One of the best moments from our Staycation  

Posted by Michael

video

ALBUM RELEASE: The Village: Kids - Jesus Came to Save Sinnners  

Posted by Michael

"Jesus Came to Save Sinners" contains five original songs that teach children about the character and nature of God and His plan to save sinners through Jesus Christ. These songs correspond with the five foundational truths
- Jesus Came to Save Sinners,
- God is Good,
- God is in Charge of Everything,
- God Wants to Talk with Us,
- God Made Everything
- taught each weekend in our preschool ministry, The Little Village. The mission and vision of The Little Village is "to partner with parents to build a firm spiritual foundation for their children." Our hope is that these songs will be an effective tool in engaging your children with the truth of who God is as you endeavor to obey the biblical call to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

Download it for free from our website here:
Download it from iTunes here:

The Village Church Men's Retreat Set List  

Posted by Michael

We've had a few people ask what songs we sang at the men's retreat. Here ya go:

Session 1
· Shine Your Light On Us / My Hope (Robbie Seay Band / Michael Bleecker)

· From The Inside Out (Joel Houston)

· O God Of Our Salvation (Michael Bleecker, Matt Boswell)

· Made Us Alive (Seth Jones, Michael Bleecker)

· In Christ Alone (Keith Getty, Stuart Townend)

Session 2
· Holy, Holy, Holy (Reginald Heber, 1826 / John B. Dykes, 1861)

· When I Survey (Isaac Watts, Tim Hughes)

· Stronger (Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan)

· Before The Throne of God Above (Charitie Lees Bancroft, 1863 / Vicki Cook)

· Glorious Day (Michael Bleecker, J. Wilbur Chapman)

· Be Thou My Vision (Dallan Forgaill, Eleanor Henrietta Hull, Mary Elizabeth Byrne, Michael Bleecker)

Session 3
· You Hold Me Now (Matt Crocker, Reuben Morgan)

· To The Cross I Cling (Michael Bleecker, Matt Boswell)

· In My Place (Michael Bleecker, Matt Boswell)

· O God Of Our Salvation (Michael Bleecker, Matt Boswell)

· In Christ Alone (Keith Getty, Stuart Townend)

The Worship Pastor by Michael Bleecker  

Posted by Michael

I just found this mp3 from an Acts 29 Regional I preached at on the topic of the Worship Pastor a few years ago.
Listen to it here:

U2 in Dallas  

Posted by Michael



U2's Set List: (Note: This is a predicted set list I found online)

Breathe, Get On Your Boots, Mysterious Ways, Beautiful Day - Blackbird, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - Stand By Me, Stuck In A Moment, No Line On The Horizon, Magnificent, Elevation, Until the End of the World, The Unforgettable Fire, City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (remix), Sunday Bloody Sunday - People Get Ready, MLK, Walk On

Encore: One, Amazing Grace, Where the Streets Have No Name, Ultraviolet, With or Without You (lyrics), Moment of Surrender

Can't wait.

Follow us on Twitter  

Posted by Michael

Faith and I are Twittering now. So, if you'd like to read our Tweets(weird language), you can follow us (again, weird language) on Twitter:
@michaelbleecker
@faithbleecker

It's been a while since I've posted a blog, but I'll be posting new pictures of our boys on here soon.

The Bleeckers

Sound Doctrine: The Village Worship Blog  

Posted by Michael

I wanted to let you guys know that the worship pastors of The Village (Isaac Wimberley, John Warren, Jeff Capss and myself) have started a new blog called Sound Doctrine

Check it out if you get some time: http://hv.thevillagechurch.net/blog/worship/

Gossip  

Posted by Michael

The following is written by Ray Ortlund:

Q: What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?

A: The duties required in the ninth commandment are the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man and the good name of our neighbor, . . . loving, desiring and rejoicing in their good name; . . . a ready receiving of a good report and unwillingness to admit of an evil report concerning them.

So says the Westminster Larger Catechism. The Bible itself is so clear against gossip, probably because we are so inclined toward gossip:

O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
He who does not take up a reproach against his friend. Psalm 15:1, 3

There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him: . . .
one who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16, 19

Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people. Leviticus 19:16, AV

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. James 4:11

Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
and do not reveal another’s secret. Proverbs 25:9

God gave them up to a debased mind . . . . They are gossips. Romans 1:28-29

There are many biblical passages confronting gossip. The witness of God against this sin is overwhelming.

What is gossip? It is not necessarily false information. Slander is false. Gossip might include true information, and maybe that’s why gossip doesn’t always feel sinful. What makes it sin is, first and foremost, that God says it’s sin. But gossip spreads what can include accurate information to diminish another person. That is not how people behave when they are living in the power of the grace of God.

Gossip is our dark moral fervor eagerly seeking gratification. Gossip makes us feel important and needed as we declare our judgments. It makes us feel included to know the inside scoop. It makes us feel powerful to cut someone else down to size, especially someone we are jealous of. It makes us feel righteous, even responsible, to pronounce someone else guilty. Gossip can feel good in multiple ways. But it is of the flesh, not of the Spirit.

