Saturday, October 30, 2010
Today we celebrate with Kristin and Jessie, who met through the Cache' Connections website about a year ago. Here's what Jessie had to say:
"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! - Jessie"
CLICK HERE to watch a video clip of the two lovebirds.
Have a great weekend!
Friday, October 29, 2010
We praise God for the healthy births of Joshua Lamar Hicks @ 5Lbs 5oz & Judah Mark Hicks @ 5Lbs 12oz! We are grand-matchmakers!
Joshua and Judah's proud parents are Darrick and Markita Hicks, who met through a Cache' Quick Introductions in September, 2009. I like to think of Markita as one who is reaping what she sowed. Let me explain what I mean.
Markita had been a member of Cache' Connections almost since the new website was launched in 2008. She was always quick to send a "quote-worthy" email, encouraging us in our calling. Even when Markita was exploring a few other relationships, she continued to "sow a seed" into Cache' Connections, because she believed in this mission and wanted to support it financially. Waiting is hard, and sometimes Markita would get discouraged, but she never lost touch with us, and never gave up. In fact, she glibly sent us an email prior to an event we were holding for National Singles Week in 2009, asking us to keep an eye out for her because she was not able to attend. We took the request with a grain of salt and went about our work with the events.
The event was two-fold: a conference by day and a "speed dating" event that night. Of course, by evening we had forgotten Markita's request and were going through the motions, leading the connection activity, wondering how soon we could hit the road back to Peoria. God hadn't forgotten, though. He was speaking to Darrick through a friend who encouraged him to attend this event. I'm not even sure Darrick knew what he was getting into ... he even contemplated turning back. But "something" kept pulling him toward this event. Naturally, when we saw this tall, dark handsome man walk in late, it didn't take long for our tired brains to remember our beautiful Markita. We spoke to Darrick about Markita and suggested he connect with her on the website - and he did. And they did. And ...
Soon after we were receiving very positive emails from Markita, updating us on the status of their budding romance. Their relationship developed rapidly, with God in the center, and we were thrilled to be invited to their wedding in March 2010. Markita and Darrick even included Kim and me in the ceremony, releasing them from singleness into married life.
They made the perfect success couple for a large event we held in their area in April, 2010. As they delivered their testimonial, we were all shocked and surprised at the announcement that they were expecting twins. Nine months later, we celebrate the beautiful additions to their family and thank God that the boys are healthy!
Galations 6:9 says: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
We encourage all of our members and single friends to maintain a positive attitude as they "actively wait" on the Lord. Develop a mindset that God is working even though you don't see the results yet. Also, ask Him what He wants to develop in you as you are waiting. God is good - he is working out something good for YOU!
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Be encouraged, my friends.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
September 2010 was special to Cache' Connections because we filmed our first DVD, which is titled "Christian Dating - Redefined." We partnered with Dr. Stephen W. Simpson, a professor and Director of Clinical Training in the School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California for the project. In the weeks preceding the taping, we worked together with Dr. Simpson to put together an outline for a new model for Christian dating. God blessed us with beautiful weather in Peoria, Illinois for the video shoots, as well as a very talented producer, great and flexible actors, and great locations. "Dr. Steve" delivered like a pro, which helped us stay on schedule so that we could get him on a plane and back to his family late Sunday night.
After a lot of "blood, sweat and tears" from all those involved, the master DVD and case design have been approved and both are now in production. Pre-orders are being taken for $14.95, and deliveries will begin on 11/5/10. CLICK HERE for more details and to order!
The third week of September is also special to Cache' Connections because it is National Unmarried and Single Americans Week. This year we celebrated by bringing Chicagoland Christian singles together for our first Cache' Connections Mixer. We had about 80 guests in attendance at The Clubhouse in Oak Brook, Illinois, where several hosts and hostesses were on hand to introduce guests around the room. The reports from this event were tremendous ... everyone enjoyed the casual atmosphere and freedom to meet many other Christian singles. Other mixers were held in Springfield and Peoria, Illinois in the following weeks.
On October 8th and 9th we were in beautiful Naples, Florida for a Cache' Connections Live! event at First Baptist Church of Naples. We had a fabulous event featuring worship with Nathan Gaddis and his band, followed by the beloved Drs. Tom and Bev Rodgers. The Rodgers pointed out some issues that are contributing to the "Singlehood Phenomenon" and challenged guests to look at themselves and how they may be contributing to their singleness. On Saturday morning, the Rodgers spoke to a group of single leaders about maintaining healthy singles ministries. A special thank you to Singles Pastor Jim Hill and his wife at FBO for their hospitality!
The first Cache' Connections Expo is just a week away! Our third annual event at Calvary Church in Naperville, Illinois, this event came about when we learned from Pastor John Absher there that his singles group is more interested in opportunities to socialize. So we have over 30 area businesses who are each providing a booth with a game or activities, giveaways, prizes and freebies! This will be a very casual, fun atmosphere with little structure. Prizes and announcements will be made at 9:00 pm., along with a gospel presentation. Bring your friends! For more details, CLICK HERE.
CC will be "playing in Peoria" on November 19 for our first event at Crossroads United Methodist Church for Cache' Connections Live! in Washington. We look forward to worshiping together and hearing the wise words of Charles Klees, who will be speaking on "Developing Healthy Relationships."
Coming up for Christmas is a Cache' Connections Christmas Mixer, to be held again at The Clubhouse in Oak Brook on 12/5/10. Also, Central Illinois singles can check out Cache' Coffee Connections at Copper River Coffee & Tea in Peoria on 12/5/10.
Click here for information on all upcoming events and chats.
Reminders to members:
- 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 photos
- 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!
- Join a growing email group of those who are fasting and praying for singles desiring marriage. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list!
- Join in the live chats! Founder/Linda leads a chat on Tuesday nights at 8:00 pm CST. Also, join "Expert Emily" Shupert on Sunday, November 7th as she leads a discussion on Boundaries in Dating.
- Lastly, remember that all subscriptions will automatically renew unless you cancel your subscription under Billing Management.
Kim and Linda
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Last night's chat was based on this outtake from our new DVD series titled "Christian Dating Redefined." In this bonus section of the DVD, Dr. Stephen W. Simpson warns us to be very careful when it comes to emailing, texting, and social networking. We decided to chat about it. Here are some highlights from the chat:
Linda: So here we go. What do y'all think of electronic communicating in dating?
Chatter: Has both pros & cons, but overall, not so bad. It certainly opens up more options for meeting people.
Chatter: I think the old fashioned stuff still works best.
Linda: When is it a bad idea to send an email or text vs. phone call or in person?
Chatter: not right away. and not when driving.
Chatter: When asking for a date, particularly early, I think you should never email or text if you're over 16.
Linda: good answer. any others?
Chatter: Really depends on what information needs to be communicated, as well as how long the relationship.
Linda: good point. ever spent time trying to interpret an email or text?
Chatter: that's just it. Email and text are impersonal, you can't tell voice inflections or subtle body language, which opens them up to misinterpretation more.
Chatter: We lose a lot in the transfer of info without body language and voice intonation, not to mention facial expressions!
Linda: all good input. so no breaking up, no starting up, no hot topics!
Chatter: Generally, Fb/social networking is different in that you are "talking" to many versus an individual or someone of special interest.
Linda: yeah we really need to be careful in posts that are meant to be personal. Sooooo tacky to address tender topics to the world!
Chatter: Facebook *can* be an effective way to meet people, but at some point, you have to get out of the virtual and into the real world, and talk to a real person.
Chatter: Nothing beats a face-to-face encounter!
Chatter: oh yes, definitely! I have some friends that need to read that!
Linda: after all, if you are going to get married, it will most likely be face to face :)
Linda: do you think some folks hide behind the computer too long? or forever (that's as far as they go?)
Chatter: Yes I think that has become a real problem.
Chatter: Yes, there is a lot of "keyboard courage" happening now, which is not good at all.
Chatter: Electronic communications can be great way to begin, but sooner (rather than) or later a personal meeting is necessary if you really think there may be potential for a relationship.
Chatter: you can hide what you are really feeling when talking to someone since there is no tone in the words typed and they cannot see your expressions.
Chatter: Even if finding a friend is all you are interested in, hiding behind a keyboard isn't the best... you are cheating yourself of True friendship. It really amounts to being "pen pals".
Linda: So back to texting while dating.
Chatter: It's an awesome tool for connection across time zones!
Linda: when is a good time to text or email?
Chatter: i think that all depends on schedules and distance.
Chatter: Email anytime.... (exceptions noted earlier).
Chatter: Really depends on what information needs to be communicated, as well as how long the relationship.
Linda: is it always ok to send a note of encouragement, or a sweet nothing?
Linda: Ok. And quick notes, updates, "on my way" type notes - ok?
Linda: how about this one: "I don't think your mother likes me." Text or text me not?
Chatter: when is the best time to transition from emails and texts to face to face?
Linda: depends ... but for sure after 2 to 4 weeks.
Join Founder/Linda in The Meeting Room at Cache' Connections on Tuesdays at 8:00 pm CST to chat about dating issues. (Password: cachecommunity) Next week: If/when is it appropriate for the first kiss?
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
A friend forwarded this article to us, which we felt was definitely worth sharing. We met Pastor Dennis Franck at a SAM Conference in Florida two years ago. He truly has a heart for singles and has his finger on your pulse!
By Dennis Franck
Oct. 10, 2010
After 21 years as a singles pastor and 10 years directing Single Adult Ministries for the Assemblies of God, I’ve learned many principles from single adults. Here are my top 10.
1. Find contentment as a single adult.
Some single and single-again adults think a marriage relationship will complete them, solve problems and bring contentment to their lives. Although it’s true a good marriage can bring satisfaction and contentment, it’s also true one’s spouse is not responsible for our contentment and happiness.
In a conversation years ago with a divorced relative of mine, he told me, “I didn’t make my wife happy, and she didn’t make me happy. We both failed.” I remember telling him, “It wasn’t your responsibility to make each other happy. What a huge responsibility to put on someone. When they fail, we can blame them!” Although married persons should want to please their spouse, people are responsible for their own happiness and contentment.
Contentment comes through continuing a vital relationship with the Lord, developing meaningful relationships with men and women, and using your abilities to help others.
2. Realize every life has its challenges.
Although some single adults have a difficult life, especially single parents, there are married adults who also have challenging lives. Some in difficult marriages would trade places with single adults if it were possible. There are worse things than being single — such as being married to the wrong person and married at the wrong time.
3. Cultivate healthy relationships.
First Corinthians 11:11 says, “In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman” (NIV). God made us to be in relationship with others. A single adult does not have a spouse for companionship, and without the benefit of marriage, relationships become even more important. Developing quality friendships with men and women is both a blessing and a need some single adults fail to cultivate. Challenges of life dictate the need for others’ perspectives, encouragement and support. Unmarried men and women should enjoy friendships with other single adults. After marriage, friendship dynamics can change.
