Sunday, May 31, 2015

Are You Part of the Remnant?

"Biblical worldview is the lowest it has ever been among America's youth. Statistically, we are on the verge of absolute collapse morally and spiritually. Is there hope for our nation?
The good news: There is a remnant who is willing to do the radical and disciple and train their own children and not bet on someone else doing it for them. Are you among them?" --Israel Wayne

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Electric Shock Drowning is Preventable

This is a repeat of a post I made late last summer. I am running it again in an effort to educate before boating and swimming season starts.

In mid-August, a friend of a friend lost a child to Electric Shock Drowning. I had never heard of it. It frightened me that I had never heard of it because swimming near a dock in fresh water is something I would allow my children to do. While I live and vacation on salt water rivers, I have many friends who vacation on fresh water lakes. It makes me sick to think of something happening to them or their childen.

Please read this article. Then, however you can, share this story. You can link to the article I shared directly, find a new resource, or link to this blog entry. This is an easy thing to correct and prevent, but we have to get the word out there. I want to be a part of making that change happen so no more parents lose a child this way.

""As Lucas approached the ladder to get out of the water, he let out a loud gasp, immediately rolling onto his back in his life jacket, apparently unconscious. Sheryl (Lucas' mother) yelled to the other kids to help him and jumped into the water herself. As the kids approached Lucas, they felt a slight tingly sensation in the water and immediately backed off. Upon hitting the water downstream from Lucas, Sheryl's extremities went numb, and she experienced extreme difficulty moving her limbs, which, at the time, she attributed to fear," wrote Ritz in a detailed account of Lucas' preventable tragedy in Seaworthy magazine last year.
Although his mother managed to pull Lucas to the dock where others helped get him onto the dock, they couldn't revive him and CPR was unsuccessful. Lucas Ritz was 8-years-old, and his death could have been prevented:
  • If an Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupter (ELCI) had been installed on the power boat that leaked voltage into the water where Lucas was swimming. It would have interrupted the circuit kept any electricity from leaking into the water; or
  • If the marina ahead of the boat's shore power had been equipped with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) breaker. Even 10 mA of current would have tripped the GFCI and stopped any electricity from entering the water."
FOXNEWS, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, other news agencies and networks, please do stories on this. I know from my husband, who has worked with electricity his entire life, that this is inexpensive and easy to fix, but it often takes some NOISE from people to bring awareness before change happens.

Thank you to my friend, Shonda, who brought this to my attention. My sincerest condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one to EDS.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Abram's Delight

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"Abram's Delight", the site of five generations of the prominent Hollingsworth family covering 200 years, has a story of its own. When Abraham Hollingsworth came to the Valley circa 1728, he was exploring, with the intention of finding a spot to build a home for his family and to establish a mill to supplement his income as a farmer. On this spot, he found the answer to his requirements - fertile land and an ample water supply."

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The oldest dwelling in Winchester, Abram's Delight experienced the passage of the Union and Confederate armies in the war. Although the property stood in the path of the First Battle of Winchester of May 25,1862, it survived and now illustrates the civilian side of the conflict. Mary Hollingsworth and her siblings, Jonah and Annie, occupied the house during the war. Standing more than six feet tall, Mary Hollingsworth may have impersonated a man to spy for the Confederates, according to local tradition. She also gave meals and shelter to Union Soldiers on several occasions. Early in the war, a soldier wrote, "My best wishes to all at your house, and to all those who were there during my stay with you." William Darnel of the 3rd West Virginia Calvary, thanked her for her hospitality in the spring of 1865. "I embrace this mode of bidding adieu and also to express my thanks for the kindness manifested during the sojourn at your place." In the spring of 1864, Union General Franz Sigel and several of his staff members occupied Abram's Delight.  Sigel paid Hollingsworth $5 for her troubles. After the war, she filed a claim with the Southern Claims Commission for damage done to her property. The commission denied her request however, stating that the damage occurred as a result of the "fortunes of war."

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Rouss Spring was the site of the federal camp.
Those were mill stones used in the mill also on the property (not pictured).

Read the history of this home here.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wedding Dress? Donate It to This Beautiful Cause

Angel Gowns

Wedding dress donations become the first and last dresses stillborn babies wear. 

