My Family

A Book That’s Not For Sale

5 March 2010

“Hey, Daddy, I wrote this book for you.” – my daughter Callie

And here it is…in full.

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“Jesus” – Written and illustrated by Callie Mashburn.

Published by the Callie Company.

Isn’t this sort of what all of us need to do? Own and retell the story of Jesus in our own words? “Illustrate” it ourselves with our own colorful stories and perspectives? And “publish” it by living it out in our own lives?

I guess we could tear up the detailed inaccuracies between Callie’s book and The Book (like the fact that in the Bible Joseph doesn’t seem to be around when the crucifixion of Jesus took place, even though Callie describes he and Mary being “so sad” when Jesus died), or get caught up correcting the bad grammar or misspelled words (“sall”=saw), or point out that an actual picture of the cross of Jesus would be a tad more gruesome that Callie’s drawing. But, oh, how we would miss the point of it all, eh? Oh, how we would miss the heart. And we would be frozen stiff, afraid to to tell the unbelievable story of Jesus because we might “get it wrong” or “not be good enough.”

I pray that Callie never stops telling the story.

Eventually, of course, I want the title of her book to be “Callie” – Written and illustrated by Jesus.

What a sweet book that is, and Jesus is writing it right before my eyes. And what a sweet book Callie has written and gifted to me.

It’s not for sale. But here is your reminder that these are. Auctions close on Sunday and Monday nights. If you have any interest in them (or in supporting the Mashburn family’s takin’-care-of-business fund), be sure to bid in these by then.

On a side note (but probably worthy of it’s own blog piece based on several conversations I’ve had this week), it was a little sad to me that Callie ended her book with the observation that back in Jesus’ time, “every day people would go to the cross and worship Jesus,” but “these days, we worship Jesus by going to church and singing about Jesus.”

If she is right, and that is the extent of how we worship “these days”, we need to get back to how they did it back then: both in frequency and focus.

A Decade with Shade

3 March 2010

“Why does the TAKS test have to be on March 3rd?” – Shade Canon Mashburn, my son

It may seem a random question to you, and I didn’t have an educated answer. But I know it matters to him because March 3rd is Shade’s birthday. And today, on his 10th, he’s not thrilled that he has to spend about 8 hours of it on a test. All I could say was “I guess it has to be on someone’s birthday, buddy.”

He asked this past Monday, and you have to know that Shade takes the TAKS test really seriously (he didn’t get that from me, I can assure you). So I guess as a way of uplifting his spirits, he asked if we could sit down and make some decorations for him to put around the house for his birthday. So I took some pipe cleaners and a piece of paper, Callie took some popsicle sticks, paper and glue, and Shade himself took an old wrapping paper tube, some pipe cleaners and some tape and we created and then spread these around the dining room. 

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Well buddy, I hope this self-medication did it’s magic and lifted your spirits this morning as you passed them and went out the door for school!

Last night as I prayed with Shade before bed, I sort of got lost in reflection about the last 10 years of my life. Now, I’ve got a pretty decent imagination most of the time, but I could not imagine the last 10 years without this fun, passionate, sincere, energetic, ready-to-go, thoughtful, power-packed fireball of a kid in my life! And knowing him, who would want to?

I prayed and thanked God for the whole decade that I have had with this guy. He has been a source of joy, challenge, adventure, sacrifice, selflessness, introspection, transformation, and love in my life. I will never be the same. Because of him, I don’t know how to explain it really, but I am much more real.

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Here’s an iPhone photo of he and I in Lubbock trying to look tough.





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Here’s how we look when we are being real.






Happy Birthday, Shade. Here’s to the life-long journey of becoming much more real.

I love you.

Shades Baptism

12 February 2010

Shade is my oldest son.

Here he is as a young child, growing up in the midst of a community of people that regularly celebrated their decision to follow Christ.


And here he is today, doing it himself.

I’m glad to have (kinda) held it together.

I didn’t do so well during the sermon I preached afterwards when I told some of the stories of the powerful conversations I’ve had with Shade over the last year. The first half of this teaching is from the last few verses of the first chapter of 1 John, the second half is all the stories about Shade.

Thanks to all of you who have helped him know Jesus Christ as the loving, saving, life-giving savior and master that he is. And thanks in advance to any and all of you who will be instrumental in guiding, helping, and supporting Shade on his continuing journey into and with Christ.

I am eternally grateful.

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