4. Develop your abilities, strengths and talents now.
God has given each of us abilities, strengths and talents. Since single adults tend to have more flexibility with their time than married adults, use this time to develop personal skills and strengths, to improve God-given talents.
5. Become the right person for marriage before finding the right person for marriage.
Many are intently looking for the right person for marriage, rather than becoming the right person for marriage. Some think marriage solves problems, but realize later marriage amplifies them. Who we really are is made more obvious when living with another person. Spend time and energy becoming a desirable mate instead of focusing your time on finding one. Would you marry someone like yourself?
6. Understand the five stages of dating to help avoid premature relationships and marriage.
Preparation — This affects the quality of all stages and is foundational. Preparation involves intentional work and improvement spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, financially and relationally. Continually work at maturity in these areas. Intentionally prepare yourself to offer meaningful friendship before getting into a dating relationship. This should probably begin as a late teen, or whenever you realize you would like to eventually marry. For more information, read “Preparing for a Permanent Relationship” under the “Single Living/Singleness Issues” section of singles.ag.org.
Infatuation — This is based on physical and emotional attraction. During this time it is wise to spend many, if not most, dates in groups to observe reactions, emotions and responses to people and situations. Some negative and positive traits in others cannot be observed during time spent alone as a couple.
Illumination — This is a time of discovery and recognizing weaknesses and differences in the other person. Opinions, character, convictions, lifestyle, values and habits are surfacing. This is the stage where “crisis” situations begin to arise. This needs to happen in order to exhibit each person’s style of conflict resolution.
Evaluation — This is the stage of serious evaluation when you begin to actively evaluate the differences and determine if the relationship is worth working through those differences. One or both individuals evaluate and decide if they can live with the other’s manners, habits, perspectives and attitudes.
Maturation — A couple commits to the relationship and intentionally continues resolving conflicts. Decisional love, not just emotional love, is practiced — a mature, steady, forgiving, serving love. Both are now intent on what they can bring to the relationship and give to the other, not what they can receive. This stage should last the duration of time remaining until marriage and should continue throughout life.
7. Strive to remain pure sexually and understand the consequences of sexual immorality.
One challenge of singleness is remaining pure in a sex-crazed and impure world. Sexual images in the media, expectations of others and personal sex drives dictate the need for a disciplined life. Here are 12 suggestions for remaining pure.
• Realize your sex drive is God-given.
• Don’t tempt yourself.
• Don’t blame God for your temptations (James 1:13,14).
• Set your limits now.
• Determine early warning signs of sexual impurity.
• Learn to control your thoughts.
• Choose your friends carefully.
• Exercise regularly.
• Ask God for help (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Corinthians 10:13).
• Decide to resist (2 Timothy 2:22).
• Build yourself spiritually (Hebrews 4:12).
• Find an accountability partner of the same sex.
8. Maintain a good attitude even if misunderstood or undervalued.
Many pastors and adults are “marriage and family focused” and do not readily see or understand the needs of single adults. It can be easy to develop a negative attitude. Instead, married adults and pastors need to see single adults who are positive, cheerful, faithful and making the most of their lives as single adults.
9. Serve in the church now.
With single parents as the exception, flexibility of time, money and resources is one of the advantages of singleness. There is no need for approval from a spouse before giving tithes and offerings, going on a missions trip, or teaching a children’s class. Imagine Jesus, the apostle Paul, Jeremiah or other single adults in the Bible waiting until marriage to serve! As a single adult, take an active role in church leadership and service.
10. Allow God to direct you life.
Whether married or single, the most important goal is to allow God to be in control. Trust Him through life’s ups and downs. He will guide. His will is perfect. His plan is personal. His timing is correct. His strength is enough. Proverbs 3:5,6 states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (ESV).
Friday, October 22, 2010
We caught up with Dr. Bev Rodgers, co-author of "The Singlehood Phenomenon" at the Cache' Connections Live! event in Naples, Florida recently. We asked her to explain the importance of physical attraction in a dating relationship - always a hot topic. Click the photo for her frank answer.
Cache' Connections is dedicated to offering members expert relationship advice. Many members are growing spiritually and emotionally, enabling them to become healthier daters. Check back often and check out the articles and recommended reading at www.cacheconnections.com.
Have a great weekend!
I'm reading "Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On" by Stormie Omartian - what a great book of encouragement for those of us who are living for God ... but just not sure where we are going!
I came across the following paragraph and of course thought of many of our single friends:
I know a young man who had a dream of the girl he wanted to marry. He had her every detail figured out, from the way she looked to the way she talked and thought. However, he could never find anyone who lived up to his dream. And I didn't have the heart to tell him that there was no girl on earth who could. Or would want to, for that matter. After years of frustrated searching, he was finally led to the feet of the Lord where he surrendered that dream to God. Right after he did, he met his future wife and married her within that year. When I met her, I found it amusing that she was nothing like the dream girl he had previously described to me. But she was perfect for him because she was the one God had chosen.
Does this sound familiar? The author tells us that we need to surrender all of our dreams to the Lord. She goes so far as to say we need to lay them down at His feet and let them die. If they were His dreams, He will give them new life. Wouldn't we rather have God's dreams for us become our realities? One thing we urge our mentoring clients to do is keep an open mind and let God lead. Do you need to say goodbye to your dream guy or girl and let God show you His plans?
