Hi, my name is Lori Ann Blakeley.
Welcome to my Web site developed and maintained on my behalf by my father, Larry Blakeley. http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larryblakeley_photos_jpeg.htm
My father also manages the following Web sites:
Larry Blakeley (Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
Major Roy James Blakeley (USAF - KIA) (December 10, 1928 - July 22, 1965) - my grandfather
Leslie Blakeley Adkins - my older sister
Evan Blakeley- my younger brother
A Web page for giving notices of interest to visitors here. http://www.loriblakeley.name/notices_of_interest.htm
Various letters and notes here. http://www.loriblakeley.name/various_notes_letters.htm
What my brother, Evan Blakeley is up to with his baseball. http://www.evanblakeley.name
My mother's walking club for the students at Cockrell Hill Elementary School, DeSoto, Texas http://www.loriblakeley.name/article_dallas_morning_news_jackie_blakeley20070601.htm
Organ Prelude - Jerry Aultman
Welcome and Invocation - George B. Davis
On behalf of Larry, Jackie, Leslie, Evan and the entire Blakeley family let me express in their behalf their appreciation to you for your presence here today; for sharing in a service that is a very special tribute to a very special young lady. We are here today both to grieve and to worship. We grieve because we have lost someone that we love very dearly. We worship because we know that Lori experienced victory over death - a victory which every born again believer can share in when he knows Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.
I think it is most fitting that we begin our service here this afternoon with a word of prayer.
Heavenly Father we come to you this afternoon in our sorrow and in our grief because you have told us in your Word that you are the God of all comfort and we intercede for Larry, and for Jackie, and the entire Blakeley family that you would minister your comfort to each one present in a very personal and individual way. Father may this service be one that plays proper tribute to Lori and the significance of her life and the influence which she had on so many. Our hearts desire Father is that more than anything else this service might be one that would honor and glorify You because that's the way that Lori would have wanted it to be. Father we commit this service to You to the end that it might be one which will be for our good and also for your glory. For we pray in the peerless name of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Congregational Hymn No. 182 (Dick Kendrick), "What a Friend We Have in Jesus (MP3 audio file/lyrics)" http://www.loriblakeley.name/loriblakeley_music/what_a_friend.htm
Scripture and Prayer - Lori's Great Aunt, Valarie Owen:
I chose a couple of verses from what I believe is one of Lori's favorites and that's 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 because she walked the walk and talked the talk and I took it from the Message Bible because I wanted to speak to many of the youth who have often wondered, or maybe even especially today we have in our hearts a question of "Why?" And, you know, no matter what we may ask ourselves the Bible has the answer; so let me read two of those scriptures for you.
"We don't yet see things clearly; we're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist, but it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright. We'll see it all then; see it all as clearly as God sees us; knowing Him directly as He knows us now. But for right now, until that time is completed, we have three things to do. And that is this - be glad towards the consummation of trusting Him, steadily trusting God; hope unswervingly, and, the best of these three is, love. And she'd say love one another.
Let us pray.
Father we are so thankful that we can come together now and we can speak of Lori and know that she's dancing around the throne with our Lord Jesus Christ and it brings us hope. And that's what she would want is hope. Father I thank You so much for your blessings. I thank You for the life that she lived, and I am thankful that she was a part, and I could be a part, of that family. Father, bless this hour for Jackie, bless Larry and all of the children, bless this entire family; and Father we know that our blessed hope comes from You. And You have promised us, Lord, in the time of need You've given us that robe of righteousness, and that's what we have on. And Father, You said you traded that for any oppression, or depression, that might come upon us. And all these things we'll be so careful to give You the praise, and the honor, and the glory. In Jesus name, Amen.
A Celebration of Lori’s Life - Video/Audio Presentation (Song: "With Hope," Steven Curtis Chapman http://www.loriblakeley.name/loriblakeley_music/with_hope.htm)
Solo - Dick Kendrick, "If You Could See Me Now" http://www.loriblakeley.name/loriblakeley_music/if_you_could_see_me_now.htm
Message - Mac Brunson
Evan, and Jackie, Larry, and Leslie and the rest of the family - just hours before Jesus was crucified he said this, "Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me, in my Father's house there are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. But I go and prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again, and receive you unto myself so that where I Am, there yea may be also."
