Faith · FBs · Sabbath Joys · TandeMD

FB Series 5: God the Holy Spirit

These are taken from the Signs of the Times Magazine Special Edition “We Believe”, where we share brief explanations of the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where our faith continuously grows with our Lord. May the Holy Spirit give you enlightenment as you read through the articles. Should you have any questions, we will be glad to answer them and we are willing to talk to you about our faith. Contact forms are at the end of this article. Thank you and may God bless you more abundantly today and always!


Lights from the lamps flickered in the upper room as the disciples conversed with their Master. The questions they still asked, even after being with Him for three years, made it obvious that they did not have a clear understanding of His mission on earth. They clung to their hope that He would liberate their nation from Roman occupation. Recognizing their misunderstanding, Jesus tried to prepare them for the events that were all but upon them. He quieted their fears of the future by speaking to them of the Gift of the Holy Spirit that He and the Father would give the world.

“Don’t worry about the future,” He said in essence. “Through the Holy Spirit, you will have My presence with you to guide you and sustain you in everything you experience, regardless of how difficult or painful it may be.”

As One of the Members of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit is a Person, fully Divine. He had an active part with the Father and the Son in the creation of the world, and since then He has been intimately involved in the plan of salvation.


Jesus’ teaching about the Holy Spirit is recorded in John 14, 15, and 16. He is called ” ‘the Spirit of truth’ ” (John 14:17), whom the Father will send in Jesus’ name (John 14:26). He ” ‘will teach you all things,’ ” Jesus said, ” ‘and [He] will remind you of everything I have said to you’ ” (John 14:26). He came specifically to testify about Jesus (John 15:26). And because He is not limited by neither time nor space, He can represent Jesus to the world anywhere, anytime.

In addition to working with the disciples, enabling them to carry out their mission, the Holy Spirit is among unconverted people, convicting them of ” ‘sin and righteousness and judgment’ ” (John 16:8).

We tend to understand less about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit than we do the other Members of the Godhead. That’s because the Spirit’s work is to make known Jesus and the Father rather than Himself. It was through the ministry of the Holy Spirit that holy men wrote the Bible, which bears witness to Jesus (2 Peter 1:21). He filled the life of Jesus with power. Because of the Spirit’s ministry, the Bible comes alive for us, making Jesus real, sensitizing our hearts to Jesus, and equipping us to live for Him.


The Holy Spirit is involved in every aspect of our Christian life. When we come to God, it’s because the Spirit has been working on our hearts, giving us the desire to learn about God and to live the way He wants us to. Any time we want to know more of what the Bible says about God, all we have to do is ask for understanding, and the Holy Spirit will guide us to the passages that we should study. The Spirit will impress our minds, leading us to a clear understanding of the Bible and how its lessons apply to our lives today. Then He will give us the power to live the truths we have learned. When we feel guilty for our sins and repent of them, it’s because the Holy Spirit has been at work in our lives. Everything we know about God and Jesus we understand more clearly because the Holy Spirit, quietly and humbly, has been carrying out in our lives the work that He was sent to do.

The Spirit also strengthens the church and its members through spiritual gifts. Some of these gifts are quite  spectacular while others are less dramatic. Yet, all of them are equally essential. Several of these spiritual gifts are mentioned in Ephesians 4:11: “It was he [the Holy Spirit] who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers” (see also Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28:31, 13:1-3). Both the Old and New Testaments tell us that the Spirit had an active role in both the creation of the world and its redemption. As the personal Representative of Jesus, the Spirit accomplishes in the world what Jesus would do if He were physically present today.

(For further study: Luke 1:35; 4:18; Acts 10:3; Romans 1:1-4; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 4:11, 12.)

Until next Saturday for the sixth FB Series.

Got any questions? Message us in our facebook page:

God bless and stay #tandemd with God!


Your #Duoctors

Jerald and Ardys

Happy Sabbath!

Faith · Hope · Sabbath Joys · TandeMD

Impossible to Possible!

Faith · FBs · Sabbath Joys · TandeMD

FB Series 4: God the Son

These are taken from the Signs of the Times Magazine Special Edition “We Believe”, where we share brief explanations of the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where our faith continuously grows with our Lord. May the Holy Spirit give you enlightenment as you read through the articles. Should you have any questions, we will be glad to answer them and we are willing to talk to you about our faith. Contact forms are at the end of this article. Thank you and may God bless you more abundantly today and always!


