Most of us have at least one pet of some kind. We have them for a variety of reasons: It gives us a sense of comfort having them around. They help keep all kinds of creatures from taking over our homes. They please our children. They are a form of security for our home. They are like having children
“I have decided to stick with love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go From Here, 1967
The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one I have spent years trying to not only fully understand, but also to live up to. I am amazed by how powerful
The Vagabond recently came across the notes and work of Bryon Arnold, who gathered a collection of folk songs. He writes:
Gadsden Miss Callie Craven was the first singer I visited in making this collection during the 1940’s. My original appointment with her had to be postponed a day, for she had one of her heart attacks on account
Have you ever thought that a “wide door” may have opened for you, but the threat of human obstacles caused you to withdraw rather than fight the good fight for a good cause? It is easy to let jealous, negative, self-serving, mean, angry and evil-minded people slow us down, intimidate us and stop us from completing good works.
We are encouraged in our Christian Faith to seek God through Christ and the Holy Spirit in all things. Unfortunately, this is a mission that we are incapable of fulfilling. Try as we will, our daily interferences in life can pull us away from our mission.
We can’t just get it right 100% of the time. Does that mean
“You can’t work across party lines when there aren’t many of them. So I’m going to work across Republican Party lines because there are a lot of divisions in the Republican Party.” - Gov. Robert Bentley
I was very disappointed when I read this quote from the governor earlier this week. Partisanship is a part of politics. And it’s
Through the years many people have asked The Vagabond about how the late Jerry Jones, a former Etowah County Tax Assessor, first became interested in genealogy and history. Jerry’s ancestor Edmond Jones had survived an Indian massacre in what is now Rainbow City, Ala., and Jerry was trying to find out what Indian was involved and why. We continue
The Vagabond had a visitor this past week who brought a lot of information on the 1968 Etowah County Centennial and the capsule that was buried at the courthouse. We will take catch up next week on more of Jerry Jones.
Back around June 26, 1968, the Etowah County Centennial celebration got underway on the courthouse lawn with the
One of the things that makes our government work is the self-reporting of financial information. This self-reporting, and in some cases, outside auditing, allows the people of Alabama to know exactly where their money is going. And each year, at the end of the year, the Alabama Department of Revenue puts out these reports for all to see.
In the Book of The Revelation to John 21:22-27 we hear, “I saw no temple in the city, its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb...Its gates will
There’s no doubt that 2015 will be a difficult year, as our state is facing many difficult challenges. From plugging a massive hole in the budget to reforming our prisons, the legislature has its work cut out for it this spring.
Considering how daunting these challenges will be, it would be easy to be pessimistic about what will be coming. We’ve
As Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!”
This was the expression found all over the face of Shelia Billingsley as she walked into her surprise retirement party on Dec. 19. At around 6 p.m. family, friends and co-workers gathered to help Shelia celebrate her retirement.
When Billy retired from the Gadsden City School System, Shelia
The Chickasaw Indian Nation was located in Northwest Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Jerry felt he needed to check to see what Indians were located in what had become Etowah County. Of course, the Cherokee Nation was the best known, and he had some knowledge of that.
The Creek Indians claimed a part of this area. Jerry also learned that
Christmastime has always been one of my favorite holidays. It’s a time of giving to others and a time for visiting with family, some of whom we haven’t seen in a year or more. Most importantly, for me as a Christian, Christmas time is a time to honor and praise our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This time of
At Christmastide, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, do we have a sense of being rescued? It is hard to think of rescue when for many of us it is a time of receiving and giving gift upon gift. The material smothers any awareness of rescue. The only rescue that we might contemplate is the rescue from an
Through the years, many people have asked The Vagabond about how the late Jerry Jones, former Etowah County Tax Assessor, first became interested in genealogy and history. We continue the story from last week...
Jerry Jones will never for-get the story of the massacres. When he was grown, Jerry began a search for anything that might add to the events that
If there was ever any doubt about how politicians in Alabama feel about the federal government, just look at some of their campaign ads. During this past election, Alabama politicians spent millions of dollars on ads about how they would stand up to Washington and “fight Obama”. The phrase “federal overreach” is about as common now as hearing “Sweet Home
Oh how the neighborhood was bustling with excitement and activities!
