Sunday – Another Obituary

Jerry Malone Blades

Jerry Blades passed away Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008, from pneumonia at age 68 at his residence in Austin, Texas. Born May 2, 1939, in Baton Rouge, Jerry was the second child of Joseph Victor Blades and Audrey Covington Blades, also of Baton Rouge. He graduated from Istrouma High School in Baton Rouge and attended LSU. He is survived by his former wife, Patsy Jo Ann McLeod Fair; son, Cary Glen Blades; daughter, Lynde Jean Blades; brother, Donald Keith Blades and wife; and sister, Betty Jo Blades McQueen and husband; as well as grandchildren, Robert Zachary Dean and Ashley Marie Kincaid; as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends. Jerry spent many years with Montgomery Ward in his younger to mid-years then with Pfizer and Bristol Meyers companies in his latter years. He was employed by several friends who own their own businesses including Rawndy and Randy Pitalo of Tiger Bait, Baton Rouge. He spent his life residing in the states of Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee. A lover of music in his high school years in Baton Rouge, he played the piano with Bonnie Fussell and The Jive Five band and later became a lover of country music. His favorite hobby was spending time hunting and fishing in Louisiana and Texas with family and friends, especially his cousin, David Brabham, of Kentwood. He also had a passion for Native American history. Jerry was a loving father and a wonderful relative and friend to all who knew and loved him. Forever in our hearts and always in our minds, may he find eternal peace and tranquility as his spirit lives on. We love you, Jerry. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Research fund. A memorial gathering of family and friends will be held in Baton Rouge and Austin in the near future. Please contact Cary Blades at (512) 266-7970 or regarding the times and date.

Sunday’s Devotional


Someone has come up with this list of the ways that professors grade their final exams:

– All grades are plotted along the normal bell curve.


– Students are asked to blot ink in their exam books, close them and turn them in. The professor opens the books and assigns the first grade that comes to mind.


– All students get the same grade they got last year.


– What is a grade?

– Students are asked to defend their position of why they should receive an A.

– Grades are variable.


– If and only if the student is present for the final and the student has accumulated a passing grade then the student will receive an A else the student will not receive an A.


– Random number generator determines grade.

– Each student must figure out his grade by listening to the instructor play the corresponding note (+ and – would be sharp and flat respectively).


– Everybody gets an A.

How do you suppose God will grade us on our “final exam”? Some people think God will automatically pass everyone (“After all, He’s so kind and loving, how could He do otherwise?”). Some people think God will grade on a curve (“I may be bad, but I’m not as bad as some people I know!”). Some people think God looks at the assignments you completed (the “good” things you did) and the assignments you failed (the “bad” things you did), and passes you if the good outweighs the bad.

However, none of those ideas are accurate. The truth is, God grades on a strict pass/fail basis — either we pass (heaven) or we fail (hell). And there is only one way to keep from failing:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

For those who are “in Christ” and continue to walk “according to the Spirit”, the grade is certain. I don’t know about you, but I’m anxious for the semester to end! 🙂

Have a great day!

lan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

Saturday’s Devotional


Today’s message offers no deep thoughts. Just a bit of humor and a few passages from God’s Word.

How many stressed-out mothers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

One. ONE!! And do you know WHY it only takes ONE? Because no one else in this house knows HOW to change a light bulb. They don’t even know the bulb is BURNED OUT. They would sit in this house in the dark for THREE DAYS before they figured it OUT. And once they figured it out they wouldn’t be able to find the light bulbs despite the fact that they’ve been in the SAME CUPBOARD for the past SEVENTEEN YEARS. But if they did, by some miracle, find the light bulbs, TWO DAYS LATER the chair that they dragged from two rooms over to stand on to change the STUPID light bulb would STILL BE IN THE SAME SPOT!!!!! AND UNDERNEATH IT WOULD BE THE CRUMPLED WRAPPER THE STUPID LIGHT BULBS CAME IN. WHY??? BECAUSE NO ONE IN THIS HOUSE EVER CARRIES OUT THE GARBAGE!!!! IT’S A WONDER WE HAVEN’T ALL SUFFOCATED FROM THE PILES OF GARBAGE THAT ARE 12 FEET DEEP THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE HOUSE. THE HOUSE!! THE HOUSE!!! IT WOULD TAKE AN ARMY TO CLEAN THIS.