Our hope of salvation centers exclusively in Jesus Christ. One of the titles by which we know Him is “Son of God.” This title reflects His place in the plan of salvation – a role that was established before the world began. He was born on our planet as a human (Hebrews 1: 5, 6). Prior to His incarnation, He existed from all eternity as God in the most complete and exalted sense. He is God by nature, power, and authority (John 1:1, 2; 17:5, 24; Philippians 2:6).

Christ is the Creator of all things (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17; Hebrews 1:2). After Adam and Eve sinned, Christ had intimate and constant contact with our world. He was the Member of the Godhead who would divest Himself, be “made in human likeness,” and would become “obedient to death – even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7, 8). Through Him the character of God is revealed to fallen humanity, human salvation is consummated, and the world is judged (John 5:25-29).


As God for all eternity, Christ also became a genuine human being in every sense of the word. Hundreds of years before He came to our world, the prophets predicted His virgin birth and the place where He would be born: Bethlehem (Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2). Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, He grew up in Nazareth, a mountain village in Galilee.

During His life on earth Jesus experienced temptation as a human, yet He never sinned. Thus, He modeled God’s love and His justice in a most outstanding way, giving us a perfect example to imitate (Hebrews 2:16-18; 1 Peter 2:21, 22).

Christ lived a humble and generous life. As a child, as an adult, and as a youth, He helped at the carpenter shop in Nazareth. He was always friendly and took an interest in others. At about the age of thirty (Luke 3:23), He was baptized by immersion in the river Jordan by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17). However, He was not baptized in order to cleanse Himself from sin, for He never sinned. Rather, as He put it, He was baptized in order to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). Through baptism He identified Himself with sinners, walking the path we must walk and doing what we must do.

God the Son


When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended on Him in visible form as a dove, and God’s voice from heaven pronounced these words: ” ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’ ” (Matthew 3:17). Following His baptism, Jesus ministered unselfishly for three years, sharing God’s love and the message of salvation with rich and poor, Jew and Gentile.

Jesus’ teachings were unmatched in their simplicity yet filled with a power that drew people’s hearts to Him and changed them. Even the guards who were sent to arrest Him as He was teaching the people were unable to take Him into custody, so powerfully did His words affect them. When they were asked why they hadn’t apprehended Him, they could only reply, “No one ever spoke the way this Man does.”

Even before the foundation of the world, the Godhead devised a plan to deal with the possibility that sin might arise on planet Earth (Ephesians 1:4). Through Christ’s death, all those who accept Him become sons and daughters of God and heirs of eternal life (John 3:16; I John 5:11, 12).

When Jesus was ready to begin His ministry, John the Baptist pointed Hi out as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” As the concluding act of His ministry, Christ submitted to the supreme sacrifice: He gave His life to secure for human beings the possibility of escape from sin and the eternal death that is its inevitable result.

Jesus suffered and died voluntarily on Calvary’s cross in our place, for our sins. Yet, He was raised from the dead, for neither death nor the tomb could hold the Creator of the world in their grasp. After appearing several times to His disciples and commissioning them to carry on the work of saving souls that He began during His short ministry, Jesus ascended to heaven. Yet, He did not abandon His people who remained in the world. Rather, He entered upon an intercessory ministry to prepare them for a place in the kingdom that He plans to restore on earth.


Soon Jesus will come again in the clouds of glory, accompanied by holy angels, to free His people and restore to them everything they lost because of sin.

The heart of the Bible is Jesus Christ. He is the Center around which all the teachings of Seventh-Day Adventists cluster. “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Our love for Christ motivates us to obey His commandments, follow His example and give Him our lives so that He can live in us through the Holy Spirit.

(For further study: Luke 1:35; John 1:1-3, 14; 5:22; 10:30; 14:9; Romans 5:18; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Hebrews 4:15; 7:25; 8:1, 2; 9:28; Revelation 22:20.)

Until next Saturday for the fifth FB Series.

Got any questions? Message us in our facebook page:

God bless and stay #tandemd with God!


