Thursday, April 17, 2014

His Blood Is Sufficient

4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. - Revelation 1:4-6 (KJV)

I've been thinking a lot lately about what Jesus' final hours must have been like. Perhaps it's because it's Holy Week, or perhaps because I play Jesus is Faith Chapel's current drama production, but nevertheless, that's what has been on my mind during my prayer time recently.

When we say "Jesus took on the sins of the world," what do we mean? One thing we mean is that because of Jesus' sacrifice, we no longer have to be bound by the enemy. But one way it's also described is that Jesus "bore the weight" of our sin. I can't help but feel like that's literal. During a sermon, I heard Pastor James Taylor describe that when Jesus hung on the cross in those final moments, he was doing more than just taking on the sins, He became the sin. This may be controversial to some, but he went on to say that Jesus became every sin. Jesus became an adulterer, He became a murderer, He became a rapist. This doesn't just apply to the sins of the time, it applies to the sins of all time, which means He also became the man addicted to pornography, He became an alcoholic, and so on. There is literally no sin too great that can't be repented of. God loves us that much, and Jesus' blood was sufficient to protect us from any and every sin.

To put it into perspective, if Charles Manson, the most infamous serial killer in American history, were to show true repentance for his actions, then I would see Charles Manson in Heaven one day. That's still a hard thing for me to wrap my head around, which goes to show why God's love is beyond our understanding. Jesus loved those who spat in His face. Jesus prayed for those who persecuted Him. Jesus appealed to Heaven for the salvation of the men who drove the nails through His hands and feet, and yet we let someone cutting us off in traffic ruin our morning. We alone are not capable of loving those who have wronged us, but when we allow Holy Spirit to enter in, we can do anything.

Another thing that's really been impressed upon me recently is the amount of pain Jesus went through. It's an easy thing to forget. Yes, Jesus is the Son of God, but it wasn't until after His resurrection that He referred to Himself this way. Before His death, Jesus referred to Himself as the "Son of Man." This means that prior to coming down from the cross, Jesus was a mortal man. The opening scene in our Easter production, It Is Finished, is of Jesus at the whipping post. It does a good job or showing people the brutality of what Jesus suffered through. But we take precautions to make sure that nothing actually happens to me during this scene, Jesus didn't have that luxury. He felt every lash from the whips, He felt the crown of thorns being placed and driven into His head, He felt it every time the hammer met the nails, He felt everything.

It's the single greatest act of love the world has ever seen or will ever see. I wouldn't have been able to survive a fraction of the punishment our King went through. He died for us when we had nothing to offer Him. I deserve Hell, and there's nothing I could ever do to change that, but Jesus insured that I'll never have to experience that eternal torment. His blood was sufficient. If He wanted to, God could have made it to where Jesus could have taken a needle, poked his finger, squeezed out a single drop of blood, and that would have been enough to save us. But God had something so much greater in mind for all of us. That's why Jesus didn't give a drop of blood, He gave every drop of blood. He poured out every fiber of His being for us.

This Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. When He came out of the tomb, that was our proof that we no longer have to remain slaves to death, Hell, and the grave. Jesus kicked down the gates of Hell, got right up in Satan's face, snatched the keys to death out of his hands, and said "I'm taking these, and there's nothing you can do to stop me!" What's the best part about this? The fact that when we accept Christ, we gain the authority to do the exact same thing. We don't have to put up with Hell's harassment anymore, friends. When we say that we're going to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, that's what it means to me.

Monday, April 7, 2014

6 Reasons Why We're Overreacting to Undertaker's WrestleMania Loss

I, like most all of you, was absolutely shocked when The Undertaker lost at WrestleMania XXX. The Undertaker is my all-time favorite wrestler, and in my opinion, is the greatest to ever step in the ring. We all expected the Deadman to walk into New Orleans, have a bad match with Brock Lesnar (none of you thought it was going to be good, be honest), and walk out 22-0. When the ref's hand hit that mat a third time--at least I think it did, it looked like a botched finish--I experienced an entire range of emotions. I jumped out of my seat, with my hands clasped behind my head, in complete shock. My logic was always this: The Undertaker is not going to lose to someone at WrestleMania unless it's an up-and-comer who would benefit from the win, like a Bray Wyatt or Roman Reigns. What benefit would Brock Lesnar get from winning? He's already established. The last time I thought Undertaker was in danger of losing was WrestleMania XXI versus Randy Orton. When I was over the shock, I started to feel anger. I felt like the WWE betrayed me. But when I woke up this morning, and let it all digest, I had gotten over it, and I think I may have overreacted. Here's some reasons why.

