About Greg Potzer And This Day’s Thought

Greg PotzerThis Day’s Thought was started in January of 2000 with its mission being to offer Christian encouragement and inspiration to those in need. The ministry is administered by Greg Potzer & Eric Elder with the significant help from many volunteers.

The seeds for this ministry were planted some 40 years ago, when Greg, as an avid reader, started to save helpful thoughts and quotations on 3×5 cards per his mother’s suggestion.  This collection now serves as the foundation from which that segment of each day’s message prayerfully begins.

This Day’s Thought, This Day’s Verse (from varying Bible versions) and an occasional This Day’s Smile are all contained in one e-mail that we deliver, Monday through Friday.  On Sunday, we send This Week’s Sermon, shared by Eric Elder of The Ranch Fellowship.

In September of 2012, This Day’s Thought merged with The Ranch Fellowship, to become unified in their joint mission of serving the Lord.  Afer working so well together for so many years, Eric Elder and Greg Potzer decided they could function even more effectively joining their ministries and now serve under the umbrella of The Ranch Fellowship (a ministry of Eric Elder Ministries).  Both This Day’s Thought and The Ranch Fellowship are registered  501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, and all gifts are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Lana’s Hope

LanaElder-MothersDay 2012About a month before my wife, Lana, died of breast cancer, she wrote a beautiful blog post called “Lana’s Hope.”  In it she talked about the hope she had in God, regardless of the outcome of her situation.  She wrote:

“Being in a situation like this, where death could happen at any time, I have no worries for myself if that happens. I’ve spent so much time with Jesus already that it’ll be like going home to see my friend.”

Lana believed God could do anything, absolutely anything, and she believed God could heal her at any moment.  But she also trusted Him completely with everything in her life, saying:

“I have great hope that God can heal me, but my hope is in Him completely no matter what. I know I can’t go wrong by putting my hope in Him. As Psalm 25:3 says:  ‘No one whose hope is in You
 will ever be put to shame…’”

Lana’s hope was in God, before cancer, after cancer, and now in heaven with Him forever.  I know if she could say anything to you, she would want you to put your hope in Him for everything in your life, too, knowing that He loves you so very much.

No matter what you’re going through, know that God hasn’t left you.  He hasn’t walked away from you.  He hasn’t forsaken you.  You can’t go wrong putting your hope in Him.  As Lana said in quoting Psalm 25:3, “No one whose hope is in You will ever be put to shame…”

When Lana died, I wanted to do something to honor her life and the hope that she had, and I know many of you have wanted to do the same.  In that light, I’ve created a fund within our ministry called “Lana’s Hope.”  My hope is that God will use this fund to help finance projects that would help others in practical ways as well as to put their hope in God, just as she had put her hope in Him.

Dan Okall and FamilyThe first project we’d like to help fund is a ministry for breast cancer education in rural Kenya run by our friends Dan and Emily Okall.  It was because of a talk Lana and I attended here in the US where Dan and Emily were talking about their breast cancer education program in Kenya that Lana and I discovered the lump in Lana’s breast later that night.  11 months later, Lana was gone.  Had we not heard that talk, we may not have known until the very end that Lana was even sick, as her health was perfect in every other way up to that point.

Although we all wished Lana’s outcome would have been different, those 11 months became some of the most precious in our lives.  Lana’s cancer was already so advanced that the doctors gave us no hope, but God gave us tremendous hope!  Through Dan and Emily’s ministry, we were able to get a heads-up about this disease that was about to take Lana’s life, and have a chance to say a long good-bye, at least for now.  I can’t wait to see her again fully alive and cancer free in heaven!

But until that time, I’d love to help further the work that has touched us so much.  If you’d like to join me, I’d be glad to send you a special thank-you gift as a reminder that Lana’s Hope can be your hope, too.  About 10 years ago, when Lana and I were raising money to travel to Africa to help with another ministry project there, we offered supporters some simple rubber reminder bands that they could wear on their wrists to pray for our trip.  So in honor of Lana and remembering that first trip to Africa, I’ve ordered 200 reminder bands for this project.  The bands simply say, “Lana’s Hope is My Hope.” It’s a simple way to honor Lana and to say along with her that your hope is in God, too.