On Friday, Dec. 12, the Gadsden Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority held its 14th Annual Peppermint-Scholarship Ball. The 101-year old sorority was founded on Jan. 13, 1913, on the campus of Howard University by 22 young ladies whose legacy lives on as a sisterhood of college
Through the years, many people have asked The Vagabond about how the late Jerry Jones, who was the former Etowah County Tax Assessor, first became interested in genealogy and history.
When Jerry was eight years, old he went with his family to Old Harmony Cemetery in what is now Rainbow City. The purpose of the visit was to clean the graves
The neighborhood scoop is buzzing with activities of Christmas themes for 2014.
The annual Mt. Zion Baptist Church Ladies Christmas was held on Nov. 29 at the Northeast Etowah Community Center in North Gadsden. The tables were decked with Christmas trees, angels, holly and beautiful shining lights. A festive program was presented by the ladies, with Sister Tammy B. Woods serving
Without question, the biggest issue facing our state legislature this spring will be funding our state budgets, and specifically addressing the crisis in the General Fund budget. While the Education Trust Fund is expected to be in decent shape, Gov. Robert Bentley has projected a potential shortfall of anywhere between $250 million and $700 million in the General Fund budget.
Bobby Buggs has been posting a lot of old photos on Welcome to Gadsden Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/Gadsden), The Vagabond will include one of his photos this week.
Last week The Vagabond mentioned that Laura Dunning Elliott was hunting for the names of the two ladies that played a part of the capture of Union soldiers. The names were found and
When our state legislature returns to Montgomery, legislators will have to take on a major problem: funding our state budgets.
There are no easy solutions to our budget problems. But there are simple solutions that can generate millions of dollars for our budgets and put us on a path to fiscal stability without raising income or property taxes, or other taxes
Congratulations to Catherine Threadrell Nichols for the 2014 Greatest Achievement Award from the Etowah Historical Society for her research into the Water Pipe Wars of Etowah County. The following is her work.
Over the last 20 or so years I have asked as many people as I could about the alleged water pipe war. Was it just a rumor
There are many things about this country that make us great - our economy, our military and our people, to name a few. But perhaps our greatest accomplishment has been democracy. Democracy is our most precious and cherished blessing, and it is the foundation of our freedom.
Before America, kings with absolute power ruled nations. While there are still
In the Gospel of John 7:37-52, Jesus tells us in part, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”
St. John’s explanation of these words of Jesus is, “Now he said this about the
The Vagabond received a letter earlier this week from Eddie Lanham of Georgia. He writes:
“Don Wells with Mountain Stewards in Jasper, Ga., and I are writing a document and route mapping the 1790 Treaty of New York. We have run into a mapping issue from Rome, Ga., to the Hillibee area of current Alabama. We think that Col. Willett, who
Last week, a journalist wrote an article claiming that the Alabama Democrats are making “phony” attempts to “whitewash diversity” in an attempt to keep white voters from leaving the party and taking their money with them. We’ll ignore the ridiculous assumption that Black Democrats don’t donate and that Black leadership can’t fundraise. We’ll even look past the Republican Party’s lack
Over the past few weeks The Vagabond has been discussing a pamphlet written by the Gadsden Women’s Club called A little book about Gadsden. It tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. It continues....
Recreations and Sports
The Gadsden Country Club was incorporated Aug. 26, 1919. It is located three miles south of town on the Birmingham highway. The property
This week we had the pleasure of celebrating our nation’s true heroes - our veterans. This is always one of the most important holidays of the year in my mind. Not because I am a veteran, but because I believe it is important that we take time to appreciate and understand the sacrifice members of the military (and their families)
Now that the 2014 election is over and the people of Alabama have spoken, it is time for state legislators to work together and honor our commitments to the people of Alabama to create jobs and provide every child in Alabama with a quality education.
We have been chosen by our constituents to serve the people. That means remembering that, first
As in the past few weeks, The Vagabond has been discussing about a pamphlet written by the Gadsden Women’s Club called A Little Book about Gadsden, which tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. It continues....
