Sunday, October 14, 2018

Featured Blog: Kelley Benson's Books

The Sign of the Tabernacle
By Kelley Benson

Paul said in Romans 1:19-20, “What may be known about God is plain to [us], because God has made it plain to [us]. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” 

When the Messiah, Jesus, finally arrived there were enough signs out there that people knew to some degree what to look for and where to look (Matthew 2:4-6). One of the most prized possessions in the Jewish culture actually served as a model of the plan of salvation—the Tabernacle (later the Temple). 
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Sunday, October 7, 2018

Featured Blog: Kelley Benson's Books

Don't Forget! 
By Kelley Benson

Isn’t it easy to use our own “righteousness” as the standard for all people? The sins we get tripped up on are either “not that bad,” or else we praise God for his grace and mercy; however, with other people it can be easy to go on a witch hunt and ready to speak for God the condemnation their actions deserve. But as Paul said about the false teachers in Corinth, “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12). Instead, they needed to consider his words to the Galatians in Galatians 6:4-8, “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load… Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
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Monday, October 1, 2018

NEW RELEASE FROM MRH

MRH PUBLISHES NEW BOOK FLOOZY COMES BACK

OKLAHOMA—Many Rivers Harbor announces the publication of Floozy Comes Back, a new collection of humorous articles from author Stephen B. Bagley. The book is on sale now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, Lulu, and other online retailers.

“Stephen’s first collection of humorous essays, Floozy and Other Stories, is one of the top books we’ve published and the readers wanted more,” said Ms. Pru Simmons, MRH associate editor. “Finally, after too long a wait, we have a new collection of these hilarious stories.”

Simmons said most of the essays in Floozy Comes Back had been published in print and online magazines and newsletters and in various anthologies. “Stephen wrote several new ones just for this book and also restored a couple of articles previously published in the first Floozy collection that had been cut by various editors to fit space and theme requirements.”

“I enjoy revisiting these essays,” Bagley said. “They’re like old friends. I’m glad to get to share them again with the readers.”

The book’s contents include: A Tale of Two Goldfish, Spice Boy, Hamlet or Another Four Hours I Won’t Get Back, The Terrible Truth about Women, Tanning My Hide, Congress & Other Monstrous Things, Work in Your Underwear, Taking Aim at Cupid, Needs Something More, Irish Dancing as Performed by Roofers, Pumpkin Pinterest, The Story of the Second Thanksgiving, Getting Lit at Christmas, Much Ado about Carbs, and many other reader favorites.


Floozy Comes Back retails for $16 in trade paperback. For more information, visit manyriversharbor.blogspot.com.

Stephen B. Bagley co-wrote Undying, a collection of poetry with poet Gail Henderson. He wrote Murder by Dewey Decimal and Murder by the Acre, both in the Measurements of Murder™ series. His other books include Tales from Bethlehem, Floozy and Other Stories, and Endless. He wrote the full-length plays Murder at the Witch’s Cottage and Two Writers in the Hands of an Angry God and co-wrote Turnabout. He coauthored two one-act plays (“Hogwild” and “There’s a Body in The Closet”) that were published by Dramatic Publishing Company. His poetry, articles, short stories, and essays have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, Blackbirds Third Flight, By-Line Magazine, Nautilus Magazine, Pontotoc County Chronicles, Tulsa World OKMagazine, Your Country Music Magazine, Free Star, Dark Prairies & Deep Rivers, New Journeys & Destinations, the Creations anthologies 2012-2015, various newspapers in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and other print and online publications. He graduated from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and a founding member of the writing group Prosateurs. Visit his website at StephenBBagley.blogspot.com.

ABOUT MANY RIVERS HARBOR
Many Rivers Harbors, a micropublishing company based in Oklahoma, is dedicated to helping authors publish and promote their books. For more information about MRH publications, visit MRH at manyriversharbor.blogspot.com or email at manyriversharbor@gmail.com.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Featured Blog: Kelley Benson's Books

Our Hearts
By Kelley Benson

How much of our hearts do we put into becoming a follower of Christ? From the very first step until our very last one, God is wanting our “hearts” to be part of it (Psalms 37:4; Romans 5:5; John 14:27).

