Monday, February 06, 2006

Big bear of a Christian

Danny Daniels was at my church yesterday. It was one of many regular visits that began about 10 years ago. It seems like he's a part of our church.

I've had the unique opportunity to play with Danny, who flogged me as he does most drummers. Once during a quiet lunch while he was in town, I got an earful about my previous chosen profession, journalism. The man's not shy with his opinions, and he believes worship requires a certain amount of professionalism as much as it requires musicians who are also worshippers. He also believes all journalists should be shot. Or most of them, I suppose, because he didn't shoot me.

I love the guy.

The thing about Danny is he is so endearing almost in spite of himself, and he never stops talking about the Gospel or ministry. If you get him going on politics, he can get off on a tangent, but he'll pull right back into some other point he wants to make about being a missional Christian. It's infectious. He can get anyone excited about working for the Kingdom.

Danny is a fine musician and songwriter. His raspy, dulcet baritone voice is a perfect companion to his bluesy stylings. He also plays the harmonica like he grew up in an Alabama cottonfield. I don't know where in Southern California he learned how to play like that, but it's not on my map.

With so many musicians -- even Christian musicians -- making decisions based on what's good for their bank accounts, Danny remains a man of the earth. I'm sure the man would love to have a three-record deal with some Nashville distributor and lots of marketing beef behind him, but even if he did, I'm not sure Danny would be capable of changing his man-of-the-people behavior patterns. He was put on this Earth to challenge authority. There's an element of an OT prophet in him.

Those of us in the Vineyard have come to look to Danny for what he rightly terms "Vineyard DNA," which is much simpler than the confounded theology we often hear about. It's about being real and letting God work through us in simple ways. It's about being available to talk about Jesus, and not getting wrapped up in ourselves.

Danny often kids about not being able to repeat the prayer he said when he was saved -- too many cuss words. But you get around him, with his earnest words and sincere desire to serve, and you doubt he has ever lost that newbie Christian fervor. I know I am envious of that.

If you ever meet him, though, don't ever let him make you think he's some sort of an anti-intellectual. He may use small words (by choice) and appeal to the average man, but he has plenty of insight into the Word. Once you get beyond the biker bar bluesman look and feel, you will discover Danny's a talented expositor of the Word. He can really dig into stuff and preach.

Check out Danny's schedule on his website. He's worth a visit when comes to your town.

No comments: