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!

Lessons Learned from Abraham

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Friday, July 02, 2010

Abram said, "Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir." And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: "This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir." And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. - Genesis 15:3-6

This summer has been a roller coaster ride, and it's only halfway done. I won't go into all of the details, but suffice it to say that many aspects of my life have not gone according to plan. My plan. But everything has gone according to God's plan.

You see, between the job search struggles and the relationship woes, the Lord has been reiterating this one simple truth: He is in control. At the beginning of the summer, I accepted a ministry position at Mt. Freedom Baptist Church in Wilmore, Kentucky. I soon learned that our sermon series for the summer would focus on the life of Abraham. Little did I know that the Lord would use these passages of scripture to renew my mind and transform my heart.

Abraham was called out his homeland and told to go to "the land that I will show you." He followed unswervingly, and the Lord made known his promises. Along the way, Abraham made both good and bad choices, and the Lord made known his promises. Even when Abraham doubted God's promises, the Lord showed himself faithful.

There is a lot of uncertainty in my future. I have one more year left at Asbury University before I graduate. Then, after graduation, I'll be searching for a teaching job in the Lexington area. As I look forward to my future, there are many unknowns. How will I find a job? Where will I live? What about grad school? And as I look forward, I long one day to be in a relationship with a woman who knows and loves the Lord Jesus Christ. I long to experience marriage, and I long to experience fatherhood. I pray that I will love my future wife as Christ loves the church, and I pray that as a father, I will emulate the character of my Heavenly Father.

There is a lot of uncertainty, but there is no need to worry. There is no need to fret. The Lord has made known his promises. And if I ever begin to doubt them, all I need to do is walk outside, gaze at the stars, and remember the unchangeable promises of God.

Myth #1: Soccer is Cool

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, June 19, 2010

This summer, I'm starting a new series of posts on this blog called MythBustin'. Named after one of my favorite television shows (MythBusters), this series will examine what I consider to be some of the most persistent myths of our lifetime.

On the television show, myths are tested and then given one of the following labels: (a) CONFIRMED, (b) PLAUSIBLE, or (c) BUSTED. In the same way, I will examine these urban legends and, after much thoughtful consideration, I will label them appropriately.

Now, for our very first myth. Myth #1: Soccer is cool.

Beginning Thoughts
Ah, soccer. Or should I say... football? Or is it... futbol? Well, let's not worry about semantics just yet. For now, let's just call it soccer. We are in America after all!

I felt it was appropriate to begin my MythBustin' series with this subject as the FIFA World Cup is now in full swing. Thousands, nay, millions of people have been glued to their television sets, watching this international spectacle unfold (in high definition, I might add).

But many believe soccer to be a "mind-numbing bore and that any reasonable person would rather be playing it than watching it." (Dan Rydell, Sports Night)

So is this myth true? Is soccer cool? Let's take a look at the evidence.

Evidence in Favor
The only evidence I can find that soccer is even remotely cool is the fact that everyone likes it. Well, ok, not everyone, but a vast majority of the international community eats, sleeps, and breathes soccer. They start riots when their favorite team loses and when their favorite team... wins. Hmm... I've never understood that part.

Anyway, the point is this: Because lots of people like it, it must be cool. But can that argument hold water?

Not really... and here's why. First of all, the "if everyone else was jumping off a cliff" argument comes to mind. Obviously I'm being a little bit facetious here, but you get the point. Second, let's take a look at the top four highest grossing movies worldwide of 2007. This should give us a peek at the types of movies that lots of people like. They are, in this order: (1) Spider-Man 3, (2) Shrek the Third, (3) Transformers, and (4) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

Oh dear.

This goes to show us that just because lots of people like something doesn't make it cool.

Well, we have to throw that out as insufficient evidence. And, since that was the only evidence we had in favor of this myth, let's move on to the evidence AGAINST this myth.

Evidence Against
Since I don't have sufficient space on my blog to outline all of the evidence against soccer's supposed coolness, I will simply list these two pieces of evidence.

