Monday, November 30, 2009

In Search Of Truth, 2 Corinthians 5:1-4


In an effort to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen”, we’re going to spend a little extra time looking at the first few verses of chapter 5. At the beginning of this chapter, Paul gives us a glimpse of what the future holds for those who trust their eternal existence to Jesus.


The “earthly tent” refers to the current physical body a believer has and the “building from God” refers to the kind of body believers will be given in the future and keep for eternity. There are a few details we can gather about these future bodies from verse 1.


They will be created for us by God and will not simply be improvements on our existing bodies. The phrase “made with hands” was used by Jesus to describe his own body before crucifixion (a body formed through biological process, despite being conceived miraculously) and he used the same Greek phrase “made without hands” to describe his resurrection body as we see here. (Mark 14:58) Jesus said his first body would be destroyed and another built in its place. Jesus served as the first of all believers who would be given new bodies in this way. (1 Corinthians 15:20) Therefore, if he started with a body “made with hands” and was resurrected with one made by God, so will all believers.


These bodies will also be “eternal”. The Greek communicates the idea here of being non-temporary, unable to be lost, broken or destroyed. The life these bodies have will be as eternal and everlasting as God himself!


Notice that Paul says that we “have” these bodies right now. They already belong to us, though the time to claim them won’t come until later. Currently, they are “in the heavens”, meaning with God, as the term “heaven” commonly implies in its New Testament usage.


As our bodies are now, we all long for something better. We look at ourselves and see our physical flaws, our shortcomings, our weakness or dysfunction. (v.2) Public nakedness is a shameful state, but with our new bodies, we will be “clothed” in some way, without shame of any kind.(v.3) Our natural mortality will be “swallowed up” by life. The Greek word here for “life” refers to the highest and best form of life possible. Whatever life may be like for believers in eternity, it will not include any of the negative aspects of life here on earth in the bodies we live in now. (v.4)


Next Week


Gaining Some More “Eternal Perspective”


Coffee House Question


What aspect of living in your body would you most like to live without?


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ninja Assassin (Movie Review)

Ninja Assassin grabbed me with it's visually exciting trailer and the fact the that Wachowski brothers were producing. But they should have stuck to just making the trailer this time.

Fans of old school martial arts movies with there unrealistic violence (guy gets stabbed 10 times and keeps on fighting like nothing happened) will enjoy this throwback that that level of realism. With a lot of action and blood spraying everywhere, this is a visually intense movie. At first. But the shocking combat violence that starts the movie and had me on the edge of my seat gave way to repetitive CGI blood splattering that was over the top, fake and devoid of emotional intensity. How many times can you really be shocked by a pint of blood squirting out of a single wound? Add to this the fact that the blood looks extremely digital and you've got an experience that seems to be shooting for "style over substance", but doesn't even quite get that right.

I will say that many of the action scenes are a real pleasure to watch, despite the blood FX. The cast is composed of people who can execute fight scenes extremely well and the movie shines in this department. If you want some cool, violent, ninja action, you won't want to miss this flick. Sound effects and complimentary CGI give the action some comic book, over the top flavor that is mostly cool, rather than fake. (But yeah, still a little fake.)

Anything beyond that will likely escape you, however. The script, despite being co-written by comic book giant J. Michael Straczynski, drops the ball by giving us an unneeded b-plot that centers on a female international police-type person investigating the hidden world of Ninjas. She is naturally caught up in a dangerous world she had no idea existed and blah blah blah... Her character is never given any substance and so I couldn't have cared less about what was happening to her. They would have done much better to spend more time on the protagonist. A Ninja who defected from his clan of assassins and is now on the run from them. His back-story had far greater potential and some very good moments. Straczynski's comic book banter came through with a few cute one-liners, but the actors didn't seem to know what to do with them, making them feel out of character and out of place for the movie.

The cast, as I mentioned, is composed of many very good stuntmen, but no strong actors. The "B-plot" actors did alright much of the time, but gave me no reason to invest in them. Our "good-guy ninja" had little personality, but a good plot thread to keep me interested.

