The Muppets Strike Back!

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Muppets are back... again! Four months after posting their first round of videos on YouTube, the Muppets have returned to the interwebs with four new videos. The one receiving the most buzz on the web is a cover of Queen's hit song "Bohemian Rhapsody." You can watch the videos below.

Believe me, you won't be disappointed!

Instead of Goodbye by Eugene & Doris

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Friday, November 06, 2009

Three close friends of mine at Asbury (Christian Loftus, Lauren Wallace, and Faith Shaw) are in a band called Eugene & Doris. Just yesterday, they released their first full-length album entitled Instead of Goodbye... and it's awesome.

And you can get it for free.

Check them out on Facebook, MySpace, and NoiseTrade. If you want to download their album now, see the widget below. Wow... this post has way too many techie terms! Oh well... if you want some good music, look no further than Eugene & Doris.

Song of the Week: Boys (Lesson One)

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, September 05, 2009

Jars of Clay. A band that's been together for over ten years now and a band that continually churns out solid music. With their newest record, The Long Fall Back to Earth, Jars exceeds expectations with rich lyrics and exceptional musicianship. I've been a Jars fan for a long time, and I can say this without hesitation: This is one of their best albums yet.

This album is so good that I struggled to pick out one song to post on my blog. The song I did choose, Boys (Lesson One), struck a particularly close chord with me, as it illustrates a father's relationship with his growing boys. Being one of four brothers, I felt compelled to choose this song.

However, the scope of this song should not be limited only to the relationship between an earthly father and his sons. Rather, we can see many parallels between our earthly fathers and our heavenly Father. So enjoy this Song of the Week, and check out Jars of Clay's new album, The Long Fall Back to Earth.

You won't be disappointed!

Boys (Lesson One)
by Jars of Clay
Lesson one: Do not hide
Lesson two: There are right ways to fight
And if you have questions, we can talk through the night

So you know who you are
And you know what you want
I've been where you're going
And it's not that far

It's too far to walk
But you don't have to run
You'll get there in time

Lesson three: You're not alone
Not since I saw you start breathing on your own
You can leave, you can run
This will still be your home

So you know who you are
And you know what you want
I've been where you're going
And it's not that far

It's too far to walk
But you don't have to run
You'll get there in time

In time, to wonder where the days have gone
In time, to be old enough to wish that you were young
When good things are unraveling
Bad things come undone
You weather love and lose your innocence

There will be liars
And thieves who take from you
Not to undermine the consequence
But you are not what you do
And when you need it most
I have a hundred reasons why I love you

So you know who you are
And you know what you want
I've been where you're going
And it's not that far

It's too far to walk
But you don't have to run
You'll get there in time

If you weather love and lose your innocence
Just remember... lesson one

North! Or Be Eaten

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009

Readers thrilled to the phantasmagorical adventures in On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book 1 of the Wingfeather Saga. Now in Book 2, Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby, mom Nia, ex-pirate grandfather Podo, Peet the Sock Man, and trusty dog Nugget flee north to rebel headquarters.

Their escape brings readers to the very brink of Fingap Falls, over the Stony Mountains, and across the Ice Prairies while villains galore try to stop the Igibys permanently. Fearsome toothy cows and horned hounds return along with new dangers: a mad man running a fork factory, a den of rockroaches, and majestic, talking sea dragons.

Andrew Peterson's lovable characters create what says made Book 1 "one of the best fantasy novels in a very long time," and Book Two contains even more thrills, exploring "themes universal in nature, ranging from the classic good versus evil, to the importance of family, and burdens of responsibility."

If you'd like to purchase North! Or Be Eaten, visit the following link!

Summer Musings

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, August 09, 2009

Hey, everybody! Just to let you know, I've written and recorded a few songs this summer to share with you. If you'd like to download my new EP, Summer Musings, click on this widget.


One Giant Leap for Mankind

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, July 19, 2009

"That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

Those words from American astronaut Neil Armstrong resonate today as we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings. Oh, how I wish that I had been alive on July 20, 1969, to watch the moon landings on live television. It was a pivotal moment in history that left the late Walter Cronkite giddy with excitement. Going to the moon proved that in an age of unrest and uncertainty, America was still a land of explorers. It lifted the spirits of humanity and propelled us into the space age.

