Sometimes it's hard to determine if a guy or gal you are interested in is a true Christ follower. How many of us have heard the stories of wives who thought they were marrying a Christian man (or vice versa) only to have the truth revealed some months after the wedding date?
Here's a list of identifying characteristics I found mysteriously couched in Lee Strobel's "Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch":
1. Can he describe a specific time or era during which he received Christ's gift of eternal life?
2. If he were put on trial on a charge of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict him?
3. Can you tell that the Holy Spirit lives inside of him?
4. When he talks about the future, is there room for God?
5. What does he choose to feed his mind?
6. Where does the compass of his heart naturally point?
7. Does he exhibit the traits of Jesus?
8. Who does he spend his time with?
9. Does he possess humility?
10. Is he honest about the little things in life?
11. Through what lenses does he see the world?
12. What is his attitude toward other people?
13. Does he take responsibility for his actions?
14. Does he care about bringing the gospel to those who haven't heard it?
15. Is he willing to postpone immediate gratification so that greater satisfaction can come in the future?
Don't let those rose-colored glasses fool you. God has our best interest at heart with his command not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. (2 Cor 6:14)
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Love stories abound at Cache' Connections! Aside from another engagement announcement this week, we received this thank you from our member Jesse, who met and fell in love with Kristin. Rumor has it that they are talking marriage for 2010! Here's what he wrote:
"Kim and Linda, I just wanted to write you a quick note to thank you for helping me find such an incredible, dynamic woman of God in Kristin. I never thought I would find someone that is as perfectly matched for me as she is. Although it took a little while to find her, the wait on Cache was made far more enjoyable by getting to know so many quality people of integrity and character. It was always comforting to know that I could be myself and share about the things God was doing in my life with anyone I met for a date through Cache or at one of the Cache sponsored events. Thank you so much for such an awesome resource for Christian singles! Jesse"
Great things can happen to those who step out in faith and continue taking proactive steps. Notice that even though Jesse had to wait, he kept himself busy going forward on the path that led him to his true love.
If you are ready to get out of the boat and into the company of other like-minded believers, check out this weekend's fabulous special: 50% off 3 months or more, and we will DOUBLE your subscription length!
3 months subscription WAS $64.95 - NOW $32.48 for 6 MONTHS
6 months subscription WAS $99.95 -NOW $49.98 for 12 MONTHS
12 months subscription WAS $149.95 - NOW $74.98 for 24 MONTHS
Until Married WAS $349.95 - NOW $174.98
Let us know if we can answer any questions: email@example.com
Central Illinois, we will see you in Springfield tomorrow night for Cache' Connections Live! Click here for info.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
We'd like to welcome an old friend to a new format.. we've known Jim since January of 2009 when he had enough of that "Big You See 'em All the Time Online Service" and became one of our customers...and said he wanted to meet real women who love the Lord and have Christ at the center of their lives and love. As a professional print and broadcast journalist we thought Jim could pen a thought or two for us on what life is like on the dating scene from the perspective of a single Christian man. Jim lives in the Chicago area and has also worked in the public relations, sales and corporate security fields. A Marine and Naval Reserve veteran, Jim also volunteers with youth as an officer in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet program. Watch for Jim's posts every Thursday!
Pop Up and Smell the Datin!
Hey, have you been in a rut, or worse yet, firmly stuck in a hole? As a Christian male living the life of singleness I can say the best lesson of Groundhog Day is you won't know what's out there if you don't get up and take a look!
Sure, maybe you've been knocked around a bit in the demolition derby we call dating today. I've met more than a few who are looking backward rather than looking forward. If you look forward to a date as if it's about as much fun as spinal tap during a root canal, chances are you haven't QUITE got a handle on what this dating business is all about.
As Christians we have all the handle we need--grab onto the love of Christ and then believe that that the same God who creates beautiful sunsets and sunrises is more than capable of creating the contentment you need for daily living and the companionship you want in sharing the life of victory. Joy isn't one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit by accident, God wants you to be happy and whole in Him. Go for that first and then pop up and smell the datin'! Look with His eyes and see what's out there.
Come along with me in this new blog and we'll see what's out there together.
Life can be grand when you explore with the eyes of Christ, seeking all the beauty in the world and His beauty in the eyes of others. If you're looking backward it's time you shifted to fast-forward and claim God's promises to give you what matters in this life and the next.
Perfect love drives out all fear...so have fun and be open to the Joy that waits for you in the future.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
We are learning that many singles are unknowingly shut off to receiving love. Many have shut their hearts down due to disappointments and unmet expectations. So here's a little something for you to recite every day:
"It is my intention to welcome positive, healthy love into my life in all the forms it may be in, for whatever time it may last, from any distance and from any source."
Think about being an avenue of love. Love comes in many forms in this life. Be accepting to all of it - and God just may surprise you :)
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
We're always thrilled to learn when a couple has made a special connection because they met through our website or one of our events. I guess this is another way that we differ from the "Big E" and the like. We are people who genuinely care. Kim and I are passionate about connecting Christian singles and have worked tirelessly and sacrificed a ton to do what we are doing. This is not just another dating site, but a company that is owned and operated by Christians who pray daily for members and couples who have formed.
