Friday, December 21, 2007


BiblecandleEmmanuel. "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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Img_0529Ryan, our Graphic Designer, just made these really cool animated buttons for the Spirit Blade Productions website! I've got one of them at the top of this page and I've been geeking out finding other places to use them.

Ryan did a really great job, so if you want to help spread the word about Spirit Blade Productions, grab one of the animated buttons to use on your website, blog or podcast site!

You can find them at

See ya!

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Christmas Present From Us!

Presents_2Hi Everybody!

In celebration of Christmas, we're GIVING AWAY free high quality mp3 downloads of our entire feature length (2hrs 25min.) audio drama, "Spirit Blade"!

To get your FREE download of "Spirit Blade", all you have to do is send an e-mail to "" with the subject "Free Spirit Blade" between December 16th and January 2nd. (One free download per person. We will not sell or give your e-mail address to anyone else.)

ANYONE is eligible for this, so if you haven't experienced this sci-fi action epic, consider it our Christmas gift to you or someone you know!

Merry Christmas!

Paeter Frandsen

Creator- Spirit Blade Productions

Sunday, December 16, 2007

In Search Of Truth, Truth In The Songs Of Christmas

ChristmastreeSomething a little different today...

All too often, during the Christmas season, we find ourselves breezing through Christmas carols without understanding or stopping to ponder their meanings. Between over-familiarity, archaic language and obscure Biblical and historical references, some Christmas carols may make us "feel good" in a sentimental sort of way, but beyond that their power to penetrate our hearts is lost.

We've done a little historical and biblical research on a few Christmas carols that we thought you might enjoy. Paeter will share his research on seven during next week's podcast, but here are three right now to get your mind working and focused on the Truth, even as you do some last minute "panic shopping". We hope you enjoy!

Hark The Herald Angels Sing

Hark! The herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!" Joyful, all ye nations, rise! Join the triumph of the skies! With th’angelic host proclaim, "Christ is born in Bethlehem!" Hark! The herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ, by highest heav’n adored. Christ, the everlasting Lord! Late in time behold Him come, offspring of the virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see. Hail the incarnate Deity, pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel. Hark! The herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, ris’n with healing in His wings. Mild, He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die. Born to raise the sons of earth. Born to give them second birth. Hark! The herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"

This song is filled to the brim with wonderful truth. It is first helpful to understand the old English which can keep us from hearing the message of this song. Ironically, that is the exact opposite effect the author would prefer. The original first line read, "Hark how all the welkin rings", but as the language became dated, Charles Wesley, author of the text, made changes to modernize it and make it more accessable. A few other hands were involved in further modifications in keeping with the times. However at some point, despite previous efforts on the author's part,tradition locked it into its current state.

"Hark" comes from the word harken, which means "listen". A herald is an announcement. So to "Hark the herald angels sing" means to "listen to the announcement" the angels sing. And in this song, the announcement is the Good News in a nutshell: God and sinners are being reconciled. The relationship between them is being repaired. This is news worth getting excited about! It means that mankind, by the power of Christ, can have triumph over death, hence the "triumph of the skies" we are encouraged to join in celebrating. The second verse talks about the mystery and wonder of God becoming man. Christ, who is adored in heaven, who is the eternal, everlasting Lord, was born into flesh. Christ was part of the Godhead, but "veiled in flesh". He was content to live as a man among men; To be Emmanuel, "God with us".

The last verse makes reference to Christ’s coming judgment by quoting Malachi 4:1-2. The Lord warns of the coming judgment where the wicked will be burned up and completely consumed, but for those who fear the name of the Lord, the "Sun of Righteousness" will rise "with healing in his wings", and will set free those who believe in the Lord. How is this possible? It was Christ’s mission, as the rest of the verse explains. Paraphrased, it says:

Mildly, the eternal God laid down his infinite glory, and was born so that man would not have to die anymore. He was born to raise humanity (the sons of earth) from the dead, and give them a second birth. For this reason, listen to the announcement the angels sing, "Glory to the King of the Universe, who has just been born."

