Pious Bob - Magic or Faith

In John 4:46-54, we see how Jesus deals with someone who initially wants Him to perform magic. Someone who is not a believer: “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.’ The official said to him, ‘Sir, come down before my little boy dies.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son will

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The Vagabond - Early iron ore mines in Gadsden, Part 6

The Vagabond started a new series a few weeks back about the iron ore mines around the Gadsden area and how they got started. 

Along with Altoona historian Ryan Cole, The Vagabond visited the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa to perform mining and historical research at one of the school’s libraries.

Prior to that visit, however, and with Andrew

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Craig Ford - Paul Lee is the one who should be ashamed

It would be an understatement to say that this year has been an odd one for Alabama politics. But nothing surprised me more than when Rep. Paul Lee, a Republican from Dothan, came up to the microphone on the last night of the legislative session that ended last week and gave a speech during which he said that it

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Craig Ford - State Republicans still don’t solve the budget crisis

In a special legislative session where their options were to either raise taxes, cut services or raid education, the Republicans in the Alabama Legislature somehow managed to do all three and still not solve the long-term problems in the budget.

What is also very telling are the taxes they chose to raise. Every one of their tax increases is

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Pious Bob - A Two-Way Street

In 2nd Kings 2:1-18 we hear Elisha seek something special from Elijah: “When they had crossed [the Jordan], Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’” 

Have you ever known someone whose spirit impacted you the way

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The Vagabond - Early iron ore mines in Gadsden, Part 5

The Vagabond started a new series a few weeks ago about the iron ore mines around the Gadsden area and how they got started.

Along with Altoona historian Ryan Cole, The Vagabond recently visited the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa to conduct research in the W.S. Hoole’s Special Collection Library. While on campus, we discovered a wealth of information

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Craig Ford - Ford introduces legislation to protect school chaplains

College football has finally started back, and it couldn’t have come soon enough! Football is a way of life here in Alabama. Only family and God are more important.

That’s why I was so troubled a few weeks ago when the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to Auburn University asking them to “abolish the chaplaincy” in

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Pious Bob - Placing our confidence

In Colossians 2:8-23, we hear St. Paul say to us: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him,

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The Vagabond - Early iron ore mines in Gadsden Part 4

The Vagabond started a new series a few weeks ago about the iron ore mines around the Gadsden area and how they got started. There was some surprising history to be found.

As mentioned earlier, the early settlers knew the presence in the Gadsden area of iron ore. John S. Moragne, one of the first settlers, discovered in 1850

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Pious Bob - Understanding acceptance

There is a difference between falling in love with someone and loving the Lord. Falling in love is a wonderful experience, but God’s love is what we should fall for. We share that kind of love with all human beings. It’s hard work sometimes.  

In Deuteronomy 6:1-9 we hear Moses sharing: “You shall love the LORD your God

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The Vagabond - Early iron ore mines in Gadsden- Part 3

The Vagabond recently started a new series about the iron ore mines around the Gadsden area and how they got started. There is surprising history to be found.

As mentioned earlier in the series, the early settlers knew the presence of iron ore in the Gadsden district. John S. Moragne, one of the area’s first settlers, discovered the outcrops

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Craig Ford - Legislature shouldn't waste another chance to pass lottery

There aren’t a whole lot of good things anyone can say about what’s been going on in Montgomery lately. The legislature has failed to pass a budget - twice! Legislators return to Montgomery next week for a third legislative session to address the budget crisis, but there is still no agreement on any solution.

But despite all of this,

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The Vagabond - Early iron ore mines in Gadsden Part Two

The Vagabond started a new series last week about the iron ore mines around the Gadsden area and how they got started. There are some surprising histories to be found. Last week’s article was about the mine explosion near Tuscaloosa Avenue.

The region’s early settlers knew the presence of iron ore, coal and limestone in the Gadsden area. John

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Pious Bob - At Home with God

God wants us to connect with His eternal kingdom while we are still in the natural world. By sending us His Son Jesus the Christ He is making that connection for all people forevermore. It is hard for us to think eternally. 

In Revelations: 212:1-7 we hear in part; “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will

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Craig Ford -Time for state leaders to prove that life matters

Last week, Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey wrote an article entitled “Life Matters” in response to the recent Planned Parenthood videos. Like Lt. Gov. Ivey, I am 100 percent pro-life, and was shocked by the videos that came out. Life does matter, and should be treated with dignity and respect at every stage, including before birth.

