Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Return Of Randy!


It was a blast to work with Randy Hesson again! He came in to record Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and turned in another great performance. But this time, as a very different character from the dark and gruff Vincent Craft that you all know.

He plays the character of Vanger in "Pilgrim's Progress: Similitude Of A Dream", a helpful woodsman and counselor to those who seek truth. He brought a combination of warmth and strength to the role that I think will be very memorable.

Thanks for everything, Randy!

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, April 27, 2009

In Search Of Truth, 1st Corinthians 9:15-27


In the first part of this chapter, Paul established the rights of compensation that every teacher of the gospel is entitled to. But here he explains his reasons for not demanding those rights.

He wants to be able to say that he receives no compensation for his teaching, but not so that he will look superior to other teachers. In fact, he takes no credit for his teaching, because he was compelled by God to teach. (See Acts Chapter 9) He even implies that his life would be terrible if he did NOT preach about Jesus. (Indicated by the common Greek phrase which often translates to "woe is me" in verse 16.)

So if he is not preaching and making these sacrifices for personal recognition, why does he give up his rights as a teacher? He begins to answer this question in verses 18-19, but uses the rest of the chapter to illustrate. In a nutshell, he gives up his rights so that he can win more people to Christ. He doesn't want to risk offending people or giving the impression that he is greedy. He made whatever changes in his life he could to be accepted and welcomed in the communities where he taught.

Among Jews, Paul observed customs and rituals that he was no longer required to obey because of Christ's perfect payment of Paul's(and all believers') sins. Among pagans, Paul would have gone places and done things attached to pagan culture(though without violating Christ's commands). (v.21) Among "weak" Christians (as discussed in chapter 8), Paul would have avoided activity that would give the impression that sinning is okay.

He did all of this "for the sake of the gospel" and to "share in its blessings".(v.23) Paul knows that there is eternal reward attached to his service(remember 1st Corinthians 3:14?) and he knows he will be more effective in his work if he can connect to the people he's sharing the truth with. Paul recognizes the vital component of relationships when sharing the truth with others.

If we want a voice in someone's life, we should be willing to invest in that person's life. Maybe that means reading a book they recommend that is counter to biblical views. Maybe it means NOT wearing that cool, gory costume to the church Halloween party, or avoiding a few slang expressions around sensitive friends. The personal sacrifice will look a little different depending on who you are with.

In time, as we gain a voice to share truth in someone's life, we'll hopefully see change in them as a result and we will no longer have to sacrifice any rights around them. But like Paul, we can recognize the strategic and relational value of self-sacrifice as we invest in others.

Paul compares it to athletic competition. To win the prize, athletes have to be extremely self-disciplined. But ultimately, athletes compete for a prize that will fade with time.(v.24-25) Eternal life with God is a gift(Ephesians 2:8), not something we earn. But in addition to it, you and I can invest in lives around us. We can be used as tools to bring others closer to the truth, so that they can be used in the same way. A chain reaction with immeasurable effect! Like Paul, you and I can choose to live focused, purposeful lives in order to win an immensely fulfilling prize that will last forever! (v.26-27)

Next Week- Learning from yesterday and living in today...

Coffee House Question

As you consider the lives around you and who you have opportunity to invest in, what might be some of the freedoms and rights you can set aside around them to have a voice in their lives?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pligrim's Progress Cast!


 Hello Everyone,

Thank you all so much for the wonderful auditions you turned in for this project! My final decisions were EXTREMELY difficult to make and that is a testament to your great efforts.

The Cast for "Pilgrim's Progress: Similitude Of A Dream" is as follows-

KAPHAN- Krystofer James VanSlyke

OVERSEER- Beth Frolich

VANGER- Randy Hesson

AZER- John Sipple


SOPHIA- Kristina Rogers

WILLIAM- Michael E. Bryce

KYBER- Brandon Butler

SHAYRA- Megan Fletcher

I want to invite everyone who auditioned for this project to join us at "The Spirit Blade Underground Alliance" ( to be a part of the other audio dramas we're developing there. We are currently still auditioning for a futuristic supernatural crime drama called "The DSI Files: Unlucky Seven"! For audition information, join the SBU Alliance at !

