In all I write, speak and do — all forms of media, all the time — I endeavor to offer encouragement to everyone for finding forgiveness, clarity for getting to grace, and assuring all that forgiveness is possible. That’s why I am thrilled to have my article “Forgiveness is Possible” published in Sweet To The Soul FAITH Magazine’s Grace issue!
This issue of Sweet To The Soul FAITH is about God’s glorious grace… containing 140 full-color pages of faith-based inspiration, including articles, devotionals, Scripture reading lists, recipes, life management, Bible Art Journaling, creative resources and more!
Throughout this issue, tender hearts share about real-life experiences and struggles. Struggles to forgive others and even harder sometimes, to forgive ourselves… also stories of supernatural hope found in the most difficult of times, hope which only God can supply.
• Spiritual Complacency and How to Renew Your Focus
• Finding Freedom from Your Past
• Hanging on to Threadbare Hope
• When Life Seems Hopeless
• How to Share Your Faith Story
• Praying for an Open Door
• Gospel Foundations for Your Finances
• Letting Go of Clutter for Good
• How to Bullet Journal
• So much more!
This is one of the most beautiful magazines of its type I’veseen. The content is truly inspirational. Much food for thought, study and encouragement is reliably found between the covers of this quarterly magazine!
The Most Powerful Tool I Use Daily (In Addition to Prayer and Reading the Bible)
Setting goals and making plans is exciting! For many, the mere thought of simply beginning in the moment to transform life is a beautiful dream sure to be realized. Our dream destination may take us to where we’d rather be, feel led to be, or know is the next right place to be. However it calls to us, the dream is compelling enough to get us fired up for the work ahead.
When we’re all in, our dedication to purpose and hard work in achieving established goals is rewarding. Initially, we may not grow weary with the required heavy lifting. The dream promises a bright future and new adventure. It energizes us, because we are 110% sold out on achieving it!
Embarking on a new endeavor or heading in a new life direction can be daunting. We need clarity to determine what we hope to accomplish. What is the result we seek? What is the expected outcome?
We need to be sure of what is be required to assure our success. Developing astrategic, workable plan, with a realistic timeline and system of checkpoints helps to put us on the right course.
But wait…there’s more!
I used to create business plans for clients as a professional consultant. I know the mechanics of building a plan, as well as the pitfalls of carrying it out. There really is much more to planning than all this logical, step-by-step, work-the-system approach. I went through the additional steps with my clients, and they always thanked me for it, because they were ready to walk out of my office and get to work on their new project.
The something more is digging in deeply and really soul-searching about your plans, dreams, hopes and fears before you take the first step toward your goal. I do mean before you begin to work that brand new shiny plan.
You cannot truly be 110% in, if you don’t. If you don’t deeply consider it all, you’re simply sold on the dream itself, not all that comes with it, including the inevitable life changes. It’s the visual aspect of it that is drawing you in, not the reality it brings.
For my clients, I had a formatting that walked them through the steps, bringing them to the other side, so they could contemplate all of this deep stuff on their own. I remember helping one client who wanted to establish a new service business who, after presenting their plan, determined not to proceed (due to perceived risks). Please know I was (still am) in the business of encouragement and supporting viable efforts.
In my personal and business projects, I have found a solution that turns out to be the most powerful tool I use daily, in addition to prayer and reading the Bible. This is not a wild claim — I can prove it! I want to share it with you, but first a story to illustrate how powerful this tool can be…
In November, 2019, I registered for a conference I wanted to attend for years. The founder had personally invited me in 2014. Unfortunately for me, her invitation came after I had already attended 3 conferences that year. I had to turn her down, knowing I wasn’t in a situation to effectively apply what I would learn there. Five years later, I knew it was my time to attend.
I’m very particular about conference-going. Attending conferences for me is entirely purpose-driven. Prior to any conference, I establish goals to achieve while there, and specific outcomes in attending. Before committing to a schedule or track, I plan how to accomplish them within the confines of the event.
At all conferences, I take copious notes and work through what I learn at each afterward, before planning to attend another. In 2014, each conference I attended was on an entirely different subject, so I justified spending the resources. Packing in so much over a few months, made me feel like conference attending was again becoming an unwanted career, after too many years on the road and countless air miles with a heavy convention/meeting schedule coast-to-coast and internationally during my marketing days.
In 2019, the conference website featured a list of 18 keywords on the homepage. This intrigued me, because they represented what the conference was about and what was offered. I wondered how I could use them?
I decided these words would be an excellent source of preparation for the conference. I believed the most effective use of them (for me) was to select one (or two related words) each week, fully considering them and what they meant to me in my endeavors.
My goal was two-fold:
To be fully prepared as an active participant at the conference.
To get the most out of the conference, making best use of the time and my resources.
