Questions for Reflection – July 2, 2023

On Sunday, July 2, 2023, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Celebrating the Cross” from our sermon series “Unpacking the Gospel”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. Read Revelation 5:9-10. Look back over those verses which describe God’s work in redemption and make note of these ideas:
– the cost of redemption
– the act of redemption
– the extent of redemption
– the immediate result of redemption
– the ultimate consummation of redemption
2. Bruce has been saying that regular gratitude for the Gospel is what:
catalyzes a daily attitude of worship
energizes our drive to serve God
stimulates our desire to share the Gospel
Take some time to brainstorm practical ways you can refresh your gratitude for the Gospel

3. Discuss what you would include in explaining the Gospel to someone you know. What’s the bad news and what’s the good news?  What response to the Gospel does God require?

4. What are your favorite verses from Psalm 103?  Elaborate.

5. Explain the imagery behind of the statement in 103:12 “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

6.  Why is knowing you’re forgiven so significant?

7. Spend some moments in prayer to “Bless the LORD, o my soul” for all the salvation benefits he has brought you.

Sneak Peek – July 2, 2023

Hey Wildwood Family!

It truly has been hot in recent days, but not as hot as some places in our nation. Recent days in the Big Bend National Park area of Texas the temperature reached 119 degrees, hotter than Death Valley. The “real feel” temperature was even higher. Yikes! Suddenly our recent high temperature of 99 degrees seems much more reasonable.  At the Hess house we needed an extra shot of freon to keep our upstairs AC unit functioning well.

It was a wonderful treat on Wednesday night to attend the free Wildwood gathering at the Westwood Family Aquatic Center.  Some 420 folks came out.  I truly enjoyed drifting along in the lazy river for about 90 minutes, some of that time alongside my granddaughter Summer.  She’s a delight! Thanks to WCC’s Children’s and Student ministries for sponsoring a fun evening for families.

Just a reminder, this Sunday (yes, it is the 2nd of July) is an ‘All-In Sunday’ at Wildwood. We are giving our children’s ministry, our student ministry, and our adult ministry a break.  There will be no children’s, student, or adult classes.  Bring the whole family and join us at 8:30, 9:45 or 11:00am.

We will be concluding our series entitled Unpacking the Gospel as we focus on “Celebrating the Cross.” We will have the privilege of diving into Psalm 103, one of the top five best known Psalms. It is an amazing song of praise.

We understand that there was a snafu of sorts on Sunday and some were unable to pick up a bulletin that contained the handout on bringing folks One Step Closer to Christ and the Connection Points sheet with helps for connecting with others.  We will have plenty of copies available on Sunday at the Welcome Desk if you missed receiving one.

See you Sunday!!


Questions for Reflection – June 25, 2023

On Sunday, June 18, 2023, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Choosing to Embrace the Cross” from our sermon series “Unpacking the Gospel”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1.Read out loud John 4:10 and John 7:37-38.  What are some ways that Christ, the Living Water, has quenched the thirst of your soul?  Share, if applicable.  Then take a moment to praise and thank Him.

2. If you have never made the choice to trust in Jesus as your personal Rescuer, what is holding you back?  Put it into words. Perhaps it is time for today to become that day!

3. What are some examples of “confusing ‘Christianese’ lingo” that are often heard when communicating how an individual is to personally embrace the good news of the gospel? What is the clear and prominent biblical term for our response?  Explain more of what that term means and doesn’t mean.

4. Bruce spoke of a particular function, a ministry, a spiritual partnership, that Jesus has called each and every one of his followers to practice.  What is it (see 2 Corinthians 5:18-20) and what does it mean to live it out in our everyday life?

5. People frequently can wonder: Who am I? and What difference can I make? Yet Jesus has appointed His followers to this highly regarded role by direct appointment. Why is it we often overlook this calling?

6. As an Ambassador of Jesus Christ, how would you respond to someone who says, “I believe there are many ways to God, Jesus is just one of them?

7. Bruce said part of our calling is to view people around us as God sees them: living in darkness, without hope in the world, in the process of perishing.  Why is it that we often fail to have that perspective?

8. From the ‘Connection Points’ handout (in the section entitled, Questions to gauge where someone is spiritually), pick out two questions that you plan to utilize with someone this week.

9. Pray for at least one person by name that God could use you to help bring them “one step closer to Christ” this next week.

Sneak Peek – June 25, 2023

Hey Wildwood Family!

