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Adult Contemporary

Twila Paris

Bio by The 700 Club

After 15 years of marriage, Twila and husband Jack had no children. At the age of 35, Twila began thinking perhaps having a family would not be in the plan for their lives.

“I knew I would have to be able to make peace with that,” says Twila.

She continued to pray for God’s best. After completing a children’s album, a project she had planned to do for 10 years, Twila dropped the tape in the mail for the producers. It was a fun project for her. Her focus on the album was to write songs that would provide spiritual principles for children at their most vulnerable times: at bedtime and when they arise.

“I’m making this for other people’s children,” she recalls thinking. “It wasn’t so much about sacrifice because I was so blessed to do that project.”

About four weeks later, Twila found out she was a month pregnant.

“That is so like God,” she says. “It speaks of God’s Father heart and is a testimony of His faithfulness.”

Now, J.P. is almost five years old, and Twila reflects on the joys and challenges of motherhood. While she was pregnant, she prayed almost everyday that J.P. would have a heart for God and he seems to be learning God's ways as Twila learned faith from her evangelist father. Twila sees J.P. as God's child and says sometimes she just feels like "the babysitter" who tries to do everything the real parent (who would be God) would do – she tries to raise J.P. as she thinks God would want her to raise him. Prayer, modeling, and speaking God's Word into J.P.'s life have been important parenting focus points for Twila and Jack. They hope to reflect God and model this for J.P. – as a parent, there are moments where Twila feels it is mission critical. Twila and Jack want J.P. to have a heart to follow God and obey God – they do this by modeling (obeying God themselves).

Twila's father is a strong parenting influence on her. He is a minister and has strong teaching gifts. Her grandparents were/are preachers. Twila holds onto the scripture that says that God pours out blessings to the righteous over several generations. Twila says her father has been a wonderful living example – he is her pastor, mentor and taught her music. She also says he has always given her ongoing capsules and moments of being there for her where he has spoken into Twila's life and shared with her. From this Twila believes people should add to the spiritual legacy they've been given. If people do this with material goods, why not with spiritual things? She also says that if your family has not been saved, whenever you come to the family of God, you can pass on the faith. Twila and her sibilings are trying to pass this on. They live in a three- mile radius of each other – it is good to see families and communities of faith. Twila says there is a benefit of knowing that your child's caregiver reinforces what you teach and has the same values, as community was in earlier times. Twila is already seeing the benefits of raising J.P. this way. She gets comments from Sunday school teachers that J.P. is very good – some of what she and her husband are teaching him is getting through.

The most important things that Twila and Jack want to teach J.P. are God's love, that God loves him, and to love God first. Also to obey – that obeying mom & dad helps him to obey God. J.P. has asked Jesus into his heart on his owns, but Twila says this decision for Christ still needs to be grown and nurtured. Even though J.P. is just a child, Twila thinks it is important to explain God to him at such a young age in a simple way.

In August of 2005, Twila Paris released her 19th album and her first-ever live recording, He Is Exalted: Live Worship, her first under a new contract with Integrity Music. Twila says, “Worship has always been an integral part of my concerts, even before I recorded my first album at the age of 19, I led a little worship band. So it’s always been important to me to cultivate a worshipful atmosphere, to inspire worship as life, as part of everything we do. Still, I’d never recorded anything that allowed you to feel that live worship event atmosphere, and I wasn’t sure going in that we could capture that, but it’s amazing to listen now and hear it...It was a new thing for me, but because we wanted this album to be more of a corporate experience, I felt it was good to include songs that were a little bit familiar...”

He is Exalted: Live Worship opens with the song "Lifted Higher," which sets the tone for the album. “There’s not a ‘story behind the song’ and it’s not taken from one specific scripture,” Twila says. “It’s just a very honest ‘from the heart’ moment of worship that happened as I was driving the car. Very simple, very singable and heartfelt. There are also seven new songs as well as some familiar favorites, such as "God is in Control." Although “God Is In Control” was written more than 10 years ago, Twila believes the message of the song may be even more timely today. “Almost every time I turn on the news, I need to be reminded that God is our foundation and that we can trust in Him and rest in Him, to turn our gaze to Him, where it should always be. I can’t remember a time when I needed to know that more.”

“When God calls us to do something, even if we enter a new season in our lives, He finds a way to enable us. Yes, it’s a challenge, but it’s clear what God is doing, where He’s leading and what He’s enabling me to do,” Twila says. “I have to be more intentional and disciplined about my songwriting now that I’m a mother. It’s not as spontaneous as it used to be, but the fact that I’ve been able to approach writing in a different way 20-plus years on and the fact that there are opportunities to record and do things in a fresh way, and that people are still listening, it’s like God is making a way—to quote Don Moen—and I believe He is doing just that...So as long as the Lord keeps opening these doors, I’ll be faithful to walk through them.”

He Is Exalted
He is Exalted

(Provident, 2005)

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