On behalf of our church family, I extend our love, sympathy and prayer support to Ravi and Heidi Balaraman, their children, and extended family in the passing of their son, Jesse, this past Monday. Jesse was born April 25, 2000, and just recently completed the 10th grade at Palmer High School.
The greatest need in our country right now is spiritual awakening! Indeed, our culture in so many ways is "in crisis." The solution is not political or social - it is spiritual. It has been over 100 years since America experienced a spiritual awakening. We desperately need a movement of GOD in our lives, our churches, and our country.
I am so thrilled our new CDBC website is "up and running!" I appreciate so much those who have invested so much time in getting us "to where we are." I hesitate to mention names, because so many have spent so much time working with Details Communications to make this new website a reality. In the weeks to come, you will continue to see progress being made as we seek to complete the task of building this website.
Here is the latest update from Sandy. Continue remember her - and her family - in prayer!! Dear Circle Family, I wanted to catch you up. SATURDAY WAS HARD. A MIXTURE OF PAIN AND JOY. That morning at 11:00 our family placed Mikes urn in a wall at Palm Mortuary. All of us wrote notes and brought special little mementos to place in the vault. I left the house before anyone else trying to gather myself. I was already falling apart. We cried, we prayed, we laughed at funny things Mike did...then we cried some more, but it was a precious time. Driving back home I actually did a u-turn twice to go back. Then I'd remind myself that Mike wasn't there and turn around again. So hard not to turn back. While I was there it hit me that Mike was not only my husband, life companion, and best friend, but he was also my personal prayer warrior. I coveted his faithful prayers in every aspect of my life. I'm doing well. Lots of little tear triggers that catch me off guard. I miss Mike so much, but I know where he is. I know he is the "ultimate" happy...and I know I will see him, again. My joy shines through my grief like the sun shines through the clouds, making them radiant. I love that image. It is a paraphrase from the devotional book "Streams in the Desert." Friday night I was watching a news update on Isis. There was a man trying to fine his wife, children, and sister who were taken by Isis. I know all he can think about is what terrors they are facing...rape, torture, painful death....and will he ever see them, again. That's unquenchable pain. My pain hurts deep, but I have JESUS...I have PEACE...I have HOPE. I am abundantly, abundantly, abundantly blessed and so very thankful. This Thursday is Mikes birthday. I will have CHOCOLATE cake in his honor! So blessed by all of you. Choosing JOY! Love you, Sandy
I want to encourage our Circle Drive church family to be in attendance this coming Sunday morning. At the conclusion of the morning worship service, I will make an important announcement about the future of our church and the total campus relocation. Join with me in prayer as we follow GOD's leadership by faith for the exciting future He has in store for us.
On behalf of our church family, I extend our love, sympathy and prayer support to Marsha Kerby and her family in the homegoing of her mother, Viola Walker, who went home to be with the LORD last night at 11:20 p.m. Viola originally joined membership at Circle Drive on September 2, 1984, moving her membership from Fruit Avenue Baptist Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After returning to New Mexico to live, she came back to Colorado Springs, and again began attending Circle. It has been a joy to know Viola, and also visit her on occasion. She was always warm and gracious when I visited her. Viola faithfully attended worship services at Circle Drive. She also attended and participated in the Discerning Women's Sunday morning Bible study, led by Elaine Martz. Viola Walker's celebration of life service is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 28 at 10:30 a.m. in the worship center at Circle Drive. Continue to pray for her family during these days.
