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Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 14th

Originally posted on Facebook, 2/14/11.



You’re probably going to dismiss this tirade as that of someone who’s bitter because he doesn’t have a “valentine.” And you may be right, but stick with me.

Aside from the fact that it’s a Hallmark Holiday, the fact that we take one day in mid-February and set it aside for the sole purpose of showing someone how much we love them by way of pretty flowers and fancy chocolates, is just silly.

What I’m saying is, we should be showing that love every day of the year, not just February 14th.

1 John 4:11-12 says: “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”

His love for us can’t be contained to just one day, nor should our love for Him and for one another. Some people may not know the love of God because they’re not seeing it in us.

God’s love for us manifests itself each and every day, but some of us fail to see it. It’s in every little thing—the nice weather, the free coffee you got, the friends and family in your life—the list goes on and on.

Why should we do this? We do it because it’s what God does and what he is still doing. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.”

In John 13:34, Christ says, “‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.’”

As his love for us is true and real and not based on status or any kind of reciprocation, so should our love be for others.

God is in us and we are made in His image (Genesis 1:26), so let’s try to be more like Him and make every day Valentine’s Day.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Be Like Rachel

The guy in this video is a jerkwad. Seriously. But, watch how Rachel handles the situation.


Now, I don't agree with the CEO of Chick-Fil-A's view on gay marriage, but I wouldn't dream of berating an employee like this.

I like how Rachel kept her cool even though I know she wanted to jump out of the drive thru window and come at this guy like a spider monkey.

She showed true composure and I think that's how we sometimes need to handle situations and people.

Sometimes people and situations are going to get all up in yo' face. Haters are indeed going to hate.

It's often our gut reaction to flip out and go off, but it's not always the right one.

Sometimes you just need to let it go and smile until it leaves like Rachel did.

Don't get me wrong, there are still situations where you should get mad and yell and scream, but I guess I would say to choose your battles. Obviously that's what Rachel did.

Be like Rachel.

Oh yeah, this guy got fired.

And, he "apologized."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dog is good--all the time


I was flipping through the notebook I take with me to church (and occasionally use to take notes in), and I found a blurb I had written on the last page. I don’t even remember how long ago it was that I jotted it down. I laughed a little because it seemed kind of silly.

Then, a few days later as I was taking the 45 minute or so drive up to Sierra Pines Church in Oakhurst (where I heard an awesome message) and I was thinking about what I had written and started to add to it. Since it’s suggested that you don’t drive and write, I had to try to keep it all in my noggin. It wasn’t until I got to SPC that I had a chance to scribble it down. Now it’s been neatly typed for your reading pleasure.

  

“Sometimes our vision is so backwards, that we sometimes we treat GOD like a DOG.”



I know it’s a little silly, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there are elements of truth.


Sit, UBU, sit. Good dog.
Just like we train a dog to sit, roll over, shake, or do “jazz hands” like my sister’s dog, we expect God to follow our commands (instead of the other way around). I’m not sure we can order God to do anything. We can ask like the Bible says to do:

“ ‘So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.’ ”  –Luke 11:9 [NIV]


Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms.
He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone.” –Zechariah 10:1 [NIV]


 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” –1 John 5:14 [NIV]

We can’t command or demand God to anything just like a child can’t demand anything from his parents. Imagine your child comes up to you and says, “Give me money.” Your hand’s either going to go one of two places—your wallet, or their cheek.

 Unlike a dog, God doesn’t do “tricks.”



Holding the leash
I’m amazed at how many people I see walking their dogs without a leash. I’m pretty sure it’s against the law in Fresno. Oh wait, it is. I’m also amazed at how many dogs I see walking their owners. A giant mastiff practically dragging some poor lady in her matching track suit and bebe sport hat.

The leash is meant to control the dog so we can prevent it from going wherever it wants. I think sometimes we put God on a leash. We allow God to roam free in regards to our health or our finances. We allow God to sniff all he wants when it comes to our messed up kids, but if he gets too close to something we don’t want him to—we yank on that choke chain! “No! Bad God! Don’t you go sniffing around that porn addiction. Don’t you go near that pride!”

Eventually you’re going to have to take the leash off and let God sniff it all out.


My dog ate my homework
I know there are several things that get blamed on the dog (right, fellas?). There’s nothing like walking into the kitchen and seeing a broken dish on the ground, or wondering who exactly tracked mud into the living room. “The dog did it!” Yeah, right! The dog’s been in the same spot all day.

