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Debbie Csutoros

Team Member Spotlight: Christine Brevik

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Hello! My name is Christine Brevik and I am currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer for YadaFactor. The story of how I got here is a tremendous story of God’s grace and persistence!

You see, God has been chasing me to slow down and shift my focus to ALL things in Him. My faith is important, I am active in my church, I am connected to an awesome small group, and I spend time in the word and my journal. I also had a successful career while attempting to create harmony in my life, but the cost was high! I just kept going and going and going (insert Energizer Bunny here… but not the cute, pink bunny, but the tired and barely moving bunny).

That is when it all came to a crashing halt. I was diagnosed with Covid in April 2020 and began a very difficult journey of healing and recovery where I found the simple act of breathing to be overwhelming and exhausting. I was scared – for myself and my family. I cried out to God, every-single-day!!!

I know my story is not all that unique with so many that have suffered so much from this evil and devastating disease. I pray with you all as we try to recover from all the personal ways this has impacted our lives.

What I want to share is how this period of my life has created a space of rest, reflection, and redirection. I have had a deep relationship with God for so long, but honestly, I let Him shift from my focus of being in the center of EVERYTHING… not just church, bible study and service projects – but really EVERYTHING! So, for me, my personal journey involved quitting my job (yes, that was really scary) and focusing on my healing – both with my health and my soul!

This is where God really showed up (again) and launched me on a journey that continues to bless me every day! I enrolled in Palm Beach Atlantic University where God orchestrated the next steps of this amazing journey and brought Debbie and I together. She introduced YadaFactor to me and I immediately went home to sign up for the next class. To say this was life changing is an understatement. Through Yada I have been able to dig deeper in the Bible and develop a much stronger relationship with God! My triad has become my lifeline through sharing and we are in awe of how God is present and working all the time.

This week my husband and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. The journey to blend our beautiful family has been full of so many wonderful blessings. But the reality is this journey has also been messy at times, but God is so faithful and always shows up! As we prepare to celebrate with some well needed rest this week it is also a time to reflect on how much we have grown as a couple, as parents, and in our walk with God. Yada has allowed me the process to be reminded of this journey and God’s faithfulness.

Yada has been so transformational in my life, and it is an honor and privilege to be a part of the leadership team that is working faithfully to grow the YadaFactor ministry according to God’s plan.  For those of you that have experienced the transformation of Yada I would love to hear your testimony. For those that are still considering our YadaFactor Experience course please know we are here to answer any of your questions.

Christine is married to Lonnie, and they have a beautifully blended family of 7 children ranging in age from 15 to 33 and 4 grandchildren, ages 3 to 8. Family time is precious to Christine and always an adventure!

You can reach Christine at christine@yadafactor.com.

Coach Spotlight: Christine Davis

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YadaFactor coaches are volunteers who make this ministry possible! This month we are spotlighting Christine Davis. Fun fact about Christine…she’s very artistic and paints watercolor (photo below of a recent painting).

 

What drew you to YadaFactor?

I’d been searching for ways to better hear the voice of God. Eight years ago, when my friend Beverly told me about YadaFactor, I decided to give it a try.

What do you like about coaching?

I love witnessing the joy women experience when they know God is speaking to them personally. At times I see their lives opening up like a rosebud becoming a fully bloomed rose.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My husband Bob and I thoroughly enjoy quality time with our 6 grandchildren, who range from ages 8 to 17. They come and spend weekends or even weeks at a time with us, and we take them individually on special vacations. I like to ride my bike, swim, take walks, and spend time in the woods. I dabble with watercolor painting, which is a great way for me to focus on the beauty of God’s creation. I enjoy cooking, shopping, and going out to eat.

What one word would you use to describe Yada?

Powerful

Is there something special you’d like to share with other coaches in the YF community or those considering becoming a coach?

Being a YadaFactor coach is a privilege. Sometimes it isn’t easy carve out the time to do it, but it’s so important. When I think of how much I’ve been blessed on my personal YADA journey, how could I not share it with others? Plus, coaching seems like the perfect ministry for me, as I’m getting older and have less energy for more physically active pursuits. I feel honored and blessed to be a part of the YadaFactor community.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’m a snowbird, spending half the year in the hills of western Massachusetts and the other half on a canal in Cape Coral, Florida. My husband and I have informally adopted a Guatemalan couple who are full time missionaries to the poorest of the poor Mayan people in their country. You can follow them on Facebook at DLopez Emmá DLópez and see how they are the hands and feet of Christ in Guatemala.