Many of you know this ... and you don't hesitate to contact us with a specific question, prayer request, or for dating advice. We are here for you! We know that dating is hard - we are learning a lot through this business. It's funny ... when we restructured into a matching website, we feared we were going to lose touch with our members. But through the events, customer service, phone calls and other marketing efforts, we feel we have a pretty good handle on what's going on in your world. Also, we've learned a lot from our experts and pastors that we deal with.
Kim likes to poke fun at me because I actually get a little mad when I learn that two people have connected through our efforts, but don't bother to tell us. I'm still on a manhunt of sorts for a couple in the Chicago area who we heard got married as a result of Cache' Connections. Any tips would be appreciated ... and your name will remain anonymous :)
I'm happy to say that we heard from two separate individuals this week who reported that they are in committed relationships and requested to be taken off of the Single Spotlight. What about you? Have you met someone - or know of a couple that is dating because of Cache' Connections? Care to share?
Monday, January 25, 2010
Cache' Connections rang in the New Year at Calvary Church in Naperville, Illinois, where we partnered with Calvary Church for NYE09. Approximately 250 Christian singles enjoyed a gourmet meal, followed by the hysterical comedy of Nazareth!
From January 9 through the 19th, the founders, Kim and Linda, went on a road trip for the Cache' Connections Disney Tour. First stop was Atlanta, Georgia, where we were welcomed to the SingleLife group at First Baptist Atlanta. Emily Shupert, our Atlanta-based expert, was a great asset to us for the weekend, along with her family.
Our journey continued to Florida, catching the tale end of the historical "cold snap." Some of the churches we were privileged to visit on our tour included:
Trinity Baptist Church (Jacksonville)
First Baptist Orlando
First Baptist Naples
McGregor Baptist (Ft. Myers)
Church by the Glades (Coral Springs)
Princeton Pike Church of God (Cincinnati)
Crossroads Community Church (Cincinnati)
Surely God's favor, protection and blessings were upon us! Be sure to check out our blog to read all of our adventures - and mishaps!
Coming up on January 30 is our first event in Springfield, Illinois, which will be Cache' Connections Live! We will be blessed to worship with The Meghan Nicole Band and hear from Debi McMorrow Parks (formerly from Family Friendly WCIC). Special guests will be a couple who met and fell in love as a result of stepping out and participating in The Cache' Connections Dating Game last fall. Craig and Phillis fell deeply in love and plan to marry on Valentine's Day! Read the full story here.
Speaking of Valentine's Day - we know it can sometimes be a rough holiday for singles, so we planned some fun for you! Check out the bowling, movie and Cache' Quick Introductions events in seven different locations! Click here for details.
We've been very busy getting all of the details ready for the Cache' Connections Disney Getaway, which included a laborious tour of Downtown Disney to choose three restaurants at which guests can gather after the workshops on Saturday, 2/27. Other, less glamorous duties include lining up all speakers and gathering all of their profiles, workshop descriptions and photos; calling churches to promote the event and mailing fliers; contracting with The Doubletree; and keeping track of registrations and roommate arrangements. Whew, kind of a big deal! We hope to see you at the Cache' Connections Disney Getaway February 26-28.
We welcome our new members. Here are a few reminders:
Please post your photos! First we need your headshot and bodyshot
taken against a plain indoor wall or door, then we can approve 6 casual
- Consider widening your age and mileage ranges under My Account Settings to increase your connections
- Don't forget to read the blog and find Kim Whitaker and Linda Martin on Facebook; also join the Fan Page!
- Lastly, remember that all subscriptions will automatically renew unless you cancel under Billing Management.
Kim and Linda
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Well, although it was great to get home after 11 days on the road, it seems Linda and I both brought home a pesky little bug that slowed us down a bit (but not much). So, after taking just a short morning off to organize our households and get a little much-needed rest, it was back to business as usual.
It didn't take us long to realize that our fliers for the Springfield Live! event weren't mailed to a few key promoters. So we started with a mad dash to figure out who didn't receive the fliers and bundling them up to go to the P.O. for overnight mail.
We had decided before we left that Linda would handle all the upcoming events and I would work through the Disney details. I'm quite proud of Linda that she even filled out the flow chart for the Springfield Live! schedule, as this has always been something I have taken care of.
The Disney conference is coming along great! We have booked reservations for the Saturday night meal at Downtown Disney at three locations so far: T-Rex, Wolfgang Puck and Paradiso 37 (I am so going here to have the enchilada dish again:). Sign- ups for the conference are starting to come in and we will be turning in the room reservation list on Monday in order to ensure the reduced rate. We've been a little nervous about how all this is going to shake out since people can sign up and request a roommate. The nametags and programs are being ordered this week, so we just have a few more items to cover.
On another note.... did we announce that I am going to be a grandma for the first time? My son and daughter-in-law are expecting at the end of the summer:)
Have a great weekend everyone!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
God's favor was upon us again on this last day of our journey. Getting ready in our hotel room Tuesday morning, we received a call back from a few calls we made from the road on Monday to see if we could set another appointment while we were in Cincinnati. It so happened that the singles leader from Crossroads Church downtown was available after our 1:00 pm appointment with Princeton Pike COG. Both meetings went very smoothly and the feedback was positive and hopeful. Talk about a couple of beautiful churches! God is doing some amazing things in Cincinnati and we look forward to joining forces to provide a special connection point for the singles there - a service that churches are not designed to provide.
