Monday, March 29, 2010

In Search Of Truth, 2 Corinthians 8:16-22


In Paul's words about the men being sent to Corinth, we can see some ideal traits to cultivate in ourselves and to look for in church leaders.

Titus was a ministry partner with Paul and had already spent time with the Corinthian Christians(7:6-7, 13, 15). Like Paul, Titus had developed love and concern for the Corinthians and took initiative in going back to Corinth to help organize and facilitate the collection of their gift to the suffering Jerusalem Christians.(v.16-17)

The second member of the team visiting Corinth was an unnamed believer who had gained a reputation for his dedication to the gospel.

A quick reminder of the definition for a fairly "church" word:


From the Greek
word- Euaggelion, meaning "Good News". Paul used this word
specifically to refer to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ
and the interpretation of these facts. The Gospel is the basic truth of
who Jesus is, what he did for us, and what it means for us now and

This unnamed believer was also appointed by multiple churches to help transport the financial gift from Corinth to Jerusalem.

It should be noted that there was significant risk involved in the task of moving financial resources from one city to another. (There were no wire transfers or armored trucks, after all.) Bandits were a serious danger to travelers.

The men going to Corinth were brave, compassionate, trustworthy and motivated to serve and honor God in the way they conducted themselves. (v.19)

Although God is our ultimate judge, Paul didn't think it was unimportant what people thought of him and his associates. Paul understood, as we should, that someone's perception of an individual Christian can effect their perception of Christ and the Bible. So he made it a priority to avoid behavior that would discredit himself or his message.(v.20-21)

Paul also sent another unnamed believer to help collect the gift. Paul said that this man had been "tested and found diligent in many things". Sometimes we may want to dive right into exciting, important roles. But it is important that we are "tested" by lesser responsibilities before taking on the bigger ones.(v.22)

Next Week- Helping each other "follow through".

Coffee House Question- What experiences or roles do you think God has given you in the past in order to "test you" for a current or future role? What do you think that current or future role might be?

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Night Angel Trilogy, Brent Weeks (Book Review)

I believe this will mark the first time I've done a book review using the same rating system that I use for movies. I usually don't read books or fantasy series until they are complete and available in paperback. By that time I feel like I've "missed the boat" already and lose motivation to write a review. But a few months ago I took a chance on a new author named Brent Weeks, who published his first trilogy completely in paperback and in three consecutive months. (A brilliant marketing scheme on his part!)

The Night Angel Trilogy is comprised of the books "The Way Of Shadows", "Shadow's Edge" and "Beyond The Shadows". It is sword and sorcery fantasy with possibly the darkest tone I have yet read in this genre. Although the trilogy features an ensemble cast of characters, it centers on Kylar Stern, a mystical super assassin called a "wetboy". The trilogy starts with his humble beginnings as a member of a street gang and follows his career as he becomes one of the most deadly and efficient killers who ever lived.

Weeks does a fantastic job of pulling me into the minds of these characters. While many fantasy authors pride themselves on "world-building", Weeks has made the effort to present his world through the eyes of his characters, engaging me emotionally from the very first page. And this is a world that lends itself to intense emotion.

The story is set in a corrupt city and centers on corrupt people. Prostitution and sexual abuse and all kinds of human depravity figure prominently in the story and the language associated with these themes is very harsh. The "f-bomb" is very common throughout many chapters of all three books, as well as other language that may be more or less offensive to some. But the way in which these harsh words are used is anything but careless. Weeks' writing contains a clear sense of right and wrong. And while nearly every character in this story is corrupt in some way, the author portrays this corruption as tragic and makes us long for a better world.

The story is violent and filled with intense action, deadly combat and incredibly powerful magic. Those seeking fantasy of this nature will not likely be disappointed. The deadly world of assassins is a dark one, but captivating to peek into. The planning and brutal execution of assassinations is a strong point of these books. If you like Batman stories that focus on all the brainpower and planning it takes for Bruce Wayne to become a terrifying urban legend, you'll love Kylar and his "Night Angel" persona. (I wouldn't be surprised if Brent Weeks was a comic book fan.)