I’ll take Rest over Anxiety Please!

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This month, YadaFactor is focused on living out the word rest in a world that seems to be spinning off its axis. According to recent studies, 2 in 5 adults (42%) report symptoms of anxiety, which is the opposite of rest!

As a counselor and co-founder of YadaFactor, I see anxiety daily in the call God has given me. With Covid currently increasing, natural disasters, and distressing world events, all that is happening can keep us wondering where God is. If God offers peace or rest, how can we find it in these circumstances? Thankfully, YadaFactor offers a way!

Philippians 4:5-7 says,

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer, supplication, with thanksgiving make your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Let’s spend a moment together using the Yada model through this passage as we journal! Grab your pen and coffee and take a moment with me as we go through these verses.

I first want to focus that God is in control as the verse begins: “The Lord is at hand.” There are times I feel the world is out of control and I need to be reminded God is not! He IS at hand. Looking up “at hand” in my concordance I find it means to squeeze or throttle, to be near in place and position. That says a lot to me as God is always ready to act and He is near! It’s like He is saying “Let’s go!”

The verse also is telling me to not be anxious about anything, but to give what I am anxious about in prayer and supplication. Supplication means to beg; sweat it out. That visual reminds me of the moment in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was sweating blood, pleading with God to take the cup away that he was about to endure for our sake. Jesus was anxious but was doing what these verses are asking us to do. He stayed there until he could say, “Thy will be done.”

It has taken me a lot of years to get honest with God through begging, pleading, and petitioning in earnest. Currently, I am doing this for my daughter who is struggling, and it is hard to watch someone you love hurting. I have prayed for years for family members and often must wait for God to reveal his plan for them. But I have learned to write promises I get even before they are fulfilled, and love to wait in trust for when I will put the date of the answer.

Ending with thanksgiving also has proven so effective to let the peace of God rest on me and calm my anxiety. I do see Him at work in my life and there is so much to be grateful for. I love nature and get to enjoy it so much each day. I live in Virginia and love to hike, see waterfalls, and ride motorcycles with my husband. We love our adventures to see ALL God has created. I often am amazed at how creative the God of the Universe is. I love to thank Him for allowing me to experience how much He has given us to enjoy.

By the time I write all this, I begin to feel the peace of God, which surpasses my limited understanding of any situation! He alone can guard my mind and heart when the anxiety of each day wants to come back in. I am to follow this model each morning as counseling others needs to come from overflow of the time I spend with God. I have my own anxieties each day and need to come to Jesus to find rest for my soul as that is what I want to offer others. How much can overflow from your cup of rest and time with the Lord today?

God offers us all rest over anxiety, which will you chose today?

Cindy

Cindy Chamberland, a YadaFactor Co-Founder, is our resident thinker and a forever student of God’s word. Cindy has a doctorate in clinical counseling and a private practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Lynchburg, Virginia. She has a passion to connect with people and help them find hope and healing. On the weekends Cindy loves to ride motorcycles with her husband of 35 years to see the incredible beauty in God’s natural world. She also enjoys running and hiking in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. She has two grown children and six grandchildren.

A Leaky Boat

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Have you had a restful summer? 

I have, but only because a friend told me that she pictured me in a leaky boat, my body in contortions, using all my fingers and toes to plug the holes.  Can you relate?  That distressing image spurred me to ask for help, to pause, and to rest.

Then, while journaling, I saw how Jesus was in the boat with me, patiently waiting for me to rest in His presence.  What a gift!

A friend introduced me to YadaFactor four years ago.  Frankly, I was dubious about the premise that God would speak to me in such a personal, obvious way.  I was a committed Christian who loved God, but now I see that I was more focused on having the Bible inform me than transform me.  When my Bible study ended, I cautiously decided to give YadaFactor a try…one of the best decisions of my life!

In fact, I love YadaFactor so much that I now work in the office as an administrative assistant.  I want to do everything I can to make The YadaFactor Experience an excellent course to help others hear God for themselves, to have this deep intimacy with Him that is so powerfully transforming.