Last Wednesday afternoon that's all that happened - was that a young lady to whom the Lord gave life to twenty years ago that He had prepared a place for, He came to take her home.
Mark, chapter 5 has a word in a moment like this. Where else do you go in a time like this? You don't go to Time magazine. You don't go to the newspaper. Where else do you go in a moment like this other than the Word of God. Mark, chapter 5 is one of those unusual chapters because there's three people there that are hopeless and seemingly helpless. There is a man who is possessed of a demon, now it's too much to go into that but he was chained up and left in a cemetary by himself because he could not live with other people. He was left. He was rejected and people turned their back on him and that's a hopeless situation. Then you come in Mark, chapter 5 to this woman who for twelve years had been sick and had spent everything she had on doctors. There was no doctor that could help her. And essentially it seemed like it was a hopeless and helpless situation. What would you do in a situation like that when the doctors say there is no hope and there is no help? Then you come to a mom and a dad whose little girl is sick, in fact she's so sick that she dies. Seemingly a helpless and hopeless situation; and yet in Mark, chapter 5 Jesus walks into every one of those situations and changes it and touches their lives and brings not only help, but brings hope.
So you come to a moment like this. And you wonder, "why?" I've had young people asking me all this week - "why?" "Why do these things happen? Why, do righteous people suffer? Why do children die? Why do dads like we've seen this week take a knife and kill their daughters? Why does bizarre things like this happen? Why do bad people seem to have run of the country? Why is there war? Why is there cancer?" And the interesting thing to me is that Mark, chapter 5 never answers the question, "why?"
I could spend the next forty-five minutes talking about moral evil and moral suffering and natural evil and natural suffering, but if we had every answer that we asked for in a question it still wouldn't change this moment. And it still would leave us in grief. So I'm not going to speculate on "why"? The older I get the more convinced I am that I know less and less. And I don't know "why?" But I do know this. You can always trust God. And I want to share that with you just for the next few moments folks, young people, family.
There was a song that was written years ago that goes something like this, about trusting God in moments when you don't understand, "God is too wise to be mistaken, God is too good to be unkind, so when you don't understand, when you don't see His plan, when you can't trace His hand, trust His heart."
And in Mark, chapter 5 there is a mom and a dad who do just that. Moments like this you can always trust in God's presence. Now let me tell you the story. There was a man by the name of Jairus, who had a little girl, twelve years of age that was sick and was dying. And he makes his way. He finds out where Jesus is and Jesus is in the midst of this great multitude of people. And so he goes and he finds Jesus. And he comes up to Jesus and he says this, he falls at his feet, he entreated him earnestly saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Please come and lay your hands on her that she may get well and leave." And Mark writes this: "and He (that is Jesus) went off with him (that is the father, Jairus, of the little girl)." Jesus went off with him. He followed him to his home and as He was following him there was this woman in the crowd who had been bleeding for twelve years and doctors couldn't help her and she came up, and you remember the story, she touched the hem of his garment and Jesus turns around and begins to talk to her. And as Jesus begins to talk to her there are other men who come, and as those other men come up, they come to Jairus and they say to him, "Your little daughter is dead. She's died." Jesus hears this and He turns around, and He looks at that dad, and He says this, "Do not be afraid any longer, only believe." The word is "pistuo," in the Greek. It's an imperative, a command. Jesus looks at the father and says, at the point of his greatest grief, "You can trust Me." And, you know what, Jairus does that. He puts his faith in Jesus Christ.
Now, Larry, Jackie you've done that. You've trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. And Lori's done that. She trusted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. She believes. And I use that in the present tense because you see, a moment like this, death did not take her life. She is not dead. She's more alive now that she's ever been before. She placed her faith in Jesus Christ. Paul writes in Ephesians, chapter 2 in verse 8, and he says this, "For by grace are you saved through faith," not of works - so that no man can boast. It's a gift of God.
