Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resident Evil: Degeneration (Or, the problem with CG movies.)

Last night I watched "Resident Evil: Degeneration". I played the first one and a half games using cheat codes because I suck at these kinds of games, but love the atmosphere. So I'm not a hard core Resident Evil/Bio Hazard fan. But I do love a good zombie flick and sci-fi action rocks, so I knew I'd have to check this one out.

It had a few good things going for it, but not enough to make it a purchase. Some great visual designs and creature stuff provided nifty eye candy and a few of the action sequences scratched the itch for me. Where the movie falls short is, like so many of its kind, in the motion capture.

Now, I have to say very quickly and with great stress, this is not the fault of the mo-cap actors. I emphasize that because after watching the credits I discovered that the mo-cap actor for Claire Redfield was played by one of my and my wife's friends. I felt her performance was solid and one of the strong points of the film. Even before discovering her name in the credits I thought in one scene, "the mo-cap actor's movements are really selling this scene for Claire." I came to my own conclusions about the quality of the film before seeing the credits, so I believe I maintain my objectivity.

So what do I mean about mo-cap being the weakness? I'm talking about the technology. It hasn't reached the point where we can capture the subtle emotional tells in a person's face. With only a few dozen capture points in use, we just can't capture the facial performances like we need to. And if there IS technology available to track eye and eyelid movement, it hasn't successfully translated those movements to the screen yet. We can do large limb and joint capture pretty well. Even hands aren't too bad. But anything smaller and the performance is lost.

On the DVD for this movie, you can even see a live comparison from the actors and the capture they produce and there is just a lot missing from the get go.

Until we master mo-cap, I think it is best used for action sequences only. That's why films like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Beowulf, and this one, will always produce characters that feel wooden. In the making of "The Incredible Hulk" they used a new mo-cap process where they spray florescent paint onto the actor's faces, allowing them to pick up MUCH more detail. But this still didn't result in very believable CGI. And without those believable performances on the screen, dialogue and "character driven" moments fall flat and are just plain boring to watch. That's why I didn't feel I could do a full and fair review of this movie. After awhile, I ended up fast-forwarding through a few dialogue scenes.

Resident Evil was great in it's action sequences, but it spent too much time trying to convey 3 dimensional characters with real emotions, given that the technology just isn't up to the challenge yet. A film in this format that succeeds like no other is "Final Fantasy: Advent Children". Compared to the other "all CG" films I've mentioned, this one really played up the strength of CG by giving us a 90 minute action-fest with crazy camera work and "stunts" that can only happen in a CG film. Advent Children doesn't waste alot of time trying to give great character performances. It plays up the strengths of CG and downplays the weak points.

I would LOVE to see a sequel to Resident Evil: Degeneration that utilized this strategy a little more. That, or one that waits to be made until the technology can translate the performances to screen that these actors and directors put so much time and thought into.

Squeezing In Some "Pilgrim"


Despite a very active Christmas/New Year schedule, I had some time to work on Monday and Tuesday and was able to get a few things done on scripting for Pilgrim.

There's still a lot I need to figure out about pacing and what the overall feel of the story will be. Bunyan's work contains virtually no realistic characters. While I'm working to retain all of the extreme qualities that his characters possess, I also want to add a few subtle layers to each character so that they are more than over-the-top stereo-types or symbols.

My philosophy is to "add" instead of "subtract". I'm not interested in cutting out characters, events  and ideas from Bunyan's classic. I'm aiming to translate them while adding additional material to round it out into a more character driven story form.(I'll probably add some action here and there as well.) But if I add too much, Bunyan's work becomes harder to see than I'd like. So finding that balance is what I'm currently working on.

Keep an eye on this spot. Very soon I'll be sharing some details on a few agenda items for 2009 that you won't want to miss hearing about!

Have a great New Year!

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, December 29, 2008

In Search Of Truth, 1st Corinthians 1:10-16


After his greeting, Paul "exhorts" his readers to agree with each other. Let's pick apart verse 10 a little bit, because there is room for this verse to be misunderstood. It also helps set the context for the upcoming verses.

The Greek word used for "exhort" here is "Parakaleo". This word is stronger than a request, but less than a command. We might say that Paul is "urging" his readers toward different behavior. He wants them to "agree". More literally, this idea of agreeing would be translated "speak the same thing". Paul further clarifies his desire by urging them to avoid "divisions". This Greek word is where we get the word schism and implies social factions. He wants them to be "Katartizo", the Greek word used here for "made complete". This word means to "fit together" perfectly. Both in mind and judgment. The two words used for "mind" and "judgment" are similar, but with some key differences. One refers to opinion or thought, the other is more closely tied to the will and refers to discernment that determines conduct.

So if we take all these puzzle peices and put them back together, we can come to a few conclusions about what this verse is telling us.

First off, this verse, like the whole book, is directed to believers and should be read in that context. God wants us to agree whenever possible in our conversations. It's okay to disagree about whether or not the new Star Trek movie will be "better" than the classic continuity. (In any case, movies are art. Their quality is subjective.) Still, God wants us to focus more on our points of agreement than disagreement. He doesn't want any relational division, spoken or unspoken, to develop among his followers. So whether it's your favorite style of music, or a doctrinal issue, God wants us to strive for agreement. He wants us to be united in our love for him and in our view of him.

That said, remember that "Parakaleo" means "urge" and not "command". God knows we will disagree on things. Some disagreement is good! After all, it doesn't honor God if we all "agree" to rebel against him. Later in this book, God will give instruction on how we can live together even with very large differences in our personalities, cultural backgrounds, and Biblical views. He knows that being a unified community that believes the right things requires two complex elements (unity and right belief) that present an ongoing challenge.

The Corinthians were struggling with both sides of this coin. They had factions developing, motivated by personal pride. Some wanted to be identified with one Apostle or another teacher. Some very "piously" wanted to be identified with Christ. We can hear the same echoes of this today as people cling to one denomination or the other. One church style or the other. Or from those non-denominationalists, or those who don't attend church, who become prideful, believing they are more intelligent and open-minded because of their independence. We pit organizations, authors and speakers against each other who never asked to be a part of our debate.

Paul's response is a little sarcastic: "Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?"

We can go beyond respect for good teachers and leaders and make them our source of truth, when that position belongs only to God!

We might pride ourselves on being signed up for Rob Bell or James Dobson's newsletter, but it is Christ that we follow, and God wants us to follow him in community, working toward unity despite our differences.

Next Week: The "packaging" of the Truth.

Coffee House Question- When have you experienced or witnessed division in a community of Christians and what did it look like?

Monday, December 22, 2008


by paeter frandsen

Emmanuel. "God with us"
Beautiful words, but have we forgotten their meaning?
Consider the implications of God being with us.
The concept alone should leave us searching for words.
The Cosmic Creator of limitless power became a fragile human being.
A dirty little village held the conduit to eternity.
Its darkened streets concealed the God of all the universe.
His eternal nature might have shattered time by His mere presence.
With only a thought, His infinite power might have ripped apart the building blocks of reality.
This being, who is the sum of every hope and every fear mankind can think of, laid down His infinite might.
Why? To be closer to you.
And now, restored to his infinite glory, He waits. You have only to ask, and He will once again rip through the fabric of space and time, just to be near you.
Because, Emmanuel isn't just His name on Christmas. It's His name every day of our lives.




by paeter frandsen


Emmanuel. "God with us"

Beautiful words, but have we forgotten their meaning?

Consider the implications of God being with us.

The concept alone should leave us searching for words.

The Cosmic Creator of limitless power became a fragile human being.

A dirty little village held the conduit to eternity.

Its darkened streets concealed the God of all the universe.

