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Jeremiah Was A What?

So here is a little bit about me. I didn’t think to do a short bio on myself until after having posted 3 times, and almost finishing a fourth. I know. “Brilliant!”

I am a husband, father and engineer/paramedic. I have been married to Gia for almost 20 years. We have 3 daughters. Hailey, Shea, and Liana. My family is the joy of my life, especially my girls.  Gia is an outgoing lover of people, and works with the young kids at the local public schools. My girls are all different, but they have the same love for each other and get along very well (even though they have their moments). We love to hang out, have fun and laugh together. Gia says I’m a good daddy, but I think Orthodoxy has helped me try to do better (for that matter, trying to be a better husband too).

We have lived in the city of Upland, CA for over 16 years now. We have been making our home palace of positive and joyous memories for our family. We have good neighbors that all watch out for each other.

I have been in the fire service since 1998, and a paramedic since 2001. It has been an interesting road for me, but I like this job (but I definitely have my moments). I have worked in just about every climate California has to offer: high desert, low desert, mountains and central coast. I promoted to Engineer (known as chauffeur in some areas) a few years back. There’s nothing quite like driving a fire engine Code-3. While I’d like to think I have been a good Fireman/paramedic over the past several years, Orthodoxy has had a radical effect on the way I view the people I serve. It’s easy to become jaded, if you’re not careful. Jesus has exposed that, and begun to heal it (thankfully).

I kind of explained this in my post, but I was born into a Protestant home (Calvary Chapel specifically). While I have sinned greatly, I have had a passion for communicating the Word of God from my early adult years. My only theological education has been CCBC (see first post) and a lot of reading on my own. I spent the first 30 years of my life in Calvary Chapel, then found the Presbyterian Church, spending about 5 years there.

2009 to 2010 was my introduction to the Eastern Orthodox Church. I can’t say I discovered it, as much as it discovered me (meaning she led me to herself). I have learned so much in that time, that my head has spun many times over. All that information, though, has not been content to stay in my head. I have found it powerfully working its way into my heart, my life. In a word, transforming. My wife doesn’t quite understand this journey, and is having a hard time with it (understandably), but my girls were baptized into the Church, nearly a year and a half after myself (they came in Pascha 2013). My wife has not made this journey, but she has been, and continues to remain supportive and loving. A real blessing.

My hope is to not only share the journey itself, but some reflections on the things I have learned, seen and experienced. Maybe somebody will find it helpful, or at least interesting.

Fell free to comment, criticize, or question. And if you have any tips for making this blog better, please let me know. I’m unskilled in the blog world (a little slow on the uptake, I guess).

16 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2010 11:07 am

    I just discovered this through Kellee’s blog. How cool! I was an old youth group attendee at CCCH when you and Gia helped out (remember Kelly McGirr?). anyhow, I became Eastern Orthodox myself 7 years ago. I am so happy for you and will pray for your family.

    • April 28, 2010 1:29 pm

      Great to hear from you Kelly! I had heard from Jonathan Deanne that you had become Orthodox. He said you were attending a Western Rite Church. It is exciting to see so many finding their way to the Apostolic Church and Faith.
      I appreciate your prayers. I definitely want peace and unity in the home. I hope we keep in contact.

  2. May 23, 2010 7:36 pm

    I’d love to post your story on JTO.

    May I? Do you need to update anything?

    • May 23, 2010 9:30 pm

      I would be honored. I am still only a catechumen. I hope that doesn’t effect anything. There is really nothing to update.

  3. January 6, 2011 5:54 am

    I’m curious how you decided that you wanted to become Orthodox? Did you meet someone or read a book on the subject?

    • January 9, 2011 12:29 pm

      Thank you for reading some of this blog and for commenting. My first every experience of the Orthodox Church was through a friend who converted several years ago from Protestantism. I largely disregarded it and paid it no mind. It wasn’t until the summer of 2009 that I heard a podcast series called Journeys To Orthodoxy. I didn’t know what it was before I listened. The very first podcast fascinated me. Not only did what they say make sense, but it opened my eyes to the things that were wanting in my own Protestant confession. I was still very skeptical and tried to learn as much as I could. It plagued my mind, day and night, for a few months. I asked questions, read books, attended services and eventually had to surrender to Christ and His Church.
      That’s the essence of what interested me. The podcast is on the Orthodox Christian Network, which link is in the right hand column of this blog.
      What is your background?

