The Unwanted Gift: Hearing God in the Midst of Your Struggles
by Tom Elliff

“This is a book we prayed we would never have to read; yet, at the same time, it is one that every believer needs to read. The Unwanted Gift is a revelation from the lives of a godly couple facing adversity, crisis and suffering. We have been privileged to know the Elliffs as friends, mentors, prayer partners and heroes in the faith. As we watched them face the struggles mentioned in this book, one thing was consistent and clear: Tom and Jeannie demonstrated at every turn what it means to take God at His Word. They did not ask for this gift, but they have gifted us with the wisdom they gleaned from receiving it and trusting God in the midst of it. Continue reading


Every boy grows up with a childhood hero. Someone we looked up to, often a sports figure. My baseball hero was Al Kaline of the Detroit Tigers. He played his whole career with the Tigers, and he played right field which I played in Little League. In football, my dad saw to it that I was an Ole Miss fan. The quarterback at Ole Miss was typically my favorite football player. My favorite still is Archie Manning. In basketball, I was a Boston Celtics fan (again, because of my dad), and my favorite was John Havlicek. I have signed pictures of all of these men in my home or office.

Nonetheless, the man I watched more than any other was Arnold Palmer. I remember watching him on our black and white TV repeatedly win the Masters in the 1960s. He was the first superstar of golf and especially golf on television. My dad and I talked about his swing when we would go out and play golf on Sunday afternoons. I took up golf because of my dad and Arnold Palmer. Continue reading


Over the last few years people of all ages have been using their phones to take selfies. Pictures are posted on all the social media platforms of people holding up their phones to take pictures of themselves. Sometimes it’s a group shot; often it’s (unfortunately) a person looking in the mirror at themselves.

Some of these pictures are funny. Many are increasingly inappropriate. A recent study has shown that this obsession with taking selfies is leading to increased narcissism. Narcissism is a personality disorder that involves a preoccupation with self and how one is perceived by others. It pursues gratification from vanity and the admiration of one’s own physical and intellectual attributes. Continue reading


Someone once said, “I have never sufficiently praised the Lord and never can.” I certainly agree with that statement, especially in light of what God has been doing in our midst.

Although we’ve had reasons to lose perspective and opportunities to be faint of heart, this church has stayed focused in recent months – and I believe the result of singular focus and open hearts is evident to even the most casual observer.

We are in a season when we are seeing God work and move with greater freedom. We’ve been more responsive during the invitations, and there’s been a sweet aroma of praise in our midst. The wind of the Spirit is blowing. Continue reading