His eternal nature might have shattered time by His mere presence.

With only a thought, His infinite power might have ripped apart the building blocks of reality.

This being, who is the sum of every hope and every fear mankind can think of, laid down His infinite might.

Why? To be closer to you.

And now, restored to his infinite glory, He waits. You have only to ask, and He will once again rip through the fabric of space and time, just to be near you.

Because, Emmanuel isn't just His name on Christmas. It's His name every day of our lives.

See you here next Monday!

Have a Truth Centered Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Spinning Lots Of Plates!


It's been a very busy week of juggling schedules with my wife and son. I've also got family in town that I rarely get to see, so I've been taking some time off work to spend with them.

You can probably assume that the Friday updates won't involve much project progress for the next two weeks, although I've been able to keep up with filling orders, answering e-mails and doing the usual posts, so feel free to drop me a line! I always love to interact with you guys!

If you're a podcast listener, I'm considering making some cosmetic changes in January, along with adding a new feature to the rotation. I'd be interested in getting your feedback on the show as I'm considering what I can do to streamline it (intros and segues, etc.) and keep it interesting (content, topics, etc.). In general I'm looking to polish it up a bit and make things fresh without changing the things you continue to come back for. So I'd love to get your thoughts! Send them to me at paeter (at) spiritblade (dot) net!

Have a great weekend!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vincent and Video Games


For 15 years now, whenever I play an RPG that lets me choose the name of my character, I've chosen Merikk Scythe. I just loved the sound of it, and now of course the name has found its way into my own stories.

But in the last two years or so, ever since I started developing "Dark RItual", I began using the name Vincent Craft for my RPG characters. I've also made the conscious decision to ask myself, "WWVD"? What would Vincent do?

The result has been interesting. My games played as Merikk usually involved more wise-cracking and player wish-fulfillment, but as Vincent, I find myself making a mix of both good and bad choices that get my character in trouble and make for a very interesting story, if the game allows my choices to impact it.

Most recently, I finished playing "Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic" for the very first time. As I mentioned over on "Paeter's Brain", I made some choices near the end that finally pushed me over to the Dark Side.

After going back to a previous save, I finished the game on the Light side, having a very different experience. I certainly felt more resolution ending on the light side, but despite putting poor Vincent through the ringer, his choices did give me a more emotionally involved, if tragic, story experience.

So if you ever play an MMO and run across either "Merikk Scythe" or "Vincent Craft", be sure to say "hi"! Then again, I don't like playing MMOs, so it probably won't be me. But you can thank them for being a fan and then e-mail me right away since I would probably poop my pants in amazement that anyone would use one of those names for their character!

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, December 15, 2008

In Search Of Truth, 1st Corinthians 1:1-9


1 Corinthians 1:1-9

Before we jump into this book, some quick info:

Corinth was a metropolis that thrived economically and was culturally and spiritually diverse. Sexual promiscuity was very common, especially among males. Corinth was also a city plagued with sin and even had a temple with 1000 sacred prostitutes. Much like modern America, it was a place of wealth, diversity and an "anything goes" attitude.

Paul had helped to start a Christian community there and writes them this letter to correct some behavioral and relational issues he'd been told about.

Let's cover some quick vocab that will help us with this chapter:


: Jesus chose to call his twelve close disciples apostles (Luke 6:13) which means "one sent" or "ambassador". It was a distinctive word not used much in the classical Greek language, and so it functioned well as an official title. This term was primarily reserved for those who actually encountered and were "sent out by" Christ after his resurrection. They represented him and spoke on his behalf, and so had a unique authority in the New Testament time period. (Paul encountered and was "sent out" by Jesus "post-resurrection" in Acts chapter 9.)


Set apart for the purposes of God. To be "sanctified in Christ Jesus" (verse 2) means to be set apart for God's purposes through Jesus. Specifically, through his death that paid for our sins and allows us to have a clean slate and restored relationship with God.


Those who have been "sanctified".


: Although throughout the Bible this word has a variety of specific meanings, in general it means "undeserved favor". Grace is something good given without being earned. If we have anything good that we enjoy in life, whether or not we are Christians, it is ultimately because of the "grace" of God. We don't deserve it, but God has given it to us because he loves us.

Now, given our understanding of these somewhat "churchy" words, let's dig into this chapter a bit.

After identifying himself and his role (apostle), Paul identifies his audience in this letter, which first includes the Christian community in Corinth, but also includes all who "call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ". In the original language and culture of the day, to "call upon a name" would be to identify with and be dedicated to the person the name is attached to. So to call upon the name of Jesus Christ means to be identified with him and to depend on him. So this letter is also written to everyone who will ever put their trust in Christ.

In his greeting, Paul uses a phrase common to his letters: "Grace and peace to you."

In the Bible, grace can be used as broadly as its definition allows, but often refers specifically to the undeserved favor given to us by Christ's death and payment for our sins.

"Peace" refers to undisturbed and untroubled well-being. Having peace with God, through trusting in Jesus, instead of the natural conflict with him we create with our sin, is the real key to having peace regarding the other details of life. This one is especially good to understand the true definition of in the Christmas season. God will ultimately bring "peace on earth" to everyone. But in the meantime, as the carol says, he's offering peace to make "God and sinners reconciled" through the sacrifice of Jesus, who paid for our sins when he died on the cross.

In verse 3, Paul pairs Jesus with the Father under the title of "God", confirming his divine identity at the outset of the whole letter.

Jesus is the source of God's grace, as described here(verse 4). Because of Christ, the Corinthians were enriched in their ability to speak intelligently (translated "speech" in verse 5) and in their experiential knowledge (translated simply "knowledge" in verse 5).

Paul says that the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in them. In other words, everything Paul had been teaching about Christ was demonstrated to be truthful through the way the Corinthians were being changed by it. They were developing spiritual gifts of every variety (which we'll get into more in chapter 12) and were eagerly looking forward to Christ's return.

Although we shouldn't use these words to assume we can know the hearts of others, we can use these words to challenge ourselves. Is the truth really impacting me? Am I learning from good teachers and taking time to study the Bible on my own? Is Jesus just a nice idea to me, or does he find his way into my time? When people look at me, will they quickly see a reason to believe that Jesus is the real deal, or do I just "blend in" with a faith that no one sees?

The greatest grace that Jesus gives is found in verse 8. Jesus "confirms" genuine believers until Christ returns. The word for "confirm" here means "to make firm or reliable so as to warrant security and inspire confidence." From the moment a person genuinely chooses to trust in and follow Christ, until the day Christ returns, they will be considered blameless by God. Obviously, God is aware of our sin, but as far as his final judgment is concerned, those who trust in Christ have nothing to fear.

And God is "faithful" (or we would say "trustworthy") to carry out this promise. He's not going to change his mind! Christians have been called into "fellowship" with Jesus. The God of the universe has provided a way for us to have a really close relationship with him, without our sin getting in the way!

He didn't do this because we are good, or have earned it. This mind-blowing gift is another example of God's "amazing grace"!

Next Week: Believe it or not, you'll find division in a church...

Coffee House Question

What kind of Christmas traditions are you looking forward to this year?

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still (Movie Review)

Last night, for the first time, I sat down and watched "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and today I went out to see the remake.

The film has a suitable dark tone and while Keanu Reeves doesn't offer anything terribly new, his performance style fit the role of alien visitor "Klaatu" well enough. Jennifer Connelly plays a microbiologist recruited by the US military to help them understand what they are dealing with in Klaatu.

Times have certainly changed and this movie is a constant reminder. The re-imagining of the deadly protector, Gort, draws heavily from the original film, but leaves behind the clunky "man in a suit" in favor of a streamlined massive CGI creature. Gort is a silent, powerful and eerie presence through most of the film and goes through an interesting change late in the film that is a departure from the original movie.

