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When we first moved into our rural community in 2004, one of the first neighbors we met was David’s homeschooling family of eleven from across the river. They soon began to invite us to their parties at Christmas-time and to their super-fun barn dances.

In time they bought the barn and pasture across from us. If you have been reading these posts for long, you have seen many pictures of their beautiful land across the road. When the barn by their house became too small for the large barn dance crowds, they remodeled their new barn loft and we got the pleasure of walking to the barn dances, feeling like pioneers.

When our son John married Audra near her home in Missouri in 2009, we were honored when David’s family traveled to Missouri for the wedding. We planned a reception at our home a few weeks later for friends who couldn’t travel so far.

One day in between the two events, I was away from home for the day when I got a surprising phone call from Ray. He told me that David had stopped by and said something like this (with kindness and tact): “Your house needs to be painted. If you will buy the paint, we will paint it before the reception.”

David was right; it did need painting, but we didn’t have a clue how to tackle that job on this big old 2-story farmhouse by ourselves. With Notgrass Company as young as it was at the time, we certainly couldn’t afford to pay to have it done. David’s family knew just how to do it, had just the right equipment, and, more importantly, had hearts to give a blessing.

When Bethany and Gregory got married on a Saturday afternoon ten months later, Ray and I spent the evening at one of David’s family’s grand Christmas parties. When one of their daughters got married in 2012, she and her bridesmaids got dressed at our house. David came to our house for pictures and then escorted her to the wedding in the pretty pasture across the road. The reception followed in the barn loft.

Ethan and Isabel Wedding 119

While the young couple was on their honeymoon, we were racking our brains about who could become the first non-family full-time employee for Notgrass Company. It was Ray who had the great idea of the groom, whose family we have known even longer than David’s family. When they came home, we gave him a call. Much to the dismay of his employer at the time, he took us up on our offer. If you receive a package from Notgrass Company, Ethan mostly likely had something to do with getting it from ordered to shipped.

While we were in Indianapolis for the IAHE convention last weekend, David and one of the twins who are his youngest children left the farm across the road from us after tending to their cows that pasture there. Between our house and theirs, they had a motorcycle accident. The twin is fine; David is in intensive care at a hospital in Nashville with severe injuries. Slowly, slowly he is making improvements. Would you pray for this godly father and grandfather?

When our family and employees gathered on Monday for our weekly meeting, Ray’s devotional centered on our admiration of and our concern for David and his family. Ray reminded us all of their painting our house. I told them about the hours David spent with us at the hospital the day our grandson Avery went home to be with God. When I saw David’s wife the other day, she was serving another mother she met in the waiting room. I was deeply touched, but not surprised. I would very much appreciate your prayers for him.

Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6


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  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend David’s accident. It very humbling when realize just how quickly life can change. I will certainly keep him, his family, and you in my prayer that God’s will be done in this difficult situation. I once read that the “prayer that never fails” is Thy will be done.

  2. Oh, goodness–what a heart-stirring story! David sounds like such a gift from God; one of those people who lives to bless others around him. I am so sorry to hear of his accident and current situation–will definitely be praying for him! Please keep us abreast of how he comes along.

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