Lana's Hope Reminder Bands

To make a tax-deductible donation, just click a link below to choose the color of reminder band you’d like, then enter your donation amount on the next screen.  We’ll pass your gifts along directly to Dan and Emily ‘s ministry, Dala Development, and we’ll send you a reminder-band anywhere in the world as our collective way of saying thanks.  We have a limited number of each color, so order soon! (And to make a monthly donation to this project, just click “make recurring” on the following page.)

Your donation will be processed through Eric Elder Ministries, a fully-recognized, tax-exempt religious organization.

To read more from Lana’s beautiful blog post “Lana’s Hope,” click here.

To learn more about Dala Development, click here.

To watch the video “Lana’s Hope,” which was filmed just two weeks before Lana died, click here.

And to watch a celebration of Lana’s life, given by her family and friends, click here.

Thanks for your love and support through the years, and thanks for your love and support for this project, too!

Love,
Eric Elder

About Eric Elder And The Ranch

Eric Elder, August 22, 2013Eric Elder is an author, speaker, and contemporary pianist with a passion for sharing Christ with others.

Eric is also an ordained pastor and a technology expert, having worked as a technology researcher for a Fortune 10 corporation for nine years prior to going into full-time ministry in 1995. This unique combination of skills led USA Today to call him “a new breed of evangelist,” referring to his groundbreaking work of sharing Christ over the Internet with thousands each day in over 160 countries.  (You can read USA Today’s excellent summary here).

Eric has written for numerous publications, including Billy Graham’s Decision Magazine, (you can read the Decision Magazine article here) and has spoken nationally at conferences such as the Exodus International Freedom Conference, as well as producing books and music for his own ministry (you can browse through The Ranch Bookstore here).

Eric was married to Lana (Olivero) Elder for 23 years, and together they had six children.  Lana was an active part of the ministry until she passed on to be with the Lord in November 2012, after a nine-month battle with breast cancer.  You can read more about Lana’s faith and hope through it all at www.lanaelder.com.

Eric Elder and Family, Christmas 2009

Eric Elder and Family, Christmas 2009. Lana is pictured second from the right and Eric is second from the left.

If you’d like to join us in this work, whether helping to support it financially, or volunteering in other ways, please use the links below:

Make a Donation
Become a Ministry Volunteer
Learn More about Eric Elder Ministries

Eric Elder Ministries is an IRS-recognized, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All gifts are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

About Greg Potzer And This Day’s Thought

Greg PotzerThis Day’s Thought was started in January of 2000 with its mission being to offer Christian encouragement and inspiration to those in need. The ministry is administered by Greg Potzer & Eric Elder with the significant help from many volunteers.

The seeds for this ministry were planted some 40 years ago, when Greg, as an avid reader, started to save helpful thoughts and quotations on 3×5 cards per his mother’s suggestion.  This collection now serves as the foundation from which that segment of each day’s message prayerfully begins.

This Day’s Thought, This Day’s Verse (from varying Bible versions) and an occasional This Day’s Smile are all contained in one e-mail that we deliver, Monday through Friday.  On Sunday, we send This Week’s Sermon, shared by Eric Elder of The Ranch Fellowship.

In September of 2012, This Day’s Thought merged with The Ranch Fellowship, to become unified in their joint mission of serving the Lord.  Afer working so well together for so many years, Eric Elder and Greg Potzer decided they could function even more effectively joining their ministries and now serve under the umbrella of The Ranch Fellowship (a ministry of Eric Elder Ministries).  Both This Day’s Thought and The Ranch Fellowship are registered  501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, and all gifts are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

The 2nd Annual Ranch Retreat!

The 2nd Annual Ranch Retreat!  October 10-12, 2014 - Come Join Us!!!

If you’d like a boost in your faith, I hope you’ll join us for a weekend of worship and inspiration here in the heart of the Great Midwest on Columbus Day Weekend, October 10-12th, 2014.

We’ll start off with a sumptuous dinner on Friday night, followed by some inspirational worship led by Alan Lowry of Saddleback’s GIG Music Ministry and a faith-boosting message by Greg Potzer of This Day’s Thought and myself, Eric Elder.  (Al’s coming in from Orange County, California and Greg’s coming in from Denver, Colorado, so if you’re coming from out of state or out of the country, you’ll be in good company!)

