About Chuck Spindler

I'm married with three adult daughters, two son-in-laws and four granddaughters and two grandsons. I pastor a Southern Baptist church in a small town in Southwest Iowa.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy

I’m not necessarily afraid of spiders, but when I inadvertently walk into their webs, it does “creep me out.” This time of year seems to bring out the orb-weaver spiders, who love to weave their webs on my entry door to my garage. As I was about to leave my house this morning, this spider almost greeted me outside my kitchen door.

IMGP8229

I chose to leave the house by the front door and not disturb the spider. Upon rounding the side of the house, I found what looked like a Halloween display with webs strung from the flower pots, and three other large orb-webs that were at least two-feet in diameter.

IMGP8236

Eating breakfast

IMGP8233 IMGP8238

So, I’m watching where I walk and carefully avoid being the victim of wearing spider webs to work.

Check out this other examples of “creepy.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet

Quote

My mother continues to be cared for in the local hospice home and every day my feet pass over brick pavers as I arrive and leave. On each brick is the name of a donor or an individual memorialized by loved ones.

IMGP8014Every block represents a significant contribution that helped to build this facility which is staffed by a competent and caring staff.

IMGP8015So, every day these bricks, which are beneath my feet, cause me to be grateful for those who saw the need and helped fund this homey setting for those who are facing an end of life illness.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Beneath Your Feet.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration – Night Sky

The night sky has been the inspiration for poetry, prose and praise.

IMGP5812

Northern Lights in Iowa -6/22/15

“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature and Selected Essays

Blue Moon - 7/31/15

Blue Moon – 7/31/15

“It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the Moon.”  – Galileo Galilei, The Starry Messenger, Venice 1610: “From Doubt to Astonishment”

Thunderstorm – 10/2/13

“37 My heart pounds at this and leaps from my chest. Just listen to His thunderous voice and the rumbling that comes from His mouth. He lets it loose beneath the entire sky; His lightning to the ends of the earth.Then there comes a roaring sound; God thunders with His majestic voice. He does not restrain the lightning when His rumbling voice is heard.” – Elihu Job 37:1-4, the Bible (HCSB)*

First Quarter Moon - 10/1/2014

First Quarter Moon – 10/1/2014

When I observe Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which You set in place,
what is man that You remember him,
the son of man that You look after him?
You made him little less than God
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him lord over the works of Your hands;
You put everything under his feet:
all the sheep and oxen,
as well as the animals in the wild,
the birds of the sky,
and the fish of the sea
that pass through the currents of the seas.
Yahweh, our Lord,
how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth!

King David, Psalm 8:3-9 (HCSB)

This post is in response to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

*Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up

Quote

I have one apple tree, but it is prolific and drops more apples than I can keep up with. They are usually picked up, placed in a bucket and composted. Last August, I was fascinated by the flies, being attracted to a bucket of the fermenting apples.

IMGP9554

While following a fly deeper into the bucket, I saw antennae emerging from a leaf among the apples.

IMGP9555

Finally, the grasshopper emerged for a better look.

IMGP9566

Not sure if it was the same one from the apple bucket, but a month later, I found this guy sunning himself on the underneath side of our deck steps.

IMG_20141011_115722383_HDR

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Close Up.”

Preparing to See the “Ivory Palaces”

IMGP2036

Saying goodbye to two of the hospice nursing team members as she “graduated” in March.

I sit in a hospice family room this afternoon, hearing the raspy breathing of my mother in the other room. We’ve already been through this once when back in January she was placed in hospice for palliative care because of uncontrollable seizure activity. After a two month stay, she improved enough to “graduate” to assisted living.

In one way this was a step-down from her earlier independent living, but it was two steps-up from hospice. She adjusted well, but the seizure activity began again, resulting in a nursing home placement for 10 days. She showed some improvement with rehab but with another round of seizure episodes, she was ready to return to hospice for tender loving care, almost exactly three months from her previous discharge.