Thursday, October 21, 2010
After a lot of blood, sweat and tears, our first master DVD is on a UPS plane bound for Mesa, Arizona for copying and packaging, in hopes that we'll have it in hand for the upcoming Cache' Connections Expo on 11/5/10. Here's a peek at the description we wrote up for the back cover:
There’s a lot of confusion in the dating world today, especially among Christian singles. The Bible doesn’t provide step-by-step instructions on how to date, leaving singles to flounder in a world filled with mixed messages and an “anything goes” philosophy. The confusion and lack of guidelines are contributing to the singles population explosion that we are now experiencing in the U.S., which is over 50% of the population. So, how can we put an end to the relationship confusion and the issue of marriage avoidance? Is there a formula for dating success? Cache’ Connections has partnered with Dr. Stephen W. Simpson to provide Christian singles with concrete, life-relevant advice in order to meet singles where they are today… to redefine Christian dating. You'll enjoy Dr. Simpson's casual approach as he walks you through the dating process, from stabilizing your identity in Christ to managing romance in a God-pleasing manner.
Chapter 1: The Challenge of 21st Century Dating
Chapter 2: Get a Life Before You Get A Date
Chapter 3: Authentic Dating
Chapter 4: Healthy, Holy Sexuality
Should We Be Friends?
What About Kissing?
Perils of Electronic Communication
Feel free to leave your comments - hopefully you won't catch any misspellings!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
This week's Facebook poll was:
"Do you believe that social networking is preventing people from attending events and otherwise engaging in real life, real time activities?" Here are some of the comments:
Stacey - Yes, and no. For me, yes, but most events cost money to attend, or having the gas/lodging to attend. I have no money. So, I stay close to friends, and socialize with what I can afford, online.
Chris - Regarding every day life, yes. But at the same time I also think fb drives traffic to events and informs people of those events in a way that was never available before.
JoAnn - No. I think it gives people an opportunity to keep in touch in ways we wouldn't have otherwise. People still have the choice to do other things. If anything, the economy is probably still keeping people from doing things.
Ray - To me, online social networking is a tool to help manage the connections I have with friends. Using these tools has increased the time I am spending with my friends in person. I am also more aware of what's happening and that helps to make qualitative decisions of where to go, what to do and whom to spend time with. However, there are a few among us that are only email or phone and then I wish meetup.com would merge with Facebook. So overall planning still has to be 'cobbled' together for the calendar.
Carrie - Yes. It is nice to "keep in touch" but let's not forget to "touch" in real life!
Bill - I agree. We have lost "sight" of seeing others, in a physical plane. No longer do we need to spend hundreds of dollars, plan and schedule, drive hundreds of miles, to share a hug, when we can now "Skype". I fear the day that comes when we are like those in the Disney movie "Wall-E", a bunch of overweight, listless, lazy species, doomed to our own devices.
Bernie - Engaging in real life yes and this has the fall out of not being involved in "real life" Like Church ...social events ... I think it's easier for the person to hide behind the screen sort of speak and not feel rejected or out of place.
Nila - Not with my singles group at WS Christian Church. We have lots of activities at our church and with individuals. FB actually is a tool we use to stay connected and informed of all the goings on.
Good feedback from everyone! At Cache' Connections, we remind our online members that this is just a starting point, and as soon as both individuals feel comfortable, the relationship needs to be moved up to live interaction: the phone, then a personal meeting. Thus far we have not heard of a totally "e-marriage" but who knows? In today's crazy world it probably exists.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
We caught up with Dr. Tom Rodgers, co-author of "The Singlehood Phenomenon" and asked him for some ideas on how to keep Christ in the center of a relationship. Click on the video to hear his wise advice.
Monday, October 18, 2010
This is taken from the weekly reminder to pray on Mondays for singles desiring marriage. This is a group of 500+ who wish to see a change in the tide of the current "singlehood phenomenon." To join the list of prayer warriors, write to email@example.com.
This is your weekly reminder that we are praying and fasting this Monday during lunch, or whenever you can. We are praying for 1) marriages for those who long to be married, 2) courage for men to walk into relationship, and 3) courage for women to be willing to see where we need to change.
"This week I wanted to share a blog post sent along by one of the group, from 843 acres, The Devotional Blog of The Park Forum
Do you hope in statistics or sovereignty?
August 25, 2010 by Bethany
Today's Readings: Lamentations 2, Psalm 33
All of us want something - the unemployed want a job, the barren want a baby, the sick want a cure, the single want a spouse. Why doesn't God provide these things?
God is not limited by our plans.
Some of us think that He can't provide because we've messed things up. Perhaps I'd be married if I had moved to Dallas instead of New York? We question every past decision and wonder how we got on Plan B.
But God is not limited by our plans or purposes. As David wrote, "The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations." 
No decision you have made or will make can thwart what God has planned. He redeems all of our mistaken and bad decisions. Even our evil purposes are subject to His power and sovereignty .
God is not limited by our resources or statistics.
We're also tempted to think that our resources and statistics limit God. Can God bring me a man to marry? Statistically, the likelihood is extremely small . Add my other criteria - heterosexual, godly, smart, tall and compatible - and it seems more likely that I'd find a rent-controlled five-bedroom brownstone on Park Avenue.
Yet, our resources or statistics do not limit God. The same God who raised the dead lives today. In fact, we must take care to avoid trusting in favorable resources and statistics because they are false and deceptive hopes: "No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all his strength it cannot save." 
God gets more glory when He works with depleted resources or abysmal statistics because it highlights His power and majesty. 
God is limited only by His own character.
The only thing that limits God is His own character and the voluntary promises that He has made to His people: "But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine." 
For what are you longing? How have your plans, resources or statistics limited your ability to experience God's power and character in your life?
