Yesterday Was Easter. Today’s My Birthday. Sorry.

birthday clown

Today’s my birthday (hence the horrifying birthday clown, I apologize to all readers under the age of twelve). The big two-eight. According to the life-expectancy for American men, that means I’m one-third dead. Not cool.

Also, yesterday was Easter weekend. Kind of a big deal for ministers. We had an awesome weekend at NECC celebrating the resurrection with the well over 6,000 folks that attended. I pray many drew closer to Jesus because of it. I love my church.

So with all that in mind, I will not be posting my regular blog today. Just an FYI for all our faithful readers. Thanks ahead of time for forgiving my laziness. It is a Christian virtue, after all.

I’ll pick back up soon with our every-other-week first-day-of-the-week posts.

Until then, read this (it has been our most clicked blog of the year): THE MOST DANGEROUS IDOL OF THE NEXT GENERATION

Or watch this (it has been our most watched sermon of the year):

Get all Cross-Shaped blogs via-email by using the “FOLLOW” box at the bottom of your screen. Or if you WordPress, just follow. And be sure to ridicule this in the comments below.

A Kentucky Pastor’s Guide to Trash-Talk During March Madness

march madness

There’s a reason why they call it March Madness, and it goes beyond things like the Mercer Bears, Dayton’s Cinderella run, overtime, buzzer-beaters, and vacation-days spent binge-watching nineteen year-olds you wish you could be.

The Madness goes beyond that because every year, during March, I actually watch people go mad. The AMA should look into this. In fact, anyone who knows me knows I speak from personal experience: March Madness makes you mad. (Don’t patronize me!!! My depression after John Wall and company lost to West Virginia in 2010 was real… and sad. At least I lost like five pounds.)

Continue reading

Confessions of a New Christian: Do I really have to love her?


Updated: 8:50AM, 11/4/13

A few weeks ago, in a small-group I lead for non-Christians interested in Jesus, I heard one of the more terrifying stories I’ve heard since starting ministry (for the sake of privacy, details have been altered). It was a story of an older gentleman, a wonderful older gentleman named Theo.

Theo wasn’t a Christian (until recently). He knew of Jesus but, self-admittedly, he didn’t “follow” Jesus. Nonetheless, he had lived a full life, raised great kids, with healthy grandkids, and had been married to the same woman for twenty-five years.

From the first day I met Theo, I liked him. He had this soft smile that lit up the room, and a dignified manner that made me think he was secretly British royalty. He dressed nice, talked nice, and always had thoughtful questions for the group. Everyone in the group loved Theo, and that’s because they sensed Theo genuinely loved everyone in the group.

Then a few weeks back Theo shared his horror story. About six months ago, his wife of twenty-five years left him. Theo said she decided, “She doesn’t love me anymore.” For the seventh time, Theo caught her having an affair, and despite his best efforts to reconcile the relationship… again… she left him. Kicking and screaming the entire way. Blaming Theo for her years of infidelity. Leaving him standing there cold and alone.

Continue reading

The Pinterest Virus (and other related social media illnesses)


A couple weeks ago I fervently, comically, and quite sarcastically warned all the mothers with young kids at our church to “STAY OFF PINTEREST!!!” (Church attendance has since dropped 13%, but whatever!) And that’s because, on Pinterest, you will find these terrifying mothers who, I’m sure of it, manipulate some sort of evil dark magic to invent impossible creations for their children and families.

I mean just look at her! She has a full-time job with four kids and two on the way, yet she knitted her children new hats made out of unused coffee filters and paper clips. And then she pinned a recipe for the organic, calorie-free, tomato bisque she served last night for dinner. And then she even posted a sample page of her self-authored, hand-made, scratch-and-sniff, children’s novel she’s getting published. Her kids REALLY REALLY love her. And for that matter, so would your kids… way way more than they love you!

Continue reading


One of our strategies every weekend at NECC is to engage what’s hot in pop culture unapologetically, and then measure it with the Bible.

Or at least we use that as an excuse to do cool stuff like this… ZOMBIES!!!!

Come check out our new series called “The End”!  Service times are Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 9am & 11:15am.