But Lt. Gov. Ivey’s

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Pious Bob - Preparing for His visitation

In the modern world we want to know if someone has tried to get in touch with us, or has left us a message. Technology has provided us with so many ways to communicate with each other. There is scarcely a place on the planet with which we cannot have some sort of communication.  We
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The Vagabond -Early iron ore mines of Gadsden - Part I


The Vagabond is starting a new series about the iron ore mines around the Gadsden area and how they got started. There are some surprising histories to be found.

1908 explosion

On Oct. 28, 1908 at 8:15 p.m., an explosion of 400 cases of dynamite was so terrific that almost every plate glass front in downtown Gadsden was broken. Twenty-four

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Craig Ford - A new school year is starting, but it should be starting later

Remember when school didn’t start until after Labor Day? Over the last few weeks, students across Alabama have started a new school year right in the middle of August. Some have even been back for two or three weeks.

Instead of spending the last few weeks of August working summer jobs or on family vacations, teachers and students are

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Pious Bob - Pain and Seeking

In Acts 17:26-27 we hear, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one

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The Vagabond - Grover B “Billy” Bowers of the Gadsden Pilots

The Vagabond recently looked at two baseball bats and a vendor badge that were used in the Gadsden Pilots games and owned by Grover B “Billy” Bowers, a player for the Pilots. Grover’s son was given these items. They later were given to his best friend, Richard Short, who lived a few doors down. These items were recently donated

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Craig Ford - A path forward

It isn’t often that legislators in Montgomery are universally in agreement on anything. But this week it happened, twice.

First, legislators in the State House of Representatives agreed by a vote of 92-2 to kill the budget that had passed earlier in the year. Additionally, everyone agreed that this legislative session has been a complete failure and waste of

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Pious Bob - Seeking the Lord has no Barriers

You have probably seen TV commercials for a medicine or treatment that describe a product while showing people doing lots of neat things as if the medicine or treatment would turn their lives totally around. As the joy and wonder on their faces is being shown and the product is described, there is something else going on in the

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The Vagabond - A History of Gadsden 1836-1900 Part 5 - Final

The Vagabond recently pulled up an article from the Etowah Historical Society library called “Early History of Northeast Alabama,” which contained a section called “A History of Gadsden” by Charles P. Smith, the mayor of Gadsden in 1905-1906. Smith was known as “The Hooter of Owls Hollow” who wrote his reminiscences. He wrote six extremely interesting and historically valuable essays,

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Craig Ford - Republican legislators need to stop blaming Democrats and start leading

The wheels have come off the bus in Montgomery. 

That’s the only way to describe what’s happening in our state legislature. Now more than ever is the time for legislators to reach across the aisle and work together to solve this budget crisis. But instead, Republican legislators are attempting to blame Democrats because they can’t pass their own tax

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Pious Bob - To Whom Can We Go?

We hear this story in John 6:60-71, “Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know

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Craig Ford - Robbing our children is not the answer

The crisis in the General Fund budget has dominated lawmakers’ focus this year, and for good reason. But one proposed solution continuing to come up would be devastating for Alabama.

State Sen. Paul Bussman (R-Cullman) has introduced a bill to combine the General Fund and Education Trust Fund budgets. In the past, I argued that all that would

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Pious Bob - Contemplating Our Lives

People tend to contemplate life as they live it from childhood to late life. A person’s particular take on life will guide them in how they see themselves in their life. There’s always a chance to change our direction in life, whether we seek guidance from God, a friend or take it on ourselves - or maybe

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The Vagabond - A History of Gadsden: Part V: 1836-1900

Recently The Vagabond pulled up an article called “Early History of Northeast Alabama.” In it was a section called “A history of Gadsden” by Charles P. Smith, who was mayor of Gadsden in 1905-1906.

Charles P. Smith was known as “The Hooter of Owls Hollow” who wrote his reminiscences for the Gadsden Evening Journal. He wrote six extremely interesting

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Craig Ford - The “Element of Surprise” is Just Another Game

Two weeks ago, Gov. Bentley surprised everyone when he called the special legislative session. Legislators had expected the governor to wait until mid-August to call the session, but the governor said he wanted to use “the element of surprise” and take pressure off legislators over the gambling issue.