IMGP2187

“Bunny” holding #31 of 32 great-grandkids

We were grateful for those three months. It allowed us to celebrate her 95th birthday (see Celebrating the Gift of Our Matriarch); she made new friends and caught up with a few old ones, who had moved from her retirement apartment to assisted living; and, she got to meet her newest great-grandchildren, my daughter’s twins. Additionally, she continued to serve the Lord through her witness of faith in church and community. I am on a rotation of ministers who go to the nursing homes, and though I usually accompany myself on the guitar when we sing hymns, she played the organ for me at assisted living while she was a resident. It was nice to have her play for me one last time.

Proposal

The “Proposal” recreated!

Mom was a music teacher. A graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa, her first teaching assignment was in Seymour Iowa, where she taught music. It was there she met my dad, who taught business classes in the high school. He joined the Navy in 1943, and they were soon married. She never taught school after that, having begun to raise a family of five, four daughters and a son. However, her music training was not wasted as she sang in church choirs and ensembles and played piano and organ in a several churches.

Scan9

Mom and “Chucky Baby” (not to be confused with Chucky’s baby)

Additionally, she supplemented the family income by giving private piano and voice lessons in our home for a number of years. Almost every day, I came home from elementary school to hear the sound of inexperienced pianists playing their scales and struggling through simple songs.

Her playing and singing, however, were exceptional. I remember lying under the baby grand piano while she played, watching the action of the pedal as it moved the dampers up and down and letting the melodies cascade down from the sound board onto my ears. There were other times when I listened from my room to her rehearsals with my sisters, who formed a gospel quartet and occasionally sang at the local V.A. hospital chapel services on Sunday mornings. She even accompanied me as a child, though never for public consumption as I recall. My earliest recollection was at age 5, singing the chorus of the ragtime love song, “O, You Beautiful Doll”:

Oh! you beautiful doll, You great big beautiful doll!
Let me put my arms about you,
I could never live without you;
Oh! you beautiful doll, You great big beautiful doll!
If you ever leave me how my heart will ache,
I want to hug you but I fear you’d break
Oh, oh, oh, oh, Oh, you beautiful doll!

I’m sure I would have been a YouTube sensation if it had been around in 1961.

IMGP9221

“Bunny” giving a great-granddaughter a piano lesson.

As my voice matured, she encouraged me to sing a few songs at church with her as my accompanist. One of those songs was on my mind as I awoke this morning after spending the night close to her bed at the hospice house – “Ivory Palaces.” Before singing it with her

I had never heard the song, but it became a favorite. The writer, Henry Barraclough, wrote this song after hearing a sermon on Psalm 45, a royal wedding song with a secondary application to the Messiah. As with most hymns, there is a progression – a story told. The song speaks of the glorious nature of Christ, but acknowledges the suffering He bore on the cross because of humanity’s sin. However, the new life in Christ brings salvation from sin’s bondage and leads to an everlasting presence before the Jesus Christ the Lord. The last stanza speaks of that ultimate hope and reward for the believer. These are the words to which I awoke and hope for my mother’s imminent awareness:

In garments glorious He will come,
To open wide the door;
And I shall enter my heav’nly home,
To dwell forevermore.
Out of the ivory palaces, Into a world of woe,
Only His great eternal love Made my Savior go.

And so life goes. We prepare for the death of our “great big beautiful doll” of a mother, for whom our hearts will ache when she leaves. However, we know that we will sing together with her again as we look forward to the fulfillment of our hope in Christ Jesus and His promise of eternal life.

Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.

1 John 3:2-3 (HCSB*)


*Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half

These “half and half” pictures were taken on our annual trip to Florida last October. Returning from a day excursion to see my sister on the Alabama Gulf coast, I passed this cotton field with cottony clouds overhead.

IMG_20141029_161801

Back on the Florida beach the next day, we found that the coastal dune lake, Alligator Lake, had breached the dune and was emptying into the Gulf. Its brackish water provided a real contrast with the clear Gulf water.

IMGP0807

That evening, our last vacation sunset provided a beautiful contrast between sky and sea.

IMGP0899

For more examples of “half and half” click HERE.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

When my wife and I were married almost 38 years ago, we had a jeweler place diamonds from her grandmother’s ring in both of our wedding bands. Believing that Christ was to be the central part of our relationship as husband and wife, we chose to have the symbol of his sacrificial love – the cross – as a constant reminder of the type of love we should have for one another.

