Category Archives: God’s Love

Good Neighbors

I am reminded of the story of the Good Samaritan that Jesus told in response to the question: Who is my neighbor? The man had asked Jesus who his neighbor was because of the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.” The story is found in Luke 10:30-37


I have heard people express compassion for the homeless. From others I have heard judgment and contempt toward the homeless. Even Jerred, the founder of Search & Rescue, used to have a hard heart toward the homeless. His attitude was: ‘get a job like I have to.’ But Jesus said that the one who showed mercy was the one who was a neighbor.

{Mercy is not getting what you deserve}

There are people that we see in the streets that deserve to be there. There are probably more than I know. But James 2:13 NAS tells us that “Mercy triumphs over judgment!”

This goes beyond the homeless. Who is in pain and need of care in your life?

The question is: Are you a good neighbor?

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Harvest

I remember my father talking about John 4:35 once many years ago. {Do not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! John 4:35 (NKJV)}

My father was talking about how people at concerts would raise their hands during the songs. Thousands of them, and when you looked at that scene from the above it looked the same as grain ready to be harvested. I remember his words, “This is what Jesus was talking about.”


Living in the Tulsa Metropolitan area, there are churches everywhere you look. It seems that they are on every street corner in Tulsa and in the communities that surround Tulsa. There are small ones, medium size ones, and large ones. There are even extra-large ones that we would call Mega Churches. Even with an abundance of churches in the area, there are still people who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

When I drive by parking lots full of cars, and apartment complex after apartment complex, I am reminded that there are so many people right under my nose. Each day I come into contact with some of these people. I may be at a store, the library, or the post office but does the person in front of me or behind me need to know the love of God? Being focused, on task, and efficient are all good things but not at the expense of what is truly important eternally! I must allow myself to be distracted by the people around me. I cannot take it for granted that if I don’t say something that someone else will come along and say it. If I don’t say something that person might suffer eternally…

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Friday Update: 7/19/13

Friday night was an amazing night.


We served Chicken and Rice and Gatorade.

Jerred spoke about the love of God. As he explained God’s love to the people, they were listening intently. After he closed his message, I heard a woman tell him that the message answered many questions that she had always had. There were also people who came up to Jerred to give their lives to the Lord. I saw one lady ask at the window of the food truck for a book about salvation. It was like the fish were just jumping into the boat; all we had to do was show up. Glory!


After everything was packed up on the truck, the team headed over to the convenience store. There were several hungry people there and that kept the team busy dishing up bowls of food and filling up cups with ice and Gatorade.

When the people at the convenience store had their fill, the food truck drove over to a bridge only to find it vacant. There were some people congregated not far from there, so the food truck pulled up alongside of them. Within a few minutes, people had come out of their hidden spots all around to get some food and maybe some clothing. After feeding all of those people, the food containers were empty and the evening was at an end for the Search & Rescue team.

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Relentless Love

Last Friday as we were tearing down the sound equipment, a man approached us and asked about street ministry. This man was two blocks away when he heard our music and came out of his way to see what was going on. As he spoke to us, it came out that he had been a musician who was involved with street ministry but now had fallen away from serving the Lord. I am reminded of the story of the Lost Sheep from Luke 15:4-7. When the Shepherd realizes that one of his sheep has gone astray, he leaves the ninety-nine to go out and pursue the lost one. Make no mistake, God is pursuing this man.

The love of God is an amazing thing. His love is so big it is incomprehensible to us. It often comes in ways that we don’t recognize. Ways that are vulnerable. Look at the coming of the Messiah. Isreal knew the prophecies and expected His coming. But what they expected was a warrior. The Messiah came into the world as a baby and they didn’t recognize Him.

Take a moment and realize how much God loves you. Open your eyes to the ways that He shows you His love every day. If you have seen and received the love of God then it is time for you to share the love of God with others.

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The Cracks of Society

The mission of Search & Rescue Outreach Ministries has always been to reach out to those who have fallen through the cracks of society. We do this each and every Friday night by taking a home-cooked meal into the streets of downtown Tulsa. People who know us know that Search & Rescue will be there without fail each and every Friday. We bring food to the hungry. We bring lemonade and water to the thirsty. We bring clothing and shoes to the needy. We bring blankets to the homeless. It does not end or really even begin there. We are there to bring God’s love to the people. We are there to lead them in praise and worship. We are there to lead them into a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Friday nights is an outreach but it is also a street church.

We have been blessed with faithful laborers in Search & Rescue. There have been those who have served for a season and moved on. It is truly amazing to hear the stories of our fellow laborers: many of their testimonies include a time that they themselves were homeless. Regardless of whether this is the case for our fellow laborers, the fact remains that these people are committed to serving others. Our fellow laborers have jobs, families and numerous responsibilities but on Friday nights they come to the streets of downtown Tulsa to serve the people that so many in society don’t even see. Do not kid yourselves, the weather in Oklahoma is in itself enough to keep the faint of heart away: we have humid and hot summers with temperatures that reach the triple digits and the winters are cold and dry with a brutal wind that cuts through all the layers of warm clothes that a person piles on. We do have many pleasant days but we are talking about EVERY FRIDAY not just the days that won’t tax us physically. In our society Friday has become the beginning of the weekend and Friday nights are known for going out, relaxing from the stress of the work week—a time to indulge yourself. Not for our team. They are disciplined and caring and show up to show the love of God.

Not everyone we meet on Friday nights want to let us pray with them or even to talk with them. They have been hurt by people. They don’t have it in them to trust anyone. But they are hungry or they need clothes or socks or a blanket. We see them Friday after Friday and then one Friday they want to talk. A few more Fridays and they open up some more. Being there every Friday gives them something to trust.

There are times when we will see the same people week after week for years. Other times we see a person once and then never again. We know of people who came to the feeding for a time and are now off of the streets. They have a home and a relationship with God. There are many that we don’t know about. There are those who are like yo-yo’s going from the streets to a more stable life and then back to the streets again. It isn’t up to us to judge them or prefer some over others; we simply serve them.

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