 Psalm 33:10-11 TNIV |  When Joseph's brothers threw him in a cistern and then sold him into slavery, they intended to hurt him. Yet, Joseph rose to become a high-ranking official in the Egyptian government and was in the position to save his family from famine. When his brothers sheepishly approached him for help, Joseph responded, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20 TNIV). This, of course, is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ whom the authorities killed for evil purposes but whose death accomplished the salvation for all who would trust in Him. |  A singles map of the United States of America, Boston.com (30 March 2008), reporting on the National Geographic story that noted, among other things, there are 210,820 more single women than men in New York City metro area. |  Psalm 33:16-17 TNIV |  When Elijah asked Israel, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him," he challenged the 450 prophets of Baal to a contest. Both camps took wood and asked for fire from heaven. The Baal prophets shouted and cut themselves, but their wood was never ignited. Elijah, on the other hand, soaked his wood three times and then prayed. The fire consumed everything that surrounded the wood. In response, the people exclaimed, "The LORD - he is God! The LORD - he is God!" (1 Kings 18 TNIV). |  Psalm 33:18-19 NIV
Blessings to you as we pray (tomorrow),
Friday, October 15, 2010
Check out Pastor Jim Hill, Drs. Tom and Bev Rodgers, Kim and Linda, and a success couple to give you a quick overview of Cache' Connections.
Have a great weekend!
Kim and Linda
This question prompted a ton of responses on Facebook! Here are some of them:
Donna - I always look forward to going to church. I have a lot of friends at my church. I go on Saturday to sit with some of my married friends, and I go on Sunday to meet with my single friends. It's always a highlight of my week, to connect with my friends, and to worship the Lord. I try to make it easier for my single friends by inviting them to come sit with me, instead of letting them sit alone :O)
Roger - I have no problem sitting by myself and usually do. I sing in the choir and we do praise singing to start off with and most of the other members of the choir sit close to me, but really, being by myself is a good time to ponder the lesson, and pray with no interruptions.
Anne - I have an eleven year old son and we both serve together at church. I do sit by myself in service and I agree with Roger, it does give me time to reflect and pray and not be interrupted. I must admith though, it is difficult at a lot of the church functions since so much of it is geared to couples. That is when I feel alone.
Tammy - I sit with my sister & niece or by myself close to friends. I am happy no matter what, don't feel alone there at all since it is worship, but have to agree about the other functions. That is where a good singles group would come in handy at my church.
Shaina - I always sit with my parents, so that makes it very nice. I think if I didn't have them and came alone I would be sad. But I would probably find a friend to sit with and not sit alone. I have wonderful parents. And maybe one day soon I will have a husband to sit with! :-)
Ray - Come early to Church and stay for a while afterwards! Make some friends (if you haven't already, then do so) and sit with them. Beforehand pray that the Lord speak to you, encourage you and lift you up. He knows us better than we know ourselves!!!
B.J. - Not at all. I find that volunteering at the church makes it a lot easier to meet folks, get familiar and feel at home more quickly. Donating time and talent for a win/win, plus giving some time to God...
Amy - serving does make it easier to connect with people but when you go to a big church it's still hard to attend a service flying solo. Most of the folks I'd hang out with are either serving or with their families or attend different services....
Dana - No. Church is easy. Finding people to hang out with after is hard.
Vicky - No. I go there to be with God and learn about Him. My heart aches when i see the love being shared by other couples (ie. arm around each other, holding hands, that special look they have only for the other, etc)
Jim - Most churches treat singles differently. Singles, especially men, are often ignored or overlooked.
Mario - I have no issues going alone anywhere as a single man. I come and go as I please.
As I ponder this question and the responses, first of all I'm happy that most responders push through and make the best of attending church surrounded by couples. But I'm reminded of something I read recently, and that is, in this life, we will all have unmet desires. Sure, it's hard as a single to watch marrieds couples sharing those intimate little moments like holding hands, sharing a look, straightening his hair, etc. But it's also hard for that unequally yoked (married) mother to come to church without her husband week after week. And it's hard for the childless couple to watch families coming and going with their children. Then there are the parents of lost children whose hearts ache as they watch others' teens and adult children living for the Lord and living out their faith with fresh enthusiasm.
As Steph from the Monday Fast and Pray Group wrote: "Living in the reality that there are unmet desires that God has given and wants to affirm is deeply courageous. It's painful. It's a readiness, an openness to receiving what you're not sure will ever show up, allowing a beautiful story to be formed within us whose ending we don't control. Hebrews 11 tells us that this is where faith is born - being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see, even as we know that there are no guarantees this side of heaven."
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
One common question is: "How soon after a break-up should I begin dating again?" We took this question to the experts while at the Cache' Connections Live! event in Naples, FL. Listen to Dr. Bev Rodgers' advice. It is unwise to hop out of one relationship and into another, or even to begin searching, for that matter. It can be unfair to someone you are meeting if you are not healed from a past relationship.
Healthy dating is what we're all about at Cache' Connections. Break-ups are hard, so please allow God and time to heal your heart so that you can enter into a new relationship without those raw emotions adding unnecessary hazards.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
A male friend from Atlanta recently asked me this question, so I polled my Facebook friends and CC fans to see what they had to say:
Jim - A lot of women cannot control natural attraction and they are not attracted to "nice."
JoAnn - No, I don't think it's true! I know plenty of nice guys who are doing just fine!
Mario - Nice guys finish!
Jodi - No.
Chris - oh big topic.. bad boys signify strength, protection, wildness, risk.. females are wired to be attracted to hunters.. protectors..