Today, 40 years later, many doubts and negative opinions exist about America's space program, NASA. NASA's plans to go back to the moon in 2020 and eventually to Mars in 2037 have evoked criticism and concern. 'Why continue sending man into space?' some ask. They cite budgets and finances, making the argument that it is too costly to send some humans on a million-dollar space excursion. But the words of fictional character Sam Seaborn of the West Wing come to mind.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin blazed a trail for future generations on July 20, 1969. Now, 40 years later, we must continue that journey to wherever it may lead us.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled for 'Parenthood'

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, July 12, 2009

My oldest brother brought this show to my attention, and now I'm bringing it to yours! In the last few years, NBC has hosted some of the worst dramas on television (My Own Worst Enemy, Kings, Knight Rider). So you'd imagine my surprise when NBC's 'Parenthood' piqued my interest. In the beginning, it was strictly because of the people involved. Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind) and Brian Grazer (24, Arrested Development, Shark) are the executive producers, Thomas Schlamme (Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60) is directing, and the cast is chock full of some great actors like Peter Krause (Sports Night) and Craig T. Nelson (The District).

So, I thought, at least some great people are working on it! Then I watched this promo, and now I'm hooked. Keep your eyes peeled for this show as it has been pushed back for a midseason premeire on NBC!

Fireworks in New York!

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Monday, July 06, 2009

Enjoy a short snippet of the fantastic fireworks show we experienced this year.

Happy Fourth of July!

My Music

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, June 27, 2009

Some summer music is on the way! I've been feverishly working on an EP that I hope will knock your socks off. If you'd like to become a fan on Facebook: follow this link.

More updates to come...

The Ridiculous

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009

If you've read the purpose of my blog (on the right side of your screen), you know that it contains my thoughts on the good, the bad, and the ridiculous. The news story that follows most definitely falls in the final category.

PETA outraged by President Obama's fly-killing
In a recent interview with CNBC, President Obama was being bothered by a very persistent fly. Obama responded like any other normal person would: he swatted at it. When that didn't work, he killed the fly. Here's a video of the vicious killing.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) responded by condemning the insect murder:

"In a nutshell, our position is this: [President Obama] isn't the Buddha, he's a human being, and human beings have a long way to go before they think before they act. If all this has you wondering how you can be a bigger person (figuratively, as well as literally) in your dealings with exoskeletal beings, check out our handy-dandy bug catcher—one of which we are sending to President Obama for future insect incidents."


eBay Sale!

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, May 28, 2009

Well, I've been doing some cleaning, and I've come across some things I'd like to get rid of. Now, thanks to the Internet wonder known as eBay, I can sell these items online! And, thanks to the Internet wonder known as blogging, I can tell you about it!

Here's what I'm selling:

1) The NIV Archaeological Study Bible from Zondervan

An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture, The NIV Archaeological Study Bible sheds new light on the Bible. From the beginnings of Genesis to the end of Revelation, this new study Bible is filled with informative articles and full-color photographs of places and objects that will open your eyes to the historical context of the stories you read and the people you meet in Scripture. From kings and empires to weapons of war to clay pots used for carrying water, the archaeological record surrounding God's Word will help contextualize and inform your personal study.

2) The Legacy Study Bible edited by Hank Hanegraaff

Document your legacy of faith with the Legacy Study Bible. Best-selling author and "Bible Answer Man" Hank Hanegraaff has created the perfect tool to build and pass along your spiritual legacy.

3) Dell DJ 30 GB MP3 Player with Accessories

Included in this package are:
  • Dell DJ 30 GB MP3 Player
  • Docking station
  • USB connect cable
  • Protective leather case
  • Silicone case and armband
  • Installation software
  • All instruction manuals
  • Original packaging

To bid on any of these items, visit my seller page HERE.

Arthur Conan Doyle Is Rolling Over in His Grave

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The newest adaptation of Sherlock Holmes... with Robert Downey, Jr. as the famous detective. I wish this was a joke, but it's not. Arthur Conan Doyle is rolling over in his grave right now.

Clutter-Free Christianity

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The following is a review of a new book by Robert Jeffress called Clutter-Free Christianity. Check it out!


When did the Christian life become so complicated?

Your greatest desire is to please God, but with each passing week, your spiritual to-do list grows longer. As you strive to fulfill a never-ending inventory of requirements for being a godly parent, spouse, voter, employee, and more, you feel increasingly disconnected from the God you're trying to serve.

It's time to cut through the clutter and get to the heart of what it means to please God. In this liberating look at the core principles of faith, Dr. Robert Jeffress reveals the truth about what God really wants from you--and what he wants to do for you.

Through solid biblical teaching and practical insights, Dr. Jeffress points you toward a revitalized faith centered on becoming more like Jesus in action, attitude, and affection. You'll learn how to partner with God in the process of spiritual transformation as you choose to follow Christ in forgiveness, obedience, trust, contentment, service, and prayer.