The story includes some politics to follow, but these elements are introduced slowly enough to keep track of and never overshadow characterization or story. I would advise, however, that readers pay careful attention as new characters are introduced. Otherwise you may later discover that a character you skimmed through has become a lead player in the story, and you don't quite remember who they are. (This was the case for me.) As the trilogy progresses, more characters are introduced and "screen time" is more evenly portioned out. So don't rush and know that there will be a few more characters to keep track of that are important, especially once you reach the third book.

There is a very clear objective morality in these books. Many fantasy authors guide their characters by "what feels right". They create tension by letting their character be insecure regarding what they ought to do. By contrast, Weeks' characters very often know morally what is the right thing to do. The tension comes from them having to make the right decision, which often results in pain or sacrifice on their part. Or from living with the consequences of making a decision they knew was wrong. The combination of these heart-wrenching decisions and watching the characters lose what they most hold dear is a primary part of what makes this trilogy so captivating.

I can't be certain, but I highly suspect that Brent Weeks is a man who, if not professing to be a Christian, has at least spent a great deal of time reading his Bible. (Update: Brent Weeks discusses his faith with me in an interview!) This is possibly the only mainstream fantasy novel I have read that takes place in a polytheistic society in which a "One True God" religion is portrayed favorably. Themes of morality, justice, wrath, forgiveness and redemption run clearly through many chapters in all three books. There are also more parallels to Biblical stories or teaching than I can count. In nearly a dozen instances, the Bible is almost quoted word for word, depending on which translation you're reading. And one particular scene between a king and a prostitute in "Shadow's Edge" mirrored the account between Jesus and the adulteress(John Chapter 8) in a way that made my eyes brim with tears. These elements will be detectable to various degrees depending on the reader's familiarity with the Bible, but this is not a "preachy" book. Rather, it paints a picture that makes us long for what could be.

Out of nowhere, Brent Weeks has exploded onto my bookshelf and, in my estimation, stands toe-to-toe with an author like Terry Goodkind. Well done, Mr. Weeks. Now when will your next book be released?

Quality: 9.0/10

Relevance: 9.0/10

And don't miss my two-part podcast interview with Brent Weeks, in which he discusses his faith for the first time in an interview!

My "Legal" Search For Truth


As I mentioned earlier this week on "Paeter's Brain", ( I was summoned for jury duty this week and was selected out of more than 60 people to be on a much smaller jury. I've never served in this way before and I'm looking forward to "searching for the truth" as the trial continues.

Naturally, I can't say anything about the case until it is over, but I wanted to let you all know that the trial is expected to run for three days a week for the next two weeks. Add to this my average of 1 day of subbing each week and there's a good chance I won't have much to blog about for the next two weeks.

My notes are prepared in advance for "In Search Of Truth", which should continue without interruption. And I will be seeing "Clash Of The Titans" next week and so will have content to put a podcast together at least next weekend. (And yes, there will be a podcast this weekend as well.) But I may not have any progress to report for Spirit Blade Productions for the next two weeks, for which I am bummed.

In the meantime when you think of me, you can pray that my eye and ear for the truth will be sharpened and I will be able to process information well in order to come to an accurate, God-honoring verdict.


-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pilgrim's Progress Video Journals!


I'm happy to announce the launch of the Spirit Blade Productions Youtube channel!
(Username: spiritbladevideos)

I've updated the "Media" page of to include a link to the Youtube page where you can check out the first "video journal" for production on "Pilgrim's Progress: Similitude Of A Dream". You might also notice that I've changed the layout just a little bit on the "Media" page. (I've shifted a few things from the right column to the left.) Please check it out and let me know if you have any thoughts about "user friendliness".

Or you can jump straight to the Youtube page at:


-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, March 22, 2010

In Search Of Truth, 2 Corinthians 8:10-15


In talking to the Corinthians about their promised giving to the suffering Jerusalem churches, Paul counsels them to follow through in their giving with the same initiative they showed previously when verbally committing to give. But he qualifies this act of giving with the phrase "according to your means". More literally "according to what you have". (V.10-11) The Corinthians demonstrated initiative in their generosity, and now Paul was simply asking them to follow through. In matters of giving and in any other commitments of service we make as Christians, it's important that we put our money where our mouth is. Our actions demonstrate what is really in our hearts. (Matthew 21:28-31)

