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Thursday, 19 November 2020 01:17

The Kingdom of God - Sermon Video Series

Pastor Eli Williams presents four sermons on the Kingdom of God at New Hope Church in Springfield, Ohio in October and November 2020.

Part 1: THE KINGDOM OF GOD – WHAT IS IT?

Understanding the nature and the purpose of The Kingdom of God is key to helping Christ followers…

  • See our place and purpose in this world
  • Impact this world in a way that honors our King
  • Remind us of the promise of its soon coming

This 4-part series by Pastor Eli Williams imparts an understanding of the God’s Kingdom. Watch Part 1 by clicking here.

Part 2: THE KINGDOM OF GOD – JESUS, THE MESSIANIC KING

The bible clearly proclaims Jesus is the promised Messiah.  It also proclaims…

  • He is the King of Kings
  • His throne is forever
  • Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His Kingdom

Part 2 of this series by Pastor Eli Williams sheds important light on reign of Christ.  Click here to watch.

Part 3: THE KINGDOM OF GOD – AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST

An ambassador lives temporarily in a foreign land. Their chief concern is allegiance to and alignment with their home government’s goals. Their mission includes faithfully representing the home government and influencing the host nation.

What does all this mean for Christ-followers, and the way we should live?  Watch Part 3 of the series by Pastor Eli Williams by clicking here.

Part 4:  THE KINGDOM OF GOD – HIDDEN TREASURE

Jesus taught His followers to pray for His Kingdom to come. He also indicated His Kingdom is at hand.  How is His Kingdom coming and yet invisibly present?  Using parables, He illustrated…

  • The mysterious nature of His Kingdom
  • The inestimable value of His Kingdom
  • The attainability of His Kingdom for sincere seekers

Click here for Part 4, the conclusion of the series by Pastor Eli Williams.

 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV

How?

How in the world can anyone keep a joyful, prayerful and thankful demeaner with everything that is going on in 2020? That's a great question. With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, it is an especially appropriate time to consider what the word of God teaches on this subject. But it will take more than knowing what the bible says about this. Actually doing what it tells us can seem like an impossibility. After all, no living person has had to cope with so many crises at once. Political animus, a possible constitutional crisis, a surging coronavirus, a related economic recession, and racial tensions. It's enough to cause even the most optimistic among us to despair. What is there to be thankful for? Pease read on.

An Eternal Perspective For Thankfulness

Eternity Past

Having faith in God and a view of eternity are invaluable. This helps one maintain a sense of gratitude, confidence and joy in tumultuous times. For the Christ-follower, it is essential to remember that the Eternal God is good – always. He has made promises to His children. His promises are guaranteed, because God, who cannot lie, promised them before time began (Titus 1:2).  Among those assurances is this one.

For I Know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

In context, this God-breathed promise was of tremendous comfort to the exiled nation of Israel. Nonetheless, it serves to assure God's people of every era that He has a plan for each of us. That His plan is good and will not fail. Other scriptures reinforce this great truth. From eternity past, He conceived us (Jeremiah 1:5). He has a good work for each of His children to do (Ephesians 2:10). He has endowed each one with the spiritual gift necessary to perform it. (1 Peter 4:10). We can be confident God will complete the good work has He began in us. And that is despite the difficult days we face. (Philippians 1:6). Before the world began, we were on God's mind. What a blessing it is to know He has a plan for our lives.

The Present

Jesus promised to provide his disciples all their daily needs - food, housing, food and clothing. As they prioritized the seeking of His Kingdom and His righteousness, they would lack nothing (Matthew 6:31-33). I am a witness that God keeps this promise. In 25 years of fulltime service to God, He has provided everything I and my family have needed. Even in the midst of the great recession, we were never late making a mortgage payment. This, while many were losing their homes. We are very thankful. He has indeed supplied all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). One look at me bears witness that I've not missed any meals! That covers the past and the present. What about the future?

The Future

God’s word reveals this evil and corrupt world system will end.  God's people will victoriously overcome. This gives us great hope (Matt. 24:4-14). Then, at His preset time, whether we have died, or are still alive, we will meet together in the air. Thereafter, we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17). We will see His face (Revelation 22:3-5). He will do away with everything that causes tears of sadness and pain (21:4). Hallelujah!

Be Thankful

With faith in God's promises, we can be confident our future is secure. No matter what happens in this world. We can be thankful our God will make it all work together for our good. Because we love Him, and are called according to His purpose, even the bad things turn out well. (Romans 8:28). The Spirit-produced joy deep within our hearts will sustain us. Ever prayerful, we can be thankful in every circumstance. We can be grateful that God's will shall be done - and His will is always good! (1 Thess. 5:16-18)  Many people are having a difficult time dealing with the troubles coming upon the world. Our joyful, prayerful and thankful attitude is a bright light. They may be drawn to our vibrant hope and cheerful demeanor.

