Renew, restore, refresh

The story behind the album ‘Devotion’

As we entered the ‘downturn’ or recession, three years ago, and we released the album ‘Trust’ which had a strong theme of finding God in suffering, several scriptures started to jump out as encouragements for us to continue to bear fruit, even in drought or famine (eg Jeremiah 22). David Peters helped to shape the song ‘You are good Lord’ and also ‘Glory to the God of grace and truth’. ‘Dancing in heaven’ was written for David Peter’s first wife Jane who died after a long struggle with MS in 2007, and also speaks of God’s promises ultimately being fulfilled, even when circumstances can be so challenging and opposite.

Then the context of the famous words of Joel 2 also struck me, ie that the promise of the Spirit was given in the season of loss, grief and repentance. God longs to ‘restore the years the locust have eaten’. So was born the song ‘Stolen years’ which has become a key piece wherever we have ministered in the last year or so. 

At the same time, we wanted to produce a CD which was as close to David’s solo or small acoustic band work as we could, as a refreshing contrast to the big live congregational CDs we have produced recently.

‘Be exalted Father’ based on a profound Tozer poem, speaks in to our materialistic age, especially in these challenging times and is a prayer that we place God above possessions, friendships, ambition, family, health and even life itself.

‘O Love that will not let me go’ this beautiful old Scots hymn, we have given a new tune, and expresses how we can hold on to God through every pain.

We have been able to include 2 bonus tracks live from Finland on the album, with our amazing young band there: ‘Harvest fields’ written to encourage to thank God for every small fruit, even while we lift up a whole nation to him, and ‘Holy Spirit of God’ which is a prayer in both languages, that God would pour out his Spirit and gifts in these days.

David Lyle Morris’s newest album, released on March 12, is pregnant with promise.

He’s written the 14 tracker to encourage the listener to promise to spend more devotional time with God, and filled it with music which is overflowing with God’s promises of grace and love.

Morris, who has spent three years on this project, recently told Challenge Weekly the album had “a very intimate acoustic guitar emphasis; it is more like having me in your lounge, this kind of intimacy rather than the big live worship which some of my other albums have”. Such intimacy, it seems, was discovered by the likes of legendary blues musician Eric Clapton more than a decade ago when he recorded his Unplugged album and sparked a whole series of albums by artists abandoning the big band sound for the acoustic guitar.

Morris, in taking such an approach and adding just a few other instruments to the mix, has come up with a very gentle album which had me turning the volume up so as not to miss any nuance as I listened while I drove.

Of the 14 songs The Stolen Years, inspired by Joel 2, resonated with me the most because it offered such hope. Then, I discovered a hand written note from Morris on the envelope in which the CD had arrived. “Track 3, Stolen Years, a good one for Christchurch – God can restore!” It included God saying, in its chorus: “I will repay the stolen years, soothing balm for all your fears/Wipe away every tear/I will restore the wasted years, sweetest music to your ears/Through the gloom, light appears”. And one of the choruses includes the wonderful guarantee: “Everyone, call on the name of the Lord and be saved”.

The first track, Glory to the God of Grace and Truth, introduces the listener to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is followed by Be Exalted, Father, in which Morris adapts lyrics from an A.W. Tozer poem to praise the trinity. You Are Good Lord follows The Stolen Years and compares Christians to “trees planted by the water” in a time of drought.

If you thought George Matheson’s hymn O Love That Will Not Let Me Go, written in 1882, was moving try Morris’ adaptation. Matheson said of the hymn: “It was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life. I had the impression of having it dictated to me by some inward voice rather than of working it out myself. I am quite sure that the whole work was completed in five minutes, and equally sure that it never received at my hands any retouching or correction. I have no natural gift of rhythm. All the other verses I have ever written are manufactured articles; this came like a dayspring from on high.” Morris’s version is quietly contemplative.

