the key to passion (remembering dana key)

I was saddened to learn early Monday of the passing of Dana Key, guitarist and singer for the legendary Christian rock duo DeGarmo & Key. Even though I was just reconnecting for the new week, somehow I broke the news even to friends well versed in Christian music. Guess Twitter is today’s news ticker. Read the CCM article here.

I loaded every “D&K” song I have in iTunes on Monday afternoon and listened to them while I worked. Boy, did that take me back. My first album (tape, actually – this was before we had a CD player) was The Pledge (Amazon Associates product link), released in 1989. I listened to that thing over and over again. Remember how when you kept rewinding to that one song so many times, it made a click on the tape whenever you played it? That song for me was “I’m Accepted.” During my junior year in high school, when I was really getting into Christian music but before I genuinely made a commitment to Christ, this song was one that shaped both my thinking about and my affection for Jesus.

The Pledge

Amazon Associates product link

I may not be rich
Don’t wear fashion clothes
Don’t live in a mansion
Don’t have much that shows
Never won a contest in popularity
Don’t have much to offer
But Jesus loves me
I’m accepted, accepted
I’m accepted by the One who matters most

Never set a record in sports agility
Never was magnetic in personality
That don’t really matter
I’ll do the best I can
‘Cause there’s a God above me
Who loves me like I am
I’m accepted, accepted
I’m accepted by the One who matters most

If you think you’re a loser
When you fail it seems at everything you do
Just remember there’s a Savior
And you are worth enough
He gave His life for you
I’m accepted, accepted
I’m accepted by the One who matters most

Just reading those words again such warm memories to flood back. I listened to a lot of Christian music in that year before I gave my life to Christ as 1990 passed into 1991. Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, BeBe & CeCe Winans, Reneé Garcia, Kenny Marks, dc Talk, Rick Cua, First Call, Glad, Take 6, Eric Champion, and Ray Boltz all spoke into my sponge of a just barely pre-Christian mind. (There’s the Michael W. Smith video I watched right before praying that prayer, the Eric Champion album that emboldened my witness, the Take 6 songs I basked in to fortify me for every shift at McDonald’s, and the Ray Boltz song I first sang in church.) They continued to be formative as I explored Scripture as a baby believer, eager to learn and grow. I also found an Integrity Hosanna worship tape in old boom box we found out no longer worked. I popped that into the deck of the car yesterday and again, it took me back so clearly to those days when I was so passionately in love with Jesus my freshman year of college. What I would give to hit some sort of reset button and instantly recover that zeal!

Think back to the time in your life when you felt that fire only a brand-new Christian can experience. What albums, artists, and songs defined you during that time?

I invite you to join me in a little experiment. Think back to the time in your life when you felt that fire only a brand-new Christian can experience. What albums, artists, and songs defined you during that time? Listen to them however you can. Dig the albums/tapes/CDs out of storage, pull them up on iTunes if you have them there, or find a way to stream them online. Now, take a quick inventory of your life as it is today? In what ways have you lost the passion and “first love” dedication you once had? What would it take to begin to return to that place in your life?

Please share your experiences with us. What are those songs, albums, or artists for you?

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About andrew burden

andrew blogs about being a volunteer youth leader, teacher, video editor, husband, friend, child of God
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