Early this summer I was drawn to Psalm 27.  On top of life’s usual challenges, my Mom had just passed away and family relationships were strained to the breaking point.  But verse 4 reminded me that God is the One thing I need.  Knowing Him (Ya-dah) is the only true rest for my soul.  Everything else faded away.  It has become my summer psalm.

 

One thing I ask from the Lord,

    this only do I seek:

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

    all the days of my life,

to gaze on the beauty of the Lord

    and to seek him in his temple.

 

Another Yada friend told me she has been beholding the Lord in her quiet time, just being still, enjoying His presence.  I resolved to do the same – less talking, more gazing – and now I know an even deeper level of resting in Him.

Just this past weekend my husband and I found a lovely home for sale up north near family.  After praying and crunching numbers, we submitted an offer.  While waiting for a response, I realized that I was OK with whatever the answer would be, resting in His plan, experiencing His peace.  Again, what a gift – maybe even bigger than the house!

Summer is almost over, and I’ve learned a lot, but I must confess that my boat is still leaking a little.  Life can be hard!  But now I’m quick to remember that Jesus is in the boat with me.  Gazing at His beautiful face and resting in His truth is making all the difference.  YadaFactor has helped me not only to hear Him, but even to see Him, and to rest in Him.

I’m so grateful.

Ann

Ann Hollensen is one of our amazing volunteers! She works behind the scenes providing administrative support. 

Coach Spotlight: Beverly Ristuccia

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YadaFactor coaches are volunteers who make this ministry possible! This month we are spotlighting Beverly. Fun fact about Beverly…she became our very first coach when we implemented the online course in 2018. We are excited to share more about her!

 

What drew you to YadaFactor?

Years ago God had prepared me and given me a desire to work in a discipleship counseling ministry with women who were struggling with life issues. Years later a move to Florida made it impractical to continue ministering to these women so I began petitioning the Lord to direct and show me how I could continue to serve women in some capacity. I became acquainted with Yada during that time of seeking the Lord’s will through a “Taste of Yada” workshop and it was then that I heard and felt God’s call to become a part of this ministry. The thought of teaching women to hear the voice of God was so exciting to me that I never hesitated and immediately responded to God’s call that very night.

What do you like about coaching?

My heart’s desire has always been to serve the Lord by ministering to women and encouraging them to grow in their faith walk with the Lord. Coaching Yada has availed me of that opportunity while being personally gratifying as I get to hear and experience what God is doing in the lives of the women I coach. Sometimes I get to share the gospel with an unbeliever which brings incredible joy as another person becomes a part of the Kingdom of God.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to read non fiction books in my spare time and have fun with my 10 grandchildren. Summers are a special time when the grandchildren all attend “Nanny Summer Camp” with the older ones becoming CITs, Counselors In Training.

What one word would you use to describe Yada?

Miraculous

Is there something special you’d like to share with other coaches in the YF community or those considering becoming a coach?

As a Yada coach, I believe we not only have the privilege of teaching women to hear the voice of God but that we also have the joyful responsibility of intentionally teaching them to hear God’s voice and to grow in an intimate dynamic relationship with their Creator. No one can touch God and not be changed and as coaches we are often blessed by seeing lives of women transformed.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Yes, next to spending time with God and serving Him, I’m joyfully committed to engaging our grandchildren and impacting their lives by imparting a Christian world view and cultivating a heart of gratitude so they will be prepared to navigate the waters of our culture that are ubiquitously filled with unbiblical ideas. This summer I was so delighted to celebrate the baptism through immersion of five of our grandchildren. My soul rejoiced and I praised God for their witness and commitment to follow Jesus.

Reflections on Trees

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Blog by Christine Davis

My husband and I moved from the coast of Massachusetts to the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts a little more than a year ago.  Since living here, I am just loving the tremendous variety of beautiful trees all around us.  We have a cluster of black cherry trees overhanging our deck, and a stand of white birch very nearby.  As the little black cherries ripen, I observe the tree offering its fruit to birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and bears. I study the birch bark and am intrigued by its texture and beauty.  The clean white bark with its black markings stands out beautifully against the blue sky.  I have collected birch bark and displayed it in bowls and baskets around my house.  I have attempted watercolor paintings of the beautiful bark.  We recently trimmed some branches from the black cherry, and I harvested a few cups of berries and created some tasty jam.

