Dragons and Vikings

30 08 2008

 

I am beginning the research phase for a few features on the Vikings and thier conversion to Christianity.  I was reading a translation last night of an early Norse Saga.  The introduction included the following description of the region we know today as the Ukraine and North/Western Russia.

The northern part of Swithiod lies uninhabited on account of frost and cold, as likewise the southern parts of Blueland are waste from the burning of the sun.  In Swithiod are many great domains, and many races of men, and many kinds of languages.  There are giants, and there are dwarfs, and there are also blue men, and there are any kinds of stranger creatures.  There are huge wild beasts, and dreadful dragons.

I’m intrigued by the reference to dragons.  I know that some people point to early writings like this which are also full of fanciful stories of Odin to suggest that dragons are merely mythical.  However, an interesting article by Timofey Alferov suggests that these dragons may have been dinosaur decendants of those that had been saved from the flood (article available here).  If dragons were real creatures it wouldn’t be surpising that dragons show up in mythology of both the Norse (those west of the Volga river) and in Asian cultures (east of the Volga river).

From Job 40:

15 “Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you;
      He eats grass like an ox. 
16 See now, his strength is in his hips,
      And his power is in his stomach muscles.
17 He moves his tail like a cedar;
      The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit.
18 His bones are like beams of bronze,
      His ribs like bars of iron.
19 He is the first of the ways of God;
      Only He who made him can bring near His sword.
20 Surely the mountains yield food for him,
      And all the beasts of the field play there.
21 He lies under the lotus trees,
      In a covert of reeds and marsh.
22 The lotus trees cover him with their shade;
      The willows by the brook surround him.
23 Indeed the river may rage,
      Yet he is not disturbed;
      He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth,
24 Though he takes it in his eyes,
      Or one pierces his nose with a snare.





Solomon and Fidelity

20 08 2008


Solomon Building the Temple

This past Sunday the sermon was from I Kings 11; how Solomon’s heart was turned by the love of foreign (or strange) women.  The man who built the dwelling place for God, began building places of worship for other gods.  It got me thinking about fidelity and being a one woman man.  As I listened, I also thought of the injunction to love our wives as Christ loved the church. 

I’ve often thought of that mostly as a sacrifical kind of love, but I began to consider something more, Christ’s fidelity.  When he was tempted, Satan was offering him the “nations of the world.”  I have always interpreted that as a political kind of temptation, but I wonder if Satan was really offering him another “bride.”

Instead, Christ submitted to the will of the Father to receive a remenant or bride from Him (John 10:29) which would come through his death and ressurection. 

I recently did a three part series for Moody Radio on fidelity in marriage.  You can listen to it here if you’d like.

From John 10:

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”





What shouldn’t you throw when you live in a sod house?

7 08 2008


Sod House, courtesy of the Library of Congress

The parkway in the front of our house was torn up last year during the construction of our home.  Since that time, it has been a work in progress.  This summer, I decided that I was going to do my best to put sod down so that it would match the house better.  My neighbor decided at the same time that he would sod the parkway in front of his house and his daughter’s house–the lots on either side of me.

We tried to order sod earlier this summer, but a comedy of errors insued.  The long and short of the story was, my neighbor went ahead an sodded his land, but mine still sat there sporting the latest weeds…until last night.  I arrived home to find my neighbor waiting for me.  He told me of some unwanted sod scraps the next block over.  So I went and picked them up.  There were a few rolls of sod, but all the rest ranged in size from a scarf to a paperback novella.

So I have filled in all but a 4 x 4 foot square with a patchwork of sod pieces.  My mother-in-law would be proud at my quilting prowess…

God sent the grass, not quite how we were looking for it, but we are grateful none the less…

From Deuteronomy 11:

And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.