To accomplish these goals, I scheduled the list of keywords over the course of the 17 weeks prior to the conference. I journaled weekly on the selected word(s) of the week:
I wrote about what the word meant to me.
I prayed about it for me (and others), as I worked toward getting ready for the gathering.
I prayed for God’s guidance and direction in it all, and for His blessing.
After journalling and prayer over the chosen word, in preparation for the conference:
I laid out specific steps needed to take that week.
I knew planning my work and working that plan, I would be ready.
When the time arrived for our conference I was indeed 110% ready, with all materials I needed in a nice, neat package. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more ready to attend a conference!
Unfortunately for all of us, COVID-19 also arrived and was looming, threatening to shut everything down. Which (as you well know) happened. It was crushing, but I held on to the promise of the conference being rescheduled. Knowing it was my time to attend, I waited.
The conference was rescheduled later in the year. A month prior to the event, I had to cancel, due to the health concerns my family had, with potential risks posed by COVID. I honored their request, but was profoundly heartbroken to not attend.
God’s faithfulness is so great! While I felt very much led to attend that conference, and in the end couldn’t due to circumstances beyond my control, He brought me through to the other side of my broken heartedness of missing-out on what I wanted, and He blessed me with what I most needed.
We don’t see what He sees, nor could ever know all God knows. In fact, we only see such a small part, our walking with Him in faith is the only way to get through. (2 Corinthians 5:7) How humbling to hear Him say to my heart one fine spring day in 2021, “See how I am answering your prayers!” Indeed I did, and I am blessed!
Journalling has been a big part of my life. As you can see keeping a journal — even a short-term special topic or subject journal — serves well in providing clarity and guidance.
Journalling The Word can help us through challenging times. Keeping a journal can help us explore complex issues and make valuable personal discoveries so we can move forward with greater clarity. My 9th book, The Grace Daily Challenge Journal, is designed to help readers and writers explore what the Bible says about grace and finding forgiveness, as they journal The Word.
The Grace Daily Challenge Journal is designed to create a personally-enriching, meaningful journalling experience with:
1,020 Bible verses organized according to topic as journalling The Word prompts.
Chapter introductions set focus through topical discussion related to forgiveness.
Content is presented to encourage journalling based on personal interest and study preference.
Journalling tips are included, to make the most of the journalling experience.
The world’s chaos continues in a dizzying swirl around us, confusing life and creating a maze of issues. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we were designed and equipped for such a time as this. We can thrive in chaos. In this article I share 3 ironclad strategies and a toolbox to help.
As we return to our “everyday” in these (supposedly) post-pandemic times, the world’s chaos continues in a dizzying swirl around us, confusing life matters and creating a maze of issues. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we were designed and equipped for such a time as this. We can thrive in chaos.
Fortunately, we have workable strategies and tools to help us — and, dare I say it — actually thrive in the middle of all of it because of all the chaos! In this piece, I’m going to share 3 ironclad strategies and give you a toolbox to help you thrive in chaos:
Thrive daily — armed with a Big Picture view, we can thrive in chaos
Find purpose and meaning for your life in these chaotic times.
Live forward with confidence in the face of the unknown.
Uncertainty permeates daily life as we discover how things have changed during (and now after) our mandated mass hibernation. Emerging from our pandemic pandemonium, reminders popup throughout the day making it clear that life (as we once knew it) is not the same today in this crazy new world ‘order.’
Some changes will be positive, as:
Surviving businesses implement more efficient operating procedures and better ways to serve customers. They may be more profitable in the long run!
More attention focused on environmental aspects by assuring healthful conditions, upholding higher hygiene standards, rejecting potentially hazardous or unsafe practices.
Programs and activities will be changed-up, streamlined with necessary modifications, including only the essentials, eliminating unneeded fluff.
New ways of doing things may be discovered and implemented, turning out to be “better” and more appropriate than the old ways were anyway!
Previously-overlooked needs may be uncovered and appropriately addressed with new programs, policies or practices.
Of course there have been (and will be) losses for businesses, people and entities that are not in a position (nor can see ways) to pivot, moving forward in times of economic upheaval. Entrepreneurs characteristically exhibit the ability to turn on a dime (make that a $1,000-dollar bill today), as they implement necessary changes to right their listing ship and stay afloat in the storm.
Chaos impacts life, but life continues
In addition to the changes we personally experience, chaos surrounds us. It fills major city streets with violence, looting and fires. It is witnessed in neighborhoods and shopping malls across America. It’s apparent there is a continual underlying struggle for power and control that is not beneficial to humankind as a whole. Meaningful and necessary efforts to help people transition to a healthy, every day life in these uncertain times are not happening on the scale that are needed.
