Dear Church Family
We're praying for overflow. We want to see God's love and goodness overflow from us, out to others. So it's encouraging to hear many stories of lives being changed at the moment. In recent weeks I've heard most day things that have warmed my heart. Here's a few that I've heard in the last week:
- at least two people made professions of faith last Sunday;
- ten new (or relatively new) people came to our monthly Welcome Lunch for newcomers to meet staff and find out more about The Belfrey;
- Alpha started well on Wednesday with a good number of people of varying ages present, hungry to find out more about what it means to follow Jesus;
- someone from the 9am Congregation shared with me how their relative had come to the Belfrey Hall last year for after-service refreshments and had been moved by the atmosphere, so much so that when he's felt anxious since then, he's thought of what he experienced in the Hall and noticed that it has help him feel peaceful and calm;
- someone told me that a prophetic word at last Sunday's 6pm congregation had spoken deeply into their life;
- a young teenager told me they'd received a prophetic picture whilst away on the recent youth 'Encounter' week and how it had released tears and brought healing to the person with whom they shared it;
- someone at the recent 18-30s Weekend Away wrote to say how their faith had been profoundly renewed;
- someone else at the recent 18-30s Weekend Away said that they'd experienced things they'd never seen before, including healing; tongues and interpretation, and much more;
- there was lots of testimony and thanksgiving at the start of Monday's Church Council (PCC) meeting;
- there was lots of testimony at Monday's Staff Morning
- someone told me how their reading had been transformed, through hearing advice on how to read by marking up a book, and how this had made a huge difference to their life
Here are another couple of things, from two senior members of our church, that have stirred my heart this week:
- One was a visit I made to see Doug and Sylvia Tyson in their home. At one stage, Doug lent over to me from his bed, took me by the arm, and looked deeply into my eyes and said: 'Matthew, don't stop telling them about Jesus. Don't stop telling them about Jesus. He's the only way.' It was a holy moment - and a prophetic message for our church.
- The other was a picture that Edward Blakey, given at Dynamic Prayer on Tuesday morning, of overflow. As he prayed he saw so much rain falling on York that the manhole covers were popping up - such was the rain of God's Spirit! It immediately reminded me of my family's very first experience of York, ten years ago. Sam and I and the boys all came to York for the day, a few weeks after my appointment here was announced, in order to see as a family the city to which we'd soon be moving. After lunch it began to rain - fast and hard - so much so that the drains in the roads of York began to overflow and water spilled everywhere as many of the manhole covers were lifted off the ground by the force of the water. What a picture of overflow!
Let's be praying for more of the rain of God's Spirit (see Psalm 72:6; Joel 2:23) in our city and beyond in our day. May the Lord so pour his Spirit into you that he overflows out of you, bringing his transformative kingdom of power and love to those you meet.