The people of Alabama expect their leaders to work together, and

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Pious Bob - Ships Passing in the Night Need Light

Isn’t it a pity that the relationships with others in the environments in which we live can be like ships passing in the night? We move past our fellow citizens without even noticing that they exist. Ministry to others is the furthest thing from our minds. We have our things to do and seek activity with our favorite groups

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Craig Ford - The smart way to spend the BP money

Alabama won a huge victory last week when the BP Oil settlement was announced. As a part of that settlement, the state will receive $2.3 billion dollars over the next 18 years, with a billion of those dollars being given to our state’s General Fund budget. That means legislators now have to determine what is the best use of

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The Vagabond - A History of Gadsden: Part III: 1836-1900

The Vagabond recently pulled up an article from the Etowah Historical Society library called “Early History of Northeast Alabama,” which contained a section called “A History of Gadsden ” by Charles P. Smith, who was mayor of Gadsden in 1905-1906. Smith was known as “The Hooter of Owls Hollow” who wrote his reminiscences. He wrote six extremely interesting and historically

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Pious Bob - Branching Out from the Lord

In receiving Holy Communion, we connect with Christ Jesus through His Body and Blood. Another way of understanding this connection we make to Jesus is actually being part of His Body and Blood. A way we describe this is by understanding we are in the vineyard with Jesus. The gospel of John enlightens us with the description by Jesus.

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Craig Ford - You can’t fix something you don’t believe in

For months, we have been told that the state needs at least another $200 million to avoid catastrophe. We have been told that we are broke because the way we budget for our state government is broken.

Unfortunately, what we have been told is true: our government is broke, and it is broken. But you can’t fix something if

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Pious Bob - Forgiveness by the Grace of God

We live in a country that is managed by politicians and government. Fortunately, we are a democracy and not a dictatorship. We get to vote who goes into political office. While our democracy was founded by faith based leaders, we are not a theocracy. In our democracy, the Church and State are separate, but live together in some sort

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The Vagabond - A History of Gadsden: 1836-1900 Part II

The Vagabond recently pulled up an article from the Etowah Historical Society library called “Early History of Northeast Alabama,” which contained a section called “A History of Gadsden ” by Charles P. Smith, who was mayor of Gadsden in 1905-1906.

Smith was known as “The Hooter of Owls Hollow” who wrote his reminiscences. He wrote six extremely interesting and historically

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Craig Ford - Time for a real solution to gambling question

Decisions made by the government and high-profile court rulings consumed the news last week. Most of the breaking news has centered on the U.S. Supreme Court decisions. But there is one court ruling that hasn’t gotten as much attention, and it’s just as important to the people of Alabama because it has such a huge impact on the future

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The Vagabond: A History of Gadsden: 1836-1900, Part II

The Vagabond recently pulled up an article from the Etowah Historical Society library called “Early History of Northeast Alabama,” which contained a section called “A History of Gadsden ” by Charles P. Smith, who was mayor of Gadsden in 1905-1906.

Smith was known as “The Hooter of Owls Hollow” who wrote his reminiscences. He wrote six extremely interesting and

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Pious Bob - The Importance of Dots

Imagine the World Globe with dots all over it. Using dots on the globe is a way learning institutions, governments and the media show us certain information about things that impact us. It’s a way of describing the places that certain things are happening. As I watched some dots on a television documentary the other day, I began to

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The Vagabond - A History of Gadsden: 1836-1900

The Vagabond recently pulled up some papers called “Early History of Northeast Alabama,” which included a section called “A History of Gadsden” by Charles P. Smith.

Smith was born in Sulphur Springs, Ga., on May 20, 1863. He attended schools in Sulphur Springs and Trenton and graduated from the Chattanooga High School at the age of 17. The next

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Craig Ford - Opposing gambling legislation protects gambling interests

Last week, Gov. Robert Bentley announced that he would not include any gambling proposals in the call for a special legislative session later this year. I believe Gov. Bentley is wrong to refuse to include gambling in the call for a special session, and I will introduce a gambling bill when the legislature returns to Montgomery.

There are only two

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Pious Bob - The Strength and Protection in Patience

In 1-Peter 2:1-10, Peter pulls the worldly rug out from under us in saying: “Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation--if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 

In one statement Peter

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Craig Ford -The Legislature’s Failures Keep On Coming

There have been a lot of things said about the state’s legislative session that just ended. But no one is calling it a success (at least not anyone who wants to maintain any credibility).

