Another Chance Podcast, Episode Three: “The Barrel Is My Church”

In Episode 3 of Another Chance you’ll meet my longtime friend, Peter Manchester.  Peter is a hilarious, self-effacing guy who grew up the youngest of 12 children, in Santa Cruz, California.  When most kids are just learning how to ride a bike, Peter was surfing with his older brothers–and he became darn good at it too (that’s Peter in the photo, body surfing through the barrel of a wave at Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz, California).

The surf culture, with its penchant for partying and reputation for drugs, soon became synonymous with Peter’s life, and by the time he was 16 he was addicted to heroin.

Adding to his predicament was the fact that his parents had more or less allowed him to raise himself since he was in grade school.  There was no supervision or guidance given for Peter or any of his brothers.

However, as you’ll hear, God intervened–several times–providing Peter with another chance.

This podcast is perfect for anyone struggling with addiction, including family members of the addict. It’s also an excellent podcast for people who come from dysfunctional families–especially those who had a poor relationship with their father.

And for those who are seeking the Truth, in the podcast I simply explain how placing your trust in the One who says, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life,” actually works.

As you briefly heard, Peter and Laura were divorced after 10-years of marriage.  They have an adult son named Elijah.  Both have since remarried; Peter to a wonderful woman named Ann, and Laura to a great guy named Mike.  All four of them are followers of Jesus, and my wife and I are friends with all four of them. Peter and Anne have two children, Sam and Max.

What I find interesting about Peter’s story, as well as the two previous episodes, after acknowledging Jesus as Lord Peter still had to come to a point where he owned his faith.  In other words, the spiritual high that he first experienced had to be tested with reality.  This reminds me of the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 13, where Yeshua (Jesus) says,


3“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

In this simple illustration we see that the authentic follower of Yeshua/Jesus must develop spiritual roots which come about through being placed in good soil.  And what is the good soil? Continually being filled with His Spirit by studying and applying His Word (the Bible), by constantly speaking to Him in prayer, and by fellowshipping with His people.  By living such a lifestyle, the believer will be properly equipped to withstand the trials of this life and meet the Savior in Heaven, unashamed.

I plan on having Laura and Mike as the subject of a future podcast.

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Brian Sussman

Reader Interactions


    • Brian Sussman says

      Thanks for listening, Jim. Please spread the word. I’ve got a couple more stories currently in production. I’ll let you know when they’re posted. I’ll likely be doing a short one on my journey as well. Best regards!

  1. Jeannette Manchester says

    Just finished listening to the podcast about my brother, Peter. Thank you for sharing his story. I am so proud of the man he has become. Peter has a great sense of humor and is loving and just a sweetheart; I wish we didn’t live so far away from each other. PS: I was one of the culprits sitting on the bed, stoned on marijuana and enjoying bowls of ice cream when Mom walked in on us. She really did say how sweet we looked sharing time together – ha, ha!

    • Brian Sussman says

      So wonderful to hear from you, Jeanette!
      I was terrific seeing you in Texas.
      Blessing to you and ALL the Manchester clan.

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