      • January 14, 2011 10:22 am

        Hi Jeremiah,
        I did come back to check for a reply but must have done so before you posted it. I was baptised Greek Orthodox as a baby as that is my family’s heritage. However, the only Orthodox churches I know of in the area aren’t really very dynamic and they speak mostly Greek, which I don’t. I really don’t see how this will edify me as I see it mainly as a “Greek cultural club,” so I attend a non-denominational church. I do agree with the Orthodox theology however, and I go to the liturgy for Pascha.
        Thanks for your reply,

  4. Marta permalink
    November 1, 2011 8:37 pm

    I found this site quite by accident..I converted to Eastern Orthodoxy after being an Evangelical Protestant for over 20 years (before that I was Baptist). I did so because I wanted to be in the faith that was literally handed down to the apostles and hasn’t changed in almost 1800 years. Protestantism changes constantly because you can make the Scriptures say anything you want. That’s why there are over 2500 different sects in Protestantism. Because really, all you have is some pastor’s interpretation of the Scripture. You cannot have sola scriptura–you have to have tradition interpret it, Paul said “hold fast to the TRADITION that was taught you, either by word, epistle or letter..”What tradition? Orthodox tradition. Catholicism has changed. Protestantism changes constantly. Orthodoxy has not changed. I love the Divine Liturgy. It is so deep and wonderful. The more I attend, the more I love it.There is an excellent book entitled, Thirsting for God in the Land of Shallow Wells, by Matthew Gallatin, a former Calvary Chapel Pastor who converted and why he did. It rocked my world and after reading it, I knew i had to convert.

    • November 2, 2011 1:59 pm

      I will look for that book. I should probably update this. I have been a catechumen for a couple years now. The wait has been worth it, as I have not only grown a lot, but my girls now want to become Orthodox. Thank you for your comment. Feel free to comment on other stuff. I guess this blog can show me how my understanding of Orthodoxy has grown, and will continue to grow.

  5. Marta permalink
    November 2, 2011 5:27 pm

    Jeremiah-I am so glad your girls want to become Orthodox! A few weeks ago I went to a Serbian Orthodox church in Southern California and got to venerate the Iveron Icon. That’s the icon of the Theotokos. It bleeds myrrh. It was amazing. I have never, ever smelled anything like it. It was an amazing experience…I took a cotton ball swabbed in it and keep it in my dresser drawer. Just to think I have something in my possession right out of heaven…it’s all too wonderful…

  6. May 22, 2012 7:46 pm

    Hi Jeremiah!

    Glory to Jesus Christ!

    I have a lot of pictures to send to you from your baptism and chrismation.

    If you’d like to have them, please send me an email! And do say hello and give a hug to Gia for me. It’s been too long since we’ve seen you all.

    Blessings, Susan

    • May 23, 2012 2:52 pm

      I would love to see them. And I told Gia hello for you (with a hug). Thank you so much.
      A glorious Feast of the Ascension to you and the family. And Congratulations!

  7. tinag46 permalink
    May 9, 2013 6:54 am

    Christ is Risen! Jeremiah, I just stumbled upon your blog this morning and wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed reading it so far. I figured anyone who can so easily combine LOTR with Orthodoxy has to be worth reading (now if you could only work in some Star Trek, you’d really be on to something). I too am a convert to Orthodoxy, and came to the faith 20 years ago from a Lutheran background. I am very active in my parish, St. Anthony the Great (OCA) in San Antonio, and blogged for several years on WordPress, so I know how tiring all that can be while working full-time and raising a family. I’m happy for you in your new faith and wish you and your family many blessings. Being an Orthodox convert is a wild ride, but what a thrill.

    • May 9, 2013 6:22 pm

      Truly He Is Risen!
      Thank you for your kind words. You are right, this Orthodox Faith is a wild ride. I myself was received almost a year and a half ago, and have been working towards the baptism of my three girls for quite some time, with the guidance and pastoral wisdom of my priest. It has been a wild ride just to this point. I can’t imagine what’s ahead.
      I think you are on to something about Star Trek… I just need to be sure you are speaking of the Original! HAHAHAHA!
      Star Wars would be pretty awesome too. In fact, my girls were baptized on Star Wars Day (May the 4th). It was such a crazy day, especially with Pascha that night at 11, I never got in a single “May the 4th be with you” crack out there. Oh well, there is always next year.
      Thanks again.

  8. tinag46 permalink
    May 10, 2013 6:30 am

    Of course the Original ST (and not that digitized “enhanced” version that’s out now). Star Wars Day? Would that be Old Calendar or New Calendar? Well, anyway, from one nerd to another, Christ is Risen, or as we say in the Lone Start state, “Christ is Risen, Y’all! Sure nuff He dun Risen!”

    • May 10, 2013 8:06 am

      Okay, good. I’m glad we are talkin’ the original! 😉 Have a blessed completion of Bright Week.

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