Monday, January 31, 2011
Wow! Our heads are practically spinning when we consider all of the connections that were made over the weekend. It was an "ooohhh la la" weekend - our favorite kind!
Where to start? Well, we had two dinner parties in progress Saturday night in Naperville and Schaumburg, Illinois, so approximately 20 singles spent time over dinner getting acquainted. We've heard rumors of some who continued their new friendships afterward via coffee, email, etc., which is very encouraging!
Then, we had a couple of special dates. One couple that was connected on the website had their first date. They are miles apart, so they met somewhere in between and confirmed that indeed their online connection transferred well into a personal meeting. There was also one blind date that took place, but no details have been reported on that yet.
On the website, www.cacheconnections.com, lots of messages being sent from the comfort of members' homes!
And we can't forget the Cache' 4-on-4 Connection Party held in Springfield Saturday night! We had a great turnout! About 37 singles of varying ages participated in dinner and a fast-paced dice game. What a great group of people! We had a lot of fun, even through the task of learning how to play Bunco, a game which involves changing partners quite frequently. Our thanks go out to Calvary Temple and West Side Singles who promoted the event. Here's what Pastor Gary Winkleman wrote to us early the next morning: "Linda I heard from several of our people as well as (Pastor) Greg Dungey that a great time was had by all at Mariah's last night. Sounds like another job well done by you two." And from Pastor Dungey: "I think you both did a very good job. It was a blessing to see everyone mingle. Last night was a snapshot of my vision for Christian singles. Thank you both .."
Worth mentioning is the miles traveled for some of these connections. A Peoria woman traveled to Schaumburg. A Peoria member traveled to Springfield. A gentleman from Iowa traveled to Central Illinois - and all of these individuals are glad they did, if you get my drift! While we all understand the convenience of connecting with someone from your immediate area, we also often hear "there's no one in my area" or "I've met everyone in my area."
So what's a Christian single to do? Remember, this is niche dating. Your possibilities are already limited due to the simple fact that you are committed to only connecting with other believers. It only stands to reason that you need to be more open-minded about traveling outside of your zip code to find your Mr. or Ms. Right. Yes, gas is expensive. But if you keep God in the process and it is His will, we believe He will provide the means for this connection. Don't let the enemy close your mind to the possibilities that God might have for you. Remember, with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! (Matt 19:26)
Have a great week!
Friday, January 28, 2011
Today's blog is taken from Pastor Bob Moeller, co-founder of "For Better for Worse for Keeps" ministries. The Moellers, with whom Cache' Connections has partnered in the past, are doing a great work for the kingdom with regards to marriage and singles' issues. Yesterday's "Marriage Minutes" touched on a chord we have struck recently. It seems that God is really wanting singles to take a good hard look at themselves and their patterns. Could it be that perfectionism is prohibiting you from finding a love that lasts?
Defeating Obstacles to Successful Relationships
"But Naomi said, "Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands?...Even if I thought there was still hope for me-even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons- would you wait until they grew up?...No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the LORD's hand has turned against me!" Ruth 1:11-13
A. The Primary Causes
1. Parents who raised you with expectations you could never meet.
2. A deep fear of your own personal inadequacy.
3. Knowing only conditional love in life.
4. A preoccupation with what others think.
5. A case of hidden pride.
B. The Symptoms
1. A relentless search for the "Perfect 10" in a husband or wife. (Sound familiar?)
2. A preoccupation with the physical rather than inner character.
3. A readiness to spot the flaws in others (but remain blind to our own shortcomings).
4. A pursuing the impossible while missing the precious right at hand.
5. A serious case of hidden pride.
C. The Impact
1. A self-imposed life of frustration and bitterness toward God and others.
2. A judgmental attitude toward others who don't deserve to be judged.
3. An attraction to the wrong kind of person.
4. Missing the God-given opportunities to love and be loved right in front of us.
5. Exhibiting often embarrassing behavior.
6. An excuse to avoid the risk of intimacy.
D. The Healing
"In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned-and there was a woman lying at his feet! "Who are you?" he asked. "I am your servant Ruth," she said. "Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family." "The LORD bless you, my daughter," he replied. "This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. And now, my daughter, don't be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character." Ruth 3: 8-11
1. We take the initiative to show our interest in and admiration for the true qualities and strengths of another.
2. We approach people in a spirit of humility rather than pride (to serve rather than be served).
3. We recognize and honor God's presence in our relationships.
4. We see the importance of God's blessing on our relationships.
5. We choose not to chase after others based on age, money or appearances.
6. We exalt character over sex appeal.
7. We build a reputation with others for our depth of character rather than being a superficial person.
Nearly all of these points were brought out by Cache' Connections and friends in our opinion poll and blog posts earlier this week. Are we getting any closer to the choices that lead to healing? Certainly society sends a far different message ... but God has a better plan for His people.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Yesterday's opinion poll on Facebook caused quite a stir. A friend was asking my advice on how to advise his male friend. "There is this guy that I know that says he wants a certain woman. I say fine, go talk to her. (she is way, way out of his league) Should I save him some time and heartache and tell him he better lose weight, etc. before thinking of a woman like this?" I decided to take it to the streets - and about got run over! Here are some of the many responses:
In your minds eye, she may be out of his league. But you do not know who she really is. She may actually be looking for him.
I will say that I have spoken to some 9's and 10's who frankly want to say ... "really?" having been approached by such gents.
Who knows, maybe God wants them to be together? Who are we to decide which league He wants to form?
Of course, and visa versa. But then there's always those couples that you don't picture together, but they're together anyway!
He would probably spare his friend some rejection if he told him to get himself together first. I think that guys should take care of themselves if they expect women to take care of themselves. Of course, there are some women for whom wealth and/or fame are the key attractions.