"The Texas-based nonprofit gives one-of-a-kind gowns, handmade from wedding dresses, for infants who die in hospitals. The organization relies on volunteers and wedding dress donations around the country to provide infant gowns for burial and final photographs. Jensen is among the volunteers for whom the work is personal.
A photo of two tiny hands holding each other over satin lace sat not far from the gowns she sewed. Her twin granddaughters died three years ago during her daughter-in-law’s pregnancy."

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Riding for a Cause

Clint's brother, Richard, is riding for a cause. If you donate, please let him know you are friends of ours or came through Contentment Acres. Thank you!

A Few Turkey Parts

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We have five adult turkeys on our place at the moment. 
He is our tamest and will sit in your lap. He is very striking with his black and white coloring. He is also the most expensive because he ate a very large bed filled with an abundance of strawberries!! None of us are too happy with him, but he is still our favorite turkey.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Do You Love Me?

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Bonus I Didn't Expect

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She took time from playing after lunch to pick flowers for me.
If I did not homeschool, I would not get these sweet expressions of love in the middle of the day.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Wild Roses

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After our friend Mack did some bush hogging out back, we found these lovely flowers. Upon checking with some friends, I learned they are wild roses. Although they are an invasive species, I am going to put them to work to help camouflage our turkey pen. The thorns should give the turkeys some added protection from predators, and I will enjoy the fragrant flowers every year. I might train some as an espalier in the peafowl pen too.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Patsy Cline House

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Patsy Cline's father left the family which left them in need of money and also made her relationship with her mother very close. "The house in Winchester serves as a proud testament to Patsy's love of family. Her devoted and influential relationship with her mother and their drive and determination launched Patsy's career. ... Much of the Winchester house, its landscaping and the surrounding neighborhood appear approximately the same as when Patsy lived there." read more here

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Godly Habits

"The right thing to do with godly habits is to immerse them in the life of the Lord until they become such a spontaneous expression of our lives that we are no longer aware of them. Your god may be your habit of prayer or Bible reading at certain times of your day. Watch how your Father will upset your schedule if you begin to worship your habit instead of what the habit symbolizes. Identify your shortcoming and then look for opportunities to work into your life that missing quality." --Oswald Chambers, from My Utmost for His Highest.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

He Said They Were Beautiful

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Clint and I decided to remember our nine Heaven babies with something special every year on May 7. This year, we decided to do Sky Lanterns. As they floated off, my neighbor who has cerebal palsy and does not get to do as much as other people do, saw them. His comment was passed onto me. He said with awe, "They were the most beautiful things." Hearing someone say how we remembered them was beautiful touched me deeply. 

I have shared these pictures a few places and people have repeatedly asked me where I purchased them. I bought these from Amazon, and this is my affiliate link to purchase them. They are nicer than other lanterns we have used. The paper is flame resistant which was important since each family member wanted to release one. They are completely biodegradable. They are very large which lets you enjoy them much longer and from greater distances. We were very, very pleased with our purchase and value for the money.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cheap, Light, Quick to Build, Easy to Move Rabbit Tractor

This is the tractor (movable pen) we are growing our bunnies.

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You can see how they have "cut the grass" for us.

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We cut the end of a cattle panel and bent the long sides and ends.

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We put rolled wire fencing on the bottom to protect them from predators but still allow them to eat the grass. Some of the bunnies can go through this, but ours have stayed with their litter mates. Homeschool families love helping each other create. We didn't ask for help, they wanted to be a part of it. We happily allowed it. Working cheerfully (and playfully) together builds strong bonds!

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The top and sides, we covered with 1" chicken wire.

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We covered one end with a silver (sun reflecting) tarp and 
weighted it down with broken cinder blocks. I am awaiting grommets to place in the tarp which I cut from a larger tarp that was torn. We try to reuse everything until it can't be used again.

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You can see where our baby pigs escaped and rooted around behind the rabbit tractor.

We moved it five times a day for 25 just weaned rabbits. It takes seconds to move and one person can do it alone.  I pull the block off, lift the end without bunnies and pivot it to new grass. Then, I go to the other end and shew down bunnies and lift that end and pivot it. I put the blocks back. Easy, peasy! I am happier with this than any other tractor (chicken or rabbit) I have tried over the years.

We plan to build another two of these and divide the rabbits as they grow, or we'd end up having to move the pen more often. Growing them on grass takes longer than hay and pellets but it is less costly.

If you let them eat off the ground, you have to be aware of the potential for parasites and be prepared to treat if need arises. Some people never have a problem, but others have so it is wise to be prepared. Ours dropped off in weight last year during a wet period, so I gave vermicide every two weeks for three rounds. They picked up in weight after the first treatment, but I kept treating to break the parasite cycle. 