Your #Duoctors

Jerald and Ardys


Happy Sabbath!

Faith · FBs · Sabbath Joys · TandeMD

FB Series 3: God the Father

Many people, tired of the culture of self, are looking for something better, something more satisfying. They want to know God. Fortunately, God wants us to know Him. For that reason He has revealed Himself in many ways, the most important of which is the Bible.

The Bible writers made no direct effort to prove the existence of God. They took that much for granted. The Bible's first words, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1), speak volumes about Him. Before the world came into existence, God existed. He's the Creator, the Source of life and every material blessing.

What We Can't Know

Nevertheless, there's much about God's basic nature that we don't understand because He hasn't revealed it to us. Among these unknowns are God's eternal nature and His capacity to be everywhere at once. We can never understand the essence of God's nature. But we understand what He has revealed to us, at least to a point, and this revelation centers around His unfailing love.

The New Testament presents God to us as a loving heavenly Father (Matthew 5:45; I John 4:8). Because Jesus has adopted us, we have become God's sons and daughters (John 1:12, 13). God, our heavenly Father, is not a mere impersonal force.

Jesus told the woman at the well of Sychar that " 'God is Spirit' " (John 4:24) to suggest that God has a form, a shape. This statement has to do with more profound aspects of God's divine nature. He's above nature and beyond the capacity of our minds to imagine Him. He lives on a plane far superior to ours.

God Is A Person

The Hebrew concept of spirit was more concrete than abstract. God dwells in that realm. We cannot see Him, but we were made in His image (Genesis 1:27), which suggests that He also has a specific form. Throughout its pages, the Bible presents God as a Person.

The words the Bible uses to describe God were chosen to make it easy as possible for us to understand God as a Person. He "talks," "hears," and "writes." He suffers and feels sadness, and He also expresses both anger and joy. He has free will (see Psaln 40:8; 2 Corinthians 1:1). God judges (Psalm 7:11; Romans 2:16) and pardons (Isaiah 55:7). Nevertheless, He is above all. He created and sustains everything (Hebrews 1:1-3). God us omnipotent (Revelation 19:6), sublime (Isaiah 57:15), omniscient (Ephesians 1:8), eternal and immortal (1 Timothy 1:17), and omnipresent (Psalm 139:7; Jeremiah 23:24). He's free of time and space limitations in all His actions.

Everything that happens on our planet is under God's control. He understands our plans, but He acts in ways that ensure the ultimate fulfillment and consummation of His will.

The qualities and powers that we see in God the Son and God the Holy Spirit also reveal to us what the Father is like.

(For further study: Exodus 34:6, 7; Revelation 4:11; John 13:16; John 14:9; 1 Corinthians 15:28.)

Until next Saturday for the third FB Series.

Got any questions? Message us in our facebook page:

God bless and stay #tandemd with God!


Your #Duoctors Jerald and Ardys

Happy Sabbath!

Life = Hope · Sabbath Joys · TandeMD



Bloom wherever God plants you. Happy Sabbath dear friends!


Jerald and Ardys



As Pilgrims · Faith · Life = Hope

No Other Option But to Top

By: Nathanlie M. Baldoza
Health and Home May-June 2012

            Even before he took the nursing licensure examination (NLE) in December last year (2011), he was already called Mr. Topnotcher. The reason is obvious.

            Being the only graduate who earned the highest general weighted average (GWA) in his school’s 59-year history, Jerald Lalaguna Pelayo said he was determined to land on top so as not to disappoint those who relied on what he could achieve for his school. The official results of the exam? Call it a “nice blend of prediction and surprise,” as one musician puts it, because this statement best encapsulates the emotion that possessed Pelayo when news came that he topped the NLE.

            With a rating of 86.40, Pelayo bested the other 67, 094 examinees who took the NLE, which only 22, 760 passed and considered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) as the lowest in the three past NLEs.

            But amid calls and texts of congratulations and accolades, the news that first flashed on TV called the topnotcher’s school as unknown. Pelayo however reacted kindly to that bit of information. “Now it is known. I am a proud product of Mountain View College (MVC). For on top of the quality instructions I received from it, I consider it  a home where I found and learned the ultimate source of wisdom and true model of excellence – Jesus Christ.”

