our sermon series“Remember, Judgment is Coming”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. A fun trivia question. In how many non-Terminator movies has Sylvester Stallone reprised the line, I’ll be back?   Never.  Twice.  Four times.  Eight times.  Ten Times?
[either google the answer or look at the bottom of the page]

2. Bruce stated that Scripture indicates that the Body of Christ, the church, will not be subject to the End Times Wrath of God.  What passages were cited to support that?

3. Noting that a pre-tribulation Rapture effectively snatches the church out of this world before the Day of the Lord commences, what insight does that give us into why Paul would describe the future rapture as “the blessed hope” in Titus 2:11-13?  Discuss.

4. Some critics of the pre-tribulation Rapture claim that promoters of it are misleading believers by actively implying that they won’t experience great difficulty and persecution. How would you respond to that claim?

Not being subject to God’s End Times Wrath does not mean that a believer won’t be subject to “wrath” from other sources.  What would some of those other sources be?  Elaborate.

5. Why is it that integrity for a follower of Jesus is so important?

6. Have you ever witnessed some teacher distorting/twisting Scripture, yanking it out of context to get it to say what they desire it to say?  If yes, expand on that some.

7. Peter concludes with a double parting exhortation in vs. 17-18
1) Be on your guard (17)               2) Keep on growing (18)
Why are those exhortations so vital?
Practically, how do we continue to Be on Guard?
Practically, what does it look like to Keep on Growing?

8. If you were to write a short job description for a royal ambassador of Jesus here on earth, what are some the elements you’d include?

9. Take time to give praise and honor to Jesus as Peter does in 3:18b.

​​​​​​​
[8 times]

Sneak Peek – April 3, 2022

Hey Wildwood Family!

Go ahead.  Take a deep breath. Yes, it is true.
One quarter of the year of 2022 has already passed!  It never ceases to amaze me as I age—time just seems to speed up every year. It is an ongoing reminder for all of us to remember to “redeem the time” as Paul puts it in Ephesians 5:16. Some translations put it this way: making the most of your time; taking advantage of every opportunity; making the most of every living and breathing moment. A great reminder for each of us no matter our age!

Further evidence that time is marching on is that Sunday, April 10 is Palm Sunday, and, of course, Easter follows that.  You can check on Wildwood’s Easter schedule (including Good Friday services) by going to wildwoodchurch.org/easter.

There is some WCC church apparel available to order for a few more days.  You can check out the options at wildwoodchurch.org/shop. Also, Worship Pastor Greg Hill has team openings for drummers, guitarists, and a cellist.  If that’s a skill of yours, feel free to check with Greg to learn more (greghill@wildwoodchurch.org).

Also, remember the church green belt cleanup (in conjunction with OU and the city of Norman) tomorrow (Saturday) from 10-2 pm.  We’d love to see you and your family pitching in on the cleanup!

On Sunday we will conclude our Remember, Judgment is Coming series from 2 Peter chapter 3.  This week’s message is entitled, Final Perspective and we will be taking a close look at 3:14-18.  I encourage you to read the passage ahead of time. Pete’s conclusion to his second letter contains some pivotally important perspectives for each of us.

See you Sunday!

Bruce