Prime Cuts: God of Our Fathers, True North, God is in Control
There's something much more menacing that a flat out persecution of Christianity. If you attempt to annihilate Christianity by blatantly crucifying its leaders or by forcefully closing down churches, all you will end up doing is to fuel more passionate embers to burn for Christ. Thus, the best offensive against Christianity that Satan has employed over the years is not to eradicate Christianity. Rather, it is to delineate Christianity to the peripherals of society; to somehow convince people en mass that religion is such an individualistic affair that we don't need to stuff it down people's throats by having public prayers in schools or even mention the name "Jesus" in the work place. Slowly but surely such a tactic tacitly removes the fangs out of Christianity that over time it becomes a toothless lion purring without any threat to Satan's evil schemes.
Refusing to submit to such schemes from the evil one is Twila Paris. And such a burden is presented in this collection of songs entitled "God Shed His Grace: Songs of Grace and Freedom." "God Shed His Grace" is Paris' 23rd release. It's not precisely a new album or a greatest hits collection. Rather, this album is Paris' "love letter and prayer" for America. These 13 songs are expressions of Paris' burden not to push God and Christianity to the sideline. Rather, these offerings serve two purposes: first, these songs are her prayers offered to God to help us make Jesus central again in our country. And second, these songs ought to incite us as Christians to stand up for the cause of Christ and the morals He espouses in our homes, in our workplace, and in the running of the politics of our nation.
Save for two brand new songs "America the Beautiful" and "God of Our Fathers," the rest of the songs are handpicked by Paris from her former releases. The album starts off with Paris' rendition of the 1876 hymn "God of Our Fathers," a paean written in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the US Declaration of Independence. And this hymn which calls upon God's guidance upon the nation is appropriately followed by the title cut of Paris' 1999 album "True North." "True North" is essentially a song of prayer that aims to point our moral and spiritual compass back to Jesus. While the 1 Corinthians influenced "Wisdom" and her most notable hit "God is in Control" place God back in our nation's throne.
"America the Beautiful," which is the album's other newly recorded tune, gets a Paris treatment which features a gorgeous piano introduction leading to a string-laden chorus. Yet, Paris' focus is more than just the US alone. Though it doesn't have the most memorable melodic line, "I See You Standing" finds its inspiration in the real life account of a young man who stood before a tank at the Tiananmen Square. While "What Did He Die For" tells of the sacrifice of soldiers that Paris witnessed while watching the footage of World War II on TV.
As the Apostle Paul has admonished us as Christians to pray for our leaders, "God Shed His Grace: Songs of Grace and Freedom" provides us with 13 well-crafted prayers we can use to fulfill such a Scriptural calling.