From the legislature’s failure to pass a General Fund budget, to the Republicans’ inability to agree among themselves on a solution to the budget crisis,

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The Vagabond - Labor Day tragedy in Alabama City

For many years, The Va-gabond had heard about a major local happening that many folks talked about for several years. Around 90 years ago, Sept. 6, of 1926 at 11 a.m., this event happened in Alabama City. It was a spectacular tragedy.

It so happened that there was a circus parade in town and lightning struck a high voltage

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Pious Bob - The Waiting Game

In Psalm 62, we are reminded of the waiting we must do in seeking God in our lives: “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.” 

Are we willing to wait in silence for God? We are hyperactive and impatient when it comes to waiting on God. In our fast-pace world we need answers

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Craig Ford - Can the legislature solve the budget crisis?

It’s been a joke on the internet for who knows how long - somebody takes a picture of a stop sign missing a letter or the University of Minnesota’s logo painted on the 45-yard line instead of at midfield, and there’s a caption that reads, “You had one job to do.”

The Alabama Legislature also only has one job

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The Vagabond -The Smiths of Hokes Bluff - A rich local heritage continues

The Vagabond recently spoke with John Smith of Hokes Bluff. John works for Byers Engineering Company as a quality control inspector of telecommunications contractors who design jobs for AT&T. He had studied Environmental Science at Auburn University. John comes from great heritage going back to the Civil War. His great-great-great grandfather, Joshua T. Smith, was
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Pious Bob- Willing to accept His gift

Sometimes we need to get down to the bare bones of our professed religion. In James 1:17-18, 21-27, we are challenged: “If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows

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The Vagabond: Robert Cannon Garrett, escort of Emma Sansom

Last week The Vagabond talked about William Alfred Williams, who supposedly escorted Emma Sansom back to her house after showing General Forrest where the ford was at Black Creek in Gadsden. It has been debatable about whether this happened or not, and even has been questioned if Williams was part of Forrest’s unit. As far as The Vagabond can

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Craig Ford - Combining state’s budgets will only make crisis worse

It’s no secret that the state of Alabama is in a budget crisis. It’s a crisis that we’ve known for three years was coming, but our state leaders waited until the elections were over before they publicly acknowledged it or offered any solutions. There have been several solutions proposed, from more taxes to expanding gambling. However, the most recent

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Pious Bob- Striving to be Effective and Fruitful

There is much pressure on each one of us to be what the world wants us to be. It is so easy to cave in to the world and miss being who we really are. Seeking who we really are is not an easy task for us. We need to rely on the Word of God in the Bible

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What would Jesus do? - Craig Ford

We are often reminded that this nation was founded on Christian principles, and certainly a majority of the representatives in the Alabama legislature are Christians. 

So when the General Fund budget, which finances all government services and agencies outside of education, came up for a vote last week, I couldn’t help but think about that popular phrase from the

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The Vagabond- Sergeant William Alfred Williams Escort of Emma Sansom

The Etowah Historical Society is conducting valuable research work in connection with local history and persons who helped make it, and already the research has brought to light some interesting things that otherwise been forgotten.

The society recently learned something of the history of the young Confederate Army sergeant who was detailed by General Nathan Bedford Forrest to give

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Pious Bob- Understanding His Promise of Closeness

Many have asked the question, ‘Why does God let bad things happen to good people.” Our life on earth is by its nature sometimes pretty dangerous. Just leaving the house and driving to work or shopping can be dangerous as we operate our vehicles in wild and crazy traffic. 

The many illnesses and diseases that we can experience in

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The Vagabond- How did Etowah County get named? And why its first name HAD to be changed

Why did our early fathers decided to create a new county from several others? Why was the area later name Etowah, and what most important thing affected them to call it by that name? 

The Vagabond doubts one can easily find the answer under Internet sear-ches, as it took several years to come up with the answers. The Vagabond

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Who’s leading the Alabama House of Representatives?

Every organization needs leaders. An army needs a general. A team needs a coach. A company needs a president or CEO.

The Alabama House of Representatives also needs leadership, especially when we are facing a crisis like the one we are facing now. But over the last few weeks, it has become obvious that the wheels are coming off

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Preparing for the Kingdom

  Are we prepared to surrender things in our lives in order to obtain a relationship with Christ? It is our path in seeking a relationship that will guide us and support us going forward as we strive to do the Lord’s work in this world. In this we become a part of Christ and reflect His every call.  