Through a renewed focus on experiencing the kingdom of God right now, you'll find your to-do list shrinking and your spiritual life deepening. It all come with embracing Clutter-Free Christianity.

Includes a Bible study guide for personal growth and group discussion.

Memo to Worship Bands

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Because of my hectic spring break schedule, I have not kept up with the Song of the Week. However, I recently came across the following article from Christianity Today and decided to post it. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Enjoy.

Memo to Worship Bands
Five sound reasons to lower the volume.
by John G. Stackhouse, Jr.

Can you hear me? You can? I'm sorry if I am shouting, but I have just spent half an hour in a church service with a typical worship band, and my ears are ringing. I'm sure to be fine in a minute. Or hour. Or day--I hope.

Why does everything every Christian musician performs nowadays seem to require high amplification?

I was at a Christian camp not long ago where we gathered to sing around a bonfire. Guitars appeared, but just before I could get nostalgic and suggest we sing "Pass It On," the microphone stands appeared too. Apparently three guitars for 40 people were not enough. No, they had to be amplified.

I am not 110 years old, friends. I grew up in the 1970s with fuzz boxes, stacks of Marshall amplifiers, and heavy metal bands loud enough to take on Boeing 747s and win. I have played in worship bands for more than 30 years, and like lots of juice running through my Roland keyboard or Fender bass or Godin guitar. Futhermore, I'm a middle-aged man and my hearing is supposed to be fading. But even I find almost every worship band in every church I visit to be too loud--not just a little bit loud, but uncomfortably, even painfully, loud.

So here are five reasons for everyone to turn it down a notch--or maybe three or four.

First, I know it's breaking the performer's code to say so (the way magicians are never supposed to reveal a secret), but cranking up the volume is just a cheap trick to add energy to a room. The comedic film This Is Spinal Tap showed us all the absurdity of using sheer noise to compensate for a lack of talent. (The knobs on the band members' guitars and amplifiers were modified to go to 11.) Do not compensate for mediocrity by amping it up to MEDIOCRITY.

Second, when your intonation is not very good--and let's face it, most singers and instrumentalists are not anywhere close to being in perfect tune--turning it up only makes it hurt worse. If I hear one more "harmony singer" have trouble deciding whether to hit the major or the minor third and instead split the difference at a scalp-tightening volume, I think my head will split also.

Third, the speakers in most church PA systems cannot take that much energy through their small, old magnets and cones, especially from piano, bass, and kick drum. So we are being pounded with high-powered fluffing and sputtering--which do not induce praise.

Fourth, consider that you might be marginalizing older people, most of whom probably do not like Guns N' Roses volumes at church. And if you suspect older congregants may be secretly delighted behind their tight smiles, ask them. I dare you.

Fifth, let me drop some church history and theology on you. By the time church music matured into Palestrina and Co. in the 16th century, it had become too demanding and ornate for ordinary singers. So Christians went to church to listen to a priest and a choir.

The Protestant Reformation yanked musical worship away from the professionals and put it back in the pews. Luther composed hymns based on popular melodies, including drinking songs. Calvin insisted on taking lyrics from the Psalms. This was music in which almost anyone could participate.

The problem today, to be sure, is rarely elaborate music. We could use a little more artistry, in fact, than we usually get with the simplistic and repetitive musical figures of many contemporary worship songs.

No, the contrast with the Reformation is the modern-day insistence that a few people at the front be the center of attention. We do it by making six band members louder than a room full of people. But a church service isn't a concert at which an audience sings along with the real performers. Musicians--eery one of them, including the singers--are accompanists to the congregation's praise. They should be mixed loudly enough only to do their job of leading and supporting the congregation.

Now, I like Palestrina and I like good Christian rock. So, church musicians, if you want to perform a fine song that requires advanced musicianship, by all means do it. We will listen and pray and enjoy it to the glory of God.

But when you are leading us in singing, then lead us in singing. And turn it down so we are not listening to you--or, even worse, merely enduring you. I know that is not what you want to happen. But I am telling you that's what is happening.

Sorry, again, for shouting.

Song of the Week: Creed

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, March 07, 2009

At the request of my eldest brother, this week's Song of the Week comes from the curious and creative mind of Rich Mullins. One of the most influential and thoughtful Christian musicians of our time, Rich Mullins captured true beauty and channeled it through his music. This week's selection shows just that: true beauty in what typically appears mundane.