In general the special effects work well, although they are unremarkable. This is true of the movie as a whole. It works, it's just fairly forgettable.

The movie becomes much more interesting as a vehicle for conversation.


The original film acted as a warning to humanity, identifying us as people bent on violence and hatred toward each other. That message still rang true when I watched the original last night. But for some reason, producers of the remake saw fit to change the warning to reflect the current issue of global warming. While Klaatu gives lip service to humanity's violent, hateful nature, his primary concern is for "the earth", and not humanity. Earth is valuable in the galactic economy because it can sustain complex life forms, a very rare trait. And yet it is the "complex life forms" of earth that are left behind as the aliens collect samples of all living creatures in preparation to wipe out all life on the planet. Scorpions, snakes and squids all make it onto the "ark", but humans are left to die. What does that say about the worth of a human life?

The message of the film is a little mixed. There is certainly a "green" agenda, but the film also points out our tendency to hurt each other. Thankfully, the film is not as heavy-handed in its tree-hugging as "The Happening", but I think the film would have served itself better by focusing on one theme from humanity's evil: Selfishness. It is our self-serving "learn to love yourself before you can love others" mentality that leads us into lack of love for others and a carelessness toward our resources. But if you have to choose one or the other, I think our hatred of each other is a more timeless theme than our poor management of fossil fuels.

Either way, this movie says something that Hollywood doesn't often say. It says we are bad. People are naturally bad, not good. Diplomacy and responsibility are last resorts, both in our politics and personal relationships. This movie presents the concept of final judgment in sci-fi packaging that atheism and pop-spirituality will be more receptive to. (Because aliens coming to judge the world makes much more sense than God doing it, right?)

There is a beautiful metaphor midway through the film. Klaatu talks to another alien that has been undercover on earth for 70 years. This alien says that humanity is hopeless. That Klaatu shouldn't even bother talking to them because they won't listen. And yet, this alien says that he wants to stay and die with them when they are destroyed. He says that despite the fact that we will destroy each other, their is another side to us. And that he loves us.

My wife told me that tears came to her eyes when she watched that scene. Intentional or not, it was a depiction of God's love for us. Left to our own devices, we are bent on serving ourselves and destroying others. We have our good moments, but in the end we will fail. Despite all of this, God made us to resemble him in some way. We are beautiful to him and he loves us. He was even willing to die as one of us.

Although this movie is no artistic masterpiece, it offers plenty worth talking about.

Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence

Quality: 8.0/10

Relevance: 9.0/10

Catching Up!


I've felt very behind for about two weeks now, trying to get the word out as best I can about "Dark Ritual" without being pushy or doing any spamming. Takes a ton of time and thinking!

As of yesterday I can finally say that I feel caught up. I've still got some e-mails to write and some interviews to schedule, but I've been able to slow down a bit and rest for a change, and that's been great, especially as I have family coming into town.

Although the never-ending battle of marketing will continue, I hope to begin giving you regular progress reports soon regarding the development of "The Pilgrim's Progress".

I'm also toying around with some ideas that may result in more audio fiction for you to enjoy from Spirit Blade Productions in the near future and on a more regular basis, but those ideas are still stewing for a bit...

That's all for now! Catch you at the podcast!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Punisher: War Zone (Movie Review)

Producers set out to create a Punisher movie with a "hard R" rating, and they succeeded. But did they do much better this time in overall movie making? Depends on what you buy your ticket for.

Although I'm a huge comic book geek, I've never followed the Punisher. I know the basic concept. A man sees his family killed and so dedicates his life to revenge, utilizing lots and lots of guns. In a sense, the Punisher is a lethal take on the Batman concept, but without the theatrics. His psychology is more straight-forward than Bruce Wayne's, although my understanding is that Frank Castle has some religious background (specifically catholic, I believe) that makes for some interesting potential.

My review of this movie is not from the perspective of a "Punisher fan" but from a comic book geek with limited knowledge of the source material. I can't compare it to the comics, but I can decide on whether or not I thought it was a good movie.

Ray Stevenson give us a solid if unmemorable performance. He's got a strong Steven Segal vibe(when he's not talking) that turns me off a bit. I kept looking for a little ponytail behind that slicked back hair.

The direction of the film is handled well and the film more than earns its "R". It is brutally violent with plenty of blood, although not "action packed". Despite lots of guns and explosions, it doesn't feel like a full-on action flick. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Punisher is merciless and efficient, and you'll see a number of shocking deaths that will make you cringe or recoil. Not for the weak stomach.

The film doesn't do a complete reboot of the franchise and could be enjoyed as a pseudo sequel to the Thomas Jane movie. Although this film is more true to what I know of the source material in terms of its dark feel. (This Punisher wouldn't use a popsical. He'd really fry the guy!)

There's some potential for drama in the script, but I never really became attached to any of the characters. This made the action less exciting. Frank is one bad mamma-jamma, but since I rarely feared for his safety, the brutality of the action was the only interesting part. Good for a one time shock, but not much replay value.

If you have a dark sense of humor, there are some great moments in this flick that will probably leave you laughing out loud. In several instances, Frank does what we always want the hero to do in other movies, instead of being the "good guy". An overall enjoyable flick, but one that can probably wait for a DVD rental.

In terms of Relevance, this movie can definitely lead to conversation of value. The concept of Justice runs through the entire film, though not by name. We all know that it is wrong to take the law into our own hands, and yet when we see Justice brought about by vigilantism when nothing else is working, there is something inside of us that says, "Yes! That's how it should be."

Despite our desire to downplay the wrathful part of God's personality, we yearn for judgment when evil goes unpunished and mocks Justice while escaping. There's a part of us all that sees the wrong things in this world. The evil that seems to go unchecked. So when we see someone in a film like this taking control and bringing justice, there is something satisfying about it. At one point in the film, Frank also says, "Sometimes I'd like to get my hands on God." In light of the themes of the film you can take that conversation where you will. It will probably make for an interesting one.

Rated R for pervasive strong brutal violence, language and some drug use

Quality: 8.0/10

Relevance :8.0/10

Dark Ritual Song Lyrics!


My thanks go out to Isaac Butler! He e-mailed me and asked if I was going to make the lyrics available for the songs of "Dark Ritual". Here I had them completed and ready to go up. I even thought I'd put them up already!

But for all you folks that like to sing along, the lyrics are now available on the Media Page of


-Paeter Frandsen 

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Catch Me In The "Snark Infested Waters"!!


Catch my interview on the "Snark Infested Waters" Podcast! I talk with Taylor about "Dark Ritual" and some of my other voice work on the web. Enjoy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

In Search Of Truth, Acts 19:1-20


When Paul arrives in Ephesus, he runs into some disciples. The term disciples means "learners", and doesn't necessarily refer to disciples of Jesus. These disciples were following what they knew of John the Baptist's teaching, which was focused on turning from evil and recognizing our need for the Messiah. Like Apollos, they were missing the most vital piece of the puzzle: Jesus.

Baptism is believed to have originated with the Jewish tradition of ceremonial washings. Gentiles converting to Judaism would be completely submerged in water to signify the washing away of their past and complete embracing of their new direction. For Jews to be baptized like this would be a big deal. They had understood themselves to be God's chosen people for so long that a sense of entitlement had developed in many of them. Being baptized in the name of Jesus would strongly indicate that their former way of life was not sufficient and they were abandoning it in favor of something new.