When someone hears the Gospel and is pricked to the heart and realizes the need to be saved from sinfulness, there begins a process of tuning our hearts to God’s heart. Therefore, the “why” questions and even the “how” questions become important in our change.
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Friday, September 28, 2018

Book Teaser: "Up, Up & Away in My Beautiful Semi-Rigid Airship"

I’ve always loved dirigibles, those huge gas-filled flying machines that naturally would make us think of Congress if they were filled with hot air, but no, they’re filled with a helium mixture these days. I remember seeing the Goodyear blimp float over my town once. As it made its slow, majestic way across the sky, I felt true wonder in my soul, like the first time I saw Pamela Anderson in a bikini.

Even now, some people talk wistfully about days of the passenger airships. They were luxury cruisers and fast enough when compared with other modes of transoceanic transportation. The Hindenburg made it across the Atlantic Ocean in about four days, faster than even Michael Phelps could swim it.

Unfortunately, the Hindenburg disaster on May 6, 1937 put an end to the airship era. It shattered the public’s faith in airship transportation, although statistics showed airships were safer than cheating on your spouse.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Book Teaser: "We Like Big Trucks; We Cannot Lie"

Recently a major American automobile company announced it was going to stop selling almost all its cars and concentrate on big trucks. The idea being that fossil fuels will last FOREVER—or at least until our generation is safely dead and then it’s not our problem.

Not the company’s fault, of course. They’re making what the public wants, and apparently, the public wants vehicles large enough to be seen from orbit.

I myself drive a sensible four-door sedan. I would like a flashy sports car that can go from zero to sixty in a blink, but I am stopped by one) not having enough money to afford one, and two) if I did have one, I would have to butter myself to get inside and it would take the Jaws of Life and the fire department to get me out. I no longer have the body for a low-slung sports car.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Book Teaser: "The Truth about Trees"

The first thing you learn is that trees are jerks. Big, mean leafy jerks. Trust me on this. Joyce Kilmer probably never had to dig up a sewer line in sweltering weather or pay a plumber soul-crushing amounts of money to do so because tree roots invaded the pipes, even though there’s a pond near enough for the tree to spit in if trees spit and I’m not sure they don’t.

But it’s not plumbing problems that have me riled up about trees this time around. Nor is it their world domination schemes that are aided by the squirrels but opposed by the noble chipmunks. (Oh, Chip and Dale, the terrible price you’ve paid for your selfless bravery!) No, it’s a new complaint: I’m trying to learn how to paint, and trees are hard to do.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Book Teaser: "Inner Peace or Something Vaguely Like That"

"Have you ever tried yoga?” my therapist asked, popping another handful of pills down his throat and washing them down with a Red Bull in his shaking hands.

I regarded him doubtfully. He was young and had seemed healthy enough four weeks ago when he replaced my last therapist who had apparently entered a monastery, but he had gone downhill fast. I wonder what was going on in his private life that had caused this change.

“Yoga? You mean that chanting thing where they sacrifice chickens, go into trances, and make zombies?”

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Book Teaser: "Congress and Other Monstrous Things"

It seems a lot of people these days are excited about the idea of a zombie apocalypse; they’re even looking forward to it. Of course, they're assuming they will be a survivor fighting their way across a broken America—much like an ordinary voter approaching the polls in any election—rather than ending up as one of the shambling folk.

I don’t know how such frightening shows such as The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, The Talking Dead (a talk show about The Walking Dead), and Dancing with Barely Remembered Stars can pull in the viewer numbers that they do. If people really wanted to watch something horrific, they should watch C-SPAN. If what goes on there doesn’t frighten you, you’re most likely already dead or living in Washington, D.C., a fate well known to be worse than death.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Featured Blog: Kelley Benson's Books

Breath of Eternal Life
By Kelley Benson

It doesn’t take much for us to lose focus on what’s important in life and begin to “major in the minors,” as the old saying goes. To counter that, it takes intentional, purpose-filled thoughts and actions. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” But it’s the things that are “seen” that lure us into behaviors that get us into trouble.