You can keep up to date on Spirit Blade Productions project development and future casting calls by subscribing to our mailing list at ! I hope to connect with each of you again soon!

Thanks so much!

Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Hebrew-Greek Bible Geek!


I'm thrilled to introduce you all to a friend of mine named Dave Lindstrom. He's an Elder on the leadership board of my church and also my Bible study mentor. He's got a wonderful mind, a firm grasp of both the Hebrew and Greek languages, and presents the Bible with unique clarity and insight.

I've set up a blog for him titled "The Hebrew-Greek Bible Geek", where I will regularly post the notes and outlines for the weekly class he teaches.

I hope you all find the material useful as you seek out Truth! 

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, April 20, 2009

In Search Of Truth, 1st Corinthians 9:1-14



Apostle- In the Greek, this word translates to ambassador or representative. An Apostle represents Jesus Christ to others in an official capacity.

After discussing some of the freedom we have because of Jesus in chapter 8, Paul continues by explaining to the Corinthians a number of rights that he has given up for their sake. He does this to serve as an example. As Paul shows at the end of chapter 8, he is willing to give up his rights and freedoms as a Christian if it will prevent others from stumbling and rejecting the truth.

One of these rights, as listed in chapter 9, seems to be the right to be otherwise unemployed while he teaches. (Verse 6) According to Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, editor of the New American Standard Bible, the Greek word for "working" in verse 6, "Ergazomai", refers to being employed in this context.

Verse 7- Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?

Paul again quotes Deuteronomy 25:4, and gives some God-inspired commentary on it.

Verses 8-10

I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? For it is written in the Law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle the Ox while he is threshing." God is not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher {to thresh} in hope of sharing {the crops.}

He points out that this law isn't just about oxen. It's for humans, too. And although words of thanks and appreciation are important for our church leaders, Paul makes it clear that our leaders should be able to expect material compensation.

Verse 11- If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?

The Greek word for "material", sarkikos, is used only 11 times in the New Testament. It means, "things pertaining to the flesh". It can have a negative connotation, but Thayer's Greek Lexicon indicates that in this instance it's referring to "things needed for the sustenance of the body".

In Paul's case, he believed that his ministry would be more effective if he didn't demand these things of those he taught.

Verse 12- If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ.

Paul also validates the Old Testament material compensation of church workers, treating it as though it is still in effect.

Verse 13- Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the {food} of the temple, {and} those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar?

In the Old Testament sacrificial system, the temple priests not only took some income from the tithe, they also ate some of the meat from animal sacrifices for their meals.

In verse 14, Paul makes a comparison to the old sacrificial system and says that God intended for teachers of the Gospel to earn a living from their teaching.

Verse 14- So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.

Although Paul does not demand payment for himself, he does still refer to payment as a "right in the Gospel". (Verse 19)

Payment for those who regularly teach the Gospel is not only okay, it's honoring to God and in line with his expressed will. Payment for Gospel teachers is meant to meet their physical needs, but there is no indication that it should make them financially wealthy. In some situations, it may be advantageous for teachers to refuse payment, but this decision seems to be up to the teacher. (Unless, of course, no one is willing to give payment. In this case the teacher obviously has no choice. Some new churches today start out like this, with the church staff working other jobs to meet their needs.)

This system may result in abuse by the teachers of the Gospel. But I don't believe paying the pastors full-time is to blame. The leadership of the church should be promoting accountability both ways. The leaders holding members accountable for involvement, service and purposeful, biblical living, and the congregation holding the leaders accountable to passages like 1 Timothy 3. (Money is among the issues mentioned in this passage. If a pastor seems to be hording his money, he may love it too much to continue being a pastor!) This can be done in a variety of ways. Our church uses an Elder Board system, composed of non-staff , non-paid Elders approved and held accountable by the congregation. Our board actually has a leadership role over our head pastor, and he is accountable to them.

So if the leadership isn't effective in motivating the congregation to serve, I'd say that payment isn't the problem, but WHO they are paying may be. (In other words, ineffective leadership should be replaced with effective leadership.)

