The Secret to Making a Real Difference

Some people believe we cannot “invest” ourselves in every relationship that comes our way. The main reason given for this is the perceived problem of available time to spend in relationship with others.

I disagree! In fact, it is unbiblical to live this way, and in this article I’m going to show you why all relationships matter, there’s no getting out of having one with others, even if you think you can (or are) and the secret to making a real difference in this world.

How we view “investing” in relationships impacts how we connect and interact with others. If you consider sitting down for the proverbial cup of coffee everyone always talks about, or sharing a meal with someone as your measurement for relational investment, you are right! Time, resources and ability to actually meet-up in real life (or virtually) add conditions that may never be met.

Case-in-Point: How many times have you parted after serendipitously crossing paths with someone, both agreeing to catch-up on an unspecified future date and never did? Each was sincere at that moment. You would love to spend time, to “invest” more in this relationship — but… it never happened. Does this mean you don’t have a real relationship with this person?

Next time — and likely there will be a next time — when your paths cross you sheepishly look at each other and sigh, knowing you failed in just making some time for them in your day (and they for you, in theirs). You smile, thinking how wonderful it will be and wholeheartedly long to get together, but life’s crazy schedules continue to crush the day, so setting aside a few minutes seems impossible.

There is a vast difference between developing relationships with a select few and having an impact with all you meet. It’s important to realize even with a chance meeting, a relationship has begun. Obviously with a deeper long-term relationship, more time is spent. However, even in a fleeting moment a lasting impact can be made on others through our interaction with them. This happens by how we live, walk out our faith, our words left with others, how they see us.

It may seem surprising, but those we meet in brief encounters often do remember. In over 20+ years of service, I have been blessed many times when those I’ve had the privilege of serving in ministry (or encountered in every day life) remind me of something I did or said — often in the moment — that made a real positive difference in their lives. Sometimes this grateful remembrance comes back to me by another messenger — my husband, family, friend or someone I met by chance who heard the story! I call this a double blessing!

Our example is Jesus. He had an inner circle of friends, yet left a living legacy globally through His impact, touching countless lives throughout His time here on earth continues today. Even those who were not His disciples developed a real, life-changing relationship with Jesus when they simply crossed paths with Him. They never had coffee or a meal together, but desired a real relationship — and had one with Him.

Case-in-Point: When Jesus risked asking a Samaritan woman at the well for a drink of water in John 4:1-30. Yes, He said He was thirsty, but probably could have drawn water himself. Instead, in that momentary encounter He sought to speak with the woman at the well. It was life-changing for her. She could draw water at the well, but was still thirsty. He told her of the living water, assured her He was the Messiah and told her how we (as believers) should worship and live.

If Christians endeavor to live as Jesus does, we mustn’t limit our relationships to only those we believe are tangible and important to us. If we allow it, often God brings us together with others who will change our lives, and those whom we may inspire, or encourage to live a more fulfilling life.

It is in those places where our lives are lived for God’s best with a heart dedicated to His purpose, we will have a positive impact in the world, or bless others. It is wonderful (but not required) to have a close-knit group of friends. When we live to serve God, accepting all of His blessings, our lives are to follow His ways, not go our own way. We do fulfill God’s purpose by ministering to others in the moment, serving however we can. Romans 12: 1-2 tells us how we can do this.

Having coffee with someone in need isn’t usually an option. Although they thirst, they need far more than that. Although they may be hungry their need is not often met at the local cafe. In this moment, the latest greatest burger, or extra cream and sugar are not priorities for them. A large latte doesn’t matter. I love what Romans 12: 9-13 says about serving others — it’s a big key for planner peeps — about the importance of being “inventive in hospitality.”

It is also a mistake to think that by being a believer our “relationship” with someone is going to solve all of their problems or needs, like a one-stop fix-it solution. We (nor any friendship outside of one with Jesus) is ever the answer for any of our needs. The answer always lies in Jesus.

Life and everything we encounter isn’t really all about us. Often we hear, speak, sing or think we want to be more like Jesus and much less of ourselves. If we really want to do this, in all of relationships, including any momentary chance meeting we must take the more of Jesus approach.

If we’re honest we don’t have all the answers. We do not know what tomorrow brings. We can’t imagine what’s in store for us today. A collaborative brainstorming session with our best earthly friend doesn’t always result in a satisfactory solution. But God’s Word has the answer to every problem or troubling situation. Time spent in deepening a relationship with Jesus goes a long way to resolving issues and challenges we encounter.

We cannot quench the world’s thirst for knowledge and understanding. We cannot keep the world fed. It’s astonishing to look around and see all the global efforts striving to do this. And still the needs remain — and continue to grow. In John 12:8a, Jesus told us there will always be poor people. He knows it. He could fix it, but it still exists. We are to do our part. We can help.