The chaos surrounding us is compounded by festering personal issues. We know challenging times are part of living. Coming back to “Real Life” after a pandemic shut-down is like throwing everyday life into a blender and then dumping it out, as everyone attempts to figure what work and life are going to be now.
Right out of the gate, I was surprised at ongoing difficulties encountered in pretty much everything (it seemed). Ready as I was (maybe you, too), these obstacles impeded moving forward. Simple things, really. Maybe I was overly optimistic.
Once mandates were dropped and we were green-lighted as ‘ready to go,’ gradually things seemed to get a little easier and a bit freer. Still a the threat of a controlling grip persists. It lurks in the shadows. Its presence reminds all that we could easily return to banishment from our everyday life, at a moment’s notice.
During the pandemic, our family (like many others), continued to live life in this strange, new closed-off world. We found ways to maintain contact with our family and friends. We attended conferences and meetings and school online. We had a wedding. Our niece had a baby. We had a death in our family. We had 2 college graduations, and another begin college. After a lengthy job hunt, one of our family members found a great one and relocated, to begin a new life. I published (and launched!) 2 books. Life went on. It wasn’t easy, but it happened.
When the pandemic craziness began to tone down and we were able to live more freely, I was surprised to discover it may take more time personally, to “get back” into life again. If you feel this way, too — give yourself grace and time.
3 Ironclad strategies to help you thrive in chaos and everyday
Often, the answer to our thriving in chaotic times (or even on blissful days) lies not within ourselves, but rather outside ourselves. As our perspective opens up, we see the world with a wide angle lens. In this way we gain clarity and understanding over our lives and the conditions in the world. We can better discern what we need to do, what we are called to do, and how to serve others, living a more fulfilling, purpose-filled life.
Thrive daily — no matter what (armed with a Big Picture view) here’s how:
Spend time in God’s Word (The Bible).
Pick a Bible study (independent and/or group study).
Journal: the Word; share personal insights, ideas, dreams, goals.
Pray often – and about everything! Our heavenly Father wants to hear from you.
Keep a prayer journal – ongoing, including answers and updates.
Know God keeps His promises. He will never leave us. He is in this with us.
Planning events? Organizing events? Serving in events?
Establishing a ministry? Coordinating a ministry? Running a ministry?
Being available — ‘free-agenting’ yourself to serve in a variety of ways.
Catering? Cooking? Serving food?
Live forward with confidence. Know these callings are for as long as they are to be and they will serve needs. By our heavenly Father’s design, each of us has purpose in serving in this way. Serving in this way takes us outside of ourselves, beyond our own situations, as we focus on others.
One of the best strategies to thrive is to turn our moments of uncertainty inside out, allowing God to use them for His good! It’s astonishing to see that amidst the tremendous upheaval the pandemic caused, it provided the perfect opportunity for many to find their way back to their loving heavenly Father. New ways to serve in ministry and outreach are being created even now. This is how things work in God’s world — always inverse to man’s ways and view of the world.
Every day offers “ministry” opportunities. No one is required to be associated with an internationally-recognized organization or popular entity to serve God in ministry. (Motherhood is often referred to as a ‘ministry of interruption,’ although I think other ways of serving share this characteristic as well!).
Ministry is serving the needs of others by following His lead. He will provide all that is needed to do the job. God never hands us a “To Do” List and leaves us on our own, to to figure it all out. He stays right there with us and shows us “how.”
3. Dare to ask God the hard questions on your mind, the heavy things burdening your heart. Ask for His guidance, care, presence and tender mercy.
Walk with Jesus every day. No matter your age, skills, or life situation, Accept the urging you feel for the thing He is leading you to do. Even when it seems impossible, He will equip you for it. He always calls the least likely, and reliably shows up in a big way to help!
Here’s a Toolbox to encourage you to thrive in chaos: A 22-Day Scripture Reading List, to read, study, journal – !
A Final Thought: Chaos is not of God. It’s not what He wants for any of us, but it happens in this world. It can be (and is) used for His good, to further His kingdom. In spite of it all, we can live forward in confidence, wrapped in His love and THRIVE.
I leave you with this:
Scripture shows us what we’re to do:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” ~ Romans 12:1-2 [The Message]
God’s Word assure us — He’s got this:
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~ Matthew 6:16 [NASB]
RESOURCES: Journalling the Word can help us through challenging times. Keeping a journal can help us explore complex issues and make valuable personal discoveries so we can free ourselves from our pain and gain clarity. My 9th book, The Grace Daily Challenge Journal, is designed to help readers and writers explore what the Bible says about grace, finding forgiveness, and view challenging things in a Biblical perspective as they Journal The Word. We can thrive in chaos! (Paperback and Kindle eBook)
For many of us the thought of being able to get away for a retreat sounds enticing, but seems impossible. Amidst the crush of every day crowded with unplanned challenges and schedule pressures, we find ourselves running on empty (or on a dangerously low reserve) of energy for much-needed soul care.