Wedding Rings

Because I lost my band about 25 years into our marriage, I wear what we felt was a suitable replacement; a band that has three crosses and diamond chips. Though we now wear different styles of bands, the common symbol of the cross serves as a reminder of God’s significant role in our lives as individuals and as a couple.

“Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female,” and He also said: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one fleshSo they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”    Matthew 19:4-6 (HCSB)

This post is in response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Symbol.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: ROY G. BIV (II)

Quote

I didn’t plan to submit another post this week, but it is not often that you have the opportunity to view the rainbow of the night. When it was reported yesterday that there was a high probability that the Aurora Borealis would be visible early this morning, I was determined to stay up, travel a few miles north to get away from light pollution, and try capturing this rare summer sight in southern Iowa.

IMGP5812 IMGP5815 IMGP5816 IMGP5821

This is only the fourth time I’ve seen the Northern Lights. The previous times have been during the winter and the hues were visible to the naked eye. This morning I could see what looked like clouds rising vertically on the northern horizon. It was only after a 30 second exposure that the colors became visible.

While I was waiting on each shot to complete, I was also watching the southern sky as a thunderstorm was lighting up the sky about 100 miles away in Missouri. First time I’ve seen Northern Light and Southern Light on the same night.

IMGP5813

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “ROY G. BIV.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: ROY G. BIV

Our kitchen window faces east, and so the morning sun passes through both a cut glass piece my sister made, as well as an ornament with prisms. A sunny morning always results in rainbows on the walls and cabinets. wpid-img_20150620_094155.jpgThis morning, I used my Moto X phone to capture the light emanating from the prism. Didn’t capture the entire spectrum of Mr. ROY G. BIV, but five of the seven were captured.

Anytime I see a prism through which light waves pass, breaking apart the beautiful colors,  I’m reminded of a conference I attended with a former seminary professor, the late T.W. Hunt. He told of a dream he had in 1973. In the dream, Jesus took him to “deep space” (recounted in the book, The Hope of Glory: Seeing the World from Heaven’s View.) Dr. Hunt, who usually dreamed in black and white, was immediately aware of the vivid nature of his dream, witnessing beauty beyond anything he had previously experienced in sight and sound (he was a professor of music); his senses engulfed in pure pleasure. However, the most captivating feature of all were the eyes of Jesus; eyes that emitted the most powerful and yet most tender love he could ever imagine.

Somehow Jesus’ eyes fulfilled every need I had ever experienced in my life. All my previous needs would never be as essential as I thought they were. I realized I had never wanted anything but Him, and I have never wanted anything else since. At that moment, He seemed to be fulfilling every ambition, every desire, every need I have ever had – just Him in His incomparable, transcendent love.[1]

Unfortunately, in his awakened state, the vividness of the colors he beheld dissipated within 30 minutes. He longed to see those colors again, God’s temporary gift of “unusual senses.” However, what never faded were the penetrating eyes of Jesus, a love that “overwhelmed me, captured me, and changed my life forever.” The same love that motivated Jesus to go to His death on the cross, therefore, would motivate Hunt to do whatever He asked.

After this I looked, and there in heaven was an open door. The first voice that I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” Immediately I was in the Spirit, and a throne was set there in heaven. One was seated on the throne, and the One seated looked like jasper and carnelian stone. A rainbow that looked like an emerald surrounded the throne. Revelation 4:1-3 (HCSB*)

Knowing that Dr. Hunt is now experiencing that beauty beyond comprehension, I look forward to being with him and my other loved ones who have trusted in Christ. But, more importantly, I can’t wait to look into those eyes of my Savior and Lord. I hope to join you there.

Check out these other examples of ROY G. BIV.

1 T.W. Hunt and Melana Hunt Munroe, The Hope of Glory: Seeing the World from Heaven’s View, NavPress, 2013. (Kindle Version, Chapter 4, Location 1157). *Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Off-Season 2

Quote

This little Boyds Bears & Friends Folkstone ‘Windy with Book’ figurine sits atop the piano, somehow over looked when all the other snowmen were being packed away after winter. With temps above freezing, the little snowwoman must practice the power of positive thinking as it reads “The Book of Frosty” and the message “Thou shalt not melt.”

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Off-Season.”