Marriage is Ugly (revisit from the past)

Marriage is ugly, you see the absolute worst in someone. You see them when they’re mad, sad, being stubborn, when they’re so unlovable they make you scream. But you also get to see them when they are laughing so hard that tears run down their face, and they can’t help but let out those weird gurgling noises.

You see them at 3am when the world is asleep except you two, and you’re eating in the middle of the kitchen floor. You get to see the side of them that no one else does, and it’s not always pretty. Its snorting while laughing, its the tears when it feels like its all crashing down, its the farting, its the bedhead and bad breath, its the random dances, its the anger and the joy.

Marriage isn’t a beautiful thing, but it is amazing. It’s knowing that someone loves you so much, and won’t leave you even though you said something nasty. It’s having someone have your back no matter what. Its fights over stupid things, like someone not doing the dishes or picking up after themselves. And it’s those nights you fall asleep in each others arms, feeling like there will never be enough time with them. It’s cleaning up their throw up, or just rubbing their back when they’re sick. It’s the dirtiest, hardest, most rewarding job there is.
Because at the end of the day you get to crawl into bed with your best friend, the weirdest, most annoying, loving, goofy, perfect person that you know. Marriage is not beautiful, but it’s one heaven of a ride.

Thanks to Briana Delano for sharing this excellent article of reality! ❤️


Who are you when you are alone?

I watched an “Ask Alyne” video on Facebook and she talked of her 30 day trip ALONE to Albania and of the things she learned about herself. Great lessons learned and great insight!

Who are you when you are alone?

Who are you when you away from your family and friends? Do you sleep in? Stay up late? Where do you go? What do you do? Are you more careful or do you cut loose? Are you more intent on pleasing the others and neglecting yourself?

What do you believe? Are you religious because you are supposed to be? One person at “church” and another at work or leisure. I have to tell you that this is something I have to improve on. I am much better with strangers in the community than I am with family. More patient and kind. My “religion” looks nice from a distance but up close it sometimes stinks. Too much bickering over unimportant issues and not much nurturing those I love. And what is my ‘religion” anyway? would I pray more alone? Read my Bible more? Depend on God?

Where would you go and why? Would you go to the casino more if nobody was watching? Drink more? Smoke more? Without accountabilities would your addictions own you? Or would you read more, dance more and travel more?

As a single Christian you already know the churches have neglected you at times. But when you are alone to make decisions, do you set aside the time and money to make the Singles weekend? To fellowship with others who may be alone? Do you call another and go to lunch, birdwatching or for a walk? It seems money and time are not issues for most to go to ballgames or Disney! Just saying what I see.

Alone? Do you like yourself? How will you know until you know yourself?

When the Bottom Falls Out!


When my daughter Jessica was born, there were 20 babies in her “cradle roll” at church. Twenty beautiful infants and toddlers! A sight to see! A smile or cry a minute! Being a realist I know that today (she is 18) only about 5 are attending a church of Christ today. Why? Sadly, I know that at least four of the couples we knew are not together anymore. And with single parents and remarriage come different needs and preferences. Many are discouraged and don’t take their kids to church. Or the new spouse is a different religion. The average church attendance is about 60 members. Many do not have children’s church (to entertain children?) and many were bored to rebellion or apathy. More kids gone…. The lucky ones make it to the youth group and stay engaged through high school. Thanks to the awesome youth ministers who have worked with my kids (Sean, Seth, Jared). A few teens actually have a relationship with Jesus! But many quit getting out of bed and coming to church. Some go to college and are engaged with a great campus ministry (Donny is the best at UF! Wish Jessica wanted to be a Gator). And then………….one day you wake up and you have outgrown the youth group…campus ministry…a bad marriage…a failed career…. Sometimes people who inspire you die …. The BOTTOM FALLS OUT! The rug is pulled out from under your feet! The car is on empty!

What to do? What to do?

Look in the mirror and take inventory! Who am I and what do I have left? No money! No honey! No skills! No light at the end of the tunnel. On a slow ride to the wrong side of the tracks? On the desolation highway? Or that Highway to hell? Have no friends in low places? Skating on thin ice? Living on a wing and a prayer? Went out for a ride in Baltimore Jack? Be honest! And then find people to INSPIRE you!