O Lord You Are Our God is a reflection on Isaiah 25, Embracing on Joshua 22. Dancing In Heaven was written for the funeral of Jane Peters, a family friend who had multiple sclerosis. Good Shepherd puts to music Jesus’s promise to lay his life down for his sheep. For Such A Time As This reflects on Morris’s time of ministry in Finland. Change Me was written for Morris’s baptism, in England, in 1986. Your Kindness Calls Us To Repentance speaks for itself, as does Harvest Fields of Finland where Morris obviously had so many God times. Holy Spirit of God, which closes this album, is a benediction of types as it asks “Holy Spirit of God, fall upon us”.

This is, indeed, a beautiful album.


Chris Gardner
Challenge Weekly NZ – March 2011

Thank you,

Jesus. For his covering and inspiration through a challenging year of health, and much travel, and three album projects.

Liz for 20 years of adventure, we are celebrating this year and the boys Euan and Finlay, for all your support and inspiration.

Our families, friends and Restore Trust supporters.

Evan Cooper, our producer – thanks for your passionate spirit, amazing talent and profound patience with us, the songs and the project.

Produced by Evan Cooper
Mixed by Nic Manders and Evan Cooper

The kiwi band
Thanks for making such a fresh sound and line-up for us, and being so creative.

Lead vocals – David Lyle Morris
Percussion – Martin Neil and Evan Cooper
Acoustic guitars – DLM, Evan and Matt Chapman
Pump organ and piano – Al Wood
Additional vocals – DLM, Evan and Janelle Belcher

The Finn band

Sessions written and engineered by ‘Manku’
Kiitos! Thanks for being such great friends and partners in Finland. You have amazing gifting and heart.

Drums – Markus Vainiomaki (‘Manku’)
Bouzouki, mandolin – Anders Liljeström
Vocals – Laura Grönholm
Cello – Kristiina Hirvonen
Violins – Heikki Tamminen

Song credits
All songs by DLM registered for world-wide cover with MCPS-PRS-Alliance (UK) and CCLI International

©2010 Tevita Music, PO Box 99655, Newmarket, Auckland, 1149, New Zealand

Glory to the God of Grace and Truth (Long Ago)

John 1 and 1 John 3

With Steve Apirana
Words by
David Lyle Morris and David Peters
Music by David Lyle Morris

Glory, glory,
Glory to the God of grace and truth  (repeat)

In you is life, and light shines in darkness
But the darkness has not understood
Though the world was made through you
They did not accept you
Your very own, did not embrace

Yet those who receive
To all who believe
You’ve made us children of heaven

How great a love, Father lavished on us
That we should be called ‘child of God’
When Christ appears, then we will be like him
We will see Jesus face to face

From the fullness of your grace
We have all received
One blessing after another

Be Exalated, Father

Adapted from a poem by Tozer

Be exalted, Father
Be exalted, Saviour
Be exalted, Spirit
Mighty God

None of earth’s treasures will be dear to us
Only you glorified in our lives
Make us ambitious to please only you
Even if we’re alone or despised
We elevate you, high above all

Though we lose all things, we carry our cross
Only keeping our word to you Lord
In all of our service to you, and your house
May we be remembered for good
We elevate you, high above all

Rise O God, take your proper place of honour
Hail the King, every nation in the earth
Rise O God, to your throne above the heavens
Where every tribe and tongue, cast crowns before your throne

Let us decrease, so you will increase
We bow, that you may rise (repeat)

Stolen Years

Joel 2

Return to me with all your heart, for I am gracious, compassionate
Slow to anger, abounding in love
Autumn rain, and in the spring, abundant showers, I will bring
Good grain, new wine, pure oil for your soul

I will repay the stolen years
Soothing balm for all your fears
Wipe away every tear

I will repay the stolen years
Sweetest of music to your ears
Through your gloom light appears

I pour out my Spirit while, your sons and daughters prophecy
Old men dream their dreams, young men see visions
I pour out my Spirit now, on men and women I will shower
Wonders in the heavens, and on earth

Everyone, call on the name of the Lord, and be saved (rpt twice)
By my mercy, I will do great things

Return to your stronghold, all you prisoners of hope (rpt twice)
Twice as much, will I restore to you

You are good, Lord

Jeremiah 17, Psalm 23 & 37

Words by David Lyle Morris and David Peters
Music by David Lyle Morris

You are good Lord, and your mercies endure (repeat)
Forever, and ever, forever

Blessed are those who trust God, with confidence in Him
Like trees are planted by the water, sending roots out by the stream
We will not fear when heat comes, our leaves are always green
No worry in a time of drought, bearing fresh fruit every year