At 3:00 pm CST we were back on the road again, our last leg of this crazy road trip. Only 5.5 hours to home! We were never so happy to see 74 West signs. The drive back was rather uneventful, which is a good thing. More computering, pitstops (now known as "opportunities"), praying and One Last Supper. The photo above was taken at Chevy's in Champaign. I thought the dessert looked a whole lot better than it tasted, but Kim was in brownie heaven!
Sitting here in my living room on the first full night home, it doesn't seem like I was gone for 12 days, although the laundry and unpacking told the true story. My husband was sure glad to see me, and now we've easily slipped back into the usual routine. It seems surreal to ponder the places Kim and I have been and the fabulous people of God that we met. It is truly a God-thing to be welcomed into such amazing churches as First Baptist Atlanta, First Baptist Orlando, Trinity Baptist in Jacksonville, Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, McGregor Baptist in Ft. Myers, and First Baptist Naples.
There is a lot of excitement among singles and singles leaders about the Cache' Connections Disney Getaway, and we are seeing that this is a great avenue to introduce Cache' Connections to singles leaders. God is slowly revealing a plan to us, to perhaps be a new connecting point for single adult leaders to network and find encouragement. Little did we know when we named the biz that God had more connecting in mind that we imagined. But isn't that just like God?
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
After a map check on day 10, we were wondering - why did we have to go clear to the southern tip of Florida? We had a 16-hour drive to Cincinnati and then 5 1/2 hours home from there on Tuesday. Although, we were pretty proud of ourselves that we had covered quite a bit of ground on Sunday and had made it clear to Byron, GA before we couldn't take any more. We spent most of the day Monday driving through beautiful Tennessee. And if I haven't mentioned it before, Linda strongly dislikes redundancy, so I amused myself by continually interrupting her "computering" to look at the frozen waterfalls coming out of the rocks, just like I did on the way down:)
After getting brave enough to let Linda take the wheel for a while, we decided to pass the time by conducting a "pep rally" of sorts. First of all we read through our "affirmations" that were provided to us by Dr. Torri Griffin, whom we met in Atlanta and is the founder and CEO of Love Living Life. Before we left on this journey, we started making a habit of saying these affirmations together out loud because we know God honors our faith and belief in His word. It is so awesome that we found that many of these affirmations came to pass in our last 10 days, for instance, "It is my intention to enjoy complimentary travel excursions by land, air and sea, to exotic places, with interesting people, to accomplish notable things while being handsomely compensated and having an enjoyable time." We enjoyed 8 days of free lodging and several other provisions, and were able to take a little time to enjoy the beauty of Florida, specifically, Sanibel Island!
The second part of our pep rally included reading sections of Joel Osteen's new book, "It's Your Time." Hold on... we realize a lot of people get "up in arms" over the mere mention of Joel's name, but we believe God has gifted Joel for encouragement, to help people understand that God does want good things for us and he does want us to succeed and be happy. Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." So, the time actually went by rather quickly and I'm sure people passing our car thought we were probably two crazy ladies from Illinois. Somehow all our inspiring words transformed our reading into Linda and I "putting on our southern preacher hat," holding our fists up in the air, quoting scriptures out loud together and laughing hysterically. Oh well, you can get a little giddy after 1000 miles on the road in a little over a week. As you all know, this is a crazy business we are doing - Pastor Arthur Keeley even called it revolutionary - and we wouldn't have made it this far if we didn't continually stay in the word and build each other up.
The fun all ended, though, when we drove into Cincinnati after dark and hit the traffic on 75. Little did we know that Cincy drivers are known for their speed and road rage and those roads were like a roller coaster ride. We were both terrified and since Linda was driving, all I could do was pray as I realized I had a death grip on my laptop. Thankfully we made it to our destination and had a great dinner at Macaroni Grille and once again found God's favor when our waiter gave us a free piece of chocolate cake.
One more day and then home sweet home:)
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Today is the last day with our lovely host family for the past three nights. Man are we gonna miss Tom, Cindy and their dog Casey! Thanks guys! We also said our goodbyes to George the Gecko, who gave Kim quite a scare when he made his appearance in the bathroom windowsill this morning. (Don't tell her but I'm hoping George made his way into her suitcase! After all, she did get the big bedroom ...)
We started out this morning at McGregor Baptist in Ft. Myers, FL, where Pastor Arthur Keeley took us around to about six different singles Life Groups (f/k/a Sunday school classes). He introduced us by first stating that he will always preach and teach that singles should date Jesus first. He also then acknowledged that he couldn't turn a blind eye to the fact that some of them are participating in online dating, and perhaps getting into places that are not the best choices for them. He was happy to introduce them to a service that is biblically based and owned by Christians. Kim and I were then given a few minutes in each class to explain the basics about Cache' Connections, then give information on the Disney Getaway, and finally answer questions. Many people seemed excited to go to Disney and agreed that the pricing was very reasonable. Check out all details by clicking here.
