Risky Business

Amos-prophetOff with you, visionary…never again prophecy in Bethel.” (Am 7:12–13) Amaziah, Beth el, Amos, Israel, Judah…. Isn’t it often the case that the first reading from the Old Testament is this jumble of odd names and places – and not enough of the story to really know what is going on? Let me  fill  you in.

This whole scene takes place well after the time of King David when the 10 northern tribes have broken away from David’s and his successors, forming the nation called Israel – leaving 2 tribes in the south to form the nation of Judah.  The folks up north in Israel have built a rival capital to Jerusalem and even a rival temple – Beth El – literally, the “House of God” – and it has been that way for more than a hundred years. Continue reading

Foundational Stories

storytellingAll of us tell stories. Sometimes were are the hero of the stories about ourselves. Stories define us. To know someone well is to know his or her story—the experiences that have shaped them, the trials and turning points that have tested them. When we want someone to know us, we share stories of our childhoods, our families, our school years, our first loves, and so on. And there in milieu are the stories that inspire us. I wrote about one story that inspired me. Continue reading