But our giving does not all need to be the same amount. We are not asked to give to God what we don't have. We shouldn't use verse 12 as an excuse to give less so we can have more comforts and toys. But we can take comfort in the fact that God does not command us to give $500 a week when we only make $400. God is of infinite worth, and certainly deserves more than we have to give. He has every right to require us to do whatever it takes to present him with a flat sum of money. But God does not require us to give what we literally do not have in the bank. And God doesn't need our money to begin with. He want us to grow in our willingness to give. (v.12)

It isn't God's desire that wealthy Christians give so much that they suffer while others have it easy. God wants Christians to share their resources with the aim of all Christians having their needs met. God does not condemn us when we purchase some things that we enjoy but don't need.(1 Timothy 4:4) But we should each ask ourselves what we can do without so that the physical and spiritual needs of others can be met more effectively. (v.13) The intended design for the church community is that those who have more give more and that the church use funds to help those in need. (v.14)

Paul demonstrates how God implemented this plan himself when the Israelites wandered in the desert. They were given a food substance called Manna every day, and were instructed to collect an equal amount for each person, so that everyone had what they needed. No one was stuffing themselves and no one needed another helping. (v.15)

Despite the guidance we gain from this passage, the subject of giving is still a little nebulous. Scripture does not give a specific standard of living that we are all meant to maintain. So how can we at least get a frame of reference? Are there any clues on roughly how much we should give?

In the Old Testament we repeatedly see the pattern of giving a tenth to God's work which God approved of and even commanded. (Leviticus 27:30-32) This is where get the word "tithe". And although we are not bound to the laws practiced by or given to the nation of Israel before the death of Christ, 10% is obviously not a bad place to start. We should also remember that everything we have is a gift from God. (James 1:17) In light of this, we should spend all of our money with him in mind instead of compartmentalizing our financial life into the categories of "for God" and "for me". What we spend on ourselves we should be willing to share with others. It all belongs to God. And we should use our resources with his eternal agenda in mind. (Matthew 25:14-30)

Next Week- Churches, Church Leaders and Money

Coffee House Question- What, if anything, were you taught about giving to the church while growing up? Has your understanding of giving to the church changed since then? If so, how?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Repo Men (Movie Review)

Repo Men is the story of a future in which those who cannot make payments on the artificial organs they have purchased are hunted down by Repo Men who reclaim their organs, often killing them in the process.

Although the previews for “Repo Men” don’t show much in the way of science fiction aside from the basic premise, this is clearly a sci-fi action movie with the visuals to back it up. It’s not a flashy movie with a great deal of money thrown into effects, but there is plenty to see that reminds you that this is the future we’re dealing with. The modest effects look great while being subtle enough to keep us grounded in reality.

Jude Law is our hero and Forest Whitaker plays his eager partner. Both bring engaging performances to their roles, as does Live Schreiber, who plays their heartless, greedy boss.

The action in this movie is wonderfully choreographed and brutally intense. Just when I think I’ve memorized every possible fight move or takedown the silver screen can show me, movies like Repo Men and The Book Of Eli remind me that there are still a few creative people left in Hollywood.

Now, stop me if you’ve heard this one before. In the future there are law enforcement officer who enforce laws that we might consider inhumane. There are two officers who work closely together, but one of them, our hero is put in a position where he must now be hunted like the many he has hunted down before. This causes him to doubt the nature of the laws in place and to seek to bring about change for everyone. He may even develop a romance with a woman who is also being hunted by enforcers.

If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen Logan’s Run, Minority Report or Equilibrium. And if you’ve seen any of those movies, you’ve seen a significant portion of “Repo Men”. The formulaic nature of this movie is easily its weakest point and tends to diminish the other great elements present.

Also, the concept of Repo Men reclaiming human organs has already been covered recently in the lesser known but highly intriguing and enjoyable sci-fi rock opera movie “Repo: The Genetic Opera”. (If you want something MUCH more unique, go find a copy of this one to rent.)

The ending of Repo Men has potential to provide a welcome surprise, but if you pay close attention and enjoy trying to think ahead while watching movies, you probably won’t be taken off guard.

It’s possible that the subject of marriage will come up after viewing this movie, especially if you value lifelong commitment in marriage and believe in the unity of the family/ It appears that the filmmakers don’t. Although the hero’s marriage is rocky, it doesn’t seem doomed. But when our hero spends enough time away from his wife and son, he doesn’t have a hard time “falling in love” with another woman and starting an affair that the film portrays as a warm, romantic fulfillment of our hero’s needs. Although the phrase is never used in the movie, this is the natural outcome of the “follow your heart” mantra when applied consistently to relationships.

While this movie is cool and engaging in several ways, it uses a tired plot concept without including enough separate unique elements to make it memorable.

Rated R for strong bloody violence, grisly images, language and some sexuality/nudity.

Quality: 8.0/10

Relevance: 8.0/10

Taking A Breather


I'm really pleased with the amount of progress I've made this week, but I decided to take a little time off for the rest of the weekend. My wife is out of town so I'm a single dad for a few days. I've also had some family in town and some others with time off that I've been taking advantage of.

I can't imagine that I won't finish "Soldiers" sometime next week. I'm just polishing at this point and the sound won't change much from here.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Soldiers Almost Done!


Progress is moving almost faster than expected for a change! It feels really good to love listening to this song. Something I was never quite able to do with the original version.

 Although the melody is largely the same, I made a few minor changes using pitch correction and a vocoder to give the melody a slightly darker feel now and then. The harmonic structure has undergone the greater amount of change, giving the song a strange quality while not taking things so far that it becomes "experimental" music.

Now I'm basically adjusting the mix and then adding a bit of "seasoning" to the existing mix with fills and effects. It's looking very possible that I'll be finished with "Soldiers" by the end of the week!

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, March 15, 2010

In Search Of Truth, 2 Corinthians 8:6-9


In previous verses, Paul had just finished talking about the generosity present among the Macedonian churches and how the Corinthians had inspired it and God had enabled it. Because of this, Paul directed Titus (a ministry partner of his who had been spending time with the Corinthian church) to help the Corinthians follow through on their promised giving to the troubled churches in Jerusalem. Paul refers to this act of giving as "gracious" on the part of the Corinthians. We've noticed before that the word "grace" means "undeserved favor" and typically we see this word describing the actions of God. But we are to mimic God in this respect, showing generosity even if we think someone is undeserving of it. (v.6)

The Corinthian church excelled in many ways that Paul acknowledges here. Attributes common to those in this church community included strong faith, effective speech, valuable knowledge and earnest love. Paul uses encouragement, instead of criticism, to motivate the Corinthians. While there is a place for both, sometimes the most effective improvement can be brought about by telling someone, "you're on a roll! Keep going!" (v.7)

True grace cannot be commanded of someone. It isn't given out of obligation, but out of a free desire to express love or support to someone else. Paul recognizes that and so makes it clear that he is not commanding the Corinthians to give to this special cause. But he did see it as an opportunity to test the sincerity of the Corinthians. It can be very easy to make commitments when we are having a charitable or motivated moment. But our generosity is proven real only when we follow through with what we've said we will do for someone else. 

In this instance, Paul also thought it would be useful to compare the sincerity of the Corinthians to the sincere generosity of the churches they inspired. Whoever speaks out to "lead the charge", as the Corinthians did, should be prepared to march at the front of the line. (v.8)

The greatest example of generosity we have is found in Jesus. Paul says that "though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor"(v.9). What does this mean? We find answers by looking at a couple of different places in scripture.

Philippians 2:7 says that Jesus "emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men." But Jesus remained fully God even during his ministry on earth. (John 10:30) So what could he have emptied himself of and still remain fully God? One answer at least is glory. In other words, recognition of who he is, the value he has and the rightful place of rule he is owed among humanity. We see indication that this was given up in John 17:5 when Jesus says to God the Father, "And now Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." The tenses used in the original language indicate that Jesus at one time had a level of "glory" that he gave up for his mission on earth, but that he regained after his resurrection. (After all, there is no need to ask for it if Jesus already has it.)

There is no way we can even fathom what giving up this glory meant to Jesus. His glory is of infinite value because he is infinitely good and infinitely worth praising. So it follows that what he gave up was of infinite value as well.

So Paul is pointing to Jesus as the ultimate example of serving and giving because he gave up a measureless amount of what he is entitled to, so that those who trust and believe in him can gain the eventual riches of having his righteousness and glory reflected perfectly in themselves for all of creation to look at in wonder.

Next Week- How Much Should Or Shouldn't We Give?

Coffee House Question- Who is someone that has given you "undeserved favor"(grace) at some time in your life? Who do you know that you could target with some "undeserved favor" this week?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Momentum For Soldiers


It's been a great week for building momentum on the remix of "Soldiers". The first half of the week was spent finding a new free vocoder (my old one broke when I updated it). After two frustrating days I found one that I like and spent most of yesterday recording the phrases of Soldiers that I will use the vocoder for.

For those in the dark, you might remember that I used a vocoder in the song "Necromancy" (from "Dark Ritual") to create that low robotic sounding voice. I will be using a similar effect in the remix for Soldiers and I'm very excited about how things are sounding so far!

The bulk of tough creative work seems to be finished on this song, and so I'm excited at this point to be mixing the song together from start to finish with no further troubleshooting anticipated. It's possible that I could finish sometime next week, but we'll have to wait and see!

-Paeter Frandsen

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Do You Want A Spirit Blade Forum?


I’m currently considering the idea of hosting an online
forum at for anyone to come and talk about the goings on of
Spirit Blade Productions, The Underground Alliance, the Podcast or the Blogs.


It would also be a place where Geeks who are Christians or
who are open to Christian thought can talk about all the things they “geek out”
over and share ideas with each other. In modern Christian culture, the geek is not always
made welcome. And although a forum would in no way be a substitute for involvement
in a local church, it would be a place where geeks can feel free to let their
faith and fanaticism interact.


It would also be a place where I will be able to interact
with listeners/readers in a unique way, since I would be very active on the


However, the creation and upkeep of a forum is a significant
undertaking. Although I would aim to organize it in a way that will not
significantly effect my other efforts for Spirit Blade Productions, the
additional workload will still be enough that I won’t enter into it lightly.


So this is the part where I need your feedback. And it’s as
easy as a few clicks of your mouse! I’ve set up a poll you can reach by
visiting:   (That’s the blog in case you’ve never
visited before.)


Scroll down a little and you’ll find the poll in the
left-hand column.


Just one quick vote (and only one, please) will help me get
an accurate read on how useful a forum would be. If the timing isn’t right for
a forum, I’m more than happy to wait until it is. But if the timing is right,
it’s certainly something we can do!


If you have any questions or thoughts about the idea, please
don’t hesitate to let me hear them. And no matter where you stand on the idea,
I need your vote on the poll!


Thanks for your help!


-Paeter Frandsen



Monday, March 8, 2010

In Search Of Truth, 2 Corinthians 8:1-5


You might remember that in 1 Corinthians 16:1-3, Paul gave instructions to the Corinthian church for collecting funds that would be given to the church in Jerusalem. It's not clear from the text why the Jerusalem church was in need, but it may have been connected to the famine they experienced (Acts 11:28) or the general persecution they were under(Acts 8:1).

The Corinthian church was eager to give and promised to do so. Their eager commitment even motivated the churches in Macedonia to do the same(9:2). But Paul wanted to make sure that the Corinthian church followed through with their promised gift, since it likely made up the largest percentage (v.14) and because it was such a significant factor in the giving of others (9:2).

To this end, Paul tells the Corinthians about the Macedonian churches. Despite their suffering and poverty, God enabled them (through his "grace") to give beyond what they normally could. (v. 13) Even in the Greek it is unclear if their "ability" to give refers to available funds or their willingness, though the Greek lends itself a little better to the idea of "willingness".

Our natural tendency is toward selfishness. But God's undeserved favor (grace) will intervene at times and equip us with a willingness to give what may seem an impractical amount to something he is doing, while he continues to provide for our basic needs. (Matthew 6:25-26) God had worked so powerfully in the Macedonian churches that they begged Paul for the opportunity to give! (v.4)

As a brief aside, it should be noted that the Greek word for "saints" in verse 4 refers to those who are "sanctified" (set apart) for the purposes of God. This term can refer to believers in general, not only a select few "Super Christians".