One day you will find yourself sitting alone (in or out of a church building. The youth group or campus ministry is gone! But, have you met Gary and Pat? That unassuming couple has been visiting prisoners (yes, at prison!) for the last 30 years. They have room for one more on their team! Have you met Joe? The guys at the homeless shelter don’t really know Jesus but they know Joe! And Joe is kind and accepting. Have you met Robby? He had an addiction! Lost a sports career and his family! All his money. Now he teaches AA meetings and has a sponsor.. and is one!

I have been blessed in my efforts to minister to SINGLES through the concept of LAUNCH!

Two weeks ago I had the honor of driving FOUR college students NINE HOURS to a college retreat so they could be encouraged. While I was there I crashed (literally, got in a 2 am) with a couple who were two of my long term singles years ago.

Saturday 5 of my single ladies accompanied Rachel and I to the Mt. Dora Children’s Home Benefit Dinner. My guests were amazed how much the Single Parents program does for a few who are willing to put Jesus and family first. And how the (orphaned) kids find a place to belong and be loved. And educated!

We do everything out of the box….I would love to have a job with a nice church and take care of the unmarried, widowed, divorced and lonely… but it won’t happen at this point. So, I wait for a church to host our annual singles conference…. we host singles church for a handful in the community… drive a few college students here and there… ANYTHING to encourage them to keep Jesus front and center in their lives.

Because we need to keep the few kids that are left and find a new one here and there…


A Single Parent Solution

     October 6 @ 6 PM several of us will gather for a dinner and fund raiser for the MT. DORA CHILDREN's HOME at the Hilton Garden Inn in Pensacola! A nice meal, time with friends and information gathered will be beneficial.  So, what's the big deal?
     (about) 40% of American children live in a single parent home...
     (too many) children are in foster care
     (too many) children do not have good male role models
     (too many) children are missing meals
     (too many)……………………… get the picture!

There are (not enough) resources that minister to single parents and their children. There are (not enough) 
places that take in the orphaned and provide a place to live and a good education with a Christian Foundation. 
Mt. Dora Children's Home is one of those places that "makes a difference". 

     Join us if you are local (let me know). Join us in financial support if you feel a need. Join us in prayer
for a continued success in this mission!

Commitment???? Really???


Jonah is the perfect example of a man who knew what God was calling him to do, yet resisted God’s call anyway. We often do that, too, don’t we? There are some things we have no problem handing over to Christ, but when it comes to others, we feel we simply can’t let go. We are blessed when our lives are made completely available to Him, and God stands with open arms, inviting us to trust Him.


SO…Single people! Where is the next event? Who is planning it? When is it? How much does it cost? Why do we even need singles ministry?

Not long ago, one of the single men blasted a few “old, married men” for “leading” a singles discussion. After all, what would we know that would help you in your daily life? Good point!

Her is what I know! Many singles (married people too but this is your ministry) are at a spiritual and social crossroads and you don’t have much support from churches. 1% of churches minister to single parents. About the same (pay for a) …singles ministry. 15% of Single people attend church regularly. And the physical and emotional temptation is greater when you are alone.

I need Singles to step up! Plan the events. Advertise. Mediate and contend for your place in the congregation. Pay for events!

Commitment! Needed! Be Committed!


The United Press International carried a story recently (June 8, 2017) about a man in the UK who purchased a costume jewelry ring (an imitation diamond ring) for $13 back in the 1980s, only to find out it wasn’t what he thought it was. Three months ago the unnamed owner had the ring appraised at Sotheby’s Fine Jewels. After a close examination, Sotheby’s made several determinations about the ring. First, it was not costume jewelry, but a real diamond. Second, it was very old and dated from the 1800s, probably once owned by royalty. Third, the diamond had a total weight of 26 carats and was probably worth over $400,000. When Sotheby’s auctioned it off for the owner, an organization purchased the ring for $850,000. Not only was this a stunning return for a $13 investment. It is also an example of how grossly wrong people can be in their estimation of something’s value.

