Blogsite was down Wednesday, April 19

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Reflections at 7:07 am by Al

Due to system maintenance on the main server, the Blogsite was down on Wednesday, April 19. Sorry for any confusion that this caused.

I had my CT scan on Monday. They gave me a copy of the films–15 pages of X-ray type pages with about 30 small cross-section images on each page. While I am obviously not a trained medical professional, I have learned how to find the images where the tumors are. My read is that the larger tumor grew and has become more erratic in its shape, while the smaller tumors don’t seem to have changed much. I don’t have earlier scans with which to make comparisons, so my memory could be faulty. I don’t know whether or not new tumors have formed. The official interpretation will come on Tuesday.

I have been reading Psalm 84 the last couple of days in anticipation of a retreat next weekend that will have that psalm as its focus. I am struck again by the longing for the presence of the Lord (cf. Psa 27:4, 42:1-2, 63:1, etc.) For the Israelite, it was a single geographical location–the temple in Zion, but for us we enter the throneroom of God in heaven every time we pray in Jesus name. And what do we find in the presence of the Lord? His beauty and his glory which lead to praise. Security and peace. Rest and joy. Even the common sparrow has found a place in God’s presence, how much more those of us redeemed by Christ and being remade into his image?

One final thought: His presence has always been a paradox–he is the one who protects his people by being present, but his holy presence is also a threat to the very people he is there to defend with his presence. His holiness will break out and destroy that which is impure and unclean and sinful and bearing death. Incredibly, through Christ God solved the problem of being in his presence. We have gone from endangerment in approaching him to being accepted by him, all through what Christ has done in his life, death and resurrection. He has done it all. In Christ, his grace, love and mercy are fresh each day.

Blessings, Al


  1. Ralf Greenwood said,

    April 20, 2006 at 9:55 am

    Hi Al!

    I did ‘t share this with you when recently we exchanged emails, but just before you and I met, which was in first semester Hebrew in 1982, my father was taken by melanoma, in July, 1982. He was 61, and had hardly ever spent a day in the sun. So my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I still remember Libby relating the story in our Greek class, with Calvin Schaub, how you and she were “under the covers” reading Greek together. I know I have a strange mind to remember such details almost 25 years later. I was in touch with Calvin Schaub about three years ago. He has severe arthritus and is crippled. We never know what twists and turns God has planned for us, but no matter how mysterious and vexing it might be, it all has a perfect purpose. I have a friend, she was really unbelievably beautiful, smart and extremely spiritual. She had everything, including a wonderful family of origin. She and two others “led me to the Lord” during my first four weeks at college. She had been first in her highschool class, and her identical twin sister had been second. They both applied to Harvard College and both were accepted. She turned down Harvard to attend my college because she was offered a full scholarship. She became a clinical psychologist, MA at Columbia and PhD at Clyde Narramore’s school, Rosemead. At age 33 she developed breast cancer which metasizied into the bones. Discovered a few weeks after the birth of their first (and only) child. Both breasts immediately removed, as did her twin, who did not have cancer. She has lived with this since about 1993. Kept alive by the latest medical technology. She and her husband were professors at Biola, but she hasn’t taught in years. You knw, she was always very spiritual, but she is a changed person.

    God bless you.

    Ralf Greenwood

  2. Steve Nash said,

    April 20, 2006 at 10:50 am

    I have begun to turn to this page daily for two very different reasons. First of all I want to see if there is any update so that I will know how to pray more precisely about your situation. But also because it seems your sharing has led me closer to God once again. The verse in Psalm 84 that caught my attention was v.6, the blessed man, who passing through the valley of Baca, makes a well. Whatever the full significance of the metaphor it surely implies finding blessing in the midst of a difficult situation. The well you are digging in this valley has given refreshment to at least one passerby.
    Keep looking up my brother!

  3. Al Groves said,

    April 20, 2006 at 11:00 am


    Always good to hear from you! Thanks for your encouragement.

    I’ve been thinking about that metaphor in vs. 6 myself. The way I picture it now is this: The one in whose heart are the highways to God’s city (not in the Hebrew, but I think that is what is intended–see the ESV and NASB) is one who has life and who brings life. The very dry land through which he passes experience the blessing of rain/water (= life) as he goes to meet with God. It’s a powerful picture of how the desire for God’s presence is life-bringing beyond just ourselves. If it were an animated feature, picture someone walking through a dry area and every footprint left behind begins to bubble up and be a spring of life.

    Blessings, Al

  4. Kent Morton said,

    April 20, 2006 at 1:53 pm


    Your image of v.6 (picture someone walking through a dry area and every footprint left behind begins to bubble up and be a spring of life) is marvellous. Thank you! Isn’t that exactly the effect that the Spirit of God in each believer should have as we move through life? Lord, unstop our fountains…


  5. Anne Cormier said,

    April 20, 2006 at 6:25 pm

    Dear Al,
    Dennis Billy brought your situation (and website) to my attention recently. (I knew both of you through the Dartmouth Christian Fellowship in the early 70s; Dennis and I have remained close friends through the years, and every so often when we got together, he would mention your name and a little bit of what you were doing. I always remembered you as a sweet and kind young man.) I am saddened to know you are going through this difficulty, but please know that you and your family are in my prayers. The diagnosis of cancer has a way of lending clarity and urgency to life as nothing else can . . . and can make the gifts of family and love important as never before.

    My husband (D-’74 grad. named Kim Coffman) and I will be in Pennsylvania this weekend at the wedding of our friends’ daughter (we live just outside D.C.; the wedding is at Messiah College, near Harrisburg), so it’ll be particularly appropriate to be remembering you and your beautiful family.

    In Christ, ANNE CORMIER

  6. Paul Sweeney said,

    April 20, 2006 at 8:59 pm

    Dear Dr. Groves,

    Be assured of my constant prayers.


  7. Jan Powers said,

    April 22, 2006 at 4:20 pm

    Dear Al & Libby,

    Tony & I have been so blessed to be a part of NL where you (Al) have sacrificially served as an elder. I see your smiling (always smiling) faces each week and yet rarely get a chance to do more than greet you. I’ve been keeping up with your blog and praying for you but I wanted to drop you a line to let you know. The only draw back I can see in posting your updates via blog is not knowing how many people are regularly checking it and praying for you and your family but who have never left a comment. I must be numbered among the many who care and pray without you knowing (so now you know one more!).

    Today, along with others, I have been blessed by your soggy footsteps thought. Now I have a new creative way to think about and pray for God’s blessing in others’ lives. I want to leave my wet footsteps everywhere I go!

    With love,
    Jan Powers

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