The Faithfulness of God

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, June 06, 2012

On January 6, 2012, exactly five months ago, my life changed forever. During my morning commute to Danville High School, where I teach math, my car was struck head on by an SUV. The damage to my car was so severe that rescue crews had cut through the vehicle to extricate me. I was immediately airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center where I underwent surgery to repair my multiple injuries, which included a broken femur bone (broken in two places), a broken kneecap, several broken bones in my foot, and cracks in my pelvis. I also sustained significant nerve damage that severely inhibited my walking ability. In order to walk normally, I now must wear an AFO (Ankle-Foot Orthotic) brace for the rest of my life.

I share this with you today to encourage you. Where is the encouragement, you might ask? I’ve asked myself that same question during these five months of recovery and rehabilitation. In fact, I’m still struggling to find answers in wake of this traumatic event. Why did this have to happen? Why do I have to wear a leg brace for the rest of my life? Why me? But there is one thing I cling to—one thing I know: that my God is faithful on the rainy days and the sunny days, and he will never leave my side.

Don’t believe me? Then let me tell you of his faithfulness. To begin with, God has shown his faithfulness in sparing my life on that fateful day in January. After witnessing my injuries firsthand at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, several of my doctors commented that I was lucky to still be alive after such a horrific accident. What they attribute to luck, I attribute to God’s all-sufficient protection. It’s also important to add that car accidents like mine tend to result in head and spine injuries. Thankfully, and because of God’s faithfulness, I did not sustain any such injuries.

Still don’t believe in God’s faithfulness in the midst of great trial? Then let me tell you how God used people in my life to demonstrate his faithfulness. I’ll begin with a man whose name I don’t even know. Immediately following my accident, I went into a state of shock and subsequently don’t remember very much. However, from what I’ve been told, an emergency room doctor was taking the same route to work that morning and witnessed my accident. He quickly got out of his car and rushed to my aid, staying with me until the rescue crews arrived. Another example of God’s faithfulness was shown through my principal at Danville High School and the superintendent of Danville Independent Schools. Upon hearing about my accident, they rushed to the hospital and provided companionship and encouragement to my older brother as I was in surgery. In addition, the two of them picked my parents up from the airport and stayed at the hospital until late that night.

Since that day in January, I’ve received an abundance of encouragement, well-wishes, and prayers from relatives, friends, co-workers, and students. Not a day goes by that I don’t receive a card in the mail, an email, or a message on Facebook that is intended to lift me up. I am loved and supported by the community around me, and that alone has meant the world to me. While I continue on my road to recovery, I know that I am being endlessly cheered on by a great cloud of witnesses, and I am thankful.

So whether your next trial is years down the road or you’re facing it right now, know that God’s faithfulness is from generation to generation. He is on your side; he will never leave you or forsake you. Through great turmoil and tears, I have learned this, and I wanted to share it with you today.

Songs of the Season - It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2010

Our next song of the season comes from an artist whose singing "emotes more feeling in a single line than most artists conjure up in an entire album," according to In her very first Christmas album O Holy Night (released in 2008), singer-songwriter Sara Groves recreates classic holiday melodies that will warm your heart and point you to the Savior. Groves' rendition of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" adds a chorus that proclaims:

Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heaven's all gracious King
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels, to hear them sing

As you allow this song to lead you into the Christmas season, remember to acknowledge the magnificent grace and peace that God has bestowed upon his people through the gift of his son, Jesus.

It came upon a midnight clear
That glorious song of old
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold

Peace on earth, good will to men
From heaven's all gracious King
The earth in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels, to hear them sing

O ye beneath life's crushing load
Whose forms are bending low
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps so slow

Look now for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing
Oh, rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels, and hear them sing

Singing peace on earth, good will to men
From heaven's all gracious King
The earth in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels, the angels sing, sing, sing

Still through the broken skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled
And still their heavenly music floats
Over all the weary world

Above its sad and lonely plains
They bend on hovering wing
And ever over Babel sounds
The blessed angels, the angels sing, sing, sing

And I can hear the angels sing
And I can hear the angels
And I still hear the angels sing
And I still hear the angels

Glory hallelujah!

Songs of the Season - Welcome to Our World

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Monday, November 29, 2010

Our second song of the season comes from inspirational songwriter Chris Rice. "Welcome to Our World" echoes humanity's yearning—a quiet, constant yearning—for the Messiah. Rice's poignant lyrics serve as a reminder of God's redemptive work through the gift of his son Jesus Christ. But this song is not simply about Christ's coming; rather, it is about why Christ has come. Rice describes the infant Christ this way:

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born, unto us is born

This song reminds us that the story of Christmas does not end with the cradle, but with the cross. Meditate on this truth as you listen to the song below.


Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You've been promised, we've been waiting
Welcome holy child, welcome holy child

Hope that you don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long-awaited holy stranger
Make yourself at home, please make yourself at home

Bring your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking heaven's silence
Welcome to our world, welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born, unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around you
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God, perfect Son of God

Welcome to our world

Songs of the Season - In the Bleak Midwinter

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010

First off, I apologize. This blog has remained dormant for much too long. Thankfully, however, the holiday season has granted me some spare time to update this blog.

And now, since Thanksgiving is behind us and the Christmas season is at hand, I have decided to create a new set of posts called Songs of the Season. Each week, I will post two Christmas songs (one song on Mondays and one song on Fridays) that, I hope, will put you in the Christmas spirit and remind you of "the old, old story of the power of death undone by an infant born of glory."

This week's offering comes from the brand new Christmas album (appropriately titled Christmas) by husband-and-wife songwriting duo Jill Phillips and Andy Gullahorn. Gullahorn's soothing guitar playing sets the perfect tone for Christina Rossetti's famous lyrics.