“In Memoriam, William Luther Sibert, One Of Gadsden’s Illustrious Sons, Born October 12, 1860; Died October 16, 1935.
“The career of General Sibert encompassed the
As in the past few weeks, The Vagabond has been discussing a pamphlet written by the Gadsden Women’s Club called A little book about Gadsden, which tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. It continues....
The Public Library
“The Thursday Study Club realized many years ago, with Sir Francis Bacon, that “Reading maketh the full man.” Little did the club
Elections are about choices - specifically, choices between different visions. And in the elections for our state legislature on Nov. 4, there couldn’t be more at stake.
But what’s been interesting to watch is how so many sitting legislators have gone to such extreme lengths to run away from their record of the past four years.
How many times this year have
Sometimes back The Vagabond came across a pamphlet written by the Gadsden Women's Club called A Little Book About Gadsden, which tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. For the last few weeks we have been reporting on this old pamphlet. It continues....
“The common school is the greatest discovery ever made by man.”
“In the home of Gabriel Hughes
In two weeks, voters across our state will head to the polls and decide who will be leading Alabama for the next four years. As voters are evaluating the candidates, I think it is important that we carefully look at the candidates’ background and how the candidates have presented themselves in their campaigns.
Last week, I questioned why my opponent, Doug
This week we are back on the pamphlet written by the Gadsden Women’s Club called A little book about Gadsden, which tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. It continues....
“On August 23, 1855, a small group of Baptists under the leadership of Rev. J.J.D. Renfroe, met and organized the First Baptist Church. Phillip Archer helped write the Articles
The New Canaan Baptist Church celebrated its 17th anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. New Canaan Baptist is known as “A Little Church with a Big Heart.”
The program included a 50-plus mens choir from Birmingham called the Men of Praise. These men did an awesome job of singing songs of praise.
Pastor Larry G. Weathers of the Antioch Missionary
As a state representative, there are a lot of causes I am proud to make a stand for. My two biggest priorities, and what I have devoted the majority of my time to, have been job creation and education.
But I have also been proud to take a stand for our second amendment rights, and proud to say that I have
This week the Vagabond will take a break from the little pamphlet written by the Woman Club called A Little Book about Gadsden.
This week, there are 42 descendants of A.L. Wood-liffe who are in town for a reunion, coming from Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Alabama. The group is planning to visit to the Etowah Historical Society and
It’s no secret that women are a little more than half of our population. In fact, out of the more than 2.7 million registered voters in Alabama, just over 56 percent are women.
And yet, women only hold a few elected offices in our state government. In the state legislature, only 14 percent of senators and representatives are women. In the
The Vagabond recently came across a pamphlet written by the Women’s Club called A little book about Gadsden. It tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. For the last few weeks we have been reporting on this old pamphlet. It continues....
“The Agricola Furnace Company was organized in 1925. It manufactures warm air furnaces of cast iron and steel
Now that the campaign season is entering the final five weeks, there will be a huge increase in the TV ads, mail pieces and other campaign activity - all meant to persuade voters to vote one way or another. It’s the homestretch, and things are going to be ramping up.
However you may choose to vote, the most important thing you
Andy’s Taco Soup and Alabama Cornbread
There are many things I believe a person in leadership should be - responsive to constituents, strong in core values, possess the ability to make tough decisions and most importantly, function as a good steward of the taxpayers’ money. And being a good steward of taxpayers’ money means finding real solutions to the budget problems of our state, not simply
The growth of motor travel has brought about the rapid development of the good roads movement. Gadsden is connected with the remotest parts of the country by many fine paved highways. The coming of the bus lines in 1920 was the last step in the evolution of transportation in Gadsden. The Greyhound and the Crescent Lines serve the community.
A Praise Celebration
One of the joys of life is celebrating the length of days on earth. Saturday was a day of celebration for Gertie Thompson Lowe. Gertie celebrated her 80th birthday at the Antioch Family Life Center with more than 160 guests in attendance.
