Most recently, my wife was hospitalized for a total hip replacement. She was admitted and had to be hooked up to monitors and oxygen. After a major surgery, the oxygen line as well as the IV for fluids and medication are like a lifeline to the patient. They administer lifesaving medications as well as help keep her oxygen levels up, after receiving anesthesia. These are necessary to help the patient recover faster.

In contrast, as Followers of Christ, our lifeline is Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God’s Word, and prayer to our Heavenly Father. I cannot even imagine living my life without Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, who came into the world to save the world and not to condemn the world. (Cf. John 3:17)

Once one has accepted Jesus as their personal Savior, He will fill you with His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will be your lifelong teacher and guide through God’s Holy Word. The Holy Spirit is also called the Comforter meaning that He will minister to you as you need it spiritually.

Faith in Jesus and the Holy Spirit is our spiritual lifeline to the Father. Living without Jesus is living a meaningless life that will end in physical death. But life with Jesus as the center will be an amazing life of godly experiences with the reward of eternal life after death.

Jesus is quoted in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”  Won’t you surrender your life to Jesus right now? Why not ask Him into your life today? 

Copyright May 18, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Social Media Posts: Are You the Light of the World?

Most people by now have at least a Facebook account. I see a lot of people posting all types of posts, from food recipes, hobby video’s, to political posts. People can get passionate about the latter. 

The things that we post most about might be reflective of what is going on in our own spiritual hearts. For instance, I used to attend a pretty large church in my area. There was a man that asked me to be his friend on social media, who was very vocal on Facebook. There were times that he would get so angry on Facebook that he would post some horrific responses which indicated that he was suffering from an unrepentant hateful attitude towards people who did not agree with him politically. He would respond back with some of the vilest comments using profanity. Yet he was an usher in church and he apparently wasn’t going to change. 

This type of behavior is not what a man of God would do. This man had a sin problem of the heart and needed emergency surgery by the “Great Physician” as soon as possible. Jesus can change his heart but the man has to want Him to change it!

Regardless of your politics, responding to others with cursing and vile statements does not show the love of Christ in one’s heart. Posting meme’s belittling others is not a good trait. Praising God one minute and cursing your neighbor in the next minute shows that Jesus is not active in your life. 

We have talked previously about loving your neighbor, but one cannot love anyone until they repent of their own sin and unrighteousness. How can you love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and yet hate your neighbor? How can one go to church, lift their hands, and praise Jesus, and yet they hate Black people, White people, Jewish people, Muslims, or anyone different from themselves? 

The point is this, stop posting rhetoric that will cause others to sin and create divisions in the Church. If you call yourself a Christian, then be a loving Christian who loves Jesus with all their heart, soul, and mind, so then you can love your neighbor as yourself. 

Stop looking for a political candidate to save you from whatever. These people are just people. Many of them may claim that they are Christians, but do not have any fruit in their lives to prove that they are. Let me be clear, Donald J Trump is not going to save you from a burning hell. Joe Biden is not going to save you from a burning hell. There is only one man in history that came into the world to save the world and His name is Jesus. He is the only person that is the Son of God, who died for your sins, and he was buried in a tomb, and on the third day of death, He rose from the grave. Afterwards, he was seen by over 500 witnesses. It is recorded in many non-Biblical records of His resurrection. 

I ask you instead of posting memes making fun of others and posting political rhetoric, make the difference for the cause of Christ by encouraging others in their daily walks with our Lord and Savior. Pray and encourage others to follow the risen Savior. Show the love of Christ in everything you write in response to unbelievers posts. You never know, you may be the only person that causes one to turn their lives over to Jesus. 

I leave you with this passage from Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world! A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Copyright May 17, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Spiritual Surgery

Have you ever been faced with a surgery in order to fix a broken part or organ in your body? I have and although the surgery was a success, the problem could possibly come back and you might need surgery again.

Most recently, my wife found out that she has to have a total hip replacement. She has one of the best doctors in the area operating on her. After, the surgery, she will be sore for a few weeks, but her body will heal, and she will be back to work. They say that this Titanium Hip will last 25 years. This is truly amazing.

In contrast, in our own lives, we may have heart trouble caused by a sin problem. If we were to accept Jesus into our hearts, He would send the Holy Spirit to come and minister to our hearts. Jesus would cleanse our hearts of all unrighteousness and save our souls from an eternity in hell.