Joy To The World! The Lord Is Come

Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her king. Let every heart prepare Him room, and heav’n and nature sing.

Joy to the earth! The Savior reigns. Let men their songs employ while fields and floods, rocks hills and plains repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground. He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found.

Based on themes in Psalm 98, this is not really a "Christmas" song. Psalm 98 is in anticipation of Christ coming to rule the earth. Our favorite verse is the third. When sin came into the world, death came with it, effecting not just people, but the world in which we live. One day, Christ will make a new earth, where there will be no sin and no corruption in nature, such as the thorns that infest the ground. He will make his blessings flow wherever the curse of sin is found, and death will be eradicated.

Angels From The Realms Of Glory

Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth. Ye who sang creation’s story, now proclaim Messiah’s birth! Come and worship! Come and worship! Worship Christ the newborn king!

Shepherds in the fields abiding, watching o’er your flocks by night, God with man is now residing. Yonder shines the infant light. Come and worship! Come and worship! Worship Christ the newborn king!

Sages, leave your contemplations, brighter visions beam afar. Seek the great desire of nations. Ye have seen his natal star. Come and worship! Come and worship! Worship Christ the newborn king!

Saints before the altar bending, watching long in hope and fear, suddenly the Lord, descending, in His temple shall appear. Come and worship! Come and worship! Worship Christ the newborn king!

Although the title suggests a song focusing on the angels of Christmas, each verse focuses on a different group from the Christmas story, including present day believers who now anticipate Christ’s coming to judge the world. (Malachi 3:1)

The phrase "desire of nations" comes from Haggai 2:7, where God speaks of both the temple and the Messiah. This song reminds me that the truth of God becoming a man is for all. Cosmic angelic creatures, blue collar workers leading simple lives, philosophers who may think Christ is below their complex contemplations, and believers, who place faith and hope in Christ’s promise to come and remake the world. All are called to come and worship Christ, the King of the Universe.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Rush!

Img_0573We're feeling a little bit of the "Holiday Rush" around here as we try to get ready to close down shop for an entire week!

We've never done anything like this before, but since WE need a vacation now and then, too, we've decided to shut down the office from December 23rd through December 31st.

The Spirit Blade Weblog will not be updated during those dates. We're also debating whether or not we'll do the podcast that week. Guess it'll be a surprise!

More than anything, Paeter's working extra hard to mix scenes for Dark Ritual so that the time spent off won't slow us down any more than it needs to. Paeter will also be taking a laptop and his copy of "The Pilgrim's Progress" with him out of town so that he can continue doing a little script work for our next big project. (Yeah, sometimes it's hard for that guy to REALLY take a vacation.)

We hope you're enjoying the Christmas Season and remembering the cosmic event that it's all centered around! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Paeter= Raan?

Img_0525_2 If cows ever learned how to fly, snowball fights became common in hell and Spirit Blade was ever made into a major Hollywood movie, I think I would petition very strongly to play the part of Raan.

You might think that's odd, since I do the voice of Merikk in "Spirit Blade". However two things lead me to playing Raan:

1. Merikk is the "leading man", and they'll want someone willing to do more sit-ups than I am for a part like that. (This is still Hollywood we're talking about, after all.)

2. I think I might have more in common with Raan than any other "Spirit Blade" character. At least Raan as he is in "Dark Ritual". I don't know anything about technology, but as Raan struggles inwardly with self-doubt, as he escapes the pain of life by fleeing inward to solitude and his imagination, I feel a unique connection to him.

It probably sounds obvious for me to say I feel "connected" to the characters I'm writing a story and dialogue for, but sometimes I forget that these characters came from my mind. They take on a life of their own and at times I feel like nothing more than a spectator.

Of course, if all I do is watch, then their story will never be told! So I'd better get back to mixing!