The guests were welcomed by the hostess and memories of Gertie’s achievements were given by friends and
Matthew’s French Toast and Apple Dip
This week I want to share with you my grandson’s favorite breakfast at his Gann’s(me) house. His request is quite simple. French Toast, Thick Sliced Applewood Bacon, and Coffee with French Vanilla Cream. Mary, my sister, and I always cook our bacon in the oven. I use a large cookie sheet, covered with foil, and
One of the biggest threats to our children’s education is when the politicians think they know better than the professional educators.
Last month, 30 of Alabama’s public school superintendents joined in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the so-called Accountability Act, and asking the Alabama Supreme Court to uphold a lower court’s decision that the Accountability Act is unconstitutional.
Among those 30
It was a busy weekend in the neighborhood.
On Saturday morning, the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of East Gadsden held a Women and Youth Conference. Three lecturers spoke on the theme “How to Reclaim, Retrain and Retain.” Jimmie Leonard kept the group moving with the song “Happy.” Guest speaker Dr. Doris Petty of Bessemer expounded on the subject of commitment, stating
The Vagabond recently came across a pamphlet written by the Woman Club called A little book about Gadsden, which tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. For the last two weeks we have been reporting on this old pamphlet. It continues....
“Gadsden civic leaders were preparing for a big development program in this year, following the huge public land
Mary’s Scalloped Potatoes and Fudge Plate Pie
Football season is here and I enjoyed every game that I watched this past weekend. It is so much fun now that Matthew is old enough to discuss a game with me. Grandchildren are such a blessing! Of course, my favorite part of the game is to know what all of you had to
The following is excerpted from a book written by the Gadsden’s Women’s Club called “A Little Book about Gadsden.” The book tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area.
Civil War Days - 1861
The Civil War stopped all internal improvements. [Etowah] County, then [called] Cherokee, furnished five companies of soldiers who were part of the 19th Alabama Regiment whose first
Recently, our state leaders have been going around patting themselves on the back for how much they have changed things over the past four years. They say that over the next four years, they are going to “be bold,” if not “bolder,” than they were before. They plan to go even further than they have in the past. This should
The Vagabond recently came across a book written by the Women’s Club called A Little book about Gadsden. It tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. It begins:
“A young man trekked south, led by a dream to found a town somewhere between Nashville, Tennessee, and the Georgia coast. Spurred on by the development of the railroads, Gabriel
Once again Gadsden, Alabama, has maintained its status as the City of Champions with the help of Khamari Smith and De’Andre Riffin.
After winning in the local elementary school track and field competition, the youngsters went on to participate in the district, state and national competitions.
Each year, Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American
We celebrated Labor Day earlier this week in honor of the working families throughout this country. It is a fitting time to celebrate working families, since jobs are by far the No. 1 issue on most peoples’ minds these days.
As we get closer to Election Day, you will see more and more political ads talking about “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” But
Stuffed Jalapenos and Icebox Cookies
Football season is here! I can remember years ago when “tailgating” meant eating out of the trunk of your car. Are any of you old enough to remember packing your trunks for the college games? Ladies, do you remember wearing dress clothes and gloves? Things have really changed. As far as the food, we tried to
Taco Salad Casserole and Mother’s Peach Macaroon Pie
On a hot summer day in the South, a salad is so light and refreshing. This taco salad is a little heavier than most salads, but it is oh so good. I enjoyed making this for my family this week. I used the fresh tomatoes from our garden, which are slowly coming
by Jon Costa
The Medicare Minute for August, 2014 provided by the Medicare Rights Center and the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, is entitled “Medicare Coverage of Home Health Care.”
Home health care is care you get at home to treat an illness or injury. If you or a loved one needs help at home, it is important to understand
Matthew 25 contains a description of the Last Judgment. In verses 32-41 it explains in parables, and I quote from the King James version as follows: “And the Lord shall answer and say unto them: Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done to the least of these my brethren, you have done it to me.”
Alabama is on a political slippery slope. Our descent is being aided by millions of dollars of campaign contributions controlled by a handful of political operatives who obviously believe many Alabama citizens should be only seen, not heard. This attitude is hardly new to this country, or even to Alabama.