Jesus is also known as the “Great Physician,” and He can heal us of all of our spiritual illnesses of the heart. He will perform spiritual surgery which will mold and make us into the men and women God has called us to be. Once we accept Jesus, He will cleanse our hearts. As we turn our lives and hearts over to Jesus, He will teach us how to live holy lives, that are acceptable and pleasing to Him through His Holy Spirit.

Let’s look in Romans 12:1-2, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

When Jesus, the “Great Physician,” heals us and fixes our problems, He wants us to live our lives like Romans 12:1-2. We are not to be conformed of this world. I pray that you will find Jesus and make Him Lord over your life. Pray and ask Him to come into your life and into your heart and you will be changed forever.

Copyright May 16, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Is Time Slipping Away?

On Friday, I turned 65 and I sat there wondering how I got here so quickly? Have you ever thought the same? How is it that time is slipping away?

I feel like it was just yesterday that I was getting married to the love of my life, Diane. We wanted children and adopted a beautiful little girl from Bethany Christian Services.

Over the last 25 years, our daughter has been the center of our lives, going to all her school functions, from kindergarten until she was a Senior in High School. We raised her in the Church to love God and both my wife and I were actively involved in parenting her. We invested our lives into her.

She graduated from high school and went on to college, and graduated within two and a half years, and was number 1 in her graduating class. She went on to law school and is now a successful lawyer with a city attorney’s office.

Both my wife and I loved every minute of being her Mom and Dad. She is now married and out on her own living in another state. She is soaring in her career and is very successful. We are both very proud of her.

But as I look back on the time I spent, from being a law enforcement officer to becoming an insurance agent and ultimately becoming a co-vocational minister, I grieve for the fact that I did not do enough for the cause of Christ.

I pray that God will give my wife and I many more years of life so that we can finish the race well. For me, it’s not about how much money I can make or about having the best of the best. It’s about people and the hearts that are lost without a savior. For me, my goal in life is to find as many people as possible to share the gospel of Christ Jesus with so that many will come into the kingdom of God.

We have choices in life. We become so engrossed in our work lives that we forget about the ones who matter the most to us. People need to invest time in their families, and teach their children about the love of Jesus. We need to be taking our children to church and being a part of the Church.

The Bible’s says in Job 14:5-6 that our days are numbered and that God sets the time of our lives. He knows exactly how many days, hours, and minutes we will live. Having this information makes time a very valuable possession.

The time we have left from this moment forward, spend it wisely. None of us will know what tomorrow will bring. If you are at odds with a loved one, ask forgiveness before the sun sets. Cf. Ephesians 4:26. Tomorrow may never come and it would be an awful thing that if you are at odds with a fellow Christian and you never made amends.

One other point I want to make is this. If time is now short, what are you waiting for in sharing your faith? Tell others about how Jesus saved you and changed your life. You may be the only person that will ever love your neighbor enough to tell them about the good news of Jesus Christ.

I pray that time will not run out on what you need to do. May the Lord lead you to step out on faith and just do it! God will be with you every step of the way.

Copyright May 15, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Calluses of the Heart

Has anyone ever hurt you so deeply that you felt like you had been stabbed in the heart? Over the course of my lifetime, I have been hurt so mortally that I thought I would never recover. Then, somehow, God restored me back to normal like He always does.

Going through this can be devastating especially if the hurt came someone who you considered a close friend. This hurt literally has crushed you to the point that you start building calluses of the heart.

I want you to know that you are not alone when these circumstances occur. If you are a Follower of Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior has already said that because of Him, we will be hated by the world. This very well could be a spiritual attack on you because of your faith in Christ.

Jesus said that if someone strikes you on one cheek, turn the other to them. If someone takes your coat, offer them your shirt. See Luke 6:29.

Jesus said that those who sin against us, we are to forgive them seventy times seven, meaning over and over again. See Matthew 18:21-22. We are to forgive indefinitely.

Yes, hurt feelings can fester and cause you to sin. When Jesus taught us the Lord’s Prayer, He said the following: “And forgive us of our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Cf Matthew 6:12.

If you choose not to forgive others of their sins against you, our Heavenly Father will not forgive your own sin of unforgiveness. Cf Matthew 6:15. We are commanded to forgive one another.

Unforgiveness can lead you to have a problem in your walk with God. It will cause a spiritual division that can only be resolved once you repent from this sin and forgive those whom you have conflict with.

If someone has hurt you deeply, you need to share with that person what they did and how it made you feel. Then you should pray for that person and even if they do not ask for your forgiveness, still forgive them. Showing forgiveness is what our Heavenly Father has called us to do.