So when the Holy Spirit enters into these disciples in verse 6, it is not because they were submerged in water in verse 5 or because Paul laid his hands on them in verse 6 (although evidence of the Holy Spirit appeared at that time.), but because they genuinely believed that Jesus is the Messiah as described in the Old Testament. All those who put their trust in the divine identity of Christ are given the Holy Spirit to live in them.(1 Corinthians 12:13) The difference, as we see here, is how the Holy Spirit gives evidence of himself in each individual believer.

Again, Paul follows his pattern of trying to reach the Jews first, and then the non-Jews. (v.8-10) God used him to do extraordinary miracles and Paul became so respected that people even took articles of his clothing and used them to heal the sick. God may have honored these somewhat superstitious practices with healing to draw attention to Paul's teaching, but we can't know for sure.

Those who practiced magic in this time period were known to believe that names gave them power. For example, knowing the "true name" of a spirit would give them power to manipulate that spirit. (This historical practice has also found its way into modern fictional representations of fantasy magic in a few instances.) These magicians even threw in the names of Jesus and Paul, as though by using their names they could harness more power. The response they received from an evil spirit is a little humorous: "I recognize Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?"

This little account should remind us that the name of Jesus is not in and of itself the source of power. It is the substance, the very person that the name represents that gives power. God doesn't want us to experience his power through removed superstitious mysticism, but through genuine belief and trust in him.

Paul's impact on this community expanded dramatically and many who were using magic gave up their practices, at significant financial cost to themselves! The total value of sorcerous materials burned in verse 19 represents about 137 years worth of wages! We don't know how many sorcerors contributed to this "book burning" but either way, the act represented a significant departure of the occult from the Ephesian culture and likely the economy as well.

Although not many of us practice real magic today, consider for a moment whether or not you could set aside financial security if it meant doing the right thing.

Paul stayed in Ephesus for about two years. During that time he wrote 1st Corinthians, which we will begin looking at next week!

Next Week: Paul begins teaching the Corinthians how to mature in their spiritual journey.

Coffee House Question

Why do you think many people look at the Bible from a superstitious distance instead of examining and trying to understand it?

Friday, December 5, 2008



It must be the Christmas season again! On the Media Page of, you can now download my dark electronic rendition of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" for free!

If you've downloaded it before, you may notice that I've evened out the balance of the mix more this year. I hope you all enjoy it!

-Paeter Frandsen 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Stuff!


Some new stuff going on this week!

On the Media Page of, you can now hear PART 2 of my interview with Randy Hesson, the voice of Vincent Craft! We talk about the wierdness of some of the scenes he was in and the shocking twists and turns of "Dark Ritual". There are spoilers left and right, but if you've listened to "Dark Ritual" already, you do NOT want to miss this interview!

At the Spirit Blade Underground Weblog( you'll see a couple new features:

Since the old message system and phone number was acting buggy (at best), I set myself up with a new company and phone number you can use to leave me messages for the podcast. While the messages won't be available for blog visitors to listen to, this system is MUCH easier to use with no code to enter and no buttons to push after leaving your message. Give it a try and leave me a message, a shout-out or a random noise!

I've also added a "Friends Of The Spirit Blade Underground" list on the left side of the weblog. These are sites that have put a link to on their page. If you'd like to be added to this list, shoot me an e-mail and let me know!  paeter (at)

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, December 1, 2008

In Search Of Truth, Acts 18:18-28


As Paul continues his missionary journey, he is accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila, his tent-making partners in Corinth.

Verse 18 indicates that Paul shaved his head as part of a special vow he had taken. We don't know the nature of this vow, but the shaving indicates it falls in line with the format described in Numbers chapter 6. This being the case, it shows that while Paul embraced the truth presented by Jesus, he did not abandon his Jewish heritage and traditions. There's nothing wrong with holding on to these things if they enable your relationship with God rather than distract you from it or promote something false.

Next, Paul and company arrive in Ephesus, the most important city in Asia Minor (modern Turkey). He found some level of success while reasoning with those in the local synagogue, but when asked to stay, declined. He would, however, come back. More on that later. Meantime, he said he would return, "if God wills." (If you've ever heard the expression, "Lord willing", it's a lot older than you might think!)

While Paul continued on his travels, giving whatever encouragement and guidance he could to the believers he met, chapter 18 cuts back to the action in Ephesus, where Paul left his ministry partners, Priscilla and Aquila. An intelligent, eloquent man named Apollos came through the city. He knew scripture extremely well and taught it to others effectively and accurately. He specifically taught about the Messiah, but his information wasn't up to date. He only had knowledge of what John the Baptist had been preaching. He knew it was time for everyone to turn away from their "default" way of life and look for God's promised Messiah. But he hadn't heard yet that Jesus had come on the scene and fulfilled that role in line with prophecy.

Priscilla and Aquila noticed this about his teaching, and I love the way they responded. Instead of interrupting him or drawing attention away from him and toward themselves, they pulled him aside privately and explained the truth about Jesus.

It's also great to see how Apollos responded to this. He could have let his ego get bruised and resisted the truth. After all, he'd been explaining the truth very effectively. He probably saw people respond to his teaching on a regular basis. He may have felt like he had found his niche and didn't need to improve upon what was already working well. And yet, we see in verses 27 and 28 that he went on to have an even more effective ministry, using the Old Testament scriptures to demonstrate the truth about Jesus' divine identity.

Even though he had is own thing going on, he was willing to be accountable to others and connect with them in service of the bigger picture. In return, he gained encouragment and practical help: a "letter of recommendation" that enabled him to continue and have even wider impact in his work. He went to Achaia (where you'll remember Paul had recently run into trouble with the local Jews) and gave encouragement to the Christians there by powerfully refuting the Jews in public, using reason and logic to share the truth about Jesus.

The example here is of criticism performed and responded to correctly on both sides. A pretty rare event and one we can learn from. Do you look at criticism, even poorly delivered or mean-spirited criticism, as an opportunity to examine yourself and explore the truth? No matter how it is delivered, truth is still truth.

Likewise, we can follow the example of teaching seen here. Correction offered will be better received if delivered in private. It's a tough thing to be criticized publically (and yes, that includes comments on blogs and on message boards), but if we approach each other individually, we can avoid an entire layer of potential barrier that might otherwise obstruct the truth we are trying to share.

Next Week: Paul digs in and "sets up shop" in Ephesus.

Coffee House Question

When was the last time you were given criticism that was delivered well (even if it was hard to hear). What made it come across better than it could have?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Free "Spirit Blade" With "Dark Ritual"!

  SB_CD_Cover  Dr_cover_proj_pg200

Hello Everyone!

Since the release of "Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual" earlier this month, I've continued to get exciting feedback from those who have listened to it. We broke a lot of ground with "Spirit Blade", but the common opinion among listeners is that "Dark Ritual" is a leap forward in every aspect of production! If you haven't checked it out yet, you can hear the trailer and download the first two chapters (40 minutes) for FREE at !

With the holiday season upon us, I'm thrilled to announce that now is the easiest time to jump into the world of "Spirit Blade"!

From now through December 31st, for every "Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual" 3-Disc set you purchase, you'll receive a copy of the original "Spirit Blade" 2-Disc set for FREE! That's just $12.99 for 5 and 1/2 hours of pulse-pounding excitement unleashed on your ears and imagination! And remember, WE pay the tax, and shipping is FREE! That's even less than you'd pay for the combined digital downloads of both products!

Already have "Spirit Blade"? Purchase "Dark Ritual" and you can give your FREE copy of "Spirit Blade" away as a Christmas gift!

Whether it's for you or the sci-fi/fantasy fan in your life, there's never been a better time to join the experience!

Check out this offer, in addition to our growing list of FREE downloads at !

Have a fun and purpose-filled Christmas, and don't forget... to Seek The Truth!