James highlights the fact that there were some folks making bias distinctions between the rich and the poor, and other behaviors that did not (and do not) exemplify Christ. But, as followers of Christ we must be, as Peter says in 1 Peter 1:14-17, “[Like] obedient children, [who] do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’ Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.”
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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Book Teaser: "Much Ado About Carbs"

Carbohydrates are organic compounds with the empirical formula Cm(H2O)n; that is, it consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atom ratio of 2:1. What does that mean? I have no idea. In biochemistry, carbohydrates are also known as monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. (As Shakespeare put it: “Carbs by any other name would still taste as sweet.”) Basically, carbs are flavor molecules. They make food delicious. Actually, they work hand-in-hand with calories, which also make food taste better. And fat. Fat helps flavor, too. But I’m not supposed to have any of them.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Book Teaser: "Irish Dancing as Performed by Roofers"

As I write this, the roof above me is getting reroofed, and from the sound of it, the roofers are performing Irish step dances. Thumps, shouts, crashes, and indistinct shouting (that could be Gaelic, but I suspect it is not) are all taking place up there and sometimes on the ground as they fall off.

Yes, they do fall off the roof. I actually got to see one of them do that. He rolled off the carport nearly in front of me. Naturally, his fellow workers sprang into immediate action showing their concern.

One of them called, “Hey, you okay?”

The one on the ground said, “(Expletive), yeah.”

And then everyone laughed uproariously, except me, of course, because I had to rush inside to see if my home insurance would cover a liability claim if someone did get hurt while working on my property. I already knew it didn’t cover other people’s pets who wander into large model rockets.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Book Teaser: "I Can Drive 55; I Don't Wanna"

Okay, I can understand running out of blinker fluid. It happens. Apparently. Let’s not get up on our high horse about that. After all, when was the last time you had your car’s blinker fluid level checked?

But this whole I-don’t-see-the-stop-sign-so-it-doesn’t-exist thing, that’s odd. I don’t understand it. Toddlers believe something similar; that’s why peek-a-boo is such a hit with them. You disappear for a moment, and then you miraculously reappear. You’re the most amazing person they’ve met in their short life! Of course, that feeling doesn’t last, and by the time your toddler has grown into a teenager, you’re quite possibly the dumbest parent who has ever walked the earth and only put here to “totally” embarrass her/him. Which you should do at each and every opportunity. It’s your duty.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Book Teaser: "The Burden of Beauty"

I just had a sudden insight that I’m sure may have escaped your attention. Well, don’t feel bad. After all, I’m a genius, and you’re not. But you have a sweet spirit and will probably be spared when I crush the thrones of this earth under my booted heel. But that’s not a promise. Stop being so needy.

Anyway, my insight was about The Burden of Beauty. The capitals on The Burden of Beauty should clue you in that this will be our topic. Or really my topic. I’m writing, and you’re reading. It’s good to keep those roles straight. Yes, it’s true that beautiful people get the best jobs, make the most money, get better care in emergency rooms and hospitals, receive more respect from their peers and loved ones, and live longer. These statements are all supported by real statistics, not ones I made up.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Book Teaser" "Needs Something More"

This morning I got up at five and thought I’d watch the sunrise. As I watched the scarlet fingers of dawn stretch across the majestic vault of the sky, I thought, Hmm, it could do with a bit of dramatic music and maybe a car chase or two. By sharing that, you might think I’m blind to the wonders of nature. Not true. I just feel nature is better behind a TV screen, door, picture window, wall, moat, 20-foot-tall electrified fence with guard posts every 30 feet...because nature frankly never saw a human that it didn’t want to bend, fold, perforate, or eat.

