My Article On Colson Center's Breakpoint

I grew up listening to Chuck Colson’s voice on Moody Radio every morning. “This is Breakpoint,” he would say. Today the show is hosted by my friend and Colson Center President, John Stonestreet. John recently invited me to share my songs on the Breakpoint website, as well as the thoughts, stories, experiences, and theology behind them. My first article came out today and you can find it here: Christ in My Heart, in My Mind, in Ten Thousand Places. I’m really grateful to the Colson Center for this opportunity!

More from Breakpoint

More from the Colson Center

The Gospel Coalition #TGC19 Playlist

A couple of the hymns I recorded for Come Away From Rush & Hurry made it onto a great playlist the Gospel Coalition put together as a soundtrack to their conference. You can check out the entire playlist here:

Really glad these hymns, “Blest Are The Pure In Heart” and “At The Cross Her Vigil Keeping” are getting some exposure. They have blessed me tremendously. The first time I heard “At The Cross…” was during Lent. We prayed each verse of the hymn in between the Stations of the Cross liturgy. It was as beautiful as it was haunting.

“Blest Are…” is certainly a memorable text but it was the melody that first lodged in my heart and mind. I heard this gem a few years ago for the first time.

Anyway, I’m so grateful to be included on a playlist like this, with so many artists I both listen to and admire. I hope you’ll enjoy and share the playlist on Spotify or Apple Music or wherever you get your tunes!

Here’s the playlist/article from TGC’s website.

JB

Worship & Liturgy: An Interview With The Stone Table Podcast

Recently had the pleasure of sitting down with my friend, Travis, to talk about Christian worship in all of its variety. It was so. much. fun. You can hear the interview below- and then get more from The Stone Table Podcast- HERE.

LISTEN…

A Song For Eugene Peterson

When I was in seminary I read Eugene Peterson’s book “Christ Plays In Ten Thousand Places” and it deeply impacted me. Peterson took this title from this poem, written by Hopkins.

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

I say móre: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is —
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.

Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose (Penguin Classics, 1985)

As songwriters tend to do, I gathered up these influences, digested them over a period of weeks, and spit them back out in a song.

I played it last week, at a Clergy Conference, the morning after Eugene died. It was a special thing to be able to offer this song because the speaker for our conference was author and professor, James K.A. Smith, who speaks and writes a great deal on themes of incarnational theology, embodiment, and the like.


You can listen and download it for free right here!



Album Release Day: It's Here!

COME AWAY FROM RUSH & HURRY is here.  

And I am so excited.  You can preview and download it at numerous online retailers but the most popular are:

Bandcamp

iTunes

Spotify

Amazon

Two Ways You Can Help

1. Share, share, share.  Spread the word.  Tell your friends.  Gift the album to folks who might enjoy it but aren't familiar with my music.  

2. Leave a review... whether you pick up the album from Amazon, iTunes, or Bandcamp, tell us what you think!  This helps others know whether or not they'd be interested in downloading the music.

Thank you!

Thanks for supporting my music, and this new project.  (I'm already thinking about the next project).  If you didn't listen to this music- I would still make music but- it would be no fun.  So, your engagement, kind words, support, feedback, makes this part of my vocation so fulfilling.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

JB

The story behind the album art for "Come Away From Rush and Hurry"

Saint Mary's Chapel (The "Lady Chapel"), 1950s

Saint Mary's Chapel (The "Lady Chapel"), 1950s

It was a gift to me to have permission to use archived photos of the Cathedral Church of St Luke - Orlando, FL as the artwork for my upcoming album.  The Cathedral is my home parish, my church family, the place I've served since 2015, and the place I was ordained as a Transitional Deacon, and then a Priest.  I love my church.

Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, Front, 1940s

Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, Front, 1940s

It's also the place where I first heard many of the hymns that I recorded for Come Away From Rush and Hurry.  Despite having grown up in the church, singing hymns, I had never heard the likes of, "...and to their longing eyes restored, the Apostles saw their risen Lord..." a great 5th Century Latin text translated by J.M. Neale (a poet, musician, priest, and scholar).  I had never sung at a funeral, or any other service, "The strife is o'er, the battle done, the victory of Christ is won..."  Singing these hymns, directly from worn out hymns books, over the past few years, has been staggeringly awesome, in the true sense of the word.

Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, Inside, 1910s

Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, Inside, 1910s

So, it was very important and meaningful to me to get to utilize images of the Cathedral for the album's artwork.  The building is indelibly connected to the songs themselves, for me.  And, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I did much of the piano tracking inside the Cathedral, after work, when things got quiet. Those were very special recording sessions for me, in such a sacred place.

Get the album: "Come Away From Rush And Hurry"

Preview & Pre-order Josh's New Album

You can pre-order the album at Bandcamp right now, and check out a couple of songs while you're there.  And please help me spread the word by sharing this album on your favorite social media feed!

Josh Bales Front Small.jpg
Josh Bales Back Small.jpg

Dear Friends, I have been working on arranging and recording these hymns for the past two years and I can't wait to share them with you.  My vocation is a wonderful mix of husbanding, dadding, counseling, priesting, and music making.  So, most of the work on this album was done in between sermon-writing, potty-training, and therapy (my own and that of my clients).  Stealing away to work on this music brought life to me as a husband, priest, dad, and therapist.  This Fall I will be releasing these songs on all the familiar online retailers (Bandcamp, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify) and will be printing physical CDs to bring with me on tour.  Thanks for supporting my music!  You can preview and pre-order the album here.  - Josh Bales