Posted by: Matt Rice | 02/21/2010

Jesus is Greater than Religion

I have enjoyed the last three weeks at The Creek. We have been teaching on the theme: JESUS > RELIGION.  The prayer time, study time, and research time has been great. It is amazing how Jesus rebuked (lovingly and sinlessly) the religious leaders of the time who got so wrapped up in their religion that they failed to see HIM as the one who completed them.

If you want to hear more of the series go to www.thecreekchurch.org and click on the podcast tab at the bottom of the home page. I personally believe Matt Hahn brought the house down with Part 2 in the series.

Posted by: Matt Rice | 02/13/2010

Family Church

We cancelled church on January 31, 2010. I gathered the family together around 10 am for “FAMILY CHURCH.” Dana was our worship leader (we sang songs from my laptop), Andrew read Proverbs 3:5-6, and with the help of Dana, Mollie prayed for our family and Haiti. Luke and Jake were quiet for most of the “service.”

We learned about what it means to trust God. We had all the kids stand on the couch with their backs to the outside one at a time. We told them to trust means you depend, believe, and are sure you will not be let down. We told them to trust us and fall backwards. I remember doing this in the youth group growing up and being scared I was not going to be caught. Each of the kids turned around and took the plunge without hesitation. Oh, the faith of a child.

I prayed for them afterward for their salvation – to repent and believe in Jesus. I am grateful and humbled to be their dad. Family church ROCKS.

Posted by: Matt Rice | 02/09/2010

Forced to REST….and be reminded

I grew up in Ballston Lake, NY and South Windsor, CT. Both of these suburbs got a lot of snow. New York averaged 100 inches of snow per year to Connecticut’s admirable 55 inches a year.  I do not miss this at all. However, a good snow every once in a while is good, especially for the kids.

Five inches of snow in NY or CT does nothing to them. Life goes on. However, here in the ill prepared south, things come to a screeching halt when the threat of snow comes much less the real thing. It is during this latest “snowstorm,” that I  learned a hard lesson. “Be still and know that I am God.” I have used this verse to comfort people, used it during a sermon, and in my personal time of devotion.

However, this forced pause to reflect on the bigness of God due to the snow was timely. I usually wake up in the morning running, with looking to check things off the to-do list. This week my sermon is done (did not preach Sunday) and had great time with the family. We watched movies, read books, went sledding, and took naps.

I am grateful for the snow and the reminder to “Be still and know…”

Posted by: Matt Rice | 02/01/2010

UNC Tarheels


Each New Years Eve the UNC Basketball Team hosts a basketball clinic for kids. Kevin, my brother-in-law, is the biggest UNC fan I know. He knows all things UNC. He found out about this clinic and we took our kids. Andrew was the only one old enough to participate.

I grew up a Carolina fan. Even in the middle of UCONN and big east country I have loved theTarheels. To be able to bring my son to the team I have always loved was a dream. It was incredible. Andrew was coached by different players, experienced this with his cousins, and got autographs from some coaches and players. I even had a conversation with Roy Williams.

Go Heels!!!

Posted by: Matt Rice | 01/28/2010

Date Night

Dating your spouse is essential. If the marriage is analogous of the relationship Christ has with the church, married couples must do everything they can to make dating each other a priority. For us, the challenge is asking the grandparents for help. All 4 are a great help to us. But you can wear out your welcome with asking too much.

Recently, Andrew noticed “Dad was a little frustrated.” He walked over to the phone and called Grammy – Dana’s mom. Not knowing that any of this was going on he informed Grammy that we needed a date and asked if his two brothers, sister and himself could come over while Mom and Dana went on a date. Again, not knowing any of this, he, in typical loud Rice fashion, announced that Mom and Dad were going on a date tonight and that Grammy was taking care of the kids. Not only that,  he laid out the clothes we were to wear on our date.

We went to Macaroni Grill. Thanks Andrew.

Posted by: Matt Rice | 01/23/2010

My Favorite Books from 2009

I am not a big book reader. I am a slow reader. I love to read, but it often puts me to sleep. However, I was able to read some good ones in 2009 and wanted to give them a shout out on their behalf. The order is how I would rank them – 1 having the most impact on me.