Something very special to me happened 50 years ago today. Fifty years ago today, I was married to my dear wife, Janet!  I find it hard to calculate: how could 50 years have flown by? As I said to Janet, it feels more like maybe 30 years to me.  She said, maybe even 25. 😊

But there’s no denying it…we are celebrating our Golden Anniversary today!  We laughed some about it.  I told her I don’t know what’s happened.  When we were growing up all the people I knew who were celebrating a Golden Wedding Anniversaries were really, really old. We can’t be “really old!”  I guess that’s part of what growing older does to us.

Anyway, I mentioned all this because marrying my wife was one of the top two decisions I ever made. It has been a joy and a privilege to walk through life with such a special person. I love you, Janet!

Just a reminder about this Sunday: if you haven’t been baptized since trusting in Jesus as your Rescuer from sin and judgment—why not now??  On Sunday there will be two baptism classes (explaining what the Bible says about baptism and giving some insights into how baptism is practiced at Wildwood).  The Children’s class will be during the 11am hour in the downstairs theater room (the Lodge).  The Student/Adult class will be at noon (after our last worship service) in Room 5 downstairs in the main building. Lunch will be served at this class.  So, don’t procrastinate—let’s follow Jesus’ guideline to be baptized and publicly let others know that Jesus is your Savior!

Another cool aspect this Sunday will be the opportunity to meet Wildwood’s latest world outreach team members, Satya and Prasha Maharjan. You will want to see them and hear a short summary of the outreach that the Lord has called them to.

Finally, we will continue our series “Unpacking the Gospel” by opening up part #3, “Choosing to Embrace the Gospel.” In this message, we will be giving special opportunity for any who haven’t trusted in Jesus for forgiveness to do so (please be in prayer about that!).  Also, we will unpack the incredible truth that God has called each of us to serve as His personal ambassadors to our world.  This is exciting stuff!!

See you Sunday.


Questions for Reflection – June 18, 2023

On Sunday, June 18, 2023, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “God’s Work at the Cross” from our sermon series“Unpacking the Gospel”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. What has stood out to you in the first two messages of this series?

2. If someone asked you— Why was it necessary for Jesus to come to earth as a man?
— what would you say?

3. Spurgeon called 2 Corinthians 5:21 ‘the Heart of the Gospel.’  Why did he say that?

Bruce noted that 2 Corinthians 5:21 has been described as ‘the Great Exchange.’ What makes it so?  Elaborate.

4. What are three key New Testament passages that underscore how Jesus is the ONLY solution to our spiritual dilemma?

5. Bruce referred to a hymn from 1920, “How Could Jesus Love Me So?”
The verses are like this:

1  How could Jesus love me so,                          2  From the world of glory bright,
While in sin I wandered?                                        Jesus came to save me;
Careless, heedless to His call,                                In His power by His might
While His grace I squandered;                             Life eternal gave me;
Wonderful it is to know,                                        Wonderful it is to know,
That my Savior loved me so.                                That my Savior loved me so.

3  I’m unworthy of the grace                             Refrain:
He bestows each day,                                              How could Jesus love me so?
Of His tender love and care                                   This is more than I can know;
All along my way;                                                    I was lost in sin and woe,
Wonderful it is to know,                                         How could Jesus love me so?
That my Savior loved me so.                                 How could Jesus love me so?

Read the lyrics out loud and then spend some time giving Jesus praise from the heart.

Sneak Peek – June 18, 2023

Hey Wildwood Family!

A word of congratulations to the OU Softball team for dominating and winning their third consecutive national championship—three in a row after the canceled Covid year!  I have been impressed with the spiritual heart of many of the players.  Check my Facebook page for a link to a press conference where some of the players spoke of Jesus’ key role for them on the team.

I’m writing this on Thursday.  It appears there will be some strong, strong weather in central Oklahoma tonight.  We pray that you and yours are spared any significant damage.  You can never let your guard down when living in our great state!

Sunday we will move into part #2 of our sermon series entitled, ‘Unpacking the Gospel.’  The message focus this week is on God’s Work at the Cross.  What glorious truth we will be wading into this Sunday…remembering and celebrating how Jesus came to rescue us out of our spiritual dilemma, from which we were powerless to extricate ourselves…a chance to celebrate His mercy and grace. I’m looking forward to it!

See you Sunday,


Questions for Reflection – June 11, 2023

Sunday, June 11, 2023, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “The Need for the Gospel” from our sermon series“Unpacking the Gospel”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

  1. As followers of Jesus, what contributes to us drifting at times into a complacent, lackadaisical attitude toward the cross?
  2. Why is it that the ‘most significant truth in the universe’ (the gospel) is something that many people have never heard?
  3. Why is it that others have heard or are aware of the term ‘the gospel,’ but they struggle to define what it means, why it is important, and how to embrace it?
  4. What can we practically do to remedy the above situations?
  5. Since God has set [planted] eternity in the human heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11) how should that truth practically influence our approach to people?
  6. Bruce said:

Regular gratitude for the deep grace of the gospel is what:

  • catalyzes a daily attitude of worship
  • energizes our drive to serve God
  • stimulates our desire to share the gospel with others

Spend some time in prayer thanking God for the truth of the gospel and ask him to catalyze, energize, and stimulate your heart during this preaching series.