We had our "last lunch" at Famous Dave's since we no longer have one in Peoria. This is a photo of me and our waitress, who explained the different BBQ sauces and made an acrostic which spelled "Darn that stuff is really great." We packed up our stuff and hit the road. It's a long way home! Not much to say, except that it gets colder with every mile marker, of which there are several!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Remember the beach walk yesterday? Remember how Kim has been complaining that her foot has been hurting for the past several months? (Just play along with me here.) And remember how we walked up and down the boardwalk of the outlet mall last night?
Well that pain at the top of her foot became increasingly intolerable and swollen overnight. Apparently beach walks are about the worst thing you can do for a stress fracture aside from taking a hammer to your foot. So, Day 8 began with a trip to the Emergency Room of Gulf Coast Hospital in Ft. Myers. At first it was relatively quiet there, and Kim got called in right away. Of course, being the dedicated worker that I am, I got the laptop out and busied myself with some emails and intense facebooking. (Okay, I just officially made that a verb.)
As the minutes ticked away into hours, the ER visitors greatly increased into quite an interesting crowd, including those asking what I was doing there, those coughing with and without masks, bleeders, sleepers, and those wearing sleeping clothes. Anyway, the x-ray revealed no fracture but most likely tendinitis. They gave her a cute little sandal (just one) and sent her off to see her podiatrist. Yeah, like that's gonna happen!
This diversion ate up any free time we had, so we grabbed a delicious lunch at Famous Dave's and got gussied up for our appointment with the singles group at Church by the Glades in Coral Springs. Crossing the Everglades is interesting ... no gators sighted, to my disappointment. It would have been fun to see Kim's reaction.
Church by the Glades rocks! Deidre, the singles leader, is an awesome woman of God and really fired up about the Cache' Connections Disney Getaway! We spent about an hour explaining the conference, as well as important points about the website and our foundation to the group. I think many of the singles are making plans to attend, and are happy that we will help them find a roommate to keep the cost down.
It's 11:00 pm and we are now crossing back over the Everglades - back to our host home in Ft. Myers. It's very dark out here - no glare on the computer screen now! It will be an early morning as we will be meeting with McGregor Baptist singles at 9:15 a.m.
Here's a photo of Church by the Glades, along with Deidre and us. She's single. Just sayin.
Goodnight folks! Talk to you tomorrow.
One Weary Traveler
Today we hunkered down in our individual bedrooms to catch up on some computer and telephone work (after the obligatory 1.5 hour call to Verizon to giddy-up the MiFi.) Our new little friend, Casey, enjoyed our work day. After I took her for a 1/2 hour walk, where she showed me the finer spots of the 'hood, she tuckered out on Kim's bed and kept her company. Here is a picture of Casey catching a whiff of Kim's breath - apparently a favorite pastime of hers. (Casey's, that is!) The photo above was taken during a "planning session" on the back patio. There really was paper and pen involved.
We're excited to be receiving calls from pastors and singles who are hearing about the Cache' Connections Disney Getaway! One single gal from Daytona stumbled upon the event while surfing a church's website and was so excited she just had to call right away! She said, "Anything that says Christian single, I click on." We look forward to meeting her and her friend at the conference on 2/26 in Orlando!
In the afternoon, we took off to explore the Ft. Myers beach. The traffic, however, was rather heavy on the bridge that takes you there, so we decided to mosey on down to the highly recommended Sanibel Island. After choking at the $6 toll, we began to see that it was just a small ticket price to see Paradise. It took us quite a while to find the beach, if you can imagine that. (Even the gas station girl wasn't sure ... hmmm ...) A brisk walk on the beautiful beach reminded us of God's glory (despite all the dead fish on the beach due to the recent cold snap.) We found an Italian restaurant on the island and enjoyed fire roasted pizzas. We only wished we had come earlier so we could rent bicycles and enjoy the bike paths, which seems to be a popular activity at Sanibel.
On the way back "home," we of course had to stop at the outlet mall and do a little light shopping. It was nice and quiet - an enjoyable evening. One last stop was made to pick up a gift certificate for our hosts, then we settled in for the night, chatting with Cindy and Tom. What a lovely couple they are, and we are so grateful for their generous hospitality!
Friday, January 15, 2010
Day 6 started off in a mad dash to get out of the condo we've been staying in near Orlando, which meant an early shower so that we could wash the towels and bedding, then clean the place up and head out. Funny thing ... we couldn't find the dumpster for our trash. There were none to be found. So, instead of getting lost in the dizzying condo complex on the way out, we threw it in the back of the car and decided to ditch it at the first gas stop.
The first gas stop came and went, but the trash stayed. Next stop, the citrus stand somewhere in Flori-tucky. Shortly after this point Kim noticed that something in the car smelled like coffee, and we thought it had something to do with the fruit we purchased. Do they farm tobacco down here too? We couldn't figure it out until much later that afternoon, when we realized we still had 3 days worth of trash in the back seat! Ha!