Lori had trusted in Jesus Christ. Larry, you were sharing last Wednesday afternoon about Lori's faith in the Lordship of Jesus Christ in her life, and because of that, that moment that Lori accepted Jesus Christ and received Him, at that moment, she had the presence of God with her from that moment now through all of eternity. Just as Jesus was with Jairus, so Jesus was with Lori, and now Lori is with Jesus. You can always trust His presence. But, you know what you can always trust His timing. Now timing doesn't make sense to me. In fact, God's timing doesn't make sense a lot of time for me. Jesus is on His way to Jairus' home to see this little girl whose sick and this woman touches Him, and He turns around, and He begins to talk. Now if Jesus is the Son of God, and He is, and He's omnicient, and He is. He knows all things, and He does. Then doesn't Jesus know that this is going to happen? The answer's, "yes." And so, when those men come to Jesus, or come to Jairus and say, "Your little daughter is dead." Jesus looks at Jairus and he says, "Do not be afraid." It's another imperative. It's the word, "phobos," "phobia." Don't let fear grip your life. Don't be afraid, keep believing in Me, and that's exactly, again, what Jairus does. He does not give in to His fear. He continues to trust in Jesus; and, even in the timing of God, when it seems like the timing of God isn't right.
I want to read you a passage. David writes a Psalm, Psalm 139, that talks about life. Why do we believe in the sanctity of life? Well God creates all life. All life is created by God. And David writes about that. It's an amazing passage, Psalm 139, when he begins to talk about how God made him. God created him. He said, "Thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I'll give thanks to thee for I'm fearfully and wonderfully made, and wonderful are thy works, and my soul knows it very well, my frame (that means my skeleton) was not hidden from thee when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth." He's describing his mother's womb. He said, "when I was in my mother's womb, You saw me. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance." That's what we call a fetus. And David says, "God you saw me when I was nothing but two sails in my mother's womb." That's why life is sacred. God creates it. "Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance." Now listen to what he says, "And in thy book they were all written." What was written? "The days that were ordained for me when as yet there was not one of them." He said, "before I was ever conceived in my mother's womb, God knew exactly how many years, how many months, how many weeks, how many days, and how many hours, how many minutes, how many seconds I would live.
This past Wednesday afternoon did not catch Jesus off guard. He knew. He knew. He knew exactly that Lori would be with us exactly as long as she was with us.
Lori was such a sweet girl. I can understand why 1 Corinthians 13 was her favorite passage. She was such a loving young girl. I told the family just a little bit ago, " I remember her flip across as a cheerleader, and seeing her, talking to her." Lori meant so much to so many. She was a smart girl. She wanted to teach calculus. Wrap your brain around that. That takes a smart person to do that. She wanted to teach upper level calculus, or possibly even teach it in college. That's amazing to me.
You look at this and you say, "why?" Why didn't she get to fulfill those dreams?" I want you to listen to me carefully. Her aunt read this just a few moments ago, "we see through a glass darkly." Do you know our perspective is so limited. And I know this will surprise some of you, but I remember television when televisions were about this size, the tubes were; and black and white; and the sets were this big. And the screen was just that big, and it was curved, and it was black and white, and there were three channels - ABC, NBC, CBS. That's all there was. And now you look at these giant, flat-screen televisions like we have back here, and around other places; high-definition satellite; 500, 600, 700 channels. Now let me tell you, we as humans look at a moment like this like we have a solid, black and white, little tube television; and God stands back with this great, huge high-definition, full color, 72-inch, flat screen; and He says, "You only see it like this. You don't see it the way I see it." You see, we think that unless somebody lives to be 60, or 70, or 80, they've not lived their life. I want to tell you something, "Lori lived a full life in 20 years." In fact, she probably lived more life in 20 years than some people try to cram in 70 years.
Do you know what the Bible says about David in Acts? It says this, "that having served the purposes of God in his generation, he died." And I think we can say of Lori; having served the purposes of God in our generation, she went home with a full life to be with the Lord.
Let me give you one last thing. You can always trust His love - not just His presence, not just His timing, but you can always trust His love. The Bible says that Jesus walked into the room where this little girl was and He took her by the hand. He took mom and dad, Peter, James, and John. And He walks into the room and, taking the child by the hand; now that's tender to me; reached over, and He picked up her hand, and He said to her, "Talitha cumi." That's Aramaic, and it means, "little girl to you I say, get up." And she got up.
