Thursday, February 26, 2009

God Shows Up At SAM

It is amazing how we see God's word coming to life over and over again at Cache' Connections. We were really looking forward to having a couple of days vacation after the conference in Daytona Beach. We had rented a condo over the internet that looked really nice, all remodeled and on the beach. When we arrived, we found out why the pictures had only featured the inside. It was really bad! The smell hit you when you walked in the door. The location was not good either. I knew I could not stay there, but there was no way out... we had already paid. We decided to just stay away as much as possible and then quickly had to leave to set up at the conference. It just made us feel worse when we went to the conference hotel and it was beautiful in a great location on the beach and had not been that much more money than the condo. Upon arriving at the conference center, we met a nice guy, Rex, who was helping an author set up next to our booth. We found they were dating and Rex had come to help her and offer his support. We helped him put up his sign and he helped us with ours. We figured out we needed an extension cord and he offered to get one for us. He came back shortly with the cord and some candy for our booth. We offered to pay, he refused. I shared with him the story about the condo and how much I detested the thought of staying there that week. When we had settled in for the general session, we were summoned out by Georgia, the author and girlfriend. Rex was standing in the hall with a receipt. He had paid for 5 days for us to stay at this beautiful hotel! We were stunned. Our eyes filled with tears. That was the most unbelievable, unexpected gift I have ever been given. Our feelings quickly turned to dismay, "No, we can't accept this. This is too much money!" He insisted and said he appreciated what we were doing. We couldn't thank him enough and as soon as the evening was over, moved our things from the condo and had a great stay the rest of the week. We have committed to paying this one forward! What an amazing God we have and what a generous, giving guy!

Daytona and SAM

Two major events and a conference in Daytona Beach- all within 2 weeks of time! I'm beginning to think we're as crazy as most people think we are. What can we say? It was a matter of timing, Valentine's weekend and then the SAM conference the next weekend. Attending a singles leader conference was another first for Kim and Linda. A mere inquiry into the event led to being asked to write for the SAM newsletter and a couple of days later, we received a call to present a workshop at the conference. How could we say no? What a great opportunity to meet with singles leaders from across the country and share with them about Cache' Connections. It was quite unnerving being on a stage in front of some very respected and well-known singles leaders. But, we know if God calls, he equips, so we pulled it off pretty well. The workshop was a lot of pressure, coming off the other events and needing to create an hour long presentation about the biz. We couldn't have done it without Ty jumping in and creating the powerpoint, finishing up right before we had to leave. It was a great experience. We met some incredible people who are committed to the singles ministry. We also made some great contacts and are praying that we will be scheduling some more events in other parts of the country as a result. Unfortunately, the warm weather didn't arrive until we left, but it still was better than the cold in Illinois!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentine's Weekend Recaps

Cache' Connections had two fantastic events over the Valentine weekend with almost 700 singles in attendance! Parkview Church in Orland Park was a beautiful venue for the event. Dr. Paul Meier's presence was appreciated along with the advice and encouragement he shared with the attendees. Brian Hunt, a very talented music artist from the Chicago area, brought the crowd to their feet in joining in worship. As always, everyone enjoyed the community connect and were able to meet many new friends.

The Dating Game was quite the hit! The only complaint we heard was that it didn't last long enough. We had 3 great panels of contestants and Tower from Shine.FM kept the crowd laughing with his dating stories. The special guests relied on the audience to help them choose their date. We had so many attendees tell us how much they enjoyed the food and socialization time. They were especially grateful for the opportunity to meet so many nice people.

We wanted to say thank you to everyone who came to these events and to those who participated and volunteered. We greatly appreciate your support!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A letter of encouragement from Parkview Christian Church

The following note was received the morning after one of our Cache' Connections Live! events in Orland Park, IL:


The Holy Spirit won't leave me alone this morning. I've only had 3 hours of sleep but it certainly doesn't seem like it. My head is "a buzz" and my heart is overflowing with joy. Thank you for what you are doing; for fulfilling our Lord's will in being obedient to the calling I certainly believe He has placed on your lives. You two so compliment each other with your spiritual gifts and individual personalities.

Last night could only be described as SPECTACULAR! The program in and of itself was awesome but the part that blessed me the most was to see the way the Singles responded to your encouragement to meet other people they had never meet before. It then only gained momentum as they were ushered into the Grand Foyer for refreshments. The atmosphere was so conducive to people being able to step outside of their comfort zones and mingle with someone new. It had to be the work of the Holy Spirit.

Dr. Paul Meier really "nailed it" with his teaching and I was honored to be in the presence of such a humble man of God.

It was also such a great place for our brothers and sisters in Christ who hadn't seen each other for a long time to rekindle old friendships. There have been a lot of people involved in our Singles Ministry here and I think everyone was thankful and surprisingly blessed they chose to experience this event.

Thank you for asking us (Parkview 30+ Singles Ministry) to be your host. It was truly a pleasure and a fulfillment of God's desire. For that I shall be eternally grateful.

Humbly in Christ's stead,

David Mealiff
Steering Committee
30+ Singles Ministry
Parkview Christian Church

Monday, February 9, 2009

dear mr. nice guy

this is an essay i found from one of my facebook friends, amena bee from atlanta. she wrote it awhile ago for submission to a regional publication. it wasn't chosen for publication but she thought it would be fitting to post it here in honor of good man month, and we heartily agree!