Prepare a feasting table, before our enemies
Anoint us with the oil of favour, cup of generosity
In times of famine, we’ll not faint, abundance you will bring
You open hands to satisfy, desires of ev’ry living thing

Goodness and mercy, follow all our days
Come Holy Spirit, guide in all our ways
Goodness and mercy, follow all our days
Forever singing, Your eternal praise

O Love that will not let me go

Original hymn by George Matheson, Scotland 1882
Words amended by David Lyle Morris
Muaic by David Lyle Morris

O Love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in thee
I give you back the life I owe
That in your ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be (repeat)

O light that follows all my way
I yield my flick’ring torch to thee
My heart restores its borrowed ray
That in your sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be (repeat)

O Joy that seeks me through pain
I cannot close my heart to thee
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not vain
That dawn will tearless be (repeat)

O Cross that’s lifting up my head
I dare not ask to fly from thee
I lay in dust life’s glory dead
And from the ground there blossoms red
A Life that will endless be, my life will endless be

O Lord you are our God

O Lord you are our God, we exalt you and praise your name
Perfect in faithfulness, you have done marvelous things
Jesus you are our God, we wait for you, and God you save
So we rejoice, in such a great salvation

A refuge for the poor, safe harbor in distress
A shelter from the storm
Our shade from the heat of the sun

The walls are tumbling down, the nations all will bow
You silence enemies
The song of the ruthless will cease

The veil will be removed, and death will reign no more
Come wipe our tears away
Remove all your people’s disgrace

In that day, it will be said, it will be said
The Lord has spoken
In that day, it will be said, it will be said


Joshua 22:1 to 9

Keep the commandments, his law
Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways
Obeying his commands, embrace them

Serve Him with all your heart
Love him with all you are
Embrace him

We’re trusting in God, embracing
We will lean to his heart, embracing
Doing all we’re asked, with family and friends

Carry out his mission anew
God will give you rest, his promises are due
His unique demand, embrace it

You will return back home
To the sound of your songs once more
You will dance on the streets, ev’ry woman and man

We’re trusting in God, embracing
We will lean to his heart, embracing
Doing all we’re asked, with family and friends

Search for his abundance, seek him for his blessing
Sharing your inheritance, with family and friends

Stretch your arms out wide, call prodigals aside
Reach out cross the great divide, there’s room for many more inside

Humility breaks our pride, the kingdom reign won’t be denied
Hungry hearts are satisfied, thirsty souls no longer dry

Drink deep from heaven’s endless well
Never thirst again and know his health
The springs of everlasting life overflow to others from our lives

The way we are the way we live, our very selves, we offer him
We worship you with all our lives, our hearts and hands, mouths and eyes

In this covenant of love, government from above
Covenant of God, servants inspired by love

Father and Son, Mother and child, embracing
Brother and sister, man and wife, brown and yellow, black and white
Young and old, prisoner and the free, embracing

Dancing in Heaven

Hosea 2:15

For Jane Peters

Make the valley of trouble
A door of hope
For there she will sing
As in the days of her youth

Her lips, her eyes
That beautiful smile
The fragrance of Jesus
Aroma of love

Her lips, her eyes
That beautiful smile
The fragrance of Jesus
Grace of God

Free at last
Dancing in heaven
Free at last
Perfect healing

Radiate the love of Christ
His divine acceptance
Radiate the Grace of God
Miraculous forgiveness

Good Shepherd

Psalm 23, John 10:1 to 21

I’m the Good Shepherd, and I lay down my life for you
I lead you to pastures green, living water in crystal streams
I call my own sheep by name, while listening to my voice
You will not heed a stranger’s call, I lead you out from danger’s walls

I lay down my life, to take it up again
No-one takes it from me, I lay it down
Won’t you lay down your life, taking up your cross?
You may suffer great loss
So you know Christ