Why did Jesus resuscitate this little girl? It wasn't for the little girl. She was in paradise. I don't know that He did it so much for the mom and dad, either. I think He did it for all of us.
Which is easier, to give human life, or give eternal life? It's far easier to give life than it is to give eternal life. Only one person can do that. And that's Jesus. And really only one person can give life, and that's Jesus. Jesus raised this little girl and brought her back to life so that you and I could come to a moment like this and know that if He can raise her back to physical life, He can raise all of us back to eternal life. You can always count on His love.
Zig Ziglar, our good friend, lost a daughter. This is what he said, "As I reflect on our loss, I realized that as much as we loved her, God loved her more. She is His child, and a loving God would never trust His child's eternal well being even to parents who deeply love her. Our faith assures us that God said, 'No,' to our prayers for her life on earth, so He could completely heal her, and give to her, the eternal reward He has promised to those who believe in Him." Now that's exactly the love that God has for Lori. He loved her too much to leave her here.
You know, Jackie, Larry, this is the third young lady I've buried in a number of months. It's not an easy thing to do. God loves you. And, you know, I've thought about this an awful lot. And I want to just close with this thought. I've shared this before. Do you remember telling Larry that ya'll were expecting; when you were expecting with Lori? Those were long nine months weren't they? You just kind of think they're never going to get here. And, they get here and you kind of sometimes want them to go back away, you know. I remember the three - that we waited and waited each time and it seemed like eternity for them to come. The excitement, so many of these young people; they've got all of that to experience. But, it's exciting to have a child. You remember how you celebrated, what all of that meant. We were all out in the waiting room, all the family, grandparents, and other family. I want you just to think about this - just Larry and Jackie for a moment. This whole thing is flipped around here now. We don't grieve and cry when a child is born. We rejoice. But Heaven never grieves when a child dies. We're at a funeral. They're in a celebration. There's pink and blue streamers, and all of those who've preceded us are waiting just like we waited on the other side of the delivery room doors. And I can just imagine that the closer Lori came to that moment, the more excited they were in Heaven; until that moment when Jesus burst through those doors and said, "It's a girl. It's Lori. She's home." This moment is just flipped around in God's Heaven. There's a reunion.
Just as Jesus took the hand of that little girl and gave her back to that mom and dad, you'll see Lori again. But, you'll see her like you've never seen her before.
Benediction - Mac Brunson
Let's bow our heads in a word of prayer.
You know in this moment there's some of you here that you've never received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. And you've heard me share about Lori. You knew Lori. You've heard us sing of Jesus being a friend - and He is. You've heard me talk about eternal life; and with an assurance that we know where Lori is. Lori is not lost. Nothing is lost when you know where it is. We know where she is. Maybe right now you're saying, "I want that kind of assurance. I want the same assurance that Jackie and Larry have, and that Lori had, about my eternity." You can have that. by right now, right where you are, just saying, "Lord Jesus I receive you as my personal Lord and Savior. I believe You are the Son of God who died for me, and was raised that I might have eternal life." Do you know what the Word of God tells us? Not what preachers tell us, or the church tells us, but the Word of God says this, "To as many as believe on Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons and the daughters of God."
Our Heavenly Father thank you for that wonderful assurance. Nothing in a moment like this makes any difference except that. Thank you for Lori's sweet life - for the time that You shared her with us. Thank You, Father for placing her into the arms, and into the care of a loving dad, and a loving mom, and a loving brother, and a loving sister; and a whole family that cared for her. Thank You, Lord, for a family that has stood together, and by her side, during these months. Thank You, Lord, for that example. Thank You, Father, that all of us have been able to watch and see how a family care and love for one another. Lord, I pray that they can sense Your presence right now in a way that they have never sensed You before. And I pray, Lord, that You would take Your Word and that You would speak to our hearts. Wrap them up, Father, in Your everlasting arms. Let them know that not only do You love them, but that we love them as well. And let them know that we're praying for them. For we pray it all in the precious name of our Savior, and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
The ushers are going to come. Family, they will lead you out. Congregation, I'm going to ask you to stand in honor of this family.
Organ Postlude - Jerry Aultman
- First Baptist Church of Dallas, Tape Ministry, Tape No. 20519USRMN, May 12, 2005