Paul was not expecting the eagerness or level of giving that he received from the Macedonian churches, a poverty stricken community. How could they give when they had so little? What can we learn from the Macedonian churches about giving? You'll notice that their giving was possible because these believers gave themselves to God, surrendering their wills and agendas, and God then directed and enabled them to give.(v.5)

Giving can be a touchy subject. We so easily trust our security and pleasure to what our money can buy or what things we have. And it can be hard and often impossible to simply "will ourselves" to improve our generosity and charity. But the Macedonians didn't simply "will themselves" to give. The will was certainly involved, but they turned to God first, who then enabled them to give. God can help us break out of our distorted prioritization of self and enable us to give financially in ways we once only imagined. Not only that, but God can enable us to find real excitement and joy while doing it! God's grace is waiting for us. Like the Macedonians, our first step is to ask for it.

Next Week- More about the "G" word.

Coffee House Question- What is it about giving that you find most challenging? When do you find it easier to give?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Alice In Wonderland (Movie Review)

My knowledge of Lewis Carroll pretty much ends after a couple of TV movies and an animated Disney film. I've never read the books by Carroll and I'm far from a purist. I came into director Tim Burton's movie armed only with knowledge based on foggy memories and "pop-culture osmosis". So apply that however you will as you consider my review.

Burton's "Alice In Wonderland" is not a remake or just an alternative take on the classic story. It is a sequel of sorts. Alice has been to Wonderland before as a child, but does not remember. And now, once again under pressure to conform to the aristocratic culture around her, Alice finds herself tumbling down the rabbit hole to revisit a strange dreamlike reality.

I've been a fan of Tim Burton for many years and this movie is quite possibly his most exotically beautiful vision yet. Colorful, yet dreary, beautiful yet twisted. There is so much visual imagination poured into this movie that it almost bursts out of the screen. (And no, I did not see it in 3-D.) I wanted to live in this world and interact with these characters.

Performances were wonderful throughout. Johnny Depp is always a standout with no exception here. His Mad Hatter was both goofy and dark. There is always something deeper going on behind those digitally magnified eyes. Helena Bonham Carter was funny, fierce and unpredictable as the Red Queen. Crispin Glover was suitably creepy, though I get the feeling his full potential was left untapped in this movie. (Check out the movie "Willard")

Although this movie sits comfortably in the category of "family film", it does have some darkness and violence to it. Sword and sorcery fans will really dig a battle again a dragon near the end of the movie. I'd love to see what Burton could do making a dark fantasy flick for adults!

So many elements in this film come together so well that it's a shame to point out the weak areas.

First off, is the "Alice returns" story element. This is a very clear subplot that ultimately serves no unique purpose. With a few minor tweaks near the end of the story, this plot element could have been left out completely. I would have preferred a "Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland" that was a re-imagining of the original story, rather than a new vision that still tries to keep continuity with the original. Time was spent on this story point that could have been put to good use elsewhere. Namely, in character development.

With no exception I can think of, this movie contains only 2-dimensional characters who stick to their schtick from beginning to end. Granted, this is what you would expect from a children's story and from the dreamlike world created by Lewis Caroll. But the performances are so good in this movie that subtext and deeper characterization is often presented, but without a script to follow through with.

It is also sometimes hard to understand what is being said. Caroll's poems and stories are known for incorporating nonsense words, and this is probably the case in the instances that I assumed poor diction on the part of the actors. But I can't be sure. And these unintelligible lines that pop up now and then are said with such conviction and subtext that I feels as though I've missed understanding or hearing something that may have been very important to the story. When available on DVD/Blu-ray, I'd recommend hitting that "subtitles" button.

Thematically, this is a traditional "good versus evil" story with a dose of "nonconformity", but these themes aren't dealt with in a compelling way and you probably won't be led to ponder anything of deep value after seeing this movie.

This is a great movie in many respects that I will one day add to my collection. It will be near the top of the list when my son is old enough for dark fantasy but too young for "Lord Of The Rings". Until then I doubt I'll think about it much.

Rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar.

Quality: 8.5/10

Relevance: 5.5/10

Rebuilding "Soldiers"


This week I began work on my remix of "Soldiers" from Spirit Blade. At first, I was fairly discouraged. I feel as though there is almost nothing I can salvage from the original mix and I realized I will need to rebuild this song from the ground up.