1.    Crazy Love by Frances Chan

2.    Humility by CJ Maheney

3.    Vintage Church by Mark Driscoll

4.    The Reason for God by Tim Keller

5.    Beyond Belief by Josh Hamilton

6.    The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper

Posted by: Matt Rice | 01/14/2010

Parenting……the joys and trials

I love being a dad. It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Sometimes I struggle with providing the consistency that my kids need. Other times, it is the frustration and not losing my cool. However, in the middle of the daily trying times there are beautiful moments where you become overwhelmed by the grace of God in this role.

For instance, I was riding in the car with Andrew and asked him what he wanted to see in 2010. Here is his response:

1.    I want to be a MOG – That is a man of God.

2.    I want big things for The Creek.

3.    I want to run after Jesus, Dad, and know Him more.

Let me first say that Andrew is a people pleaser. I believe he wants this….as well as wants to please me with his answer. Whatever the reason, I was so encouraged. In the midst of the refereeing between kids, God gave me this nugget of encouragement.

Posted by: Matt Rice | 01/07/2010

Consistency… Not dramatic plans for 2010

What are your plans for 2010? Lose weight? Clean the garage? Read the bible all the way through? Be more disciplined? Watch less TV? Spend more time with your kids? What is it?

I have learned that discipline follows discipline. If you are disciplined in one area,  many times it catches on in other areas. For me, I have big plans for this year. I do not want to put them in the New Years resolution category. However, I challenge you to see the one area of your life that hinders you from running hard and fast after Jesus and attack it with all the power of the Holy Spirit in you.

You see, God is not concerned with our dramatic plans, but He is concerned with our consistency. Don’t try and Jack Bauer all the issues that you have been slack with in your whole life. Transformation takes time and consistency. Start the year with the one area that makes you stumble and consistently stand against it in the Sprit.

Posted by: Matt Rice | 12/17/2009

Reflections from Sunday….Part 2

I love basketball.  I usually play point guard or shooting guard, but its not because I can dribble or shoot the best. That is just my role with the group of guys I play with. I am the smaller of the group and they are at their best when they rebound and box out. I can rebound and box out but that is not my ROLE. I have a role to dribble, set screens, take (or miss) the open shot. That is my role. When we play our best, it is because the team members are playing their roles. The same can be said about marriage. You need to know your role to experience God’s best.

For the marriage to function the way God designed and wants, husbands and wives must know their roles. There is so much push back over the word “submission” inside and outside of the church. What God desires is for men to love unconditionally, and for women to respect unconditionally. When husbands respond in love to their spouse as a result of the love that is showered to him by Christ, his wife will willingly follow his lead.

God wants us to be committed to each other – not just to the marriage. Here are some thoughts from Sunday:

1. Submission to your husband is a voluntary yielding in love.

2. Submission means that husband and wife are EQUAL with COMPLEMENTARY roles.

3. Submission is modeled after Jesus.

4. Submission is a response to the grace God has given you demonstrated in and through marriage.

5. Submission does not mean man is the ultimate authority – GOD IS.

6. Submission does not mean you don’t influence or have independent thoughts.

7. Submission does not mean you obey even unto sin.

8. Submission does not mean woman are less important, intelligent, or competent.

9. Wives – do you respect your husband?

10. Do you encourage you husband?

Know your role to experience God’s best.

Posted by: Matt Rice | 12/08/2009

Reflections From Sunday

  • There is no such thing as a perfect marriage.
  • The love of a husband should be described as: sacrifice, purifying, thoughtful, model, and understanding.
  • Women want to be loved; men want to be respected.
  • A husband’s standard of beauty is defined by HIS WIFE.
  • The key to loving your wife is being FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT.
  • How you can love:        COUPLE

C – Closeness – Don’t be afraid to get close.

O – Openness – Give details, guys.

U – Understanding – Don’t fix it, just listen.

P – Peacemaking – Say your sorry.

L – Loyalty – She needs to know you are committed.

E – Esteem – She needs to be honored and cherished

  • If you don’t encourage your wife DAILY, someone will.
  • A Man of God must be led by the Spirit of God to lead his family to God.

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