This Thanksgiving season, let us each make an extra special effort to focus on the good and praiseworthy around us. Rather than the negativity and divisiveness in the world (Phil 4:8). We will find there is plenty for which to be grateful. Even in the midst of the turmoil of 2020.

 

HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

From Pastor Eli Williams, my family, and all of us at Urban Light Ministries and EWilliamsCommuncations

 
 

Thursday, 19 November 2020 00:54

Thank you Modern Woodman

On behalf of everyone at Urban Light Ministries we would like to thank Daniel Blevins and Modern Woodman for the matching fund gift presented to Eli Williams, President of Urban Light Ministries on November 11, 2020. 

Our lives have been turned upside down in the midst of COVID-19. Suddenly everything that we knew to be normal has now been redefined. Fathers are needed now to help provide stability to their families while we navigate through this pandemic. POPS is here to help give you some guidance and support.

Protector

The first goal of any father is to make sure that his family is protected. He is the protector from the unknown. He makes his home a safe place. The saying, “there is no place like home” is so true today. Our homes must be a place of safety and comfort. While we are all spending more time together at home, be sure that the time you are together is meaningful. Make sure that each day you find time to connect with one another. See how your children are feeling. It’s ok to let them know that you may have some anxious thoughts too, but you trust in God’s word. 1 Peter 5:7, says “Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you.”

Order Keeper

Currently, things may seem out of control, there is not the usual order of events anymore. Perhaps you had a daily schedule with your family, now is the time to set up a new routine. 1 Corinthians 14:40 says, “But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.” Take control of your home life and make sure that each day your children have a set schedule. Of course, you will need to be flexible, but spending time with daily chores teaches responsibilities. Expecting that your child will read or do some sort of academic work will help their educational growth during this pandemic. In addition, always make sure to have some fun activities planned. Let your children help you plan a meal, or do some sort of fun family time. This is the moment to create family memories. Family bonding moments will last a lifetime.

Provider

Fathers can provide for their families in a variety of ways, whether it is financially, emotionally, or spiritually. However, the most important way a father can provide for his family is by just being there, be present! Your love, and attention is key to the healthy development of your child. During this pandemic, one of the main ways in which a father can provide is by keeping a positive attitude. This will be your biggest challenge, and yet one that will leave an invaluable impression on your child. Who would you rather your child remember during this pandemic, a father who was always negative or a father who started out each day with a smile and a positive thought? Be grateful for what you have and know that God will provide for all your needs. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Stability

Fathers are the stabilizers of the home. Children look to their fathers to be the anchor in the storm. The one who keeps calm and has a positive attitude. Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Our hope is in nothing less that Jesus Christ, He is the anchor in the storms of life. Fathers need to be intentional in their leadership styles using the examples of Jesus Christ as he led the disciples through the storms in the New Testament, with a calm and caring heart.

You are not only an amazing Father, but a super POPS!

 

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Tuesday, 05 February 2019 01:55

Restoring the Family to the Creator’s Design

In the beginning, the Creator designed the perfect plan for the establishment, nurturance, maintenance, and perpetuation of the human race.  The family.  Fathers and mothers raising children together in the same home, and in the worship and discipline of the Lord.  Loving parents providing everything their children need to grow up holistically healthy, safe, educated, skilled, and prepared to eventually raise their own families.  It is a simple plan, really.  Father and mother become parenting partners for life.  Each child completes their education, begins a career, falls in love, gets married, and has children.  Repeat generation after generation. 

Fast forward.  What do we see today?  Unwed birth rates as high as 70%.  The father absence crisis.  Divorce.  Single parent households.  The resulting poverty, child abuse and neglect, academic failure, youth crime, behavioral, emotional and psychological problems, drug abuse.  The list goes on. 

What happened?  The divine order was rejected.  God’s original vision for the family, which was intended by Him for the healthy development of civilization, is viewed by many as antiquated.  The need for a live-in dad has been questioned.  The concept of a God-ordained male family head has been denounced as gender biased.  Men and women have been freed to practice sex outside of marriage. Becoming pregnant out of wedlock has lost its former stigma.  Hence, we are experiencing the breakdown of the family, and the failure of family formation. We are on a path toward the very collapse of society.  Is it too late to turn things around?  Perhaps.  However, as Christians, we have been given a charge to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. 

Jesus proclaimed: 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:13-16

As salt preserves meat, our responsibility is to do everything we can to keep the rotting world alive until Jesus comes again.  As darkness tries to overwhelm mankind, our job is to shine as lights to show people the Father’s love and His righteous ways.  One way we can be salt and light is by the good work of restoring the family to God’s original design, and by giving the Father the glory for all that results.  The logical place to start is in the Church.  I don’t think I’ve ever met a pastor that didn’t acknowledge there needs to be a fatherhood strengthening ministry in his church.  Because we are at crisis stage, I believe we must go beyond fatherhood classes. 

