Monthly Archives: June 2010


Manute Bol the radical Christian


Categories: Blog, News, Opinion, Tags: , , , ,

Bol sitting quietly during his playing days

I was shocked to hear of the death of former NBA center, Manute Bol. Bol, who at 7′ 7″ towered over all but the tallest of NBA big men, died at the age of 47, the result of a disease contracted in his home country of Sudan.

Recently, Jon Shields of the Wall Street Journal, authored an article entitled, “Manute Bol’s radical Christianity,” which explored the embarrassingly overused concept of redemption as it is often pinned to the exploits of NBA players. An excerpt:

What does redemption mean in the world of professional basketball and sports more broadly? It involves making up for—or, yes, ‘atoning’—for a poor performance. When the Lakers beat Boston, for instance, Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times called the victory ‘redemption for the Celtics’ 2008 Finals beating.’


Manute Bol, who died last week at the age of 47, is one player who never achieved redemption in the eyes of sports journalists. His life embodied an older, Christian conception of redemption that has been badly obscured by its current usage.

Bol, a Christian Sudanese immigrant, believed his life was a gift from God to be used in the service of others. As he put it to Sports Illustrated in 2004: ‘God guided me to America and gave me a good job. But he also gave me a heart so I would look back.’

Though many did not know that Bol gave away virtually his fortune of millions, I was left wondering how many would wag their heads at this extravagant display toward others. “How could he have blown through all that money?” some would doubtless ask.

Perhaps the better question is how can the rest of us, who call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ, emulate such a worthy example of radical Christianity?

Read the entire Wall Street Journal piece. I highly recommend it.

[Update: A FB fan page created for Bol reports that his illness was Stevens-Johnson Syndrome brought on by a reaction to medication he received while in Africa.


Introducing Pampered Bed and Bath, from Sonya Duren

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Categories: News, Tags: , , , , , ,

I don’t know of a more industrious woman than Sonya Duren, my wife. She is as much like the woman described in the biblical book of Proverbs (chapter 31) as anyone I have ever known or read about. She’s a fantastic mother having homeschooled two children from kindergarten through high school and has about 3 years left on our third. All of our kids call her “blessed” and she has the respect and admiration of each. She is a great cook, an avid reader and passionate student of the Bible. Numerous people could give testimony as to how she has helped, encouraged or challenged them to follow Christ and to her faithfulness to God.

Proverbs 31 speaks of a woman who makes clothing and buys and sells property, in other words, she is businesslike. In that vein, Sonya recently decided to open an online retail store with a focus on natural and organic bed and bath products, hence the name Pampered Bed and Bath ( It is brand new, going live today.

She writes:

This store is a dream that has been a long time coming. My name is Sonya Duren. As the owner of Pampered Bed and Bath, my goal is to bring you an assortment of organic and natural products that will make your family’s bedding and bath a restful retreat in our sometimes, crazy, busy lives!

My first experience in organic bath products was a chance encounter with a small, organic soap boutique off the beaten path that my husband, Marty, and I happened upon when we were on vacation. We would splurge and buy several bars, then do without until we went back there when on vacation the next year. I was hooked!

As a result, Sonya is seeking to bring these joys to a wider clientele.

When you get an opportunity, please check out Pampered Bed and Bath. There you will find various kinds of organic cotton and wool bedding, organic bamboo bedding and towels, natural and USDA certified organic soaps, baby items and more. Her soap lines, including the Pampered Bed and Bath brands are all cruelty-free, that is not tested on animals. Many products are from renewable resources and are eco-friendly.

Pampered Bed and Bath takes all major credit/debit cards (Visa, MC, Discover, AMEX) and is a secure shopping site. Shipping is done via FedEX, UPS and USPS.

Pampered Bed and Bath will grow in the days and weeks ahead with the addition of new products, a gift registry, gift cards and more. Also a part of the site is a blog where new products and product lines will be introduced and information of interest about organic or natural products will be posted.