In our relationships we can begin to make the world better by reaching out and helping others, not waiting to make that coffee chat date. We may provide for needs with our time and resources, but Jesus’ point is the “needs” of all people are well beyond their hunger and thirst, and located well outside the sphere of our desire for meaningful relationships with only a select few.

It is all about Him and His provision (which never runs out ). He always has time for us. It’s all far less about “us” than we often allow ourselves to think and bemoan our pressing 24-7 time limitations as we make our stingy investment of a 2-hour one-time lunch date with a friend so we can check that off our list. We cannot single-handedly solve the world’s problems. Relying on Him, providing the encouragement and knowledge of Him to those in need, we can begin to make a lasting impact, as we wholeheartedly love from who we are, discover the beauty in everyone, and surprise them with goodness.


How Are YOU… Really?

LivRad Solitude

Hopefully you’re well, enjoying some things missed during 2020.

We’ve missed a lot during the pandemic, haven’t we?

My family and I are definitely ready to enjoy more, although we’re finding the ‘adjustment’ process going a little slower than expected. I don’t know why I thought throwing off that mask and running free would be so easy😄 It sure sounded easier! I remember when living mask-free was easy.

It certainly is easier! I’m so NOT missing disinfecting every.thing brought into our home, quarantining the mail in the garage for a few days before opening it, and suiting up with mask and gloves to go to the grocery store😷 Whew! As ‘experts’ predicted, I can see all this may take time to process, gain some distance from it, and establish new best practices (as needed). I’m grateful for even slow progress through these topsy-turvy times.

Philippians 4:6-7 offers a reminder: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let your petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” [The Message]

Feeling “settled down,” after being on high alert for over a year?

If you’re not, take heart. In a recent conversation with friends, they shared after all that has gone into pressing through this pandemic has left them feeling like they’re running nearly on empty right now.

They (probably like you, and also like me) have been caring for others, taking additional precautionary measures to protect themselves (and others), paired with ever-present stresses impacting home, work and life. There have been schooling concerns, virtual classes, graduations, seemingly endless ZOOM meetings, postponed weddings, no church to online church, and more.

That’s a lot of plates to keep spinning while trying to create a safe, comforting, stable home environment amidst the swirling chaos, isn’t it? …and we haven’t even considered all that was entailed with keeping food on the table and figuring out “what’s for dinner” to gather everyone, keeping them fed.

For some, the aftereffect has taken the shape of near burnout. Some are depressed, others are exhausted. So if you’re not feeling well or suddenly realizing you’re not snapping back quite as fast as you thought you would, know you’re in good company. Wherever you are, we’re all in this season together💕 This too will pass.

This is a time requiring our lavishing grace, with reckless abandon.

Just as scripture tells us, I have seen things coming together for good, and I hope you have, too. We always have Hope. We know our heavenly Father uses bad, evil, hurtful things for good. We never know what to expect, nor could we have anticipated the pandemic. No one knew exactly how to get through it, based on experience or great knowledge. But we can rest in knowing that God has all of this. We can walk out our faith every day, trusting in Him.* 

*That said, if you or someone you know is depressed or having issues that might require a doctor’s check-up, medical care or attention, please do seek proper professional care to address it. Take good care of you and the others in your life❤️

One thing is for sure: relationships remain important.

These uncertain days have tested relationships — stretching some nearly to a breaking point. Some of these experiences have raised more concerns about forgiveness and created confusion about how to resolve personal issues. I think studies will span the next 30+ years, seeking to understand all the implications this pandemic has imposed upon humanity. I believe the discoveries will be eye-opening!

How about you? What is your top Forgiveness Challenge?

❤️ Please share yours here (it’s completely anonymous):


There is Joy in the Moment of NOW

Recently lots of introspective people have been sharing their touching reflections in observation of our dubious COVID-19 “Anniversary.” These personal experiences, lessons and insight gained during our COVID-steeped days have been encouraging amidst tragedy and grief.

Living our faith out boldly, while making wise choices and good decisions for family and ourselves during uncertain days has been wearing. Many have been emotionally exhausted, teetering on depression. 

I’m hopeful with the wide-scale availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, more businesses, schools and churches will open their doors. It is happening! 

We are feeling a change here in NC, although many places (including churches) remain closed. These days, a welcome blend of hope and practical optimism rides in on the the sweet spring breeze surrounding us.

This is where I am right now: I’m still walking through fires (like you). I’m growing weary and my resources to deal with all this are growing thin. I realize we’re nearing the last inning of this game (as far as we think we know), but it’s still difficult. 