The Tidewater region of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and
Alabama is definitely facing some major problems with our state budgets, and it’s time for state leaders to take these problems seriously and find real solutions. But combining the two budgets is not a real solution.
Our state leaders need to realize that simply taking money from one pile and moving it to another is not a good idea.
The Vagabond recently had someone visit the Eto-wah Historical Society about one of his ancestors, Joel Chandler, Sr. The Va-gabond came up with the following information.
The very first distance ancestor of Joel Chandler, Sr., was Gilbert Sieur Le-Chaundeler De L’Aigle of France. His son, also from France, was Le Chaundeler De L’Aigle was born in 1210 and died
The thing that troubled me most as I began to seek the Lord in my life was the permanence of it all. In seeking security in God I also experienced a sense of not being able to turn back to my old ways. The more that the knowledge of God was raining on me, the more afraid I became
The Vagabond recently spoke with Lloyd Wagnon, who manages to still keep a busy life.
After becoming Alabama’s youngest Registered Professional Land Surveyor in 1949, Wagnon entered private practice in Gadsden. Through the years, he designed and executed many of the area’s finest residential subdivisions and established many land boundaries throughout Etowah County.
Wagnon served the City of Gadsden as a member
Cornbread Skillet Casserole and Winter Fruit Salad
My sister discovered these two recipes when she was clearing out a drawer in her kitchen. My mother had several different places that she placed her recipes. I cannot believe that I missed these when I was writing my cookbook I thought I had covered all of the little places. Mother and I talked
One of the most memorable events for a family is family reunion. Family members and friends get together to reminiscence about the past, present and future.
During the weekend of Aug.15, the Price-Wright-Green family traveled to Washington D.C. in celebration of their 68 years of the family getting together.
Some of the family members in the Alabama and Georgia
There’s no doubt we have a jobs problem in the state of Alabama. We are the only state in the country with a rising unemployment rate, which is now at 7 percent. Last year, the state created only 366 new jobs, and we are now ranked 49th in the country for job creation. By Gov. Robert Bentley’s own measuring stick,
Back when Gov. Robert Bentley was campaigning in 2010, he made some bold statements. Statements such as, “I believe the people of Alabama need to decide at the ballot box on a YES or NO vote whether to allow gambling or abolish all forms of gambling.”
And Gov. Bentley and I were 100 percent in agreement. I firmly believe that we
The Vagabond recently showed a presentation about Noccalula Falls, which mentioned the cave that was once there. This is the story about that cave:
Throughout Lookout Mountain are many mysterious caves in which all sort of legends are connected. For instance, Confederate soldiers entering the cave and staggering out days later at a distant location. Then there are those caves that
German Freezer Soup and Mona’s Vegetable Spread
Yes, the weather is way too hot to think about making a pot of soup. German soup has to be made in the summer when all of the vegetables are growing in the gardens.This “freezer soup” is so close to my heart. My mother and I would bring baskets of tomatoes out of the
Famous Blueberry Dessert and Apple Surprise
The comforting sounds and smells of the kitchens of the South are forever preserved. The wonderful smells that I remember as a child that came from my aunt's kitchens were unreal. My aunt, Sue Lankford, would always have a cake in the oven or a cake waiting to be sliced when you walked in her
The meeting for the newly chartered Sons of Confederate’s Emma Sansom Camp No. 253 will be held on Thursday, Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. at the Etowah Historical Society located in the Elliott Community Center at 29th Street and Meighan Boulevard (U.S. 431) in Gadsden. The historical society genealogist will help in finding your Confederate ancestor in order to join
This week students and educators across the state will return to school. What makes this year different from the last two years is that they will be going back to school two weeks sooner than before.
In 2012, the Alabama legislature passed a school start date bill that gave schools more flexibility in setting their schedules and allowed summers to last
In 1868, three years after the Civil War, Gadsden’s first industry came about in the form of a hat factory. The hattery, as it became known, was established by Allen Gaylor near Noccalula Falls. He brought his family from Tennessee and came into this area to start his trade.