Sneak Peek – June 11, 2023

Hey Wildwood Family!

It has been a wonderful week at Wildwood as some 650 kids were encouraged to ‘set sail’ in following Jesus at WCC’s 2023 VBS.  So much energy, and so much great teaching!  A big feature of the week was the children giving offerings every day to help provide water filters for families in Mexico that don’t have clean water.  It was truly amazing to see the offering totaling just under $3,000!  That will help some 100 families get clean water (while also hearing about the good news of the cross).  Thanks to our 300 volunteers who made it happen. It’s been a GREAT week indeed.

Speaking of hearing the gospel, I am excited to launch a new 4-part sermon series on Sunday that I’ve entitled Unpacking the Gospel.  As we will share on Sunday, every time we hear the gospel delineated is a fresh opportunity to worship our great God.  Regular gratitude for the gospel catalyzes a daily attitude of worship, energizes our drive to serve God, and stimulates our desire to share the gospel with others.

I’ve been waiting months to launch this series!!  Come on Sunday as we examine ‘The Need for the Cross.’ Each Sunday we will be ending our service with the same classic song.  It will be encouraging!  Invite your friends to join us!!

See you Sunday!!


Questions for Reflection – November 13, 2022

On Sunday, November 13, 2022, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Ruth Chapter 4” from our sermon series “God Behind the Seen”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. As Bruce shared the message from Ruth chapter four, what principles related to God’s Providence hit you in a fresh or significant way?  Elaborate.

2. What are some personal examples of God’s Providence in your life?  Include some details.

3. How is Boaz in his role as Kinsman Redeemer a picture or type of Christ?

4. There are some racial/ethnic issues (including an interracial relationship) in the book of Ruth. What can we learn from them?  Should we ‘lean into’ or ‘pull away from’ such relationships? What do some of those events (and how God was working in them) tell us about the heart of God?

5. King David was one who knew about difficulty and discouragement in his life.  Notice how he begins Psalm 13 in verse one.  Can you identify?  Notice how he ends Psalm 13 in verses five and six.  What can we learn from that?

6. It’s been said: Look at yourself and be depressed.  Look at others and be distressed.  Look at Jesus and be blessed. What reality about life is found in that saying?

7. One of the frequently overlooked elements in the book of Ruth is the consistent practice of prayer. There are two prayers by Naomi in 1:8 and 1:9. There is a prayer by Boaz in 2:4 and 2:12.  There are two more prayers by Naomi in 2:19 and 2:20. There is a prayer again by Boaz in 3:10.  Then there is the prayer by people in Bethlehem in 4:11-12, and by the women of Bethlehem in 4:14-15.  As you look at those verses, do you see a pattern?  How do those prayers compare with your personal practice of prayer?

8. Take some time to pray some prayers of blessing for those in your life.

Sneak Peek – November 13, 2022

Hey Wildwood Family!

Yes, I know it’s just November 11th, but it FEELS like Christmas. The average high in OKC on December 25th is 46 degrees.  As I type this it’s 39 degrees. See, it does feel like Christmas!

Speaking of Christmas, at Wildwood we have two great opportunities before us.  First, would be the opportunity to help join the team for the Mission Norman Christmas Shoppe (where we aim to touch the lives of some 600 underprivileged kids). There are SO many ways to play a part, from donating funds, to purchasing gifts for underprivileged kids, to joining one of the setup, cleanup, or shopping teams.  All the information (including signups) can be found at  Let’s do it!

Second, we have a unique way this year to invite folks to attend some of our Christmas services. Pastor Mark will be sharing more about this on Sunday, but it involves picking up a quick read book (we’ve ordered a bundle) entitled, The Four Emotions of Christmas (authored by a friend of mine from FamilyLife, Bob Lepine), and then, in turn, passing it on as an invitational tool to your neighbors and friends.  What a cool idea!  Listen as Mark shares about the plan.

I am VERY excited about this Sunday’s message as we conclude our series, God Behind the Seen, by unpacking chapter 4 of Ruth, and more!  As previously, please read through chapter 4 (only 22 verses) before Sunday.  As we conclude we will pull back and think through some further reflections related to God’s Providence. I can’t wait.

See you Sunday!