Friday, December 27, 2013
Friday, December 20, 2013
Friday, December 13, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
The Hebrew word for "grain offering" used here means "gift, present, or tribute". The symbolic purpose of the grain offering is not clearly stated in the text, but given the definition of this word it seems to have a connotation of thanks to Yahweh for providing sustenance or recognition that he is the source of life and well-being.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
It's that time of year again! As is my tradition, I've put my dark, electronic re-imagining of this classic carol on the Spirit Blade Website for free download. You can get it now at spiritblade.net/freestuff.
Enjoy and have a merry Christmas!
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The final leg of our journey through some of the key Old Testament rituals will involve a look at the five primary sacrifices offered in the tabernacle (and later the temple). The first is the "Burnt Offering". Scholars seem to agree that the burnt offering was a way of approaching Yahweh with a plea of some kind.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Now through December 2nd 2013 everything in our online store is a whopping 40% off the regular price! Downloads, song bundles, CDs and combo sets are all available at a fraction of their normal cost!!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
A retro-review of the HeroQuest board game and some "Trek Talk" about Deep Space Nine! Plus, we finish our look at the furnishings of the ancient Hebrew tabernacle and see what they tell us about God and ourselves.
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Monday, November 25, 2013
The incense altar was not about sacrifices. It seemed to have more connection to the ideas of God's holiness and his relational interaction with Israel. (Two ideas that seem consistently represented throughout the design of the tabernacle.) Unlike the bronze altar outside the tabernacle, this altar was made of gold. Although not conclusive in my opinion, it has been observed by a number of scholars that bronze is often connected to the ideas of fire and God's wrath in the Old Testament. Gold is often connected to the idea of purity.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
I'm currently in the middle of editing the track for the final of seven songs for "Spirit Blade: A World Of Shadows". This is very exciting for me because I set the goal for myself to be "done" mixing all of the songs before taking Christmas vacation this year.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
(1st Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV) Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
(Philippians 4:5-6, ESV) Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Friday, November 15, 2013
Paeter's Game Convention audio journal, featuring thoughts on D&D Next, Star Wars The Living Card game, Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator and more!
Friday, November 8, 2013
A review of "Thor: The Dark World" and a conversation with the hosts of the Strangers And Aliens podcast!
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Friday, November 1, 2013
Reviews of the new "Ender's Game" movie and the Bioshock Infinite video game. Plus a look at the ancient tabernacle of Israel and what it indicates about our relationship with God today.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
When we look for encouraging words, or verses from the Bible that tell us about who God is, we don't turn to Exodus 26 as our first stop. It reads like an instruction manual, and that's a pretty fair description. This is a blueprint for the Tabernacle in grammatical form. And despite the dry nature of the material, it does indicate some truths about God that we can be grateful for.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Spreadshirt is offering FREE SHIPPING with no minimum orders on October 30th and 31st!
If you've ever thought about getting one of our t-shirts, now is a GREAT time! Multiple colors, sizes and fits available. Use the Coupon Code: SWEET2013 and check out our spreadshirt store right now!
Monday, October 28, 2013
A number of new reviews have been posted at Christian Geek Central over the last two months. As I've mentioned before, it looks as though The Spirit Blade Underground will be going through another transition as a blog. From this point on, you can expect to see all of my reviews, as well as the reviews of some great contributors, at Christiangeekcentral.com.
Since reviews have constituted a fair amount of the content for this blog, I imagine I will be re-evaluating the purpose of the Spirit Blade Underground to better provide what readers expect when they visit here. It will still be the home of the Spirit Blade Underground podcast and updates on projects for Spirit Blade Productions. Beyond that the content and frequency of posting that you can expect are up for grabs right now.
But in the meantime, if you want to get caught up on some reviews, take a look at the latest from Christian Geek Central!
Friday, October 25, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Hell is an uncomfortable reality. We don't like to think about it. We definitely don't like to talk about it. And as Christians it can seem like the big elephant in the room when we are trying to represent Christ and the truth to others. How do we talk about the infinite love of Christ when the alternative to trusting in him is eternal punishment?