So our first stop after a great lunch at Chili's was to visit Pastor Arthur Keeley at MacGregor Baptist in Ft. Wayne. Wow, what a church! You name it, they have it! After winding around the parking lots and several buildings, we finally found one of the front doors. We had a great meeting with Pastor Arthur, who asked all the right questions about Cache' Connections and apparently liked all the answers. We booked a Cache' Connections Live! event for 3/7/10 at 1:00 p.m. and took a tour of the Fellowship Hall and mall area where the event will be held. It will be awesome!
From there we phoned ahead to Pastor Jim Hill, First Baptist of Naples, who was kind enough to meet us on the North (easy) side of Naples, just off of the interstate, 20 minutes down the highway. We had a great visit with him as well and discussed his topic for the workshop he'll be leading at the Disney Conference. He's excited about having his own Cache' Connections Live! event also, and tentatively booked one for the first or second week of October. He, along with our waitress, was a great sport as we insisted on a photo with a palm tree (of sorts) in the background.
The day continued to improve as we made our return to Ft. Myers to meet up with a couple who would be our hosts for the night. Tom and Cindy were connected to us through Pastor Arthur Keeley. We found their place without a hitch and the four of us embarked on a dinner excursion to The Olive Garden. What friendly people of God - what a joy to share in the brotherhood of Christ! To top it off, it turns out that I used to be great friends with Cindy's cousin, who was a youth pastor at our church. Isn't it a small world?
These weary travelers were ever so grateful to lay our heads down in separate beds and put our girly stuff in our own bathrooms :)
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
No mishaps today! We started off visiting with Pastor David Lorenz at First Baptist Orlando, going over details for the 2/26-2/28 event. We "jived" really well ... and then went over to the Doubletree Suites to meet with the young ladies who are managing our Disney Getaway conference. They treated us to a lovely tour, followed by lunch - and a couple tins of scrumptious cookies! We came up with a couple of great ideas for traffic flow and a "lunch in" option for Saturday. How does a little BBQ outside in the sun sound?
After a thorough discussion of event details, Kim and I decided we needed to "research" the restaurant options at Downtown Disney for Saturday night, where singles will have a chance to sign up to go with a group to 3 or 4 designated restaurants, where we will make reservations. We dined at Paradiso 37, which was delicious! After walking up and down the strip about three times, 1 boat ride and a lot of salivating over the sweets, we called it a day just after sunset.
Tomorrow we must get up early, clean the condo and wash the bedding before heading down to Ft. Myers to visit with Pastor Arthur Keeley at MacGregor Baptist. We are hoping to have another visit with First Baptist Naples tomorrow as well.
Oh, next time you see Kim, ask her about frolicking at the fountain. Above is a photo of her not frolicking ...
You may notice that I'm writing this post "the day after." The misadventures never stopped, even up until the last few hours, which were spent on the phone with Verizon. At that point, I was ready to hit the hay.
The day started off rather lazily, as we were slowly getting our clothes ready and getting the morning updates and responding to emails. Then I decided I should check to see how long it actually takes to get to our appointment at 10:00 a.m. Imagine our shock when we discovered it takes about an hour when we thought it would take about 15 minutes! We had one hour to get the two of us showered, dressed, fluffed and shellaced. Done. Then, we couldn't figure out how to get out of the condominium complex (remember we entered in the dark.)
So along the way we thought we'd phone ahead and tell the pastor we might be just a few minutes late. "Late?" his receptionist asked. Your appointment is tomorrow at 10:00. Oh - ok. Rewrite. Find mall. (That part was relatively easy.) Did a little shopping, had a nice lunch at Elephant Restaurant and then went to another mall. When I got out of the car a little later than Kim, I discovered that the antifreeze was leaking profusely. We got advice on where to get to a service station, which really wasn't such great advice after all. We made two stops and decided, after seeing smoke come out of the front end and having the car suddenly lurch while driving, that we weren't going to drive it anymore. With the help of a gas station attendant with a very strong accent, we called a tow to take us 1.5 miles to Big Ten Tires. Who needs Disney World when you can ride in a big tow truck? And who doesn't love spending time waiting on a car repair?
Thankfully the wait was only about a half hour. They discovered that the mechanic who had worked on the heater last week did not properly replace the clamp to the hose. New clamp, new antifreeze, check for $37 and we were on our way. We were so thankful that this didn't happen on the road! Thank you God!
As we were waiting on a call from another pastor who was in a long-running meeting, we of course decided to get back to the mall. That call never came.
On the way back to the condo we stopped at a rib joint that was highly recommended. Not sure why it was highly recommended.
Back at the condo, imagine our chagrin when we couldn't get the key to open the door. We stood there and jimmied with it for about 15 minutes before calling the friends who helped us when we arrived. He quickly came over and turned the key (very hard.) We got out of our dress- clothes-for-no-reason and hunkered down to watch American Idol and write the blog. I couldn't get connected at all, WWAN, MiFi or anything. Of course, the goal of having the MiFi has always been so that both of us can be connected at the same time. So I spent the next two hours on the phone with Jeff at Verizon, getting my computer to connect with and without the cord, and then just a few minutes getting Kim's computer to connect with the WiFi. Gotta love technology.