I read in Genesis that, after God created the mass of the earth, then the light, the sky, the land, and the water… then He created the plants and trees.  Trees are the ancient ones, the first living things, before animals.  Just trees, no mammals, no fish, no insects.   Trees came even before the sun and moon, living in God’s pure light.  Trees were here, bearing fruit for no one to eat.  These ancient ones witnessed the creation long before the fall. To God, a day is like a thousand years. (2 Peter 3;8) Who knows how long trees and plants enjoyed this planet in its pristine state?  Is it any wonder that “the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isa, 55:12) when the Lord’s kingdom fully comes?

Trees played a huge part in the story of the Fall, where one tree bore fruit that imparted eternal life, and another tree’s fruit gave the knowledge of good and evil.  In Revelation, we learn that there will be trees in the new heaven and new earth, whose leaves will bring healing to the nations.  (Rev. 22:2)

Clearly, there is so much more to know about trees than we can ever discover through science.

It was a very cool Godwink when I read Debbie’s recent blog, “W-rest-ling to Listen,” and especially the poem, “Between Two Trees.” Using the process of YadaFactor helps me experience God, connecting dots like this, which confirm His presence in whispers. I quoted the poem below for your reference.

 

Between Two Trees

by Debbie Csutoros

The rope falls perfectly

Forming a swing for the body.

One leg at a time gently crawls into

its natural sway.

The whole body lays back in rest

between two trees.

How would this be if not for love?

Love sacrificed between two trees, that

we might rest in Thee.

Are you resting?

Are you swaying in the comfort of His rest?

Choose this day

to rest…between two trees.

 

I love this idea of resting between two trees.  Three crosses, Jesus in the middle, and me resting in the hammock of his love.  Trees are old, steady, and reliable.  They receive from God and give to His creation.  I just love them. How tragic that the Lord of Life was crucified on a tree.  So wrong… and yet exactly right.

 

Watercolor birch trees ( I’m a beginner )

 

 

Bring Back The Bible

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Did you know???

In 2019, over one-third of American adults (35%) said that realistically they never use the Bible outside of a large church service or mass. The proportion of Americans who use the Bible daily also fell to fewer than one in ten (9%), the lowest number on record during the ten years of the State of the Bible research study. – 2020 State of the Bible, Research from American Bible Society and Barna Group

As Bible engagement and understanding have diminished in our society, so have many of the biblical values we hold dear.  

It’s critical to our nation’s future to restore an understanding of biblical truths.

YADAFACTOR HAS A PROVEN SOLUTION

Yada is a Hebrew word that means “to know.”  YadaFactor is “to know and be known intimately by God and others.” YadaFactor is transforming believers into a listening culture one day and one person at a time, using the Bible as our only curriculum. Bringing people back to God’s word is our top priority! The YadaFactor discipleship model puts each student at the feet of the Father, learning to integrate the Word of God with daily life.

JOIN US TO BRING BACK THE BIBLE

This summer we invite you to help us “bring back the Bible” by making a financial contribution to support our ministry efforts. Since launching our online course and coaching model in 2018, we’ve had 191 people go through our 7-week course. The testimonials have been powerful!

“I have grown in faith as I search His Word for His personal instruction, correction, encouragement or direction for me. YADA just makes me fall more in love with Jesus as I realize His faithfulness to meet with me every day.”

“This method teaches how the Bible is the Living Word and applies to me every day in all situations. I can take each moment to God. He wants to hear about every detail. I can test all things against what the Bible says to see if it is true or a lie from the enemy.”

“Now that I have experienced God this way, I won’t be satisfied with less. Through YADA, He has been answering my prayer for a deeper relationship with Him.”

AND MANY MORE!

GIVE

Would you prayerfully consider making a financial contribution to YadaFactor this summer? We are offering our course at no charge again this fall (however, our cost is approx. $425 per person). Your gift makes this possible.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

We’d be delighted to answer any questions you have about YadaFactor or discuss ways you can get involved. 

YadaFactor is a 501c3 organization. Your gift is tax deductible.

Give Today

What do you do with rest? 

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What do you do with rest? 

Does it make you anxious? 