Monday, October 21, 2013
Okay, so actually I'm having the opposite of "fun with computers". The laptop I do most of my day to day work on has had a noisy fan lately and finally gave me a startup error that prevented me from using the computer any further. I spent yesterday afternoon finding out what options will NOT help the problem, and also began looking into repair scenarios.
Today, after a little more troubleshooting, the fan seems to be working, and working quietly. No startup errors. All the same, I've been updating my backup of everything I need and will be working off my external hard drive for awhile until I see if anything blows up.
This is just one more reminder that I really have no business attempting to do what I'm doing. Internet ministries, businesses or endeavors of any kind ought to be run by folks who are much more knowledgeable than I am when it comes to computers. But I'm convinced that, for some reason, God is directing me to what I'm doing, despite it taking me out of my skill set on a such a regular basis.
Yes, I know. There are numerous examples of God doing the same thing with so many others in scripture. And it makes sense. What better way to show how powerful you are than to purposefully use inept people to serve you and thus stack the odds against your success? (I think Raan Galvaanik made that observation in Spirit Blade or Dark Ritual, or maybe it was the Novella.) But here, in the moment, it's still frustrating. Still a challenge to trust God and be content with the situation he has placed me in for the rest of the day or week.
I can't help but wonder, though, if it may do me some good to break from my normal routine and have a little extra breathing room to see what Yahweh might be saying or giving me opportunity to see right now.
In the meantime, I will at least be trying to get the content prepared so that I can put out the podcast this week, although it's possible that either this week or next there will be no episode posted if complications persist. (Some of the estimated repair times I've been getting for this issue are in the neighborhood of 2-3 weeks.) I'll keep you posted, though.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Monday, October 14, 2013
If you haven't heard yet, we recently launched the Christian Geek Central Network over at christiangeekcentral.com. The network i currently made up of four different podcast, each creating high-quality content of particular interest to Christian fans of geek entertainment, like genre fiction (sci-fi/fantasy/horror), video games, comic books and other awesome geekery.
Each podcast offers something fun, thought-provoking and unique and regularly produces high quality content. For more information about the podcasts in the Christian Geek Central Network, visit christiangeekcentral.com right now!
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Friday, October 4, 2013
An interview with the host of the Theology Gaming Podcast and why Paeter is "leaving comic books behind". Plus, some thoughts about being a geek and dealing with "relational discomfort".
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
In each of these relationships I'm very limited in my ability to help. Certainly due to limitations in my own knowledge and strength of character. But the limitations I'm feeling the most are those imposed by the ones I want to encourage and help. So rather than try to force anything on them, I stand by and watch helplessly as they choose pain and separation from God.
It's an ache that renews itself almost regularly as I spend time with each of these guys. It stays with me for days before fading and then catches me by surprise at seemingly random times, causing me to take time out to pray for them, or maybe reconnect with them again, at which time "the aching cycle" continues.
At the start of a recent "cycle", these words, spoken by Jesus, came to my mind:
(Matthew 23:37,ESV) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
I'm amazed that Jesus didn't give up or harden himself toward the people who hardened themselves against God. How did he keep caring in these seemingly "hopeless cases"? How did he live with the ongoing pain of watching those he loves reject God again and again? It would have been so much easier to harden himself and choose not to feel that pain.
I'd love to do that. Harden myself. I've been tempted to recently. Tempted to reduce one or more of these friendships into empty socializing that revolves solely around hobbies and common interests. I'd love to choose not to care about the relationships these guys may or may not have with Jesus.
But Jesus didn't do that. He never hardened himself. Never spared himself any pain. He cared about even the hopeless cases, embracing the emotional wounds that come with that kind of investment. I can only imagine that this persistent vulnerability is part of what made him a "man of sorrows"(Isaiah 53:3).
I wonder if this instinct to avoid emotional investment is a little more common in us geeks than we realize. Many of us avoid relationships because we've been hurt or because we're afraid we will be hurt. Our hobbies also have a somewhat higher pleasure to pain ratio than other hobbies that require a bit of determination and discomfort to enjoy (such as sports, hiking, learning an instrument,etc.). Has the time I've invested in interests requiring no difficulty on my part caused me to spiritually atrophy in some way? I don't know. The hobbies themselves certainly aren't the cause. But my avoidance of discomfort may be.
