More than words: 2008 in quotes
Great stories have great quotes.
Sometimes, entire conferences, trends, issues and even tragedies are best summarized in simple phrases from the people involved in the news.
As 2009 begins, we offer some of our favorite quotes that appeared in The Christian Chronicle in 2008.
“(Football) is just a game. It’s a kid’s game. We’re just men who are playing it.”
— TORRANCE “TANK” DANIELS, linebacker for the 2008 Super Bowl champions New York Giants and member of the Pitman church in Sewell, N.J.
“Sailing on the open ocean terrifies me. I know boats and I have taught sailing and navigation, but I sail for the Lord — even though I am so afraid. I am more afraid not to.”
— TOM TUNE, missionary who sailed his boat, the Dorcas Sue, across the South Pacific.
“We know that this was a setback for a setup. A lot of memories went on in that building, but we can make new ones.”
— WILLIAM WHITE JR., student at Southwestern Christian College, after a fire destroyed the administration building.
“This is unspeakable and unexplainable — when once-loving neighbors, friends and families turn against each other with great rage, butchering one another without mercy.”
— MUSTAFA MASUDI, church member in Mount Elgon, Kenya, on post-election violence that claimed 1,500 lives, including at least 20 church members.
“Jesus would seek and save the lost, the hurting, the troubled. He would seek the aborting woman. He would help the gay. I don’t see him using political ends to change these people.”
— LESLIE KENNEY, member of the Fellowship church in Russellville, Ky., discussing the 2008 presidential race.
“It is remarkable to think that at any given time — from sometime on Saturday until Monday — people around the world are celebrating the body and blood of Jesus in a way similar to me.”
— ROGER PRITCHETT, former missionary to Kenya, on the Lord’s Supper.
“I’ve tried drugs. I’ve tried alcohol. I’ve tried everything you can think of, as far as shooting heroin and everything. Ain’t none of that that’s like the love of God.”
— RONALD JACKSON, on the peace he found through the recovery ministry at the North Atlanta church.
“Suddenly, it seemed like hundreds of people began pouring out of the aisles and rushing toward the woman. People stood in long lines to hug her and love her.”
— NELDA RICO, reacting to a woman’s confession of adultery at the Anchorage, Alaska, church.
“This is not … a gimmick to give everybody an iPhone. We really believe that mobile learning is the way of the future.”
— KEVIN ROBERTS, chief information officer at Abilene Christian University, on each freshman receiving an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch.
“The state of the church is good. The storm blew some buildings and some people away, and we moved on from there.”
— OTIS SHIELDS, of the Elysian Fields church in New Orleans, reflecting on Hurricane Katrina more than two years later.
“People say I could make more money if I was open on Wednesday and Sunday. That’s not an option for me. I’m not going to sacrifice my relationship with Christ for a few dollars.”
— PAUL WOODARD, church elder and owner of Big Daddy’s Bar-B-Q , after winning recognition
for the best ribs in the Birmingham, Ala., area.
“I’ve often said that God took one son from us, but he’s given us back thousands of young girls and boys that we’ve been able to touch through this work.”
— SHERRY OWENS, on working with her husband, Rick, and youth groups to build churches in Mexico.
“God uses whoever is available. He has used donkeys before.”
— SHAUN DUTILE, domestic missionary, downplaying his role in growing a New Jersey church plant.
“He don’t act like a preacher. I mean, he’s an awful nice fellow, but when he’s down here and he’s got that uniform on, he’s a baseball player.”
— WHITEY HERZOG, former major-league baseball manager, on Terry Rush and his ministry at St. Louis Cardinals’ fantasy camps.
“Kayla says this is all a God thing. And that is the only way to look at it.”
— RACHEL SYNCO, member of the Lakehoma church in Mustang, Okla., on the circumstances that led to fellow member Kayla Balliew donating a kidney to her.
“There are very few 13-year-old boys in the world you can call sweet, and Sam was one of those. It’s very disheartening.”
— CAROL COPELAND, of the Southwest church in Omaha, Neb., on Sam Thomsen, one of four Boy Scouts killed when a tornado sliced through a Scout camp in Iowa.
“Who wants to work for a small church with half salary? Not many people do.”
— ANTHONY LINDEN, student at the Sunset International Bible Institute’s satellite school in Fall River, Mass., on the shortage of preachers in New England.
“We don’t know each other because we don’t associate with each other, and we don’t associate with each other because we fear each other. It’s nothing but a vicious cycle that comes from the pit of hell.”
— DAVID LANE, minister of the Marsalis Avenue church in Dallas, on the racial, cultural and socioeconomic factors that can divide Christians.
“Panic selling during a down market is a quick way to lock in losses. But more importantly, we try to use times like these to remember that we ultimately do not rely on the gifts in our hand but on God who put them there.”
— BRIAN STARR, an administrator at Lubbock Christian University, reacting to the Wall Street crisis.
“I can hear God more loudly, more clearly in a culture of diversity than I can in a culture of sameness. That hasn’t been our tendency. We’ve often just spliced and diced the kingdom of God in more ways than any other religious group in the history of this nation.”
— RICH LITTLE, minister of the Naperville, Ill.,church.
“We’re hanging on to God.”
— JOHN DOBBS, minister of the Forsythe church in Monroe, La., after a highway accident claimed his son, John Robert, 18, two days before his scheduled high school graduation.
“Especially going to my grandparents’ churches growing up — all older people, all Caucasian — I love being able to see that everyone of all shapes, all sizes, all kinds can get along as part of the church.”
— WHITNEY PETTYJOHN, on the Manhattan, N.Y., church, where the diverse membership reflects the Big Apple’s “melting pot” nature.
“It’s hard to imagine Christ coaching ladies basketball, but if he did, it would have to look a lot like Steve at Southwood.”
— ROBERT SMITH, elder of the Southern Hills church in Shreveport, La., on Steve McDowell, coach of the state champion Southwood High School Lady Cowboys.
“Once Bobby became a Christian, he never looked back. If he couldn’t attend church he’d have his own service in the hotel or locker room.”
— DWAINE RHODES, on his brother-in-law, Yankees legend Bobby Murcer, who died after a 19-month battle with brain cancer.
“Right down the road, there’s crack houses. It’s not the greatest place, but isn’t that where you would find Jesus shining the light?”
— DAVID RAY, on the neighborhood surrounding the Lynn Street church in Parkersburg, W.Va.
“We have an opportunity that we’ve never had before to reach out across the island. What we do now will define us to a lot of folks.”
— BOB ROLAND, associate minister at the Broadway church in Galveston, Texas, on members helping their neighbors after Hurricane Ike.