Forgiveness is not an option, it’s a mandate. Once you learn to forgive those who hurt you so badly over and over again, the calluses that you have built up over the years to protect your heart from heartache will soften. By forgiving others, this is no longer your problem but the problem of the one who continues to assault and be unforgiving. For them, it becomes a spiritual problem and only Christ Jesus can change them and their actions.

For you, forgiving others will set you free! If you forgive others, God will forgive you as well.

Copyright May 14, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Cane

Have you ever wondered about how a cane is used? The cane is a device that helps people walk who has physical impairments. In Bible times, it was also used by shepherds keeping watch over their flock of sheep.

A shepherd’s cane typically had a crook on the top which could be used to wrap around a sheep’s neck and pull it to safety. The shepherd’s cane could also be used as a defense weapon to ward off people who might be attacking them or to ward off wild animals going after the sheep.

One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 23:
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

I just love this promise. Jesus is our shepherd. When we are weary, He makes us lie down in green pastures. He leads us besides still waters. He restores our soul. He tends to us when we need it most. He loves us so very much. He anoints our heads with oil meaning that He cares for us to the point that our innermost being overflows in His love for us.

For me, doing life without Jesus is like walking on a broken leg without a cane or a crutch. It’s hard and painful not to have hope in Christ. Doing life without ever reading and studying the Word of our Heavenly Father is like being in a desert and thirsting for water but never getting a drink that would quench our thirst.

In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” If you are having difficulty in life with your faith, then pick up God’s cane, the Holy Bible. The secrets to a successful and happy life are written in that Book. Seek a relationship with the Father’s Son. Commit your life to Him today.

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” Joshua 24:15b. I pray that you will  serve Him as well.

My Tribute to Foy Kathleen Hocutt Lee

Today is Mother’s Day as well as my Mom’s Birthday. I want to share the legacy that came from the Hocutt side of the family. I seem to know more about my Granddaddy Hocutt than I do about my Granddaddy Lee. I know my Dad was a devout Christian, his Christian faith fits right into this tribute about my Mom.

My Mom was born in 1912 and her Daddy was the Reverend Joseph Edgar Hocutt of Sharpsburg, NC. He was a circuit rider preacher on Sundays traveling to various churches from Sunday to Sunday. During the week, he was the school teacher in a one room school house in Sharpsburg. He taught children from first grade on up. His legacy was passed on to generations beyond his immediate children.

My Mom was a preachers kid and she was raised in a Christian home on a farm. She grew up loving God and she accepted Jesus at a young age. She grew up into a respectable young woman and met my Dad, and they ultimately got married.

God used both my Mom and Dad for His glory. When we lived in Rocky Mount, we attended Lakeside Baptist Church which was across from the Rocky Mount City Lake. We attended church on a regular basis and my Mom always enrolled me in Vacation Bible School. There, the Bible was taught and I learned about how much Jesus loved me.

As I grew older, we moved to Portsmouth, VA when I was 12 years old. We started attending Grove Park Baptist Church and I accepted Jesus as my Savior at the age of 13. The Reverend Clyde Finley baptized me.

While we lived in Portsmouth, both my Mom and Dad connected with that church. He became a Deacon and my Mom got into many church ministries such as ministering to inmates at the Portsmouth City Jail, she took in a homeless woman where she lived with us while trying to get her life back on track.

My Mom had the heart of Christ and she wasn’t afraid to tell others about the saving grace of Jesus. She engaged the gospel of Christ daily by being the hands and feet of Christ.

In our family, I have one brother and two sisters. There are a total of 4 siblings, all descendants of Reverend Joseph Edgar Hocutt. My Mom and Dad taught us the Bible, prayed for us, and never gave up on us. Even when I was a little rebellious in school, they continued to love me.

There is a Scripture from Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This is exactly what my Granddaddy Hocutt did. He trained up my Mom in the way of the Lord and she never departed from it. She raised her family to love God. This is the legacy from my Granddaddy’s dedication to God.

Today, there are three ordained men of God that are heirs of Granddaddy Hocutt. I for one am a co-vocational minister of a parachurch. My brother is an ordained Deacon and Elder of his church. My nephew is an ordained Deacon and Elder of his church as well. Our wives are devout followers of Christ and are engaged in the ministry of their churches and ministries. My two sisters are devout followers of Christ Jesus. Both teach women’s Bible studies, minister to women of broken marriages, and minister to people who have addiction problems. Both sisters are gifted in writing Christian devotions, songs, and poems.