That’s how many.

“Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” (Ephesians 4:26)

“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18)

“Rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (I Peter 3:4)

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

Stressed? We probably all get stressed because of trying to do too many things, feeling bad, pressures on the job, etc. That’s not going to change.

It’s how we handle them that makes a difference. May we all strive to have a gentler and quieter spirit in such times!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Anna Lee

Friday’s Devotional



“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:10).

Mike Benson, Editor

THE STORY OF “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” has the fair-haired heroine in search of what suited her perfectly; not too hot, not too cold, not too hard, not too soft…


It all had to be just right. That’s pretty typical of human nature is it not? We prefer things to be just right. But how do we know? Isn’t it just a matter of our preferences? That might work for things like porridge or beds, but it doesn’t work for everything.


When the Bible gives the warning that the word of God isn’t to be added to or taken from, it is saying it is just right. We may not always agree with what God has to say in the Bible. We might prefer that it said some things differently. Altering God’s word carries some pretty serious consequences (Revelation 22:18-19). This actually identifies one of the key issues of mankind’s relationship with God. When a discrepancy exists between His word and our preferences, what will happen? What will change? Us? Or will we try to change God’s word? Or, will we just walk away as if nothing were amiss?


The fact is, God’s word does not change. Actually, it cannot change. If we attempt to alter it, it’s no longer God’s word, but ours. His word still stands. That is what is behind Jesus’ words, “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).


God’s word, as it is, is just right. If we’re not comfortable with it, it is us, not it, that needs to change. God’s word is just right to make us just right (David Deffenbaugh, Bill McFarland)

“Whatever I command you,

be careful to observe it;

you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”

Deut. 12:32


I hope you are finding time to read God’s word on a regular basis.
Anna Lee

Thursday’s Devotional Thought


“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:10).

Mike Benson, Editor


DURING THE GREAT Depression a good man lost his job, exhausted his savings, and forfeited his home…

His grief was multiplied by the sudden death of his precious wife. The only thing he had left was his faith, and it was weakening. One day he was combing the neighborhood looking for work. He stopped to watch some men who were doing the stonework on a church building. One of those men was skillfully chiseling a triangular piece of rock. Not seeing a spot where it would fit, he asked, “Where are you going to put that?” The man pointed toward the top of the building and said. “See that little opening up there near the spire? That’s where it goes. I’m shaping it down here so it will fit up there. Tears filled this good man’s eyes as he walked away. “Shaping it down here so it will fit up there” gave new meaning in his difficult situation.

Some of you who are reading this are going through terribly troublesome times. You are experiencing some heart-breaking sorrow. Or perhaps you are enduring some painful physical illness. Or it is something else — something too excruciating to talk to anyone about. The blows of the hammer and chisel hurt, don’t they? Hold on to your faith. Don’t let your difficulties get you down. They are only temporary. Glory is coming. It’s the harsh blows to the outward man that often bring the greatest strength to the inner man. Keep praying. Keep believing. The Master has to do some shaping of us down here so we will fit up there (Glad Tidings of Good Things).

“For our light affliction,

which is but for a moment,

is working for us a far more exceeding

and eternal weight of glory”

2 Cor. 4:17; cf. Rom. 8:28



When you are going through a trial in your life – and you will again and again – look to God. Keep your faith! God is there to help you though the good days and the not-so-good days!


Anna Lee

Wednesday’s Devotional

“Decision” Magazine’s

Weekly E-mail Devotional


“But when you pray, go into your room,

close the door

and pray to your Father, who is unseen.

Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret,

will reward you.”

Matthew 6:6, NIV




A Word From Billy Graham


“Our Lord frequently prayed alone, separating Himself from every earthly distraction. I would strongly urge you to select a room or corner in your home where you can regularly meet alone with God. That quiet, secluded, soul-to-God praying in which you come to the mercy-seat can be your greatest blessing. As we observe the prayer life of Jesus, we notice the earnestness with which He prayed. The New Testament records that in Gethsemane He cried out with a loud voice, that in the intensity of His supplication He fell headlong on the damp ground of the Garden, that He pleaded until His sweat became ‘as it were great drops of blood’ (Luke 22:44, KJV). The Scripture says, ‘Pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17, KJV). This should be the motto of every follower of Jesus Christ. Never stop praying no matter how dark and hopeless your case may seem.”

Does Prayer Really Make a Difference?

1. Read Genesis 18:20-32. How did Abraham’s entreaties influence God?
2. According to Matthew 7:7-11, what did Jesus say about our requesting things in prayer?
3. In Mark 11:20-25, Jesus used the fig tree as an illustration of answered prayer. What conditions did He place on our prayers being answered?
4. What does the parable of the widow and the judge in Luke 18:1-8 teach us about prayer?
5. Study James 5:13-18. According to the book of James, what characterizes the person whose prayers are effective? Observe your own life to see that prayer really does make a difference. Record your requests; throughout the days ahead, make note of how God answers your prayers.



Father, teach us to pray as Jesus prayed. Help us to come to You with all things and at all times. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.





Do we really go to God with “all things” or sometimes with only the things we’re having trouble handling ourselves?

Anna Lee

Tuesday – Devotional

Kne Email


“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:10).


Mike Benson, Editor



ON MY RECENT trip to Oklahoma, I was privileged to also experience my first flight…

To most people, I assume, this would be a welcome new experience. For me, it was something akin to a claustrophobic being buried alive in an elevator shaft under a coal mine. I made no attempt to hide my fear. As we boarded I noticed damage to the tail of the plane. The carpet inside was somewhat frayed. I noticed everything. The stewardess I talked to had only been there a month and she was still nervous! Great!! As we pulled away from the terminal, I realized this was my last chance to go screaming down the aisle and get off. No, I would die with dignity. As we made the turn on the runway, we suddenly increased our speed to that of light and I asked God to forgive my sins. As we became airborne, the pilot began to welcome us. I didn’t want to be welcomed; I wanted him to pay attention to the plane! After a few minutes, we were informed of a few safety precautions in case we crashed into the earth at six hundred miles per hour. A few minutes after that, my son Billy asked me, “Isn’t this great and could I stop hurting his hand?” Sorry! I managed to glance out the window and again I asked God to forgive me. The stewardess asked if I was nervous. “No Ma’am, my knuckles are always white,” I replied.

After the pilot informed us we were at 36,000 feet a strange calm came over me. There was no turning back. It was, as they say, surreal. I began to look at the world in a “spiritual” way. I wondered what we must look like to God. All those people down there shopping, driving, mowing their yards, and they didn’t even realize that they were being looked at this way. Then, turbulence. The plane bounced, the wings bounced, everything bounced, and I asked God to forgive my sins. Then calm again. I realized that this was a golden opportunity for me to see how wrapped up we can become in the temporal instead of the eternal. I began to see the world rather than just the person in front of me. I understood a little better at how God looks at me. I began to think of God’s purpose for all our lives and how some will yield to it and others will not. I thought of how much better I could be and I prayed that God would help me be better. This was not only a flight from “point A” to “point B,” but a journey inside myself. It was a brief glimpse of how things really are before it again became clouded with the temporal. As we began to descend, the ride became rougher. Flaps went up and down and then the pilot reversed the thrust while I prayed for God to forgive me. We landed safely and I vowed I would not forget God’s protective hand or the value of what I had seen outside the plane and inside my life. Besides, there was always the ride back. (Tim Turpin)

“Who are these who fly like a cloud,

and like doves to their roosts?”

