‘Life story’ – ‘Best of DLM’ album – Interview

‘Life story’ – ‘Best of DLM’ album – Interview

A singer/songwriter who began life as the child of military parents and had lived in three countries by the age of nine has continued his international wandering as a singer and teacher on worship.

David Lyle Morris released this his 12th album in 2010. Morris called his latest album Lifestory, because the songs recorded on it chart the journey of his life over the last 22 years, “through grief and to a new birth”. Tracks on the album were recorded with different backing bands and in different countries, so a range of musical styles is heard on the album.

Lifestory was produced with the help of Integrity Music in Singapore and, says the artist, “looks back at my life, ministry and my journey of discovery in music and worship”.

So what makes Morris tick? Well for one thing, he has a desire to see people have a more child-like faith. “In the West we can lose this; we have to worship with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength. I plead with Western cultures, that people need a childlike abandonment, and a total trust of God as a loving father who doesn’t need to be continually questioned. Sometimes we over-analyse. ‘Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so’ — if we really know this as adults, especially in Western culture, we would have a lot less stress and be a lot more liberated,” says Morris.

“I find music a great language for undoing people, giving sheer exuberance and the trust that you see in children. So I pray that God will keep me young in spirit. We need to allow God to soften hearts, to not be cynical. We need to be like the kids whom Jesus took onto his lap. God wants us to allow him to hold us and carry us”.

Being part of renowned UK contemporary Christian worship leader/composer Graham Kendrick’s band and ministry for 13 years has a lot to say about Morris’s love of touring and leading worship. “Kendrick taught us theology and music on the road. We went to Nigeria, Russia, France, Czech Republic and many other countries. The band had people of different nationalities.”

The artist recently returned from releasing his album at the most significant Lutheran Church in Finland’s capital of Helsinki, The White Cathedral. This month he spent a week checking out Willow Creek Church in the United States.

Morris frequently travels to Finland, Ireland and Fiji. “I have ministered several times in Singapore, Hong Kong and the US. Certain countries hold a special place in my heart as it is a thing God does. God put Finland on my heart. I first went there in 1993; something happened…I had a good connection with the main Church in Finland, the Lutheran Church.” Morris says he goes there to, “Encourage new life in the more traditional churches; it is good having tradition and the more modern going hand-in-hand. It is great using ancient tunes, but having new lyrics and a modernised tune”.

Some of his songs have even been translated into Finnish and French, and are in the process of being translated into Chinese languages.

Morris loves teaching others in seminars about worship. “Worship is such a key in God’s Kingdom. I teach about worship and the importance of having passion in worship. We need to release passion in our worship, especially in our Western culture. We can be so inhibited. We need to be open and open to surprises, and to expressing emotion in worship — including pain, grief, suffering as well as victory and praise. I write in this area. My album Trust, released in 2007, is built around the theme of suffering and finding rest in God in our trials and battles. It is okay to express our pain in worship. God will lift our heads so we find his joy”.

Morris has another concern. “I have a plea to the older generation: to pray for, support and mentor the younger generation. I am saying this over and over again. We mustn’t disconnect with young people because we can’t understand their language or things in their world. Increasingly people need fathering and mentoring, in an increasingly fractured society.”

This busy musician certainly has no plans to slow down and has already started work on his next album, to be called Devotion.

He also hopes to add new countries such as South Korea to his well-worn itinerary and will be visiting a few Korean churches around Auckland this year.


DLM new acoustic album Devotion for New Year 2011 release

DLM new acoustic album Devotion for New Year 2011 release

Thrilled with how the new album is progressing, despite delays for health and August world tour!

The Finn band have added some superb strings and other tasty bits. Evan Cooper and I are heading for the mix in November. Will keep you posted on the release date in the New Year.

Here is the lyric of ‘Stolen Years’ from Joel 2 which has had strong reaction throughout NZ and Finland. Appreciate your prayers as we complete this special project.

On ya David

Stolen Years

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

David Lyle Morris and David Peters
©2009 Tevita Music
Po Box 99655 Newmarket, Auckland 1149, NZ

World Tour report August 2010

David had an amazing round the world tour after recovering from his May operation and infection.

1. USA

David’s trip to Willow Creek with friends, for the Global Leadership Summit, was an amazing, inspiring experience. We received so much from hanging out as friends, our church hosts, the world class teaching on leadership, business, ministry, sport and China. There was the chance to see some of the operations of this amazing large church, the beauty of Chicago’s architecture, and across the lake in Southhaven, a taste of old style holiday America, where I was able to bodysurf on one rough day! A lake the size of an Ocean! Everything is so BIG in the USA! A real insight in to the pressures the nation is facing in identity, security, immigration, finance, the military etc

2. London, Finland and Singapore

Thanks for your prayers for and help to the family, staying home in NZ, as this was a total of a month away for David over these two trips.