Yes, I know, Disney has made you think that nature is filled with lovable bunnies, cute ducks, and adorable deer. Did you know that deer cost us over 4 billion dollars in property damage and medical bills each year by their habit of jumping in front of moving cars in their imitation of trainspotting? And the number of people shot by bunnies with guns stagger the imagination! Truly, it would. I can’t even discuss the fowl things ducks do.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Book Teaser: "That Buzzing Sound You Hear"

It’s time for the sounds and smells of summer: barbecue, people splashing in pools, coconut suntan lotion, happy laughter, freshlymown lawns, all is happy, happy, happy as people rejoice in the sunlight—except for me, of course, since I’ve been hiding in my darkened house as soon as the flocks of mosquitoes started returning from whatever nightmarish place they spend the winter.

Yes, I know that supposedly they lay eggs that somehow survive the winter’s cold, and those eggs hatch into larvae, which grow up to suck blood and lay more eggs to survive the winter, but I don’t believe it. Have you ever seen a mosquito nest? Me, neither. What really happens is they follow the sun to torment South Americans. Mosquitoes live many years, and all of them speak fondly of me, their Promised Land of white, soft skin that conceals the most delicious and nourishing liquid.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Featured Blog: Kelley Benson's Books

What Word Best Describes You?
By Kelley Benson

What word best describes you? Or perhaps what word would you hope other people would use to describe you? I’ve been to some funerals where the congregation was asked that question to describe the deceased. In that exercise, it's interesting to see how many characteristics are told about someone.

Truth is, we can see the same person from different perspectives. What about God? What word do we attribute to God’s character?
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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Book Teaser: "Taking Aim at Cupid"

Ordinarily in February, I make a few disparaging remarks about Valentine’s Day, or “Passover” as I call it in my house, but never within earshot of any of my Jewish friends as they do get the joke, but they don’t think it’s funny, and I hate it when they go all Samson on me.

But this year, I’ve decided to direct our attention to that clothing challenged archer who wings around shooting people with arrows to make them fall in love with people guaranteed to ruin their lives. I don’t understand Cupid.

Oh sure, I get the metaphor that love is like a sharp weapon that pierces your spleen and makes you hemorrhage to death while your lover runs off with your best friend, but beyond the obvious, what’s up with him?

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Book Teaser: "A Tale of Two Goldfish"

I bought another fish recently to keep Churchill, my fancy goldfish, company. It’s a fantail goldfish, and its name is Bo. The other fish at the store had apparently heard of me. While my back was turned, I quite clearly heard the phrase “aquarium of death” bubbled around. I ignored them.

As I checked out, the clerk leaned close to me and asked, “Do they fry up good?” Apparently, she thought I had been buying so many goldfish because I was dipping them in batter and serving them with chips on the side. I didn’t reply, just smiled and shook my head, even though everyone knows you can’t fry goldfish. (You have to bake them in a low-temperature oven—or so I’ve heard.)

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Book Teaser: "What Did You Say?"

I’ve been accused of not paying attention more than once in my life. By teachers, parents, siblings, girlfriends, friends who are girls, just plain friends, fellow employees, teammates, etc., and who say I’m the poster child for Adult Attention Deficit Syndrome. I think it’s time to explain this once and for all—if I’m not paying attention, it’s because you’re not being interesting. If you’d step up your game, I’d be with you more.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Book Teaser: "My Fitness Goal—and, Yes, I DO Have One"

At the gym—yes, I was at the gym; that shocked expression doesn’t look good on you—I was asked what my fitness goal was. And I answered promptly, “I want to be one of those obnoxious skinny people.” You know the ones I mean: they eat like starving pigs, but they never gain weight. In fact, they are so used to their incredible metabolism burning fat like a Congressman spends money that they are baffled by people who are overweight.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Book Teaser: "'Hamlet' or Another Four Hours I Won't Get Back"

You all know Hamlet by William Shakespeare is one of the greatest plays ever written. If you didn’t know, now you do, and you can go to bed knowing you learned one thing today.