The song, though unfamiliar to some, will lead you into the Christmas season by reminding you that even in the bleak midwinter, there is hope in the person of Jesus Christ.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy.


In the bleak midwinter
Frosty winds made moan
Earth stood hard as iron
Water like a stone
The snow had fallen
Snow on snow
In the bleak midwinter
Long ago

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there
Cherubim and seraphim
In the air
But his mother Mary
In her maiden bliss
Worshiped the beloved
With a kiss

Heaven cannot hold him
Nor can earth sustain
Heaven and earth shall fall away
When he comes to reign

What then can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb
If I were a wise man
I would do my part
What then can I give him?
I will give my heart

Playtime's Over

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2010

"Somewhere in that pad of stuffing is a toy who taught me that life's only worth living if you're being loved by a kid." - Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story 2

I was six years old. "Boys! Dinner's ready!" yelled my mother. I hurriedly tossed my Thomas the Tank Engine toys to the floor and bolted out of my bedroom. But before I left for the kitchen, there was one more thing I had to do. Quietly, I crept back down the hallway toward my bedroom door. Ever so carefully, I cracked the door open and peered inside.

Could it be? Were my toys really alive?

Seeing no movement, I resigned with a sigh, closing the door and scampering back toward the kitchen.

This is the impact that Toy Story had on me as a child. I distinctly remember sitting in the movie theater as the film unfolded, enthralled with the story of these fiercely loyal toys. Something about them resonated with me. Maybe it was their tenacity. Maybe it was their humor. Or maybe, just maybe, it was their unwavering devotion to one another and to their owner, Andy.

Four years later, Toy Story 2 was released, and you cannot imagine my numerous concerns prior to viewing the film. As a ten year-old, I was still very attached to Woody, Buzz, and the gang. 'What if this new movie ruins these characters forever?' I worried. To my relief, Toy Story 2 did just the opposite. It expanded the characters—gave them depth. The film took our playtime heroes on new and exciting adventures while still remaining faithful to the original film. That's a tall order these days, but the folks at Pixar seem to accomplish this task with ease.

Can Pixar make a bad movie?

'Time will tell,' I thought as news of a second sequel hit the Internet in late 2008. Once again, my nervous pessimism kicked in, and as the release date for Toy Story 3 drew near, my inhibitions about the film increased exponentially. Finally, I bit the bullet, bought a ticket, donned my 3-D glasses, and settled into my seat, fully prepared for the disappointment to come. But then, something amazing happened.

The movie started.

And two hours later, I was wiping the tears off my 3-D glasses. Pixar did it again. With skill and ease, they crafted a fitting end to the Toy Story saga—one that they can be proud of.

In Toy Story 3, our playtime heroes face some of their biggest obstacles yet. This is not merely a happy-go-lucky tale; rather it is a tale filled with angst and uncertainty. As Andy leaves for college, the toys have to make some tough decisions that will affect their future. Disagreement and bickering ensue, and relationships are strained. Woody and Buzz's friendship is pushed to the brink, more so than any other Toy Story film. Their journey is a hard one, fraught with danger and disappointment. And on this journey, the toys look hell in the face and prepare themselves for the worst. This movie is not for the faint of heart or the young of age.

But let me be clear. There are moments of humor and fun in Toy Story 3. The film is not overly morose. However, I would venture to say that this film is the most dramatic of the Toy Story films, and with good reason. As life with Andy fades into oblivion, the toys' decisions become all the more crucial to their survival. These are life and death decisions being made, and to put it frankly, none of the characters are 100% sure what to do. That is what makes this film compelling to watch. These computer-animated hunks of plastic are dealing with real-life issues that we deal with every day. And, like us, they argue about what to do next in the face of uncertainty. Pixar has fashioned these fictional characters to be mirrors of ourselves, and that is why this film is truly remarkable.

I won't spoil the ending of the movie for you, but I will say this: Pixar closes the curtain on the Toy Story saga with class. Honestly, if you had asked me before viewing the film what the perfect ending for Toy Story 3 would be, I wouldn't have been able to give you an answer. But the folks as Pixar hit the nail on the head. They continue to confound my expectations and churn out good, solid, compelling stories.

Can Pixar make a bad movie? Well, they haven't yet.

RATING: 5 (out of 5)

Some New Music

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in , | Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010

To quote Dan Rydell from Sports Night, "I've got the intellectual property cops crawling up my butt."

It seems that my zealous effort to record (and distribute) a full-length album of cover songs was...well...illegal. Without securing the copyrights for the individual songs, I am not allowed to distribute covers of popular songs.

But do not fear! More music is here! (Well, not here, but on the way.)

A brand-new album of ORIGINAL songs is in the works, with a tentative release date sometime around December 1st. But you may be saying to yourself, "Gee, December 1st is a LOOOONG time away."

Again, do not fear! Podcasts are here! (Well, again, not here, but on the way.) Weekly podcasts will be coming very soon to wet your whistle until the album is released! Brace yourself, Internet fans. You ain't seen nothin' yet!

Music of Mt. Freedom Blog

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Monday, July 12, 2010

This past May, I became in the Interim Minister of Music at Mt. Freedom Baptist Church in Wilmore, Kentucky. Since then, I've started up a blog for the music ministry at Mt. Freedom. I'd like to invite all of you to visit a blog entitled The Music of Mt. Freedom. Posts on this blog cover a wide range of topics such as: the state of worship in the church today, the hymns versus praise songs debate, and song highlights from previous worship services at Mt. Freedom. Check in each week and become a part of the dialogue by adding your own comments!