Our world frequently underestimates the value of many things – revolutionary ideas, burgeoning businesses, new technologies. But its worst underestimation comes when it dismisses the value of people. This is especially true in our culture’s estimation of family relationships and the roles of a father and mother. People who have grown up without a supportive father and loving mother are among the most pain-ridden creatures on the planet. In fact, our culture has waged war on family roles and values and has sent the steady message to mothers and fathers that their children aren’t worth their investment of love, time, and energy. Career, educational goals, and accumulating material wealth are presented as the true signs of success, and nothing – not even one’s spouse or children – should get in the way of these pursuits. Consequently, we now have several generations of human beings who have gone un-nurtured, un-affirmed, un-validated, and unloved by the parents who set them aside for “more important things.”

Just look at the movies we make today, the TV sitcoms, and the entire basis of our entertainment. It’s all marked by a cruel humor that makes peoples’ pain and misfortune the butt of jokes and that fosters finding pleasure in shedding blood and mutilating human bodies. More and more, it seems, we are losing the capacity to be kind, tender, and respectful of each other. More and more, we are overwhelmed by our inner pain and cannot control the anger that keeps erupting from within.

But to help humanity with its pain, we need to first find healing for ourselves. And that healing can only be found in the warm and loving embrace of our Heavenly Father – our divine Parent who created us in His own likeness and made us according to His own specifications.

No matter what others think of you and no matter how badly they underestimate you, your Heavenly Father loves you supremely and His opinion is the only one that matters. Let Him love you. Flee into His loving arms – the only place of true peace, healing, and love.

“The LORD appeared to us from afar, saying, ‘Behold, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness’” (Jeremiah 31:3).


Dear Father in heaven, into Your loving embrace I flee. Accept me, O Lord, through You Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Wash me in His blood, cleanse me from every sin. Heal my wounded heart and fill me with Your love. Make me an instrument of Your peace in the lives of others I pray. Amen.

You do not need to face this challenge alone. Jesus has conquered this challenge so that you can move from your present situation to a life of overcoming. Invite him to lead you in your journey. He will forgive, comfort, and heal you.





In any given casino the images are generally the same. Punters place their luckless bets, and dealers, with their oversized rakes, pull it in. I’ve often thought that if there is anything that ought to speak clearly to a gambler about his chances it’s that the dealer is the only one who ever needs a rake. Anything the punter may win… hands will do.

Whether it is Craps, Blackjack, Roulette or whatever, the same old picture is painted upon a canvas of sadness and broken homes: the punters toss it out and the dealers rake it in.

But poker? Well, that’s a horse of different suit. It looks like luck, but it’s not. It has all the earmarks of being luck, but nothing could be further from the truth. That’s why the same few players always end up in the finals of the greatest poker tournaments.

Not too many years ago I had the opportunity for an overnight stay in Vegas. Loved it. What’s not to “love”? Lights, music, excitement and people as far as the eye could see. With a brief stroll through Caesar’s Palace I at least got to see what Rome might have been like, had it been designed and built by 20th century Americans.

All that I witnessed took me back. Before the Father grabbed the reigns of this pitiful life gambling played a minor part in it. Nothing big, for sure. If nothing else, I kept the local bookie in cigars (cheap ones). But this time things were different.

As well as having a good laugh with my namesake brother, Billy (McGuiggan), while driving down the Vegas Strip, I got a good look. A good, long look. Of all the things I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed in this life, little beats the blessing of being in Vegas in the morning. Morning always sheds a whole new light on life and exposes it for what it is. Vegas wasn’t spared.

“You’ll fall asleep to lights and music in your head.
You’ll wake to dusty roads and lies that you’ve been fed
You’ll see too clearly all the signs you should have seen last night.
Oh, you bought the lie.” I was moved to write in a song following my observations of the gambling capital of the world.

My life has changed (I like to think) now that my Father has a grip of the reigns, though sometimes I could swear it hasn’t. It just doesn’t seem like it now and then. Sometimes it looks as though there’s no guidance at all, no direction, and this horse is running free. Then, thank God, I feel the tug on the bit, and this mare is reminded that he’s been bought with a price, that he’s not his own, and that he has a Rider dictating the route.

But what do I do during the times it seems like, feels like, and looks like God’s not in control? When everything around me would seem to suggest I’m running free again? Simple. I open His word, find the passage and read again, Philippians 1:6, “…being confident of this, that He who began a good WORK in you will bring it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Then I take the time to remind myself that He who promised is faithful.