Johnny - Read the books "Wild At Heart" and "Fathered By God" by John Eldredge, which talk about the 'nice guy' expectations that the world puts on men, and how wrong and against God's will they are. Kind/Loving and nice are not the same thing.
Glenn - Are there any? (hmmm)
Jodi - Nice guys can be protective and daring and still be nice. A bad guy (not just a guy a little wild or adventurous), will leave his trail of hurt behind him and then try to claim victory because he claimed so many. Most women might be attracted to a bad boy, but they still want the one they can keep.
Sandy - Is that a bad thing? The last one is the one you get to keep.
Joe - If they finish last then how am I engaged? It's all about following God's path, it will lead to the right woman.
Here's Wikipedia's definition:
"Nice guy" is a term in the general public discourse and in popular culture for a male with certain personality traits and behavior. A typical "nice guy" is a man who is likely to put the needs of others before his own, avoid instigating confrontations, do favors, give emotional support, and generally act in a way consistent with the general meaning of "nice". It is an active debate whether these traits, which have historically been considered valuable in courtship, may actually make a man less desirable from a sexual perspective. This leads to justify hypocrisy that may exist among some women; those who "want a nice guy", yet usually end up with the more confident, experienced and less considerate male that may be more subconsciously desirable.
What was my answer to him? I think some men are too nice and need to be more assertive in certain situations. Meaning, a woman wants a man who will stand up for his beliefs, his woman, his country, his family and friends. However, she wants to see his softer, childlike side as well. As in everything, there has to be a balance. (sigh)
What do you think?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Take a look at these video clips from our most recent Cache' Connections Live! event in Naples, FL last weekend. We had a great time, and so did our guests! Although we were at a "vacation destination," we never had time to see the beach, although we've been assured it's there. Typically for these weekends we swoop in, attend meetings and dinners, prepare for the event, and lug around a lot of luggage! Oh - and there's usually plenty of time to catch up on computer work at the airport ...
Saturday, October 9, 2010
New markets are a scary adventure, as it is so difficult to go into a new state or city that has never heard of Cache' Connections. And since we rely on the churches and Christian community for all marketing efforts, it is crucial that these campaigns are productive. We are so thankful to Pastor Jim and his volunteers who rallied the past weekend to place over 500 personal phone calls to singles on their phone tree list.
Now for a few more of those everyday miracles that if we don't recognize them, can go unnoticed and unappreciated:
*we only had a 45 minute layover in Atlanta airport and everything went smoothly, including transfer of luggage.
*a friend had a condo nearby in Ft. Myers that was quite beautiful and accommodated us and the Drs. Rodgers quite comfortably... so much better than staying in a hotel room!
*Pastor Jim Hill and his wife graciously loaned us their car for the entirety of our stay.
*even though we had a scare with the technical person not being at the scheduled run-through and no one seemed to know his phone number, the guitar player showed up and contacted him and he was able to get to the church right away and very quickly took care of all our needs
*our photographer arrived on time!
*we had many walk-ins that were unexpected.
*the event was pretty much flawless and we heard so many positive comments (a big deal for a new market)
*even though it wasn't our largest crowd, we had a larger-than-normal amount of people sign up for the website services.
*the Saturday morning Leader's meeting with Drs. Rodgers went VERY well and we have some interest from other area churches in holding their own event.
*a CC member from Orlando drove down for the event, and was sporting a new, healthier look and attitude after taking proactive steps for a healthier lifestyle after attending my chats on physical fitness
*after picking up Chick-Fil-A and taking it back to the condo, we found Linda's sandwich wasn't included and we were too tired and pressed for time to go back. Then whalah!... we found the Drs. had left half a sandwich in the fridge, which worked just great.
*we had just enough time to pack up and get to the airport where we are right now.
*we learned some things about relationships and dealing with hurting people, along with everyone else there, from Drs. Tom and Beverly Rodgers.
So no complaints here from Kim and Linda... except maybe we would have liked to see the beach, but there's always next time.
Have a great rest of the weekend!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Probably the most- re-visted chapter of Dr. Stephen W. Simpson's book, "What Women Wish You Knew About Dating" is Chapter 15 titled "Physical Intimacy." This was the scheduled topic of last night's chat. I've decided to just outline the chapter for you in today's blog.
The chapter starts out with reminders from previous chapters, that it's okay to kiss the girl you've been dating when you are both ready for a committed relationship. But it's not okay to have sex with her until you are married. "The problem arises somewhere between kissing and sex. A lot can happen between that first kiss and the wedding night," says Dr. Steve. And boy is he right!
There are no clear guidelines on what honors God and blesses the people involved, but Dr. Steve has come up with Nine Principles for Healthy, Holy Physical Intimacy.
1. "How far is too far?" is the wrong question. The real question should be what will be honoring to God and the other person? Your focus should not be on yourself, but on blessing and loving your girlfriend. It's taking an attitude of giving instead of determining the limits of what you can receive.
2. Talk and pray about everything before you do it. Dr. Steve recommends that you talk and pray together about everything before you do it. (We highly concur!) Following this principle alone will go a long way toward promoting healthy, holy physical intimacy. Before increasing any type of physical intimacy, you should talk about it in specifics, and do so before the moment of passion arises.
3. You and your girlfriend should be in complete agreement about everything before you do it. You should both be in total agreement and enthused about the next level. If one of you is hedging, don't do it. The man has the responsibility to the woman in this regard. If, in the heat of the moment, she seems to change her mind and encourages you to move forward, it's the man's job to tell her no. You don't want regrets - and it's very difficult to go back!
