PLATTTEVILLE — Members of the Lutheran Church of Peace in Platteville know Rev. Jeff Pedersen as their pastor.
They may not know Pedersen as a TV show host, a marathon runner, and an author.
The most recent of his books, The Tie That Binds: Building a Strong Marriage, is the basis of a 12-week seminar series at the church Thursdays starting Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.
Pedersen hosts “To Know Christ” on KFXB-TV (channel 40) in Dubuque Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., and Sundays at 4:30 p.m. “To Know Christ” is also available on the YouTube KFXBTV channel.
Pedersen never planned to be an author.
“It was my first book, Endless Running,” he said. “It was never that I had a goal or desire to write books. But I’d done a monthly work for the newsletter at my church, and I was a marathon runner at the time, and I’d get an idea to write as I was running.”
Pedersen’s first three books were based on themes from whatever recreational activity he was participating in at the time, including River Reflections and Cross-Winter Skiing.
“You’re out for a 10-mile run, what are you thinking about?” said Pedersen. “The others are devotional books with an outdoor theme or an athletic theme, whereas this book is more an instructional book that focuses on marriage.”
The fourth book was Christmas Ponderings.
“I wrote this book because I’m concerned about marriage in this country, doing what I can to strengthen marriage for a couple,” said Pedersen. “To have a strong marriage means you’ve got to work on it. Healthy marriages don’t happen by accident but they come from couples actively working.
“’Working on it’ may sound like a laborious thing, being intentional about things like taking a class, going on a marriage retreat, doing things to nurture your marriage. When you have a strong marriage, that helps strengthen the community and helps children and their environment.”
The seminar “kind of helps avoid the pitfalls of marriages, and things that will help strengthen marriages,” said Pedersen.
The seminar follows the 12 chapters in Pedersen’s book, focusing on “Communication,” “Male & Female,” “Love,” “The Vow,” “Dreams and Goals,” “Finances,” “Conflict,” “Temptation,” “Children,” “Storms” and “Imaging.”
“The tie is love,” said Pedersen. “The love of God is eternal, it’s indestructible, and the nature of God’s love is it grows. Life has its changes, but the love of God continues through constantly. Even though our reasons for getting married may change 25 or 50 years later, the love of God continues to remain for us.”
Of the “Children” chapter, Pedersen said, “Subtly, as a couple raise their children they grow apart as a couple. And it happens, and it does, when the last child leaves the nest — a couple’s married 25 years, and then you wonder why they’re getting a divorce. The 25-year mark is a real challenge as far as establishing goals. The first 25 years goals are real obvious, but when those goals are met, you need to make new goals.”
Proceeds from the $10 book sales will go to the church’s mission project, building a boarding school for girls in the new country of South Sudan.
Pedersen is working on his sixth book, about the Holy Spirit.
“Writing the book is actually the fun part,” he said. “But it becomes quite a process. First you write it, and then you go through and polish it the best you can. Then you have to find somebody who’s willing to publish it. Then you find a publisher and you go through the entire editing process. And then you have to go out and publicize it, and that can be the hardest part.”