It's Undertaker's Decision

I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty sure when the decision was made for Undertaker to put over Lesnar, the conversations didn't go like this:

WWE Creative: "Hey Taker, you're losing at WrestleMania."

Undertaker: "K."

That didn't happen. If you've read anything about the streak, you know that it's ultimately the decision of The Undertaker. Let's face it, guys, Taker is 49 years old, he's been doing this for 25 years. His first WrestleMania was WrestleMania VII, the main event of that show was Hulk Hogan vs. Sergeant Slaughter, that's how long ago that was. Taker wouldn't have done this without putting a lot of thought into it. If he was presented with the idea of losing, and he wasn't for it, he would have said 'no'. He's The Undertaker, he has that kind of say-so.

WWE Just Showed You That Nothing Is A Guarantee


This was the most shocking moment in professional wrestling since the Montreal Screwjob, the only difference is that the Undertaker was in on it. Remember when Sean Waltman beat Razor Ramon on Raw back in the day, no one saw that coming either. Granted, this was a much bigger stage and grander spectacle, but the idea is the same. For people complaining that the WWE product has gotten stale and predictable, they just showed you why you should never think you know what's going to happen. I didn't expect it to happen, you didn't expect it to happen.

The odds for Lesnar winning last night were 850-1, according to a random thing I read on the Internet that I didn't do any double-checking on, and the only person in the world that would have picked Lesnar is that guy in Vegas with a gambling problem that has never watched wrestling.

It Doesn't Take Away From The Fact That It Was An Amazing Show

A lot of people on Twitter were saying this was the worst WrestleMania of all-time. Listen, Undertaker losing does not nullify every awesome thing we saw last night. That show was spectacular. Yes, it did suck every last bit of life out of the room until the last ten minutes of the main event, but that shouldn't cloud how you look at the show as a whole. The ones I feel sorry for are the divas, they had to follow that match.

Daniel Bryan versus Triple H was an A+ match. The six-man tag was short but gave the people the outcome that they wanted. Kofi Kingston again showed his creativity and athleticism. Cesaro showed why he is possibly, pound-for-pound, the strongest man in WWE history when he easily hoisted Big Show up and over the ropes. Cena versus Wyatt was slow, methodical, and told an amazing story (go back and watch it, the commentators barely spoke, because the wrestlers were telling the story perfectly). Undertaker and Brock didn't have a very good match overall, but you'll never forget where you were when Brock won. The divas...had a match. The main event got more out of Batista than I expected, and left the fans with what they wanted to see. I would definitely rank WrestleMania XXX in the top ten WrestleManias of all-time, if not the top five.

You're Doing What They Want You To Do: You're Talking About It

Go on Twitter, go on Facebook, go on almost any social media site, and you'll undoubtedly find post upon post upon post of people talking (i.e. complaining) about Taker versus Brock. Even if you're one of those people who hates wrestling, you must admit that this is a big deal. People cared about the streak. It had become bigger than WrestleMania itself. For the past twelve or so years, it was always big news when you found out who Undertaker was going to wrestle. Then at the event itself, you'd see tons of signs for the match, most of them nothing more than a number next to a 0 or 1. The creative team at WWE did their job, they got people talking about the product.

It Had To Happen Eventually

Like I said earlier, The Undertaker is almost 50 years old. I know he only wrestles once a year, but the guy wrestled a full schedule for over twenty years. I wrestled for ten years and only had a fraction of the amount of matches, bumps, and bruises that he's had. I can't even imagine what kind of agony his body goes through on a daily basis. Then, take into consideration how he's looked the last few years, physically. He's not as in shape as he used to be. Why? Because he's 50! Age catches up to all of us eventually, and that's no different for the Deadman.

One of the unwritten rules of professional wrestling is: "You come into the business on your back, you leave the business on your back." Ric Flair did it (before un-retiring), Shawn Michaels did it, I did it, and now the Undertaker has done it. I'm not sure if that was definitely Undertaker's last match, but if it was, it's good to see that he has enough respect and love for the business to hold up a time-honored wrestling tradition. It doesn't matter how big or small you are on the pro wrestling totem pole, you honor the business.

This Doesn't Tarnish His Legacy

If you did a survey of every wrestling fan in the world, and asked them to list who they thought were the top 5 greatest wrestlers ever, 99% of them would have Undertaker on that list, and the other 1% stopped watching wrestling in 1989.