Today we will meet with Pastor David Lorenz at First Baptist Orlando, then visit our site at Disney World for the conference, and then hopefully connect with a few other pastors.
Right now I think I better get in the shower. Hopefully there is enough hot water for me today ~~
Monday, January 11, 2010
There seems to be a running theme of our journey. It goes something like this: "This is the longest and coldest spell we've ever had in the ___ years I've lived here." Great ... The FL news is almost humorous in that the power companies can't keep up with so many consumers firing up their furnaces. It's 37 degrees - which is a slight improvement from Central Illinois.
Let's see ... oh, here's the house where we enjoyed staying in a garden level apartment for the past few days. The hosts were so kind to even lead us out of town. (Wait a minute, I THOUGHT he was being kind ... hmmm ...) So we hit 285 or 685 or whatever that Perimeter Road is Southbound toward JAX (that's Jacksonville for short. We catch on quickly.)
First stop: Trinity Baptist in JAX. (sorry, no photo.) Had a nice little chat with the singles pastor there. Then we met another singles leader for dinner at Mama Fu's(?) It was yummy!
Then we got to hit the road again and continue South toward beautiful Orlando just as the sun was setting. The buildings and lights are pretty driving through on 95, but we are anxious to see where we are tomorrow. We are staying in a friend's condo, for which we are very grateful.
We reflected that by and large, every pastor that we have asked has agreed to promote the Cache' Connections Disney Getaway! Thank you God!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
I'm not really sure what whistle stop tour means, but I thought it was kinda cute so whoo hoooo! we're here at our first stop of the Cache' Connections Disney Getaway Tour.
As you can see by the photo, we were at First Baptist Atlanta today, doing a 12- (yes, 12-) minute pitch to the SingleLife ministry, headed up by Pastor Keith Langland. We weren't really sure how this was going to shake out since communication was a little stilted prior to our arrival, but we showed up with a short pitch and power point in tow. So, while we were in the war room (which is a fancy way of figuring out how we're going to do announcements, the way I see it), we were informed that we had exactly 12 minutes to do our thing. We asked if we could show our power point and were informed that Kim had about 5 minutes to get it worked out with the techie. And we were off! We forgot something in the car, so Emily Shupert (one of our guest speakers at the conference, hostess with the mostest and all around Atlanta helpy helper) and I RAN through FBA to get back to the car and back in 5 minutes - in heals. Oh we were quite a site to these southern Baptists. But! We made it back in time for the announcements to begin. The pitch and power point went off without any tomatoes and donuts being thrown at us. Even had a minute to spare but they wouldn't let me tell any jokes ...
Turns out I met one of my friends/neighbor's cousins, who seems to be Second in Command of Announcements for Single Life. It was my pleasure meeting you Ashley! So yes, it is still a Small world after all.
We were late for service but caught most of the sermon at beautiful FBA, followed by the photo opp you see above, compliments of Pastor Keith's son, Jordan. His family and we had a nice lunch together.
A little later we were in another strategy meeting over coffee and the hugely annoying grinding/whirring noises of Starbucks with a gentleman who had some great contacts in the Christian business world. Thank you God! We look forward to following up on these early this week.
A little shopping at the mall de-stressed us, as we managed a Christian singles bowling party over the phone that was taking place in Naperville. (Apparently a good time was had by all!)
The evening ended with enjoying the movie "Leap Year" with Emily - what a treat!
Tomorrow morning we pack up and head further South to Jacksonville, FL. We're going to keep going South until we thaw out!
Keeping it real,
Saturday, January 9, 2010
We got off to a great start at 7:30 a.m. this morning from Pekin, Illinois, a dozen Mapquest sheets in tow. (I think our little tour actually looks more like a continental sized pinball game!)
The plan was to get lots of work done in the car using the wireless internet card. We got the new MiFi from Verizon just this week so that we could share access at the same time. So I fired up the laptop before we got out of Tazewell County. Well, I tried, that is. Turns out, after much investigation, my power cord had a broken tip, and my laptop was out of juice. That was Problem No. 1. So, like any entrepeneur, I wrenched my body around and yanked Kim's computer from her briefcase in the backseat (seatbelt secured at all times). Time to hook up the MiFi, leading to Problem No. 2. Error Code 676. THE DREADED CALL TO VERIZON ensued. Um, I think it was only about 20 minutes before the technician determined it was a Windows problem. So I decided to read, which meant Kim was supposed to be quiet, which, well, um... I didn't read much.
So we were hoping we'd run into a Best Buy on the way through one of the major cities, but what are the chances it would be visible from the road, right? Well, guess what? Right there she was at Paducah, KY. Never been so happy to see Best Buy. After standing around for 30 to 40 minutes, we were able to exchange the cord and pay only an upcharge of $14 - thank you Lord!
Problem No. 3 commenced after a quick Whopper Jr. and I tried the MiFi on my computer, new power cord employed. Same error code. 1.5 hr. conversation with a rather friendly Anastasia from Columbus who has been on this job for 3 years and never heard of Error Code 676, and I am beginning to understand this thingy. That's when you saw my first post on Facebook.