            Pelayo says his college life was a complex interplay of discipline, responsibilites, faith, and adventure. He had been an active member of a singing group called the Advent Philomels, while maintaining his full academic scholarship. He was part of the debating and volleyball teams of the school of nursing and had represented MVC in various local and national searches for top-performing students.

            “God is my primary motivation to excel. He requires my best. I will be accountable for all the unimproved abilities I am endowed with,” Pelayo answered when asked about his number one motivator to excel. For even when he played tags with his friends, he graduated valedictorian in elementary and high school. And in college, he reset school records made evident by his academic feats at MVC, and just recently his ranking first in the national board.

            Endowed with leadership skills, which were put into good use when he was elected president by both the nursing organization and the senior class, he had been active in serving his church as pianist and student church elder.

            “I try to live holistic. Even when I was reviewing for the NLE, I made sure I did not neglect the other aspects of life,” Jerald said as he began detailing his preparations for the examination. “I answered thousands of questions. I read nursing books. I meditated on God’s words in the Bible. I prayed a lot. I fasted. I took time out to play and socialize with my batch mates. I took the exam ready. I though I had a good fighting chance at the top.”

            However, after shading the last question he said he had forgotten about ratings because he found the test questions tricky. “I felt passing the exam would already be good enough for me.”

            Overwhelmed by the difficulty level of the said examination, he whispered a prayer to God, telling Him that his battle was over and that he trusted in His strength and believed that He could do miracles through him. “God had done amazing things before. I knew He could do an extraordinary work again,” he claimed.

            When one of his clinical instructors called him in the morning the examination results were released, all he could hear were screaming and shouting. Then the line went dead. He was in Masbate, his home province, where cellphone signal was intermittent. His phone ringing again, he next found himself praying and crying inside his room. He made it and with flying colors!

            God granted what Jerald and those who believe in him prayed for.

            “I kept of saying, ‘Why Lord? What have I done to deserve all this?’ I didn’t know why I was crying. I felt so blessed and humbled,” Pelayo confessed, attributing his success to God as the ultimate source of wisdom. “My success is a solid proof of a modern-day miracle. My life is a miracle.”

            His closeness and total dependence to God were results of their early morning worship. “I learned from my parents to put God first in life. My parents practice what they teach us. My father is a good leader. He disciplines us appropriately and accordingly.  He instills in our minds that worshipping the Lord upon waking up and before calling it a night in the evening is an integral part of our family life. My siblings and I were trained to memorize Bible verses, which I believe have sharpened our minds. I lost count of how many Bible verses I have memorized since the day I learned to talk,” Pelayo shared the secret that led him to successes and aspires to pass on to his children in the future.

            “The first Bible verse I memorized is “God is love” in 1 John 4:8. It serves as my guidepost in life. I believe with all my heart that it’s God who has a hand in what’s happening to me now. I cannot thank Him enough for loving me this much,” said Pelayo whose holistic approach to and spiritual motivation in life afford him with no other option but to top.

To our dear readers:

This is a repost from the published article in Health and Home, as published by the Philippine Publishing House (PPH). No copyright infringement intended. It is our hope, however, that this article may reach and bless more people, that the testimony of God’s unfathomable love may be made real in our lives as well.

God bless everyone!


Jerald and Ardys


© TandeMD

Faith · Prayer Garden

10 Days of Prayer

We are inviting all of you dear friends to join us in our 10 days of prayer.

10Days2015-300x250Click this link to download resources:

Let us start 2015 right with God! 

With much love,

Jerald and Ardys


© TandeMD

As Pilgrims · Sabbath Joys


The last time, we talked about our FROZEN state. Today, we’ll share how we have learned to T-H-A-W our frozen hearts.

So let’s take it one at a time. 🙂 

take Christ

We remember our favorite line from the Frozen movie which went on like this:

“Only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart.” 

We found this line meaningful, but we felt it lacked something more so allow us to rephrase it this way:

“Only God’s act of TRUE LOVE can THAW OUR FROZEN hearts!”


For GOD so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” ~John 3:16

Indeed, sending Christ is God’s act of true love for us. When we take HIM with us, we shall live with a heart that is able to serve our one true God!

