Questions for Reflection – Sunday, June 7, 2020

On Sunday, June 7, 2020, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Singing in the storm, Part 2” it is Part 5 of our current sermon series Anchored. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. In 3:17 Habakkuk expresses what great adversity would look like in an agrarian society. How might you re-word verse 17 to reflect your world?

2. Bruce quoted Harlan Betz who said:  Singing in the storm does not indicate ignorance of the storm; it indicates confidence in God.  Why is that true?

3. What passages from Scripture help you to trust the Lord in turbulent times? Share why.

4. Trusting the Lord can be viewed by some as complete passivity.  How is trusting the Lord by faith different from mere passivity?

5. Habakkuk makes an amazing declaration in 3:17-18. What factors enabled him to take that stance?

6. There is an incredible statement of honesty and transparency in 3:16.  Share or reflect on a time when you may have experienced similar feelings.

7. Through the study of Habakkuk how have you grown spiritually?  What has God taught you?

8. One day…
What is unexplained                               Will be explained
What is lacking                                         Will be made full
What hurts                                                Will be healed
Injustice                                                     Will be fully rectified
Our faith during the dark times            Will be rewarded generously

Express some praise to God for these truths.

9.  Bruce said, Whenever we begin to doubt God’s love we should be drawn back to Romans 5:8.  Take a few moments to memorize that verse.

10.  Explore the website: fathersloveletter.com.  Alert some of your friends to it.  Praise our Heavenly Father for His overwhelming love.

Sneak Peek – June 7, 2020

Hey Wildwood Family!!

There is a real live spiritual opposer of all that God desires to do. We know of him by the name Satan (which literally means adversary). This adversary has been wildly at work over the last week.  He seeks to destroy marriages, churches, communities, individual lives and relationships, and yes, even the church itself. What should be our first response?

One of our most effective weapons against him and his demonic army is prayer. In Ephesians 6 Paul addresses our spiritual battle and in verse 18 exhorts us, With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit.  Paul goes on in 1 Timothy 2 to urge us to make entreaties, prayers, and petitions on behalf of all—especially for those in authority. Part of the aim is for everyone to experience the opportunity to lead a quiet and tranquil life.

If there ever was a time to pray for our leaders, our police forces, for people of every ethnic background, for peace and tranquility, now is the time.  Please take some time over the next two days to invest time in prayer for these things.  We all know there is a lot of pain and deep emotion, and yes, some demonic activity seeking to drive people apart through conflict, dissension and violence.  The ultimate aim remains the same which is God’s core desire:  that all people may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

Our service plan remains the same for this Sunday, but we will be announcing changes beginning the next Sunday June 14.  So, this Sunday we will have our online only streaming church service which will be live at 9:30 am (although you can access it after 9:30 anytime).  Go to wildwoodchurch.org/live to access it.

Also, we are again planning an outside in-person worship service at 11am (same music and message) in our southeast parking by the children’s building.  This is a “bring your own lawn chair/folding chair” outdoor gathering.  Weather-wise it will be sunny and quite warm on Sunday so bring a hat or some sun protection.

This Sunday we will conclude our Anchored series from the book of Habakkuk with “Singing in the Storm pt. 2.”  Our final section (3:16-19) includes some of the most startling and intriguing verses in all of Scripture.  Read those verses before Sunday and let’s learn what God has to teach us from the 2600-year-old book of Habakkuk!

Hope to “see” you Sunday, either in person at 11 am or via online at 9:30 am

 

Bruce

Questions for Reflection – Sunday, May 31, 2020

On Sunday, May 31, 2020, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Singing in the storm, Part 1” it is Part 4 of our current sermon series Anchored. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

​​​​​​​1. When life crashes in on us—where do our eyes (our focus) tend to go?  Where should our eyes focus instead?  What kind of difference would that make?

2. Storms appear suddenly in Oklahoma and in our lives.  What can assist us to prepare for a sudden life storm which—in turn—can help us respond with an attitude of “singing in the storm?”

3. God is the Holy and Sovereign King, right? What can help us to retain a sense of reverence and awe in a world that often emphasizes casualness and informality?

4. In what ways does the biblical teaching of God’s sovereignty help us in everyday life?

5. What tends to dominate our prayer lives (make a list)?
Why is that?  In what ways do our common prayer practices differ from Habakkuk’s
prayer song?

6. What does “looking back” mean for followers of Jesus?  What types of things are we called to remember?

7. One study cites stats that indicate some people tap, swipe, or click their smartphone 2617 times a day, resulting in what one researcher calls, “continuous partial attention.” How could the syndrome of partial concentration adversely affect our relationship with God?

8.  List as many ways as possible showing how God has worked in your life.  Bruce said, “When we reflect back on what God has done in the past, our trust deepens in the present.”

9. Read Psalm 103 out loud.  Then take a few moments to express your gratitude to Him.

Sneak Peek – Sunday, May 31, 2020

Hey Wildwood Family!!