A few months after I stepped down from being the worship pastor at our church to pursue the development of Spirit Blade Productions in 2006, my wife and I had dinner with "Pastor Bob", my former employer, our senior pastor. As we reflected on the past two years of ministry I'd been a part of, much of which had been emotionally difficult for me, Bob made an observation about me that I've kinda hated him for ever since. (That's a joke, but he was dead on and I hated that he was.) He said that he noticed in me a strong instinct to avoid pain. A lack of willingness to go through difficult experiences. He said that I had enormous capacity for relationships and great potential to impact the lives of others if I learned to overcome that. I hadn't left the position of worship pastor because of this aspect of my personality, but it had sure made the idea of quitting much easier! (At the time I was leading the ministry through some very healthy changes. Some of the volunteers involved didn't like those changes... and made that repeatedly clear, to put it kindly.)
In the last year or so I believe I've been pushed more and more by the Holy Spirit to confront this issue of mine on a day by day, even moment by moment basis. I think again of some words Jesus spoke.
(Luke 9:23, ESV) And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
When it comes to pain and tragedy, I'm a novice. I've been playing life on "easy mode" as much as I can. Using invincibility codes every chance I get. But I know that embracing the possibility of relational pain will result in a richer life.
(Mark 8:34-35, ESV) And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.
The Greek word for "deny" in verse 34 means "to lose sight of one's own interests". And the Greek word for "save" in verse 35 has, as usual, a broad definition not necessarily tied to "salvation from hell", but to being rescued in general. Rescued from separation from God, both now and in eternity. Rescued from the evils we bring on ourselves.
If I want to be rescued from the ongoing mess of this life, I need to lose sight of my own interests and follow the example of Christ, trusting in both his methods and his finished work on my behalf.
That said, I've also been reminded that I shouldn't just be pouring my life into people whose spiritual lives are in crisis. I need to build and maintain relationships with other believers that can be a source of encouragement to me, even as I provide encouragement for them. If I only spend time with those who don't share my faith, if all or most of my close relationships are with people separating themselves from God, my tank is going to empty quickly (I've experienced this first hand) and I will soon find myself in a discouraged "funk", as I seem to find myself now.
(Hebrews 10:24-25, ESV) And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
(Proverbs 13:20,ESV) Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
(Repeatedly in Proverbs, the word "fool" is attributed to someone who rejects God.)
Right now I sense myself on the edge of character growth. I'm making the decision to unplug my Game Genie (THAT doesn't date me, does it?) and willingly start the tutorial mission of the game called "Relational Discomfort". But I can't do this single player. This is an MMO.
Okay, I've milked that metaphor to death, and did it pretty terribly. But my point of conclusion is this: Relationships, as wonderful as they are, will hurt sometimes. People in "faith crisis mode" are more than worth investing time and discomfort in. But as believers we should also invest in relationships that can build us up. Even those of us who often find ourselves as the one teaching or encouraging others. That's why Christ created this unusual, unavoidably dysfunctional entity called "The Church". It is his primary, tangible framework for distributing blessings to the world.
One day, relationships will be made perfect and the struggles we experience with them now will be rewarded. So if you're anything like me, or can relate to any of the situation I've described myself to be in, I want to invite you to come out here with me on the skinny branches and trust that Yahweh is holding us up. Even when it feels like we're falling.
(Isaiah 41:10, ESV) Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
A review of the pilot episode of Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Part 2 of our interview with The Game Store Prophets! Plus, our first look at the ancient Tabernacle and what it tells us about God!
Monday, September 23, 2013
Just a heads up that I'm anticipating some possible inconsistencies in my schedule throughout the month of October. Right now it doesn't appear as though the podcast schedule will be interrupted, although that is still a possibility. More likely is the chance that one or more "In Search Of Truth" segments will be missing from the podcast in October.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Part 1 of an interview with the hosts of The Game Store Prophets podcast and a review of an interesting episode of the classic sci-fi TV show, Sliders! Plus, we finish our look at the Ten Commandments with discussion of a pitfall that couldn't be more relevant to geeks.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
I'm launching the first in a series of special features about the production of "Spirit Blade: A World Of Shadows" with my first ever interview with the voice of Claudius Falcore and The Nephilim, Jesse Tessier!