Let us not choose to remain frozen. Otherwise, like Job 37:10 (NIV),

“The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become FROZEN.”

…if ever God breathes upon us and we freeze, nothing else can thaw us.

The ice that binds about souls that are frozen up with selfishness, needs to be melted away, so that every brother shall realize that he is his brother’s keeper. Then every one will go forth to help his neighbor to see the truth, and to serve God in an acceptable service. Then those who profess the name of Christ will aid others in the formation of a Christlike character. If every one would work in Christ’s lines, much would be done to change the condition that now exists among the poor and distressed. Pure religion and undefiled would gleam forth as a bright and shining light.

God’s love in the heart would melt away the barriers of race and caste, and would remove the obstacles with which men have barred others away from the truth as it is in Jesus. True religion will induce its advocates to go forth into the highways and byways of life. It will lead them to help the suffering, and enable them to be faithful shepherds going forth into the wilderness to seek and to save the lost, to lead back the perishing sheep and lambs. {RH December 10, 1895, par. 5}

Jesus never fails to thaw a frozen heart as long as that heart chooses not to stay frozen!

 Help much

A once-frozen-now-thawed heart is always ready to help!

“Let it not be that the sympathetic cords, which should be quick to vibrate at the least touch, shall be cold as steel, frozen, as it were, and unable to help where help is needed.” ~OHC 184.5

The thought of generosity reminds us of Achee’s Father.

Lending a hand to the ones in need. Generosity.


(Achee’s account)

My father is, by far, one of the most generous man I’ve known. Thus his example well defines this word. Give him 5 shirts and he will leave only 1 to himself and give the rest to his less fortunate friends. 

There was one incident I distinctly remember. I was on my way back to Manila, and being the only daughter that I am, my parents decided to accompany me to the airport.  It takes about an hour from the city to the airport, so while we were in the taxi, Father told me and my mother of his co-worker – a heavy equipment driver who went financially unstable. His co-worker had to pay for the cost of a shunt surgery that his 2 month child with hydrocephalus had to go through. He never anticipated this situation nor did he have enough money or time to prepare to cover the costs. The total hospital bill cost him tens of thousands.

What my father discreetly did utterly surprised me. We needed money now more than ever (ever since I started med school, believe me, it was a financial struggle, and it still is) but our need didn’t stop him from helping others.

When their salary came, he especially set apart a small amount and encouraged his other co-workers to do the same and altogether, their money amounted to a few thousands, which they wholeheartedly gave to this co-worker in need. This simple act remains inscribed in my heart, and will forever be an example worth emulating.

Keep the fire burning 

It has been said in Leviticus 6:13:

“The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.”


We should all cultivate an amiable disposition and subject ourselves to the control of conscience. The spirit of the truth makes better men and women of those who receive it in their hearts. It works, like leaven till the entire being is brought into conformity to its principles. It opens the heart that has been frozen by avarice. ~Testimonies for the Church 4:59 (1876). {1MCP 319.2}

But under pressing calls many feel the deepest who have not had their hearts frozen up with selfishness. They have conscientiously kept their means flowing out to advance the cause of God. Their whole being is stirred by the earnest appeals made, and the very ones respond who may have given all that their circumstances in life would justify. {3T 409.2}

The energy of your faith should be poured forth in torrents of fire upon the world’s frozen hearts.



Wake up


We have been commissioned:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:19, 20


Truth, precious, essential truth, will open before all who will keep their souls in the love of God. Duty and sacrifice will be precious to them, because of their love for the purchase of the blood of Christ. Human beings upon whom they would once scarcely look now assume a preciousness in their eyes. Once they had no interest in them; now they are united with Christ, and they are bound up in love with His heritage. The heart once frozen by icy selfishness is now melted by the influence of the Spirit. ~Manuscript 17, February 26, 1901, “Neglected Duties.” {UL 71.6}

God calls upon His people to arise and come out of the chilling, frosty atmosphere in which they have been living, to shake off the impressions and ideas that have frozen up the impulses of love and held them in selfish inactivity. He bids them come up from their low, earthly level and breathe in the clear, sunny atmosphere of heaven.   ~{5T 607.2}


Our FROZEN Challenge for all of you then is this:

Now while mercy lingers, be in earnest. Make no delay, lest it shall be forever too late. The slumber of the world-loving men and women is deep. It will require a powerful effort to break up this frozen state of things and thaw out souls. May God help you to help yourselves. ~{PH039 13.2}








© TandeMD

Sabbath Joys

The Promise of Sabbath

Many of our friends in med school have always wondered, “You mean to tell us you do not study on Sabbaths? Even on exam weeks?”. Their eyes gaze at us in utter amazement at the thought of going through medical school with one day less to study. How is that possible?

