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As I stepped into Kinship Radio’s 15th Annual Day for Women at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato right around lunchtime last Saturday, I was immediately struck by two unmistakable smells:


Coffee and Joy.


While the smell of coffee is easily identifiable, I would be hard-pressed (or perhaps French-pressed) to precisely describe the smell of joy.


But there were happy women everywhere. And coffee. And fruit and other delicious things to eat. And beauty from the crafts created in the mini-sessions. And, their were hearts filled with sharing and love and yes, joy. 


All around me, people were helping other people make the day wonderful and memorable for others. I later learned there were about 50 volunteers and staff making it all possible. 


Joyful praise and worship rose in song throughout the day from the Hosanna Worship Band. 


But I think the joy was all around and filling the air because it was obvious the Holy Spirit was present in awesome power. 


I have heard at least one story of a life being changed by Jesus, but I cannot share because I don’t have enough details to be accurate and, well, it’s not my story to tell. Perhaps the Lord will make a way for that to come to light later.


Ginny Owens spoke wonderfully and shared deeply. In her last address to the approximately 750 ladies assembled there, she spoke of Hannah from 1 Samuel and her anger and resentment at God for leaving her childless. Resentment toward God, said Owens, is actually a lot better than the “polite prayers” we slip into when our prayer lives wane and we are no longer honest with God. 


“Dear God, please bless everyone. Good night. Amen,” 


And in “polite prayer” like that, we are not being real with our heavenly Father. We have lost the relationship Jesus died on the cross and stepped out of the grave to win for us. 


Real relationships involve pain and hurt and anger and resentment –because those things happen to all of us and there is no real relationship without real healing. And when those things that cause all of those messy, uncomfortable, inconvenient things are dealt with, well, that’s where true joy can come to live and sit down to a cup of coffee with us. 


Today’s Praise

1 Samuel 1: 12-17

As she was praying to the LORD, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!”

“Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the LORD. Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”

“In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.” (NLT)

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