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Republicans are trading in job slogans for taxes

  After five years of passing millions of dollars in tax cuts for big businesses and billion-dollar, out-of-state corporations that, in some cases, pay zero state income taxes, Republicans in the state House of Representatives are about to raise taxes on working men and women.

Only six months after campaigning on a pledge to create more jobs and never raise

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Hunting for gold in Southside in the 1890’s

  There have been many efforts to mine gold in Eto-wah and adjoining counties, mostly with small profit, although in some instances a few nuggets of real gold were found.  There have been several stories about Indians pointing out where gold could be found and about the various kinds of mining carried on by white men who believed the Indian

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State legislature thinks brown shrimp are more important than people

 When I first saw the list of bills we would be debating in the state House of Representatives, I thought it was a joke. The first bill up for debate was a bill to make brown shrimp the official state crustacean.

This is your state legislature’s priorities, folks. Not peoples’ lives or jobs, and certainly not being responsible

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Is Seeing Really Believing?

 In this, our natural life, we have difficulty believing that God is really at our side delivering His Grace. If we don’t receive a concrete sign that God is working in our lives, we don’t always trust in Him.

We hear in John 4:46-54 in part: “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Unless you see signs and wonders you

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Robert L. Adams Sr.: Early Telephone Pioneer in Gadsden

 Last week The Vagabond talked about R.A. Mitchell and Robert L. Adams Sr., who were involved in Gadsden’s first car accident on Lookout Mountain.

This week there’s more on Robert Adams, who was a son of a pioneer Alabama family and one of the early developers of the state’s telephone service. He lived to be 87 and was

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Maybe Democrats won the 2014 elections after all

  Late Saturday night, Inside Alabama Politics reported that Republicans in the Alabama Legislature will introduce their own gambling bill this week, which will include a lottery and authorization for a possible compact with the Poarch Creek Indians.

On the one hand, I’m glad to see Republicans embracing the Democratic Party’s legislative agenda. A lottery has been a part of

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Christian Community

There are times in our lives when we can experience God’s “unconditional love.” There are times when all the resistance created by social and economic pressures is swept away. And there are times when hatred, jealousy, anger ambition, judgment, fear and insecurity are leveled.

The December, 1988, evening of the memorial service for my mother and the days before

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First automobile accident in Gadsden

  The first automobile accident in Gadsden was believed to have been around August of 1903. The mishap was nearly fatal for R.L. Adams and R.A. Mitchell, two of the most prominent men of the city.

A resident of Atlanta, Adams came here to become manager of the joint offices of the Western Union Telegraph Company and the Southern Bell

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Borrowing Jacob’s Ladder

  The Bible has many stories of people having close encounters with the Lord during many different kinds of situations in their lives. As we try to relate to God in our lives in the present era, there are many revelation stories not too far away from us in time. Looking back to the book of Genesis, we learn that

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Birth of steel industry in Gadsden Part II

  The Vagabond recently pulled out a speech prepared and presented in the 1980’s by The Vagabond’s father, Dr. Kenneth A. Crownover, who was a combustion engineer and energy coordinator for the Southern District of Republic Steel Corporation and gave speeches to Gadsden area clubs as a member of the Republic Steel Corporation Speakers Bureau.

Dr. Crownover continues:

“The project

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Accountability Act? Or Bob Riley Bailout?

By State Rep. Craig Ford

The day the Accountability Act was signed into law, legislative leaders said it would need to be revised. Three months later, Republican leaders offered their first “fix” bill, which expanded the tax credits for corporate donors.

Now, Republican legislators are pushing another “fix” bill that, once again, raises the cap. But

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A big step forward for the lottery and a bipartisan solution to budget crisis

  It isn’t often these days that you see Democrats and Republicans agreeing on major policies. But that’s exactly what began to happen last week.

It is no secret that our General Fund budget is in desperate shape. The proposed budget cuts that were released the other week would gut our government to the point that it could shut down,

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Birth and development of the steel industry in Gadsden

  The Vagabond recently pulled out a speech prepared and presented by the Vagabond’s father, Dr. Kenneth A. Crownover, who was a combustion engineer and energy coordinator for the Southern District of Republic Steel Corporation and gave speeches to Gadsden area clubs as a member of the Republic Steel Corporation Speakers Bureau.