This movie is highly unlikely to lead to worthwhile conversation. One character briefly states that "everything has a heart", even plants and trees. This, along with obvious elements of revenge and a misguided sense of "honor" in the Ninja clan might act as springboards for conversation, but the movie is not written well enough to provoke any significant thought and is ultimately a fun but forgettable experience.

Rated R for strong bloody stylized violence throughout, and language

Quality: 7.0/10

Relevance: 5.0/10

Smokin' Deals!!


For some crazy reason I'm virtually GIVING stuff away again this Christmas season! Just like last year, you can buy the 3 Disc set of "Dark Ritual" and get the 2 Disc set of "Spirit Blade" for FREE! And now, buy one "Pilgrim's Progress" and you can "gift" one for FREE!

Check the deals out while they last at !

Monday, November 23, 2009

In Search Of Truth, 2 Corinthians 4:10-18


Paul refers to his suffering as “carrying around the death of Jesus” in his body. Paul made the point in previous verses that his own weakness and frailty showcases the power of God by contrast, as God uses Paul despite his weakness. The same idea is continued in verses 10-12. In the Greek, the phrase “life of Jesus” doesn’t refer to biological life, but to the spiritual being. So, although following Christ can be difficult, even painful at times, there is great potential for Christ himself to be “revealed” in those times.


Have you ever been encouraged by another believer who was experiencing pain or difficulty? As odd as it sounds, we can sometimes be most effective in encouraging others when we’re experiencing pain. As we maintain our trust and dependence on God in the middle of suffering, others can sometimes see that and find themselves trusting God more as a result. We may not even be thinking about trying to encourage anyone. (In fact, we’re likely just holding on to God for every breath!) But God can use those moments of our weakness to impact others with the “life” of Christ (v. 12) in ways we’re completely unaware of and may never even see in this life.


Paul quotes a fraction of Psalm 116:10 to illustrate the natural behavior of genuine faith. It leads to speech. Let’s be clear, faith is not measured by the amount of speaking or “witnessing” we do. But think about it for a minute. If you are passionate about something, if you believe in a cause, admire a person or love a movie, you talk about it with someone. The same is true of our faith. If we are passionate about it, it will “show up” in our conversations and activities. (v.13)


Why does Paul believe? Look at verse 14. Because he “knows” that Jesus was raised from the dead and that he (Paul) and all believers will be raised, physically, from the dead as well. The Greek word used here for “know” means to perceive with the eyes or some other sense. Paul was an eyewitness to the reality of Christ’s resurrection (Acts 9) and this was the basis for his faith. The Bible does not ask us to believe blindly, but to search out truth and use our minds. A few verses on this theme worth checking out include:

1 Corinthians 15:14, Isaiah 1:18 , Mark 12:30, Proverbs 25:2 and Acts 17:10-11.


The amazing promises of the Bible can seem fantastical. They can be easy to compartmentalize into a back corner of our mind that “believes” in a sense, but not in the same way that we believe the sun will appear tomorrow. But there is no need to keep our faith in that emaciated condition. The Bible asks to be scrutinized, because it can take it. If your faith is fading because of doubt, seek out the evidence for the truth of scripture and you will begin to develop the kind of “eyewitness” faith that Paul had. The kind of faith that sees the eventual bodily resurrection of believers to be just as real as the computer screen in front of you.


Paul recognized that his ministry, with all the pain it brought with it, was for the benefit of the Corinthians. Paul was being used as a tool of God’s undeserved favor (grace) toward the Corinthians, so that they would ultimately live lives that recognized who God is and what he has done for them, and repeatedly thank God as a result. (v.15)


It’s this perspective that “renews” Paul’s attitude and keeps him from “losing heart”, even though he is experiencing severe difficulty. He knows he will eventually share in an “eternal glory” that outweighs any difficulty he can potentially experience in this life.


So what is this “eternal glory”? Romans 8:17 indicates that believers will be “co-heirs” with Christ. We will share in everything that he possesses. Imagine that for a moment. We will have all the wealth, excitement, and discovery that can be potentially found in what an eternal, infinite God has to offer us. According to this verse we will also share in Christ’s “glory”, meaning we will reflect who he is. We will become like Christ(1 John 3:2) and become perfect reflections of who he is. All the aspirations we may have for who we want to be and what we hope to accomplish will seem like nothing when we become perfect reflections of Christ. And this future we look forward to will never fade, or become stale. Unlike the temporary things of this life, believers will eventually have fulfillment that lasts forever.


