Angus Buchan, an unusual man in today’s world

This morning I went for a ‘meet and greet’ with Angus Buchan.

A lot of folks would be overwhelmed or turned off at his overly direct, lay-it-all-out style. No matter what you think may of him, he is truly an unusual man by today’s standards. But he is for real, not a put-on. I really enjoyed meeting him and getting to know the real person behind the legend.

The following is from Wikipedia:

Angus Buchan was originally a Zambian maize and cattle farmer of Scottish descent[1] who started farming in Zambia but was forced to sell everything and move to GreytownKwaZulu-NatalSouth Africa in 1976 due to political unrest in Zambia.

In 1980 he started the Shalom Ministries to preach in his local community. Over time he has become a full time evangelist while the farm is now being run mostly by both his sons.

In 1998 Angus wrote a book about his life, Faith Like Potatoes, the book was turned into a film of the same title in 2006. Angus Buchan’s Ordinary People is a 2012 semi-biographical film that tells the story of the growth of Buchan’s ministry from the 1970s to the present, and that of three fictional characters whose lives are changed after attending one of his conferences.

About criticism: “Not one cent goes to Angus. He lives in the same wattle and daub house that he built on his farm. He drives the same old car. He doesn’t even have medical aid.” said Bruce Winship.


Special trip, then the best was yet to come!

Last Friday I went to Atlanta and attended a leadership conference for a great non-profit organization. I took a leisurely walk around the Centennial Olympic Park area and saw the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca Cola. I listened to some fantastic motivated speakers on Friday evening and Saturday. I had arisen at 5:00 AM my time, attended lectures for 8 hours, driven 3 1/2 hours home. Then the real fun began. I was privileged to go to my special grandson’s ball game that night! That was the best time of all!


Family is a big part of happiness

Yesterday was a wonderful day. I had the grand privilege of keeping a special grandson, Alex, while everyone else worked. We had a delightful day filled with laughing and playing games, and we took our little Min-Pin, Brody, to the kennel to visit his friends while Rhonda and I go to Ohio to visit family.

After Alex left yesterday, my friend, author Frank TIbbetts, came by to bring me another chapter of his graphic thriller, Cutter! due to be released in both hardback and paperback this fall. We had a great time going over some details.

Then last night, Rhonda and I went to Alex’s ball game. He is so committed to baseball that he plays on both the early league and late league, and is now the first baseman for his skilled team. It is such a joy being a grand parent–and in my case, a great-grandparent as well.

I will be meeting the latest great-grand for the first time next week. Angelique Rene Thoele is a bright little one and so blessed to have parents, grandparents and great grandparents who love her so much.

So if you have small family members, be sure to show them love…for love makes the world a better place!

Liger cubs born in China, and Antietam re-visited

How many caught this news story today? A female Manchurian tiger and an African lion are the proud parents. No this is not a gag based on the movie “Napoleon Dynamite.” According to Chinese zoo officials these beauties are only born in captivity and there are only about 20 in existance. Three liger cubs were born on May 13, and two survived.

When I was in Bejing, I was priviliged to visit the Panda Zoo where the majority of the pandas in captivity live. What cute creatures they are. But there are lots more than 20. The Chinese seem to have a knack for getting a monopoly on things. Now America is dependent upon them for a lot of the money our government spends. I, for one, believe this should change. America is still the land of oportunity. We need to grasp the vision and sprint forward to see that we remain just that.

And we still have lots of zoos in America which are special. Omaha, Nebraska has a very unique one with some wonderful bird spices. And Grant Park in Atlanta has not only a huge variety of animals from all over the globe, but the Cyclorama, portraying the story of the Civil War. It has been a century and a half today since the bloody battle in Antietam Maryland, September 17, 1862, which changed the country forever. 4.000 of our brave men died in one day, and over 19,000 more were wounded.  That battle was re-enacted to insure that those in the area look back to our hurt and see how far we have come.

May God bless America, and keep us strong.

Classic novels

One of the tasks that we are undertaking at St. Clair Publications is to publish in both high-quality paperback and ebook format a good number of classic novels which shaped our literary history. Already Men of Iron by Howard Pyle with a forward by Kent Hesselbein and Silas Marner by George Eliot with the forward by me are out in paperback, and I have prepared The Adventures of Tom Sawyer  by Mark Twain for future publication.