It’s common for us to blame our circumstances on God. “Why would God take away my job?” “Why would God take my car?” Death is a big time when we blame God. I’m even guilty of that.

However, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” –James 1:17 [NIV]

I learned this principle a while back: If it’s good, it’s from God. If it’s bad, it’s from the devil. Or, it may actually be your fault. Just sayin’.


Company’s coming
One of the first thing dog owners do when company comes over is they lock the dogs in a kennel, or they lock them outside. They get them out of the way so they won’t bother their guests.

We do this with God too. When we’re around certain people we hide God. We hide Him so that it won’t bother whoever we’re with. Once they’re gone, we can let God out and go back to that version of our lives.


Beware of Dog
The “Beware of Dog” sign is extremely popular even for people how have chihuahuas instead of real dogs.

It’s a way to warn people that if they get too close to the fence or take a wrong step, that they’ll get mauled and eaten alive. Can you guess where I’m going next?

Yep: We do this with God too. We warn people of all the dangers of not doing what God says instead of telling them all the good that comes from doing it.


 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”—Psalm 107:1 [NIV]

We preach a gospel of fear rather than of love. God is good. No warning needed.


Table scraps
I’ve heard that you’re not supposed to give your dog people food. I don’t know a single person that abides by that either. Everyone I know feeds their dog from the table or takes home leftovers from a restaurant and gives them to their dog. Wait. Is that why they’re called “doggie bags?”

 Anywho, I think we sometimes give God our table scraps, our leftovers. God doesn’t want our leftovers. He wants our best—the best of our time, the best of our worship, the best of ourselves. He’s not an “If-I-Have-Time God,” or a “Right-After-Maury God.”

 I just read website that said there are four ways in which we can give God our best:
Service, Obedience, Attitude, Praise.


I’m sure there are many other ways in which we treat GOD like a DOG. Leave some comments and let’s figure out some more.

I did think of one way in which they're similar:


Friday, June 8, 2012

Take These Broken Wings



Truth be told, I don’t much care for birds. I don’t hate them, I just don’t like them. They’re dirty scavengers and I don’t like that they poop on my car. Does any other animal do that? Not really. It could be worse I guess. Dogs or horses could start doing it.
Anyway, I’m starting to digress. I don’t care for birds, but a bird actually inspired this post.

The other day I was sitting at a stoplight and I see this blackbird. Blackbird singing in the dead of night.
Ok, not really. I just wanted to get the song stuck in your head.

So, I see this blackbird and he’s using the crosswalk to walk across the street. Did you catch that? Walking.

I laughed and thought, “Stupid bird. Why are you walking when you know you can fly?”
Then I stopped laughing and felt something inside ask me: “Why are you walking when you know you can fly?”

Burn.
I feel like I’ve been hearing that my whole life. “You’re so smart, why don’t you apply yourself?” “You’re a good writer, you should write more.” “Why don’t you sing anymore?” “You should audition for this and that.” “You should get a Master’s degree.”

I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s felt this way. You know there’s potential in you, but you refuse to test it. It’s kind of like the dog that doesn’t know he can jump over a fence or doesn’t know he can go inside.
I guess it’s something for me to work on for the rest of this year.

In what ways are you holding back your potential? In what ways are you walking when you know you can fly?



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Calling off the Search

About a year week ago, our Pastor preached a series called “Who’s Counting on You?” “REACH.”

In one of the messages, he described the Bible as the ultimate search and rescue because Jesus was sent to seek and save that which was lost. [Luke 19:10]



The term ‘search and rescue’ made me think about watching the news when they talk about a missing person. There are three terms I hear used in regards to missing or distressed persons:


Search and rescue: This means someone’s in trouble, and there’s a good chance they’ll be found alive


Search and recovery: Someone’s missing and the most likely scenario is that they’re dead, so now the rescuers are looking for a body rather than a live person.


Search called off: They’re gone and there’s no way we’re going to find them, so we’re ending the search. We're quitting and giving up.



I wonder what it must be like to be a family member of someone who’s been missing and to hear an official tell you that they’re calling off the search. I don’t even want to know what kind of pain the loved ones must be feeling. I mean, they’ve basically been told that they should give up hope on ever seeing their loved one again.


It’s harsh to think about, but I feel like this is how some of us have treated people in our lives.



As Christians, our top priority should be to share the gospel with the “lost.” However, are we really doing it?


