Monday, February 27, 2017

Conferencing for Christ (An MTL Magazine Blog)

I don’t understand quilters, gardening enthusiasts or salesmen. Making patchwork art, a necessity for colonial winters, doesn’t thrill my soul. Neither does pruning flowers in the sweltering heat of a swamp-like Florida. Forget sales as a career. I’m not wired that way.
Though I don’t understand the excitement about such things, I do understand why they do what they do. It’s something they love.
Read the rest of my article, Conferencing for Christ, at MTL Magazine

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Legacy of Writing (A Seriously Write blog)

It wasn’t too long ago. I was sitting in my office, tapping away at the keyboard, trying to meet a deadline, when the doorbell rang. Our oldest daughter and her family had arrived. An expected visit to drop off our two grandsons so Mom and Dad would go out and remember why they started this whole plan years ago.

I could hear my grandson, Landon, ask my wife, “Where’s Papa?”

“He’s in his office.”

He bebopped in, a big smile on his face. “Hey, Papa.”

“Hey, buddy. Did you come to see me?” I extended my arms for a hug.

“Yep.” He gives me a hug and looks at the computer screen. “Whatchadoin’?”

Wanting to see how the wheels would turn in that over-imaginative head of his, I said, “Papa is writing a book.” (I knew it would spark interest because he’d just started learning how to read, and books were such a new, “cool” thing to him.)

“You’re writing a book?” The look on his face was precious. The wonder in his eyes and the astonishment in his tone said it all.

Read the remainder of the article HERE!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

"The Author Behind the Story" Series - Buck Storm

Greetings from the Sunny South!

As I stated in my short blog post on January 7, introducing my new blog series, The Author Behind the Story, I wanted to get to know better the authors behind the stories I read or have heard about from someone I know. I also wanted readers to either get a chance to strike up a deeper relationship with these authors or get to know a new author they've never read before. It's all about the relationships here. Ones that will move forward long after the last page is turned.

So, with that little preface, I want to introduce to you to author-and songwriter-Buck Storm!

Buck, Welcome!  Give us a quick bio, will ya? In fifty words or less, who is Buck Storm?

I’m Buck Storm. I grew up in Yuma, Arizona—a son of the Southwest. I’m a touring singer/songwriter and the author of two novels. My wife and I have a happy love story and two wonderful, grown children.           

Before you ever got a notion of becoming a writer/author, how old were you, and what were you doing in that time of your life?

I remember hiding under the covers as a very young kid with a flashlight and a stack of Louis L’Amour novels. I think that’s when I fell in love with story. Later I read everything I could get my hands on. I’ve always loved to write. I think that’s why I began writing songs but the dream of becoming a novelist has always been there. In fact on the application for my first real apartment I lied and said I was a writer. At the time I figured it was more of a small fib since I wrote songs. Oh boy…           

You know what? I play the drums. Self-taught. Can't read a lick of music, drum or otherwise. Play by ear, but I can pick up most things. Have played in two different church praise teams...

Wouldn't it be cool to have a jam session sometime? We could invite our mutual friend, Jim Hart. Hmmm... 

But I digress.

What educational background do you have?

Honestly, I joined a band my sophomore year of high school and barely graduated. In fact, I had to make up a class in summer school to get my diploma. Then I was off to New York to play music. Over the years I did get some college in, including commercial dive school in Santa Barbara, CA. I have to say my real education has come from reading and travel. I’ve been blessed to see a lot of the world.

Are you married? Single? Have kids?

My wife, Michelle, and I have been married for twenty-seven years. She’s my best friend, partner in ministry, and fellow traveler. We have two kids—Ransom (22), and Willow (20). Ransom married a year ago so now we also have Sarah, the best daughter-in-law in the world.

I’m going to give you a shotgun list of favorites. List your favorite in each category and then tell us in one sentence why it is your favorite.

Favorite Food: Mexican. Always reminds me of home.
Favorite Drink: Whiskey. Not often but hey, you asked!
Favorite Song: At the moment “Feelin’ Good Again” by Robert Earl Keene but that could change in the next five minutes.
Favorite Non-Fiction Book (other than your own & besides the Bible): Have to say two here: “No Compromise” (the Keith Green story) and “Abandoned to God” (biography of Oswald Chambers). Both deeply impacted my life!
Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 46. It reminds of who He is and who I’m not.
Favorite Movie: Toss up between Field of Dreams and A Room With a View. Both brilliant!
Favorite Actor or Actress: John Wayne. Because he’s John Wayne. 
Favorite Novel (other than your own): Way too many to list. I’m a junkie—dangerous at yard sales.
Favorite Novelist (other than you): Larry McMurtry. At least at the moment.
Favorite Sport: Baseball. Are there others?
Favorite Team (Can be any sport, any level): The Dodgers. I still watch the 1988 World Series on Youtube.
Favorite Subject in School Growing Up: Literature. Because it seemed like the opposite of math.
Favorite Subject Now: Literature. Because it seems like the opposite of math. 
Favorite Teacher in School: Mrs. Kaufen. 7th grade was a hard time of life. She was tough and stable.
Favorite Time of the Year: Winter. As long as I’m in Hawaii—if not, then Summer.
Favorite Place to Vacation: Kauai. But the world is my back yard!