"Creed" sets the Apostles' Creed to music in a way that only Rich Mullins can. I would go as far to say that if you haven't heard Rich Mullins' "Creed," then you haven't seen Shakespeare the way it was meant to be played. But in all seriousness, this song is remarkable because it brings to life a statement of faith that was penned over a thousand years ago. So often, we mindlessly recite this creed without giving a thought to its history, its meaning, or its power. But Rich Mullins brings it to life with a lively hammered dulcimer and this declaration:

"I believe what I believe is what makes me what I am. I did not make it; no, it is making me. It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man."

We as Christians must not abandon the beliefs, creeds, and songs of our past! They are foundational to the history of our faith, and they still remain relevant today. They may not be trendy or fashionable, but they are essential components of who we are and what we believe. Let us not fall into the easy trap of self-worship, making ourselves the focal point. Let us not seek sensationalism, but instead let us seek substance. Let us boldly declare what we believe as we follow the command of our Lord and Savior to "go... and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19,20)

So enjoy this song by Rich Mullins, and always remember the foundations of our faith; for "it is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man."

by Rich Mullins
I believe in God the Father
Almighty Maker of heaven and Maker of earth
And in Jesus Christ
His only begotten son, our Lord

He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
Born of the virgin Mary
Suffered under Pontius Pilate
He was crucified and dead and buried

And I believe what I believe
Is what makes me what I am
I did not make it; no, it is making me
It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man

I believe that he who suffered
Was crucified, buried, and dead
He descended into hell
And on the third day, he rose again

He ascended into heaven
Where he sits at God's mighty right hand
I believe that he's returning
To judge the quick and the dead and the sons of men

And I believe what I believe
Is what makes me what I am
I did not make it; no, it is making me
It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man

I believe it

I believe in God the Father
Almighty Maker of heaven and Maker of earth
And in Jesus Christ
His only begotten son, our Lord

I believe in the Holy Spirit
One holy Church
The communion of saints
The forgiveness of sin
I believe in the resurrection
I believe in a life that never ends

And I believe what I believe
Is what makes me what I am
I did not make it; no, it is making me
It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man

I believe it

Song of the Week: Faust, Midas, and Myself

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009

Switchfoot's song "Faust, Midas, and Myself" cleverly weaves together two stories of selfishness and greed and translates those stories into Jon Foreman's personal experience.

The first is Goethe's Faust in which the title character makes a deal with Mephistopheles, the devil. Faust, a Job-like character, is offered "everything [he's] ever had in fantasies." This also echoes the temptation of Jesus found in Matthew 4.

"Again, the devil took [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, 'All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.'" -Matthew 4:8,9

The second story concerns King Midas. Overcome with greed, Midas asks the Greek god Dionysus for the golden touch, that everything he touches turns to gold. This seemingly wonderful power backfires when he accidentally changes his daughter into gold.

Jon Foreman's lyricism takes these two tales and shows the similarities that exist in his own experience. All of us experience temptation and failure, and more often than not, serious consequences follow. Thus, we must take heed of the warning that is presented in this song: "You've one life left to lead." We must remember to be responsible with the time we've been given on this earth because there are no do-overs.

Faust, Midas, and Myself
by Switchfoot
This one's about a dream I had last night
How an old man tracked me home and stepped inside
Put his foot inside the door and gave a crooked smile
Something in his eyes
Something in his laugh
Something in his voice made my skin crawl off

He said I've seen you here before; I know your name
How you could have your pick of pretty things
You could have it all, everything at once
Everything you've seen
Everything you'll need
Everything you've ever had in fantasies

You've one life
You've one life
You've one life left to lead

I woke up from my dream as a golden man
With a girl I've never seen with Golden skin
I jumped up to my feet; she asked me what was wrong
I began to scream
I don't think this is me
Is this just a dream or really happening?

You've one life
You've one life
You've one life left to lead

What direction?
I'm splitting up
This is my personal disaffection!

What direction?
What direction?
What direction now?

I looked outside the glass at golden shores
Golden ships and masts with golden cords
As my reflection passed, I hated what I saw
The Golden eyes were dead
A thought passed through my head
A heart that's made of gold can't really beat at all

I wanted to wake up again
Without a touch of gold

What direction?
Life begins at the intersection
What direction?
What direction?
What direction now?

I woke up as before, but the gold was gone
My wife was at the door with a night robe on
My heart beat once or twice, and life flooded my veins
Everything had changed
My lungs had found their voice
And what was once routine was now the perfect joy

You've one life
You've one life
You've one life left to lead

Life 101 - "What's Keeping Us Together"

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009

This past Saturday, some friends and I played a song in the Asbury College Freshman Talent Show. Here's a video of that performance. Enjoy!