Unfortunately when we need it most, resources and a margin of time often don’t permit us to attend a retreat. Conferences and fellowshipping (online and in real life) are wonderful, but when schedule allows, personal budgets don’t always stretch to cover registration, travel and hotel stays.
Sometimes we realize the need for refreshment and a space for time away will help us regain focus, restore energy. Rather than not addressing our own personal soul care because it seems impossible in this season…
Here are 6 tips for creating an enriching personal retreat at home:
PREPARE: Pray for refreshment to come, God’s direction in planning the right setting and topic to explore in your time with Him.
PURPOSE: Determine the needs you want to address. Find a book, sermon series, Bible verse, devotional that speaks to your heart.
PLAN: Select a day, blocking-out a time period of 2-3 hours (if possible). As needed, include childcare or necessary adult care.
SETTING: Choose an appealing environment conducive for your hoped-for enrichment.
IMMERSE: Once in retreat mode, turn off all notifications, put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door — and settle in!
EMERGE: After your retreat, may you be blessed with greater clarity, refreshment, renewed hope, defined purpose and clear direction.
Here are 6 ideas to encourage refreshment and clarity in your personal retreat:
Deep-dive mini-study of a topic, sermon series or a Bible Study.
Select a key Bible verse (or verses), and during your time:
Journal about it (or them), as extensively as your heart wants to roam.
Bible Journal, as a visually creative activity to delve into the topic.
Bullet Journal your study, for note taking, recoding discoveries.
Create Bible verse, prayer or personal reflection cards.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: As a ready resource of Bible verses organized by topic, including journalling tips and ideas we recommend The Grace Daily Journal:
#RelationshipsMatter #ChristianLifestyle #Encouragement #SoulCare #SelfCare #PersonalCare #Forgiveness #RestoringTheBrokenPlaces #GraceDaily #PlanningARetreat #PersonalRetreat #PersonalGetaway #LivingALifeOfJoy Even in the face of adversity #BattlingBurnout
A multi-platform professional writer throughout her career creating marketing/sales and promotional content for clients commercially, in addition to promoting causes and information campaigns. Her tradition of multiple-platform communication continues today.
Becky has written for, her words have been published and broadcast over every form of media. Her first 7 books are based on ministries she and her family participated in for over 20 years.
Resulting from her writing and book publishing efforts, public speaking and presentation opportunities domestically and internationally developed. Audiences range from small events, to business community member audiences (up to 500 in attendance).
A longtime presenter featuring a series of edutraining programs, Becky also presented special track training workshops at an international conference. She recently offered a special program to a delighted audience in southeastern Europe.
Becky is a featured collaborator in 2 published books on the subjects of Injecting Healing Humor in Healthcare, and Herbs, to benefit causes and nonprofits (on the national/global platform).
She wrote a piece on work that looks like play and hearts touched by the hospital humor ministry she and her family served in for nearly 14 years. It was featured in What’s Right in Healthcare, a special edition created to inspire those in the front lines of healthcare. This book was published in 2007.
Becky collaborated on a third book for women in business: Behind Her Brand, Entrepreneur Edition, Volume 5 in 2016. Her contribution was based on her marketing and public relations consultancy business and digital marketing experience.
Since 1999, Becky has published several books, countless eBooks and many websites, creating content ongoing – ‘blogging’ before there were blogs!(Blogging officially beginning in 2004, when suitable platforms were available.)
She has presented numerous training programs, coached and helped area churches, by personally encouraging the Christian community to establish Christian Creative Arts Ministry as a regular activity and special event, enhancing outreach and mission trip efforts, to impact lives.
To support this important outreach work, Becky authored 2 in-depth books on the topic of establishing Christian Creative Arts Ministry. In addition to her books to further prepare and equip these ministries, she created digital media resources. Becky created and developed 15 online multi-media training courses. She began offering online training and resources in 2002.
A media maker with professional experience in all forms of media including New, Social and Traditional. Becky began podcasting in 2008, hosting several internet BlogTalk Radio Shows collaboratively and on her own. Since 2008, she created a branded series of videos for her books on her YouTube channels featuring related original niche content.
In February 2020, speaker and author Becky Cortino established LivRad, a speaking and writing ministrychargedwith the mission of “Encouraging Words for Hurting People.”
PLEASE NOTE: In light of the rapidly-changing COVID-19 situation and varying mandates, Becky Cortino Speaking Engagement Information, including Presentation Topics, and Booking Details are not available.
Friend, do you have a calling you feel is tugging on your heart to answer? Here is some encouragementespecially for you!