By Joe Pedick
Book Review by Chris MacDonald
Local Pastor Joe Pedick's new book lives up to its title and tells several true stories about miraculous things that changed his life, both personally and professionally, changes that many of us can relate to. These involve love and sin, faith and unbelief, tragedy and triumph and the struggle to make life-changing decisions.
The former football and track athlete explains the unbelievable role God played in the creation of Sunset Beach's first church, Calvary Chapel of the Harbour. In 2003, it met for the first time in the Sunset Beach Woman's Club, later moving to Peter's Landing, then on to the Huntington Bay Club property (Warner Avenue, before Pacific Coast Highway).
Pedick's mother passed away when he was 5-months-old and he grew up with many challenges and temptations. He thought he could work himself out of difficult situations and bad decisions, with his own intelligence, wit and understanding. Yet, he sometimes slid further backwards, even though his Christian sister and husband tried repeatedly to rescue him from the depth of depression, a depression so deep he even planned his suicide.
In spite of being able to work his way to the top of a very successful water meter company in Michigan and have everything he could imagine, including nice homes, expensive cars and girlfriends, Joe felt empty and had no inner peace. He was never satisfied and felt something was missing.
The reader will learn how he found the right path that led him to become Sunset Beach's first pastor and how, Kathleen, his former Scottish jazz-singer-turned-Christian wife, a Sunset Beach woman named Vivian and others helped the new church blossom in attendance, number of services and many helpful programs, leading to its move to a larger location in the Huntington Bay Club (which the church is in the process of purchasing).
Chock-full of Scriptures and written from the heart (with editorial assistance from journalist Alex Murashko), Joe takes you on a soulful journey through rebellion, love, determination and having a devoted, Born Again Christian sister, who never gave up praying and preaching to him on how to be saved through Jesus.
This book reads like a movie. You can picture his ups and downs throughout his life. The reader can find himself or herself wrestling with true life issues, including temptations, difficult decisions, moving from state to state, finding the right spouse to marry and the importance of prayer and Bible study. His journey taught him that all things are possible with God.
Some of the Senior Pastor's favorite advice from Scripture and elsewhere:
—Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
—When you come to a "V" in the road and don't know which way to go, just pray, wait, read God's Word and let the Holy Spirit guide you.
—All things work together for good to those who love Godů
—Panic is just a waste of time. "I just minister to myself and trust God to work out everything in His time," he writes.
Readers will learn how the late Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, influenced Joe's personal and professional life; the amazing recovery of longtime church member and Sunset Beach resident, Angela Cooper and her once Special Education grandson, Dezi, who defied doctor's predictions and now flourishes on a full academic scholarship at University of California Irvine, and how Joe and Kathleen's non-believing fathers came to believe in Jesus.
This book will make you laugh and cry as you see Joe's courage to abandon sin, overcome a fear of speaking, stand up for what's right and make a positive difference in these difficult times. He discusses the struggles of today's churches and even wrote a section on how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
You'll see he's not an "average Joe" but a very humble man, who gives all glory to God and cares about and tries to help everyone he meets.
For more information about this book (or the church), contact its publisher, Calvary Chapel of the Harbour (4121 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach) at 562-592-1800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.