Smooth sailing through a weird twist of the road which seemed like we were at once in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee at the same time. Had a nice Cracker Barrel dinner there (both had fried chicken salad. Love the southern accents and sweet tea!)
PROBLEM NO. 4 came when Linda missed her turn off to Rte. 400 off of 258 East (I think.) After numerous phone calls with Emily, our hostess, a few turnarounds and even a stop for directions, we made it.
Emily is putting us up in her 2 BR apt. for a couple of nights and will join us tomorrow at First Baptist Atlanta and hang out with us tomorrow.
I think I have Miss Kim settled down for the night, emails are caught up, sold two tickets to Disney Getaway (woot woot!) so it's time to say goodnight to Day 1.
Hey, it's late, especially since we lost an hour. Goodnight!
Friday, January 8, 2010
Here's a question and my response to a recent Customer Service inquiry:
I have a question. (Another, sorry! I've been asking you a lot of questions lately.) :)
Why is there only room for ten people in the "preferred connections" section? Couldn't someone be interested in more than ten of their connections? Having said that, is there a way to see if someone marked me "not interested"? That way, I would know that someone is not interested and I can move on.
I ask this because if I can only have ten connections in my "preferred" section, and if the "pending" tab will only hold about thirty connections, it would be nice to remove the ones who have no intentions of emailing me back, so I can remove them and move on.
Does that make sense? I'm asking to see if there is a way to do the above, and also to give you feedback. I think you have a great site here, so I just wanted to let you know my thoughts/concerns on the limit of connections one can receive, and the frustration with people not returning emails. Of course, you can't make people return emails, but if I knew they marked me "not interested," I would remove them to make room for someone who might be interested.
Thank you kindly,
Thank you for the questions. The decisions for the quantity of Pending and Preferred were not made lightly, and with the help of our experts. It would be hard for members to "handle" more connections than what we have designed. There was also a thought process behind the decision as to why you do not receive notification when someone has marked you as "not interested." Oftentimes in these cases, if someone sends them a note of interest, that member will take a second look. This happens often in real life. In fact, it happened with the couple who met and fell in love as a result of the Cache' Connections Dating Game in October! They are now engaged, despite his initial "disinterest."
If you write to a guy once or twice and do not receive a response, we recommend you put him in Not Interested. Be aware that you can still communicate with him from that tab, in the event you should hear from him. We ALWAYS encourage members to respond to emails, but of course that doesn't always happen :)
If you have a particular interest/frustration with a member, we may be able to tell you if he is seeing someone, active, etc.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
We're packing up and preparing for our first Cache' Connections tour where we will be promoting the Disney World Getaway Conference. What a perfect time to get away as we are buried in snow in Central Illinois! Although we still have a few churches to hear from, the schedule is coming together. The plan so far is to visit singles groups in Atlanta and Florida, all the way from Jacksonville and possibly Ft. Meyers. The challenge is that most singles groups meet on the weekends, so we're somewhat limited in getting to as many as possible in one location.
We're also going to be stopping by some churches to introduce ourselves in the hopes of being invited to have an event in some new locations. We just received news we have been invited to stop by a church in South Carolina. This is shaping up to be a "Where's Waldo"adventure, but we're excited to see what God has planned. We've found there is a lot of value in face-to-face time, so we're ready for some new open doors!
Please pray for our safety as we will be on the road for about 10 days or so. Be safe everyone:)
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Last night's chat with Expert Emily Shupert at Cache' Connections was packed with great advice for a member who is receiving mixed messages from the lady he is seeing. Here are some excerpts:
Him: I've got a relationship where there seems to be a little Lucy and Charlie Brown and the football going on... every time we get too close...or pass a milestone like the first kiss, the first visit to one's apt., the first "all day" date...she pulls back and suggests a time out. Just when I get confident she gets scared. As Charlie says when the football gets pulled back at the last minute...auuuugggghhh!
Secondly she seems to have trouble expressing affection or appreciation in verbal words...only in written emails or touching...can this relationship be saved? Lol.
Emily: Great questions! It sounds like you are trying to affirm her and your relationship while she is more hesitant and reluctant to move forward. Does that sound correct?
Him: Yep. She sends a lot of mixed messages..and or positive and affirming followed by hesitant and indefinate. And after two months everything is still like a second date...hesitant at first and distant..then warm and kissy at the end. I feel the next date should start the way the last ended. I sense commitment fears.
Emily: I would suggest that you bring it up by saying, "help me understand where you are coming from so that I am able to honor your desires in this relationship. I really like you but it is hard to know how to respond in a way that you will appreciate. It feels like I am hearing two different messages from you and it is hard to know how to respond accordingly.
Him: She won't let down her guard...and it seems obvious since she expresses just fine when a boss calls from work, or she is engaging in "top this" competitive banter... therapist's (and boyfriend to be) nightmare...can't get her to open up.
Emily: Ok, it sounds like she has a lot going on in her world where she is trying to figure out if she is able to connect with you on a deeper level. You don't have control over her opening up or not....let's look at what you have control over.
You can only decide what you bring to the relationship. As long as you "over function" in the relationship, there will be no room for her to come up to bat. She is "under functioning" and is very comfortable in this role. She doesn't have to change... As long as you make things comfortable for her and let her have all the power in the relationship, she will have no need to change.