Dr. Crownover writes:

“Republic Steel Corporation at Gadsden,

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Loving God in Christ through the Spirit

  The Holy Trinity can be as confusing as we want to make it. God did a really good job in making our connecting with Him, in and through His Holy threesome, a relationship changing event. As we find in the first chapter of John, the Word was with God from the beginning and He sent Him to us in

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A disturbing trend in the Alabama legislature

  My wife Gwen is an incredible woman. I see it every day of my life. Not just in how hard she works or in the way she supports me, but in the most important job any of us could ever have: being a parent. Gwen always goes above and beyond for our family, as do many other mothers, wives

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Joe Noojin well-known local piano player: Part 4 and final

  Over the last few weeks, The Vagabond talked about the late Joe Noojin, an Etowah County native who had been a musician for many years. He is pretty famous across the U.S., and finally wrote his biography. In reading Joe’s biography, one cannot help but chuckle or downright start to laugh! He continuously makes fun about his short height

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What will grow out of our ground?

  As we observe the activities of man in this world, we see a variety of outcomes in man’s actions for the world and against the world. There are those who care for their fellow man and those who think nothing of killing their fellow man for their own purposes. Life has no meaning to some and life is most

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Our Road Choices

  In Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 7, Jesus continues His Sermon on the Mount and we hear about road and destination choices in life. He makes us aware of our choice of the easy road in life in saying, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are

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Joe Noojin, well-known local piano player, Part 3

  Last week, The Vagabond talked about the late Joe Noojin, a Gadsden native who had been a musician for many years. He is pretty famous across the U.S., and he finally wrote his biography. In reading Joe’s biography, one cannot help but chuckle or downright start to laugh! He continuously makes fun about his shortness (at 5’-6”) and is

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Joe Noojin, well-known local piano player, Part 3

  Last week, The Vagabond talked about the late Joe Noojin, a Gadsden native who had been a musician for many years. He is pretty famous across the U.S., and he finally wrote his biography. In reading Joe’s biography, one cannot help but chuckle or downright start to laugh! He continuously makes fun about his shortness (at 5’-6”) and is

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Congressman Aderholt needs to earn his award

  Gadsden’s representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Robert Aderholt, was recently chosen as the National Association of Development Organizations’ Legislator of the Year. In the article announcing the award, Congressman Aderholt said he was honored to receive an award from an organization dedicated to growing communities.

The irony in all this is mind blowing! Just weeks after

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Understanding Resurrection

  As Easter approaches we experience the human Jesus dying on the cross and becoming the Christ we all worship. He came as God’s Word and confirmed for us what God has always been like through His Love and Grace. The life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, establishes a connection that we sometimes don’t know

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Joe Noojin, well-known local piano player, Part II

  Last week, The Vagabond talked about the late Joe Noojin, a Gadsden native who had been a musician for many years. He is pretty famous across the U.S., and he finally wrote his biography. In reading Joe’s biography, one cannot help but chuckle or downright start to laugh! He continuously makes fun about his shortness (at 5’-6”) and is

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Democrat's lottery or Republicans' taxes?

This week is the state legislature’s spring break, and we are now almost a third of the way through the legislative session. And as last week came to an end, legislative leaders were quick to congratulate themselves on passing their legislative agenda.

I’m sure the taxpayers will be relieved Republicans were able to pass their “Alabama First” agenda. I

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Why charter schools are a bad for Alabama

  Other than the $700 million hole in the state’s General Fund budget, no issue has been more talked about than the charter school bill.

Republicans in the Alabama legislature have made charter schools a part of their legislative agenda, and a priority in this legislative session (which is ironic, given these same Republican legislators campaigned on stopping President Obama’s agenda,

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Joe Noojin, well-known local piano player

  The next few weeks will be devoted to stories about the famous and well-known Joe Noojin, a man I’ve heard about all my life.

Several years ago, The Vagabond finally caught up with Joe, who has been a piano player for the Kings of Swing for many years. He is pretty famous across the U.S., and The Vagabond finally

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Saving Help Is Here

  The Bible is full of cries from God’s children to be saved in their lives. In Psalm 69:1-3 we hear, “Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing. I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my

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An ironic time for history to repeat itself

  It amazes me to think how far we’ve come over the last 50 years, and yet how far it seems we still have to go.

All eyes were on Selma during the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, and rightfully so. The march that took place all those years ago brought national attention to the evil that is discrimination, and

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From the Narrows to Devil’s Staircase to Popeye

  In 1540 Hernando De Soto and his entourage were the first Europeans to enter the Coosa Valley. The tribes they encountered during their travels were more like large organized kingdoms than small villages. De Soto utilized the natives’ food, resources and women to sustain his party as it traveled across the state of Alabama. 