I have just received this update from Sandy Farnham. Mike's celebration of life service was amazing and GOD-glorifying. Kathy and I attended the celebration of life service, as well as Wayne and Lori Cantwell, Ross and Natalie Jagers, and Ed McGee. Continue to pray for Sandy and her family!! Hi Dr. Mike and my wonderful church family, My prayers were answered...I was able to care for him at home until he went HOME. He met JESUS face to face sometime during the night while I was sleeping. When I was still working I'd come home and give him a big kiss. He would always say, "I'm so glad you're home." On Sunday morning, March 1st, when I woke up I knew he had been with JESUS for a while. I was then able to kiss him on the forehead and say, "I'm so glad you're HOME." This is our son, Matt, tucking his 5 yr old little girl into bed this past Sunday night. "So Daddy, did Grandpa get to meet God face to face? (Yes, baby he did). Did he get to see Jesus walk? (Yes, baby he did). I bet Grandpa reached out and touched Jesus and when Grandpa touched Jesus, Grandpa was healed (Me, now teary eyed) ... You know Daddy, just like in the Bible when that lady reached out and touched Jesus' clothes and she got healed." I thank God so much for how He can use a little 5 year old to encourage me and my whole family this week. Our kids and I were so blessed by how many of you flew in from Circle for the celebration. The celebration was everything I hoped and prayed it would be. We had over 300 in attendance. WE CELEBRATED MIKE'S HOMECOMING! Dr. Mike, on behalf of the family, challenged those in attendance to do an act of kindness in memory of Mike. I'm hoping to hear about some of them. The entire celebration was recorded. I will mail a copy to Dr. Mike when they are ready...along with some of Mike's handouts. This Saturday all of our kids will go with me to the cemetery and we will place Mike's urn in a beautiful wall vault...where my ashes will join his one day. In my fragile emotional state, the enemy messed with me after Mike was cremated...saying, "All evidence of his existence was gone." I ran crying to JESUS who tenderly reminded me, ?IT'S JUST ANOTHER LIE!? Evidence of Mike's existence is in his children, the lives he touched, and especially those he introduced to JESUS. It?s now been 10 days. With the busyness of details and lots of family and friends I have not yet had a good solid cry. Things like pictures, comments, memories... are now starting to rip at my heart. Each day brings new firsts. Today I had to check the box "widowed," then someone called me "Mrs." Farnham and I realized I wasn't. There's a big empty place in my heart. I'm trying so hard to fill every corner of it with JESUS. This is the chapter of this journey I knew would one day come. I felt dread as it drew closer, I knew it was going to be filled with deep pain...and there is no way around it, only through it. I?m looking forward to next week when everyone gets back to their own normal lives so I can just sit in the quiet with JESUS and cry as long as I want. Many of you know this pain and understand. I'm so thankful I have JESUS and you walking with me. I told my kids that I did not need them to drop off the grand kids to cheer me up. They all told me I didn't know what I was saying...that I was not thinking straight. I figured I better nip that one right up front! The little stinkers are pretty cute though. Still choosing JOY...even through the pain. I love you, Sandy
Hi Circle Family, Did you hear we actually got snow? The kind I like...it's gone by the time I get up. I know I always write long updates?I?m just sharing our lives with our friends. WE ARE BLESSED ABUNDANTLY. This does not make my heartache less painful. I am thankful through the pain and thankful for the pain. GOD has taught me things I could not have learned any other way. But still, I hurt deep. I know one day He will call on me to use what He has taught me. It?s been a struggle since Mike came home from the hospital a month ago. A continual downward spiral?mentally and physically. We have turned the page to the next chapter of our story. I need wisdom and direction in a way like never before. Yesterday I spoke to a really nice lady at a local hospice. She gave me tons of information, but I don?t know what I need. Everything she named off I?m managing. Mike?s needs are complicated because of his continued hallucinating and confusion. His mind is distant. He can be looking straight at me and I can ask him a question and get no response?even asking more than once?he just has a blank stare. I know from everything I've read about PSP that Mike is still in there. He?s trapped and can?t tell us he?s there. All outward signs say he?s not. About four days ago he was trying to tell me something. I was able to figure it out. He was saying, ?I?m praying for you.? A couple of days ago he said, ?I love you? without me saying it first. Of course, when he says those things then I feel guilty for all the times I lost my patience with the outward symptoms. I admit, this is challenging me to the max! I've never hesitated to pray for patience!!!! He is still sleeping on a mattress on the floor. He fell off of it five times last night. I have to get him back on the bed and propped back up because of his feeding tube. He can?t lay flat. His leg and arm trimmers when he sleeps or naps are wild. I've had to hold down his legs several times to stop it. It leaves him panting heavy. I can?t move him with the walker now. He is totally confused directionally. Instead of stepping toward the chair or bed he steps away from it or starts to turn around. A six foot man-plank with no balance is more than I can physically maneuver when he?s not cooperating and unpredictable. He is a resistance training workout!!! . I can?t put him into the wheelchair by myself. His body stiffens up like a plank and he goes straight back EVERY TIME instead of bending at the waist. To fix this mobility issue, I had this ?brilliant? idea yesterday to move the floor-to-ceiling disability poles from the bathroom to strategic locations next to his recliners and bed. Then he could hold onto the sturdy pole and lower his self into his wheelchair. I?d be able to wheel him back and forth from the bedroom to the family room. We used the poles and wheelchair this morning a few times?WORKED AWESOME!!!! THEN?three different times today, while hallucinating, he grabbed the pole next to him and pulled himself up. He can?t reason out in his head what to do once he is up. One of the three times his hands slipped down the pole and he was desperately gripping it hanging 10 inches above the floor. Another time he spun around and was hanging over the end table. I HAD TO TAKE THE POLES DOWN TONIGHT. I can tell him not to touch them until I?m blue in the face, but when he hallucinates he is in another world and all rules are out the door. I've probably got a list of 50 do?s and don?ts that I waste my breath repeating over and over. Today, I sent an email to his neurologist asking about medications to settle him down. I waited, not wanting to jump into new drugs hoping it would settle down, but it?s not, it?s far worse. So we wait to hear from the doctor. I told Dr. Mike that my creative genus is all tapped out. I?m totally at a loss on how to safely manage Mike?s mobility and sleeping needs. Not to mention the unpredictability of his mind. PLEASE, MY JESUS, MAKE A WAY for me to safely move and protect Mike so I can care for him at home until YOU call him HOME. Please calm his busy and confused mind. We trust that YOU know what is best. Please renew my strength and my joy to finish this journey well. JESUS, PLEASE POUR OUT BLESSINGS ON OUR PRAYER PARTNERS! We love you Circle Family, Mike & Sandy
On behalf of our church family, I extend our love, sympathy, and prayer support to the family of Anne Allen, who "went home to be with the LORD" last night at her home. Anne demonstrated great grace and faith in her battle with cancer. First, she was diagnosed with lymphoma, and then five years ago she was diagnosed with leukemia. Her battle is now over, and Anne won. Anne is alive, and the cancer is dead. Anne was born in the Bronx, New York on November 11, 1939. She and her husband, David, met and dated for 2+ years, and were married for 47 years. David and Anne began attending Circle Drive when they moved to Colorado Springs from Washington, D.C. in 2003. Anne came forward August 24, 2003 on profession of her faith in JESUS. She followed JESUS in believer's baptism on September 21, 2003. Anne, along with David, faithfully attended worship services at Circle. One of her favorite events of the week was the Tuesday morning adult Bible study. Be sure to pray for David and his family! A Celebration of Life service will be held in a few weeks.