We’ll continue on Saturday morning with a light and refreshing breakfast, followed by another session of inspirational worship and messages.  We’ll take a break for lunch on your own and some free time in the afternoon to just relax, pray or chat with some new friends.

We’ll have an optional prayer walk on Saturday afternoon at the site of my late wife Lana’s memorial bench at a cemetery nearby where you’ll have time to consider what God wants you to do with the rest of your “dash” here on earth.

Then we’ll gather again on Saturday night for another great meal, more inspirational worship and another faith-boosting message.  (If the weather’s nice, we may even have a bonfire and cookout here at our home, complete with a sky full of stars and some good old s’mores for dessert…you’ll like ’em so much, you’ll want “s’more”!)

If you stay over till Sunday, we’d love to have you join us for worship at our local church in Normal, Illinois (you can tell people you were “close to Normal” for a whole weekend!), followed by lunch at the church café (dutch treat) for some extra time of relaxed fellowship.

If all that sounds good to you (I know it sounds good to me!), I hope you’ll join us here in Illinois on Columbus Day Weekend, October 10-12, 2014.  We’re asking for a donation of $150 per person for the whole weekend of activities, which includes a refreshing breakfast, 2 wonderful dinners and 3 sets of inspirational worship and messages.

Even if we didn’t provide any delicious meals or inspirational worship and messages, just getting out of your usual routine for a few days might be just what you need to hear from God more clearly and give you a boost in your faith.  So I hope save the date and join us in October!  Just click “Register” below to sign up!

(As much as I wish I could host you all in my home, I think you’d find it a little crowded here with my kids at home!  So here’s a link to some hotels near Lexington, Illinois where the activities will be held.)

For more information about housing, locations or any other details, please call Shelly at (214) 597-4872 or send us a note on our Contact Form.

REGISTER HERE!!!

Click here to register for the whole weekend ($150 donation per person.  For multiple registrations, click the link, then increase the number of registrations needed.)

Although we hope you can stay for the whole weekend, we know some of you might only be able to join us for Friday or Saturday.  Use the links below to register for just one day at $75 per day.

Click here to register for Friday only  ($75 donation per person.)
Click here to register for Saturday only ($75 donation per person.)

Please note that for tax purposes only the amount you donate above the suggested donation will be considered tax-deductible.  Your extra donations go directly into the ministry to help us keep sharing Christ with others, so thanks for your extra help, too!

LOCATION

The retreat will be held at the Lexington Community Center, located at 207 West Main Street in Lexington, Illinois.  Lexington is about 2 hours south of Chicago and 25 minutes north of Bloomington/Normal.  The closest airport is in Bloomington, Illinois (BMI), with flights to many major cities daily.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10
5:00-6:30 Check-in at the Lexington Community Center in Lexington, Illinois
6:30 Appetizers and Fellowship
7:00 Dinner
7:45 Worship with Al Lowry
8:15 Message by Greg Potzer and Eric Elder
9:15-10:00 Q & A, Prayer and Wrap Up

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11
9:00-10:00 Gather and enjoy a casual breakfast at the Lexington Community Center
10:00 Worship with Al Lowry
10:30 Message by Eric Elder
11:30-12:00 Q & A, Prayer and Wrap Up
12:00 Break for lunch on your own at local restaurants

12:00-6:00 Free time for relaxed fellowship and prayer, with an optional prayer walk at Lana Elder’s memorial bench at the Lexington Cemetery

6:00 Gather again at the Lexington Community Center
6:30 Dinner
7:15 Worship with Al Lowry
7:45 Message by Eric Elder
8:45-10:00 Q & A, Prayer and Wrap Up

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12
11:30 Worship together at Eastview Christian Church in Normal, Illinois
1:00-3:00 Lunch (dutch treat) at the church café, with extra time for relaxed fellowship and prayer

 ABOUT US

Here’s a little more about us!

About Eric Elder and The Ranch

About Greg Potzer and This Day’s Thought

About Al Lowry and Saddleback’s GIG Ministry

For more information about the retreat, housing or any other details, please call Shelly at (214) 597-4872 or just send us a note on our Contact Form!