Tom Elliff
Oklahoma City, OK

After pastoring for forty-two years, Tom Elliff served the International Mission Board, first as Senior Vice President for Spiritual Nurture and Church Relations from 2005-2009, then as President from 2011-2014. Tom served pastorates in Arkansas, Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma and as an IMB missionary in Zimbabwe. Tom also served as president of the SBC Pastor's Conference and two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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It’s That Season Of The Year

By on November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving and Christmas will definitely be different for Jeannie and me this year…more different, at least than any year in the past. Thanksgiving will be spent with friends who are doing a great work in the Horn of Africa. Christmas will stretch out over four months, November to February, before we get to see all our family members. We are rejoicing in the work God has called us to do, and grateful for the support and understanding of our family.

But these two holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, are filled with significance for every authentic believer. Pausing to give thanks to the Lord for His grace and provision is such a very important practice. While we should pause to give thanks every day, taking a few days to be with family and friends who recall God’s goodness is a wonderful exercise. Gratitude is the heart’s memory put into words.

Thanksgiving, of course,  is something we do, not just something we feel. So “give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good and His mercies do endure forever.” I love Thanksgiving!

And, I love Christmas! One word marks the Christmas season, GIVING! And isn’t it a joy to give. Believers who walk in the Spirit’s fulness know that the great purpose in giving is not so much to meet the outer and visible needs all around us. Believers realize that giving is primarily a huge boost toward casting ourselves on the providence of God. And that’s just where He wants us to live our lives of faith, in total dependence upon Him. What a great place to find ourselves as the New Year begins!

This Christmas you will be blessed by checking out IMB’s site at There are special videos, by the way, about some great work going on in the Horn of Africa. Of course, I love to encourage folks to give generously to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, either through their church, or on that website.

Jeannie and I pray that this season will find you rejoicing in the Lord. We certainly are!

Rejoice evermore!

Tom Elliff

2 Tim 1:12

PS:Our Book of the Month is the RED FEATHER.  This true story is not so much about giving as forgiving. I really want to encourage you to give this book to your friends. This story will warm your heart and challenge you at the very core of your faith. Check it out at the bookstore along with the others available there as well.