Josh Turner is one of country music’s most successful artists. The multi-Platinum-selling singer has just released his sixth studio album, Deep South. Josh shares his heart about the music, about the challenges of being a Christian today, and what inspires him to be a better man.
Josh Turner: My faith is an integral part of everything I do; my business decisions, my personal decisions, the way I carry myself, the way I treat people, the way I go about my art. I realize that I’ve been given a platform that not everybody has and that I can either use it or abuse it. And so I try to use it for good.
Narrator: Welcome to the Experience Jesus Calling Podcast. Today, we speak with Josh Turner, one of country music’s most successful artists. The multi-Platinum-selling singer has just released his sixth studio album, Deep South. Josh discusses how this album represents “hardworking people who find joy in the simple things in life; heritage, church, and community.”
Josh Turner’s New Album, Deep South
Josh: There’s there’s quite a bit of variety on this record. Being a songwriter and being an artist I have plenty of material and experiences from my childhood that I can draw from creatively.
The title track, to me, kind of sets the tone for the rest of the record because it’s a song that I wrote by myself and it’s about basically where I grew up and how that upbringing made me who I am. So, it kind of encompasses a lot of who I am and what I experienced growing up in that culture and that environment–the ancestry, the heritage, the food, the sense of humor–all of that kind of stuff. Having fun and just the faith aspect of everything. So it’s just kind of an all-encompassing kind of song, lyrically, about who I am and where I come from musically and personally and my faith; so that would probably be the one that I would point out to most people.
I think community is definitely something that we need to get back to.
I feel like nowadays those are the kind of things that people are kind of getting away from; especially the community aspect. You know, everybody’s living their own individual lives; everybody’s going their different ways. They don’t tend to rely on each other as much, for things, People don’t want to impose, and not only that, people don’t really want to help each other out as much as they used to. So I think community is definitely something that we need to get back to.
For me when I wrote the song “Deep South,” I felt like it was just kind of an opportunity for me to kind of write about where I came from and how good it was and a lot of the different things that I experienced growing up because I always kind of describe my childhood as somewhat of a paradise.
I know not everybody was blessed to have a childhood like I had. And that’s how I realize that it was so special and that’s why I cherish it as much as I do because I realize not everybody had that luxury.
People that have moved away from their hometown; a lot of people couldn’t wait to get out of there. But for me, it was hard for me to leave. But I knew I had to in order to chase my dream and pursue my goals. For me, I feel like it’s kind of worked out for the best.
Josh Turner and Man Stuff – Thoughts on Family, Faith, and Fatherhood
Narrator: Not only is Josh a best-selling country music artist, he also has written a book called “Man Stuff – Thoughts on Family, Faith, and Fatherhood.” In this book, Josh shares fun and meaningful thoughts and personal stories—ranging from his childhood years to today—and weaves in spiritual insight for men who want to be better dads, husbands, and men of God.
Josh: Writing “Man Stuff” was a lot of fun for me. It allowed me the opportunity to kind of sit back and just really kind of reflect back on my life and the things that make me who I am, and the things that I continue to draw upon. The experiences and the lessons and the advice and just the things that I’ve witnessed and the relationships that I have and have had with my grandparents and certain heroes of mine that may not be here anymore. It was great for me to be able to put all those stories down in a tangible form, not only to pass down to my children and grandchildren and fans and all that, but to honor the people that I learned from and that I wrote about in the book. So, it served a variety of purposes for me. But my ultimate goal was to impart wisdom and experience and knowledge upon my fans and my readers out there who hopefully will learn a lot from my mistakes.
I know that any time you face some kind of opposition or resistance like that, that means that you’re doing the right things; you’re doing something good.
I’ve had to learn a lot of hard lessons through this business and my faith has gotten me through a lot of those tough times; trying times, and it’s also gotten me through the good times. I’ve had a lot of good things thrown my way and I know that blessings can be a burden sometimes too, if you have too many of them; have to learn how to handle that success and handle all of the blessings that are thrown your way. Because sometimes they can take a negative turn too if you don’t know how to handle it.
It’s difficult to be a Christian, regardless of whether you’re in the entertainment business or not. I feel like Christians are under attack more more so than normal nowadays. And honestly it makes me even more proud to be a person of faith because I know that any time you face some kind of opposition or resistance like that, that means that you’re doing the right things; you’re doing something good.
Josh Turner on Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
Narrator: As Josh talks openly about his faith to his fans and spreads encouragement to them through his songs, he himself finds encouragement through reading Jesus Calling and the writings of Sarah Young.