Take care,

Paeter Frandsen

Monday, November 24, 2008

John Carpenter's: The Thing

In my opinion, few movies stand the test of time like "John Carpenter's: The Thing". In the modern age of CGI, we see all kinds of terrible and fake-looking creatures. It's pretty clear when the actors are talking to a tennis ball and not an alien.

But before CGI, special effects wizards like Rob Bottin(The Howling, Legend) had to create animated puppets or intricate costumes to bring creatures to life. As a result, when you see the creature, you know the actors are seeing it, too. It's not a bunch of imaginary ones and zeroes. It's right there with the actors, covered in KY jelly to give it that look of slimy persperation you just can't get in CGI. And though there is still a "fakeness" to the effects, it still comes off as more real than many hollywood light shows brought to us by George Lucas.

Combine this with Bottin's wacked out creature designs and a constant sense of claustrophobia and paranoia, and you have a classic movie that is just what the promotional posters say: The ultimate in alien terror.

This is a movie that serves as something of an "initiation" into friendship with Paeter Frandsen. Most, but not all of my friends are subjected to this film the second or third time they hang out with me.

Tonight, I have the unique pleasure of having a friend over that I've known for years, but for some reason never got around to making him sit through this film. I've seen it so many times, that the greatest pleasure I get from it now is showing it to those who have never seen it. So tonight will be alot of fun.

Brace yourself, Jeff! For soon you shall encounter... The Thing!

In Search Of Truth, Acts 18:1-17


Paul now found himself in the city of Corinth, a metropolis that thrived economically and was culturally and spiritually diverse. It was also a city plagued with sin and even had a temple with 1000 sacred prostitutes. Much like modern America, it was a place of wealth, diversity and an "anything goes" attitude.

As a missionary with no local support structure in place, Paul made his living making tents with a married couple, while going to the local synagogue on weekends to try and persuade both Jews and Greeks of the truth about Jesus. When Silas and Timothy arrive, however, he is able to devote his full time to preaching and teaching.

Even with all the effort he invested, their came a point when his Jewish audience rejected his message so strongly that Paul gave up on them, leaving them with the consequences of their own choices to turn away from God. Paul did find success with the leader of the synagogue, his family and many of the other Corinthians.

Paul also received an incredible guarantee from Jesus in a vision: He should not be afraid to keep speaking. No man will harm him.

Imagine the kind of excitement and confidence Paul gained for the remainder of his time in Corinth! He was able to preach without fear! His safety from attack was a sure thing!

How much more effective could we be in living our lives for God if we choose to trust him and not spend time fearing the things that might happen to us?

Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half. Eventually, the Jews got together and forced Paul to stand trial before Gallio, the governor of Achaia (most of Greece). They tried to accuse Paul of promoting a religion not sanctioned by the government. Judaism was a religion protected by Roman tradition because of its ancient history. But if the Jews could prove that Paul’s beliefs were a new religion, it may have been outlawed by the government.

In another parallel to American culture, some people make room for every religious belief except for Christianity. Hopefully we will never see a time in America where parts of the Bible are considered so offensive that their public expression or recitation is outlawed. This could have been the case for Paul, but Gallio was unwilling to judge the case presented.

In verse 17, it’s unclear exactly what’s happening. It could be that the Jews were disciplining a Christian sympathizer, or beating their leader for getting them into trouble with Gallio. It may also be that local Greeks followed Gallio’s somewhat "anti-Jewish" lead and took to venting their own hatred on the Jew’s leader. (See the IVP Bible Background Commentary of the New Testament for more on this verse.)

Next week: Being empowered by correction.

Coffee House Question

Why do you think Christianity is sometimes singled out for criticism while other religions are left alone?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Holiday Deals and Pilgrim's "Progress"


It's been a busy week for me as I've been working hard to contact podcasts, trying to get the word out about "Dark Ritual". (There are a TON of Christian podcasts out there, but not many doing more than uploading Sunday Sermons.)

I've also had some time to start work on my second draft of "The Pilgrim's Progress: Similitude Of A Dream". I'm getting close to figuring out how the "world" will operate in this story, which is a big key to making the shift from allegory to symbolic fantasy.

As we ramp up for the Holiday season, we'll be launching a promo at next week that will make this the perfect time for new listeners to jump into the world of "Spirit Blade" and provide fans some stocking-stuffer options that give a lot of bang for your buck! Listen to the podcast this weekend for details, or check back here next week!

Have a great weekend!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Saolos Is Back!


Now that you've listened to "Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual", start going behind the scenes with us as we discuss the major plot twists and reveals that took you by surprise!

I'm continuing our cast interview series by posting the 2nd half of my interview with Sean Anthony Roberts, the voice actor behind the creepilicious "Elder Saolos."

He spills the beans on the craziest and most surprising moments that I we just can't talk about unless you've listened to all of "Dark RItual"! What was he thinking when...? Did he ever feel uncomfortable doing...?

It's all in part 2 of my interview with Sean Anthony Roberts on the "Media" page of Or just paste this URL into your browser to go there now!


-Paeter Frandsen

Sunday, November 16, 2008

In Search Of Truth, Zacharias and Copan


Since we had no podcast over the weekend, I'm going to wait on moving forward with our usual look at the Bible and take the chance to highlight two books that have had a significant impact on my personal "quest for truth". Although I've enjoyed many more thought provoking books since reading these two, they are both memorable parts of my journey so far.

The first is a modern classic by Dr. Ravi Zacharias called, "Can Man Live Without God". This book deals not just with the natural consequences of not believeing in God, but also the consequences of not living in relationship to God. It has something to say in response to both Atheism and indifferent American pop-spirituality.

The book is broken into three major parts including: Antitheism Is Alive- And Deadly, What Gives Life Meaning? and Who Is Jesus (And Why Does It Matter?).

Ravi Zacharias has such an interesting perspective because he was raised in India to believe in Hinduism, yet found no concrete meaning or purpose in it and so eventually turned to the Bible.

Although his writing is not for the casual reader and will likely force an advancement in your vocabulary, this book has a wealth of insight to the popular philosophies of our culture.

You can find it cheap at:

The second book I want to highlight won't require as extensive a vocabulary, but it also won't let you check your brain at the door.

"True For You, But Not For Me" by Paul Copan, looks at 24 common phrases or questions that spring out of popular culture and leave Christians speechless. A few examples inlcude: That's true for you, but not for me. Who are you to judge others? Christians are intolerant of other viewpoints. Mahatma Gandhi was a saint if ever there was one. Jesus' followers fabricated the stories and sayings of Jesus. If Jesus is really the only way, what about... and the list goes on.

This is not a book geared toward helping anyone win a debate. It's not written in a mean-spirited or competitive way. It's designed to help the reader discern truth from untruth. Each of these phrases is presented a calm and rational counter-argument, demonstrating the false assumptions that most of them are based on.

You can find it cheap at:

I see two polarizations in philosophy today. Extreme naturalism begins with the biased assumption that nothing supernatural is possible. Extreme relativism believes in all kinds of supernatural ideas, but has no regard for concrete truth. So many Christians seem to be stuck in between, afraid to use their brains too much or too little. My response is, USE your brain! It CAN'T be used too much! Be open to every possibility, but demand measurable evidence for your conclusions.

These two books are a great way for anyone to begin incorporating their God given ability to reason into their spiritual lives.

-Paeter Frandsen

Friday, November 14, 2008

No Podcast/Need Your Ideas!


Hey Everybody,

Unfortunately there will be no podcast this weekend. I've got a nasty cold bug that has taken away most of my voice. My energy is up and I'm feeling on the mend otherwise, but my history with these kinds of colds tells me I won't have a functional voice for at least two or three more days.