And so I get to thinking, God’s working on me? God? On me? The One who made everything there is out of nothing that was? Him? He’s working on me? The One who SPOKE(?) into the darkness and produced all that we see, with WORDS? The One who painted the pattern on the back of the butterfly’s wing? Him?! The One who took time to place hair on blades of grass? The One who coloured the world and filled our skies with flying musicians? Him? He’s working on me? YES!!!

Isn’t that good? Isn’t that warm? Isn’t it comforting, strengthening? Isn’t that, “Well thank God someone is!”? Sure it is.

We are the only clay ever formed that argues with the potter. We are the only canvas ever stretched that claims to know better than the artist where the paint should go. And yet, in spite of our protests, in spite of our cowardly shrinking from the Potter’s hand, there He is, shaping and moulding. Diligently working to produce something quite beautiful our Potter is busy working a masterpiece so wonderful that when called to comment upon it He says, “They’ll look just like Jesus when I’m finished.”

In “Confessions of a winning poker player”, Jack King said, “Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it may seem. But every player can remember, with remarkable accuracy, the outstanding tough beats of his career.” How true is this of the Christian life?

I’m one of those individuals tempted to dwell on mistakes. So much so, I often lose today because of yesterday’s failures. I’m inclined to write off the good because of the weight of the bad. And I know many feel the same. The evil just seems so prevalent at times. The wickedness becomes so dark that it threatens to extinguish the light. But if this is all we see, we’re not looking hard enough.

Perhaps we should spend a little time thinking about the other side of this coin. Perhaps we should spend more time thinking about the big pots we have won, and forbid our vision to be so clouded. Perhaps, instead of grinding ourselves into whining minnies we should be taking a look at how altogether Christlike we are when we turn at the pull of the bit. Even though sometimes we only turn under duress. And maybe we should do nothing short of basking in the joy that accompanies our Father’s words, “What I began in you I will finish. You have my word on it.”

I used to work in a little recording studio, among other things. For those unfamiliar with recording I have to explain what a “final mix” (FM) is. The FM of a song is when you have all the EQ (bass, treble, middle) and all the faders set to the desired levels. Then you run the song one final time – that’s the final mix. Now, before you reach the FM it’s enough to have all the instruments in their place, even though they’re not sounding particularly well blended. But they serve adequately as a guide.

Every now and then, while I was working away on something, someone would come in and say, “The piano’s a bit loud.”, or “The drums are too quiet”, or whatever. My response was always the same. I’d impatiently look at them and grunt, “I’m not finished yet!” And it’s senseless to think it should sound like the finished article when I’m not finished. Right?

Rolf Harris was a man who captivated the hearts of children everywhere. I remember watching him as a child working with a huge canvas, openly spraying paint all over the place in what seemed like a display of lunacy. Nothing made sense and the canvas was void of anything even resembling art. Then, with a few seconds to spare he took a large brush, and, humming as he went, dabbed a few finishing touches. And to my utter amazement, what looked like chaos only a second or two ago turned out to be a mountain, and a cottage, and a river and more. But if I could have taken him back a single minute I could have said, and quite correctly said, “Rolf. That’s garbage!” And what would he have said?

It is ABSURD to think that we should look and sound like the finished article when God’s not finished. And it’s absurd to expect others to look and sound like the finished article WHEN HE’S NOT FINISHED!!!

Good card players are usually identified by knowing when to release a bad hand. Thank goodness our Father is the worst card player in the world. I mean, He can’t play a lick. Stubbornly refusing to believe that what He holds is useless to win anything He just continues on playing. Thank God.

Christianity, like poker, is not about luck. People who are far from perfect, yet perfected. People who are sinners, yet forgiven. Sick, made healthy. Seven high’s with all the potential of a royal flush. People, who in spite of how it looked, and how it felt, believed their Father’s words and persevered.

Listen, Christian, all good poker players know you’re never down and out until all your chips are gone. So take what you have and play. PLAY!

It’s true, you can’t lose what you don’t put in… but you can’t win much either. So take your life, bravely, and throw it into the pot. Because in the poker game of life your Father has the rake. Stay the course.

Hang in. Rumour has it He’s going for a full house. “No room at the Inn” is a phrase that shall never be uttered from the mouth of our God. He who promised to complete His work in us is faithful, and He will do it. He WILL do it. We’re dealing with a God who doesn’t know how to break a promise.

I love that about God!

Billy Wilson