I attended Catch the Fire Dallas last year. My friend Keith encouraged me to go. Though I had experienced a touch of the renewal here in 1994, I was more and more skeptical of something like "Catch the Fire." I was hungry for more of God, but the conference seemed to me like a crass commercialization or marketing of an experience that was available to anyone, anywhere, any time.
Anyway, a couple of weeks before the conference, I was debating how to tell my friend Keith that I wasn't going to go to Catch the Fire, when the Lord spoke to me as clearly as I have ever heard him speak, saying: "If you go without a critical spirit, I will bless you." I was still a bit skeptical that it was the Lord, so I said: "Lord, if you want me to go, then you have someone offer me a ticket for free, because you know how money is right now."
The next morning at nine A.M. I receive a phone call from another friend who said, "Yancy, have you been thinking about going to Catch the Fire?" I said, "Well, yes, but I've about decided I can't." He said, "Would you change your mind if someone offered you free tickets?" I just sat down to avoid falling. He continued, "An employee of mine said has had to cancel and asked me if I knew anyone who wanted to go for free. The Lord really laid you on my heart." I was overwhelmed, humbled, enervated, puzzled and generally awed by God's direct answer to my rather presumptuous prayer.
He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love! That conference began a year of great blessing for me. I'm going back this summer and taking several with me.