The most I've been able to do this week is basically check my e-mail and update posts. Otherwise I've been on my butt in survival mode.

I know there are still many of you with great ideas on how I can get fans involved with spreading the word about "Dark Ritual". Some of you I've heard from already and it's been great. But others of you, and you know who you are, are keeping all your brainstorming ideas to yourself. Don't do that! I NEED your ideas! I am doing a ton of stuff on my own to get the word out and have even more planned. But I know there are some fans out there that would love to help. I just don't know what to tell them yet!

So I'd still love your ideas on how to get listeners involved with this.

Meanwhile, have a great weekend and don't forget to Seek The Truth!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Survival Mode


Hey Folks,

Here's a picture of me and Craig Herrman Jr. (the voice of David in "Dark Ritual") at the CD release party. Thanks for being a part of this project, Craig! You did a great job!

In other news, I'm effectively in "survival mode" on my butt today, aside from a few quick errands. Over the weekend I got hit with a nasty cold bug that doesn't want me to sleep at night. So I'm exhausted and speaking almost a minor third lower than usual. It's frustrating because this is the time that I want to do all I can to get the word out about "Dark Ritual", and it's about all I can do to just write this post.

I've gotten a few e-mails with suggestions on how to get fans involved in spreading the word about "Dark Ritual" and it's been great to hear from you. Thanks so much to those of you that have taken the time to send me your ideas. I know there are still a bunch of you with great ideas, and as I said before, I need them ALL! So please send me your thoughts. They are greatly valued.

Okay, that's about it for me. I've still got to squeeze out a post for "Paeter's Brain", so I better get to it before I'm completely spent.

See ya!

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, November 10, 2008

House (Movie Review)

Although I've read and enjoyed a few of Frank Peretti's books, I've never read any of Ted Dekker's all the way through and did not read the novel "House" before seeing this movie based on it.

I went into the theater knowing the track record of "Christian" movies, and despite wanting this film to succeed I made every effort to treat it like any other movie of the horror genre (as it was marketed to be) without being too easy or too hard on it.

In short, while this movie had some good points to make, its potential message is overwhelmed by poor film-making.

First, the good. Despite having "Christian" origins, the costumes, make-up and coloring have a dark quality to them that fits the horror genre. The special effects do not attempt to set any records, but serve their purpose well and don't take anything away from the film. Rather, they add to the production value.

Unfortunately, we are already set to move on to the bad. I never became invested in the fate of these characters for a number of reasons. First, the script. Plot points and back story were presented, but the film did not allow these characters to develop. It informed us of who they were but didn't give time to help us feel what the characters were supposed to be feeling. I say "supposed to be feeling" because the acting fell short as well. One example: Although effort was made in the make-up department to make it look as if a female character had been crying (running make-up), the actress did not have the glistening yet bloodshot eyes needed to convince me of her emotional state. Throughout the film I watched a group of actors acting, but did not find myself drawn into their characters.

This film also follows the pattern in Christian fiction to take something successful in the mainstream and repackage it as "Christian" without presenting any new material of substance or creativity. I felt like I'd seen this movie a few times before. It pulls the little long-haired girl and color tinting from "The Ring", the family, sheriff, Leatherface and primary plot hook from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", and the trapped environment, character-condemning flashbacks and more color tinting from "Saw".

In fact, I'm willing to bet that the reason for its "R" rating is only because it contained the hallmarks of so many horror films. The MPAA must have thought, "Boy this feels like so many R movies we've seen before. It should probably be given an R for SOME reason." But by today's standards, this movie is really a PG-13. It contained a few creepy images, but nothing worse than "The Ring". The swearing was mild enough to be on evening network tv and very sparse on top of that. And although there were violent moments, the violence was always obscured by sets, props or cutaways. There is virtually no blood in this "horror film". While this makes it more "family friendly", I kinda doubt that's a key selling point for fans of the genre.

It has an interesting Christ metaphor near the end of the film that people may pick up on to various degrees. However, it results in a moment way too similar to the end of the first Matrix movie and feels much too heroic for this genre. The bad guy is "de-clawed" in a way that no villain in this genre should be.

Speaking of metaphors, this film scores higher in Veracity than it does in quality. In addition to a strong Christ/Salvation metaphor, we also see a comment on modern spiritism. At one point in the film an imposter of one of the characters attempts to deceive the others and uses knowledge of private personal information to try and convince them of his identity. Today, mediums may validate their perception of the afterlife by displaying knowledge of personal details conveyed to them by a "ghost" of a deceased friend or relative. This brief "imposter" moment in this film points out that intimate knowledge of our lives may also be possessed by spirits that wish to deceive us, and cannot be used as objective proof that the mediums perception of the afterlife is accurate.

In the end, these metaphors will likely only be appreciated by the few "play it safe" Christians that fool themselves into thinking this movie is good simply because it was developed by Christian thinkers and has no objectionable material in their opinion.

A friend of mine once said that he told someone "The Omega Code" was a terrible movie. This person responded, "Well maybe, but at least it's glorying God." To which my friend replied, "Ma'am, there is nothing glorifying to God in bad art."

Although I can't recommend this movie to fans of the horror genre, I do hope that the "family friendly/bubble-world/play it safe" Christians will give this movie a try. It will give them a "safe" entrance to the genre and will hopefully open their minds to the horror/thriller/sci-fi genres and their potential use to do and say things of value. This movie has little or nothing to offer fans of horror or good films in general. But I hope it may at least open the minds of a few Christians to enjoy other movies in this and other genres like it.

Rated R for some violence and terror

Quality: 6.0/10

Veracity: 8.0/10

In Search Of Truth, 2nd Thessalonians 3:1-18


Paul begins to close up this short letter with a request for prayer. He first asks for the word of the Lord to spread rapidly and be "glorified", to be honorably recognized for what it truly is. Paul also asks for prayer that they he and his companions would be "delivered from perverse and evil men, for not all have faith."

The implication here is that some people who appear to be "Christians" are actually serving their own agendas in the "Christian Community".

But Paul says that, by contrast, God is faithful. The Greek word here for "faithful" means trustworthy, among other things. God has a proven record that makes him worth trusting in. He's the world's safest bet.

In verse 4 and 5, Paul expresses confidence in the growth and developing spiritual maturity of the Thessalonians, praying that God will further direct their love and increase their ability to stand firm in what they have learned.

Beginning in verse 6, Paul deals with the topic of idle people. Christians who, for various reasons, were not working. These people were living off of the work of others and even using their free time to stick their noses where they don't belong.

Although they had the right to be supported by those they led and taught, Paul and his companions chose to work for their own food, setting an example for those they led. This is powerful leadership and a trait to look for in any church leader. But it shouldn't be limited to our leaders. If we really want to teach truth to others, we should be the first to examine our own lives and line them up with what we are saying.

Paul says that the Thessalonians should "withdraw" from these idle people(v. 6), adding the command for these "busybodies" to "work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread."(v.12) Working in "quiet fashion" doesn't mean we all have to literally become silent. Paul is contrasting this with the pointless "hustle and bustle" that looked like a lot of activity but produced nothing. Paul wants for these people to stop drawing attention to themselves and learn to contribute in a practical way.

Being in a community with a bunch of flawed people that annoy or offend us can be tough. God knows this better than anybody, so Paul says "do not grow weary of doing good." (v.13) Even though it's tough, the Thessalonians were asked to not associate with people that were unwilling to obey what they heard from Paul. But at the same time, they weren't supposed to be treated as an outcast or enemy. But warned sharply, in the context of genuine love and concern.