Jesse recently returned to reprise his roles for the upcoming conclusion of the Spirit Blade Trilogy. In this interview, Jesse talks about his performance background and how unique working on The Spirit Blade Trilogy was by comparison. We also find out what he has in common with Homer Simpson!
You can download and listen to the entire interview right now on our Media Page!
Monday, September 16, 2013
The last of the Ten Commandments is unusual in that it more directly addresses hidden internal sin. Specifically, sin that can lead to a number of other sins described in the Ten Commandments. Desiring what is not rightfully ours can directly lead to adultery or theft, and indirectly lead to any of the other sins described in the Ten Commandments.
Friday, September 13, 2013
An interview with Nathan James Norman of The Untold Podcast and reviews of two video games in the Lego series, Batman and Lord Of The Rings! Plus, a look at stealing and lying from the angles of both ancient Hebrews and modern Geeks!
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Once again I find myself posting an update on "Spirit Blade: A World of Shadows" (our audio drama currently in production) after much more time than I had intended. But in part, that's because work is going well!
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Help introduce people to Spirit Blade Productions while announcing your nerdiness! And do both for less for a limited time!
From September 10th-17th you can get free shipping on orders of two or more of our T-shirts! Choose the color and fit of your choice and use the promo code FALL2013 when you check out at our Spreadshirt Store!
Monday, September 9, 2013
In the original Hebrew, the command against stealing is applied much more broadly than we might think. This word also includes the idea of kidnapping and cheating. It is stealing in the broadest sense, including not just tangibles, but intangibles such as dignity, freedom and other personal rights.
Friday, September 6, 2013
Our reactions to the recent DC Movie Universe announcements, and an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of Star Trek, The Original Series. Plus, "sex and murder" as we continue our look at The Ten Commandments! (I wonder if typing that will help our search ratings...)
Thursday, September 5, 2013
I know it's been awhile since you've seen a written review on this blog. I've been getting some help with the editing and posting of articles and reviews at Christian Geek Central and so things have been operating a little differently, resulting in my reviews going up there instead of here.
This may be a trend that continues, which means that the best place to go to get all of my reviews, as well as some great reviews by other like-minded Christian Geeks, is christiangeekcentral.com
In the last few weeks we've posted reviews for:
Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2(Video Games)
The 13th Warrior
Kick Ass 2
New content is being posted there all the time, so be sure to visit christiangeekcentral.com and subscribe to our feed!
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Friday, August 30, 2013
Saturday, August 24, 2013
A review of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, our final "Summer Of Free" Segment for 2013 and what it means for geeks to "honor thy father and thy mother".
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The Hebrew word describing how God "rested" on the seventh day in Genesis 2:2 is where the Hebrew word for Sabbath comes from. Israel was given six days each week to do all of their work, but the seventh day of the week was to be "holy". (Holy meaning "set apart for the purposes of God".) This day wasn't for the normal and mundane. It was devoted to Yahweh.
Monday, August 19, 2013
The final part of the Spirit Blade Special Edition Commentary is now complete! As I conclude my thoughts on the remixing process, I talk about how I selected, edited and manipulated music to create the climactic scenes of Spirit Blade, while gladly tossing out the horrible music I had originally created myself.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Our reviews of Kick Ass 2, and Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2! Plus a look at one of the most misunderstood of the Ten Commandments!
Friday, August 16, 2013
I am mostly a console gamer. Largely because I am unwilling to invest the money required to keep a gaming PC up to date. I also loathe the numerous problems I seem to run into when simply trying to install and run a game on my computer. For this reason, I tend to play PC games about five years or more after the height of their popularity.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Elysium takes place about 150 years in the future. By this time the earth has become overpopulated and the wealthy have left the planet in favor of an orbiting colony called Elysium, where they can preserve their way of life. The vast majority of the human population remains on earth, which is poverty-stricken and rampant with crime.