Justin Fox Bio
Justin†Fox†has been pushing boundaries and drawing outside the lines for over two decades. He graduated from a Christian college with a major in Church Leadership, but never quite settled in one church. Feeling the call instead toward a touring ministry of music and teaching, he and his new bride hit the road for the adventure of their lives. 10 albums and 20 years later, we find the couple with four grown kids and a fresh vision for local mission and community involvement.
†As a City Pastor for ROCKHARBOR Church,†Justin†has jumped into the Spiritís movement within his city of Costa Mesa; mobilizing the faith community toward incarnational relationships, community development, church unity partnerships, and cutting edge outreach.
His latest album,†The Sound Forgiveness Makes,†captures this fresh passion for reconciliation and a renewed dependence on God’s strength and guidence. †It features his long-time band on soulful blues jams, souring rock anthems, and folksy, acoustic prayers. †It’s his most richly diverse work to date and paints a colorful picture of an artist on the move.
The Interview Transcript
Shon: Hi my name is Shon Stuart. I also have with me my parents, Tom and Jorja Stuart and our blessing champion Justin Fox. Welcome to music that blesses others Justin.
Justin: Thanks, thanks for having me.
Jorja: Justin, why donít you tell us a little about your family, how long youíve been married, the names and ages of your children and anything else youíd like to tell us about Ďem.
Justin: Yeah. Iíve been married eighteen years. Itís been a really fun, fun adventure. We got married a week after I graduated from bible college so it was a whirlwind of friends and family and really, really, really neat time and so eighteen years later here now we have four kids Ė theyíre fifteen years old, twelve, ten and eight. No, we just had some birthdays fifteen, thirteen, eleven and eight. Now yeah.
Justin: Yeah theyíre fun. We have one boy. Heís our thirteen year old and these girls (and). Kind of a musical family. A few of our kids have gotten my musical genes and so itís been kind of a boisterous home and a lot of fun.
Tom: Justin, as a parent why do you feel the blessing is important, is an important message and why would you encourage people to take the blessing challenge?
Justin: Well in our family Iíve seen the power of that verbal blessing, that, that part. My mom use to, in kind of an informal way, she would bless us as kids. She would kind of as we went of to school or as we were, uh I donít know, you know headed out the door she would say a kind of a ďMay God be with you. May God give you wisdom,Ē or something like that and they were neat prayers that kind of sort of rang in our hearts throughout the day. And I thought they were really appropriate. And so in our lives now as a family, Iíve been kind of repeating that pattern, that tradition with my kids. And just felt challenged in other, in other ways to formalize that a bit more, and to think of a few sentences, to structure them together that really empower our children and even, even my wife even being able to just empower each other with that kind of a blessing.
Itís neat and itís so neat and I think poignant and that its biblical and has this real biblical history to it. So you see these biblical characters imparting these blessings and you think well maybe thatís cultural or maybe thatís old and it doesnít relate to us these days but yet we see its power right, right in it as we step into that with each other so I love it and Iíve seen the effect of it in our family and I am excited to encourage others.
Tom & Jorja: Great!
Shon: So Justin, tell us about your ministry and how you came to write this particular version of Psalm 23.
Justin: Iíve been traveling, singing, and writing songs for a lot of years since I got married, pretty much since college and I had the chance to visit a lot of different churches so my ministry was kind of under the radar, kind of grassroots style church ministry and traveling to churches all around the country and the world and singing these original songs that I had written on acoustic guitar, sometimes having a band with me but a lot of times just kind of being solo but it, it was itís really been great about so almost eighteen years now just traveling all over and kind of going through every door that God opens whether itís small opportunity or a big grandiose thing and seeing God work in all of those settings.
Itís been, been neat to see and an honor to be a part of and Iíve been you know recording these cds throughout the years, I feel like in the times Iíve spent alone with God he seems to almost most of the time give me a song or something original thought or musical phrase and so Iíve been putting those to song and recording these cds throughout the years and so this last cd is my tenth one and I was kind of compiling my batches of songs that I had kind of compiled through the year thinking about what God had in store for this record and one of things Iíd been really inspired by in the last maybe five to so years is the Message translation of the bible, Eugene Petersonís Message paraphrase.
Itís kind of this loose paraphrase of the bible but itís written in sort of everyday language you know street-talk vernacular kind of thing. I just really liked it. Growing up in a Christian home around the bible all my life, it gave a fresh perspective to the scripture for me. It kind of brought it alive in a new way so I latched on to it and was really moved by it as I would read it through the years. And I thought it had kind of a sing-songy kind of feel to it I thought. Maybe there could be some songs that could come out of it and with my times with the Lord Iíd be strumming my guitar and these Message phrases you know from, from scripture would just kind of come out and I just kind of started experimenting with how those would go along with the, with a melody.
So, looking at Psalm 23 I loved the language that Eugene Peterson brought to it and I had this tune and it was kind of out-of-the-box, the idea of this song. It was kind of a quirky thing but it seemed to sort of work and I was able to put it together with these chords and the producer of the album helped kind of shape it, and put the rest of it together but Iím excited how it came out and, and it, to me when I sing it, when I share it with others it just reminds me of Godís faithfulness, like His blessing you know on us.
The way that He sets us up you know for resting in Him and for this path that He set out before us you know these by streams of water you know, pleasant pastures and, and the refrain near the end that I caught and latched on to in the song was May Godís beauty and love it says God May your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I thought that is so powerful, May Godís beauty and love chase after us every day of our life and what a neat blessing we can pass on to others you know, may Godís beauty and love chase after you every day of your life and Iím, Iím hoping that that blessing comes through on this song.
Shon: Thatís really cool.
Tom: So youíve obviously chosen to use your musical talents to bless others. What words of encouragement do you have for those new voices who would consider becoming a featured artist on our website?
Justin: I would just encourage them to, to go for it, to send in your stuff. You know I think some of us think oh I donít know if I have a song thatís particularly about blessing or does it fit you know exactly right? Maybe this song can be an encouragement to you that, that itís kind of a, itís a, itís a big concept and this idea of songs that can bless others are are probably pretty diverse and I would just encourage folks to take a step out you know and to send it in.
I think sometimes we think oh I need my music to be just perfect or it doesnít have this part or this part and I donít, I donít know about putting it our there. I think for me watching God really bless that active obedience of just putting it out there whether I thought it was the best thing or not or whether I was perfectly proud of it. Itís just one of things where we just kind of surrender and we say God I want to give this to you and let you direct it and guide it.
So I just encourage folks to yeah, step out and like my story to go through every door small doors, big doors, just to, to go through them and to honor God with what Heís given you. Godís blessed us with these talents and gifts and I would encourage other artist to pass that blessing on. How can we be a blessing if we donít step out and share what we have?
Jorja: Thatís great. Well, thank you and we are so thankful that you could come and join us and weíre really happy to have you on board as a blessing champion and we look forward to all that Godís going to do in your ministry and as we work together as well.
Justin: Thanks, great to be on you guys.
Justin Fox’s Latest Album: “The Sound Forgiveness Makes”