We very often get one or the other of these ingredients, don't we? We either choose to love everyone and accept all forms of behavior, or we sharply warn, using strong words a little affection. It's much easier to use one tactic or the other. The challenge is to combine both, which at the outset seem mutally exclusive. But just because finding that mingling of the two is tough, doesn't mean the two aren't compatible.

Over and over again, the Bible presents a way of living that doesn't allow us to "settle into" an extreme philosophy. We're asked to constantly balance our actions and evaluate our words and motives. Our minds have to be engaged at all times. There's no room for "doctrinal auto-pilot" in the Biblical Christian's life.

Paul ends this letter by writing with his won hand. In most of his letters we can assume that one of his companions took dictation from Paul. But Paul like to sign his letters personally so that his audience could trust their reliability.

This is another fascinatinjg aspect of Biblical Christianity. It invites logical investigation. God wants you to examine the evidence and verify the credibility of the Bible. I think we often put all religious texts on an equal playing field, assuming that they are equally valid. But do we ask ourselves where each of these religious texts came from? Who wrote them? What are the credentials of the authors. What evicence do they give to support their claims? Have these texts been reliably preserved through history?

The Bible invites this form of investigation, but how often do we ask for evidence that the Koran(Islam) or the Vedas(Hinduism) are reliable sources of information about the true nature of reality? If we really want to know what's really real, shouldn't we ask for real, testable evidence?

Paul didn't want the Thessalonians to believe just any philosophy. He wanted them to learn the truth. And so he made it a priority to make his letter identifiable as legitimate so that there would be no confusion about what is the truth and what is not. Spirituality sounds nice, but to deal with the real issues of life, death and everything afterward, we need truth that is just as real and verifiable.

Next Week

The adventures of Paul continue in Acts Chapter 18!

Coffee House Question

In the social circles you most often travel in, do people lean more toward accepting all forms of behavior, or coming down too hard on each other?

Friday, November 7, 2008

My To Do's and The Pilgrim's Progress


I've got a list of "To Do's" made up to help get the word out about "Dark Ritual", but I still need to hear from you guys! I'm looking for a way to get fans involved in getting the word out and I'm fresh out of ideas! So I'd love to get yours!

As for the next release, as some of you already know I'm beginning a fantasy adventure series based on "The Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan. So that we can release material more often, I will be producing this series in shorter segments (about 60 minutes at a time). The Pilgrim's Progress will also not include any songs, at least not in the same way we use them in the Spirit Blade trilogy. In some ways this will shorten production time, but since I'm also working on a music CD release, I'll still be dividing my attention some. (More on that later.)

I've finished adapting about half of the original work, which is plenty to make the first installment from. So for now I will make some notes on the rest of the original work and then focus my attention on further the developing the rough draft script I have for the first chapter of "Pilgrim", which, if you've seen our production schedule at, you'll note that it is called "Similitude Of A Dream".

I'm hoping to be done with the script for this chapter and begin casting for the project sometime this spring. I will of course keep you updated as we get closer so that anyone interested in auditioning will be able to.

Well, that's it for now. Don't forget to give me your ideas on how we can all spread the word about "Dark Ritual!"

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Megaphone Now that "Dark Ritual" is finished and available, I head once again into the murky fog ridden waters of "Marketing". Over the next month or so, I will try to create some method by which people can hear about "Dark Ritual" and give that free 40 minute download a try.

(If you haven't checked it out yet, jump over to!)

I confess, this is my least favorite part of running a small business and basically wearing all the hats. (Except for crunching numbers and doing tax stuff. My wife does that.)

Where is my audience? Who is my audience? I know who I'm aiming at, but are they the ones actually interested?

Sometimes I imagine handing this marketing stuff off to a "marketing person", but guess what? You gotta pay that marketing person. It seems to be a snake biting it's own tail. For a business to make money, it has to have money. So as much as I'd love to have someone else do this stuff, this company is still in its infancy, and grass roots/word-of-mouth campaigns are about all we have.

That and YOUR creative ideas! Here is my call to all you blog-readers and podcast listeners! How can I mobilize fans of Spirit Blade Productions over the next two months to help me get the word out about Dark Ritual? How can I get that 40 minute preview into as many ears as possible?  I've already posted on the online forums that I am regularly a part of, pointing them to the free download. To plug it more myself would qualify as spamming, and I hate spam as much as anybody. So what's an idea that I can present to fans that will allow them to be a part of building the audience for Spirit Blade Productions and "Dark Ritual"?

This is SO not my strength, and I really need your help! Post your thoughts here or e-mail me at NO idea is too stupid to mention! I want them all!

As always, thanks for your support and for being a part of this truth-seeking journey with me.

I look forward to hearing from each of you!

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, November 3, 2008



Hello Spirit Blade Fans!

The moment has finally arrived! SPIRIT BLADE: DARK RITUAL is now available at!

This project represents a huge jump forward for me as an artist. I've already heard many times from my test listeners how the overall quality of DARK RITUAL far surpasses what we accomplished with the original SPIRIT BLADE audio drama. I've grown a lot as an audio producer and songwriter, and I'm excited to share that with you through SPIRIT BLADE: DARK RITUAL!

SPIRIT BLADE: DARK RITUAL is available in a 3 Disc set for $12.99 (FREE shipping in the U.S.) or as a digital download for only $9.99. This epic project has a running time of over 3 hours and will immerse you into the world of SPIRIT BLADE like never before! If you're looking for something to make that drive to work, or that exercise routine a lot more bearable, SPIRIT BLADE: DARK RITUAL may be just the thing you need!

With plenty of sci-fi and fantasy action, you'll discover a story that takes you on a mind-bending journey, while also probing issues of faith, tradition, religion and truth. Are these things ever harmful? How can we know what is true? SPIRIT BLADE: DARK RITUAL approaches these issues with an "unchurchy" yet truth-centered attitude, while delivering an audio-cinematic experience like nothing you'll find anywhere else! (Please note: This audio drama contains sequences of intense violence and subject matter and is recommended for ages 16 and older.)

If you can't wait to get your CD set in the mail, or just want to take this thing for a test drive before making a purchase, you can download the first 40 MINUTES of SPIRIT BLADE: DARK RITUAL for FREE in CD quality mp3 audio at! Once there, you'll also find several "behind the scenes" audio cast interviews and features about the making of DARK RITUAL in the "Media" section that you can download and enjoy for FREE! We will continue to update the "Media" page with new content every month over the next 12 months, continuing to take you deeper into the world of SPIRIT BLADE!

Given these difficult economic times, I know that there are many choices you have regarding how you spend your money. I want you to know how much I appreciate your support, and hope you'll continue to pray for me and Spirit Blade Productions even if you can't afford to make a purchase right now.

Thanks for your support and for being a part of this journey with us! Your prayers and purchases always take a very small company like ours one step closer to that next inspired idea, or that next sound effects purchase! You're a vital component that makes all of this possible and I want you to hear a resounding THANK YOU from me as we launch into this next phase of the journey!

Have a great week and remember, in all things, to Seek The Truth!

-Paeter Frandsen

Sunday, November 2, 2008

In Search Of Truth, 2 Thessalonians 2:11-17


According to the Bible, there are times when God honors our choices, even when they are not in our best interest. An example of that is here in verse 11. In verses 9 and 10, Paul is explaining what the Man Of Lawlessness will do and how he will mislead people. Those who don't "love the truth" (v.10) will, as a result, never choose to trust in Jesus and be saved. In response to this, God gives them the alternative they are looking for, allowing them to follow through on their desire to do what they want, instead of seeking what is true. However the consequences for those who don't embrace the truth, are beyond terrifying. (v.11-12)

In verse 12, we see an implication about truth. Paul contrasts believing truth with taking pleasure in wickedness. He might have said "believing a lie" instead, but I believe he decided to express the RESULT of believing lies. If we do not pursue truth, we will base our life decisions on ideas and philosophies that are not true and that lead us away from God. We will actually begin to take pleasure in evil things. Notice that Paul doesn't say that believing truth means we will not have pleasure. He says that not believing truth results in taking pleasure in the wrong things.