Displeased with the above marauder,

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The Waiting Game

  In Psalm 62:5-8 we hear, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.

He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.

In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.

Trust in Him at all

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Our Holy Responsibility

  “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” is a popular Christian hymn written in 1907 by Ada R. Habershon with music by Charles H. Gabriel. The first verse and chorus go like this: 

“There are loved ones in the glory, whose dear forms you often miss. When you close your earthly story, will you join them in their bliss?    

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Serious problems require serious policy solutions

  It is no secret that our state government is in serious financial trouble. The hole in the state’s General Fund budget is estimated to be at least $250 million. But while everyone acknowledges the problem, what has been most surprising is how so many of those in leadership have failed to offer any solutions.

The exception has been Gov.

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Delta Kappa Gamma Society Alpha Iota Chapter of Etowah and Cherokee County

  The Vagabond quite often sees a lot of folks who in the past have made contributions and are rarely recognized for their achievements. 

Members of the Alpha Iota Chapter of Etowah and Cherokee County are an example. There are many names listed here that many folks may recognize from the past.

It all got started by the Delta Kappa

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Making progress on I-759 will take the whole team

Many times in my life, I’ve seen that teamwork really does work. Whether it’s in sports, business or government, every member of the team gets together and comes to an agreement - a little give from some people and a little take from others. For teamwork to really work, however, everyone involved, including the leaders, must be willing to

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Hazel Oliver’s Umbrella Stand & Cook Brothers Pottery

Around seven years ago at the Etowah Historical Society, there was a big thunderstorm that soaked everyone for the May meeting. This placed Hazel Oliver in the mood to find the society a “historic” umbrella stand.

Hazel went home and looked around. She decided that since her old churn had served well as her home’s umbrella stand, it would

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Blessed by the same old quality suit

I have never been all that particular about my clothes. I want to look presentable, but I usually don’t go out and purchase the highest quality clothing. My wife tells me that I have no taste. I would rather have lots of inexpensive clothing that wears out fast than a few good items that will last me awhile. 

I

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Ministry vs. Fear

In the Book of Acts 18:1-11 we hear, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you...”  Paul was opposed and reviled in the synagogue in Corinth. He then went out to proclaim Jesus to the Gentiles in the surrounding area. The Lord spoke to Paul in a vision one night saying,

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Learning from history

I’ve always admired U.S. President Harry S. Truman. Even though he never earned a college degree, I believe he had more wisdom than most of our Ivy-League educated leaders.

Truman once said, “There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.” That is a profound statement. It is also very true and very relevant

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Rare are Pre-Civil War document found

  The Vagabond recently discovered a rare resolution among other papers found at the Etowah Historical Society. The resolution is dated 1860 and led to events that were the start of what became the War Between the States. The story begins here...

Tensions had been buil-ding for years in Alabama. When Abraham Lincoln was elected to the presidency

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God's choices in creation

I’ve often wondered what God was thinking when He created the Universe. Was He bored with things and decided to occupy His time in a better way? Was He like an artist and just started painting on His canvas? Maybe whatever came into His mind He would start creating as one thing led to another. Was He getting lonely

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Armistead not entitled to his own facts

  Alabama Republican Party Chairman, Bill Armistead recently took to al.com to discuss his thoughts on the state budget. It left me scratching my head, as he kept putting words like “budget crisis” and “shortfall” in quotes like he doesn’t believe we have a budget crisis. Gov. Robert Bentley himself has predicted a minimum $265 million shortfall in the general

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Grow with the one you know

There’s a saying in the insurance business: “Grow with those we know.” It means when you are out looking for new business, always think of your existing customers first. I think this is a good concept that we need to apply to job creation here in Alabama.

Many of our state’s leaders have been touting a declining unemployment rate,

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The 1877 Tallman map of Etowah County

  Several years ago, Etowah County Tax Assessor Jerry Jones was given an original copy of Etowah’s County first map, the 1877 Tallman’s Map. Earnest Lee, an early surveyor, gave this map to Jerry. Earnest received this map from his father, Fitzhuh Lee (born1866, died1946). Fitzhuh was the Etowah County Surveyor many years ago.

Note of interest: Fitzhuh’s daughter name

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