The hattery was located near the present-day Kiwanis Building on the old road
I believe that education is the great equalizer. If you give children a quality education, then with hard work they can make their dreams come true. That is why it is so disheartening to see millions of dollars taken from their education every year so that a handful of (mostly wealthy) donors can get yet another tax break.
It seems the
The Best Banana Muffins and
Fresh Blueberry Pie
After World War ll, a lady described a typical picnic lunch for that time in history. She said they packed a shoe box lunch and took off in the pony cart for a beautiful place in the woods. The usual contents were: fried chicken, tomato sandwiches, buttered
There is a simple business principle that many understand and that economists have spent years dissecting and discussing in books, on television and in newspaper articles - creating jobs for people means generating revenue for all sectors.
Unfortunately, for Alabama, there are people in leadership that don’t understand that simple principle. Instead of wanting to create jobs that will help solve
This week The Vagabond talks about the Work Projects Administration and Forrest Cemetery Chapel.
In October 1929, the stock market crashed wiped out 40 percent of the paper values of common stock and triggered a worldwide depression. By 1933, the value of stock on the New York Stock Exchange was less than a fifth of what it had been in 1929.
Chicken Salad and Chocolate Chess Pie
A light chicken salad plate with a small pimento cheese sandwich, fresh fruit, and a chocolate dessert is so beautiful and refreshing in the summer. I like to center a scoop of chicken salad on curly lettuce and surround it with strawberries and cantaloupe cut into bite size chunks. Add a pimento cheese sandwich that
Have you ever wondered about the little marble water fountain on Broad Street near the Emma Sansom statue and in front of Gadsden City Hall?
Recently on the “Welcome to Gadsden” Facebook page, a photo was shown of the old fountain, and folks began asking about it. The Vagabond did research on this subject and found it had a very interesting
Maybe it’s because I am a father and my wife is a teacher that I have a unique perspective. But I believe, wholeheartedly, that every child deserves a quality education. Regardless of if they are zoned for this school or that school, can afford private school or can’t afford private school.
Alabama should provide a quality education for all of our
Years ago the Vagabond had the opportunity to meet Darryl Patton, an herb expert and author of several books, including one on the late Tommy Bass, who lived in Cherokee County. Darryl has also written a book called America’s Goat Man. He writes:
“With an iron-wheeled wagon overloaded with pots, pans, car tags, lanterns, five-gallon pails and bales of hay hanging
Pat’s Squash Cornbread and Oven Garden Vegetables
When I was reading through Cherry Clements cookbook, "Mama's Bequest", she had signed the inside cover, "Do not let good cooking die out". I love her Southern Georgia cookbook. As Southerners, we can not let Southern cooking "die out". I have heard so many people say that Southern cooking is going to be a
A special Thank You. There has been much said about the Central-Carver Reunion 2014 this past week. Yes, it has been about remembering, reminiscing and the gathering of classes, families, friends and classmates returning to Gadsden that some have not seen in 45 plus years. Central-Carver School (Wildcats) is embedded in the hearts and minds of the alumni and community.
It’s politics 101. You don’t make promises you can’t keep or lead people on to think you might do something you know you will not be able to do.
But that is exactly what Gov. Robert Bentley did to educators this year.
At the start of the year, Bentley proposed a 2.5 percent pay raise for teachers and support personnel. Newspaper headlines
with State Rep. Craig Ford
I love America, and I especially love Alabama. That’s no secret, as I believe all people in politics should truly love our great nation. But I have to say, this summer, I find myself loving America a little more than usual.
With the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, celebrating everything that our forefathers tirelessly
By Mary Payne
Who is it?
This question can lead to a lot of problems.
If someone knocks on your door and you aren’t expecting anyone - Do Not Answer.
Home intruders are not going to answer truthfully - “Oh, it is a home invader and I am going to steal your money and injure you.” They are going to say that
Science is moving closer to God
We have Holy Scripture and church doctrine that help us to understand the existence of and our relationship with God. Jesus, as God’s Word, took God’s message to a new level. Even with scripture and church doctrine, we can enhance our understanding and relationship with God in other ways as well. We can get a