(1) The score: It was hard to hunt up reliable data, but according to, the average number of goals for a winning team in a Major League Soccer game in 2009 was 1.69, and the average number of goals for a losing team was 0.67. Dan Rydell of Sports Night sums up his feelings this way:

(2) The lack of drama: In America, we like situational sports drama. For example...
  • bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, and the team's best hitter squares off against the pitcher in a last ditch effort to win the game
  • 3.6 seconds left in an NCAA basketball game, and one team, down by three points, throws the ball in to their best outside shooter to send them into overtime
  • down by four points with only 18 seconds to go, one football team sends their wide receivers streaking down the field as the quarterback throws a Hail Mary
In soccer, the only drama occurs when someone gets close enough to the goal to take a shot. But even then, their chances of making that shot are slim to none (remember the first piece of evidence?). Also, in soccer there are no timeouts, no stopping of the game clock, and no instant replay.

So, it's kind of like watching grass grow except... less exciting. Plus, the Simpsons seem to agree with me too!

Well, the evidence is overwhelming. This myth is...

Note: The purpose of this post is to do one thing: entertain. Don't twist yourself all up in a knot over my dislike of soccer. Think of me as Stephen Colbert... only not as funny.

Some Summer Updates

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Well, a lot has been going on in my life lately, so I figured I'd fill you all in via my blog! Now sit back, relax, and enjoy catching up on my life.

Facebook: The Search for Love
To begin, the short film that I starred in last semester, Facebook: The Search for Love, was accepted into the the Highbridge Film Festival where it won three awards (Best Audio Editing, Best Original Musical Score, and Best Comedy).

If you piece all of the shooting days together, we shot this film in about four days. Not bad, huh?

I had so much fun working on this project. The crew was incredibly professional, the cast was incredibly talented, and the experience was both fun and challenging. I hadn't acted for the camera very much before this project, so all of this was very new to me. Through it all, I learned a lot and had an awesome time!

If you haven't seen it already, you can watch the film in its entirety below! Enjoy!

In addition, if you want to see how Facebook: The Search for Love was created, then look no further! Below is a Behind-the-Scenes montage that'll give you a glimpse into the movie making process. Enjoy!

Summer Living
Recently, my plans for the summer drastically changed when I was offered the position of interim Music Minister at Mt. Freedom Baptist Church in Wilmore, Kentucky. I accepted the position (pending a congregational vote), and I plan to live in Nicholasville with my friend Reuben for the duration of the summer. I also plan to work part-time at Lowe's in Nicholasville and take two online courses, Theology and Leadership Development.

Earlier this week, I moved into Reuben's house and unpacked all of my stuff. Below are some before and after pictures. Enjoy.

My original, wannabe desk.

My much-better desk!

My New Album
This summer, I'll be recording a new full-length album and giving it away for FREE! If you aren't familiar with my music, you can check it out on the right sidebar of this blog under FREE MUSIC. Also, you can visit my Facebook Fan Page or my NoiseTrade Profile.

But back to this new album... I need your help!

The songs on this new album will be cover songs... i.e. they'll be songs written by someone else. What I need from you is some song ideas!

What songs would you like to hear me record? Here are some ideas people have come up with so far:

(1) Viva la Vida by Coldplay
(2) Thriller by Michael Jackson
(3) Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog
(4) Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley
(5) Still Fighting It by Ben Folds

Post your song ideas in the Discussion Tab on my Facebook Fan Page. I look forward to your input!

I'm Outnumbered: One Mom's Lessons in the Lively Art of Raising Boys

Yep... my mom's an author. My mother, Laura Lee Groves, has written her first book about raising four rambunctious, red-headed boys that I'm sure will provide knowledge and insight for numerous mothers around the country. Nay... the world.

Check out her blog entitled Outnumbered Mom, and if you'd like more information about her book (to be released on August 31st, 2010), visit this Kregel Publications link.