The Undertaker did have other matches that didn't take place at WrestleMania, it seems like some people are forgetting this. Yes, a lot of his best matches took place at past WrestleMania events, but you know what? A lot of his best matches took place at other events. One loss does not take away the 20+ years the man has dedicated to entertaining us. Think about all the great matches he had with Mankind, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, and so on. Four of the six men I just listed he never faced at WrestleMania.

The Undertaker is timeless. He is a legend. In my opinion, there will never be anyone better. It's the best character in WWE history. The streak does not define the man. Are we wrong for being upset over the outcome of a pre-determined match? Or does the fact that the WWE had control over the outcome justify us getting upset? In my opinion, rather than getting upset, let's celebrate the career of the Deadman and appreciate what he's done.

It was the ultimate swerve, and even though I'm not happy about it and would rather have seen someone else end the streak, I'm sure WWE has taken the time to plan out, step-by-step, where they go from here. They're not going to take the streak lightly, it's a very big deal in the WWE.

Thanks for reading,


You can follow me on Twitter @TheDustinThomas, I also have a videogame podcast you can subscribe to on iTunes here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Character/Franchises That Need Their Own 3DS

Nintendo has always loved doling out themed versions of their handheld consoles, and with the recent announcement of the Kirby-themed 2DS (pictured above), it got me thinking about all the cool designs that they could come up with. Yeah, it's a bunch of crap that the new Kirby game isn't included, but what can you do? I just recently upgraded to a 3DS XL with the Yoshi version, and while not having Yoshi's New Island included was a bit of a bummer, it wasn't a deal breaker.

Nintendo has been going crazy with the themed-3DS' in the past year, to the point that it's pretty much a given that any time Nintendo releases a new title in one of their first-party franchises, it'll be getting it's own 3DS. Mario & Luigi, Zelda, Pokemon, Yoshi, Animal Crossing, Kirby, and the list will certainly continue.

So here's some characters and franchises--not necessarily limited to Nintendo franchises--that I would love to see get their own 3DS.

Donkey Kong

When I picture this one, I actually think it would be cooler not to have the lovable giant ape on the console at all. In this case, I think a minimalist approach would be the way to go. I like the idea of a yellow 3DS with just the titular character's trademark tie being featured.


The original Nintendo DS had three different 2D Castlevania games, and all three of them are some of my favorites on the system. It's been too long since we've had a 2D Castlevania. No, I'm not forgetting about Mirror of Fate, I just want a new Castlevania that's more akin to the Metroid-style and not Lords of Shadow (even though I do like the LoS series). Since the protagonists usually change from game to game, the only acceptable character to feature on the system is the one constant from the beginning: Dracula.


Out of all of the games and franchises I'm listing in this blog, this is the one that seems the most likely to someday see the light of day. I sat here for a long time trying to think of a good analogy of the Metroid series as it pertains to Nintendo. I feel like Nintendo looks at Metroid as the least popular cheerleader. She's still popular, but not enough to get asked out to prom. Surely, there will eventually be a Metroid game released on the 3DS, right? Give us a sequel to Metroid Fusion, or hey, give a Zero Mission-style upgrade to Super Metroid. Wait, nevermind, you got Super Metroid right the first time, please disregard what I just said.

Mega Man

Capcom may have given up on the Mega Man franchise, but the fans haven't. How great would a light blue 3DS featuring the Blue Bomber be? Even though Mega Man Legends 3 has been cancelled, Nintendo could save it by including some, if not all, of the NES Mega Man games available on the eShop on the SD card. Other than Pokemon, I think a Mega Man 3DS would be the highest selling bundle Nintendo could release.


I'm actually kind of baffled that Nintendo hasn't already done this one. They published Lego City Undercover, and the Lego games are quite profitable, so Nintendo must have seen something in Undercover to warrant them publishing. Considering how huge Lego and its game counterparts have become, I wouldn't be surprised if this one happens eventually.


I'll take any and every excuse to write about Blargg. If they announced a Blargg 3DS, I would kick that Yoshi 3DS to the curb--meaning I would sell it on eBay--and pre-order it immediately. An orange-red system, showing only Blargg's eyes creeping up from the bottom of the system in its closed state, only to see that ridiculous cross-eyed...thing when you open it. Nintendo would have to stop trying at that point, because they wouldn't be able to make anything better. I'm not just talking about systems, I mean everything. Games, consoles, the whole kitten-kaboodle. Shut down everything, because they would reach the zenith of the industry at that point.

So how about you guys? Any particular character or series you would like to see get their own 3DS?

Thanks for reading, -Dustin