Next Week- Free To Be A Slave

Coffee House Question-

How do you feel about the idea of paying pastors and church workers? Why do you feel the way you do?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Time to "Retreat"!


I'm leaving tomorrow morning to go on a weekend Men's Retreat that my church has organized. This will be the first one I've gone on, because in the past they have been geared toward the competitive, athletic, "outdoorsy" type of guy and I'm... well, I'm not that guy.

But this year, with a new emphasis on individual study and optional freetime activities, the idea of getting out of my routine to do some study and reflection sounded very valuable to me.

You can help me by praying that I'll make good use of the time all weekend and that it will result in my being more on God's page, instead of trying to get him on mine.

Thanks! Talk to you on Monday!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Finding The Sound


While this week has been mostly administrative, rather than creative, I have found the time to work on the remix for the song "All and Everything" from "Spirit Blade". I'll be releasing it, along with songs from Spirit Blade, Dark Ritual and a few other stand alones, in a music project I hope to have finished and available in early 2010.

Coming back to this song and Mike Tully's recording of it has been a real treat for me. I've grown so much as an artist and have a much wider spectrum of sounds to choose from now. For days I did very little on this song, trying to figure out what the new sound for it will be. I didn't want to divorce myself from the original, so the song is still very much a soothing reflective sound. The major element that I finally added that brings the whole process into focus for me is a monastic men's chorus, produced by recording my own voice in various tonal qualities and on multiple parts. I used the same trick for the Sanctafi theme in "Used" from "Dark Ritual".

The men's chorus here is much more subdued, but it gives a strong sense of mystery to the sound, which compliments the lyrical theme. The remix is still only midway through development, but I'm excited about the new direction this song is headed in and think it will capture much more effectively the feel I wanted to convey in the original mix.

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, April 13, 2009

In Search Of Truth, Probing Questions...


With no podcast coming this weekend, I thought I'd do something a little different today. I got a great e-mail from a podcast listener and would love to share my response to it with you all to process. Feel free to respond if it gets the wheels turning!

I like the fact that you're processing some of the deeper questions of life. Not many people think as deeply as you obviously are, regarding God and the religions of the world. You've asked a short question that requires a longer answer (as most good questions do), so bear with me as I give an idea of my thinking on this issue:

First, some foundational stuff-

When seeking out truth, I aim to separate what COULD be true, from what is LIKELY true. For example, in "Dark Ritual", I suggest the existence of an energy called "Miraclai", which God used to create the universe and continue to hold its laws together. Ultimately, the Bible says that it is Christ that holds all creation together. (Romans 11:36, Colossians 1:17) He MIGHT use something called "Miraclai" to do it, but I have no evidence or even logical reason to support the idea. I stuck a totally uneeded factor in there. It ultimately doesn't make sense for Miraclai to exist, but "Dark Ritual" is a fantasy and Miraclai is a concept that helps create some great fantasy moments, and that's what the genre is all about.

Another example: It's possible I won't wake up tomorrow. But will I stop checking e-mails today, skip work and just play video games 'till midnight? (woohoo!) No. Because I know that it is very likely I WILL wake up tomorrow, and so I choose my beliefs and make my choices based on what is most likely. Not on what is possible or what I'd prefer.

So to my mind, there is a very big difference between what is possible and what is likely. I base the real decisions about who I am, who God is and what I should do in life on what is likely, not on what is possible.

Your first question:

Isn't it true we are all connected on the level of our souls because we
all come from God, the same energy force? Wouldn't that explain mental
telepathy, clairvoyance and things like that?

While the Bible does say that we were made "in God's image", it is still unclear exactly what that refers to. However, the Bible never says that we are made out of God himself. So we do not come "from God" in that sense. Neither does the Bible describe God as "energy". In the realm of sci-fi and fantasy and even philosophy, energy can take on very broad meanings, so it probably isn't the best term to use as we try to nail down the truth of the matter here.

The Bible also doesn't mention (to my knowledge) the kind of "connection" between humans you're referring to, either. There are many unknowns regarding our makeup. Through discipline, the human mind and body have shown enormous potential. Just watch a few episodes of "Ripley's" to catch a glimpse. But the Bible is largely silent on these issues. How do they work? Where do they come from? It validates their existence, but it also says that clairvoyance and attempts at supernatural perception are things to stay away from.