Josh: Sarah Young, I’ve never met her. But just in reading her words you know I can really tell that she’s really strong in her faith. She’s been challenged in a variety of ways. She’s experienced, I guess, for lack of a better way, in spending quality one on one quiet time with the Lord. She hasn’t let that fall by the wayside; she’s used that and her experience as a tool and as a witness for people who may struggle with hearing from the Lord; that may struggle with finding time during their day to spend with Him. I think because of her testimony and because of who she is, I think people tend to listen more because this is somebody who’s very genuine and has had a need to call on Him.
If you live long enough, life will knock you down. I don’t see how people that don’t have the Lord and don’t have a relationship with the Lord, I don’t how they make it through the day.
The times that I’ve sat down and read it of the parts that I’ve really related to is the fact that you know she’s been knocked down by life more than once, and I can totally relate to that. If you live long enough, life will knock you down. I don’t see how people that don’t have the Lord and don’t have a relationship with the Lord, I don’t how they make it through the day. A lot of them are going through every day with a void and just with emptiness and unhappiness and a lack of peace and all that. I just can’t imagine living my days without that.
I can really relate to her words and how that time with the Lord just really brings a lot of restoration of peace, a lot of strength and a lot of wisdom too.
This would be January 2nd, because of where I am in my life right now, I feel like this was pretty fitting, and it’s short and sweet too.
Relax in My Healing Presence as you spend time with Me. Your thoughts tend to jump ahead to today’s plans and problems bring your mind back to me for refreshment and renewal. Let the light of My Presence soak into you as you focus your thoughts on Me. Thus I equip you to face whatever the day brings. This sacrifice of time pleases Me and strengthens you. Do not skimp on our time together. Resist the clamor of tasks waiting to be done. You have chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from you. Psalms 105:4 says “look to the Lord and His strength. Seek His face always.”
The Josh Turner Scholarship Fund
Narrator: As Josh continues to grow musically and in his faith, he is eager to give back a little of what he has been given. He recently established the “Josh Turner Scholarship Fund” to provide assistance to high school students who would like to pursue a career in the field of Arts and Entertainment, but may not have the resources available to do so.
Josh: 12 years ago now, it’s hard to believe, but anybody that’s ever done charity work knows that it’s a long road to hoe. But when you start seeing people you know impacted by that work, it becomes very gratifying. Basically, it’s a fund that was set up for high school seniors that come from a rural high school that don’t necessarily have opportunities to be involved in music or art programs and yet they want to pursue a career in music or art. So it basically helps them monetarily go to the school of their choice and study music or art or whatever facet of those fields that they would want to study. We’ve had, I don’t know, a good five, six, seven, you know students so far.
It’s been great to be able to provide students with opportunities that I didn’t necessarily have myself.
Narrator: To learn more about the Josh Turner Foundation and to find out about Josh’s new project “Deep South,” please visit JoshTurner.com to get more information.
Narrator: Next Time on the Experience Jesus Calling Podcast, we speak with Alan Graham, the founder, CEO and President of Mobile Loaves & Fishes. Alan tells us about his new book “Welcome Homeless- One Man’s Journey of Discovering the Meaning of Home” and how he is living out his mission of bringing community and help to homeless people.
Alan Graham: What does it mean to be home? What does home mean? If you want to understand homelessness, you have to understand what home is. You have to understand that you might be comfortable in your middle class, upper class, three, four, five-bedroom, multi- bath home, but you can literally be homeless inside that place. It’s coming to a biblical understanding of what it is that Christ wants you and I to understand about home.
Narrator: Today’s featured passage comes from the January 2nd entry of the Jesus Calling Audiobook:
Relax in My healing Presence. As you spend time with Me, your thoughts tend to jump ahead to today’s plans and problems. Bring your mind back to Me for refreshment and renewal. Let the Light of My Presence soak into you, as you focus your thoughts on Me. Thus I equip you to face whatever the day brings. This sacrifice of time pleases Me and strengthens you. Do not skimp on our time together. Resist the clamor of tasks waiting to be done. You have chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from you.
Narrator: Hear more great stories about the impact Jesus Calling is having all over the world. Be sure to subscribe to the Jesus Calling Podcast on iTunes. We value your reviews and comments so we can reach even more people with the message of Jesus Calling. And if you have your own story to share, we’d love to hear from you. Visit JesusCalling.com to share your story today.