Dear Mr. Nice Guy,

Good men are hard to find and even harder to keep. It’s unforgiveable to let one go. Just like you, they keep slipping through my hands like so much sand in an hourglass. You’re right. You are underappreciated. You’ve been given a bad rap and truthfully I preferred a broken and bruised heart to your respectful ways. I’m sorry I said you were boring. I’m sorry I said you were soft. I’m sorry I said you weren’t sexy enough. I’m sorry for not giving you a chance.

When we first met, you confused me. Seriously, who’s honest anymore Mr. Nice Guy? Who says what they mean in the dating game these days? I suppose you do, and it’s clear you don’t believe in playing with my emotions. What’s a single woman to do with all that free time, now that she has no reason to spend her time psychoanalyzing too short text messages, missed calls with no voicemail, and first dates that never make it to a second one?

And another thing Mr. Nice Guy, how dare you be into commitment? I mean who’s into getting serious? Who wants the pressure of a man who wants to be with only me? I would much rather prefer a man who’s juggling me and sixty other women across the city. I like a man who keeps me guessing.

Marriage, commitment, rings, his and hers sinks and towels, matching outfits – these words didn’t scare you. In fact, you welcomed them, wanted them, wanted me, but I wasn’t ready for you. My early 20s mind couldn’t fathom giving up the freedom of singleness to settle down with you. I couldn’t imagine my one and your one becoming one. I couldn’t bring myself to give up the lottery-like possibility of finding five other men that might be the one. I was standing on the side of the road with a hitchhiker’s thumb, passing up the most safe ride home. I was waiting for something better. Like baiting a unicorn on a fishing pole, I was stupid to throw you back into the sea that clich├ęs say is running aplenty with fish.

Trust me. When my night’s get lonely, when I’m out with some ignorant fool who doesn’t know opening the door for a lady from throwing a shot of tequila down his throat, who assumes that dinner and a second date means sex, I think of you. Don’t tell anyone I’m writing this but sometimes I daydream of you. You, the one any woman wants to bring home to meet a dysfunctional family. You, who would rub my back while my family argues the merit of scripture and scrabble, and gaze at me with the look that said you loved and accepted me just for me and would do the same for them. You, who would make love, make babies, and stick around to deal with me, my horrible hormonal attitude, and alien cravings; stick around for baby names, birth, pre-k, middle school, college, and empty nest until it’s back to just us. You, who even as you are reading this forgives the silly me that sent you on your way in the first place.

The phrase “no more Mr. Nice Guy” has haunted me since I ended things with you. You made me question my definition of a man. As if the paramount of testosterone has to equal hairy machismo, never-ending noncommittal, and grunts-only communication. You had character, endurance, perseverance, respect, patience, and I was just too fireworks-driven to see it.

You have no reason to trust these words coming from the pen of a woman who so quickly and easily dismissed you, but years and life and trouble and struggle have shaped that woman with the same indelible imprint with which quick rivers slowly hewn canyons. I see you more clearly now, as I see myself.

I really just wanted to let you know that the phrase “nice guys finish last” is propaganda pushed by bad boys in gentlemen’s clothing. Whatever you do in life, don’t shy away from being the nice guy, especially not because of women like me. Sooner or later some woman is going to relish your gentlemanly gestures. She will find your respectful hand in the small of her back so much more sexy than a strange first-date hand attempting the squeeze on her inner thigh. She will be swept away by your chivalrous door-opening, coat-holding, pulling out her chair, and she will not ditch you for the next smooth swagger, emotionally unavailable, slick talker. Hold out for her and don’t settle for less.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to reply. I wouldn’t dare ask you for a second chance. I just wanted to clear the air and hopefully give myself a clean slate. And maybe, just maybe I’ll cross paths with another nice guy and this time I won’t give him back.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Daytona Beach Bound

As you may know, we have been working on expanding our services and marketing strategies in different states. We are blessed to have some new doors open for us; specifically, Mt. Paran Church of God in Atlanta, GA on 4/24, and Liberty Bible Church in Chesterton, IN on 5/16. Both churches are looking forward to partnering with us in Cache' Connections Live! events. We are also looking to go further South, through the Bible belt and elsewhere. To that end, we have been "casting nets" in that direction, contacting churches to see if they might be interested in coming together with Cache' Connections. We received a call back from a pastor in Orlando, Florida, who happens to be a speaker of the SAM (Single Adult Ministry) Conference that is coming up in a few weeks in Daytona Beach. We had contacted SAM a few times and even phoned, but had received no response. This pastor made a phone call and within about a day, whalaa, we were invited to be an event sponsor - at a reduced rate! What is encouraging about this is that we had prayed specifically that morning for confirmation from God if we should go to the expense of making this Florida trip. God didn't stop there. We were invited to submit an article in the SAM Monthly Read & Lead magazine. What is amazing about this story is that we received another call from the SAM coordinator ... asking us to lead a workshop on dating. So, away we go again, getting out of the boat. At least this time we are landing on the beach :)