Songs for the New Year (13 in 2013)

Have you ever sung a song that just didn’t seem relevant to you in that moment? As a worship leader there are times when I have chosen songs to sing that weren’t on my “Top 10 ‘Most Favorite Right Now’ Songs” list. I know if I have had moments like this, then others have had the same experience.

As we come to the New Year everyone can relate to some songs for the turning of the Year. I would like to share with you some hymns/songs on my New Year song list. 13 Songs for 2013. There are some you probably have never heard of and I will link them to pages with the lyrics and midi files of the tune for you to listen to. However, I might not have links for all of them. I hope that you will have a Happy New Year. That you will look back at what great things our great God has done for us and look ahead to what He will do in this New Year!


13. Another Year is Dawning (Frances Havergal, 1874) midi text

12. If You But Trust In God to Guide You (Georg Neumark, 1641) midi text

11. All People That on Earth Do Dwell (William Kethe, 1561) midi text

10. I Asked the Lord That I Might Grow (John Newton, 1779) midi/text modern arrangement

9. Your Hand, O God, Has Guided (Edward Plumptre, 1864) midi text

8. O Great God (Bob Kauflin, 2006) midi/text

7. Speak, O Lord (Keith Getty & Stuart Townend, 2006) midi text

6. Lead On, O King Eternal (Ernest Shurtleff, 1887) midi text modern rendition

5. O Church, Arise (Keith Getty & Stuart Townend, 2005) video/text

4. Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (William Williams, 1745) midi text modern arrangement

3. Our Song From Age to Age (Joel Sczebel, 2012) midi/text

2. O God, Our Help in Ages Past (Isaac Watts, 1719) midi text modern rendition


And finally the number one hymn as the year turns new:

1. Immovable, Our Hope Remains (Augustus Toplady, 1812) modern rendition/text

When I first came across this ten verse Augustus Toplady hymn “Immovable Our Hope Remains,” I was significantly affected by the confident faith the lyrics expressed. I rearranged, rephrased, and trimmed down the hymn into four verses. Later on, my dad came across my lyrics on our piano and set them to a melody that tries to capture the triumph of the words. No matter how we feel, no matter how hopeless or unsure our future appears, no matter what lies Satan uses to weaken our hearts, our hope is immovable. Jesus is already in heaven, and we are in Christ! — Brittany Kauflin

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Book List Sept-Dec 2012

**Update** – Added the 23rd and final book read for 2012.  Very happy with 23 out of 24 books read.  I will increase my goal for next year! – **Update**


This is the last book list post for 2012.  I had set out to finish 24 books this year (2012) but only accomplished reading 22 books. (I may in the next few days finish one or two more but as of now only 22 books.)  However, if you count my seminary books then I certainly surpassed my goal of 24 books.  In this last post for 2012 books I read 9 more books. If I finish some more I will update this post.

Prayer-9780851510903 John Bunyan’s book Prayer was an excellent two-part book on prayer.  The first part was on what prayer is.  And Part Two was on how and why we can pray.  I especially liked the second part of the book.  (172 pages)


What-Is-a-Healthy-Church-9781581349375 Mark Dever’s short book on the Church: What is a Healthy Church?  is an excellent and challenging short book on the church and your place in it, the purpose of it, and how to become a healthy church.  This book is desperately needed in this day.  (126 pages)


gcm_us_fb80ae142670ec644fcd3a074524d30b This book/Bible study is a great pre-marital study or even marital study of what the Gospel centered marriage looks like.  I encourage you to go through this with your husband or wife, your fiance’, or even by yourself to prepare or strengthen your marriage.  My wife and I finished going through this book this year.  Very good.  (102 pages)


4196FSbb7UL._SL500_SS500_Leon Morris wrote an excellent short study on the Person and work of Christ.  This is a great bite-size theology book. (112 pages)


cover-reverberation-low-resolution1 My second 9Marks book this year, Reverberation speaks of how the word is to be preached, received, and sent out from us.  My favorite chapter was one how we sing the word. (197 pages)


