Baptism Sunday (August 4) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, August 4, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, we celebrated the baptisms of 14 people.  As a part of this service, we looked at Acts 16 together.  Below are a series of questions related to this passage for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Acts 16:1-34
  3. What is the spiritual heritage of your family?  What “faith” or knowledge of God was passed down to you from your parents, grandparents, or extended family?
  4. In what ways is your life continuing to profess the “faith” given you from your family?  In what ways are your beliefs different?
  5. Though some have a family that pointed them to Christ and others have families that promoted a different god or atheism, responsibility still lies with each individual to determine what THEY believe.  Have you ever placed your faith in Jesus Christ?
  6. Have you been baptized with water since trusting Jesus as your Savior?  If not, why not?  Wildwood’s next baptisms services are November 24.  Let us know if you would like to be baptized then by contacting us at wildwoodchurch.org/baptism
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

This is Wildwood Episode 2: For the Nations – Latvia!

This is Wildwood Episode 2: For the Nations – Latvia!
For the Nations

 
 
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On this week’s episode, we focus on how (as a church) we get to be for the nations following Jesus together with us to the glory of God.  By God’s grace, for the past 29 years, one nation that Wildwood has had the privilege of being “for” is the nation of Latvia.  Today’s episode features Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess and Wildwood member Tony Middleton talking about the orphan camp Wildwood has hosted in Latvia the past 7 years.  Hear the story of what God did at this year’s orphan camp in today’s episode.

 

To find out more info about Orphan Camp 2020, email Pastor Bruce Hess at brucehess@wildwoodchurch.org

 

NOTE:  

Find this podcast on this blog, or via your favorite podcasting service, including Apple, Google, Spotify, and Stitcher.

Baptism Sunday . . . THIS SUNDAY, August 4!!!!

This Sunday, August 4, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church in both our 9:45 and 11:00 worship services, we will be celebrating the water baptisms of 14 people!  What a joy it is for our church family to hear the stories and celebrate the grace of God that has led people into a life-changing and eternity-altering relationship with Jesus Christ!  This Sunday we will be celebrating the following baptisms:

In the 9:45 Service
  1. Natalie Carr
  2. Lillie Geist
  3. London Geist
  4. Reese Lamke
  5. Kinsey Schones
In the 11:00 Service
  1. David Ayodele
  2. Samuel Ayodele
  3. Jacob Reyes
  4. Robby Reyes
  5. Anna Shuman
  6. Callie Skaggs
  7. Abby Skaggs
  8. AnnaKate Skaggs
  9. Emma Skaggs

In addition, we will also get to hear (in both of our services) from one of our visiting missionary partners, Talis Talbergs (the founder of Latvian Christian Radio)!!

Make plans to worship with us this Sunday!  Know that on baptism Sundays, our “normal” is a bit different.  In order to facilitate almost all of our church family seeing these baptisms, we will NOT have adult Sunday school classes, student ministry (6th-12th grade), or elementary aged children’s classes (Kindergarten-5th grade) meeting this week (August 4).  Only preschool, nursery, and toddler rooms will be operational this Sunday, as the rest of us are “all in” for the worship services.  See you Sunday!!!

Questions for Reflection: Sunday, July 28, 2019

On Sunday, July 28, 2019, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “CORE Truth: We Live by Faith!” from Hebrews 11. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. God works mysteriously. Remember the different life outcomes of Jim Elliot and his brother Bert? Reflect for a moment on how God has worked differently in your life compared to others. What insight do we gain from those differences?

2. God speaks these words to Isaiah in Isaiah 55:8-9:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

How does that divine perspective give us insight into why it is necessary for us to live by faith?

3. Bruce stated that the verb “believe” (pisteuo in the original text) includes what concepts/ideas? In other words, what does it really mean to believe?

4. It is so very easy and natural to keep on our focus on circumstances and life in this world. What can help us to better focus on our heavenly country, our eternal inheritance?

5. Hebrews 4:16 clearly emphasizes that we should approach our High Priest and the Throne of Grace boldly, with deep confidence. Why is it that we are seemingly so slow to pray?

6. Review Romans 8:11. Do we really believe what it says? That the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will energize us since He dwells in us? What keeps us from experiencing the Spirit’s power in our life?

7. If you have listened to all four parts of the Core Truth series, what spiritual lesson has stood out most to you?

8. Take some time to worship the Lord and thank Him for His greatness, His wisdom, His strength and His grace.

Sneak Peek – Sunday, July 28, 2019

Hello Wildwood Family!

 

Last week I lead off with the statement: Wow.  It’s hot.  This week I can say:  Wow. We’ve had a nice break from the extreme heat.  Aren’t you glad?  Send a word of thanks to the Heavenly Father for that refreshment!