What is it in this day we call “Sabbath” that makes it so special, and the keeper of it – peculiar? Why did we ever keep it in the first place?

“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:3

We keep the seventh day Sabbath because during the Creation, He made it extraordinarily special for His beloved children – and that includes you and me!

Just as He, His people, and even His only begotten Son, Jesus, rightfully modeled Sabbath-keeping, so should we. As the Lord of the Sabbath, He bids us:

“REMEMBER the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8

The word REMEMBER is used particularly for this commandment, because He knows that once our earthly priorities get in the way, we tend to FORGET that which is of eternal value.

He also reminds us that:

“I am the LORD your God; walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and observe them. Sanctify My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.” Ezekiel 20:19, 20

Sign, in medical parlance, is something that is objective, meaning it can be observed. It is a step further, a manifestation of what is subjective. Therefore, REMEMBERING the Sabbath as a sign between God and us is made manifest through our OBEDIENCE borne by love for Our Maker. This obedience entails both the subjective act of remembering and the objective act of keeping it.

“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you…” Exodus 20: 9, 10

Spending time with the Lord is NEVER a waste of time. We do not just TRY to find time with God. We MAKE time for and with HIM! Keeping the Sabbath and dedicating that whole day for and with Him also means trusting Him to take care of our earthly cares and needs. It means a time to rest from ephemeral things and taking the time to commune with our Creator God. It is acknowledging God’s Divine Providence. He reminds us:

“Be still and know that I AM GOD.” Psalm 46:10

Beyond rest, it is a day that signifies our faith and submission to His sustaining power in our lives. We believe that:

“Our efficiency will turn out to be a deficiency unless we embrace HIS sufficiency!”

We are given the wonderful promise in Isaiah 58:13, 14,

“If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt homour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”

Sabbath then, is a DELIGHT and never a burden. It is a time to refresh our stress-saturated perspectives about life. It renews our wearied hearts’ energies so that we may be ready to face the greater challenges that are ahead of us.

We hope and pray that you also experience the blessing of keeping the Lord’s Sabbath.

We will share glimpses of our Sabbath days on our next blogs. We hope you stay tuned and stay #TandeMD with God!

With much love,

Jerald and Ardys


© TandeMD

As Pilgrims

The Experiment

By Criscel Leo Garilva

You would never look twice at Jerald Pelayo if he took his seat four chairs down and two rows to the left of you in any class. It was easy to overlook the shy teen from the central Philippine island of Masbate.

Jayboy and His Bible

Jayboy, as friends called him, was way smarter than he was shy. But it was only in college that he discovered freedom from slavery to excessive studying, while amazingly increasing his mental output. “Actually in high school, I read my Bible, but I hadn’t discovered its real effect yet,” he says. “It was just a dry routine. The same was true about my first several years in college.”

To keep his college scholarship, Jerald was required a set unit load every semester. Running out of credits to take, he and several other nursing majors, almost as an afterthought, enrolled in a theology course! In that course, Don Leo Garilva, a dynamic teacher who taught the basic Christian disciplines of Bible study, prayer, and witnessing, became a mentor to him. That class would forever reshape his perception, and mine too, about the power of God’s Word.

The teacher required us to journal our daily devotional time with God, and Jerald started to discover the impact that daily time spent with God had in his life. He found new joy in searching the Scriptures and hearing God’s voice through the written Word leading and guiding him. But the best was stillto come.

Year three meant nursing internship. “It was so hectic, I thought it would be impossible for me to get good grades there,” he says. The requirements were so physically and mentally demanding that no one had ever kept a full scholarship through nursing internship. Better students with more time to study had tried to keep their scholarships and failed. But besides studying and directing a choral group, Jerald was class president. Doubts started nagging. But haunting memories drove him along, memories of having to borrow ill-fitting uniforms just to enter classes. His only real solace was in studying his Bible. “I did that every morning, literally crying out to God: Lord, please help me, I cannot do it.”