Deliberate-01-01 This was my second Mark Dever and third 9Marks book this year.  Not only should the church member be Word-Centered, not only should the word be preached, received, and sent out, but we also should be governed by the Word in every area of government, music, prayer, tithing, hiring and firing ministers, etc.  (224 pages)


hobbit  The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien   I was pleased to finish reading this book before the movie came out  December 14.  It is an exciting tale.  One that preludes the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  (305 pages)



Loving the Church – John Crotts   (140 pages)


God is in the manger_Bonhoeffer Dietrich Bonhoeffer – God is in the Manger   An excellent advent/christmas devotional.  (112 pages)

IMG_1906David McIntyre – The Hidden Life of Prayer (160 pages)



Graeme Goldsworthy – Gospel and Kingdom (138 pages) A brief introduction to Biblical Theology.  Excellent book.  Well-written and easy to follow.

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Advent & Christmas Hymns

I am a major fan of singing hymns, and as many verses of those hymns which are theologically correct. Something I have been thinking about recently during this Advent time is the question, “What are we waiting for?” And, “Do the songs we sing accurately portray that waiting?

When the Jews awaited the coming of the Messiah they awaited for a Savior of a military and earthly sorts. They believed the Messiah would save them from Rome. Someone to restore their culture. Heal them of their wounds and sickness. Free them from their oppression.Nativity_tree2011

The problem was that when Jesus showed up, He spoke of another kingdom, of another freedom from a different oppression. He spoke of a healing from a different kind of sickness. He was claiming to be a different kind of Savior. This is ultimately why they rejected him and then killed him. But what does this have to do with singing and Christmas hymns?

Well, the most popular Christmas hymns are often played on the radio and in the mall and stores this time of year. Often when they are played the artists singing the songs only choose the first and last verse or even less to sing. Everyone seems to know the first verse to hymns like Joy to the World, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, O Little Town of Bethlehem, etc. Sometimes I wonder if the world is confused by our “pretty little catchy tunes” that they, and we, miss the gospel presented within these songs. We might be portraying the same Messiah that Israel waited for and not the Savior Jesus was.

We have an opportunity through song to speak the gospel on every secular corner in our cities and towns. Through the singing of these wonderful Christmas hymns. True Christmas joy and cheer is spread when sinners come to realize that Jesus came to earth, God-incarnate came and “with His blood man-kind hath bought,”(vs. 4 The First Noel) so sinners now saved can say, “no more let sins and sorrow grow, nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found” (vs. 3 Joy to the World). “Now ye need not fear the grave: Jesus Christ was born to save! Calls you one calls you all to gain His everlasting hall. Christ was born to save, Christ was born to save” (vs. 3 Good Christian Men, Rejoice). “Yet with the woes of sin and strife the world has suffered long” (vs 2 It came upon a midnight clear) “Light and life to all He brings, ris’n with healing in His wings, mild He lay His glory by, born that man no more may die born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth” (vs. 3 Hark! the Herald Angels Sing)

May our cry be “O Holy Child of Bethlehem! Descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today!” (vs 4 O Little Town of Bethlehem) They awaited a Savior and He came to dispell sin and grant the heavenly kingdom and grace and mercy to those who did not in any way deserve it. We now praise this Savior and await Him to return a second time and complete the work He has begun in us. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

Let’s sing all the verses of these songs and share the Gospel in song. Spread real Christmas cheer. The hope of true salvation.

“Saints before the altar bending, watching long in hope and fear, suddenly the Lord, descending, in His temple shall appear.” (vs. 4 Angels from the Realms of Glory)

nativity-scene-clip-art-7Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
O come let us adore Him! O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

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Edwards on Dying to Self

Jonathan Edwards

May this be something I can say myself:

“I have been before God, and have given myself, all that I am and have, to God; so that I am not, in any respect, my own.  I can challenge no right in this understanding, this will, these affections, which are in me.  Neither have I any right to this body, or any of its members–no right to this tongue, these hands, these feet; no right to these senses, these eyes, these ears, this smell, or this taste.  I have given myself clear away, and have not retained any thing as my own.” – Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

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Book List April-May 2012

I have really been blessed to get into reading some books this year.  My goal for 2012 was to read 24 books.  I have bookshelves full of books that I have not read.  I have perused many, read chapters out of many, but had not finished many.  So far we are in month five for this year and I have made it halfway through my goal!  I am excited to be getting through some books!  This list comes from April-May so there are some short books on this list!  If reading larger books is not your thing, this list may be one you want to check out!