Deuteronomy 18: 9-11

"When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations.

"There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,

or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

We may have the capacity, in some way, to be clairvoyant, but we also have the capacity for many other things that God does not want us to take part in. So while clairvoyance may exist, God does not want it to be used in a way that does not acknowledge him as the direct source.

The Bible seems to be silent on telepathy. But if the use of telepathy promotes ideas that are counter to the Bible in an attempt to explain itself, I would say we should steer clear. Satan is a better liar than any human. I believe he could easily create a system of belief counter to God and use his own supernatural power to authenticate it.

This idea opens a huge can of worms. How do we know, then, what philosophies/religions are true and which ones are not?

This all comes back to the most vital issue of all: Truth.

How do we know what is true and what is not? Is Christianity just one of many options all grasping for the same truth? These are some of the most important questions anyone can wrestle with. But if we want answers, we have to start by being "Truthians". Not Christians, or Buddhists or Wiccans or anything else. We have to start by seeking truth.

So why, then, am I a Christian, and not just a Truthian?

In looking at the Bible, I see a book without equal. It has numerous prophecies dated hundreds of years before taking place that we can historically verify being fulfilled. We can even use modern archeological discovery to validate some of the most miraculous events of the Bible.

It has proven to be historically reliable and the archeologist's favorite tool for hundreds of years. It has far more manuscripts (copies) with which to verify its accurate transmission through history than any other work of antiquity.

There is no other religious book that makes the kinds of outrageous, yet evidentially supported claims the Bible does.

If God exists, I would expect him to have written a book like the Bible. Since, comparitively speaking, no other religious book has the level of evidence supporting it that the Bible does, I believe the Bible. So if something from another religion is stated that contradicts the Bible, I reject it, because they have not supported their truth claims with anything near the amount of evidence the Bible has.

This might sound harsh, or closed-minded, but if I decide to accept any idea without demanding evidential support, I will wind up believing any number of ridiculous or even harmful things.

So, regarding your other questions:

Do you think other
religions, like Buddhism are an expression of Christianity in another form?

Buddhism is so radically different from Biblical Christianity that the two are completely incompatible. So I would say no.

I'm not saying all religions are godly, but do you think some of those of
the Middle East are varied forms of Christianity to an extent?

I'd really need to know which one you're referring to. But I believe the Bible has overwhelmingly supported itself evidentially, and so anything conflicting with the Bible, I would believe to be false, unless it could somehow evidentially support itself to a greater degree than the Bible.

God reveal himself in another matter other than Christianity as we
know it in the traditional sense?

Here, we would need to define our terms. "Christianity in the traditional sense" could mean any number of things. That's why I prefer to use the phrase "Biblical Christianity", which I would probably define like this:

The belief that the Bible, as written in its original languages, is the complete, infallible communication of God's written word to humanity, and that it can and should be applied to every area of life and our learning of who God is, who we are and what we should do with our lives.

God does reveal himself through his creation and has implanted some understanding of himself in everyone. (Romans 1:20) But God's written word is the filter through which every idea about God and humanity must be tested in order to determine accuracy.

Where the Bible and the Buddha agree, the Buddha is right. But where they disagree, I have to go with the source that has proven itself evidentially. The Buddha loses that contest.

Those are my initial thoughts. A few cans of worms have probably been opened, so feel free to ask any questions you might have. If you'd like to zero in and delve deeper into anything there, let me know and I'd be happy to seek out truth together.

Talk to you later!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Casting Nearly Done!


Today I have reviewed all auditions for "Pilgrim's Progress" and have begun notifying actors who have been cast. I will post the final cast list here before the end of April, but not all casting has been finalized yet.

It's an exciting time as I already find myself scheduling recording sessions with actors again. I got some wonderful auditions and I'm excited to work with many actors that I have never worked with before!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Experience "Dark Ritual Origins"!