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, December 10, 2007

In Search Of Truth, Acts 6

BiblemagActs, Chapter 6

"Organized Religion". The phrase already has a negative connotation to many ears. Organized religious entities have certainly done their part, over the years, to earn the red flag that the term now sends up. But is the concept, by nature, corrupt? Scripture shows us that this isn't the case.

In this chapter of Acts, we see that the early church was doing something very good. They were giving priority to caring for their widows. Making sure their needs were met. However one cultural segment of the church felt that their widows weren't being given the same attention as all the others. When the Apostles (also called "The Twelve") heard about this, they called a "church meeting". They examined the way they had been gifted and recognized that God had given the 12 Apostles a unique gift for speaking and revealing the words of God. Because this ability was so rare, and they knew they wouldn't live forever, they felt a sense of urgency to dedicate themselves to the task of speaking the word of God, delegating to others some of the administrative work required to serve people effectively.

When the church creates structure, it should be to play up our individual strengths and spiritual gifting. It may take some time to figure out exactly where everyone fits best, but the goal should be to have everyone serving where they are most appropriately gifted and passionate. The Apostle Paul talks some about the nature of healthy "organized religion", comparing it to a physical body and how it ought to function. You can read more about that in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.

It's an interesting side note that the Greek word used for "serving"(food) here, Diakonia, shares a grammatical connection to the Greek word for "Deacon". We might even consider this group of seven men, chosen to distribute food, to be the first church "board of deacons". Although Paul's writings will go into more detail about the criteria for being a Deacon/Servant in the church, we can look at this passage alone and conclude that those given positions of administration in a church, whether paid or volunteer, should: a. have a good reputation, b. have some visible evidence of the Holy Spirit working in their lives and c. be wise.

And since the "servant positions" mentioned here weren't yet formalized into what modern churches would think of as "Deacons", we can apply these desired character traits to ANY kind of administrative or leadership role in our churches today.

We can see in verse 7 that God chose to bless the church after this bit of "administration" was taken care of. In light of this, we shouldn't see administrative details and goals toward "organizing" our churches as "non-spiritual" elements.

The "Freedmen" mentioned in verse nine were named because of their descent from Roman slaves. They were a legitimate part of the religious culture, but were a lower class in society than many of the other groups of religious leaders. They may have not been as wealthy or esteemed, but they seemed just as motivated to hang onto their traditions at the cost of truth.

Stephen, one of the recently elected "table-servants", was blessed by God with a ministry that involved great "wonders and signs". He displayed a great deal of wisdom in what he taught and the Freedmen didn't know how to cope with what he was saying. So they started a smear campaign to falsely accuse Stephen and twist his words.

Eventually, they brought him to the Sanhedrin (Israel's supreme court, made up of rulers, elders and religious teachers) along with some false witnesses to testify against him.

In verse 15, the text tells us that when they looked at Stephen, his face was like the face "of an angel". Since this word can also simply mean messenger, we can't be sure of what they saw. It would seem that a miraculously "glowing face" would disrupt the proceedings a little, but the interrogation continues as normal in verse 1 of the next chapter so there probably weren't any "Hollywood visual effects" going on. However, we can at least assume that the Sanhedrin saw something in Stephen that was unusual. They may have even sensed that this man would have something very interesting or profound to say. And he did... but we'll check that out next week!

Coffee House Question:

What are some of the pitfalls you've seen when religion gets "organized"? What do you think might be some of the benefits of "organizing" our churches?

Next Week: Stephen's Last Stand!

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Golden Compass (Movie Review)

I had the chance to watch "The Golden Compass" and find out for myself:
1. If it was any good as a fantasy flick, and
2. What all the controversy is about.

If you haven't read the books, you're in good company. I haven't either. Not because of any desire to avoid a book that may reflect philosophy counter to my own, but because I generally do not enjoy stories where children are the main characters and are empowered to the point of making all adults look like idiots. It was cool, of course, when I was a kid, but it doesn't do anything for me now.