    Small Catechism – Martin Luther (295 pgs)
I read this book on my honeymoon.  Such a relaxing time to get to read.  No schedule to follow just time to do whatever we wanted!  We both got some reading in.  There are a few different versions of this one but I suggest the one that has the explanation with it.  You can read it on Kindle.




Commenting and Commentaries – Charles Spurgeon (264 pgs)
I began this one for the purpose of getting some insight from Spurgeon on commentaries.  I really enjoyed the commenting part where Spurgeon speaks directly to young preachers.  Wonderful!




A Guide to Adoption and Orphan Care – Edited by Russell Moore (88 pgs)
This book was given away at a conference I went to in Louisville, KY.  It is the second “Guidebook” from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  The first guidebook on Biblical Masculinity I read in January and linked it here.





The End for Which God Created the World – Jonathan Edwards 
I read this one for seminary.  I cannot begin to express the value of this dissertation.  If you ever want to begin reading Edwards, you need to start here.  This book makes clear the purpose which he based his whole ministry.  If you want to understand the meaning of life and why we, as humans, are here, you should read this book!  I cannot recommend it enough.  Because Edwards is a difficult read I suggest you read the updated easier read with notes by John Piper in God’s Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards.  This title has the complete text of The End for Which God Created the World by Edwards.  You can read it in PDF for free here.  God’s Passion for His Glory is 272 pgs.




Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books – Tony Reinke (208 pgs)
This was a very interesting read.  Here is a quote from Jesse Johnson, who reviewed this book, “Lit is one of those books that pays dividends. Reading it will cause you to read other books more frequently. View it as an investment. If you want to read more, read this, and it will help you not only read more, but read better.”





100 Cupboards – N.D. Wilson (320 pgs)
Yes, I did put a children’s literature book on here.  I have had the three books in the 100 Cupboards series by N. D. Wilson for a little while and haven’t read them yet.  Take heart, I read this one in four days.  (I could have read it in a day if I had not had finals in seminary, work, a family, and life in general.  I mean, come on, it is a third-grade reading level!)  I highly recommend this little book for your elementary school-aged child (or even yourself).  I am still reading through the other books in the series (see below).





Currently reading:

Jonathan Edwards: A Life – George Marsden (640 pgs)
Dandelion Fire – N. D. Wilson (480 pgs)
Meaning of Marriage – Timothy Keller (288 pgs)
The Gospel & Personal Evangelism – Mark Dever (128 pgs)

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God of All (The Immortal)

Here’s a new song I finished today called “God of All (The Immortal).” I wrote this trying to capture somewhat the attribute of God’s independence. Even in redemption, what seems like a great gift to man (and it is) God’s glory is front and center and the main point. You can sing this song (except for the chorus) to the tune of “Before the Throne of God Above.”

God of All (The Immortal) by N. Adam Johnson 5/7/2012

O God of all, the great I AM,
The One who fashioned earth and heav’n,
He set His glory in the skies
So man might know Him and give praise.
O how majestic is Your name
Your pow’r, Your glory on display
You have no need that man can fill
Yet You made us to need You still
Yet You made us to need You still.

The Immortal, Uncreated,
Self-sufficient, God alone;
You are most holy, You are most worthy,
You reign in power from Your throne.

The God of all, became a man
To conquer death, and hell, and sin
The Sovereign God, He took on flesh
So those who’d trust Him would have rest.
In this redemption Your glory shone
There is forgiveness by grace alone
No condemnation! is the plea
For those in Christ have victory!
For those in Christ have victory!


O how majestic is Your name
Your pow’r, Your glory on display
You have no need that man can fill
Yet You made us to need You still
Yet You made us to need You still.

Posted in Christ, Creation, Creator, Family of God, Glory, Gospel, Hymns, Kingship, Majesty, N. Adam Johnson, Salvation, Savior, Sovereignty, Worship Music | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment