Friday, December 30, 2011
I decided to put a different spin on the Cache' Connections dating advice. You know we are all about helping Christian singles make good decisions and offering wisdom on how to navigate the dating scene. Today I am sharing some advice from those who have been "in the trenches," so to speak, and are now either married or in committed dating relationships.
Tip #1. Attend the Cache Connection Singles activities.....that is where Craig and I met
Tip #2 Be open to God's timing....it may be different that yours
Tip #3 Be obedient when God speaks...His ways are always best
Tip #4 Remember that relationships take work but the outcome is defintely worth it
Tip #5 Listen to our favorite matchmakers (Kim and Linda)...they have a lot of experience, great advice, and have a GREAT track record!
Be as honest as you can with them, don't hold back. Be truthful all the way down the line. Cache' Connections is great in that your connections are actually looking to meet someone special, which makes it easy - nothing holds you back. If you see someone at church, you have no idea if they are interested in dating. At Cache' Connections you know what its all about.
So after thinking about it all day, I've decided my advice would be the same either way... Know yourself and be your best self. Do some work to find out what kind of person you are most compatible with and don't be afraid to talk to people. Be willing to risk rejection and strong enough to handle it. And get a makeover if you need a confidence boost! ;)
Sounds cliche', but my best advice is to continue to TRUST God with every step. Waiting for the right person can feel like it takes forever sometimes, but when God sends that "perfect" match, you realize how worth the wait it was. And also trusting that when God says He'll take care of us and provide for us, it doesn't always look the way we want it to or expect it to. (especially waiting on his timing) There are so many things about this life that are difficult to understand, but I'm so thankful our God in Heaven has control over it all. I'm learning it's more about the journey and living moment by moment than it is about where it takes us. And knowing that Heaven is on the other side makes the journey so much more worth it all.
I would say be authentic, open, and transparent.
You can view more photos and love connection stories of these and other Cache' couples here.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Have you given any thought about how you will approach your dating life in 2012? One thing we know is that if you don't make some changes, chances are that nothing will change. We encourage Christian singles to take advantage of the opportunities that Cache' Connections provides Christian singles to improve their dating life. Here are a few ideas:
- Join the Cache' Connections website or extend your membership (Remember, One Year is just $39.95 until 12/31/11. Use promo code: DEC3995 at www.cacheconnections.com)
- Purchase the "Christian Dating Redefined" DVD and get some single friends together for a small group
- Take part in the upcoming "Christian Dating Redefined" ongoing area-wide singles groups
- Apply to be a contestant in the upcoming "Win It In a Minute" events
- Approach your church about hosting a "Christian Dating Redefined" group in your area
- Commit to participating in the monthly online chats with Expert Emily Shupert
- Read at least two Christian dating books (see Recommended Reading under Community and Advice)
- Choose a dating accountability partner and commit to meeting on a regular basis. (Remember, iron sharpens iron!)
- Read the Cache' Connections Blog and Expert Articles
- Get a makeover/haircut/workout buddy/healthy eating plan/positive attitude
- Pray about your dating life and be open to what the Holy Spirit might be telling you. Remember that your mate may not come in the size, shape, time frame or even denomination that you have in mind.
Any other suggestions for our readers?
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Kim and Linda want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas this weekend! We celebrate the birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ and the eternal hope He brings to all who will believe and receive. What a beautiful gift from God the Father ... what a sacrificial gift from Jesus. We encourage you to take time to draw close to Christ today and every day, bringing your praises and concerns to him.
As a reminder, our Christmas gift to Christian singles, new and past members, is a free trial membership at Cache' Connections. If you've never given it a try, why not log on today? Simply create an account by clicking "Join Now" at www.cacheconnections.com. When you get to the Billing page, exit and contact us requesting that your account be opened.
Once you know that Cache' Connections feels right for you, consider taking advantage of the December special, which is a subscription for One Year for just $39.95. Use promo code: DEC3995
Our sincere congratulations go out to Leonard and Jan, who met two years ago at a Cache' Connections speed dating event and married on December 2, 2011. You can read their love story by clicking here.
As we approach a New Year, we encourage you to prayerfully examine your patterns, habits, and attitudes and consider what changes you can make to increase your chances of finding your mate. One thing is for sure, all of our Cache' couples took a risk in stepping out to an event or (sometimes sheepishly) joining the website. Is finding your heart's desire worth the risk?
Kim and Linda
Friday, December 23, 2011
Here's a cute article posted in Focus on the Family's Boundless online magazine.
I was a pretty pathetic dater in my pre-Boundless days. Had you Googled "awkward around the opposite sex," my name would've been prominently displayed alongside a list of my epic dating failures.
It all began at the age of 6, when I decided I was in love with my brother's friend Kurt. Never mind that Kurt was 14; somehow I thought he was both eligible and attainable, and assumed the reason he persecuted me mercilessly wasn't because I was his brother's kid sister, but because he was in love with me, too.
I remember the day I decided to test my theory and put it all on the line. I saw my brother and Kurt standing after school with their group of friends. Knowing it was now or never, I sauntered over to the circle and stood by my brother. Leaning on his arm, I pushed myself up on to my tiptoes (the added height would make me look older). Kurt stood across from me in his black leather jacket, his shaggy dark hair tousled, his eyes cool and assessing, and his demeanor one of detached ease and general awesomeness. Teetering back and forth on my toes, I looked Kurt straight in the eye. Just as I was about to say I know not what, my dream came true; Kurt fixed his gaze on me and spoke. Was he going to ask me to marry him? Isn't that what boys did?
"What are you doing, punk?"
I snapped out of my reverie and blinked. What did he say? Did I mishear him?
"Why are you standing like that? It looks stupid."
This time I knew I'd heard him correctly, because everyone started laughing, and my brother shook me off and said irritably, "What's your problem? Stop hanging on me!"
I burst into tears and ran away. Kurt's and my future together died that very day.
I'd like to say things got better when I was actually old enough to date, but sadly, that isn't the case. Despite being a generally confident and communicative young woman, I seemed to always make missteps around guys. Take for example my friend in college whom I decided I'd like to date; how did I make my move? By telling him I didn't see Christ in his life. Or there was the guy who asked me out, but I apparently wasn't smart enough to figure out he'd actually asked me out on a date. I assumed we were going out with our entire Sunday school class, and when I finally figured out the truth, I was so embarrassed that I clammed up the rest of the evening. By the end of the date, he probably wondered why he had asked me out in the first place.
I was the girl who went out with someone, then avoided him so he couldn't ask me out again. Or if I really liked a guy, I'd try too hard to be funny or clever and just end up offending him or boring him to death. Would you be shocked to know I've also employed my journalist skills on dates? Yep. Many a date has soured by me going into "Diane Sawyer mode" and peppering my victim with questions. Death by interview—the worst kind of dating death.
Thank goodness for Boundless. I give Boundless credit for teaching me that dating can be natural and fun. I learned that dating isn't a competition; it's a privilege. Dating is my opportunity to learn a bit about a brother in Christ and build him up in the process. It allows me to practice communicating, assess character and exercise the fruits of the Spirit. It's a two-way street where two people with God's help determine if they have a future together in service to Him.
Sometimes it's difficult to see our blind spots, prejudices and (ahem) quirks. This is why I'm such a big fan of mentorship. People like Candice Watters, Motte Brown, my sisters, my girlfriends, and yes, even my mom, have pointed things out to me that at the time were hard to hear, but in the end were true and worth taking to heart. Actually applying them and either tweaking a few things or changing course altogether is what has prompted growth and maturity in not only my dating practices, but in my life in general. It's a wise investment, and I'm the beneficiarhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gify.
So while I wandered a dating wasteland for years, all is not lost. I actually went on a few dates recently where 1) I knew they were dates, 2) I refrained from confronting my dates openly, and 3) the guys actually thought I was interesting and fun! That's progress. Who knows, one of these days, maybe I'll marry one of these dudes. Until then, I've left my days of tragically tainted love in the past. I'm now on a better, healthier journey of being myself, discovering others and trusting God with the outcome.
Written by: Lisa Anderson, Director of Boundless/Young Adults
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
It's a very merry Christmas this year for Jan and Leonard, who married on December 2, 2011. December is surely their favorite month, as they met at a Cache' Connections event in December 2009 at one of our first speed dating events in Naperville, Illinois. They've been dating intentionally for the past two years, working on blending their lives together into one. Leonard has been great in sending updates to us, always expressing his gratitude for Cache' Connections. His recent note stated, "Many blessings and know you both are doing an incredible ministry for us current and past singles.."
To read their full connection story, click here.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Chicagoland singles can look forward to spending New Year's Eve with other single Christians at the Cache' Connections New Year's Eve party. It will take place at Niko's Lodge Restaurant in Wasco, which is just west of St. Charles, a northwest suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Your event hostess is Kris Anderson.
There will be the ever-popular speed dating along with other connection activities and an opportunity to roast marshmallows at the outdoor fire pits at Niko's Lodge Restaurant. Order dinner off the menu - separate tickets. Dress is casual. Age recommendation: 35+. Room capacity is 50, so please pre-register! Walk-ins will be accepted upon availability.
Nikos Lodge Restaurant
41W379 Illinois Route 64
Wasco, IL 60183
Saturday, December 31, 2011
8:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
All adult ages
8:00 Welcome, socialize
8:30 Dinner (order off the menu - separate checks)
9:30 Speed dating
10:30 Connection activities
12:00 Ring in the New Year!
$25 at the door
CLICK HERE for all details and to register - seating is limited!
Thursday, December 15, 2011
by Cliff Young & Laura MacCorkle
Today we are posting an article from Crosswalk Singles on how to handle the dreaded Christmas parties as a single. Great advice!
QUESTION: The holidays are really hard for me. I dread going to family gatherings or work functions or parties with friends when I don’t have a date or anyone to go with me. Am I wrong to feel this way or what can I do to just push through these feelings and still enjoy being with other people?
HE SAID: From a perpetual card-carrying member of the holiday “kid’s table,” I understand.
What you are experiencing is pretty common among us “longer than expected” singles and you are not wrong to feel this way. Social gatherings, parties and other “and guest” situations can be discouraging, and holidays seem to intensify and exacerbate the feelings of “aloneness.” However there are ways to make it through these difficult months not only unscathed, but also rewardingly.
The first step is to take your mind off of yourself.
I am reminded of this each day when I see one of our military servicemen or women. They place themselves in harm’s way for our freedoms so we can have the opportunities to “dread spending time with family or friends.”
Don’t approach this time of year with anxiety or trepidation based upon your marital status, but rather with an eagerness to exemplify the significance of the season through what God commands us to do, “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-38).
The holidays may be the only time a non-believer is receptive to hear God’s message.
Instead of worrying about attending these seemingly “couples-only” events alone, seek ways you can bring joy, live out God’s love and impact others. In other words, attend these functions with the aspiration to share who God is.
We are blessed to know this time as a celebration of God’s gift to us in his Son. In the busy-ness of the season, we sometimes forget and begin worrying more about our own desires than his.
Don’t allow yourself to come before him this year. Enjoy your events to the fullest through him.
SHE SAID: Sometimes it seems like all of life as a single adult is like one giant extravaganza that you must attend by yourself. It’s not always fun, but sometimes you’ve got to put on your big girl/boy pants and just go for it. Such is a holiday gathering, and such is life.
But let me recommend a “social plan” that you can put into place before going to your next family gathering, work function or holiday party. I think it might help.
First, do a little recon work and find out who is going. That’s right. See who you know who’s going to be there. And then find your “buddy.” It’s up to you whether you ask that individual (or it could be a couple) beforehand to be your buddy who will stick close by for the event you’re attending. If you’re good enough friends, coworkers or family members, you can have a pre-event conversation where you confide in them that it’s hard for you to attend these types of shindigs alone and you’d be pleased as holiday punch if this person would let you be his/her buddy (Heb. 13:1) for the evening (I’ve done that before, and it’s been a big help!).
Second, determine a time limit for your stay at the party/gathering. Who says you have to be at something like this from the very first moment the door is thrown open ‘til the last person is walking out? If two hours is your limit, then two hours it is. Or if you can only last an hour, then make it an hour that matters: as in, be sure to greet your host/hostess and say “thank you” for his/her hospitality (if you can swing it, a host/hostess gift is always nice to offer as well); try to make a sweep of the room and greet those people you do know; see if you can introduce yourself to at least one new person you don’t know (and make a new friend!); and then, by all means, do partake of the food and beverage that’s been provided for your nourishment and enjoyment. It could help distract you for a few moments, calm your social nerves and fortify you somewhat for the rest of your time there.
Third, pray before, during and after. Pray beforehand that the Lord would bring peace to your anxious heart and that he would help you to be others-focused during the party/gathering. By switching your perspective, you may feel less self-conscious and actually find yourself having a good time as your attention is direchttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifted toward others. Then, pray during the party/gathering that the Lord would point out to you someone who needs an encouraging word (Rom. 12:10) or just someone who looks lonely and needs someone to approach and befriend them (you can be that someone for someone else!). And finally, pray afterward. What does God want to teach you/show you through this experience that is usually difficult for you as a single adult?
I think if you see a party/work function/gathering as a growing experience (James 1:2-4) as well as an outreach opportunity (1 Peter 4:10), you might find yourself enjoying holiday events a little bit more.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Actually, we've done a lot of reflecting lately as we are coming up on our 5 year Anniversary of launching Cache' Connections. I don't want to make her head swell, but I do have to admit that she's been a pretty spectacular biz partner. The qualities I most admire about Linda are definitely her persistence and dedication to "getting the job done." The most annoying quality is her obsession with grammar.... I really think she should have been an English teacher :) Although, I do have to admit I have become much better with my words since hanging around together day after day. But seriously, Linda has been quite an inspiration to me to keep going and to encourage me with God's word when I need to hear it most.
My wish for Linda as she approaches the big 5-0 is that this will be the year she will see the culmination of all her hard work, and God will pour His favor and blessings on her in unfathomable proportions! No one can really understand what it has taken over the past 5 years to keep this company alive and active. Relentless is the first word that comes to mind when speaking of Linda's qualities, and without Linda, many of our couples would have never met.
Please let her know how much you appreciate her dedication to providing this matchmaking service for Christian singles, and always committing to glorifying God in the process.
You can connect with her on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Love, love, love it when we find and receive confirmations of the messages we send to our single friends at Cache' Connections. Last night we received the following message from our friend/fan/member we'll call Don. Also, we love knowing that members are reading Christian books that help them with their relationships.
Hi Linda and Kim,
I'm currently reading Dr. Henry Cloud's latest book, 'Necessary Endings'.
One particular passage spoke to me and I thought it worth sharing. I started to write to you in facebook, and decided to go here instead.
The passage is in Ch. 11, and the title of the passage is 'Often the outcome is good.'
Here is the passage:
'My friend was stuck in her dating life, and it was time to do one right. She was ready to end another short-term dating relationship by just disappearing and dropping out of sight, off of his radar. I told her that if she ever wanted to get where she wanted to be in life and in dating, she had to learn to be more forthright about endings and delivering bad news to people. And I told her that if she wanted my help anymore, she had to call this guy and tell him that she had enjoyed going out with him but that she did not want to go out anymore.
She resisted, but finally made the call. When she did, she was jolted. Expecting the worst, she got the opposite. He said, "I just want to thank you for telling me this in a straightforward manner. You have restored my faith in women and also saved me a lot of time and effort by not continuing to go out with me if it were not going to go anywhere. I wish all women would do what you just did."
She could not believe it, but I gave her a "told you so" coach's nod. It not only helped him, but it also took her to a whole new level of functioning in her relationships with men. Not long after that, she finally attracted the kind of guy she had been looking for: honest, responsible and kind. Why? She had to become that sort of person first before she was going to attract one. That is one of the reasons I had her make the call in the first place. It was not just for him, but also for her development. She had to become what she was looking for before she would ever find it.'
I know this applies to both men and women. I'm sharing it because this has happened to me on a number of occasions and although I have been good at doing thihttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifs most of the time, I have not been 100%. I feel closure is important for both sides and the honorable thing.
You had recently shared a point on Facebook that ' no answer, is a 'no' answer'. This is true, but it takes a lot longer to figure it out and I feel more hurtful than speaking the truth in love.
How about you? Have you practiced the graceful act of providing closure to potential matches and those you've met or dated?
Thursday, December 8, 2011
We know this is a question that singles are asked frequently around the holidays, when they see friends and family they haven't seen in a while. While this is a painful question to hear, the authors of He Said-She Said have each come up with graceful replies. Please read their article and consider taking their approach next time you are asked the dreaded question.
Why Aren’t You Married Yet?
Cliff Young & Laura MacCorkle
QUESTION: What’s the appropriate (and Christ-like) response to people who are always asking “Why aren’t you married yet?” or “When are you getting married?”
HE SAID: Most every single over the age of twenty-five has probably faced these questions. If not directly, they were posed behind their backs, and the older we get, the more these questions seem to be raised.
I have a friend who I don’t see very often, but when I do his first comment to me is always “When are you getting married? You aren’t getting any younger!” Despite my carnal desire to react with some quip or snide remark, I usually take a breath and refrain.
What I have found to be more crucial than coming up with an “appropriate response” is making sure I am living my life in relation to God’s desires, not my own. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:1, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”
Although I have longed for a wife and family over the past couple of decades of singleness, I can honestly look back and feel blessed at the way my life has turned out and thankful for all of the incredible opportunities I have had and the amazing friends I have made along the way.
Even more important, I can see how God’s hand in my life has orchestrated my successes and allowed for my failures in order to get me to the point where I believe he wants me today. As a result, I am at peace about my situation and worry less about “marriage” and more about living a life worthy of the calling I have received, as well as pleasing him.
I find it interesting most Christians probably believe in God’s perfect timing when it pertains to their own life, however, when it refers to others, we (me included) often “think” we know what’s better for theirs.
My response the next time I am posed these questions will be, “I’m getting married when I complete everything God wants for me to as a single.”
SHE SAID: This can be a hard question to hear and to answer. But a verse that immediately comes to mind when thinking it through is Colossians 3:17:
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
So even though the questions of “Why aren’t you married yet?” or “When are you getting married?” might seem invasive, intrusive or rude (and if you’re single and have heard these questions a lot, they most likely do seem to feel like that sometimes), that does not necessitate an unkind response or poor Christian witness.
Responding “in the name of the Lord Jesus” means treating the person who has asked you this question in a way that will glorify the Father. Now, that’s easier said than done. I know, because I have sin nature as well, and my flesh doesn’t want to give a kind response when I am asked these questions. Those who are not single may not understand how personal this topic is or how it makes a single feel when being asked these questions. In a single’s mind, he or she can take this kind of questioning to a further degree of “What’s wrong with me?” As in, “Is this person implying that something is wrong with me because I am not married . . . yet?”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve often had this kind of internal dialogue with myself when someone has asked me about my marital status. At first, I used to get angry about it. But as I’ve grown older, I realize that for most people this questioning is coming from a good place and with good intentions in their hearts.
Generally speaking, they aren’t ridiculing, they aren’t trying to make us feel bad and they aren’t saying there is something wrong with us. They love us, they care about us and they truly want to try and understand why God hasn’t already brought us our mates.
So these days, when I am faced with the questions you have asked about, I just assume the best and that they are being asked in kindness and in love. That helps me to release whatever anger or bitterness may try to bubble up inside of me and build a barrier between us. So I choose to make it a “non-event” as I smile and answer like this:
I don’t know, and I don’t understand all of God’s ways or his timing in my life. But I do know that I want what God wants for me. And if that includes marriage one day, then that will be great!
With an answer like that, I am still being truthful but also (hopefully) pleasing God as “the aroma of Christ” (2 Cor. 2:15) while in the presence of others.
Have a great day!
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
We received an email from one of our friends/fans/former members in Chicagoland. She wrote, in part:
I just went to a singles event at Willow Creek. There were a TON of people there - it was a service project then a Christmas party. There were many people there that I recognized from Cache Connections events; that was cool to see! I always meet some wonderful godly sisters at these things and have fun at the same time - it's a good thing for me to do. I tell everyone about Cache Connections and your live events; some have heard of you and some haven't. Everyone agrees that the live events are the BEST...in many different ways. They give everyone a chance to have a social life and singles a place to go without couples being there. If a "match" is made, that's good too, but the events serve a much-needed purpose in getting all of us singles "out there" for a fun and interesting time! God bless you and Kim for hosting/organizing these evenings!!
It kinda struck me that I didn't realize singles felt so strongly the importance of attending events where there are no couples. Huh. That explains why we got so many complaints the year we decided to include married couples to a New Year's Eve event. Do singles feel doubly single around couples? Assuming that is at least true in part, imagine how they feel every time they go to church. If they dare.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
This connection has been brewing for about seven months now, so we are happy that Beth and Isaac are willing to share their connection story with friends of Cache' Connections.
You can read all of Beth and Isaac's input HERE. I'll print part of it here, because I want to bring out a few points at the bottom of this blog post.
Beth: In the fall of 2010 I (Beth) started a job in a new office where several Christians worked and some of those new friends began to set me up on dates. None of them worked out but one of the friends told me about Cache Connections (she knew a couple of girls who had had great success on CC) so I decided to give it a try.
I had been on Cache Connections for about 2 months. I had met some really great guys but no mutual desire to continue any of those relationships resulted.
At that point I decided to go back through all my contacts and take another look making sure I had not overlooked someone that would be interesting to meet.
That is when I found Isaac's profile. His pictures were not the best quality but I could tell he was a good looking guy. I joked with Linda about taking my camera on the first date so that I could help him get some decent photos up on the site (good thing that never happened! It was obvious his faith was sincere and that his values were very similar to mine.
I sent Isaac a short email to say hello and within 24 hrs he responded. During that week he let me know that he was praying for me and sent me a scripture (it was one of my favorites). We exchanged our conversion stories right away and before long Isaac suggested a coffee date.
The day we met we sat and talked for about 3 hours and were very upfront with each other. That is one of the things I really appreciated about Isaac and still do - no beating around the bush. It was obvious he was looking for a relationship that would lead to marriage and I was impressed that he had a vision for having not just a good marriage but a great one. Isaac and I talked about our families and how important they were to us. The way he spoke about his mom, dad and siblings was so endearing ...
Isaac: First, I am very grateful to God for your faithful ministry of prayer for single Christians who seek the Lord's will for their lives including a spouse who would love the Lord. Also, your priceless assistance to us in different and creative ways to connect singles in a very safe, fun, and friendly environment. May the Lord richly bless you and your ministry.
About eight months ago I was talking with one of my friends who happened to be one of Cache Connections' members and he explained this valuable website to me. I was not comfortable trying to find my future spouse on dating websites whose members were not believers, but there was something drastically different with Cache Connection. They had a faith statement that was Biblically sound and immediately I felt peace in my heart even though I still had doubts about being able to find what I wanted in a future wife online.
Ten Things I Love About This Love Story:
1. They met online.
2. Both heard about CC through friends.
3. Beth re-searched through her Not Interested tab to give those profiles more consideration.
4. Both are interested in a relationship leading to marriage.
5. Beth was open-minded about the different cultures.
6. Both have thankful hearts.
7. "May the Lord richly bless you and your ministry." What's not to love about that?
8. Beth sent the first message.
9. Both are in their mid-forties and never married.
10. They are so darn cute together!!
Friday, December 2, 2011
In many ways, I believe that God is working on Kim and me through Cache' Connections. (Doesn't he always? Rom 8:28) It's no secret that this is not a get-rich-quick business success story. Although we entered into this business with big plans for an investor to help us with marketing so that we could compete with other dating sites, God, in his infinite wisdom, had other things in mind for us. He's more into the crawl, walk, run, "grow Kim and Linda" business plan. So year after year, we plow through the daily tasks, continue to brainstorm ideas and work to make Cache' Connections the place to be for Christian singles. So, we are waiting, hoping and doing what we can - just like you.
Another way we can identify and empathize with our single friends is in the all-too-common complaint of unanswered messages. We make a lot of phone calls. I mean a lot. And we send a lot of messages ... to churches and to singles. Whether it's inviting members to an event, asking them about a potential arranged date, or asking a church leader to consider hosting or promoting a Christian Dating Redefined group, we are putting ourselves out there. Much like we ask you to do - put yourself out there - in the way of sending messages, uploading your primary photos, and taking advantage of the other tools and articles available to you at Cache' Connections.
It comes as a surprise to our single friends when we tell them that many churches are hesitant to partner with Cache' Connections and they don't return our phone calls. Many singles see CC as a much-needed oasis, a long-awaited for advocate for Christian singles who deeply desire to be married to another believer. And thankfully some churches see us that way too: "Finally, someone to help us minister to singles!" Others, however, see red flags. There's a variety in the shades of red, but sometimes it seems that by and large, the Church is just not that interested in dealing with singles. It's not their focus. But that's probably another blog.
So if you are frustrated that you send messages that don't get returned, know that we are frustrated too. If you began talking with someone and they suddenly got lost in cyber-space, we've been left hanging by the best of them, too. We all need to pray for wisdom and discretion and grace in dealing with people. While Jesus was clear in his directive to "do unto others as we would have them do unto us," we at Cache' Connections often feel "under-done," so to speak. We need to decide in our hearts how many times to approach the plate, and when to put the bat down and wait for the next inning. And then we need to commit those who have not responded to us to the Lord to deal with.
While it's easy to complain about what others are not doing to satisfy us, we also need to focus on what we are doing. At Cache' Connections, we strive to answer all emails and phone messages. If we all do our best to follow God's word in this life, what a wonderful world it would be :)
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18
Thursday, December 1, 2011
The topic of who is to be the pursuer is one we could probably write about weekly and (almost) never wear it out. We constantly hear from female members that complain, "No one has written to me. If they were interested, they would write. I want to be pursued." Heck, who doesn't?
Maybe out of boredom or a desire to stir things up, I posted the following status on my Facebook wall the other night: So many women say they prefer to "lie in wait" of a man to pursue, rather than send the first message online. While that sounds nice on "paper," it frustrates me as a matchmaker. For whatever reason, it seems that men don't send that many first messages. Someone has to make the first move in order for there to be a match. Unless, of course, they want to pay more money for Cache' Connections to do it personally ... :) Or maybe they don't really want a match? Hmm. Thoughts?
Oh yes, there were thoughts. Mostly from women - no surprise. Here are some of the comments:
Dee Dee: I hear what your saying Linda and your right. So, now I do make the first move on Cache' and send out the first note. Out of the many (I think 6) only 3 gentlemen responded. I get it now, its tough for both men and women. How do we find that happy middle ground where we can all meet and chat. That's where I am working towards as a single! :O
Valerie: I disagree with Linda. If a man is really interested in a woman he will pursue her. If she pursues him, he may just spend time with her until the woman he really wants comes along. I think this whole role reversal thing that is going on in society is not good. Men are supposed to be the leaders in the family, Biblically. Men are meant to be the initiators and leaders. (Lots of "likes" on this one, all female.)
Enza: You're right Valerie...that's what men are supposed to be....but this generation of men has lost their image and lack manhood (sorry guys!)....that's why woman as myself have a hard time finding quality men,because if I have a leader personality and am a decision maker, he needs to be above me in leadership and decision-making! Lack of pursuit from men is only a STRONG indication of men's WEAKNESS! At the same time, it doesn't matter who's initiating the communication...that's ALL that is! It's not a marriage proposal! LOL! I still don't understand why so many "rules" and why christian woman continue to be so inhibited!
Linda: I understand Valerie. This actually goes pretty deep with the societal issues. It's just that for now, it kinda seems that both genders have dug their heals in or are hiding and thus we have the Singlehood Phenomenon. #frustratedandi'mnotsingle
Linda to Enza: there ya go. nuttin in the Bible that says a woman can't say hello. think: Ruth.
Annah: The game does not stand still for the hunter. She should give a glimpse and wait to be pursued. A woman of God is close to her father on the apple tree and takes effort to reach ,because she is not low hanging fruit! Real leaders in men are so hard to find for a woman who has become the leader in her own life. Submitting to the right leader when pursued will be easy because he has submitted to God. Men need to be men for a woman who is a woman!
Valerie: I have been told several times that a Godly woman can be found by a man who is seeking and serving God. I think when women jump ahead of God and pursue a man that they are not waiting for God's best. I realize this means I may not have a date for a long time, but I trust Jesus that He will put a man of God in my life at the right time and the right place..... all in God's timing.
Sharon: People are afraid to make mistakes.. get the wrong person.. but those who take the first step often find thats all they need.. how many of us watch programes on TV that show people facing their fears.. and coming out winners even if they don't get the prize at the end..
Lisa: But I'm not waiting on someone to make the first move I'm waiting on God.
Michele: I'm sorry but anytime I have made the first move, I NEVER get a response. I think that men sort of view it as being needy or desperate. I also think God created man to be the hunter (or pursuer, if you will) and most women need/want to be pursued (not stalked, lol). We want to be found/chosen. It reminds me of our relationship with Christ. The Bible says we love Him because He first loved us. It also equates the mans role to that of Christ and the woman's role to that of the church. If our men pursued and loved us the way Christ loved the church, I think it would be a foundation and bond not easily broken.
Annah: Lisa remember God always gives us a choice! We should wait on him but sometimes he wants is to make a choice. Don't be afraid to meet new people and make the first step as friends. Then it's up to him to pursue!!! This dating and waiting stuff will be worth it!!
Sharon: I wonder though Lisa if GOD does bring people into our lives sometimes and we are supposed to do something?? I mean do a little pursuing.. its hard.. I keep thinking back to when Abraham sent out his servant to find his son a wife.. lol.. I know yes thats rather a loooonng way back.. I just listen to peoples stories how they meet and its all types.. forward females.. to persistant males.. internet.. even a woman who used to sleep as a homeless person in the door way of someones store.. and he got to know her and they fell in love.. aww.. beautiful..
Cheryl: I think that proof of desire is in pursuit. This holds true in many areas of life but especially in relationships. I believe if a man does not pursue a woman, there's usually a reason. If they are on cache connections, my guess is that most men (maybe not all) are pursuing the women or woman they are most interested in.
Lisa: I must admit Cheryl is right! Of course I have first hand experience in this area. ( : If a guy is interested, he will blow up your phone, knock down your door, beg, plead and simply not take a NO...If he is into you. When a guy dawdles, shows low interest, does not call...or makes the woman do the work..She needs to run, cuz he is lazy! Lol
Tom: If a man is not willing to make the first move, a woman should not want him. A woman should not make the first move in order to guard her heart.
Sara: Speaking as someone who has pursued men, I refuse to do it again. It's very painful. And it makes me look like a stalker =) Call me old fashioned, but I want to be "courted". Not the other way around.
Les: A guy should be the pursuer but it IS nice if a gal gives us a little sign!
Lisa: I don't think it really matters who chases who as long as God's in it!! Otherwise it's futile.
Linda: A couple things to keep in mind are: With online dating, this is a 1-dimension atmosphere. You don't have the advantages of meeting in person such as eye contact, fairmones, a friend to break the ice, and other nuances. What that leaves us with is a photo and some words on a screen. Many men will judge mostly by the photo, and they have a specific type in their mind, whether it's right or wrong. We've seen so many couples pass each other up online, only to meet at an event and learn there is in fact an attraction. So I suggest that we take full advantage of online dating and send a dang message. What can it hurt? If you saw a man at church or in a restaurant, would you keep your nose down and body language closed? Or would you poke your girlfriend, nod and giggle a little bit and drop a hankie, lol? Men think they know what they want, but sometimes they need our help (Gen 2:18)
Lisa: Linda, I fully understand this subject and empathize with the others. What I have come to understand about meeting eligible mates, is that you have to put your self out their. God is a God of action, not sitting back n waiting for something to happen. When we do our part God can assist. I also pray that I meet men who are equal to me, similar interest, taste, physical qualities n spiritual. This has proven to be very helpful. But, I have had to put myself out there and that includes dating sites.
Lisa: sometimes we are called to wait, sorry but I know this to be true! it doesn't mean we're sitting back and doing nothing, it is ACTIVELY waiting!
Since this is our blog, we get to have the last word. I just want to clarify that Cache' Connections does not necessarily take the stance that women should be the pursuers in a relationship. There's a difference between saying hello and being a pursuer.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I happened across a blog posted at LoveandRespectNOW.com, written by Joy Eggerichs, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Emerson Eggerichs, who are most well-known for their "Love and Respect" titles. Joy is a 20-something single who is working for her parents, researching the 20-35 year old segment of society in the hopes of preventing people from saying, "If only I knew then, what I know now."
In this post, Joy speaks on three things she has learned by being single. Her second point caught my attention: "Focus on who you are becoming and learn to give some grace." She wrote, "So often we are “looking” for the right person and yet my father always reminds me that it’s more important that I “be” the right person. I don’t think he means striving for perfection as much as he means a shift in focus." She refers to the infamous "list" of what you want in a person, but suggests that, as her father admonishes her, to focus on the person we are becoming. Are you a grace giver, encourager, higher-level faith walker? Do you honor God, your neighbor, your body? If not, Joy suggests that it is a bit hypocritical to expect someone else to fulfill our checklist.
What have you learned by being single? What is your focus?
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The Christian Dating Redefined area-wide singles groups in Peoria, Springfield, Rockford and Indianapolis (so far) will launch with the Cache' Connections version of the popular TV show called "Minute to Win It."
If you are not familiar with the NBC TV series, it is a game show that has started a "game revolution," where everyday people are challenged to perform "deceptively difficult games" to vie for a million dollars. Spin-offs of the games are being held at parties, booths, and homes across the country.
Our version will be much like the TV show, including an emcee, video tutorials of the game challenges, a 60-second clock and a few select contestants. Everything, you might say, but the million bucks :)
So whether you come out to be a part of the audience, cheering on one of three teams to victory, or if you apply to be a contestant and brave the challenges on stage, you are sure to have a good time at these kick-off events. As always, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to mix and mingle with other guests after the show. You can check out more information on these and other upcoming events by clicking here. Be sure to let us know if you are interested in being a contestant or a volunteer! We will see you there.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Today, take advantage of the "Cyber Monday" sale at Cache' Connections, which is $100 off of an entire year! One year is regularly $149.95, but today you pay just $49.95 when you use promotional code: CYBER100.
There are many new members at Cache' Connections, and the message boards are lighting up! Place your stake in the ground and commit to being a part of this growing community of like-minded believers who understand the importance of honoring God in their dating relationships.
New members are reminded to upload their primary photos (one headshot and one bodyshot - just you - taken against a plain indoor wall or door), sort through their Pending tab and send some messages to anyone you might be slightly interested in getting to know. All members are asked to respond to their messages in the spirit of Matthew 7:12: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Have a great week!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Okay. We are begging. We've been receiving a lot of "fan mail" from members who love the Cache' Connections website, but are disappointed that other members are not replying to the messages they've sent.
Unanswered emails is a common complaint with online dating - across the board. But at Cache' Connections, we strive to be uncommon, and in many ways we feel like we are a cut above the rest. Our members and fans realize that we strive to operate the website with godly integrity, and we treat our members with compassion and respect. I think there is a natural tendency, therefore, that members have higher expectations of each other.
At Cache' Connections, we encourage all members to respond to all messages, even if it is to politely say that you don't feel this would be a good connection. I know it can feel like you are being mean or negative, but trust us, the person wants to know where they stand. Part of intentional dating, healthy boundaries and all of that is to just simply "Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one." (Matt 5:37)
Members need to keep in mind that it is quite possible that the account of the message recipient may have recently expired, and so the member of interest cannot respond without renewing their membership. There are several other possible reasons for the silence, such as lack of access to a computer, lack of computer/typing skills, exploring another connection, and so on.
To some extent, online dating is a numbers game. So get your numbers up and increase your chances. Send a second message after about one week; also review your "Not Interested" folder and re-consider those you initially discarded. Why, just this morning we received an inquiry from a member, asking for information on a lady whose profile he admired in the Single Spotlight. I kindly told him that he could find out all kinds of information by reading her profile in his "Not Interested" tab :)
Monday, November 21, 2011
Today's blog post is taken from the weekly fast.pray blog, where singles and those who care for them fast and pray at lunchtime on Mondays for singles desiring marriage. To join this prayer group, click here. Today one of the founders, Connally, is writing about Paul's example of living with a community setting.
When I first moved to DC, my head spun at how quickly people moved in and then away. I'd make a friend, and s/he'd move--to another part of the city, to another church, to another town all together. I quickly realized why people who had been here a few years often operated with their guard up--it's hard to stay open to new attachments when bonds keep getting broken. And yet, I've always known I long for & thrive in community.
Community, though, is neither simply my longing nor the ache of our generation (though a report from Duke University on "Friendship in America" said that 25% of Americans have ZERO close friends with whom they can talk personally). It is an idea woven throughout the Scriptures. It shows up in the Trinity, and it's in Genesis as God's provision for loneliness But I want to look briefly at the Apostle Paul, a guy I always thought was like an independent John Wayne in a toga. As it turns out, he's not.
1) Have you ever looked closely in Acts at the first thing Paul did after he believed? He is led by another (Acts 9:8). This powerful man found himself vulnerable and needy. I have a couple of older mentors whose active leading I've sought, but I'm also learning to invite the friends around me who know more than I do (be it about cooking, working with kids with disabilities, running a meeting, relating to men, connecting with God, doing conflict resolution, etc.) to teach me. Something about allowing ourselves to need and receive from others actually embeds us more deeply into community. You might ask yourself, "Who in my current community am I allowing to lead me?"
2) The next thing Paul did? He experienced healing in the context of relationship (with Ananias in Acts 9:17ff). It's no shame to be broken, wounded, or even to have recurring sin issues. But they way forward is with others. I've repeatedly asked my housemates & other friends to pray with me about my aches, my weaknesses & my loneliness, even as I've confessed sin and asked for forgiveness. And it is so freeing. As well, when needed, I've sought professional counseling and spiritual direction. Nobody gets through life unscathed or sinless, and finding others with whom we can give/receive the gift of healing i s worth the work. Who are your truly 'safe' people? If you could use a few more, ask God to open doors for friends or 'for such a time as this' outsiders. Healing is crucial for (and a deep joy of) community.
3) And after that? Paul simply spent time being with these new friends (Acts 9:19). Since I was a child, I have believed that I am meant for marriage.
To read the rest of the blog, click here.
Friday, November 18, 2011
We're kicking off the holidays at Cache' Connections by inviting all new and former members to join for FREE (no strings attached) through December 31st! Be sure to spread this good news to all of your single friends in the North, South, East and West! The sooner you join, the more free time you enjoy.
So help us grow the website membership ... sign up! It's easy. New members can simply click "Join Now" from the home page at cacheconnections.com and go through the sign-up pages. When you get to the billing page, log out and reply to this email, requesting free membership. We will then open your account until the end of the year.
Those who have already established a username and password can let us know they are still interested in meeting other like-minded Christian singles by replying to this email with their request for free membership.
We have some exciting things coming up in the New Year, including opening up some new areas with new church partnerships. Stay tuned!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I posted a random question on Facebook one day last week. It simply read, "Someone tell me please how to wait on God. What do you do while waiting?" I really like some of these answers. Since singles do their fair share of waiting, we thought you could gain some wisdom for yourselves:
Lisa: Something else that He has right in front of you to do, even if it's mundane. Or go take a run and wear yourself out!
Alerice: via Dr. Samantha Phillips: 'Waiting on God' is not supposed to be a passive stance. When you truly believe, you take DAILY deliberate action towards your breakthrough! Never use faith as a mask for laziness! There is no such thing as doing nothing & being in faith for a breakthrough. Take at least one step each day towards your dream! 1 phone call, follow up, etc. but whatever you do, don't let this day pass without forward movement. It's a CHOICE not something that happens to you! What will YOU do today in faith for your dream??
Christa: Hbr 4:10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God [did] from His.
Sandra: Whenever we're 'waiting' we are-looking or expecting-so i do all the same things i always do, but with the expectation that i will see the Lord move or answer in some way.
Dick: Remember time is "meaningless" to God. So while we "wait" on Him, we should revel in His glory, praise Him continually, pray unceasingly. He will answer "by and by".
Keith: Psalm 37:34 which says "Wait on the Lord..." is also translated, in the New Living Translation like this: "Put your hope in the LORD". So as we wait, we're supposed to actually wait. To trust in HIM to accomplish what we're seeking for and praying for, and not seek, in our own strength and means, to carry it out. So often, we miss God's plan because we FAIL to wait on the Lord. Although this is often seen as passive by many of our brethren, let me hasten to add, it is never passive to agressively WAIT! It is very difficult to do. PATIENCE is a virture not well learned by many.
Cari: Pray and Pray and EAT! :) Oh and uh exercise and sing the John Waller Song ~ While I'm waiting.... ALOT!! :)
Rick: While you wait you keep on with the business of His kingdom.
Lisa: In Mary Kay they tell us to "work while you wonder". I think we often wait on God to see what He has in store for us, but in my experience I have discovered His blessings by actively seeking them, not sitting around waiting for things to happen.
Cathy: Just trust the Lord while...going back to college, work out to get in the best shape of your life, enjoy being single and... freezing your eggs (which is what I'll probably do). Understand that God made Eve for a reason, lol!
Shirley: When I put something in God's hands I then go about my daily business. When my question or my request gets answered, I know it. I wait (in that I don't try to MAKE something happen) but I'm going about my daily business while I'm waiting.
Carol: You do what you would do if you were a "waitress"....serve Him the best you can!!!!!
Dawn: You continue to PRAY...and have faith that God's gonna do what needs to be done....
Nancy: Do what you can do , God will do what you can't !
Carrol: God is waiting on us. From what I see you post, you seem to be a go getter. Sometimes God wants to teach us go getters, that waiting for Him is obedience even though for us waiting seems to be a waste. I'm an overachiever and God has used waiting as a way to wait on Him and his timing. He knows what He has in store for us. We don't.
Debby: I try to remember His faithfulness in the past; that keeps me going for quite awhile!
Tom: Hey Linda, you keep praying, trusting and believing. Stand on the promises of the Word of God. Hope that helps :)
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Today's post is taken from the fast.pray blog that is issued every Monday to a group of (mostly) singles who are praying and fasting for singles desiring marriage. CLICK HERE to join this prayer group who believes in the power of prayer to affect the singlehood phenomenon!
Just a reminder: we’re fasting and praying for marriages for those who want to be married, for courage for men to walk upright and into relationship, and for courage for us to be able to change where we need to change.
Last week was avoiding codependency in female friendships and this week is healthy friendships with guys. Knowing my mixed results on this front, I decided to get some more opinions with a survey. Granted, this survey has an extremely unrepresentative sample (ie: my three brothers), but here are some of the themes from our conversations.
* It's complicated. Examples of healthy platonic friendships between single guys and girls are few. One party usually ends up with hurt feelings and often the friendship is lost along the way. Don't assume that any particular friendship is free from that reality.
* Let go of your expectations. The survey sample agreed that girls tend to make assumptions and then go to extremes: either being angry/upset/surprised that he doesn't ask her out, or being angry/upset/surprised when he does ask her out. Although there is often plenty of fault to go around, it's a helpful reminder that true friendships are not agenda-driven. When we don't have an end goal, we are free to relax, trust God, and let things unfold as they will.
* Don't keep score. Often women divide and rank themselves based on who, in reality or perception, gets to hang out with the guys and who doesn't. Don't let that kind of silliness interfere with your friendships with guys or girls. Treat girl friends as sisters, not your competition. And treat guy friends as brothers, not a means to an end.
* Keep doors open for everyone in your life. Instead of focusing on befriending guys with "potential," keep your eyes open to the variety of folks God is putting in your path in this season of life. Invest in and befriend and encourage with an eye toward God's goodness and grace toward us.
Lastly, I am trying (half inspired by 1 Timothy 5:1) to build a habit of encouraging all the guys in my life, regardless of relationship status. The other half of the inspiration was, of all things, online dating profiles. I know this sounds ridiculous, but at one point I realized how encouraged I was by what some guys were writing about their hearts and lives. So I decided to start telling them that, regardless of immediate attraction level and with no expectations. After several good conversations, I decided maybe I should do the same thing in everyday life and not just with my single guy friends. The results have been uniformly positive!
So whether that's dad, brothers, friends, coworkers, friends' boyfriends/husbands, or even awkward first dates, I want to be an encouragement. Obviously that looks different in those relational contexts and I have much left to learn (probably the subject of another survey!), but I want to be a source of support, not destruction in any friendship.
As we fast tomorrow, let's make a particular point to pray for our brothers, biological or spiritual.
In His Grace,
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Here are the results of a recent Facebook poll, asking "what are your online dating pet peeves?"
Stacey: I like it when the guys take time to get to know a woman. Some men seem like they are on a time table and need to seal the deal quick. These men say to me by that speed that they aren't interested in ME, they are just interested in being in a relationship.
Mario: When you state "locals only" and you get request from Manila LOL. Pictures from high school or tiny pictures you cannot see, blurry dark pictures or no pictures. Idealism.... The killer of any relationship.
Lee: When I find a gorgeous, beautiful girl's profile with a very general, non-specific description. Then when you message them, they immediately want you to switch over to email without getting to know each other. It's usually a Russian-scam/con-artist or similar scum. Use the golden discerning rule: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Doug: Ladies whose profiles basically say "if your not ready to marry me next week don't contact me . Nobody wants to date anymore they think online dating is like ordering a book on the internet.
Jeff: When I used a popular internet dating site, I went through about 750 different matches over a period of about 5 years. My biggest pet peeve were the women who were on the site but obviously not ready to make a commitment (at least not to me) yet they were engaged on this site. Dating is hard work. So a lot of these women thought that a magic genie in a bottle would jump out and show them what to do instead of them doing the substantial work. And then the pendulum would swing the other way and they would want to get married next week. So go figure??
Cari: Men that don't say hardly anything about themselves on their profiles and have blurry far away pictures or thee ole' shirt off in the bathroom mirror taken by themselves with their phone. You are marketing yourself doesn't sound the greatest but that's what it is.
Les: You're on a "Christian" dating site and the only pictures you have of yourself are in a bar holding a bottle of beer?
Dee Dee: You're on a Christian dating site and the profile summary speaks nothing of your relationship with God. Annoying much!!
Lisa: Men who think you owe them a date just because you responded to their message. I politely responded to one that I wasn't interested in him but wished him the best, and he told me I should take my profile off if I wasn't interested.
Cari: Haha Lisa That's funny! I had a guy list all of his "Christian" credentials including where he went to college and his kids being saved etc...I still didn't want to go out with him he was too far away among other things like a temper : /....he got so upset and kept writing horrible things and I had to block him...
Michelle: Some just cannot take no for an answer!
Les: Or how about the time you saw a profile and thought "wow" and spent some time writing this person putting some thought into it only to never get a reply!
Heather: When you send an email and they send you an email that tells you absolutely nothing about themselves.
Do you see yourself in any of these scenes? At Cache' Connections, we encourage all members to respectfully respond to all messages and treat one another as you would prefer to be treated (Matt 7:12.)
Monday, November 7, 2011
Here's another script for our video blog that will be shown at the upcoming Christian Dating Redefined area-wide singles meetings.
One of the basic questions we get frequently is, how does your matching system work? Well, to be honest, we started out working with Drs. Tom and Beverly Rodgers, who are relationship experts, speakers, and authors who have been featured on Focus on the Family, and we were working on a compatibility matching system. We even got some mathematicians involved, but the further we got, the more frustrated we all became. We collectively decided that there is no true system or algorithm that can guarantee that two people will have a connection. Of course, what’s left out of all of the quantifiers is the all-important aspect of chemistry, you know, that special click that you just can’t name, measure or predict.
So the matching system at Cache’ Connections is simply based on the age and mileage range that you select upon signing up. You can select a 5, 10 or 15 year age span, and the mileage ranges are set at 60, 120, 200 or 350+ miles, which actually goes across the United States. From there, it’s up to you to decide, based upon your review of the profiles, if you want to connect with someone by sending them a message through the website.
Which leads me to tonight’s tip for you. We’ve talked to so many singles that are really insistent on meeting someone within just a few miles of where they live. Of course, everyone would prefer the convenience of dating someone from their own town or area. But we have to remember that Christian dating is NICHE dating. That means that the pool of possibilities is naturally smaller than worldly dating. As a committed Christian, you want to connect with someone who shares your faith – someone who can challenge you spiritually and walk together with you on your journey with Christ. As you know, you are seeking a very special person! So it only makes sense that you might need to expand your thinking about how far you might be willing to travel for a connection. Is it worth an hour’s drive? Maybe two or three hours? Some of our success couples have connected over 3 hours, and we have at least one marriage that connected from Atlanta to Detroit! Of course, long distance dating does have its challenges, and it’s certainly not for everyone. We just want you to be open to some possibilities that God might have for you. Remember, we serve a great big God, and with him, all things are possible!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
This week we've been spending time putting together a kit for the upcoming "Christian Dating Redefined" groups. The kit will contain everything needed for a semester of meetings. One piece for the weekly meetings will be a video snippet of Cache' Connections giving a "video blog." So here is a script we drafted for one of our frequently asked questions. What do you think?
Have you heard of the book titled, "If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the Boat" by John Ortberg? That’s one expression we use often at Cache’ Connections – get out of the boat. When Peter got out of the boat and walked toward Jesus, he actually took a huge risk, didn’t he? In fact, 2 Corinthians tells us we walk by faith, not by sight. Living by faith definitely involves a level of risk. In fact, in order to be successful in finding your future mate, you are going to have to take some risks. You’re going to possibly risk feeling embarrassed, being rejected, or having your heart broken. But when you find that special someone, it will all be worth it. So our encouragement to you today is to consider increasing your risk level. Maybe you just need to change your mindset to be more approachable, maybe you need to approach someone, maybe you need to ask that guy or girl exactly where that special friendship is heading?
A lot of people ask how we got started at Cache’ Connections. Well, WE got out of the boat in 2007. Until that time, I had a full time job as a real estate closing agent, and Kim was a realtor and general contractor in new construction. Both of us have been married for several years and we each have two grown children. Kim and I had been acquaintances because we lived in the same town and worked in the real estate field, but we actually reconnected when we both ended up at Northwoods Community Church in Peoria, IL. We found ourselves at a Sat. morning workshop there on building relationships, as God would have it, and that’s where our friendship started. Shortly after that, we went on a shopping trip when Kim and I were talking about our work. Then kind of suddenly, Kim interrupted herself and said, "I don’t want to talk about real estate. Do you want to know what I’ve always wanted to do? I’ve always wanted to be a matchmaker!" And to this day, I remember that “thud” I felt inside when she said that, which I know was the prompting of the Holy Spirit, that was saying, "you need to do this!"
So that very day we started talking about what that would look like, it is feasible, is there a market, would the people come? That was December 31, 2006, and six short weeks later, Cache’ Connections launched on Valentine’s Day 2007. We started out on the local, more personalized level, but we soon found that was too expensive for members and too time-consuming for us. So the website you now see was launched in May 2009. Since then, we’ve seen several marriages and committed relationships formed through not only the website, but people meeting at events – or both; and we’ve heard from a lot of singles that our advice through the blogs, emails, expert articles and chats have helped them identify some issues that have been holding them back. So God has been a part of Cache’ Connections since, well, before Day 1.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
This was the big question posed by Pastor Andy Stanley, Senior Pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia in a message to singles. We've selected Andy's DVD titled, "The New Rules of Love, Sex & Dating" as part of the teaching material for the upcoming Christian Dating Redefined program. This week we reviewed the material and were quite impressed with Andy's insights, fresh, energetic delivery and heart for Christian singles.
In one of the chapters, Andy tells the story of a young woman who told her mother that she recently met the "dreamiest" guy. She told her mother about all the wonderful attributes he possessed - all of the characteristics of the man she wants to marry someday. After her daughter finished her enumeration of his winning qualities, the mother tenderly told her, "Honey, that kind of guy isn't looking for a girl like you." The young woman was crushed and immediately recognized the truth of the hurtful statement and fell into a heap of tears.