I should first say that my review is based only on the theatrical film. I have not read any of the books in the series, so I will not be reviewing this based on how it compares to Philip Pullman's book or where the story is going after this film. (My understanding is that the controversy increases in the second and third books of this trilogy.) I'll wait and judge each of those films on their own merit.

First off, I'll look at this from a Fantasy Lover's perspective:

This a was a really good movie. Not mind-blowing, but very good.
The cast all around did a wonderful job and I was pleased that Dakota Blue Richards (the main character) played her part convincingly, despite her young age. The film is peppered with a few stars, but not overwhelmingly so. And everyone is subject to the story. This isn't a vehicle for a movie star.

The costumes and set design of this world were very well done, feeling slightly alien but realistic at the same time. The special effects were certainly up to industry standards, although that still means that CGI looks like CGI. There are lots of animals running around in this movie that look great, for CGI animals. Still, it's a fantasy movie and so I don't think the eye demands as much. But you wouldn't buy these animals as real looking if it were a hard-boiled cop movie.

As for the story, I was refreshed by some fairly original fantasy concepts. While there may be "nothing new under the sun", there were some new or at least rare elements brought to the silver screen. Parallel universe stories are uncommon, but this film centers itself on the concept. Set in an alternate reality from our own, it feels familiar in some ways, but obviously different in others. In this reality, for example, the human soul does not exist invisibly within a person, but visibly in the form of a talking animal called a "daemon". (And yes, it's pronounced the same way as "demon".) A far cry from the usual concept of demons(Biblical or otherwise), the daemons in this film are simply a representation of a person's soul. They are as good or evil as the person they are associated with.

The story involves an appropriately "quest-like" journey that fantasy fans will recognize. There are plenty of characters and concepts to explore. There's not a lot of "magic" in terms of the "spell-casting" variety, but the world itself is magical enough that "sorcery" fans won't feel too great an absence.

The characters are engaging, Nicole Kidman's being one example. Even when the movie ends you're not quite sure what motivates her, or whether to call her evil or just misguided. Actors like Daniel Craig, Sam Elliott and Christopher Lee appear, although I can only assume they will be more prominent in future installments, since they weren't used a great deal in this movie.

The movie feels intense when it should and takes you on a pretty enjoyable ride. I'd certainly recommend it to fans of fantasy.

Now from a Truth-Seeking Christian perspective:

This is still a very good film that I don't think Christians should be afraid of. The philosophical rant in this film is against organized religion that values obedience to church leaders over examination of evidence and seeking out absolute truth. Christians should agree that placing obedience to church leadership over and above examination and obedience to scripture is wrong. In fact, though I'm sure it was not intended, I saw a great opportunity for comparing the Golden Compass (a device in the film used as the ultimate source of truth) to the Bible.

Some in religious authority might try to take the Bible away from us and keep the communication of "truth" in the hands of church leaders. However, we should be searching for truth in scripture just as much as Lyra searches for it using the Golden Compass. I'll quickly get behind the message of "truth over tradition" regardless of where it comes from. In that regard, this movie hits on a point repeatedly that I think is worth repeating.

Are there any sketchy aspects to the movie? Maybe, depending on who you are.

As I mentioned before, human "souls" in this movie's world are called "daemons" and walk around next to their human hosts in animal form. The fact that there are things called demons in this movie may upset some Christians. There are also witches in this movie that seem to be "good guys". The fact that witches and demons appear as good or at least neutral characters may set off some red flags. However, to fans of fantasy this isn't a big deal. Why? Because it's fiction.

In this movie it becomes quickly clear that "demons" in this world are not fallen angels. They are completely different creatures that share the same name. Like George Bush and George Lucas. It's fairly common in fantasy for creatures to be called "demons" and have no relationship to the Biblical concept. Neither is the movie implying that the Biblical concept of demons, that we as Christians believe in, are not evil and should be thought of as friends or sidekicks.

