I wasn't going to bang on and on about this but I loved Anne's "its my blog" comment (do check it out) - (I posted here about this), but apart from my peak writing up period for college last week, I have been watching an hour or two of the Florida Outpouring most nights that I'm home. Moreover, I have been keeping note of some of the miracles, particularly the medically substantiated ones.
It's not my intention here to list where you can find these = though I am quite tickled with the AP (Associated Press) report of a resurrection of a dead person [not a child - see later section of this post] in a hospital - but now two extremely good friends of mine, both in full time ministry, have been to Lakeland for a week each.
Here are some of the things that have marked this out as a move of God for me.
* worship - often only 3-4 songs are used in hours of worship - spontaneous singing of "holy holy holy" or no words at all are used - but also not extended swinging from the chandeliers madness (hey, I'm there) - but passionate, heartfelt adoration. I've watched and joined in with thousands upon thousands kneeling, weeping, crying out, stopped low or lying down in God's presence. And the silence....is awesome.
* people coming to faith - at every meeting. Particularly blown away with a drug addicted young man some meetings ago who gave his life to Jesus and came off heroin with no withdrawals whatsoever. He came with his brother to testify that he had had no withdrawal symptoms at all and that his heart had changed on the inside.
* children - seeing Jesus, angels, clouds of God's presence. Being matter of fact as they are prayed for, completely at ease in the atmosphere. And also given quite a priority in the meetings. At least once a week I have watched and listened as children, young people and/or whole families are anointed and prayed for.
* the word is preached every night. The message always builds faith - if I can sum up those that I have heard, the focus is on God's "great and precious promises" - tonight, for example, is about God's promise to Abraham and Isaac.
* forgiveness - again, to me, this is significant. Testimonies have highlighted that people have either had to forgive others or receive God's forgiveness for themselves. Wonder if we often gloss over the importance of forgiveness?
* miracles. Worth keeping an open mind. Sure, with 8000 to 10000 people a night, there is bound to be some non-genuine/not able to be substantiated miracles from excited and well meaning attendees but there is story after story of medically substantiated miracles. I have watched the people with wasted limbs get up and walk out of wheelchairs. My husband pointed out: "watch the partner's face" - these guys come up with their friend/spouse, as they have been physically reliant on this person, who administer care and concern. You see the partners' faces GLOW, with incredulity and amazement, Leukemia disappeared, hepatitis disappeared, tumours disappeared - all with doctors letters "medically unexplainable".
* resurrection of the dead. Speaks for itself. My friends who were at the Lakeland meetings two weeks ago from Healing Rooms Scotland heard first hand the story you may have heard of. A 3 year old girl died and her kindergarten teacher, who was at the Lakeland meetings, started to pray for her (from afar). She had been dead for three days and was in the mortuary. As she was being wheeled on a trolley to the post mortem when she coughed and sat up. While my friends were there, Todd Bentley called her father on the phone to substantiate this.
* impact on communities. Remember this is early days yet people with no Christian background whatsoever are turning up for prayer for healing. The unbelievers have heard something is happening and want to come, hungry and open! My friends have prayed with waiters and shop assistants in the city itself; one a waiter who had lost a child at birth and was desperate to know if God cared (man, if that's just two people praying for individuals that they meet... how many times has something similar been happening?) We all agree that prayer changes things; dare I suggest that thousands of people not just coming to Lakeland hungry for God but going home again filled with faith and vision and power will make a difference in society....since their return the Healing Rooms team, bolstered by a great advert in a national tabloid, have had their phones ringing off the hook with people who would love to have prayer but who would have been unlikely to go to church. They feel full of faith and power and confident in God. Reminds me of someone called Peter!
*the witness in my spirit. I hesitate to even type this in case readers who don't know me think I'm a spiritual butterfly going from one conference/book/TV programme to another. I don't. I generally can't! As a working mum I just don't have time to do the "circuit". I don't generally read the lastest top ten Christian books because I've got to read so much for college (and kids ministry stuff is never in the top ten). I'm not a young, naive experience-led Christian. I'm sure I was though, twenty-odd years ago! (I devoured everything by Colin Urquhart, Bob Gordon and John Wimber) However, I welcome the experience of God's love and power because there's too much that's religion and head knowledge without the reality and experience of the love of God that melts your heart or brings tears to your eyes or makes you laugh out loud or makes you feel so silently grateful or thankful (choose what has been most applicable for you!)
What I'm trying to say, probably somewhat badly, is that Christian TV is generally not for me, watch a few minutes then turn it off, but I have felt God's in this Florida Outpouring BIG time. Sure, there are elements of "packaging" that I'm not comfy with; that you may not be comfy with; but it goes back to my very first post on this, and Steve Hickey's....that I don't want to miss something life giving and transforming....
(for those of you in England-shire, apparently Birmingham NEC is going to be hired out in August by Todd Bentley for a healing meeting there)