I’m thankful God is with all of us. He helps us through our every day — easy or challenging. While my (or your) resources — time, energy, means may diminish, His are never depleted. They are always freely offered and available to everyone. All we have to do is to accept them and lean on Him.

In those faltering moments I’m reminded to rely less on me and much more on “Him.” I’ve had a lot of those reminders. I’ve also had a lot of help from Him as I always seem to have yet another unexpected hoop to jump through. I continue to look for the Joy in the moment of now.

As we reach the end of all this, I picture a conversation with our loving Heavenly Father asking, “Child, do you remember all of those times when you wanted more time to get things done, to create (or write) more, develop new projects? What did you do during the year of the COVID pandemic?” He will already know the answer.  But He will love to hear from us.

Recently I heard Jordan St Cyr’s song “Fires.” It really spoke to my heart. The stories highlighted in the official music YouTube video include some incredible stories I think will touch your heart, too♥️I’m sharing it with you because it is encouraging and assuring. Jordan’s Official “Fires” song video on YouTube: 

Jordan St Cyr – Fires

Take good care! We are running this race to finish, friend👍🏻And we will! Through Him all things are possible💜AMEN.

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. 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.

MORE About this book: The Grace Daily Challenge Journal

MEET: Becky Cortino

ABOUT: Becky Cortino Author, Inspirational Speaker and Tightrope Walker

Becky Cortino International Speaker and Author

Becky Cortino is an author, inspirational speaker and tightrope walker. She has authored 9 books and is a longtime featured presenter.
 Her new book (number 8), RESTORING THE BROKEN PLACES IN AN UNFORGIVING WORLD, is about Forgiveness. 

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.

Herb Society of America’s Essential Guide to Growing and Cooking with Herbs, benefitting The National Herb Garden (now in 3rd reprint and available in Kindle eBook Edition), was published in 2007. Becky’s contribution was an offshoot of her Herbal Treasures Of Hickory Hollow women’s ministry, and her homeschooling family’s garden adventure.

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 ministry charged with the mission of “Encouraging Words for Hurting People.”

MORE ABOUT:  Becky Cortino 
Becky Cortino Books + Media (Links):
AMAZON Author: Becky Cortino Books + Media on AMAZON

Becky’s Newest Book About Forgiveness: Restoring the Broken Places 

Becky Cortino Social Links:

Becky Cortino Facebook Page
@BeckyCortino on Twitter
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Becky Cortino Channel (YouTube)

#BlueRidgeChristianAuthor #SheSpeaks #SpeakUp #ChristianCommunicator

More About: Becky Cortino Books and Presentations

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 encouragement especially for you!

More About: RESTORING THE BROKEN PLACES IN AN UNFORGIVING WORLD, Becky’s book about forgiveness

In These Uncertain Days

In these uncertain days, as tumultuous turns of unfathomable events stir us to feel restless in staying where we are and yet, unsure where we should go… It’s difficult to watch catastrophes unfold, feeling helpless as we stand by. Deciding the next right thing is difficult amidst the din of chaos…

The good news is we are never hopeless, for the one true God is always with us and He will lead the way! In fact, He doesn’t want His children (that’s you and me) to worry! Can you imagine?! He loves us all so much, He wants us to continue living our lives, resting in Him when things get crazy and the going is tough, and know He’ll handle it. .

In fact, He’ll make it better beyond our belief, using the world’s bad for His good. He is able to bring about remarkable  transformations, unimaginable blessings, showering His children with His gracious goodness.

“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” (Matthew 6:34 TLB)

“So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings.” (Matthew 6:34 GNT)

“Do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will have its own worries. The troubles we have in a day are enough for one day.” (Matthew 6:34 NLV)

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:34 MSG)

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34 NIV)

MORE: Restoring the Broken Places in an Unforgiving World

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. 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.

MEET Becky Cortino

Good Morning Sunshine!

In the cool darkness of the still morning arises a familiar shrill chorus calling all to welcome the sunshine. The birds remind me how we should greet each new day gladly, for the opportunities that lie ahead in the hours yet to come. 

Breaking through the trees, this sunrise was so spectacular at 6:10AM, it beckoned me outside to enjoy it with our feathered friends, along with all the other wildlife in the wood. joy in the morning! 