 

I have been thinking this week of Paul’s words to the followers of Jesus in 1 Timothy 2:1-4. He encourages us there to remember to pray for those in government authority over us so that we might lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

 

There’s been a lot of wackiness going on in our government and culture recently.  Let’s remember to pray about it.  We don’t want to hear Him tell us one day: Well, there would have been less wackiness, but I didn’t hear from you about it (You do not have, because you do not ask, James 4:2b).  Lord, less wackiness PLEASE!

 

Lisa Goering has been faithfully serving at Wildwood in many roles over the last few years, most recently helping to coordinate our local outreach and helping to lead our A-Team on Sunday mornings.  Well, God has called Lisa to take a job at Roosevelt Elementary here in Norman working with children with special needs. The Goering family isn’t going anywhere, it’s just that Lisa will be investing her time at Roosevelt.

 

This Sunday after the 11:00 service we will have a reception in the Gathering Hall for Lisa.  Be sure to drop by and thank her for her excellent and faithful service to our church family. I am confident she will still find ways to serve around Wildwood.

 

Also Sunday we will conclude our month-long series on Core Truth.  The final core truth we will examine is the truth that We Live by Faith.  Multiple times the Bible tells us, The just shall live by faith.  We will be mining in Hebrews 11 on Sunday (the great faith chapter).  I encourage you to read it before Sunday.

 

Hope you have a great rest of the week!

 

See you on Sunday (Lord willing)!!

 

Bruce

Being For the Next Generation . . .

At Wildwood Community Church, we are for following Jesus together to the glory of God.  By God’s grace, we have the privilege of inviting various spheres to join us in that journey . . . and one of those we are “for” is the next generation.  What a privilege it is to “commend God’s work to the next generation, so we can declare together His mighty acts (Psalm 145:4).”

In our world today, it is common for older generations to either worry about the world our kids are inheriting or critique the mindset of those who follow us.  But, as Christians, we have a much better opportunity than simply being a worrier or a critic . . . we can offer THE HOPE that all generations need — the hope of Jesus Christ and the power of transformation that His Gospel brings!!!

So, as we head towards the start of another school year, would you consider shining light for the next generation?  At Wildwood there are a number of different opportunities to do this, including opportunities in our children and student ministries.

Specifically, we have a few openings left on our Sunday morning and Wednesday night serving teams.  Just a small investment of your time can reap eternal dividends in the life of a child.  Join the 300+ who serve on our Next Gen teams by stepping up for one of the roles listed below.

As it relates to our children’s ministry (birth – 5th grade) . . .

Our Sunday morning leaders serve from August-July on either the even month team (Aug, Oct, Dec, Feb, Apr & June) or the odd month team (Sept, Nov, Jan, Mar, May & July). Our Wednesday evening leaders serve from 6-7:30pm beginning September 11th and then wrapping up mid-April. Wednesday evening programming is off for all holidays. Our team provides training, all lessons, materials and everything that our  leaders need to be successful with our kids.

Here are the current openings in children’s ministry for 2019-20:

Sundays 9:45am Service (Sept, Nov, Jan, March, May & July):
*  1 Nursery Opening
*  1 Preschool Opening

Sundays 11am Service (Aug, Oct, Dec, Feb, Apr & June):
*  3 Toddler Openings
*  1 Preschool Opening

Sundays 11am Service (Sept, Nov, Jan, March, May & July):
*  1 Toddler Opening

Wednesday Evenings (6-7:30pm from Sept to mid-April):
*  4 Preschool/Cubbies Leaders
*  7 Kind-2nd Grades/Sparks Leaders
*  3 3rd-5th Grades/T&T Leaders

If you are interested in any of these openings, contact our Children’s Pastor Brooke Harrison at bharrison@wildwoodchurch.org

 

We also have openings to serve with our Middle School students.  If you are interested in serving in this ministry, contact Student Pastor Jonathan Holmes at jholmes@wildwoodchurch.org

Questions for Reflection – Sundau, July 21, 2019

Questions for Reflection

God Passionately Cares for me!

Luke 15: 11-32

 

 

  1. Someone has said: There is power in story. Why is it that relating a story often carries with it greater impact than simply stating facts?

 

  1. Charles Dickens called the parable of the Prodigal son, The greatest short story ever. In your estimation, why would he conclude that?