There are people we have in our crosshairs so to speak. We have set our focus on saving this person or that person and take every opportunity to try.


Then there are people we’ve given up on. People we’ve decided are too hard-headed to listen. People who have told us no time and time again.


We’ve given up hope. We’ve called off the search. We’ve basically written them off for dead.


As I began to think about this concept I very strongly felt three words come to me—“Lazarus, come forth!”


Then I had the realization that even when hope is gone, there’s still hope.



There are three instances in the Bible where Jesus raises the dead. And I think we can learn something from each regarding bringing the “dead” back to life—or more accurately, giving life to the dead.
 

The first instance is where he raises the son of a widow:

11Soon Jesus and his disciples were on their way to the town of Nain, and a big crowd was going along with them. 12As they came near the gate of the town, they saw people carrying out the body of a widow's only son. Many people from the town were walking along with her.

13When the Lord saw the woman, he felt sorry for her and said, "Don't cry!"

14Jesus went over and touched the stretcher on which the people were carrying the dead boy. They stopped, and Jesus said, "Young man, get up!" 15The boy sat up and began to speak. Jesus then gave him back to his mother.

16Everyone was frightened and praised God. They said, "A great prophet is here with us! God has come to his people."

17News about Jesus spread all over Judea and everywhere else in that part of the country.      Luke 7:11-17 [CEV]



The second is where Jesus raises the daughter of a synagogue leader named Jairus:
 
21 Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. 22 Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, 23 pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”

24 Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him.


35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.   Mark 5:21-24 [NLT]; 35-43 [NIV]


Finally, the most famous instance and what came to mind when I thought about this—the story of Lazarus:

1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.”  John 11:1-45 [NIV]


Ok, now that you’ve done a butt-load of Bible reading, let me see if I can get what I’m thinking out of my head and into words.


1.     When someone gets their life back, they won’t be able to keep quiet.

What’s one of the first things the widow’s son did when he was raised? He sat up and began to speak. If you had just been given your life back, wouldn’t you want to tell everyone? So many of us forget this.  Ten years ago, I was pretty much dead (literally), but I was given another chance. However, I don’t talk about it too much. Blame my introversion I guess.


2.     When someone gets their life back, they’re going to be hungry.

When Jesus raised Jairus’s daughter he told those in the room to do two things: 1. Don’t tell anyone (yeah, right!), and 2. Get the girl something to eat. When someone’s “brought back from the dead” they’re going to want to fill up on as much as they can get—be it attending as many church services as they can, or diving head first into their Bible, or reading as many books on theology or other topics as possible.


3.     Be prepared for unexpected miracles.
You may have noticed in the story of Jairus’s daughter, I used an ellipsis (…). Well, that was a little sneaky because I wanted to surprise you. Here’s what I left out:

 25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. 26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. 28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

31 His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”  Mark 5:25-34 [NLT]

When Jesus was on his way to perform one miracle—BOOM—he pulls off another one. An unexpected one.

So, when your dead person has been brought back to life, be on the lookout for other miracles. I don’t know what: someone else being raised, someone being healed, financial breakthrough, a new job, unmerited favor, the list goes on and on.

4.     The response might not be immediate.
Your person may or may not have their world rocked in an instant. When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where he was two more days. I’m sure He did this because He already knew what the outcome was going to be, so He wasn’t in any kind of hurry. With your person, you may have to invite them a few times. You may have to share with them a few times.

No piece of rock ever became a sculpture after just one blow of the chisel.

5.     When they’re raised, they just might stink.

When Jesus asked them to roll away the stone, they warned Him that there was going to be an awful stench. Clearly he didn’t pay that no nevermind, and neither should you. Yes, your person may still smell like smoke or beer, but give it time. All of that will soon go away.


6.     When they’re raised, they’re going to need help shedding what binds them.

When Lazarus came out, Jesus told those that were there to take off the graves clothes and let him go. When your person is raised, they may struggle with what’s been binding them. You may need to help. Spend time with them so they won’t be tempted. When you go to church, take them with you. Call them. Text them. Owl them. Whatever. Keep encouraging them.


7.     People are going to say it’s impossible

In the case of Jairus’s daughter, people laughed. Some of Jairus’s people told him his daughter was dead and to not bother Jesus. In the story of Lazarus, there was doubt all around. All kinds of people tried to stop Him, but they didn’t.