Isa. 60:8; cf. Matt. 6:12; Isa. 55:8-9; Deut. 26:15

Monday’s Devotional

Kne Email

“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:10).

Mike Benson, Editor

PLAY AN IMAGINARY game with me for a moment…

Let’s imagine that we live in another time and place, and that we have different friends and acquaintances than we do now.

What would it say about you if you lived in Germany in 1940 and one of your friends was Hermann Goering? What if you lived in Russia in the 1920’s and you counted as one of your friends Joseph Stalin? What if you lived in California in the 1960’s and one of your friends was Charlie Manson?

“Now wait a moment,” you might protest. “Just because we were friends doesn’t mean I was guilty of the evil things they did!” And you’re right. But friendship with those people would still say something about your character, wouldn’t it? Like it or not, our friendships say a lot about us.


When there is a war going on, it is hard to remain friends with both sides. In our imaginary world, being friends with Winston Churchill would probably put a strain on your friendship with the ubiquitous Mr. and Mrs. Goering. And vice versa. There must have been Christians in James’ day who felt they could remain on friendly terms with the “world” and retain their relationship with God.


Being friends with the world has nothing to do with whether or not you are an environmentalist; it refers to society to the extent it is antagonistic toward God. There is a war going on, and there casualties. The “body bags” are being brought home all the time; and we speak here, not of something so temporary as physical death, but of spiritual loss. These casualties affect eternity. Little children are led astray by our compromises. Weak and young Christians are confused by our insistence on fraternizing with the enemy. Is it possible that even we are being unwittingly affected and weakened?


You can’t “aid and abet” the enemy in a time of war and expect your own side to look kindly on it. The problem is that we so easily forget what is at stake, and the enemy is very successful at convincing us that we are not at war. So, who are your friends? (Stan Mitchell)


“Adulterers and adulteresses!

Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?

Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

Jas. 4:4

Sunday Devotional




I have seen the following story in various places, but I do not know the original author:

“Daddy, how much do you make an hour?” With a timid voice and idolizing eyes, the little boy greeted his father as he returned from work.

Giving his boy a glaring look, the father said: “Look, Son, don’t bother me now, I’m tired.”

“But, Daddy, just tell me please! How much do you make an hour?” the boy insisted.

The father, finally giving up, replied: “Ten dollars an hour.”

“Okay, Daddy. Could you loan me five dollars?” the boy asked.

Showing his restlessness and positively disturbed, the father yelled: “So that was the reason you asked how much I earn, right? Go to sleep and don’t bother me anymore!”

It was already dark and the father was meditating on what he said and was feeling guilty. Maybe, he thought, his son wanted to buy something. Finally, trying to ease his mind, the father went to his son’s room. “Are you asleep, son?” asked the father.

“No, Daddy. Why?” replied the boy, partially asleep.

“Here’s the money asked for earlier,” the father said.

“Thanks, Daddy!” rejoiced the son, while putting his hand under his pillow and removing some money. “Now I have enough! Now I have ten dollars! Daddy, could you sell me one hour of your time?”

As a father, this story hits me hard. It is so easy to get involved in providing for the family and doing “good things” for others that my family ends up being neglected. We sometimes think that what will make our children happiest is to have more “things”, when what they really want, what they desire more than anything else, is just a bit of our time.

Children’s children are the crown of old men,

and the glory of children is their father.”

(Prov. 17:6)

Heavenly Father, as we stand aware of your constant presence, help us to learn from you to be the kind of fathers we should be to our children. Help us to never grow so “busy” that we fail to have time for those you have entrusted into our special care. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

How many of you thought of Mr. Charley Kuss when you read “children’s children”?

I certainly did!

Have a great Lord’s Day!

Anna Lee