 

  1. What are some of your favorite parts of the story? Elaborate.

 

  1. The message title was: God passionately cares for me! Why is it we often doubt that?

 

  1. Bruce said, “Self-indulgence always leads to disaster.” Why is that true?

 

6. Bruce mentioned three steps on the road back.  They all began with “R.”  What were they?

 

  1. The Pharisees were an intriguing group. What was their fatal flaw?

 

  1. Do you know a “prodigal” (someone in your family or circle of friends who has stepped away from Jesus)? Take some time to pray that God might “make them hungry;” that they might “come to the end of their rope” and return to their spiritual Father.

 

  1. Read out loud and reflect on the following verse:

The Lord your God is with you

He is mighty to save

He will take great delight in you

He will quiet you with His love

He will rejoice over you with singing            Zephaniah 3:17   (NIV)

 

In prayer, thank Jesus for passionately caring for you.

Sermon Preview for July 21, 2019

Hello Wildwood Family!

Wow.  It’s hot.  I just stepped back into the offices after taking a short walk around Wildwood’s outer campus on the sidewalk path.  The ground is cracked in many places.  According to several weather stations, the heat index at this moment is 109 degrees. Yikes.

While all that heat is blazing outside, the energy has been bursting inside as Pine Cove Camp in City has been popping.  We are thankful for the Pine Cove team and we pray that all the children who are attending not only have fun but that they would also grow deeper in their knowledge of Jesus.

This Sunday will be part 3 in the series Core Truth. The message title is “God Passionately Cares for You!”  Our text this week is what many have called “The Greatest Short Story Ever.”  It is the moving story of the Prodigal son from Luke 15:11-32.  Since the story covers so many verses, I’m encouraging everyone to read the story at least two times before Sunday.  The story alternates between a focus on the younger brother, to the father, to the elder brother.  You might remind yourself of the context of this parable by looking at Luke 15:1-10.

While Scripture tells us that God cares for and loves us, that truth takes on a different perspective in the drama of this story. The younger son represents those who, as Isaiah says, have gone astray like sheep, each has turned to his own way. The father represents God who passionately cares.  The elder brother is a picture of the Pharisees, those who are self-righteous, judgmental and arrogant, folks who resent that God reaches out in grace and mercy to those in need.  This is a great passage!

Several other key things are happening Sunday. It is small group Sunday—if you are interested in getting relationally connected, be sure to stop by the Fellowship Center at 11:00am.  Also, baptism classes will be held this Sunday.  For more info on that go to wildwoodchurch.org/baptism

See you Sunday!

Bruce

Core Truth: God is Always There! – Questions for Reflection, July 14, 2019

Sermon - Bible App

On Sunday, July 14, 2019, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “CORE Truth: God is Always There!” from Psalm 139. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

  1. Share if you have had a favorite comic strip over the years and tell why you enjoyed it so much.
  2. Bruce pointed out that life has numerous valleys, many of which are dark places with imposing shadows. Reflect on and share about a dark valley that you experienced and how God helped you through it.
  3. Linus’ line in the message’s highlighted Peanuts cartoon is: Sound Theology has a way of doing that (taking a load off of one’s mind). Why is that true?
  4. What is the difference between omnipresence and pantheism?
  5. Remember the repeating phrase from multiple passages: He will not fail you or forsake you ? Why do you think God repeats that statement so often? What are some ways that the author of Hebrews adds depth to it in Hebrews 13:5?
  6. The core truths that God knows me and He is always there when knit together underscore God’s providence in your life and mine. Yet, we can oftentimes feel abandoned by God. Why?
  7. It is exciting to ponder that no matter what happens in the future God has already been there. How best can we remind ourselves of that truth?
  8. Core Truth helps to invigorate and strengthen our worship. Spend some time worshipping God either through prayer or song.

Sermon Preview – July 14, 2019

Sermon - Bible App

If you are an NBA fan—and especially a OKC Thunder fan—the last few days have been highly disorienting.  “This is so disappointing”    “I never saw this coming”   “What do we do now?”   Those kind of reactions aren’t unlike reactions we often have when adversity and difficulty comes our way.

This is where Core Truth comes into play.  This Sunday we will continue our Core Truth series with the second installment. Last week we examined the Core Truth from Psalm 139 that God Knows Me! He knows all about me.  He meticulously designed me.  Sunday we will mine another Core Truth from Psalm 139:7-12; 17-18—God is Always There!

The Core Truth that God is Always There is a true major theme in Scripture. Life has many valleys and some of them are dark places with imposing shadows.  Come Sunday as probe deeply this wonderful core truth, along with looking closely at some profound reality that grows from it.  It will be encouraging!!

Please continue to pray for our 176 high schoolers and middle schoolers who are at camp until Sunday afternoon.  Pray that each of them grows deeply in their knowledge of Jesus.

See you Sunday!

Bruce