Getting my Heart and my Head on the Same Page

From the cluttered desk of Derek
From the cluttered desk of Derek

CLICK RIGHT HERE! It’s been a few weeks since I referred you to my local column, featured in Wake Forest Today. So this morning – the third day into Lent – I’d like you to click on the link and read the faith perspective I was able to share with our community.

The title of the article is “Getting my Heart and my Head on the Same Page.” It begins like this:

“This week marks the beginning of “Lent,” the season of preparation for Easter in the Christian calendar. And with Ash Wednesday services cancelled throughout the region due to ice on the roads and a concern for safety, I was thankful that my church had scheduled an additional mid-day observance that survived the weather veto.

“It’s not so much that ritual is necessary for spiritual practice as that sometimes I need all the help I can get when it comes to getting my heart and my head on the same page. That’s where the sacred rhythms of the church year can be so helpful…”

not just for looking at
Day-by-day dear Lord…

BRAIN LOCK: Then I share a story from the Ash Wednesday service at WFPC. I stood up to play guitar, but then my brain froze and I couldn’t get past the first chord! Eventually, the GODSPELL rendition of “Day by Day” started to work its way through my heart and into my fingers. It wasn’t what I had planned, but I believe it’s exactly what God intended for me to say:

“Day by day
Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day
“And there it was, the pitch-perfect plan for spiritual growth over the next few weeks between now and Easter. The entire point of Lent – the best possible spiritual practice when it comes to getting my heart and my mind on the same page – springs from the simple idea of see, love, and follow.”

Check out the balance of the column at Reading Between the Lines, Wake Forest Today.

Don’t miss this opportunity to reach toward Easter, and to walk purposefully with Jesus along the way – DEREK


  1. I resonated with your meditation, Derek. When it comes to playing the guitar however, it’s getting my heart and fingers on the same page, especially a song like Day by Day with it’s tricky rhythm and unusual chord combo’s. But when it comes to loving God with my heart and mind, we are taught to do both.

    I read somewhere that God put the heart first in the commandment because the heart should rule the mind, not vice versa. And i think Jesus confirmed that somewhere, with the some words to the effect that the issues of life proceed from the heart. If God is anything like my wife, I think he enjoys love that comes from my heart first, then from my mind.

    Yet professional churchmen (like I guess you and i are) weren’t we trained vice versa in the school of neck high faith? I don’t remember any courses offered at Princeton Seminary that taught me how to sing and dance like David, rejoice like Paul or love like Jesus. .


    • Good words, thank you.
      Of course, Paul does recommend that we become “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” But it’s making that connection all the way down to the heart that counts. For my wife and I (Rebekah is the pastor, I’m a writer/teacher), serving in Presbyterian churches, it’s always been about the challenge of inviting people to know God with everything that they are (heart, mind, soul, strength)… and we’ve enjoyed 33-years of extremely positive, encouraging, redemptive, watching-people-grow, experiences.
      God is gracious, and we are grateful.
      Peace – DEREK


    • Imagine if we went around handling situations solely with our mind, trying to use intellect and logic without the heart. I envision a world full of robots. Or, as a Trekkie, I can easily picture “Data” or “Spock” who act and react based on logic and statistics. Then there are the Geordi La Forges and Captain Kirks who remind them that it’s not that simple. The heart isn’t simple at all, which is what gets us in trouble sometimes when we try to question God’s motives. But in the end, God is love and that is what He commands, whether we ponder it thoughtfully or rejoice in it exuberantly. I don’t think there’s a way to love Him incorrectly, as long as our love is pure.


  2. My church thankfully avoided a blustery winter night on Ash Wednesday. I couldn’t believe it’s already here! I was humbled at the service for the smallness of the attendance and the greatness of the occasion. What a keen reminder that it’s time to get real about my sin and my need to abstain and reflect in honor of Christ’s eternal sacrifice. It is my prayer that those who weren’t able to make it out in the winter weather were able to search within and celebrate the beginning of Lent in their hearts.


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