The same is true with witches. L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz" showed us years ago that, in fiction, witches can be either good OR evil if the writer desires. Christian writer C.S. Lewis used "magic" at great length in "The Chronicles Of Narnia" as a force for either good or evil.

Today there are "witches" that uphold many moral values and wouldn't be thought of as "evil" in the public eye. The Bible doesn't support the ideas they believe in and so naturally, as Christians, we should avoid practicing witchcraft. However, the Bible is silent on the subject of enjoying FICTIONAL stories involving FICTIONAL forms of witchcraft.

Enjoying a movie like this, as a Christian, is going to come down to one thing: What do you allow to shape your life? If you find that you or your children change the way you think about the world after watching a well-made, exciting and emotionally involving movie, this is one you may want to avoid. However, if you make a habit (as we all should) of learning truth by examining evidence and being a student of the Bible, you won't be in danger from watching this film.

I'll wait until my son is old enough to understand clearly the difference between fiction and reality before I let him watch this movie and others like it. But to Christians who are willing to explore truth and discern the difference between what is true and what is not, using a critical mind and the scripture as their tools, this movie can still be very enjoyable. In fact, I think some Christians have a responsibility to watch this film. Not all but some.

If you don't know anyone in your life that might enjoy this movie, or fantasy fiction in general, then there's no need to see this movie if you don't have any interest in it. There's certainly no need to protest this film, especially if your goal is to keep people from seeing it. Controversy breeds interest, so leave your picket signs and e-mail campaigns as ideas in your own head, please. The only thing they will accomplish is a confirmation for others that Christians are closed-minded, ignorant and judgmental idiots.

The more productive approach, I believe, is to see this movie and talk about it. If you know someone that seems to live life in imitation of the entertainment they enjoy, you can equip yourself better to minister to them by seeing this movie if they see it, than by scowling in ignorance when the subject comes up.

One great opportunity this movie presents, is to talk about the concept of "Truth". How do we determine what is true? A magical "Golden Compass" would be great if it existed. But without that, how do we know what's real and what's not? What's your Golden Compass? Does it work every time, and if not, how do you know when and if you can trust it?

If you'd be interested in a bridge to that kind of conversation with someone you know, especially if they are a fan of fantasy, offer to buy their ticket and go see this movie with them. It's a very enjoyable fantasy adventure and the car ride home might open up some doors that have never been available before.

Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence
Quality: 9.0/10

Relevance: 9.0/10

What Is Your "Golden Compass"?

Img_0553 We hope you're enjoying your Christmas season so far! This time of year often presents some great opportunities for examing Truth together.

Paeter had the chance to see "The Golden Compass" and since many people will be seeing this controversial film this season, you may find his thoughts interesting. Check them out by visiting "Paeter's Brain" or by listening to tomorrow's episode of "The Spirit Blade Underground Podcast".

Have a great weekend and in all things... Seek The Truth!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Prolonged Torture

Img_0592 Although I've started into some dialogue scenes that require fewer sound effects, I've discovered that one of them still may take a fair amount of editing.

Merikk Scythe finds himself being brutally tortured by a sadistic captor. Sean Anthony Roberts gave me so many great options to choose from that it's taken some time to narrow down the best of the best. Likewise, I spent a great deal of time screaming, weeping and moaning into the microphone over the summer and now have to narrow down the most appropriate levels of pain and anxiety for Merikk to be experiencing based on Sean's performance in the final edit.

The process still doesn't take as long as an action sequence to mix, but there are certainly elements I'd forgotten to factor in. Nothing that will get us off schedule. Just enough to remind me that I'm always learning something new in this game!

(You can check out my interview with Sean Anthony Roberts on the "Media" page of!)

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, December 3, 2007

In Search Of Truth, Acts 5

Acts Chapter 5

Does God change? Is God more "forgiving" in the New Testament than he is in the Old Testament? The Bible clearly tells us that God's nature does not change (Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, James 1:17) even if he changes his strategy in dealing with men. With the sacrifice of Christ for the sins of humanity, God instituted a system of grace AND justice far superior to the system of animal sacrifice. However, God is the same God. He hates sin just as much and when he chooses to act, he carries out punishment with the same swift justice he always has. We see a very clear example of that in this chapter of Acts.