There is needed a multigenerational Christian male development and enrichment initiative.  Young men, grown men and senior men simultaneously learning, teaching, and rediscovering God’s plan.  Each with a Timothy to mentor, and each with a Paul to emulate.  It’s like the threefold cord spoken of by King Solomon (Eccl 4:9-12).  Two strands are good, but a triple-braided cord is stronger.  We need each other… sons, dads, and grandfathers… working together to restore the power of godly maleness for the sake of strengthening families.  By starting with the Church, we are positioned to raise up an army of mature, responsible, scripture informed, Spirit-filled men.  Together, we can serve as witnesses to a world that has lost the vision of the Creator’s design for humanity.      

Urban Light Ministries has begun an innovative initiative to accomplish the above, using my book Father Love – The Powerful Resource Every Child Needs and the companion study guide.  After a conversation with my friend Pastor Sam Bryant in the fall of 2018, Sam and the church leadership agreed to serve as the site for a pilot of a scripture-based enrichment class for their males.  Beginning January 6, 2019, each Sunday for thirteen weeks, the teens, college students and men meet during the Sunday School hour at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Springfield.  With the aid of video clips and a Power Point presentation, I facilitate an hour-long conversation around fatherhood, manhood and spiritual leadership in the home.  Each participant has purchased a book and study guide.  Each week they are given a reading and action steps.  The following week, a discussion is facilitated on the assigned topic.  Attendance has been averaging two dozen.  Active participation is growing each week as the guys become more comfortable.  

Father Love Dad’s Discussion Group Topics Include:

  -  Father Love Defined

  -  Love Is Patient And Kind

  -  Love Is Not Easily Angered

  -  Father Love Is Nurturing

  -  Love Bears All Things

  -  Love Endures All Things And Never Fails

  -  The Creator’s Father Love

Urban Light Ministries has also developed the POPS 101 Discussion Group.  POPS 101 is a four-session introduction to healthy fathering.  The content is appropriate for use in non-religious settings such as schools, jails, and drug rehab centers.  If you would like to know more about Father Love or POPS 101 Dad’s Discussion Groups, contact me at the address below.

Eli Williams, President

Urban Light Ministries
PO Box 3132
Springfield, OH 45501

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 937.328.0122

Mobile: 937.408.1050

www.urbanlight.org

www.thefatherlovebook.com

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 22:10

Urban Light Ministries 2018 Program Updates

During the Sonshine Club 25th Year Celebration event Urban Light Ministries President and Founder, Eli Williams and Sonshine Club Director Phillip Sanders reviewed the programs provided by Urban Light Ministries and the future direction of the organization. 

Urban Light Ministries mission is to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and children's hearts to the Father.  Over the last 25 years Urban Light Ministries has reached over 18,000 children and 3500 fathers. 

Please consider what you can do to help Urban Light Ministries expand its services to reach more fathers and children.

 

Monday, 15 October 2018 15:49

Thankful for the Opportunity

I thought I would take a few words to say "thank you" to two groups for whom I had the privilege of guest-speaking in the last two weeks... P.A.W. O.D.C. Christian Education Association and Cornerstone Baptist Church. Your enthusiastic response to the call to join in a Christ-centered campaign to strengthen the institution of fatherhood has been encouraging. THANK YOU! I'm looking forward to being with New Life Church in Springfield next Sunday and New Hope Church (home) the following Sunday.

So often, it seems no one is listening; that there is so little serious concern about the crisis of father absence and the devastating effect on children, families and our communities. 
It couldn't be more clear from the research and simply by paying attention to what's happening in our schools and on our streets --- God's plan for raising children --- two parents, committed to each other and their children, is the best way. 
We must wake up and start doing everything we can to get back to God's way. That is, if we want to get to the root cause of so much of the killing, crime, academic failure, poverty, suicide and general mayhem in our communities.

Ephesians 6:1-4 
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” 4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

Join the campaign. Pray. Support. Engage.

Seldom am I asked why. Why do we do what we do? More specifically: "Why does Urban Light Ministries focus on fathers?" Yet, that is a more important question than "What does Urban Light do?" and "How does Urban Light do what we do?" Together, the answer to those questions constitutes the organization's MISSION STATEMENT which is: Turning the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to the Father. That's what we do. Urban Light ministries provide fatherhood programs to help dads become better parents, partners, and providers. We operate The Sonshine Clubs children's ministry to introduce kid's to The Lord Jesus Christ. That's how we do what we do.

The question remains: Why? This is Urban Light's CAUSE STATEMENT. More children need present, fully-engaged, loving fathers. Please watch this video about father absence and the devastation it causes children, families and society as a whole.  

 

If you would like to make a difference, here are three suggestions:

  • Pray with ULM as we strive to increase the number of children with present, fully-engaged, loving fathers.
  • Volunteer as a mentor of a young dad.
  • Support our cause by clicking on the DONATE button at the top of this page. We thank God for you.


Video Credit: Grip (Chicago, Ill)