Next Week


A Glimpse Of What Is To Come


Coffee House Question


Have you ever met a believer in pain, or heard a story of one, that encouraged you to put more trust in God? Don’t be shy! Let’s hear about it! (‘cuz we all need encouragement, too!)



Friday, November 20, 2009

The Box (Movie Review)

Although the trailers for “The Box” were not flashy or filled with special effects, the premise caught my interest and I had the feeling that this movie would provide a unique experience in some way. I was right.

Within the first 20 minutes of the film, I felt as though I were watching an episode of the classic “Twilight Zone” tv series. A couple experiencing financial frustrations is offered a strange box by an even stranger visitor. They are told that if they press the button on the box, they will be given 1 million dollars… and someone they do not know will die.

The obvious moral dilemma plays out in ways one might expect, but the mysterious origins of the box and the stranger kept me interested in seeing where the story was heading. Odd happenings begin to pile up around our main characters, setting a weird and sometimes creepy atmosphere in which the story unfolds.

It’s obvious that effort was made to re-create a “classic sci-fi” feel to the film. The story is set in the 1970’s (which somehow aided the strange feel of the movie) and the score feels a bit like 1950’s sci-fi scoring, but with a modern enough sound to never feel antiquated.

Performances were handled well by all involved and the script portrays the lead characters realistically in most respects. Special effects are few and nothing new, but not particularly bad. Where the movie fails a bit is in the last third of the movie, where the nature of the antagonist is revealed(though not fully) and feels a bit unoriginal. Considering how effective the movie is at setting up a complex mystery, it fails to deliver a satisfying reveal.

This movie easily provides opportunity for meaningful discussion. It presents an unforgiving view of natural human tendency(that of selfishness). Do we value human life when it is not someone we personally know? Additionally, two references to Jean-Paul Sartre and one character’s “afterlife” experience make this an undeniably philosophical film. Given that Sartre was an Existentialist, there is nothing concrete or objective stated about the afterlife (as most forms of existentialism teach that meaning and religious truth are created by and for the individual only), but it is certainly implied in the film that, much like dogs apparently do, all protagonists go to heaven. Or at least to a “warm embrace”, as the script describes it in character dialogue.

Overall, this is a good movie that “Twilight Zone” or classic sci-fi fans should definitely not miss, but that has a third act that may not satisfy some. It plays with themes of human moral nature, right and wrong, the value of human life and the afterlife, all of which could easily lead to good discussion afterward.

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence and disturbing images.

Quality: 8.5/10

Relevance: 8.5/10

Secret Project Starting Up!


If you've been to recently, you may have noticed that there is a "Secret Project" due to be released during the first half of 2010. No, it's not the Spirit Blade Audiobook, but it's something fans of the Spirit Blade series will dig, and something I've been excited about doing for a little while now. 

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I've started working on it again as of this week (I've already spent some time working on it during the production of "Pilgrim's Progress") and it's coming along great! I've been through a few sound effects and musical ideas to narrow down the basic feel of what I want and today things started coming together nicely. My wife got a preview and it brought a wide grin to her face. Hopefully it will do the same for you in a few more months!

-Paeter Frandsen 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Dark Ritual Commentary Part 7 Is Here!


Part 7 of the Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual Interactive Audio Commentary is now available to download for free at !

What wildly alternate sequence was replaced in the final version of the script? What went horribly wrong during the recording of "Veritas"? And what does "Dark Ritual" say about questioning your own religious beliefs? All this and a fart joke await you! Don't miss out!