It’s been an alarming week.  No, I’m not referring to Covid 19 issues.  I’m referring to the disturbing events in Minneapolis and the reactions around the country. It is startling that such events can happen in our country.  People are hurting, frustrated and angry. Our governmental and civic leaders need to act speedily and with wisdom. Now is a vital time for us to pray for our leaders as the Apostle Paul calls us to do in I Timothy 2:1-6.

Indeed, our Savior desires for ALL people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.  There is one God and one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for ALL. I pray that this does not simply become an opportunity for people to act out in their flesh, but rather to seek ways to love and serve one another without wrath and dissension (Galatians 5:13; 1 Timothy 2:8). Let’s pray that way!

Well, this Sunday is the last day of May…we jump into June on Monday!  Wow. Our service plan remains the same for Sunday and we are excited to have senior recognition in both services. First, we are continuing our online streaming church service which will be live at 9:30 am (although you can access it after 9:30 anytime).  Go to wildwoodchurch.org/live to access it.

Second, we are again planning an outside in-person worship service at 11 am (same music and message) in our southeast parking by the children’s building.  This is a “bring your own lawn chair/folding chair” outdoor gathering.  Weather-wise it will be sunny on Sunday so bring a hat or some sun protection.

The title of this Sunday’s message from our Anchored series is “Singing in the Storm pt. 1” from Habakkuk chapter three. This chapter is a prayer song composed by Habakkuk who also played stringed instruments (see the last phrase in the book). His song is going to praise God for how He is always at work, how He is always in control, and how He always provides salvation.

Hope to “see” you Sunday either in the Livestream or in-person at 11 am outside.

 

Bruce

Questions for Reflection – Sunday, May 24, 2020

On Sunday, May 24, 2020, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “God will make it right!” it is Part 3 of our current sermon series Anchored. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. What are some of the evils or injustices you see in our world today?

As Habakkuk underscores, God’s promise is to “make it right.” How do passages like Obadiah 15 and Jeremiah 25:14 help with our perspective about this?

2. Habakkuk 2:3 emphasizes that God’s judgment and ultimate justice is already on His divine schedule—“it will not fail.”  How does that truth help us as we are affected by ungodliness and wickedness in our world today?

3. Let’s honestly apply the principles of God’s judgment on the Chaldeans (Babylonians).
Ask yourself truthfully:
Do I ever try to enrich myself at the expense of others?
Do I ever hit others and get violent to get my way?
Do I ever walk over others to reach my own selfish goals?
Do I ever use deceit and manipulation to take advantage of others?
If so, what changes must you make?

4. An idol can be anything that we turn to that takes priority over the place of God in our life.

What are some “idols” that people struggle with in our day?
What “idol” is a temptation for you to seek?

5. In Habakkuk 2:2 God emphasizes that His truth is designed to be shared. Brainstorm about some practical ways you can share God’s truth in your world.

6.  Matthew 7:13-14 emphasizes that there are two paths in life. One path is wide and leads to destruction.

Why are there so many people on the wide path? The narrow path leads to life. How does one take the narrow path?  Explain

7.  For those who like to dig deeper. The phrase, “the righteous (or just) shall live by faith” originally occurs in Habakkuk 2:4. What aspect of living by faith is the focus in the three places in the New Testament where the phrase is quoted? (see Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38.)

8.  Read out loud Isaiah 26:4  Give God thanks for being our everlasting rock!

Sneak Peek for Sunday, May 24, 2020

Hey Wildwood Family!!

So good to physically see many of you at the outdoor lawn chair service last week! I can’t wait till we can ALL gather again in-person as a large group in the worship center.

Wow.  We’ve come to Memorial Day weekend. Hard to believe it is already here. At the same time many of us will probably spend this holiday weekend in a different manner than we might normally because of all the restrictions.  Please do take some time to remember and thank those who have invested their lives to protect our freedom.

Our service plan remains the same for the next several Sundays. First, we are continuing our online streaming service which will be live at 9:30 am (although you can access it after 9:30 anytime).  Go to wildwoodchurch.org/live to access it.

Second, we are again planning an in-person worship service at 11am (same music and message) in our southeast parking by the children’s building.  This is a “bring your own lawn chair/folding chair” outdoor gathering.  Check the weekly newsletter for much more information and all the details or find them at wildwoodchurch.org/health.

Of course, we are watching the weather closely regarding the outdoor service. If somehow rain washes us out, you can be notified via text by texting wildwood1 to 95577 or by checking wildwoodchurch.org

The title of this Sunday’s message is “God Will Make It Right!” from Habakkuk chapter two in our Anchored series. Since we won’t have time to read all 20 verses this week, please read chapter two before Sunday.  Here’s the chapter outline to help:

  1. Habakkuk’s anticipation – 2:1
  2. The Lord’s admonition – 2:2-4;
  3. Judgment to come (wait and watch) – 2:5-20

 

Hope to “see” you Sunday either in the Livestream or in-person at 11am outside.