4. The level of physical intimacy should be equal to or less than intimacy in every other area of the relationship. Your level of commitment, your emotional intimacy, your spiritual intimacy, and the amount of time you spend together should correspond to your level of physical intimacy. Everything should be balanced. Too much physical intimacy can unbalance a relationship, which leaves sexual activity driving the relationship. Physical intimacy cannot hold a relationship together, and you will sacrifice other aspects of intimacy as a result.
5. Know your motives. The reason to increase your physical closeness is an increase in love and commitment. Some poor motives are pride, fear and insecurity. Don't use physical intimacy to confirm your doubts about the relationship or to stabilize the relationship.
6. Don't make it a substitute. Similar to No. 4, if emotional and spiritual intimacy lapse or the level of commitment is uncertain, making out can put a "band-aid" on the feelings of uncertainty. Don't make the mistake of measuring the strength of a relationship by the physical bond. "Physical expression of love is a powerful force that requires a solid foundation." If you and your girlfriend are having relationship trouble, back off of physical intimacy and work on communication, possibly with the help of friends or your pastor.
7. Don't make her set the limits. The stereotype is that the woman is the one to say stop, which is an unfair and downright rotten position to put her in. Dr. Steve suggests that men change their image of being sexual wolves in sheep's clothing. Rather, show women that you respect them and that your bodies are sacred. If your girlfriend knows that you're as likely to keep things from getting out of control as she is, she'll feel more comfortable engaging in physical intimacy that is appropriate.
8. It's hard to go backward. The first kiss is amazing, as is the second and third. Over time the effect diminishes, so there's a desire to do more. Keep in mind that once you add a new sexual behavior, it's hard to go back to just kissing. It will decrease the pleasure of everything that came before.
9. People need to be touched. God created us to be touched, which is evident in scientific studies of infant development. This need persists into adulthood. Physical intimacy is important in romantic relationships. Dr. Steve suggests that a relationship without it is incomplete, and has counseled a lot of newly married couples who shared little or no physical affection before marriage. After getting married, they found sex frustrating, anxiety provoking, shameful and confusing. They had no foundation of physical intimacy, so it was impossible to enjoy this most intimate expression of love. They'd spent months or years restraining their God-given need to be touched, and then expected to remove all those restraints in one night. Christian sex therapist Clifford Penner describes it as trying to remove the lid from a jar that you've spent your whole life tightening. You desperately want what's in the jar, but you can't get the lid off. It's important to loosen the lid a little before you get married. If you prepare for the physical aspect of marriage as you do in other areas such as finance, communication and worship, it will strengthen your relationship, enhance the love you feel, and provide a solid foundation for marriage.
There are some specific guidelines that are noteworthy in this chapter. Communication and planning are key! One last note - you don't have to increase physical intimacy beyond kissing.
... blaming it all on the book ;)
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The complaint about distance is something that we hear quite often at Cache' Connections. It seems like almost everyone prefers someone within a 15 minute drive. While that certainly would be convenient, it is not always possible, and if that is what you are waiting for, you might want to pack some snacks for the wait time.
Yesterday I spoke with a lady in the Orland Park, IL area who attended one of our coffee connections events in May. She hesitated to go, and ended up forcing herself to do so. (I wonder what percentage of guests have to do this? Hmmm ...) Since she is a singles leader at her church, I can understand her reasoning, thinking that she will just run into people that she already knows. This was not the case, however. Among many others, she met a man who had driven from St. Charles, IL to the event, which is over an hour away. He had decided to "change flight patterns" to meet some women from another area. He told her that when he walked into the coffee shop, he quickly scanned the room and decided that she was the only one he was interested in meeting. They've been dating for about 4 months now. The distance between them forces them to be a bit more intentional in their dating plans, but it is working!
We have many other couples who live an hour or more apart. One such couple got married in September (GA to MI!) after long-distance dating for one year, and another is getting married this month. We also heard from a member in her 60's who is getting ready to meet a man in person with whom she's been conversing across three time zones! She had this to say: "Because kids or moving are not issues, I set the maximum limit on my settings. It may require more effort and intentionality, but nothing is Too Big for God to handle.... and I wanted the Best connection, not the closest! :)"
If we asked any of these individuals, they would say that their relationship is worth the small hassle of traveling. We encourage you to "think outside of your neighborhood" and be open to God's possibilities for you. Too often we clamp down on our stiff parameters, not allowing much room for God to show us something that may be far better for us!
Monday, October 4, 2010
There's been a connection in process for the past few months, but we've had to keep a lid on it until now. Shaina and Joe have been dating for 4 months now and feel it's time to share how God used Cache' Connections (and friends) to bring them together. Here's a note from Shaina, a long-time member and constant encourager to us:
Joe & I met on June 4th in Lockport at Parkview Christian Church.
I caught Joe's attention when he first arrived when I greeted him at the registration desk with a smile. But both he and I would never had met due to the fact that we were both too nervous/shy to go up to one another. So God used another single in attendance, Katherine, (who is not a shy person at all) to bring us together! If it were not for Katherine (AND CACHE' CONNECTIONS), we would have never gotten together. I love how God works!
Joe called me the very next day. The day after that he left for Peru on a Missions trip. I told Joe I would be praying for him while he was on his trip. And I did - every day. While on his trip he lost my card with my phone number on it, so when he got home and wanted to call me he had to look on his phone bill statement to find my phone number!!! :-) I was VERY excited to get that first call after his trip...I was wondering if he would call or if he had forgotten about me through all the excitement of his trip. Not so!!! He even bought me a bracelet while in Peru.
And things have been going wonderfully ever since!