You may be surprised to also learn I am not a fan of the play. Oh, I recognize the genius of it, and it has one of the most famous and moving soliloquies ever written (To be or not to be...) but frankly it doesn’t have a role for Dolly Parton, and I don’t like plays that preclude the chance of casting her. 

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Featured Blog: Kelley Benson's Books

What Are We Teaching?
By Kelley Benson

School’s underway, and people are fitting into their busy schedules once again. Since our time is so precious, it seems we place a high value on efficiency. Efficiency is usually a good thing, and it even has a place in worship. However, saving time isn’t the goal when it comes to honoring our Heavenly Father for providing a way to spend eternity with Him in His home that is not bound by time. But we see these steps for easier worship in how we reduce the number of songs or verses, or encouraging shorter sermons, or even the statement often made during the time of offering, “This is separate and apart from the Lord’s Supper, but as a matter of convenience, we’re taking up an offering now.”
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Saturday, September 8, 2018

Book Teaser: "Je ne parle pas Fran├žais!"

I keep trying to learn French even though it’s obvious I will never master it with enough expertise to not horrify a Frenchman. I once had dinner in a French restaurant in Tulsa and attempted to impress the waiter with my French. With an expression on his face like he had a severe case of constipation, he attempted to repeat my order to me in bad English while I attempted to correct him in bad French. I would have gone hungry except the menu had pictures on it, so I was able to point at items and received excellent food. I’m not sure what it was, but it used a lot of garlic, cream, and butter, and how could you go wrong with that?

I don’t even know why I want to learn French. I have no particular desire to travel to France, although it seems lovely and they did give us the Statue of Liberty, which is much nicer than a gift card but not as easy to carry.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back available now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Book Teaser: "The Jonesmyth Expedition"

T’was a cold day in late December in fair London town in the meeting room of the Literary Works Explorers Club in the year 20— when Sir Neil “Nellybelly” Shanksview made a most audacious proposal: to mount an expedition of brave men to read the entire ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’ of the somewhat United Colonies of the Americas.

“By Finnigan’s foot, it’s not possible!” Brigadier Frogsworth “Froggy” Speartoad exclaimed and spilled his whiskey and goat milk.

“Compose yourself, Frog,” the forthright and handsome Lord Thomas “Pigsworth” Jonesmyth said calmly. “With the proper equipment and planning, such an expedition could be done in...let me think...in—”

“Eighty days!” interjected the youthful Martin “Martin” Cowpert.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back available now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Buy at Amazon

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Book Teaser: "To a Fault"

Whenever something terrible happens, you should always ask yourself, “Is Stephen okay?” If so, then it’s not that terrible. At least not for me, and I’m sure we all agree that’s what’s really important. Naturally, I’m concerned about you, too, and will do anything to help you—as long as I’m not greatly inconvenienced or busy or my favorite shows aren’t on TV. I have to have priorities, which I know you understand because I’m such a high priority for you.

To a judgmental person, it might possibly sound like I’m self absorbed, but let’s be honest, if you were as awesome as me—if that were even possible, and frankly, it’s not—you’d be self-absorbed, too. I’m definitely marvelous. People are fascinated by me, particularly doctors who want to study me in a specially controlled environment.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back available now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Book Teaser: "The Fine Art of Sighing"

My old computer died. You would have thought I lost a beloved pet by the way I moped around my house for a couple of weeks. During that time, my answer to any question was a sigh of despair with a hint of brave long-suffering and a touch of woe-is-me. It was one of my finest series of sighs.

Not that I’m the master of sighing. No, that title belongs to my brother. He can create sighs that are the verbal equivalent of the Mona Lisa. For some unaccountable reason, I am the cause of many of his sighs, and I can tell you they are capable of making strong men weep or at least check to see if the tires of their cars are leaking. His sighs convey the overall theme of “my brother is nuts and why am I burdened with him” with layers of such emotions as “life is a mystery of sadness and joy” and “geese fly south in the winter as the year moves toward its end.”

Read more in Floozy Comes Back available now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Buy at Amazon