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, November 16, 2009

In Search Of Truth, 2 Corinthians 4:1-9


After stressing the superior ministry of the Holy Spirit (versus the ministry of the Old Testament Law), Paul points to it as the reason he does not lose heart, even though he constantly faced both physical and emotional pain and danger. (v.1)

Because the strength of Paul’s ministry does not rely on himself or his reputation, he lives his life transparently, without secret habits hidden to protect his public approval. He also doesn’t use his leadership position to manipulate people through his teaching.  It can be an easy thing to look at scripture and “make it say” something that it doesn’t. But Paul was committed to presenting only the truth to others. He let everyone see who he really was and allowed them to evaluate him in the presence of God.(v.2)

Paul models confidence so well for us. We’re often told today that we need more self-confidence and more self-esteem, but as we examine ourselves, we find ourselves repeatedly disappointed by a lack of reasons for self-confidence. But Paul’s sense of self worth and purpose was completely wrapped up in the Holy Spirit, not in his own strengths and accomplishments.

The active power of the Holy Spirit does not mean that the truth cannot be obscured. Paul says that for those who are perishing (in other words, those who are on the road to rejecting God forever) a “veil” created by Satan (the “god of this age”) has been placed over the good news(“gospel”) of who Christ is(his “glory”) and what he reveals about God (being God’s “image”) and his loving gift of redemption. This veil blinds and enables those who do not want God to interfere with their lives. (v.3-4)

Paul again deflects the importance of his reputation, stating that he preaches CHRIST is Lord, not himself. And that he is serving the Corinthians for the sake of Jesus. Paul does what he does because of the powerful compelling of God inside him. The same God who spoke light and creation into existence, put a “light” within Paul that revealed the knowledge of who God is (his “glory) and who Christ is. (v.5-6)

Clay jars in Paul’s time were cheaply available and often broke. So when Paul says that the treasure he has (the knowledge, worth and purpose given to him by God) is stored in a jar of clay, he’s referring to his own body and weakness, which contrast the power and effectiveness God has given him, and makes it easy to see that Paul is not the source of his own strength. (v.7)

Paul is no stranger to pain, but take a more careful look at verses 8 and 9. Although he experiences difficulty, Paul knows that he is never ultimately defeated by his difficulties. As we’ll see later in verse 17, Paul has an eternal perspective and knows that whatever pain or difficulty he experiences now is temporary. Even ongoing, life-long pain is only a dot on the line of eternity.

But how can we gain the same perspective? When life is assaulting us with difficulty and pain, how can we have realistic hope? How do we develop the kind of faith that sees the world and our lives so differently than we naturally do?

Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes from hearing the message”. In that context, “the message” refers to who Christ is and what he has done for us. The entire Bible has been given to us so that we can better understand that message. The more time we spend in the Bible, the more our worldview will be affected.

The Psalms are a wonderful place to read from regularly, in or out of pain. The Psalmists openly expressed fear, doubt and anger to God, but they also recognized him for who he was and what he had done. At the end of the day, even in their difficulties, they knew to trust him. We can learn to trust him too!

A few Psalms you might find helpful include chapters 13, 27, 33,103 and 111.

Next Week

More Perspective On Purpose Amidst Pain

Coffee House Question

What passage or verse in the Bible have you found to be helpful when you’ve encountered pain or difficulty in your life?


Friday, November 13, 2009

Spirit Blade Audiobook On The Horizon!


With the main thrust of my publicity efforts for "Pilgrim's Progress" slowing down, I'm finally finding time to give attention to the next project on my list: The Spirit Blade Audiobook!

"But wait a minute. We've got a Spirit Blade Audio Drama. Isn't an audiobook a bit of a step back?"

Not in this case. For one thing, this audiobook is actually the unpublished novel that I wrote which, after numerous changes and restructuring, formed the basis for both Spirit Blade and Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual! Far from a re-treading of what you've already heard, the Spirit Blade audiobook will be a very different story with new characters and plot threads you've never seen or heard before!

Like the "Pilgrim's Progress" audiobook bonus feature included with our latest audio drama, this audiobook will be enhanced with sound effects and a musical score, drawing some scoring from Spirit Blade and Dark Ritual to maintain a tone similar to those projects.

But unlike our previous projects, the Spirit Blade Audiobook will be available for free!

Recording for the project is finished and production has already begun. So keep your ears open for this one in the next few months!

-Paeter Frandsen

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Powering Through Publicity


Although I had hoped to speed through my "publicity e-mails" for Pilgrim's Progress in a single day this week, my memory has not served me well regarding how long this sort of thing takes and how I want to approach it. It just takes time, plain and simple.