This idea can be adapted for other animals. I plan to cut a cattle panel in half long ways and add it to the long sides of a cattle panel bent in the same manner as this one. I am going to use that for chickens.

UPDATE: The younger, smaller rabbits were able to slip through the rolled wire fencing, so I added chicken wire to the bottom too. We made a second tractor with just the chicken wire, and it works well. The rabbits have no problem getting to the grass. In fact, I put it on grass that was knee high which left the rabbit tractor a bit elevated. They ate most of it down to ground level over night!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Lace Lock Method of Tying Shoes

As I was watching this, all I could think was: "That would have been great info to have with small children." 

Lace Lock

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Parents: Are You Teaching Your Children Godliness or Godlessness?

There isn't a middle ground. It's one or the other.

They are always learning from you whether you feel you teaching or not. Be continually aware and active in teaching them the good stuff. Yes, it's hard work and much of the time, you are disciplining yourself: your thoughts, your words, your actions so you can set an example worthy of following.

"How can we hope to see the kingdom of our Lord advance when his own disciples do not teach his gospel to their own sons and daughters? Charles Spurgeon

Friday, May 15, 2015

One of the Stories at Mount Hebron

Out of respect for his short life and for what his parents lived through, I share his marker. I have a good friend who has lost her only child. I see the daily struggle she fights, so I know the Glaizes' suffered greatly. Their life was terribly sad, but their eternity looks very joyful..and we can praise the Lord for that!

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This was before I lost Jonathan.

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David Brevitt Glaize
only child of
David S. and Elizabeth B. Glaize
Born May 31, 1888--Died June 12, 1905
Say not "Good Night," but in some brighter clime
bid me "Good Morning."

His parents are laid to rest beside him. They died within two years of each other. Their epitaph reads a fitting "I heard the voice of Jesus say, "Come unto Me and rest." His parents are at rest and peace with this hard life and are reunited for an eternity with their son having died nine and eleven years after his death respectively. Thank You, Father, for turning our sorrows into joy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wry Neck in Rabbits

Barbi Brown's Bunnies This is a helpful resource with Barbi's experience with treatment options in dealing with wry neck in rabbits. From her free exchange of useful information, you can tell she cares about not only her rabbits but for the well being of yours and mine too.

I came across this after finding a bunny down but mine was injured and recovered. The info is so amazingly helpful that I have saved it for when the need arises and felt it was worth sharing too.

Thank you, Barbi, for this amazing resource!

Plant Propagation

Plant Propagation by Layering Instructions

If you garden and are looking for ways to increase your plants, bushes, vines, or trees, this is a good resource. I have had a lot of success with these methods. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Cute Fuzzies

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Toulouse Goslings

I acquired my first geese 20 years ago from a local community farm. I named them Mr. and Mrs. Fuss a Lot. I spend time around my geese to keep them friendly. I talk to them and give them treats. I can call to them, and they will run across the yard with wings flapping calling to me to let me know they are coming as fast as they can. I am one of the flock, and they are my curious buddies when I have to work in the yard. Sometimes I need to put my hands on them to move them around or check weight or an injury. They aren't happy with the offense but get over it quickly. The relationship gets a bit stiffer when the geese are sitting on their precious eggs while the gander is watching over them. I can still approach them and move around without getting attacked as long as I leave the eggs alone. The deal breaker is when they have hatchlings. Once I go to pull the goslings, it's game on...with three human helpers to protect my rear from gander bites! I received a blood blister from a goose while pulling these little beauties off the nest to keep them safe from the lurking coyote. The parents were mad at me for a full day, but it was worth it to know their offspring will get a chance to grow up.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Article: What Influence Do You Have on Your Children? by John MacArthur