Why do I say this? Why do I feel this? Because I’m reminded of something so important and want to share it with you: if for even a minute you’re doubting your worth or feeling uncertain about what’s next in these turbulent days, please remember with me…

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26 NIV)

“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.” (Matthew 25-26 MSG)

Look at the birds! They don’t worry about what to eat—they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food—for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.” (Matthew 26 TLB)

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 26(NASB)

…and about a red sky in the morning — I’m reminded of an adage found in this reference, assuring me upon further reflection that no matter what the experts’ say no one here (on earth) really knows what’s next — here’s proof💜Read on…

“Some Bad Yeast

Some Pharisees and Sadducees were on him again, pressing him to prove himself to them. He told them, “You have a saying that goes, ‘Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning.’ You find it easy enough to forecast the weather—why can’t you read the signs of the times? An evil and wanton generation is always wanting signs and wonders. The only sign you’ll get is the Jonah sign.” Then he turned on his heel and walked away.” (Matthew 16 1-4 MSG)

He replied, “You are good at reading the weather signs of the skies—red sky tonight means fair weather tomorrow; red sky in the morning means foul weather all day—but you can’t read the obvious signs of the times!” (Matthew 16:2-3 TLB)

“He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:2-3 NIV)

So in all of this I’m reminded not to “fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes,” even while preparing meals for our #shelteringin family. Facing taunting food shortages and crazy rising prices, we have food to eat. We are blessed!

At the outset of this #pandemic, anticipating unimaginable sweeping changes in life as we knew it, I vowed to use what we had on hand, making limited trips out — for all the reasons. The result has been some interesting combinations, fresh new discoveries, and reminders of how spoiled we’ve *all* been when we could enjoy whatever ‘sounded good for dinner’ or what we were *in the mood to eat* at the moment. It’s been good👍🏻

In these days of being #HomeTogether facing an unknown future gives time for  pausing to realize being concerned about “whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion” isn’t high priority… after all😉

In order to keep routine I have continued to dress as I always would to go out, for work, etc. (I am a makeup girl — so daily!) With each passing day I recognize ‘current fashion’ is diminishing in importance. What’s trending in my world these days are a face mask and gloves😷They’ve become my essential accessories! I predict the previous intense focus on the ‘latest’ will not resume in quite the same way once we all make it through this. 

🦠Pre-Pandemic Days: we were living fast and loose. Things were easier then, right?! Life was happening at warp speed — though never always quite ‘fast enough’ for the times of immediate gratification and short attention spans. The world was rocking at such a crescendo pace, an eventual reset had to happen! It did.

Reflecting on all of this and writing for 3.5 hours this morning inspired by these passages from the Bible, I’m reminded: continuing my work as a speaker and author — no matter how much I’ve always loved my work and all the busyness of a full life (as I perceive it) — the best life is not “tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.” He has a Plan for all of us friends. He is in those plans, included as an integral part of them!

Take heart, friend. These are challenging times, troubling days. We are all truly in this together♥️God has this. You and I are important to Him. His love for all of us is far greater than we can ever fathom. I pray you feel His peace, find Joy in your day, showered with His abundant blessings, find freedom in His Word. The Son shines even on our darkest days🌞

God is good! I’m grateful — as I hope you are — for each new day and God’s reminders delivered to us in extraordinary ways. They speak affirmation, love and blessing through His artistry to our listening hearts.

MORE: Restoring the Broken Places in an Unforgiving World

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. 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.

MEET Becky Cortino

Your Calling — is Yours


If you feel a calling, don’t let a ‘friend’ convince you otherwise. God can use anyone. Maybe you confided a ‘nudge’ you feel to serve in a new ministry to someone trusted. They begin to explain to you how UNqualified and completely ill-equipped you are to handle such a task. 

Worse yet: After immobilizing you, they grab your blessing and run with it, attempting to make your calling their newest mission while turning their back on you😮Well. Good luck to them with that!

Throughout history we have seen God call the least likely to do amazing things. How did they do it? He prepared and equipped them for their mission. He always remained close by. And it was all for His glory, not the for the fame and accomplishment of doer of the deed. 

He empowers those who faithfully heed His calling. Those who follow His leading are enabled to accomplish His Plan. It’s all about Him, not us. 

Often the preparation takes us through rough terrain, including an arduous journey, but there is a purpose to all of it. It is His Plan and for His purpose, and it is happening if we’re willing to step up in obedience and step out in faith to do it. Remaining diligent in our calling is a willingness to take that first step and keep going.

Never Walk Away

“Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life;

    don’t for a minute lose sight of them.

They’ll keep your soul alive and well,

    they’ll keep you fit and attractive.

You’ll travel safely,

    you’ll neither tire nor trip.

You’ll take afternoon naps without a worry,

    you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep.

No need to panic over alarms or surprises,

    or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner,

Because God will be right there with you;

    he’ll keep you safe and sound.” 

~ Proverbs 3:21-26 ( MSG)

MORE: Restoring the Broken Places in an Unforgiving World

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. 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.

MEET Becky Cortino