Adultery too is a serious sin, and one likely to be disciplined in a church. But I have never seen a church split over the sin of adultery. Gossip is a sin rarely disciplined but often more socially destructive than the sensational sins.

Gossip leaves a wide trail of devastation wherever and however it goes – word of mouth, email, blogging, YouTube. It erodes trust and destroys morale. It creates a social environment of suspicion where everyone must wonder what is being said behind their backs and whether appearances of friendship are sincere. It ruins hard-won reputations with cowardly but effective weapons of misrepresentation. It manipulates people into taking sides when no such action is necessary or beneficial. It unleashes the dark powers of psychological transference, doing violence to the gossiper, to the one receiving the gossip and to the person being spoken against. It makes the Body of Christ look like the Body of Antichrist – destroyers rather than healers. It exhausts the energies we would otherwise devote to positive witness. It robs our Lord of the Church he deserves. It exposes the hostility in our hearts and discredits the gospel in the eyes of the world. Then we wonder why we don’t see more conversions, why “the ground is so hard.”

What should we do when a conversation starts slipping into gossip? We should immediately challenge the sin: “Hey friend, sorry to interrupt, but this is gossip. So here’s the deal. This conversation is now on hold until you go get _____________, and then you can start over and say whatever you feel you must say right to his face. I am willing to be a witness to that conversation, but I will not participate in gossip. What do you choose to do?” Amy Carmichael established this rule at her mission station: “Never about, always to.”

“Let all things be done for building up” (1 Corinthians 14:26). Therefore, let’s always ask ourselves, “These words about to rise up out of my mouth or go out through my keyboard – do they build up? Am I being constructive? If the person I feel like discussing were here with me right now, how would his presence change what I feel like saying?”

“Do not be deceived: . . . revilers will not inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Thank you WD-40  

Posted by Michael

I walked into Evan's room this morning and saw two walls covered in purple crayon. I googled "how to get crayon off of walls" and found WD-40 to be the most popular, so I tried it...and it worked!







I did discover that WD-40 and towels don't mix well:

Tim Keller: Religion vs The Gospel  

Posted by Michael

RELIGION: I obey-therefore I’m accepted.

THE GOSPEL: I’m accepted-therefore I obey.

RELIGION: Motivation is based on fear and insecurity.

THE GOSPEL: Motivation is based on grateful joy.

RELIGION: I obey God in order to get things from God.

THE GOSPEL: I obey God to get to God-to delight and resemble Him.

RELIGION: When circumstances in my life go wrong, I am angry at God or my self, since I believe, like Job’s friends that anyone who is good deserves a comfortable life.

THE GOSPEL: When circumstances in my life go wrong, I struggle but I know all my punishment fell on Jesus and that while he may allow this for my training, he will exercise his Fatherly love within my trial.

RELIGION: When I am criticized I am furious or devastated because it is critical that I think of myself as a ‘good person’. Threats to that self-image must be destroyed at all costs.

THE GOSPEL: When I am criticized I struggle, but it is not critical for me to think of myself as a ‘good person.’ My identity is not built on my record or my performance but on God’s love for me in Christ. I can take criticism.

RELIGION: My prayer life consists largely of petition and it only heats up when I am in a time of need. My main purpose in prayer is control of the environment.

THE GOSPEL: My prayer life consists of generous stretches of praise and adoration. My main purpose is fellowship with Him.

RELIGION: My self-view swings between two poles. If and when I am living up to my standards, I feel confident, but then I am prone to be proud and unsympathetic to failing people. If and when I am not living up to standards, I feel insecure and inadequate. I’m not confident. I feel like a failure.

THE GOSPEL: My self-view is not based on a view of my self as a moral achiever. In Christ I am “simul iustus et peccator”—simultaneously sinful and yet accepted in Christ. I am so bad he had to die for me and I am so loved he was glad to die for me. This leads me to deeper and deeper humility and confidence at the same time. Neither swaggering nor sniveling.

RELIGION: My identity and self-worth are based mainly on how hard I work. Or how moral I am, and so I must look down on those I perceive as lazy or immoral. I disdain and feel superior to ‘the other.’

THE GOSPEL: My identity and self-worth are centered on the one who died for His enemies, who was excluded from the city for me. I am saved by sheer grace. So I can’t look down on those who believe or practice something different from me. Only by grace I am what I am. I’ve no inner need to win arguments.

RELIGION: Since I look to my own pedigree or performance for my spiritual acceptability, my heart manufactures idols. It may be my talents, my moral record, my personal discipline, my social status, etc. I absolutely have to have them so they serve as my main hope, meaning, happiness, security, and significance, whatever I may say I believe about God.

THE GOSPEL: I have many good things in my life—family, work, spiritual disciplines, etc. But none of these good things are ultimate things to me. None of them are things I absolutely have to have, so there is a limit to how much anxiety, bitterness, and despondency they can inflict on me when they are threatened and lost.