I’m the gate through which you’re saved, to life in all it’s fullness
No-one steals you away from me, though the thief comes deceitfully
I give you eternal life, and you will never perish
For Father and the Son are one
Our will be done, our Kingdom come

For such a time as this

Book of Esther
Written as a prayer for the nation Finland, in Finland August 2008

We come into the presence of the king, begging mercy
Pleading with you for our people
Approach your grace in the holy place, with trembling
Reach out gracious hands toward us
Spare our lives, your people cry

For such a time as this, we plead your faithfulness
If we remain silent at this time
The earth will cry out, for deliverance
Will it arise from another place?
Let it be us, lift our disgrace
Don’t pass us by, we seek your face

Change Me

Written at the time of my baptism in England 1986

There’ve been many influences on my life
But there’s nothing as profound as you
I get up each day, and I fervently pray
That you’ll shape me more to the likeness of you

I’ve travelled in many parts of this complex world
And the thing I know the best is the road
I feel threatened by any insular sets, or cliques
Yet my soul is aching for a home

Change me, change this independent soul
Change me, and lead me home

I’ve been fortunate to know some intimate love
But somehow it seems such a momentary thrill
I’ve been neglected flat, when I thought I’d given my all
I feel torn by hurt and my inadequacy in love

Change me, change this unforgiving soul
Change me, and make me whole

I’ve been given the ability to attempt anything
I feel like a jack of all trades and a master of none
I pray you’ll help me fight the pressures
Of my peers and this world
And be zealous and content with what you lead me to do

Change me, change this competitive role
Change me, and mould me anew
Make me more like you

You kindness calls us to repentance

Romans 1:18 to 2:16

Though we know you God, your everlasting power
This divine mystery, we’ve not glorified
Our weak mind’s confused, our thoughts often futile
Foolish hearts darken, direction fragile

We claim to be wise, yet, we have been so foolish
Trade glory of Holy God, for image of mortal earth
We yield to desires, of our sinful hearts
Exchange the truth of God, for many deadly lies

Your kindness calls us to repentance
So we turn from our ways
Back to your path
We will only seek your praise
Burn your law on our hearts

We worship the creature, rather than Creator
Honour gods we fashion, instead of God who made us
Succumb to lusts of shame, lay down our knowing God
Give in to wicked minds, we’ve done, what we should not

We show contempt for, the riches of your grace
Your tolerance and patience, for this in-human race
Forgive our stubbornness, and unrepentant heart
In light of your righteousness, we should live apart

Let us not be self-seeking, or throw away the truth
Nor follow ways of evil, help us keep on doing good
We seek your peace, immortality
your honour and your glory

Harvest Fields

Miriads of butterflies
fly their only flight
Wild flowers of Purple,
orange, gold and white

Sumptious mushrooms spreading
on the forest floor
Berries of all colours, flavours,
give me some more!

So a child may be healed
a heart will be freed
a prayer can be answered
And a mind now is eased

Our hearts hunger for the harvest fields
And we long that a nation could be saved
We can miss the precious treasure at our feet
The smallest of fruit can be so sweet

Birds count the days
till their global flight begins
reeds sway so gently,
to the seabreeze tune

Deer feasting guiltily,
on farmers future crop
Manifold of Lichen sprawl
on rugged granite rocks

So an eye may now see
an ear will now hear
Legs soon are walking
and the dumb may now speak

Our hearts hunger for the harvest fields
And we long that a nation could be saved
We can miss the precious treasure at our feet
The smallest of fruit can be so sweet

Fish in languid waters,
in warm Northern sun
Life springs vivaciously,
where snows soon will come

Pines stand so tall and proud
preparation for cold
The moose escapes the hunter
as in legend days of old

So a soul may be saved
A promise is made
A passion is sacrificed
A hand now is raised

Our hearts hunger for the harvest fields
And we long that a nation could be saved
We can miss the precious treasure at our feet
The smallest of fruit can be so sweet

Miracles everyday
Blessings that come our way
Angels that cross our path
Prodigals are streaming back

Holy Spirit of God

Finnish chorus lyric

Henki Jeesuksen, elämämme
Henki rakkauden, saavu tänne
Henki Jeesuksen, meidät peitä
Hoida siunaten, auta meitä

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