Do you go into “Martha Mode” and make yourself busy to avoid it?

Are you so tired that all you want is sleep when your world becomes silent? 

Honestly, I’ve experienced all of these scenarios (on multiple occasions). 

For a decade I served as Founder and Director of a faith-based nonprofit helping teenage girls recover from sex trafficking. Over 350+ girls and young women received residential care, education, job skills training, counseling, Christian mentors and hope to dream again. Launching a ministry was exciting, but at the same time, it was scary and exhausting. Countless hours were poured into developing, growing and sustaining the ministry from week to week, month to month. Rest did not come easy. In fact, I often wondered if it were even possible?! In 2017, I made the decision to resign. My children were approaching their teenage years and quite frankly, I was pretty fried! Anxiety, depression and restlessness had become a way of life for me.

After resigning, I escaped Charlotte, NC to the beautiful mountains of Montana where I stayed for four months with my family. It was there, in the cold of winter on Flathead Lake, I had to learn how to rest.  I would sit by the fire, open the Bible to wherever my fingers took me, ask the Lord to speak and I would write. I journaled like a crazy woman with many tear soaked papers. Leaving the ministry was like a funeral for me. I didn’t see it then, but oh how I see it now! Many things had to die, in and around me, so that I could enter into true rest. The kind of rest Jesus promises us when He says “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” in Matthew 11:28. The kind of rest that you CAN experience, even in the midst of a busy work season, a tragedy, or stressful season in life.

How?

One word…remain. 

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” –  John 15:7

For the past several years I have been leading a business I founded called Flagship. We coach faith-based nonprofits on fundraising and development. My coaching services led me to connect with YadaFactor in 2018. I was blown away to learn that a ministry like this existed! Bringing people back to God’s word, teaching them how to hear God’s voice while using the Bible as their only curriculum, journaling and sharing in an intimate group of three sounded like something I could really get behind.

Since connecting with YadaFactor, I have been blessed to play a very small role in helping to expand their ministry. I believe wholeheartedly in their vision. I have witnessed the power of their simple, yet deeply rich ministry model, at work in the lives of many…. including myself.  The leadership team has been a great source of encouragement to me and has always provided a trusted place to be transparent.

This summer, Debbie has been challenging us with the theme of rest. A few days ago I skipped out of work and took a day of silence and solitude. I was up against some work deadlines, but I felt God saying come…trust me with those deadlines.

Here I am kicking my feet up, reading, journaling and praying in Lake Lure, NC.

Guess what?

The deadlines were still here waiting for me the next day and everything worked out just fine. 🙂

 

Join me in praying to remain. It’s a battle we all face from time to time.

Emily Fitchpatrick

Between Two Trees

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As we move through the summer, we hope you will make time for rest. Not just the hammock kind of rest, but the REAL rest God provides continually through Jesus. This kind of rest is a rest of the soul. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? This is why YadaFactor continues. YadaFactor encourages three vital behaviors – read, write, and share – to hear God’s voice.  But to hear him we must come and be willing to listen.

In Matthew 11:26, Jesus invites us to this deeper rest:

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

This is where we will spend the summer, exploring the possibilities of living at rest, while at work and play.

 

Between Two Trees

by Debbie Csutoros

The rope falls perfectly

Forming a swing for the body.

One leg at a time gently crawls into 

its natural sway. 

The whole body lays back in rest between two trees. 

How would this be if not for love?

Love sacrificed between two trees, that we might rest in Thee.

Are you resting?

Are you swaying in the comfort of His rest?

Choose this day

to rest…between two trees. 

Guidestar Platinum Seal of Approval

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We are excited to share that YadaFactor recently obtained the Guidestar Platinum Seal of Approval!

GuideStar is the world’s largest source of nonprofit data and this designation demonstrates that YadaFactor is an organization focused on measuring our progress and results in order to provide current and potential funders accurate and detailed information. The designation is only awarded to charities illustrating the highest level of responsible fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

We are proud of achieving the highest rating in GuideStar. This accomplishment demonstrates our commitment to being fully transparent with our mission, metrics and money.  The rating is awarded to those non-profit organizations that can measure program impact while also providing the highest level of transparency and stewardship of donor dollars.

Read the YadaFactor 2020 Annual Report.