This was shared with me by a friend and is too good to not share. Keep working hard, Christian parents. Teach your children to value and crave the Word of God. You do not labor in vain. You put in a tremendous amount of work in the early years, but you start reaping as they grow. 
What Influence Do You Have on Your Children?
by John MacArthur
You can’t save your children. You can raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, guard them from the sinful influences and temptations of the world, and cocoon them in the fellowship of others who know and love God. But in the end, as we saw last time, their repentance and faith cannot be inherited or manufactured—salvation is God’s work, not yours. As a parent, your influence can only go so far.
The Wrong Kind of Influence
Having said that, I want to stress that sometimes—I should say often—parents are partly to blame for their wayward children’s rebellion. And it has been my observation over the years that parents are generally more to blame for wayward kids than society, peers, or any of the other influences parents tend to blame. I occasionally encounter parents who have violated nearly every biblical principle of parenting, who nonetheless come to the pastor seeking some kind of absolution from the responsibility for their children’s defiance. They want verbal assurance that they are in no way to blame; someone else is.
Yet God Himself has given the responsibility for raising children to parents—not to schoolteachers, peers, child-care workers, or other people outside the family—and therefore it is wrong for parents to attempt to unload that responsibility or shift the blame when things go wrong.
Parents must involve themselves in their children’s lives enough to insure that no other influence takes precedence. To parents who complain that their kids’ failures are the kids’ friends’ fault, my inevitable reply is that ultimately the parents themselves must be to blame, because they were the ones who allowed peers to have more input into their kids’ lives than they have themselves.
Blame and Accountability
Some parents will no doubt cynically roll their eyes at that, and insist that it is unrealistic in this day and age to expect parents to influence their kids more than peers, the culture, television, schoolteachers, and all the other factors that vie for a controlling interest in the typical child’s life.
Still, a moment’s reflection will reveal why parents in our culture have less influence on their kids than peer groups do: Most parents have simply abdicated the parental role. They have turned their kids over to their peers. They have invested less time in teaching their kids than the amount of time they have permitted the kids to watch television. They have permitted much of—if not all—their children’s spiritual, moral, and ethical instruction to come from television, movies, music, and other children. Even in the best cases, parents rely too much on school teachers, Sunday-school teachers, and youth leaders—all outside the purview of the family. Parents must realize that character is neither inbred by genetics nor picked up by osmosis. Children are taught to be what they become. If they have become something other than what the parents hoped for, it is usually because they have simply learned from those who were there to teach them in their parents’ absence.
In other words, the parents, not the kids—and not even the peer groups—are ultimately to blame for the parents’ diminishing influence in our culture. Whenever outside influences shape a child’s character more than the parents, the parents have failed in their duties. It is as simple as that.
Christian parents today desperately need to own this simple principle. Before the throne of God we will be held accountable if we have turned our children over to other influences that shape their character in ungodly ways. God has placed in our hands the responsibility of bringing our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and we will give account to God for our stewardship of this great gift. If others have more influence on our children than we, we are culpable, not excusable, on those grounds.
Your Full-Time Job
God has made parenting a full-time responsibility. There are no coffee breaks from our parental duties. This principle was even built into the law at Sinai. God prefaced His instructions to the Israelites with this solemn charge:
These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:6–7)
That is God’s own definition of the parents’ task. It means parenting is a full-time assignment in every sense of the expression. No phase of life is exempt. Not one hour of the day is excluded. There is no time-out for the parent who wants to be faithful to this calling.
Some parents think they can compartmentalize their child’s life, assign a set number of hours per week to spend on parenting, and then fulfill their duties as parents by making sure the hours they put into the task are “quality time.” That whole philosophy is contrary to the spirit of Deuteronomy 6:7, and it is a sure way to guarantee that outside influences will have more influence than the parents in shaping the child’s character.
Parental Neglect
The history of Old Testament Israel is an object lesson about the dangers of neglecting this vital principle. Israel failed miserably when it came to the duty of teaching their children about God’s righteousness. Consider this telling verse about the generation of Israelites who first entered the Promised Land. And note that this was merely one generation after God had first given the law at Sinai:
The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the Lord which He had done for Israel. . . . All that generation also were gathered to their fathers and there arose another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. (Judges 2:7, 10)
In other words, that whole generation of Israelites failed in their responsibility. They neglected to teach their children about the things God had done for Israel. And as a consequence, the next generation turned away from the Lord en masse:
Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals, and they forsook the Lord, God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the Lord to anger. So they forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtoreth. (vv. 11–13)
The children turned to the evil gods of the Canaanites. Their environment influenced them more than their parents did because the parents abdicated the parental role. The result was idolatry, chaos, and destruction. “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (21:25).
The same pattern was repeated again and again throughout Israel’s history. Whenever a generation of parents neglected to plant the seeds that would provide shade trees for subsequent generations, the children suffered the spiritual famine that inevitably followed.
The same thing is still occurring to this day. Right now the outlook for the next generation is as bleak as it has ever been. And there will be no turnaround unless this generation of Christian parents resumes the full-time work of planting spiritual shade trees.
Proper Parenting and Personal Priorities
For many parents, the first step toward getting back on track must be a fresh commitment to the things of God for themselves. If our own priorities in life are askew, there’s no hope of teaching our children what they need to learn.
Parents, take inventory in your own hearts. Do you thirst for God as the deer pants after the water? Or is your own life sending your children a message of hypocrisy and spiritual indifference? Is your own commitment to Christ what you hope to see in your children’s lives? Is your obedience to His Word the same kind of submission you long to see from your own kids?
Those are crucial questions each parent must face if we really want to be successful parents and good role models for our children. For parents to be derelict in their own spiritual lives is tantamount to cutting down all the shade trees for the next generation in their family.
Christian parents—be encouraged. You have a responsibility before God to use your influence with your children for His glory and their good. But the weight of their eternity is not on your shoulders—remember they’re not born morally neutral. God will use whatever means He chooses to draw His people to Himself. Pray He will use you in the lives of your children, and trust that He is faithful even through your failures.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Mount Hebron Cemetery