I'm still hoping to "power through" the bulk of my e-mail publicity stuff this week, but I'm interjecting some other work as well, to prevent me from going insane from the mind-numbing tedium of it all!

Some grand and distant day when I have money I'm going to be paying someone else to do this...

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, November 9, 2009

In Search Of Truth, 2nd Corinthians 3:7-18


As Paul compares the ministry of the Old Covenant (or, we might say Old Agreement) to the ministry of the new one, he refers to Exodus 34:29-35, where Moses comes down from Mount Sinai with instructions from God on stone tablets, and his face is literally glowing because of the time he spent with God. But the radiance didn’t last forever. And the delivery of God’s instructions to humanity did not solve our sin problem.

Still, there is a real glory in the “Old Agreement” that we are often quick to dismiss. The Greek word Paul uses here for “glory” is “Doxa” and refers to a revealed appearance or reputation. God’s “glory” reveals who he is!

Many Christians today view the Old Testament as obsolete and unneeded. But the Old Testament gives us a detailed picture of who God is and what he cares about! It may be difficult to understand at times and more suited for study than for casual reading, but Paul says that there is glory in it, and we don’t do ourselves any favors by neglecting it.

That said, Paul goes on to say that the New Covenant, God’s new way of relating with people, is even more glorious. (v.7-8) The Holy Spirit, God himself, actually lives inside every believer in some mysterious way. This connection to God has greater impact and is far superior to merely receiving instructions from God. We might compare it to reading a letter from someone verses being married to someone!

As we observed last time, the Law only announced condemnation. The Holy Spirit actually makes us completely righteous in the eyes of God! (v. 9)

Although by itself, the Old arrangement between God and humanity revealed who God is, it reveals nothing in comparison to a life lived intimately connected to God through the Holy Spirit! The Law was static and etched in stone. Moses experience on the mountain faded. But the Holy Spirit produces lasting and ongoing change in the life of the Christian.(v.10-11)

The firm and reliable hope Paul had because of this immense change in the God-Humanity status quo, gave Paul the ability to be bold in his speaking and teaching. (v. 12)

Paul says that because of Moses’ veil, the Israelites couldn’t see the radiance left by God fading from his face.(v. 13) They couldn’t see that the outward sign of being in the presence of God was fading. And up until Paul’s day (and still in many places today!), people don’t see the truth of the fading, inadequate nature of the Law to truly change us forever. Only through Christ can we see the inadequacy of the Law. (v.14-16)

Although the Law reminds us how far we fall short of God, the Holy Spirit brings freedom into the life of every believer. The forgiveness we’re given and the righteousness that is “transplanted” onto us from Christ, frees us from living lives weighed down by guilt and a sense of inadequacy.

If you are a believer in Christ but you’re living with a constant sense of inadequacy, remember what Christ has done for you! In the eyes of the only judge that matters, you have been made perfect! You have the freedom to fail while you aim for the highest mark! Make every effort to rewire you’re brain and see yourself as God does.

When life is lived with this kind of freedom and purpose, people will see who God is through you, and they’ll see it more and more as time passes. (v.17-18)

Next Week: Living On Purpose In The Middle Of Pain


Coffee House Question

What is it that keeps you from seeing yourself the way God sees you? What action can you take as a first step toward seeing yourself more the way God sees you?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Out Of Town

Hey Folks,

Just FYI, I'm out of town for the weekend. See you back here on Monday!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What Listeners Are Saying!


It's been really cool to hear from folks that have listened to "Pilgrim's Progress". The reaction has been extremely positive!

Here are a few choice links you can check out to see what people are saying about "Pilgrim" and Spirit Blade Productions. Of course, it may not be as exciting for you, but it sure puts a smile on MY face!

Regarding "Pilgrim's Progress"-

A Two Part interview of me about Spirit Blade Productions-


-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, November 2, 2009

No Podcast This Week


Well, normally you'd be looking at "In Search Of Truth" here right now, but I will be out of town this weekend. Since I don't like to get "out of synch" with the podcast, I'm going to hold off on "In Search Of Truth" until next week.

And for those who listen to the podcast, SORRY! I completely forgot to mention it on the podcast!