David Lyle Morris talks to Challenge Weekly reporter Michael Hamilton about his new release ‘Devotion’.
Prolific and popular New Zealand singer/songwriter David Lyle Morris has completed his 13th album. I caught up with Morris at his house recently to chat about his new album Devotion and his plans for this year. You wonder how Morris finds the time to make an album. He is active in ministry and manages to pop up at events around the country, the most recent being Parachute Music festival in January and last week’s the New Zealand Christian Leaders’ Congress, where he led worship.
He was enthusiastic about Parachute and said it was great to see worship artist Chris Tomlin and preacher Louie Giglio ministering at the event. “They have had had a positive influence on music and the youth scene in the United States in recent years,” he pointed out.
Morris also recently did some ministry in Finland, and he now plans to go to several cities where Rugby World Cup match events will be held, to hold concerts. He takes any opportunity he can to minister in churches around the country.
Devotion was three years in the making and, says its creator, has “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. “The emphasis is on Scriptures that have helped me, my wife and some friends, in issues we have been through. This includes grief over marriages, death of peers, family issues — and the whole economic recession which we have been going through,” explains Morris. The music on the album, he adds, would work “really well in a devotional”. “It is good for listening to during a person’s devotions or quiet times. It is intended for all Christians, but I believe God will minister through the music and lyrics to people facing hard times”. “Maybe we are being thrown on God in a new way. It is a time to trust God. We have to turn to God. God can renew, restore, refresh in miraculous ways. There is hope and we can trust in God.
“The deliberate intention was to identify with people’s pain in the songs so that they can find release from what they are feeling, and more importantly in the spiritual sense that the biblical lyrics should bring healing when people soak in them. The music is helpful, and has a Finnish string trio included”.
Morris said he felt that a key song was The Stolen Years, based on Joel 2, saying that God would restore “the years that the locusts have eaten”. The singer said the song had the sense that God wanted to restore people, that his heart was to replenish and restore people, so we could have hope even when all seemed lost.
The song Dancing In Heaven relates to a woman, Jane Peters, who was wheelchair-bound with multiple sclerosis. Jane, who was the wife of Auckland pastor David Peters, died in 2007. “Jane lived a beautiful life and I was asked to write a song for her funeral,” he explained.
You Are Good Lord is based on Jeremiah 17 and the promise of God that “we can continue to bear fruit even through dry times. As Christians we can have a greater hope than people who do not know Christ and who rely on material things”.
Be Exalted Father was inspired by a poem written by A W Tozer in his book The Pursuit Of God. “It speaks 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. I read the poem and it totally blew me away,” added Morris.
DEVOTION ALBUM INTERVIEW CHALLENGE WEEKLY NZ 2011