I am fascinated by the stories of every day people who lived before us. This is one of the largest and oldest cemeteries I have visited. There was so much history here. At 56 acres containing four sections there is more than one person can possibly see in a day. With the detailed artwork gracing the monuments and the lovely old trees, it was a very pretty and peaceful place. One of the most interesting sections was the confederate section. This contains 2,576 graves and is divided by state. Here, I learned the stories of mothers who lost all of their sons to the conflict. Some brothers died within days of each other while some soldiers lived long, productive lives after the war.

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Cemeteries can be exciting places for the believer!
My soul jumped with joy when I read this!
If this is true, I will encounter this person in eternity!

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You can read about the four sections and learn the history of the cemetery here.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Womb milk nourishes human embryo during first weeks of pregnancy - health - 01 May 2015 - New Scientist

Womb milk nourishes human embryo during first weeks of pregnancy - health - 01 May 2015 - New Scientist


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Today is the day I can choose either to say:

"Two years ago today, I gave birth to and lost my son Isaac."


"Two years ago today, God kept His promise about defeating death and received my baby boy into Heaven."

One focuses on me. The other focuses on Him.

May 7 is the day I have set aside to remember all of my miscarried and stillborn children.

If you have lost a child, I am praying for you today. 
I Pray He Sends You Swallows and Turtles

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Prayers Please

5/6/2015 8 a.m.: Monica's father, Sanford, (see story in side bar) suddenly took a turn for the worse. He is in the hospital. His liver is not functioning. His skin is yellow. They have put in a morphine pain pump and are giving him other pain medicines for bone pain, etc. Liver function is hindered by tumor burden. This is very hard on Monica and her family. Please pray for Sanford's salvation and comfort for the family.

Update 5/6/15 12:30 p.m.: They are awaiting MRI results. They are starting to think this is a very aggressive form of cancer. Sanford has requested a chaplain. Please pray he gets one who speaks Truth and is not led astray by a false teacher. Thank you very much for prayers for this family.

5/7: It is a very aggressive form of cancer. They are setting up hospice. He spoke with the chaplain, and that's all I know about that. He has been given a month, if that.

5/8: From Monica: Daddy gave his life to Christ this morning. 

Free Summer Bowling and $1 Summer Movies

Free Summer Bowling 
(We aren't bowling this year. I think we are going to give away our bowling equipment. The children have lost interest in it, and our family enjoys other activities more.)

$1 Summer Movies

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


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Bethany loves swans.

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My little girls love little ponies.

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Our boys wanted camo walls. We settled for camo curtains.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Racing Slicks

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Clint calls them solid tires for the lawn mower.
The children and I call them racing slicks.
Your attitude while working makes a difference!

Sunday, May 03, 2015

His Glory, My Good

God's sovereignty serves His glory and my good. He, however, sovereignly defines what my good is. -R. C. Sproul, Jr

Friday, May 01, 2015

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

Here's another old church we saw and learned about on a short trip. 
It is over 260 years old.
We were graced with the pleasure of their noon time bell ringing.

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"After receiving a grant from Lord Fairfax, dated May 15, 1753, the German Lutherans first built a log schoolhouse to educate their children. It was not until April 16, 1764, that the cornerstone for the first church building was laid. The Church was destroyed by fire in 1854 when sparks from a nearby stable set fire to the roof of the church. The remains of the stone walls are standing today in the cemetery." read the rest here