Andrew Peterson's Upcoming Album
July 27th. That's the date I have marked on my calendar with two big letters: AP. Why? Because Andrew Peterson's newest album, Counting Stars, gets released then! If you didn't already know, I'm sort of an Andrew Peterson wannabe... er... groupie... uh... fan. Yeah, something like that.

Anyway, he recently released a new radio single from the album entitled "The Reckoning (How Long)." I've posted it below so you can listen to it, but you really should buy it for yourself! It's only 99¢ at iTunes and

For more information about Andrew Peterson and his upcoming album, visit his website or The Rabbit Room.

And now... enjoy the song!

Facebook: The Search for Love

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2010

This past semester, I had the privilege of starring in a short film that will hopefully be entered into the Highbridge Film Festival. Check out this teaser trailer for the short film "Facebook: The Search for Love."

What I've Been Up To Lately...

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

Currently, I'm a part of Asbury University's latest sitcom entitled Friends Like You, Too. Performances are March 30th and 31st. Check out this awesome feature about the sitcom from WLEX-18!

Ok, Go Ahead and Watch This

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, March 21, 2010

If you haven't already heard of the band OK Go, you're missing out. Their newest single, "This Too Shall Pass," has become an Internet sensation after the release of these two music videos.

Sit back, relax, be amazed, and enjoy.

Happy Valentine's Day

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Follow the Men of Johnson Third East through the decades as they declare their unfailing love for the ladies of Kresge Second East.

Haiti: A Land of Desperation and Need

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2010

Believe it or not, this post was originally going to be about the late night power struggle between Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, and the ever-bungling National Broadcasting Company (NBC). But as I began to write, I realized that while this late night brouhaha is entertaining, in the grand scheme of things, it means very little.

This past Tuesday, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti, decimating the capital of Port-au-Prince and killing upwards of 40,000 people. The dire situation in Haiti can be summed up in these words from Haiti's president: "Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. The hospitals have collapsed."

The more and more I read the newspaper, browse Internet articles, and watch the news, my heart cries out for the people of Haiti. There is so much fear and death. There is so much heartache and need. All of this in a place that is only 700 miles from my front porch in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and yet it feels so far away.

The nation of Haiti is very close to my heart. Three years ago, I traveled to Haiti on a mission trip, and I can honestly say that I am a different person because of that trip. Haiti is one of the poorest nations on the face of the earth. According to most sources, around 80% of Haiti's population lives in poverty, with the majority of Haitians living off of roughly $2 per day. And Haiti is one of the most spiritually dark nations on the face of the earth. Vodou and witchcraft are regularly practiced alongside other religions, pointing to a deep spiritual need existing there.

So why am I writing this? To make you feel bad? No. To guilt you into doing something? Certainly not. I am writing this to the body of Christ to encourage action. This action is not motivated by guilt; rather, it is motivated by the following command.

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." -James 1:27

In addition to this, the scriptures say these things.

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." -James 2:14-17

"Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." -James 1:22

So what is my point? Undoubtedly, very few of us can pack up and head to Haiti to help with the earthquake aid. Besides, that is not what I am suggesting anyway. What I am suggesting is that we, as a community of believers, as the body of Christ, lift up the nation of Haiti in prayer. There is power in prayer, and we are commanded to pray. I am also suggesting that, if you are financially able, you find an organization like Compassion International or World Vision that you can contribute money to in an effort to help with the earthquake aid. Every little bit counts.

Lastly, I want to stress that this post is not intended to guilt you into giving away money. In fact, if giving away money is your way of making yourself feel better, don't do it. For, as the scriptures say, "Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." -II Corinthians 9:7

O Come, Divine Messiah

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Happy New Year, everybody!

As a gift to you all, I have released a brand new Christmas song entitled "O Come, Divine Messiah." Composed by Josh Dahm, from the band Too Many Drummers, this song echoes the cry of God's people as they long for the divine Messiah sent to redeem the world.

You can download it for FREE below. You'll also find some album art there too. To preview the song, just click on it. To download, click the arrow tab to the right of each item and choose the DOWNLOAD option.

Enjoy the music, and have a Happy New Year!