We have all raised our children in Christian homes where they have learned about the sacrificial love of Jesus. My daughter Corrie, accepted Jesus at 5 years of age. Most of my siblings children have accepted Christ Jesus.

This is a powerful legacy of Christian ministers of the Gospel. My Mom was more that a Mom to us. In her elder years, she would always end her prayers with this phase. “Dear Jesus, help me to be less of myself, and more about you!”

Copyright May 8, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Today, as I reflect back on my own Mother and our relationship, I want to thank God for a godly woman who dedicated her life to loving God with all her heart, with all her soul, and with all her mind!  She definitely loved her neighbors as herself.

My Mom was the daughter of a preacher who was raised in a Christian home. She married my Dad and they had four children, with me being the youngest. As long as I remember, their lives were dedicated to serving Jesus and they made time for family and friends. They raised us to love Jesus as well as taught us the ways of the Lord.

I see some of the same traits of my Mom in my wife. She is loving and caring of her family and friends. She cared for her own Mom in the last years of her life. My sweet wife sacrificed for her Mom and Dad. We would take trips every year to see my Mom as well as her Mom and Dad.

My wife Diane and I adopted a baby from Portsmouth through Bethany Christian Services.  We named her Corrie after Corrie Ten Boom. We loved that little girl as it was our goal to raise her in a Christian home. Of course, we were not perfect parents as we had no other children, so we asked much advice from friends and family as well as our church for support. We loved and sacrificed much for the opportunity to raise this child in the love and admonition of Christ Jesus. Today, our little girl is no longer with us as she is married and on her own trying to start her own family.

Diane and I both love her so very much and wish the best for her and her husband Christian!

Today, I want to wish my wife Diane and my Mom, Foy Lee, who is now in Heaven a very Happy Mother’s Day!  Those who have their children, please cherish every moment and pray for them. Although our daughter is physically absent, she and her family are in our hearts and prayers.

I want to thank my wife Diane for being a loving Mom, wanting the best for our daughter, and being a teacher of the way that God would want our children raised, to love God with all their hearts, soul, and mind, and to love their neighbors as themselves.

Here are some Scriptures that will help you in teaching your children about the Lord Jesus and our Heavenly Father.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will never depart from it.”

Proverbs 1:8-9 “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.”

Isaiah 54:13 “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.”

Psalm 127:3 “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.”

Matthew 19:14 “Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such of these.”

3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. Honor your father and your mother, This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, Things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on earth.”

Today, Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there. God loves you! Seek Him and you will find Him!

Copyright May 8, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Breaking News: Jesus Arrested, Convicted, Beaten, and Crucified

Marketplace Evangelism Today

Spring, 30 AD. Early this morning at approximately 1:30 AM, Jesus was accosted and arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane by Temple Guards of the Sanhedrin. Judas, one of his disciples betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver. During the arrest, according to an eyewitness by the name of John, “Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” Another eyewitness by the name of Luke states, “Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.”

The reason Jesus was in the Garden was that he was praying. It is reported that earlier that night, he and his disciples enjoyed a supper together. Judas then left the group…

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Retired American Heroes Volunteering for Ukraine’s “International Legion.”

I just read in The New York Times that American Veterans are heading to Ukraine to volunteer to help fight against the Russian Army. According to The New York Times, He is identified only as Hector, who is a retired US Marine, who served two violent tours in Iraq, boarded a plane this weekend to Warsaw, Poland. The Times goes on to say he packed several bags filled with rifle scopes, helmets, and body armor, which were donated by other veterans.

Hector says, “sanctions can help but they cannot help right now.” The Times reports that he is one of a surge of retired American soldiers heading to Ukraine as well as preparing to go.

President Zelensky announced that he was creating an “international legion” to fight the Russians. Hector says that he hopes to train the Ukrainians in his expertise, armored vehicles and heavy weapons. Hector says that there are a lot of Vets who have trained for this kind of warfare all their lives, and many will be going very soon.

When I read this story, I was just in awe of the courage of our Veterans who are now retired but who have placed their entire lives on hold to go over and help defend a sovereign nation who is being assaulted by a bully like Putin! Please join me in praying for these “American Band of Brothers” who very well may die on foreign soil as volunteers for a war that is not theirs! What true American Heroes these Veterans are! May God be with them in their quest to defeating the evil empire that is attempting to pervade a sovereign nation as well as Europe.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26

Copyright March 7, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.