Him: very easy for me to fill in the gaps...as you can tell from my gabbiness here...i can over-communicate for sure!
Emily: Yes, which is why you need to allow her the opportunity to come to the relationship line and show up for herself....you cannot talk for her, function for her, and commit for her. She has to decide if she is going to make this step.
Him: What, if anything, can I do?
Emily: I suggest that you show up to the dates and offer yourself as you are, no more, no less. Talk with her, take her out, etc. but don't put all your eggs in this basket or you might be very upset down the road if she pulls out of the relationship.
Him: No more, no less? I don't understand.
Emily: I suggest you to share only to the level that she is allowing you to share. Do not put yourself out there 100% because you are not at that place in your relationship. Pace yourself and take your time. While she needs to be sure to communicate more it sounds like you need to also pace yourself.
... which is why we say: " Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23
Great job Emily!
Monday, January 4, 2010
Last night on my Facebook page we had a chat about a guy who was inquiring whether he should continue to see a gal who has broken up with him three times. Well, actually, Guy No. 1 didn't show up, due to a headache. But, Guy No. 2, who was in a similar situation, came to the rescue. So he received a plethora of dating advice from some of my wise friends. Here's a taste:
Girl: He's unwise if he decides to do that. That doesn't ever work.
Girl: I agree. Sounds like she has commitment and control issues.
Guy: There's no need to focus on the short term positives. We're in this for the long term. Someone that chooses to "end" a relationship multiple times in the short term doesn't really get what it's all about. Find closure and move on.
Girl: Looks aren't everything... sometimes unfortunately pretty girls = problems too.. LOL
Girl: Age does matter, also the maturity level, length of the relationship , including the on and off points.
Girl: Good looking guys tend to think they can get any girl they want and end up being extremly cocky along with their huge ego's... very true Linda! :)
Girl: Dr. Phil....past behaviour is a good indicator of future behaviour
OK, my first question is: What caused the break -ups? And why did they get back together. It sounds like she is using him as a fall back. He's in love--she isn't.
Guy: If i was Rick i would try to figure out after the 3rd time what makes it different from any other time.. If it seems to be the same old thing and she cant stay true. I would give her a taste of her own medicine! "Kick her to the curb"
Girl: Just as Melissa said, if you weren't ready, you won't really be able to make it work right that moment, but later on after the healing process definately a different story! :)
Girl: If someone has moved on, I find it very difficult to go back w/ them. There is too much baggage. You are better off to cut all ties if possible and take time to heal again. The length of the relationship (over 3 years) warrants a time of healing again for you.
Girl: Tom, don't beat yourself up. You are doing the right thing and seeking God's guidance. and taking your time. That is what is hardest for me to grasp, that what God has in store for me can't be rushed. lol
If anyone needs free dating advice, just ask one of my 1,686 friends - they're happy to help :)
Saturday, January 2, 2010
For some reason New Year's Day is a really big deal to me.... probably because I'm a melancholy and this gives me a reason to make another list:) There's just something really special about having a whole year ahead of you and being able to write the script for how it should go. Notice I said "should":) We know our plans may not be God's plans, but he does expect us to go forward in faith and to do our part.
Linda and I did some planning on the trip back from Naperville. That's the great thing about travel time, not as many interruptions and time to just talk. How fitting that we stopped for lunch at Ruby Tuesdays in Bloomington where we had lunch exactly 3 years ago to the day when we decided to start Cache' Connections! And if you're wondering, oh yes, we did make a list. We reviewed last year and evaluated where we made mistakes and what seems to be working.
Have we found the formula yet to insure we can make our way across the country with success? We're getting closer, but not quite. Overall, the year was quite remarkable. Who would have thought 3 years ago when we started a mere hometown personalized matchmaking business we would now be a national online company. Also, it is unbelievable that we would be welcomed in so many well-respected mega churches. Obviously, we would not be here had God not been involved and opened so many doors for two middle-aged married ladies from Central Illinois who had a vision and a relentless intent to see it happen!
"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14
May God guide and favor you and your plans in 2010!
Friday, January 1, 2010
Happy New Year! We pray God's favor for each of you in this New Year.
This is a reminder that today is the LAST DAY to enjoy 50% off your new or renewed subscription of three months or more, plus enjoy the Christmas bonus of one FREE month added from the administration panel.
Simply choose the subscription length and use this promotional code: XMAS2009.
See below the 50% off prices:
3 months subscription WAS $64.95 - NOW $32.48 for 4 MONTHS
6 months subscription WAS $99.95 -NOW $49.98 for 7 MONTHS
12 months subscription WAS $149.95 - NOW $74.98 for 13 MONTHS
Until Married WAS $349.95 - NOW $174.98 for however months it takes!
We rang in the New Year with hundreds of Christian singles last night, who enjoyed fine food, fellowship and laugh-out-loud comedy with world renowned comedian Nazareth. He had everyone in stitches as he told of his escapades involving air support security as a middle Easterner, and also tried his hand at some matchmaking with the audience.
"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."
Kim and Linda