Bruce

Questions for Reflection – May 17, 2020

On Sunday, May 17, 2020, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message was “Why God?” it is Part 2 of our sermon series Anchored. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. We began by saying, maybe the most asked question in human history is, Why God?
Reflect back on a time when you clearly remember asking that question of God. What were some of the details of that situation?

2. Why is it that the common assumption life should be reasonably easy, innately fair, and readily understandable so widely held and assumed to be true?

3. List some parallels you see from our culture today that reflect similar situations in Judah during Habakkuk’s time.  Has God’s rule shifted in any way?  Elaborate.

4. Read again Psalm 5:4-6.  With that description of God, how do we explain His seeming lack of response to the wickedness and pridefulness of our day?

5. When life seems to unravel around us, why should we not respond like many do by either panicking, grumbling, or trying to escape in some way?

6. J.I. Packer said, God exposes us to all these things, so as to overwhelm us with a sense of our own inadequacy, and to drive us to cling to Him more closely.  This is the ultimate reason…why God fills our lives with troubles and perplexities…to ensure that we shall learn to hold him fast. Reflect and discuss what that means in our everyday life.

7. Take some time to “take it to the Lord in prayer.”

Sneek Peak for Sunday, May 17, 2020

Hey Wildwood Family!!

Remember how Steve Martin used to say on Saturday Night Live, “I’m a wild and crazy guy?” Well, we’ve been living a “wild and crazy” life these last number of weeks.  Right!?  It’s hard to know what is around the next turn.  Fortunately, the Great Shepherd has promised to be with us every through every twist and turn.

We are excited for Sunday for several reasons.  One is that I get to continue leading our study through the book of Habakkuk at our online streaming service.  By the way, remember that we are moving our online streaming to 9:30 am this Sunday, although you can access it also after 9:30 anytime.  Go to wildwoodchurch.org/live to access it.

Two is that, in addition, we are returning to an in-person worship service at 11 am (same music and message) in our southeast parking by the children’s building.  This will be a “bring your own lawnchair/folding chair” outdoor gathering.  Check the weekly newsletter for much more information and all the details, or go to wildwoodchurch.org/health.

Three is that we are excited to make an announcement about our student ministries this Sunday.  We hope you are able to come in-person, but if not, we fully understand.

This Sunday we will dive into Habakkuk 1:12-17 as Habakkuk raises his second complaint to the Lord, asking what may be the most asked question in history:  Why God??  It will be a very practical time together.

Hope to “see” you Sunday either in the livestream or in-person at 11 am outside.

Bruce

Questions for Reflections – May 10th, 2020

Questions for Reflection

Habakkuk 1:1-11
“Where are you God?”

 

 

  1. As humans our natural tendency is to focus on the “small story” (our own life and circumstances). List some ways that we often do that.

 

  1. God always operates from the “bigger story” (what He is accomplishing in the world). How did Paul learn to see the “bigger story” in Philippians 1:12-18?

 

How can we see the bigger story in light of the current crisis we face?

 

  1. Take time to make a full list all of your current concerns. When you are finished write over it, God is at Work.

 

  1. Close your time of reflection by doing two things:

 

  • use Psalm 25:5 as your prayer to God.

“Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation.”

 

  • Download or look up the lyrics to the hymn How Firm A Foundation. Then go to youtube and sing along in worship to the Lord.

 

—- for a more contemporary version go to youtube and search

“How firm a Foundation Norton Hall band”

 

—- for a more traditional version go to youtube and search

“How firm a Foundation Songs of the Redeemed”

Sermon Preview – Sunday, May 10, 2020

Hey Wildwood Family!!

Man, Janet and I have missed seeing you SO much!  I am excited to be opening God’s Word with you again starting this Sunday (although it will be online only).  I find it interesting that in God’s timing I preached the FIRST online-only streaming message on March 15th. Yes, it’s been that long!  We encourage you to join us online again this Sunday as there will be information regarding the Elders’ plan for Wildwood’s return to in-person worship services.

Well, life has been wild recently, right?  We all know life tends to be hard and harsh at times and that has certainly been true the last number of weeks.  Ever wondered what God is doing?  Have you thought, Why is He allowing what He is allowing?  I don’t know about you but sometimes it feels like God is seemly silent and even inactive as far as I can see.

If you have ever thought like that, you will find encouragement from the Book of Habakkuk in the Old Testament.  Habakkuk directly addresses those issues and more, yet he also learns to worship God in His sovereignty and great character.

This Sunday we will be launching the first message in a series I’ve entitled, Anchored.  This first message is entitled, “Where are you God?”  and will be online at 11:00 am. I encourage you to search down the book of Habakkuk and read the first chapter (or all three since it is a short book). We will introduce the book and cover the first 11 verses of chapter one.

Don’t forget that this Sunday is Mother’s Day.  I know everyone knows someone they can honor on such a vital day.

See you Sunday!

Bruce