Song of the Week: Canaan Bound

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, February 21, 2009

To continue with this month's theme of love, I chose Andrew Peterson's song Canaan Bound, as it weaves a tale of twofold love; one is earthly, the other divine. On the surface, this song chronicles the lives of Abraham and Sarah as they journey to Canaan, the promised land.

"Sarah, take me by my arm. Tomorrow we are Canaan bound, where westward sails the golden sun, and Hebron's hills are amber crowned."

Beautiful images of star crossed lovers permeate the lyrics, delving into the depths of devotion. But this song is not merely a song of mortal love. A second glance reveals a much deeper message.

"I trembled at the voice of God; a voice of love and thunder deep. With love he means to save us all, and love has chosen you and me. Long after we are dead and gone, for a thousand years, our tale be sung how faith compelled and bore us on... how barren Sarah bore a son. So come to Canaan, come."

In this promised land, promises are kept and miracles come true. Ultimately, Canaan symbolizes the promise of hope and renewal at the hands of an almighty God. This is divine love--love that triumphs over all others and stirs up a faith that drives us forward into the unknown.

Canaan Bound by Andrew Peterson
Sarah, take me by my arm
Tomorrow we are Canaan bound
Where westward sails the golden sun
And Hebron's hills are amber crowned

So bid your troubled heart be still
The grass, they say, is soft and green
The trees are tall and honey-filled
So, Sarah, come and walk with me

Like the stars across the heavens flung
Like water in the desert sprung
Like the grains of sand, our many sons
Oh, Sarah, fair and barren one
Come to Canaan, come

I trembled at the voice of God
A voice of love and thunder deep
With love He means to save us all
And Love has chosen you and me

Long after we are dead and gone
For a thousand years our tale be sung
How faith compelled and bore us on
How barren Sarah bore a son
So come to Canaan, come

Where westward sails the golden sun
And Hebron's hills are amber crowned
Oh, Sarah, take me by my arm
Tomorrow we are Canaan bound

Song of the Week: Love is Different

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lately, I've been considering what to blog about, as I've had a mild case of writer's block. Thus, here is my idea... Every week, I'll post one of my favorite songs and blog about it. So in honor of Valentine's Day, I've decided to inaugurate my Song of the Week section with a song by Caedmon's Call called Love is Different. Enjoy!

Love is Different by Caedmon's Call
Well, it looks like five thousand miles broke the camel's back
But it's not as though I had a plan to win you back
Because I don't know what I want
But at least I know that much
Now I'm afraid love came right up
And it slapped me in the face, but I did not know

'Cause love is different than you'd think
It's never in a song or on a TV screen
And love is harder than a word
Said at the right time and everything's alright
Love is different than you think

So I won't expect a postcard from Trafalgar Square
But I'd be lying if I said I didn't care
Because you can't just turn it off
And put a blindfold on your heart
But I'm off to a good start
A continent away, but I do not know

But maybe you're the dream I'm waking from
'Cause I see you everywhere I go
Darlin' you are such a mystery to me, you know

PS Last Valentine's Day, I referenced this song when I blogged about the meaning of true Christian love. If you'd like to read that post, click here.

News from the Blogosphere!

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hello, all you out there in Internet Land!

It is I, Andrew Groves, with an exciting bit of news. Currently, my mother Laura Groves is a contributor to the Kindred Heart Writers blog, which is listed under my "Favorite Blogs" section. Her writing is powerful and poignant, curious and challenging, and now you can read some more of it.

My mother has now founded two completely new blogs that she will be updating from time to time. The first, called The Storied Path, is all about reading, writing, and literature. Here is an excerpt from my mother's first post:

"My love for words leads me to pen everything from poetry to drama to non-fiction with a taste of fiction thrown in. The mode matters not; the message is what’s important. The relationship of story to truth keeps me writing and thinking.

Wander down the storied path with me." -Laura Lee Groves

The second blog is called And Then I Had Boys: Encouragement for Moms of Multiple Sons. In this blog, my mother hopes to share the lessons learned from raising four sons.

"My hope is that this will be a place of help, encouragement, and inspiration for boy moms. Here's my best advice for the mother of multiple boys: Tumble out of bed expecting a crazy day. Then you'll never be disappointed." -Laura Lee Groves

So stop on by and read some thoughts and writings from a wonderful writer, teacher, and mother.