This year is an election year, but then, unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere on Spitsbergen Island, you knew that. What? You’ve never heard of Spitsbergen Island? Well, I’ve never been there, but I promise I did not make it up. Even if you’ve been on Spitsbergen Island, you may still know this is an election year. Lately, we’ve seen political ads on television more times than we’ve seen Cheryl’s she shed burn down. Just for the record, I don’t believe Cheryl’s she shed was struck by lightning. I’m not making any accusations, but based on Victor’s response, I’m thinking her insurance company might need to talk to him.

As for the elections, I am so excited. The reason I am excited is because ole Billy Bob, believe it or not, is finally old enough to vote. On Valentine’s Day, he turned eighteen.

In case you don’t know who Billy Bob is, he is the character I perform humor as. I created him in February of 2002 which makes him eighteen years old. Since he is technically not a real person but just a character I play, or a figment of my imagination, I’m not sure that he can legally register to vote. He still doesn’t have a driver’s license, but he does get mail in his name. His mail is mostly invitations to come speak, but he also gets credit card applications. I have not allowed him to actually get a credit card.

Billy Bob’s first appearance was at a Valentine’s banquet at Gracewood Baptist Church, in Southaven, Mississippi, where I served as pastor. Now that I think about it, Billy Bob may be the reason I no longer serve there! No, that must not be the case because Billy Bob has been invited back there two or three times.

I had no idea what I was starting eighteen years ago. I assumed it was a one-time performance. Little did I know that Billy Bob was going to keep reappearing. I began getting invitations to come appear as Billy Bob at other churches and places. Billy Bob has taken me all over the southeastern United States, as well as several places beyond. I have appeared as Billy Bob over one-thousand times. While most of those have been in churches, I have done programs in all kinds of places, including businesses, restaurants, retirement homes, festivals, television programs, jails, prisons, a wedding rehearsal dinner, and even a state legislator’s breakfast. Beginning a long weekend last Thursday evening, we had the privilege of performing at Morningside Baptist Church in Columbus, Georgia; Pepperell Baptist Church in Opelika, Alabama; Bethel Baptist Church in Pleasant Grove, Alabama; and Cottonton Baptist Church in Cottonton, Alabama. Thank you to each of those churches who had us in to celebrate Billy Bob’s birthday, even if they did think we were there to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

I am thankful to all those churches and other groups who have had us come over these years.

I hope we have given you all some laughter as well as some deeper thoughts to ponder. I hope we’ve been a blessing to many, and will continue to do so for many more years.

I know, without doubt, many of you have been a blessing to me.

Like many things we start in this life, we don’t always know where they may take us. I do know when we begin bad things, we often don’t like where that takes us. The end result of most things is usually based on the road we started on.

Divine guidance is never a bad decision.

— Bill King is a native of Rainsville, where he and his wife graduated from Plainview High School. King is a director of missions in Opelika, a writer, musician and author. His column appears in the Times-Journal weekend edition. Visit brobillybob.com for more information.

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