By Nelly Favis Villafuerte
For more than 15 years now, I have been sending every morning five days a week (Monday to Friday) for free, inspiring short stories to thousands of subscribers here and abroad – through email. The title of the message is Thought for the Day. One may ask: how did this project start? Thought for the Day started when I was still the undersecretary (Usec) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). As DTI usec, I had supervision over many bureaus.
Once a week, during lunch break, and even during snack break, I was challenged to share with my DTI staff per bureau about the Holy Bible, to encourage my staff to find time to read the Holy Bible – initially by sharing interesting stories in the Bible. I love to tell stories to others and it has been my habit for many years now to collect stories that inspire others. Before I realized, it my Bible study groups had swelled. Other DTI personnel heard about it and they joined our Bible sessions too.
I realized that I would not be in DTI forever and so I came up with the idea of coming out with the Thought for the Day email project. Starting with the DTI groups, I started with a few officemates, which expanded to hundreds by the time I was transferred and appointed to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as a member of the Monetary Board for one term. With DTI and BSP, I had then more than a thousand subscribers already. This number increased beyond my expectation. Everytime I get emails from the new readers of my weekly Gentle Breeze and Export Action Line columns (both in Manila Bulletin), the subscribers increased. Thousand others here and abroad have requested inclusion in our list of subscribers (probably friends and relatives of existing subscribers).
Our Lord God has been profusely generous in giving me patience, wisdom, and good health to continue with our Thought for the Day project with the assistance of just one lady who has been tremendously helping me with my Thought for the Day project since my DTI days. I’m referring to Melanie Abarientos. She has the same commitment and passion as I in continuing Thought for the Day. Every day, I get feedback from my subscribers.
Let me share with you a sample of the stories that we email to Thought for the Day subscribers. Last June 7th, we emailed to our subscribers the following story:
The song within
“Our minds can sing, if not our mouths.” Edith Schaeffer wrote. “I awakened yesterday morning with music and words surging through my head: ‘Great is thy faithfulness; great is thy faithfulness; morning by morning new mercies I see….’ It was as if a full orchestra and choir were in my room; yet no sound could be heard by anyone else. What a fantastic detail of God’s creation – people can sing aloud, and can sing within… We don’t need to waken the whole household by bursting forth in song; we can rejoice in song in our heads at night, or start the day or the year that way.”
Ruth Graham tells of a musician who lived in a land where “God’s music” was not allowed to be played. Daily he took out his score on Handel’s Messiah and placed it on the dining room table. Then, on the table, his fingers silently and diligently played through the entire score. He was making music that only God could hear.” (Reference: Stories, Illustrations & Quotes by Robert J. Morgan)
Here’s one comment/feedback we received last June 7 from one of our regular subscribers Geroncio A. Faustino, the same day the Thought for the Day story was emailed to subscribers:
“I can remember those days when I was still in KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). It is noticeable that the Kingdom is a Muslim land and any religious activities especially for us Christians are prohibited. We had a lot of experiences that we really have to worship and praise God in our hearts and no sound to come out from our mouths. However, no matter how much we do it, in faith we forget to do what we had been instructed to do by our leaders and cannot help but burst out from our hearts the songs we sing without fear and behind our minds we say; ‘If I die, I die praising and worshiping God!’
“It is indeed a wonder and miracle why in-spite of the persecution, we cannot stop evangelizing and thus the so-called Underground Church keeps growing and spreading like fire. That is what we see as the power of God’s hand doing its work on His people who are willing to die just to follow His mandate (Matthew 28:18-20).
“Anyone who has experienced His wonderful miraculous works cannot in anyway go back to the old self, but rather move forward to work in His Kingdom willingly, gladly, efficiently, and with songs of praise in the heart for Jesus.
This column continues to give out copies of the Holy Bible for free to those who cannot afford to buy their own copies. If interested, please send your letter-request to Ms. Nelly Favis Villafuerte, 5233 Fahrenheit St., Palanan, Makati City. Kindly mention if it is the Tagalog, English, Cebuano, or Ilocano Bible that is preferred.
Be joyful and forgiving! ( may be sent to Ms. Villafuerte’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Be joyful and forgiving!
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