You might experience some of the same. “Why you taking him to church? It ain’t gonna work.” “Why bother with her? She ain’t nothin’ but a _____.”


But if all the people who were hoping to see their loved one raised listened to all the naysayers, what would’ve happened? Nothing.


8.     If it grieves you, it grieves Him.

In each of the instances, we see examples of Jesus’s compassion. He sees the widow crying and comforts her and without even being asked, He raises her son.

Jairus comes and falls at Jesus’s feet and pleads fervently for Jesus to help—and He does! He saw the anguish this was causing Jairus and He went with him—no questions asked.

We see His compassion all over Lazarus’s story. (BTW: John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible).

If you truly want you person to come "back to life," if it truly grieves you to see them gone, then He’ll do it.

9.      He ain’t gonna do it in private.
Granted, in the case of Jairus’s daughter, He only took a few people with Him, but there were still other people there. It’s not like He said, “Wait here. I’ll be back with a live girl in a minute.” There were always others around to witness it.

10. Those that see it will be changed as well.
After he raised Lazarus, it says that many of the Jews saw what He did and believed in Him.

I think that’s pretty self-explanatory.



Now, whom have you written off as dead? Whose search have you called off?

It just might be time to grab a flashlight, get out there, and start the search again. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Smorgyboard Saturday--LOST IN OZ

Today's offering was something I wrote last Halloween in about a day for some friends to use in their Hallowen "pageant" at work. They performed it at the Fresno County Office of Education. It's a three-story building with a central lobby/courtyard/foyer area, so there are several references to someone entering from another floor, etc.

The other "inside" joke was that Jim and Jennifer were an item--hence the ending.

The cast (at least the people I know) was as follows:

DORTHY: Jennifer Quinn
SCARECROW: Denise Miller
TIN MAN: Keri Sheaffer
COWARDLY LION: LuAnn McCaslin
WIZARD: Jim Yovino



LOST IN OZ

 (LIGHTS UP)

(DOROTHY, SCARECROW, TIN MAN, & LION walk in. They are clearly lost. SCARECROW is carrying a map and studying it. The rest are arguing for a brief moment. They all stop as DOROTHY begins.)



DOROTHY
(Annoyed) Hey, hey, hey…HEY! Everybody just pipe down for a minute and let me think! Now, Glenda said to follow the yellow-brick road, right?


TIN MAN
Yeah, but she didn’t tell you it split off three different ways once you hit Winkie Country.


LION
Well, you’re the one who told us to come this way.


TIN MAN
Sorry! It wasn’t a freakin’ expressway the last time I went through.


LION
Did ya forget you were stuck rusting in a field for an eternity and that maybe, just maybe, things might have changed?


TIN MAN
I’m sorry! I didn’t see you offering any suggestions.


LION
How’d I get dragged into this thing anyway? I was perfectly happy in my forest…


DOROTHY
Being a big ol’ sissy.


LION
I was perfectly happy in my forest livin’ my life until you came along…


DOROTHY
No one forced you to come with us.


TIN MAN
Yeah. You chose to come with us, and you’ve spent the whole time complaining. You lions are all the same.


LION
What do you mean you lions? I oughta kick you in the cans right now you walking junkyard!


TIN MAN
Bring it on ya fleabag!


LION
Oh! Now I have fleas because I’m a lion, huh?


DOROTHY
Stop it! Now! I’m tired of this! We need to just focus for a minute and think.  (Sighs) This is what we get for listening to a witch.


LION
(Under his breath) We’re listening to one right now…


DOROTHY
(Glares at LION) I’m gonna pretend I didn’t hear that…


SCARECROW
(Looks up from map) I think if we go that way…


LION
Oh, what do you know straw-for-brains?! Gimme that thing. You’ve stared it long enough.


(LION grabs map. TIN MAN grabs other side of it as he begins to speak)


TIN MAN
Hey! You don’t know any better than he does!


LION
Well, you have no idea how to use it!


TIN MAN
That’s not what your mother said!

(They pull the map back and forth until it rips)


DOROTHY
Now you’ve done it. Great job guys! What now?


SCARECROW
(Chuckles to self) We are definitely not in Kansas anymore.


(TIN MAN and LION roll their eyes and groan.)


LION
(Looks around) Can someone get this schmuck some brains, please?


DOROTHY
This is ridiculous. I’m calling Glenda. 


(She pulls out cell phone. A phone rings in the distance, maybe on another floor, a loud, obnoxious song, maybe a rap song)


GLENDA
(Sweetly) Hello?