If you missed it on the podcast last weekend, you can now download the latest behind the scenes look into "Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual" on the Media Page of "Dark Ritual Origins" is a combination of vintage audio clips from the first read-through of the script, and the finished product that each scene evolved into. Be part of the fun as script flaws are discovered and everyone tries to get a grip on some of the "stranger" moments of "Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual". 


-Paeter Frandsen

In Search Of Truth, 1st Corinthians 8:1-13


We live in a very different culture to that of ancient Corinth, so for some, this chapter may feel like one we can gloss over. But passages like this and Romans 14 are vital for equipping us to properly judge the numerous "grey areas" the Bible does not specifically mention. For example, how much violence is too much violence for a Christian to take in through various forms of fictional entertainment? Can a book like Harry Potter be read by a Christian safely? What about the classic taboo of Christian culture known as "Dungeons and Dragons"?

The Bible doesn't name these things specifically, but still gives us timeless instruction and principle that we can apply as we carefully make decisions about what we choose to enjoy or be involved in.

At the time of this letter, Corinth was a city filled with idol worship. Animals were sacrificed to pagan gods and the leftover meat was often sold in the general marketplace. Jews and the young Christians of Corinth fell into two camps on what to do. One side said that eating the meat was of no harm to anyone, since the gods it was sacrificed to are fictitious. The other side said that eating the meat was in some way participating in pagan worship. Paul agreed with the philosophy of the first group, but not their application of it.

He cautions in verse 1 that knowledge has a tendency to make one arrogant instead of loving and caring toward others. In verse 4-6, Paul makes it clear that these pagan gods receiving sacrifices are fictitious. At best they are fallen angels, (1 Cor. 10:20) but they have no power compared to the one and only God. For this reason, those eating "idol meat" were not taking part in any kind of worship simply because they ate the meat. It was their rejection of God and embracing of something else that was wrong.

However, in verse 7, Paul says that those who don't understand this, and think of the idols as real gods, defile themselves when they eat the meat. Likewise, in Romans 14:14, Pauls says "I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean." Why the difference?

In verse 10, Paul identifies the core issue. If someone who is weak (who thinks idols are real gods) thinks that idol worship and following Christ are compatible, they will be in a serious mess. They will begin to believe things that will take them away from the truth and into any number of harmful lies. So Paul allows for eating "idol meat", but cautions those who understand the truth to not let the freedom their knowledge gives them become a point of confusion and misdirection for someone else.

Paul says that "if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to stumble." This is something to weigh carefully, but not apply rashly. Paul is not making a command here. And by comparing his words to Romans chapter 14:15-16, we see that Paul commands Christians to communicate with each other about what they believe is evil and what they believe is not.

"For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil."

In other words, if a Christian friend sees you eating "idol meat" and says "isn't that evil?", but you believe it is not, don't just shrug and keep eating. This could lead to your friend's misunderstanding about the truth! They might think that good and evil aren't really important to the Christian life! In reality, what they need to know is why you believe eating "idol meat" is not evil. Why, in fact, it is a perfectly good thing! (Protein is good for the diet!)

I want to point out that this passage is only applicable to "grey areas" of scripture. If the Bible identifies something as sin, in black and white, it's sin, no matter how you or I may feel about it. But hopefully passages like this one will help us navigate other waters more safely and confidently.

I would highly recommend supplimenting your reading with Romans chapter 14. I'd also suggest visiting The Christian Gamer's Guild online ( and reading through the "weaker brother" section of their FAQ page. This is possibly the best treatment I've read of these passages as they relate specifically to fantasy gaming hobbies like "Dungeons and Dragons".

Next Week- Some Perspective On "Ministry"

Coffee House Question

Have you ever felt looked down on or rejected by others for a hobby or interest you enjoy? How did you respond to the situation?



Monday, April 6, 2009

Doesn't It Just Figure...

Just after getting done with two weeks away from my office, I've caught a crippling flu, worse than any kind I've had before. I'll spare you the gory details, but it's bad. I'm through the worst of it now, but still have only just enough strength to get this post out. "In Search Of Truth" will be here on Wednesday if my recovery continues as it has so far.

Thanks for your patience!

-Paeter Frandsen