Ananias and Sapphira, a husband and his wife, both decide to sell some land and give a portion of the money to the church, while claiming to give the full amount. The problem with this action is not that they kept some of the money for themselves, but that they lied in order to be given credit and praise from other people. Why did God do this? When others in Israel were stealing, raping or killing, why would God make an issue out of this "little white lie"?

Well, we don't know the mind of God. Let's be clear on that point. But we can at least make some educated guesses. Proverbs 3:12 tells us that God disciplines those he loves and considers his children. Hebrews chapter 12 expands on that idea. While all humanity will ultimately be judged by the same standard, it makes sense that God would spend more time disciplining his followers. After all, they know better and even claim to love God, right? More than that, they represent God to the world(2 Corinthians 5:20)! What does it do for the message of Christ when the world sees Christians involved in financial scandals or hypocrisy of any kind? A painfully easy question to answer in today's culture.

Although Ananias and Sapphira may have been genuine believers who are now in the presence of Christ, God chose to remove them from his church on earth. This not only purged their hypocrisy from the young and growing church, but set an example, making it clear to the church at this critical time in their development, that God does not tolerate sin.

The miraculous acts of the Apostles continue and result in their imprisonment by the jealous and prideful religious leaders. This didn't last long as they were released by an "angel of the Lord" during the night. Found preaching again in the temple court the next day, the Apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin (another group of Jewish religious leaders) and questioned by the high priest.

Although the Apostles knew they had been told by the Jewish religious authorities to not teach about Jesus, the Apostles took a stand, saying "We must obey God rather than men!"

In a break from the norm, one of the Pharisees, named Gamaliel, became a voice of reason in the emotionally charged environment. He asked his fellow religious leaders to be patient and not quite so quick to pronounce judgment. If we aren't careful, we can also over-react and arrive at conclusions too quickly. Gamaliel wasn't suggesting that the Apostles be ignored if they are truly sinning. But in the absence of clear evidence that they were doing evil, he suggested that the Apostles be left alone. Another great example for us today.

God has made each of us so different from each other. We all were placed in unique environments with unique opportunities to serve God. If you're concerned by the behavior of an "out of the box" believer that you know, search scripture to look for clear evidence that what you are concerned about is sin. And if so, confront them on it with scripture, clearly and gently. If you don't see clear evidence from scripture that they are sinning, be patient. Get to know them. Ask them questions and show interest in what they think and believe. Let God sort out the details and avoid standing in the way of what God may be doing through this other person's life.

Finally, we see an idea that may sound odd to us: "The Apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name". Were the apostles masochists? What kind of crazy talk is that? Who likes being beaten and whipped?

It wasn't the pain that the Apostles took any satisfaction from. It was the REASON for the pain. They realized that they were experiencing pain because they were living counter to the natural current of the world. They'd seen Jesus live the perfect life and suffer terribly for it. They considered it an honor to be attacked for trying to be like Jesus. In a sense, the pain was an indicator from God that they were doing something right!

Many times, we'll experience pain because life simply sucks here on earth until Christ finally fixes it all. Other times our own sin will result in pain in our lives and the lives of those we hurt. But there is a special measure of encouragment we can gain from knowing that our GOOD choices are resulting in the pain we may be experiencing. If you're experiencing pain today, examine your life. Make right what you've made wrong and with the pain that remains, thank God for teaching you discipline and patience. And remember, if you've put your trust in Christ, Jesus is ALWAYS with you. (Matthew 28:19-20)

Coffee House Question:

If your idea of Christianity were based only on what you've seen in movies/television/news, how would you describe Christianity? What would you say Christians believe?

Next Week: Religion gets "organized" while the end approaches for one brave believer.