04.24.11 - Easter And Other Heart Matters

Where to start?
It rocked. 
The End.
If you’ve been following my Tweets, Facebook posts or photos on Flickr you’ll know that this Easter was going to be just a little extra special this year. Oakleaf Christian Fellowship acquired 28 wonderfully unique acres of land from God, located in the vicinity of the Oakleaf community. 
Much love and hard work went into cutting down “the jungle” to a manageable size over the last two weeks. I’m sure we’ll receive tons of thank you letters from surrounding communities as they wake to find snakes, frogs and other creepy crawly things showing up on their front porches, in their pools, and generally sunning themselves on their outdoor furniture. We’re givers - what can we say? 

So Easter morning started off with a sprinkling of youth and adults who came out to the property to usher in the morning with God...watching the darkness being pushed out by the light...thanking Him, praising Him and asking for protection, provision and blessings. I’m so thankful to have had the experience. 
I have a bit of “performance anxiety” when it comes to praying OUT LOUD. The fact remains that I felt God had laid on my heart specific things about the property & the "essential elements" that are on it now. Now...what I actually prayed sounded nothing like what my heart had felt but I’m thankful for the opportunity just the same. God knows my heart and I don’t ever want to be afraid to praise Him. I photographed what my heart saw, not what my eyes saw.

Lord you’ve given us land - a place for You to show us how to create Heaven on Earth.Teach us how to be vigilant watchman & diligent caretakers of what you have given us because this is part of Your Kingdom - where YOU are King of kings & Lord of lords, and where we serve with truth and love.
You’ve given us trees and how beautifully they transform this landscape and help stabilize the ground. Cause our roots to go deep and continually grow deep so that we weather the storms in your grace. Weave us strongly together as a family knowing that not everyone is meant to stay - but that those bonds You’ve created will forever connect them to this place and given them a sense of belonging. 

Lord, you’ve given us a house - it’s a structure that speaks of a foundation which has been  established and it speaks of a history. God we acknowledge that its history will unfold as we inhabit it more and more - but Lord we ask that you break off any generational curses that inhabit this place and consecrate this as a holy place where generational blessings begin. A home whose foundational corner stone is literally laid by you and every stone will be evidence of Your ability and provision. 

The stream of moving & living water...Lord, manifest Your peace here & let life be found here. Give us grace to be genuine in what we say and do. Let this be a place of rejuvenation and nourishment and a source of blessing manifested in Your power. Let the souls who come searching here be awakened & satisfied and leave abundantly prepared to do battle. 

Lastly Lord you’ve given us a barn...a storehouse! Show us how to be a transparent source of Your strength for the believer and the unbeliever, the weary and the strong - to build your children up and send them out. May we never forget to be humbled and stand in awe of you as we see our storehouses filled then emptied and know that it’s truly Your provision and will, not man’s...because you are a God who can do exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever ask or think.

Lord, as Job cried out to God - “Lord I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” Show us how and where to join you every day in what you’re doing in this place. AMEN!

Around 10:00 a.m. the hardest working praise band in the city... 
...made the service today wonder-fully, wonderful. Huge shade trees & a slight breeze made it that much better. Gooder? Whatever - it rocked. With the band decked out in their full gear and the voices of a lot of happy people, we brought the surrounding neighborhood to their full upright and awake position. 
One of the things that is at the forefront of my mind when we gather - wether it be a sunrise service or a regular Sunday service - surely He is walking among us. This evening I had the thought - what if Jesus manifest himself in the form of a stranger. Could I have been so busy worshiping that I didn’t see Him? And if he did - would I have recognized Him? 

My minds eye could picture Him walking in and around the families as we sang. 

Maybe when Jeff started speaking He leaned against a tree and stayed for a few moments...then he saw that things were going to be just fine and decided to move among us. 

Maybe he noticed the kids playing in the fields and ran along side them. 

Maybe as they were using sidewalk chalk to praise Him in a “childlike” way He sat encouraging them in what they were drawing. Who knows...maybe God does look like this! 

My pastor seems to have a way for making certain verses in the Bible come alive, and I think that’s a direct reflection of his heart. Here’s what my heart heard today...
“Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded together in a place by itself.” 
I’m going to try and do justice to the historical significance I heard about the folded napkin/handkerchief this morning...when the master of a house was at the table eating, the servant would know to clear the table if the master took the napkin, crumpled it up and left it on the table. However, if he took the napkin and folded it, that signified to the servant not to clear the table because the master wasn’t finished and would be coming back. Can't you already see where this is going? It gave me goosebumps when I heard it... 
Jesus folded the handkerchief that had been around his head and laid it in the tomb to signify...”I’m not done yet! I am coming back!”. How sweet that Jesus would include this seemingly small detail in the victorious telling of His profoundly a folded handkerchief spoke to me today! It’s not finished until He says it’s finished!
At the end of the service, Rob stood in unity with the band and blew the shofar. If you've never heard it, it's kind of hard to describe...what I do know is that it grabs your attention...and in my mind it's loud enough that surely God hears it :) For me personally, that moment represented the ushering in of the continual presence of God to His land...and it took my heart to a whole other level.

Just a parting thought of goodness...

My hope is that your Easter was filled with just as many pleasant, funny and heart warming moments as well!!


  1. Wonderful, beautiful, lovely, amazing. Xo

  2. :) Thank ya kindly...God is good that's for sure!!

  3. Meredith Jozwik4/27/2011

    I am overwhelmed by your insight and so grateful that you have chosen to share your heart with us. My day has been blessed more abdundantly because of this - thank you Karen - you are a blessing to me.

  4. *BLUSH* are so sweet to encourage me - THANK YOU!! I couldn't be more grateful for this season of my life...being able to enjoy it like I never have before. Thursday morning with you all is one facet that keeps me so inspired...getting to see God working in the lives of my sisters. Then being able to witness first hand what TRUE faith in God looks like while you and your family walked through Alison's passing....for that YOU were/are a blessing to ME!! The fact that you and Ingrid are Disney freaks just like me SO sweetens the deal :)