Joe lives in Joliet, and I in Sandwich, IL. The one hour drive is not bad at all. We get to see each other once or twice a week. :)
I am still 100% committed to abstinence before marriage! So as you are praying for us, that can be one thing to pray about, is that we would stay pure in mind & body.
Thank you SO MUCH for praying for us! That means so much to me. - And your friendship!
As I recall, Shaina was just about to give up on finding her soul mate. In fact, she had let her subscription lapse, but stepped out in faith (and love for Cache' Connections) to volunteer at the event on 6/4. Let this be a message of hope to you who are waiting and waiting. God has his eye on you, too!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Today we are declaring "Reach Out and Touch a Connection Today!" This is for all members! We find that so many are sitting back and waiting for someone else to make the first move. You know what? That process isn't really very effective :)
So your challenge today is to send an encouraging note to EVERYONE in your connections folders. We all like to be encouraged, and you never know what seed you may be sowing into someone else's life. As a matter of fact, we just spoke with a member who met her boyfriend through Cache' Connections, but neither one of them sent a message through the website. They happened to meet at an event. How many other "misses" or near misses exist? God wants to partner WITH you on this journey. Remember, the River Jordan wasn't parted until Joshua and the priests stepped into the waters with the ark of the covenant. They had to "send a message" that they trusted God with their immediate future.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT REMINDER is the upcoming chats. Join Expert Emily at 7:30 pm CST tonight as she discusses your questions based on "Boundaries in Dating" by Cloud and Townsend. Then, join Founder/Linda on Tuesday at 8:00 pm CST as she takes on Chapter 15 of "What Women Wish You Knew About Dating." This should be a popular chat, as this chapter discusses "Physical Intimacy." CLICK HERE to access The Meeting Room.
Lastly, we wish to remind members:
1. Post your photos! The first photos we approve will be a headshot and bodyshot taken against a plain wall or door. Thereafter you can upload your casual photos.
2. Auto-renewals. According to Cache' Connections Terms of Service, all accounts will automatically renew unless you cancel the subscription under Billing Management or contact us.
Have a great Sunday and remember to reach out!
Kim and Linda
Saturday, October 2, 2010
I recently received a phone call from a gentleman who wanted to complain about a connection he had communicated with and he wasn't happy with her response. Let's just say he was outright mad and wanted to tell us every detail about how poorly this lady had treated him. Wow, we see so many people being held back from being successful in their love life because of their attitude. Even though we don't believe in making excuses, I think we've quoted this before, "hurting people tend to hurt other people." But, our attitude is our own to control. Linda and I have a saying that we quote quite often... "I will not be offended," which comes from Proverbs 19:11: A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Of course, we all have had past experiences that cause emotional scars and hurts, but it is our responsibility to choose how we think and act.
I think we all know that people are drawn to those who have a good attitude and a positive outlook. Mercy and forgiveness are gifts we can provide to each other because we need that gift given back to us on a daily basis.
So here's an insider tip - if you're consistently hitting a brick wall when examining your love life, take a look at your attitude and set your mind on being a blessing to others in all circumstances, irregardless of how they've treated us.
"Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." Philippians 2:4
It's a tall order, but practice makes perfect :)
Friday, October 1, 2010
Recently we've mentioned that God has been revealing to us the power of the mind and attitude. These affect every aspect of our lives, especially including our interpersonal relationships. Today we ran across this article which explains this theory very well with the underlying biblical truths. Please take the time to read it in full. Our thanks to Heather Hodges-Harris of Meier Clinics in Richardson, Texas (featured above).
"It's often difficult to reconcile the worlds of psychology and Christian theology. Much of psychology is filled with humanistic ideas that exclude the need we have as broken humans for a savior. I struggled as a young grad student with these concepts until I began to study Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT). A light went on and all of a sudden, I could see that many biblical views could be easily assimilated into this therapy. Not only has REBT been a tool I have used with success for years to help others with depression, anxiety, compulsive behaviors, and much more, it has also been a tool I have used in my own life to continue my personal growth with God and others.
The idea that our minds are a battlefield, on which good and evil wage war, has long been a truth that Christians for many generations have understood. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5, "...we take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ Jesus." Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he." Our mind gives birth to ideas on which we may choose to act, and our emotions tend to follow our thoughts. This principle in REBT is the foundation of the therapy. Our attitudes, our beliefs, our thoughts, the way we think about events and the meanings we give them, directly affect how we feel and behave.
In REBT, self examination is critical in the process of stopping negative thoughts which precipitate negative beliefs which may then turn into negative behaviors. The idea is that if we can stop the negativity going on in our heads, we can also stop our negative behaviors; therefore, we are not helpless nor are we captive to our genetics or predispositions over which we have no power. Instead, we have the power to change and stop the cycle of destructive behaviors and attitudes. This is exactly what Paul was talking about when he wrote in Philippians 4:8, "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." It is noteworthy that he wrote this while in prison under conditions that would make any normal person depressed!
Although it often feels like we are helpless, we are not. We have been given the power of the Holy Spirit and therefore the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). It is our responsibility as Christians to "choose this day whom we will serve" (Joshua 24:15), to actively pursue our sinful behaviors and examine ourselves to determine if we are striving toward the finish line in a manner that would be pleasing to our Lord (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). It is such a comfort to know that his power is made perfect in our weakness and that his grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9).
May the Lord continue to remind us of the reality that our thoughts are more than passing personal cognitions. Our thoughts are the fertile soil in which our behaviors grow. May we seek Him in our weakness and find that he is more than enough to overcome every addiction, every negative behavior, every broken heart and relationship."
Have a great weekend!