Guitar – was broken on way to London! Guitarist in Finnish band Anders is a luthier, and did a great job of fixing it once I arrived in Finland

Travel – the flights went so well in terms of exit row leg room, sleep etc


Concert with Mike Burn hosting on the Sat night – was a great chance to connect with a number of friends from the South East, and enjoy working with a super young band. A lovely way to recognise all God has done over the last 9 years, and to share some of the new songs charting the way forward.
Many were on holiday then sadly, so we will need to visit again sometime. The Sunday morning church service with Mike was a powerful time, as a flood of worship was released.

FINLAND 23 Aug to 1 Sep

David helped to lead worship at the 3rd annual Urban Dream Mission in Helsinki.

There was further opportunity to promote the Finnish/English live worship CD ‘Urban Praise’ (of which we are really proud) and to work with ministry friends and the band who we have built such a special connection with over the last 2 years – I felt we went deeper again in God as a ministry team, with several key leaders expressing they felt this was the best mission so far, in terms of teamwork and ease of atmosphere.

There were many highlights

  • Singing on the streets and a café – reviving the busker spirit and that cutting edge evangelistic feel, meeting street people etc
  • Working with a major Finnish pop star there who is wrestling with her faith and life in a very public way, but made a strong city witness
  • Leading worship for our Finnish publisher Paiva and staff there with Max (percussion and vocals) and Jarmo (flute) – something about the intimate acoustic approach with no mics etc!
  • Church ministry on the Sunday
  1. 12 noon service with Tapani Suonto at One Way Mission
    Again lovely intimate worship service, with Jarmo’s 17-year-old daughter Jemina joining us to sing – great to see many younger ones having the opportunity to learn about ministry from every angle
  2. Suhe service – the home church for most of the band
    Time and time again God uses us there in fresh ways, this time particularly through the song ‘Stolen Years’ from Joel 2, which will feature on the new CD

SINGAPORE Thurs 2 to Mon 6 Sep

Fri 3 Sep
Meetings with Integrity Asia about the release of Devotion went well
Good discussions re the right plan to come together for publishing and distribution
We are so grateful for this new door, and the opportunities throughout the region

Sat 4 Sep Worship workshop
with Bethesda Cathedral worship team of around 60 – was a wonderful day of opening the word, sharing experiences of the challenges of the ministry, playing together and critiquing songs, techniques etc.

The Church is so strong in Singapore (probably 3 times as many of their similarly sized 4 million population go to church, compared to NZ!) – this is one of the mid-tier churches and has a 2000 plus seater auditorium, among other facilities. Singaporean Christians have a strong sense of mission, and being a gateway to the Chinese world. There is a new challenge to them I sense in the area of materialism, and also the influence of the casino culture, which is only new there.

Sun 5 Sep
Led morning worship at Barker Rd Methodist church – played with a couple who are considering coming to NZ as missionaries! Great response to our songs, with a real hush over the end of the service as I played ‘Who can separate us’ from Romans 8. CDs were lapped up and always the Chinese would like them signed, so neat chance to meet and talk to many. A real boost of confidence comes from the way they honour us.

Evening live radio concert with 107FM at 7pm
This is an Adventist ministry, the only Christian radio station broadcast into Singapore. The concert was a beauty, as I played solo, and sang with a crowd in a lovely theatre. Was a super way to finish up, with a strong sense of Jesus close to us.

David dates for London Finland and Singapore Aug/Sep 2010

LONDON Sat 21 Aug
David Lyle Morris in concert – worship and ministry

Beckenham Hall, Beckenham, Kent

Saturday 21 August
Start time is 6.30pm
Free admission – an offering will be taken for Restore Trust

Families welcome
There will be an interval, with the chance to buy refreshments
There is a car park in St George’s Road – just 2 minutes from the hall

FINLAND 23 Aug to 1 Sep
David leads worship at the 3rd annual Urban Dream Mission in Helsinki
Further opportunity to promote the live worship CD ‘Urban Praise’ and to work with ministry friends and the band who we have built such a special connection with over the last 2 years

Church ministry on Sunday 29 Aug
1. 12 noon service with Tapani Suonto at One Way Mission
2. 5pm Suhe service

SINGAPORE Thurs 2 to Mon 6 Sep

Fri 3 Sep
Meeting s with Integrity Asia about the release of Devotion
Pls pray for the right plan to come together for publishing and distribution of the new album ‘Devotion’

Sat 4 Sep Worship workshop with
Bethesda Cathedral

Sun 5 Sep
Lead morning worship at
Barker Rd Methodist church

Evening live radio concert with 107FM at 7pm