Update ? Mike ? Not bouncing back from his hospital stretch This is my Facebook update. Most of my Facebook family consists of friends from all of the different churches we have served at including Circle Drive. I am so thankful for this tool to be able to call on them for prayer. Overall Facebook is a happy place filled with fun stuff. I appreciate them allowing me to use it for our prayer needs on this journey. I know many of you are following my Facebook updates, but this is for those of you who do not use Facebook. The following is just a piece of the iceberg. Mike is still dealing with hallucinations and still sleeping on a mattress on the floor because of it. He tries to get out of bed some nights?thankfully not every night. Just now I tucked him into his bed on the floor. We raise the side rail on the hospital bed and that is what Mike holds onto to lower his bum down to the mattress on the floor. This time, instead of lowering his bum down to the mattress he hiked his long leg over the rail to climb into the hospital bed. I NEVER KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT! His mind is so confused. During the daytime he often forgets his recliners are both power lifts. He works up a sweat several times a day trying to get the foot rest down manually. Thankfully he is not confused all the time. Mikes eyes look terrible. He rubs them extremely hard with his fingertips. You would think his eyeballs would pop. Sometimes he rubs hard enough that his eyelashes on his lids roll on the inside of his eyes. His eyes still look like pinkeye and are draining. He has had pinkeye or severely irritated eyes since around January 17. I seldom can figure out what he is trying to say. I am never sure of the topic?or if it is real or imagined. Yesterday he talked ALL DAY about a dog he saw in our backyard ?doing his business.? BUT?he supposedly saw this dog in the middle of the night with the window blinds closed and him in bed. That was the night I tried letting him sleep in the hospital bed, again. He was climbing off the end of the bed to take care of the dog he was hallucinating about at 4:00 in the morning. If I cannot figure out what he is trying to say I just thank him and assume he said that I look like I have lost weight. He is harder to move now which means I have to be more careful than ever not to hurt my back. He has zero balance. I move him with the help of his walker. Mike cannot use his computer anymore, and only listens to the TV while looking at the ceiling. Since he has a feeding tube now, he is not enjoying the taste of food, either. I told him GOD did not give him a great cook for a wife so he would not miss it. He can take a few tiny bites of milk shake, cheesecake, and other things as long as I have the right consistency. He is usually through after about five little bites. In the mornings I play his Bible on CD in the bedroom while we get ready for the day. I bought him a new CD set for Christmas. ?The Bible Experience? (NIV) has over 400 voices narrating it. We are enjoying it. My hope and hearts desire is to be able to care for Mike and keep him safe at home until JESUS calls him to his forever home. To do this I need lots of JESUS, lots of angels protecting him, lots of wisdom, lots of patience, lots of grace, lots of mercy?and maybe a little chocolate. When Mike was in the hospital struggling with the side effects of no vision because of pinkeye GOD gave me the strength to sit by him and say some things I wanted to and needed to say without blubbering. One of the things I talked about was his loved ones he would be seeing, again. Then I said, ?When I get there you better be the first face I see.? My pastor-husband then held up two fingers. I replied, ?OK, the second face I see.? He was listening. In 1973 I met Mike on Friday the 13th. He asked me to marry him 11 days later?got married two months after that. This month the 13th falls on Friday. FRIDAY the 13th is a holiday to us! Wahoo! I am praying and waiting expectantly for extra special blessings on that day. Thank all of you from the depths of our souls for your prayers and encouragement. We love you! Sandy Farnham