DOROTHY
Glenda? Hey. It’s Dorothy. We seem to be a in a bit of a pickle here.


GLENDA
Oh? Well, did you follow the yellow brick road?


DOROTHY
Yeah, yeah we did.


GLENDA
Ok, then. What seems to be the problem?


DOROTHY
Well, we ran into a bit of trouble around Winkie Country.


GLENDA
Winkie Country? Oh my. You really are lost…(Giggles)


SCARECROW
She’s right there (Points to GLENDA).


LION
(Turns to see her) Hey! Pollyanna! Get your smiling face over here and point us in the right direction.


(GLENDA comes to where they are.)


GLENDA
You just follow the yellow brick road…


(She goes to leave. TIN MAN and LION block her way. She snaps.)


You best be gettin’ out mah way! I’m fi'in’a get my herr did! Y’all are on your owns! I told you to follow the yellow brick road! I didn’t say nothin’ ‘bout no Winkie Country! I can’t help it if you can’t follow directions!


(As he exits she mumbles to herself, complaining)


TIN MAN
Who knew the north was so ghetto?


DOROTHY
What now? All I want to do is get home…(She starts to cry)


SCARECROW
Don’t cry pretty lady…(He begins to pet her hair)


(Suddenly, there’s a loud noise. The WICKED WITCH appears on another floor cackling loudly. She descends down, laughing the whole time. Making a scene.)


LION
(As she’s coming) What fresh hell is this?


WICKED WITCH
So you’re lost, huh? HAHAHAHA! I told you I’d get you my pretty! And your little dog too! HAHAHAHAHA!!! (Takes a deep breath) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!


DOROTHY
(Takes stuffed dog out. Hands it to her) Here. Take him.


WICKED WITCH
(Surprised) Oh. Really? Just like that? That was easy I guess. Well, You’ll never make it to the Emerald City! You’ll never get to see the Wizard! AHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!!


(WIZARD appears at top of stairs. He is wearing sunglasses. He looks and talks like a mobster, a total goomba. He makes his way down as he talks)


WIZARD
Hey! Who’s a’talkin’ about me? What’s a’goin’ on here? What’s all dis commotion?


DOROTHY
FINALLY!! Look, all we want is a heart for him (points), some courage for him (points), some brains for him (points), and I just wanna go back to Kansas.


WIZARD
Well. I’m glad you came to see me. It just so happens that I’m the man that can make things happen.


(Approaches TIN MAN). Why do you want a heart my friend?


TIN MAN
So I can love. So I can feel emotion.


WIZARD
(Punches TIN MAN.) Did ya feel dat?


(TIN MAN nods, says ‘Ow’, something like that)


 Then bada-bing! There ya go!


(Goes to LION)


What’s new pussycat? What can I do for you?


LION
I came looking for some courage.


WIZARD
(Pulls a flask or bottle out of his jacket. Hands it to LION.)


Bada-bing! Liquid courage!


(Goes to WICKED WITCH. He’s startled by her appearance.)


Whoa! What’s goin’ on here?


WICKED WITCH
What?


DOROTHY
She’s not with us…I think the Scarecrow is next.


(SCARECROW is busy playing with his hands, maybe the ‘here is the church, here is the steeple’ game. He’s amusing himself.)


WIZARD
Whoa! I think I can tell what this guy needs.  (He taps SCARECROW). Hey. Do you know what this is? (He pulls a small can out his pocket.)


SCARECROW
That’s Shinola.


WIZARD
Bada-bing! Smarter that most people!


(To DOROTHY.) Now. What about you?


DOROTHY
I just wanna get the heck outta here!


WIZARD
Where ya from again?


DOROTHY
Kansas


WIZARD
Whoa! Kansas? You don’t wanna go back there! You should stick around. Stay here. I bet I could find a spot for you in the Emerald City somewhere.

You’re kinda cute you know that?


(She smiles and giggles. They hold hands and start to walk up the stairs or just walk away).

WICKED WITCH
You’ve got to be kidding me! I’ve been trying to get on at the Emerald City forever! This isn’t fair! Darn foreigners coming in and taking our jobs!


(DOROTHY pulls a squirt gun or water bottle out of her basket and sprays WICKED WITCH with water. WICKED WITCH does her ‘I’m melting’ routine. All of the others cheer.)

 END

They won "Best in Show"