Although the picture painted here is one of those who never believe in Jesus, we can also see how neglecting truth can effect Christians. When we are mad at someone and secretly enjoy seeing them in pain or "getting what they deserve", we've forgotten that God loves that person more than we can imagine, and that we have offended God many times in the same way they have offended us. In that scenario, we've forgotten truth and as a result, are enjoying the wrong things.

In verse 13, we get a few bits of information about this mysterious cosmic transaction called "salvation". We know that we are saved from eternal punishment as a result of our trust in Jesus. (John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10) But here we also see that those who are saved were "chosen" by God to be saved. This mystery of "choice" is one that theologians are still scratching their heads over. The Bible clearly teaches personal responsibility for our actions. (Why give commands if we have no choice to obey or disobey?) So choice, as we understand it, clearly exists.

And yet we have to compare that thought to verses like:

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 20:24 A man's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?

Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

This is a great mind-bender to study, but for now we have to move on.

Verse 13 also says that our salvation happens through the process of sanctification and through having faith(or trust) in the truth. Salvation is a broad term in the New Testament. Depending on context, it can mean freedom from eternal punishment, freedom from the power that sin has in our lives today, or ultimate freedom from all presence of sin, which believers in Christ will experience in eternity. In verse 13, Paul is emphasizing the freedom from the power of sin in our lives today, which happens as the result of the Holy Spirit's sanctification (setting apart for God) of our lives. This is a process that begins and continues in our lives. It is something we have to allow the Holy Spirit to do. As a result, some will experience more sanctification than others. Eventually, however, all those who trust in Christ will be completely sanctified when they are in the presence of God.

This end result of being perfected by God, is the reason God called those who believe in him. (v. 14) But as we just saw, sanctification is a process that begins now, which is why Paul tells them in verse 15 to remain committed to what they've learned from him. Sanctification will usually mean some discomfort on our part as we learn and grow. And so Paul ends this chapter by praying that God will give comfort and strength to their hearts(our weakest part, according to Jeremiah 17:9) as they work to obey God and share the truth. (v. 17)

Next Week: Chapter 3!

Coffee House Question

Why do you think the Bible's emphasis on "Truth" is ignored or even considered offensive by some people?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Phone Number Correction!


Sorry Everybody!

I'm a huge goofball and made a typo with that phone number to call to leave a message for the "Dark Ritual" release. It's been corrected on the blog and here it is:

Dial- 1-712-432-8828.

When prompted, Enter Code: 8613216#

Record Me A Message!

So I hope you'll forgive me and still leave a message. In fact, you can feel free to give me a hard time about my screw-up when you do!

Have a great weekend!


Friday, October 31, 2008

Join The Party!!


The CDs for "Dark Ritual" have arrived!! This weekend we'll take inventory on them, send pre-release CDs to out of town cast and then they will be available to purchase on Monday, November 3rd! (The digital download version will be available at that time as well.)

This Sunday we are having a small CD release party with local cast members, friends and family. Instead of a guestbook, I'm setting out a phone for guests to use if they'd like to leave a message for our audio message center. And you're invited to leave one, too!

Dial- 712-432-8829.

When prompted, Enter Code: 8613216#

Record Me A Message!

Express your support of "Dark Ritual", say "Hi" to me or other cast members, tell your favorite joke, or just make strange random noises! No one will know it was you (unless you leave your name), so have at it!

The messages will then be uploaded to the player on this site so everyone can cycle through and hear from all the fans and people involved with Spirit Blade Productions!

Don't be shy! Grab your phone and be a part of this milestone event for Spirit Blade Productions!

Lastly, don't miss our special "Dark Ritual" release podcast episode, which will be posted early next week and will include audio messages from our "guestbook"!

Have a great weekend!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In Search Of Truth, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10


Well, I was finally able to finish this and post it. Sorry again for the delay. And now on to our quest for the truth:

Paul spends some time clarifying a few details regarding the return of Christ. It sounds like the Thessalonians were in danger of being influenced by bogus ideas that came in a supposedly supernatural package or ordinary teaching. ("Supernatural is indicated by the word used for "prophecy" or "spirit" in verse 2, and ordinary teaching by the word for "message".)

This points out something interesting. Just because something is truly spiritual, does not make it truly true. Miracles and other supernatural events can be flags that get our attention, but because two different sources both produce miracles does not make them equally valid. The Bible tells us to test everything, using our rational minds by implication, to see what is true and what is not. (1 John 4:1, 1 Thess. 5:21) If we want to know what's really real, we can't check our brains at the door. The Bible commands us to keep our minds fully engaged in our search for the truth.

Back to some details about the future. First off, Paul affirms in verse 1 that Christians will be "gathered together" with Christ when he returns. (1 Thess. 4:17) He also makes it clear that Jesus has not returned yet. He hasn't returned "spiritually" or "symbolically", either. In fact, Paul says that a few things will happen first that we can "check off" our list so that we don't think that he has come when he really hasn't.

First, there will be an "apostasy"(verse 3, NASB). This English word means "abandonment of a former loyalty", but the Greek word used here doesn't mean the exact same thing. Instead it means "to place oneself away from or to stand away from someone." This could easily refer to someone who associates themselves with Christianity, but then separates themselves from the movement and its followers. They wouldn't have to have been a genuine follower of Christ in order to do this. So this "Apostasy" will likely be a strong rejection or separation from Christianity by those who were considered, and may have considered themselves, Christians. It's also likely that many others who were never Christians will more strongly express their separation from Christianity at this time.

Then, a "man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction." Since there is no indication that this is a symbolic reference, we should assume that this will be a real individual. (This same person is mentioned elsewhere in the Bible, if you'd like to explore him some more: 1 John 2:18, 4:3, 2 John 7, Daniel 7:7, 8, 21, Matthew 24:15, Revelation 13.) He will put himself above not just Jesus, but all religious systems and spiritual philosophies (v. 4).

Verses 6 and 7 imply that the wheels are already in motion for this figure to appear on the scene. The "lawless one" does not necessarily exist yet, but human nature makes his appearance inevitable. One day, our race will produce this horrific human being. For now, "the restrainer" has kept this prophecy from taking place. Although there is some debate about who the "restrainer" is (government/political rulers/the church), everything is subject to God, and so we can ultimately say that God, the Holy Spirit, is the restrainer of the "man of lawlessness."

And we can thank God that the Lawless One is being restrained. When he comes on the scene, he will be part of Satan's plan and will be given power by Satan to do incredible supernatural things that will mislead a huge number of people. However, the responsibility will still be in their hands. No one needs to be misled by this person. Those who are misled will be misled because they haven't developed a love for pursuing truth. (verse 10)

That's why truth is so important to everything and everyone. Truth leads us to Jesus, because he is the very definition and source of all truth in existence! And the good news is, even though the Lawless One will do some ugly things, he will be wiped out just because Jesus shows up! Look at verse 8. You can almost imagine Jesus appearing over this maniacal tyrant's shoulder and saying, "Hi, I'm Jesus.", and watching as the Lawless One melts into goo just from being in the same room with God!

We'll see the value of truth emphasized some more in the rest of this chapter, but that will have to wait until next time!

Coffee House Question

Why do you think people are so interested in "The End Of The World?"