This is a true but sad story, for sure. But it is also true and sad for many singles. We've found that oftentimes singles spend most of their lives dreaming of their perfect mate. Come on - admit it. Since the time we played house at the tender ages of 5 or 6, we've been forming an image of our imaginary spouse in our minds. While we realize that no one is perfect, we carry an invisible list around of what our perfect mate looks like: he loves the Lord, adores children and animals and frequently helps little old ladies cross the street; he rises up each morning, makes the coffee, wakes me up and calls me "blessed" and teaches our children to do the same; he makes well over $100K in the ministry, where he is well-respected, lives above reproach and is genuinely liked by others. His sense of humor is unmatched. Although he's the best-looking man in town with sparkly blue eyes, a full head of dark, wavy hair and a 6'2" stature, he only has eyes for me. He gives generously to the church, regularly travels on mission trips and is involved heavily in the community at large, always with an eye and a heart for those who need Jesus. Oh, and he often but randomly brings me little love gifts!
Who wouldn't love and want this man? The problem is, first of all, he doesn't exist. So if you want to continue dreaming, go for it. It is kind of fun, after all. The second problem may be, however, that this perfect man is looking for a perfect woman. I won't go into details, but you know what he is looking for in his mate. The question is, is that woman you? If it isn't, what could you be working on to become more attractive to such a man? Or, do you stick tight to your "must have" list, boxing yourself into such a corner that no man can fit the bill?
Of course, this article is written to the extreme, and we don't mean to pick on the women. We've seen many men set themselves up to be unmatchable in such a way. The point is that we want singles to be open to new ways of thinking - be open to whatever type of man or woman might have for you. Aside from that, we love to see singles take measures to become "that guy" or "that girl" that Mr./Ms. Wonderful is looking for: emotionally, physically, and relationally. It is often our prayer that Cache' Connections members take measures so they will be healthy daters. You see, as Andy Stanley makes clear in his DVD series, healthy marriages are made up of healthy individuals.
What have you done for your Dream Date lately?
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
This is a quote from Dr. Hubert Morken, a professor at Regent University. I picked it up in Candice Watters' book titled, "Get Married - What Women Can Do to Help It Happen." She opens the book with a story of a day she was sitting in class learning about all the ways our country is slipping from its constitutional foundations. When Candice posed the question, "So what's the solution?" Dr. Morken's simple antidote was just this: "Get married, make babies, and do government! That's how we win."
Candice, not yet having the opportunity to marry, apparently was working on her Master's degree so that she could continue her work in Washington to defend the rights of traditional families. The single spitfire replied, "I want to be married. But that opportunity hasn't come my way. So I've devoted myself to working on behalf of families. I'm doing all this hard work so they can enjoy their cozy life in the suburbs," she said with not a little envy and bitterness.
Dr. Morken replied with a laugh, "Candice, do the math. The people who form families, who raise children and send them into the next generation, are the ones who will influence where our government and culture go in the future." Dr. Morken went on to explain that the creation mandate has never been rescinded. In fact, it's been part of our basic pitch at Cache' Connections: marriage is the backbone of our society and our government.
Dr. Morken's wife Mary, known as somewhat of a matchmaker herself, played a huge role as a mentor to Candice and to many other women, helping them see some practical and philosophical changes they need to make in order to become marriage minded and to attract a mate. This book is packed with practical, mindset-changing advice for those who desire to get married and helps clear away some of the scriptural misinterpretations concerning marriage. Follow Candice on her journey that took her from the state of singleness to a happy marriage to the guy who wouldn't commit.
We highly recommend that you get a copy for yourself - and one for your single friends, too! It's time that we get over our self-focus and get married, have babies, and do government, according to God's design.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Today's blog comes from the fast.pray group that fasts and prays every Monday for singles desiring marriage.
We’re fasting and praying for marriages for those who want to be married, for courage for men to walk upright and into relationship, and for courage for women (us) to be able to change where we need to change.
After Heidi's fabulous practical post last week on dating, I received numerous comments from friends along the lines of "Well, that's great if someone is asking you out...but no one is asking me out!" So I wanted to add a few extra thoughts into the conversation about dating well. Some of them come out of my own experience (the good, the bad and the ugly) and some out of conversations with friends and mentors.
If no one is asking me out, I can still be doing things to date well.
Even if no one is pursuing me right now, I can still be implementing some of Heidi's advice. On one hand, I can practice living with an open, gracious heart instead of hiding behind emotional walls and negativity. On the other hand, I can steward my feminine ability to build relationships by being careful about where I invest that ability. And I can be looking to encourage the men in my life, even if they aren't dating prospects.
Don't ignore your heart.
Sometimes it's a close guy friend who spends more and more time with you but never actually asks you out. Sometimes it's a guy you know isn't a believer, but otherwise seems so perfect. In any case, it's easy to start rationalizing: "Well, it's just coffee." "It's just a phone call." "We just have good conversation." Obviously every situation is different and requires godly discernment and grace, but don't ignore your gut instincts and start trying to find short cuts. This is also where Heidi's advice to "have an audience" (in essence: be open with a few close friends about your dating life) comes in handy -- even if you're tempted to rationalize, trusted friends probably won't let you.
Live your life forward, no matter how many dates seem to be on the horizon.
Even when that girl has a date and you don't, you are not less loved or less valued or less beautiful or less worthy in your heavenly Father's eyes. Whenever my emotions are invested in my dating drama (or lack thereof), there is perpetual disappointment. My hope has to be grounded God's character and plans for me, not in my value as measured by number of dates. Sometimes I also reread a few articles that help reset my perspective: Single While Active, Seven Myths Single Women Believe, and Object of My Affection.
Then I do a heart check: "Are the things that I hope will characterize my married life characterizing my life right now? Am I giving my roommate or family the same level of grace, forgiveness, and sacrificial service I imagine I will give my future spouse? Am I valuing today as the precious gift it is and not waiting for "real life" to start when I get married? Am I glorifying God with the opportunities and gifts and skills I have right now, regardless of what the next chapter holds?" When I can answer those questions positively, the number of dates on my calendar is suddenly a much less vexing concern.
In His Grace,
Saturday, October 29, 2011
We just realized we haven't spotlighted Dave and Anne's wedding, which we attended this past July. This is the couple who got engaged on stage in May at our Cache' Connections Expo in Peoria in May 2011.
Dave is an acquaintance of Founder Kim's husband, Ed. When a Cache' Connections Live! event was coming up in Central Illinois in November 2010, Ed encouraged Dave to check it out. Dave was very reticent to attend, but he did. That night, Kim encouraged him to sign up for the website and again, he reluctantly agreed. Staying with the theme of "Reluctant Dave," Linda called him and talked him into attending a Cache' Coffee Connections event about three weeks later, stating that we needed him to even out the male/female ratios or we might need to cancel the event. Wouldn't you know that Dave met a cute gal named Anne, who was not a member but decided to attend the Cache' Connections event because her friend had found a successful relationship there. Dave gave her Anne card, but it took a little while for them to connect. In fact, they connected a few months later through Facebook because Anne never joined cacheconnections.com. Anne and Dave quickly fell in love. Linda ran into them at Northwoods Community Church one Spring Sunday and observed that they couldn't stop telling her about all the things they have in common, how each one had the qualities they'd been praying for, not to mention the way they kept looking into each others' eyes and holding hands.
Sometimes it takes a two- or three-pronged approach to finding the mate you desire. Why not throw your hat in the ring? Join the website in October and save 70% off of any subscription. (Promo code: OCT70.) Also, be on the lookout for a Christian Dating Redefined group coming to your area, or better yet, talk to your church leaders about hosting an area-wide singles ministry. We have found that churches respond better to their own flock.