And help him God did. Now he tells everyone about it: “That was the first semester of my third year of nursing. I was already in the clinical division (internship), and had a two-part exam on oxygenation. For part one I studied from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 next morning, the hour the exam was scheduled. I only read my Bible and prayed for about 10 minutes total because, of course, I was in a hurry to finish studying all of the diseases and indicators. The results came out and they were good. My efforts did pay off.”

Part Two

As the second exam approached, Jerald kept remembering Dr. Garilva’s advice: Do not lean on your own understanding. Spend time in prayer. Spend time with God’s Word. “I did some self-evaluating,” he says. Am I too confident in my own efforts? Do I think that I can do it by myself just because I did my best and topped the first set? “It was then that I decided to try ‘the experiment’!”

Jerald decided to spend time reading and meditating on God’s Word and then sleep at 10:00 p.m. “I said, ‘Lord, I want to try this out and experience it for myself.’ So immersed was I in reading and meditating on Scripture passages that I lost track of time. The next day’s exam took last place in my mind. I focused on being asleep at 10:00 p.m. I meditated and read my Bible for about 30-45 minutes. And after that I just read my class notes, but no textbooks. I was really tired from going on duty. I was in bed at 10:00 p.m. I awoke and took the exam at 5:00 a.m. the next day. I felt happy and confident. I didn’t regret what I had done. My score was incredible, far outstripping part one when I had slaved so hard at studying! Since then I have never gone back!”

“I still study, but health comes first.” Jerald now has more time with family and friends, more time to enjoy life, but primarily, more time in God’s Word. He now spends quality time studying God’s Word every evening.  “When I study the Bible, I have goals. Every night I read at least two chapters. I read the stories and the promises, and apply them directly to my life and to the lives of others. And I also pray hard. I pray for other people, very specific people. Then I end by meditating in silence.”

His Testimony

“You’ll be amazed!” Jerald declares. “Activities you set for 3 hours, once you read God’s Word, you can finish in a half hour with full efficiency and accuracy!” About the Bible he says:  “There is this power that (we) haven’t valued, this greater power! [I keep wondering why] I was so confident in the lesser power that I had!”

Jerald kept his responsibilities and his scholarship, graduating as class president and most outstanding senior with the highest GPA in the college’s history (3.97 on a 4.00 point scale). He used the same principle when he studied for the national Nursing Licensure Examination in December of 2011. He finished in first place, something none of his teachers had ever done.

As he enters one of the country’s top medical schools (he just finished co-authoring a book, too), the boy who used to wear borrowed uniforms continues to dedicate his life to God. His continued prayer is: Lord, use me so that through whatever gift You have endowed me with, I can tell the world about You, about the power of Your Word, about prayer, about faith. “It should never be about me,” he explains, “or just about academic success, because for me it’s more of a spiritual nature. I could never have done it on my own. I don’t understand how it could have happened. So this was my promise to God: Place me where You wish, and I will lift You higher! And I believe that God has answered my prayer so that I can tell the world through this experience.”

It strikes me that the psalmist seems to have Jerald in mind when he exclaims: “I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes” (Ps. 119: 99). I think too of words penned more than a hundred years ago: “There is nothing more calculated to energize the mind and strengthen the intellect than the study of the Word of God. . . . If God’s Word were studied as it should be, men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose that are rarely seen in these times.”*

Jerald’s experience has revolutionized how I perceive the Scriptures. It has created in me the thirst to drink deeper drafts from the fountain of God’s Word. More important, it has drawn me closer to the Author of that Word. You see, I’ve heard stories about the power of the Bible. But they were always in some far-off time and place. Can God work His miracles where I am? We’ve all asked that question. Apparently He can. Sometimes as close as four chairs down and two rows to the left of you.

* Ellen G. White, Gospel Workers, p. 249.

Criscel Leo Garilva is a graduate of Mountain View College in the Philippines with a degree in theology. This article was published September 20, 2012 in Adventist Review – The flagship journal of the Seventh-day Adventist Church..