If you had one person you could meet (think outside the Bible here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be?
Maybe Louis L’Amour. He really lived, and he wrote about it. I think old Louis would be endlessly entertaining to talk to.

If you had one person you could meet (think ONLY Bible characters here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be besides Jesus?

Barnabas. I think he would have a lot to say that we don’t see in the scriptures. Besides, who doesn’t need a little encouragement?

Besides the usual things authors face, has there been an unusual event that changed your perspective about being an author?

Hard but honest answer; We had a very bad experience with a church and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. Not only for myself but because it effected the whole family. The good part is it really focused my intent to write. I’m not sure my first novel would have happened without that pain. 

What’s the craziest thing you have ever done?

My life has been a series of crazy/stupid. Two that immediately come to mind are standing on the wall of my fishing boat in a storm when we thought we were going over (so scared I couldn’t feel my legs). And struggling to keep my mind clear 210’ under water on a dive job off the Pacific coast (probably shouldn’t have made it back from that one!). But God has plans for us that reach beyond our bad decisions. Thank you, Lord!           

Why do you live where you live?

We live outside Coeur d’Alene in Northern Idaho. I love rural—never been a city guy. We wanted to be somewhere our kids could throw rocks and have horses. We’re certainly not a video game family. Northern Idaho is pure beauty.

We've looked at property in that neck of the woods before. It does look pretty. We always say we're going to move from Florida someday. On good days, it's a beach on the east coast or the mountains of North Carolina. On bad days, we look at Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. :-) But enough about me. 

We know “Readers are leaders, and leaders are readers.” Is there a book you’ve read in the past five years or so that has helped you become a better you? If so, which one was it, and how did it affect your life?

PURCHASE HEREI love, “The Quotable Tozer”. I think of A.W. Tozer as the poet-theologian. He inspires me constantly.

When you look for a new home, what are the things that are important to you?

First—filled with family. We live in an old farmhouse built in 1908. I love it and probably wouldn’t trade it. Wouldn’t mind a view of a lake though.

When you look for a new car, what are the things that are important to you? 

When I was a kid a wise old bass player told me a car was a simple device to get your amp from gig to gig. I think he was right. If I had a gazillion dollars I’d probably still drive an old pickup.

When you are looking for a book to read, what are the things that are important to you?

I really like a wide range of things. An interesting cover certainly helps. I love great authors—Hemingway, Steinbeck, O’Henry, etc. all for different reasons but I like modern fiction too. I guess I’m just looking for well-told stories. I can say I’d probably never pick up a book with a romance couple or on the front. I also generally steer clear of Amish and vampires (and don’t even get me started on Amish vampires).

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most, and why?

John 3:16. Can’t live without it.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about you, or anything we didn’t cover?

Well, I’m home today writing this after a short road-trip of concert dates. The sun is shining and God is in control. I’m content. He’s good to me and I want to return the favor. I need to be genuine. I always strive for my writing to be a byproduct of my faith. It’s often very easy to get that backwards. True art should reflect who we are, not who we want to be perceived as. I want to be His man. One thing I’ve learned as I get older and dumber—I was a genius when I was eighteen—I’m certainly don’t need to wait for fame or sales to make me happy. Life is good. I have everything I need—I have Him. I know I have a lot to learn and, hopefully, some more pages to fill. I have a long way to go but I have an eternal and faithful traveling companion and I plan to enjoy every inch of the trail.

Fair winds!  

Buck, it's been a pleasure having you here and getting to know you. Our prayers are with you, your wife, and your family. May God help you find time to write and play music for Him! And stay warm!!

If you wish to connect with Buck, you can find him @

May God bless you all, and may you bless God!


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Memories Spend Better than Money (A More To Life Magazine Article - Money Column)

"If only Hallmark had followed historical tradition when they began mass-producing paper cards in 1913. We might have a different outlook on February 14 today.

Despite the pagan festivals and sainthood of three men named Valentinius, we like to romanticize the holiday here in the 20th century with cards, candy, dinner and um…well, love. That’s if you’re married or dating, of course. If you’re single and have no significant other at this time of year, then the holiday is not-so-lovingly referred to as Singles Awareness Day, or SAD.

Could it be the holiday has ballooned into the commercial endeavor it is today because the focus is all wrong? If your “go-to, last minute” heartfelt affection materializes as a box of chocolates, a bouquet of flowers from your favorite vendor, a card with a sappy saying and dinner at an upscale restaurant, then may I say it?
You’ve fallen prey to the hype.
You are part of the $20 billion problem.2 Don’t fret, though. We’ve all played a role in the billion-dollar proliferation that is Valentine’s Day. We’re all guilty. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Click here to see the rest of the story!