Now I am formatting and preparing the classic Abraham Lincoln novel, A Man for the Ages by Irving Bacheller (1919). Not much is known by many younger people about Irving Bacheller, but he was a great person in his day. After graduating from St. Lawrence University in upstate New York, where he was later granted two honorary Masters and two Doctorial Degrees, he founded the Bacheller Syndicate which popularized of such works as Stephen Crane’s Red Badge of Courage, and those of Rudyard Kipling and Arthur Conan Doyle. 

Bachelor was also the author of another popular novel titled Eben Holden. A Man for the Ages  is divided into three books; the first as a niave young man, the second dealing with his self-education, entry into the public arena, and the third with his rise to the presidency and his death. A lot of it deals with the division of the nation concerning the slavery issue. In my youth, my mother read this book to our family, and it had a powerful impact on my sense of values. Well worth the read when we get it out.

Celebrating 103 years

Today is the 103rd anniversary of my mother’s birth in Ducktown, Tennessee. In her lifetime she got around a bit. She grew up in Wyoming and Montana in the days of homesteds and Native Americans settling in the reservations around her. Then after obtaining a Normal Training certificate to teach school, she began in one-room schoolhouses, teaching in Wyoming, and Arkansas before going into Adult Education and graduating from Business College in Georgia in order to teach women how to earn a living while their husbands and fiances were away in WW II. She ended up in Who’s Who in North Carolina Education before marrying my dad in 1945. After that she even stayed with family members and did some tutoring. She also lived in Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, Oklahoma, and North Carolina and traveled to many locales, plus going to Haiti on a mission trip. She was a dedicated teacher, wife, mother and Christian. She left this world in 2000 as she was nearing the age of 91. She set a high standard, I still love and miss her.

Beyond the Thistle Patch now on Kindle

Beyond the Thistle Patch is based on the true story of my youth. Back in the day I was likely a fairly average rural boy. Though I had both plusses and minuses, I feel that the good far outweighed the bad.You might think that living in a rural area in the mountains with little convenience was a bad thing. At times it was difficult, true. But it was not bad. It taught me how to appreciate the blessings then and later. A big plus was the love and concern of my parents without smothering me. They always wanted what was best for me and didn’t hamper my opportunities. I was encouraged to take part in social functions, work for my own money and shown the difference between right and wrong. Note the use of ‘shown’ rather than told. 

My youth made me a strong, resourceful and caring individual who loved others and wanted the best for my own family. Go with me to a simpler time, wnen people were not judged by their college degrees or the size of their bank accounts. Learn the lesson found ‘Beyond the Thistle Patch.’

Now available on Kindle at .

You can even read part of it at the site!


Voting–it’s your right

We Americans are blessed to live in a free country where we have the privilege of voting for our officials to serve our best interests in government, locally, regionally, statewide and in a federal capacity. We here in Tennessee are two weeks away from our primary and local elections. Early voting is in progress and today Rhonda and I went to the polls and cast our votes. Several of the candidates, including our US Senator, I have met and spent a bit of time with. Knowing what the individuals who are elected to serve us stand for and how they fit the value system in which we believe is paramount to our selection process. If you have not yet cast your votes, please get out and take advantage of this great duty and privilege. Loosing it would be disasterous.

Remembering Andy

This week we lost a great American Icon–one with whom millions of us identify. When I was young, Andy Griffith brought us a healthy slice of American pie as Sherrif Andy Taylor of Mayberry, a life not very unlike his own as far as values go. The show is still in syndication, and I occasionally relax while laughing again to the same laid-back jokes that I did as a youngster. After all, my own youth was in a rural North Carolina setting where family and values ruled supreme. Earlier he had starred in unforgettable roles in A Face in a Crowd and No Time for Sergeants. As an adult I enjoyed the humerous adventures of a country-type lawyer named Matlock, turned loose on the city of Atlanta, which I also called home for a number of years. In short, though I was a great deal younger than Andy, he was my kind of guy, and I will miss him, as will many others. Rest in Peace, brother. You will not be forgotten.