I also hurried through the recording process with Michael Tully back in 2004 when he recorded this song, and so have only a few takes to work with from that session. (Tully now lives in Texas and it would be impractical to fly him out just to re-record this song. Long distance coaching and recording is impractical as well.)

But soon I began to see obstacles as exciting creative challenges and after playing with Tully's files and testing some options with my mixing software, I'm very much looking forward to the possibilities open to me in that department! I've also found some beats and loops that already sound fantastic just dropping them down together without any polishing.

I believe that this time around I will be able to come so much closer to the creative vision I had for this song than I was able to the first time. And at the same time, I'll be able to inject new ideas and sounds that I've come to enjoy and gravitate toward since then. Can't wait!

That's all for now!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Next Song... Soldiers!


I finally finished the re-mix on "Destiny" yesterday and then listened to every other song from Spirit Blade to make my choice about which one to re-mix next. I ended up choosing "Soldiers" and I anticipate this re-mix will be a challenge, or at least very involving.

Of all the songs in Spirit Blade, this was one that never felt "finished" to my ear. As both my tastes and mixing skills have changed or improved over the last four years, it's very hard for me to enjoy listening to this song on several levels. At this point, I anticipate that the remix will involve a complete overhaul of the percussion and a completely different approach to the mix on Michael Tully's (Raan) vocals.

So my first step today will be to sift through the loops and beats I have in my collection for appropriate sounds and then begin a search online for loop and beat collections of the kind of sound I'm looking for. As it stands now, I'll be looking for a more industrial, possibly glitchy sound. But it all depends on what resources I'm able to make use of.

Hopefully, when all is said and done, I'll have a song that we can all enjoy a whole lot more!

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, March 1, 2010

In Search Of Truth, 2 Corinthians 7:12-16


Earlier in this letter, Paul states his ultimate reason for writing a "severe letter" to the Corinthian church which identified some sinful behavior in their community. (2 Cor. 2:9) Paul was testing this struggling church community to see if they were mature enough yet in their faith to be obedient and deal with sin when it is identified. He wanted to see how earnestly they would follow the instructions of a representative of God(Paul).

If a community of Christians can't deal with sin in their group, they are doomed to miss out on the blessings of connection to God. (See last week's notes on 7:10.)

Paul wanted to present the results of this "test" to God and probably to find out for himself. But it seems that primarily he wanted the Corinthians to find out how they would do with a challenge like this. (v.12)

Sometimes God will bring about a difficult circumstance, or provide a friend or a mentor who will challenge us. The outcome of such a challenge is an opportunity for perspective on our spiritual growth. These kinds of "tests" can make us anxious or be very painful. Especially if we have been in the wrong. But once on the other side of them, we can see a little of how we've hopefully grown by comparing our actions to previous times of difficulty. Seeing the tangible benchmarks of our growth reminds us of God's very real ability to change lives. In this way a painful experience can become an encouraging memory and evidence of God's love for us.

One Christian's growth also has potential to encourage another, especially if the second was involved in the growth of the first, as Paul and Titus played a role in the maturing of the Corinthian church. (v.13)

Although we can't be sure what characteristics of the Corinthian church Paul boasted to Titus about, the context suggests that Paul had indicated that the Corinthians have a habit of responding humbly and enthusiastically to correction, as the case was here. (v.14)

Admitting we've been wrong is very hard sometimes. But that is part of what makes humility such an admirable quality. More than having good "religious" habits, God values when a person admits fault and seeks out forgiveness.

Psalm 51:16-17- You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

It's significant that the Corinthians treated Titus so well. In this time and culture, the way a representative was treated was a direct reflection of how much the one who sent the representative was valued or respected. The Corinthians, in their hospitality for Titus, expressed how much they loved, valued and respected Paul. (v.15)

It was because of the Corinthian's actions, demonstrating their humility and obedience, that Paul is able to affirm his confidence in the Corinthian church. (v.16)

Next Week- The "G" word... giving.

Coffee House Question- Do you have a relationship with anyone who challenges your thinking or encourages some "stretching" in your spiritual life? If so, who? If not, how might you find and develop a friendship like this?