Sunday, November 23, 2008

An Attitude of Gratitude

Have you ever noticed how two people can come from the same experience with two completely opposite viewpoints or shall we say perspectives? It's ironic that the person who went into the experience with an attitude of excitement and anticipation for good results had positive feedback. On the other hand, the person who went into the experience with a negative outlook reported back with many complaints and criticisms. Have you also noticed that people who projected this positive outlook had a better overall experience as they always seem to attract new friends and acquaintances like a magnet? Hmm....maybe there's a correlation here. As we approach Thanksgiving, it reminds us of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." So can we choose a thankful, positive perspective or is that just a person's genetic personality? Renewing our mind is a directive from God as He knew one of the most critical struggles we would have would be one of controlling our thoughts. As is stated in Romans 12:22 - "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." What if we would pledge for this Thanksgiving week to have an attitude of gratitude... to get up every day and thank God for every blessing? What if we dissect every area of our life and look for any positive and focus on those things throughout the day? What if we look for good even in the difficult people in our life? I challenge you as I challenge myself. Go ahead, I dare you to embrace an Attitude of Gratitude....

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Golden Rule

So, I thought I'd blog about the golden rule, for no particular reason. I first heard of this rule, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" as an impressionable 2nd or 3rd grader in a public school. I remember the principal pointing it out to a few of us after she had posted it in the typical block letters on a bulletin board in a main hallway. You know those things in life that really strike you and you think, huh, that makes sense and I really like that. Imagine my delight when some 28 or so years later I learned that these were Jesus' words! (Luke 6:31) The Bible and Jesus are so practical. A quick Google search has taught me a new way to say it: (ahem) "ethic of reciprocity." Apparently it transcends most religions. I'm okay with that. So I'm throwing it out there: do we treat others the way we want to be treated? Do we show genuine respect for persons of other color, people who don't look like us, act like us, worship like us? What about the gas station and store clerks, dance instructors, and those who have alternative lifestyles? Jesus loves them just as much as he loves us. We don't have to agree or even like everyone, but we are commanded to treat everyone with respect.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We always say we love a success story!

Cache' Connections Live! was a huge success last night, all thanks and praise to God! We had prayed that we would pack the house, and that is exactly what happened. Walk-ins abounded! God is so good.

Some special notes:

1) WMBI Moody Broadcasting was there taking sound bites from singles; the event will be featured all week on their station

2) At the last minute, a TV producer was able to attend and tape the evening's events

3) Everyone enjoyed Michelle Strombeck's poignant speech on singlehood and the need for community; Michael Olson's casual and fun style of leading us in worship; hearing some snippets about Cache' Connections (and apparently some of my stage antics :) ; meeting and greeting many other singles in their area; having their photo taken for their profile; fabulous door prizes; opportunities to sign up for group studies based on The Singlehood Phenomenon; coffee and snacks; registering for speed dating

4) Was that a news reporter I saw?

5) Many people said they would spread the word back to their churches and ask them to host another singles event

We learned a few things that need to be done differently, but no problem was too big and they were all " good problems to have"!

Kim and I thank our friends for their prayers. God wants to do something for his beloved ones who are not married. It is exciting to be working within His will for His people, and we look forward to new surprises in the very near future!

We want to thank our partners and sponsors: WMBI Radio, Calvary Church, Michael Olson, Jenn B Designs, LA Fitness, Merle Norman, Meier Clinics, Janessa Bullen Photography

p.s. We would appreciate your sharing photos of the event with us as we were too busy answering questions to take any of our own :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Passionate Pursuits - Part 2

Have you heard the expression,"if at first you don't succeed, try and try again?" Benjamin Franklin said, "Diligence is the mother of good luck." Joyce Meyers states, "But it's more than luck, isn't it? It's about having a determined attitude that says, I will do this forever if that is what I need to do. I will not quit. I will not give up. I am determined." We've heard so many singles tell us that they are giving up. Understandably, we all want to do what comes natural when we are hurt or disappointed - we want to retreat or escape the pain. Proverbs 10:4 says the diligent man will bear rule and will be rich. Linda and I have had to repeat scripture regarding diligence and perseverance many times in building Cache' Connections - when certain situations have seemed impossible or hopeless. We have reminded each other to take our eyes off the circumstances and turn our thoughts towards God's word and His promises. It is a difficult task to control your thoughts which control your attitude, but we have found when we do this, things have always worked out in one way or another. We want to encourage you to set your mind, focus on God's word when the going gets tough and persevere to the goal!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Passionate Pursuits - Part 1

Joyce Meyer's book, I Dare You, really drives home the philosophy of living life with passion. We are devoting the next few blogs to this topic as taking responsibility for our lives in the area of self-discipline and obedience to God's word are the starting point, but it doesn't end there. What if we could actually live our lives with passion - I'm not talking about just the sexual kind - I'm talking about living everyday with full-blown, living out loud surrender....taking risks, loving completely and forgetting what lies in the past. What if we awoke everyday and proclaimed..."Here I am God, send me!" And then, what if we step out of that box that the world has duped us into believing we fit into. Taking responsibility for how we live is a brave thing. It takes courage to accept life as it comes to us and it also takes courage to be determined to make the most we can out of it. God tells us in John 10:10 that He has come to give us life that we may enjoy it and "have it in abundance." If we were honest with ourselves, we would all agree that we have an innate desire deep inside each of us to reach for goals that seem unreachable. We all need something to strive for, to work toward, and to dream about. We need a reason to get out of bed in the morning and one that is greater than merely existing for another day. Maybe it's time to start living life boldly, seeking God's will and trusting Him in all circumstances. Tired of making excuses because of your fears? Only a few of us step out of our safety zones and ever dare to follow our hearts. Will you dare to be different? Will you dare to live life like you mean it?

Friday, November 7, 2008

You Are Responsible for Your Own Life

Today I'm sharing from my devotional book by Joyce Meyer: new day, new you. James 1:22: "Be doers of the word, not hearers only."

"One of the biggest problems in society today is that people don't want to take responsibility for their lives. They want quick fixes. Society has trained them to believe that if they have problems, somebody else is responsible. Their parents are responsible. Their spouses are responsible. Their schools or employers are responsible. The company that made the cigarettes or vehicle or junk food is responsible.

I'm not saying you are responsible for the current state of your life. Lots of uncontrollable events occur in our lives. Sometimes we do get very bad messages in childhood. Sometimes we have bad people in our lives who hurt us. The situation you find yourself in may or may not be your fault. But it is your fault if you take it lying down! You do not have to stay in that bad situation. You get to make a choice. And that choice is 100 percent yours.

No matter how you got to where you find yourself today, don't let it be an excuse to stay there. I had many excuses and reasons for my poor health, bad attitude, and unbalanced life. As long as I offered excuses, I never made progress.

The time has come to be very honest with yourself and with God. When you have a moment of privacy, take a deep breath, clear your head, and repeat this phrase: 'I am responsible for my own life. No one can take charge of it but me. If I am unhappy or unhealthy, I know I have the power to change that. I have all the help and knowledge I need; and with God's hand today, I start becoming the person of excellence I have always known I could be.'"