Its not what is on the outside it is the heart that should matter and the love of God seen through that person.
Yes!!! Men seem to have better ego's then us women..but often warped! This is what I say, "If you want Good, YA better B Good!" In shape, straight teeth and in style pants!!! Just to start..Lol
This thread is a little disheartening....9's and 10's according to who?? Maybe this friend can't lose weight. So this guy's friend says she is out of his league...who is he to say?? I may not be considered a 10 by many people, but gee whiz, God thinks I am perfect. This whole thing just hit me the wrong way. Thank you to those who say that beauty is inside.
I don't know Linda, having been in this position too, this is a hard call. I say go ahead let him talk to her, if he comes back rebuffed, and if feeling rejected; well then remind him she didn't reject him as a person, she rejected the opportunity of getting to experience the "beauty" of him. Then gently see what he thinks may be the reason, using his thoughts, you could guide him into realizing that there may b things, he needs to change. You could also ask the friend what he would want someone to do if it were him.
There are also the men who will say, "I hope my wife is like Paula White or Beth Moore, I bet there are those even in and around Cache-Connections, who hope that their wives will be like Kim and you. To them I always remind: yes but are you willing to invest the time and effort their spouses did to end up w/ the "package" you see now? And vice versa.
Part of setting people up should include a make over session or advice as your package deal!
I wouldn't want to marry a "9 or 10" if SHE thought SHE was. That's pretty egotistical of the girls who would say "really?" As if she's Miss America or Christy B. I'm flattered anytime someone thinks Im nice-that doesn't mean I have to date everyone of them though does it? LoL (but on the other hand..I dont want to settle for someone I think is a 6 0r 6...or even a 7 or 8...in my book I want to be with someone who is MY 10...and she will think I am HER 10)!
You might think x is out of y's league. and 9 times out of 10 you might be right. but that one time, you could be wrong. the woman might be more interested in the inside than the outside. be careful in giving advice.
Show me a guy who looks at a woman's heart first. . . I don't believe he exists.
I don't understand the "league" thing as Christians. To be IN CHRIST means there are no leagues, are there? I have dated and been in long term relationships in the past with what most would consider a 3 or 4 physically but a 9 or 10 when it comes to personality. This guy's friend is shallow and not really a friend to discourage him if he says this. I don't consider myself a 10 physically but hope my future wife is a 10 in her commitment to Christ, looks are irrelevant. If she is, I will see her true beauty. That's what hot is to me.
I have actually met someone online and got to know them- photos unseen. And I have met someone as well...no idea what she looked like until we met.
Sometimes men look at a large gal and all they see is a large gal. What you may actually be seeing is the result of abuse. No one wants to take the time to get to know the large gal. I have never met a friend who was 'out of my league'. I am a friend to all, and will accept you where you are in your life. I believe that is what Christ does for us when we accept him.
...Men are visual we owe it to the guys to be the best darn thing that God planted upon his great earth! The enemy has the market on sex because we as Christian women fail to take the land and POSSESS it with our beauty!!! Time to burn the sweats, jump on treadmills and hit the salon girls and take our land back...O :
Lisa, maybe the best darn thing we can be is only a 5 by society's standards. and that sucks. It has nothing to do with a treadmill, nothing to do with "not taking care of yourself". It is about doing what we can with what God gave us and living to glorify Him. I am glad you have the money to hit the salon when you see fit, but I do what I can with what I have. I am saddened that girls are growing up in this society where looks mean everything.. you have to be a 9 or 10 or you won't be accepted. I struggled with my weight, I struggled with bulimia, I struggled with suicidal thoughts because of this pressure that society puts on women today. We owe it to guys???? NO. We owe it to ourselves to be the BEST WE CAN BE.
No, you really don't know how the woman will respond. You advised him to pursue what he desires, which is the only way he'll know--GREAT advice! Now about his weight, only he knows if he wants to lose weight, but he has to want to for himself. People who lose weight to simply get another's attention or approval will gain it back, thereby being somewhat deceptive to their partners who only know what they see when they meet you.
Our opinion? I'm not sure I'm that brave ... :) But I did read in a book written by a relationship expert that it's best if each party brings equal parts to the marriage, be they looks, earning potential, etc. This helps prevent feelings of insecurity from the one, for instance, who is not as good looking or does not earn as much money. Care to post your comments?
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
It's what we all want, right? Well, a friend has painted us a picture, worth 1000 words. Respect and candor (being honest in expression), I think we all understand and desire. I have to admit, however, I got a bit hung up on "nuance." Sounds romantic, but what does it really mean? After all, if I'm going to blog about it, I should know what it means in this Venn Diagram. A Google search left me scratching my head a bit with the common meaning: A subtle or slight degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone; a gradation (i.e., process, progression) But then I came across this: sensitive to delicate nuances of style; gradations of feeling from infatuation to deep affection; subtle shades of meaning.
Aha! I thought nuance sounded romantic, and so it is. In this compelling conversation, you are drawn further in by your attraction and interest in the other person, along with a measure of mystery.
Many times people ask us: What is chemistry? I think we have a picture of it. When both people are in the middle of the three bubbles - the eye of the "love storm," this is where you social science project turns into a subtle explosion in your heart.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Tonight Founder/Linda will be leading a chat at 7:30 pm CST based on Chapter 2 of the Christian Dating ... Redefined DVD.
So what does it mean to get a life before you get a date? Get popular? Get rich? Get smart? Dr. Stephen W. Simpson tells us that it's imperative that you don't make dating the central focus of your life. It's an instant turn-off! So what's a guy or gal to do?
Find out tonight! This information is key to your success in dating. To participate in the chat:
go to: www.cacheconnections.com
click on: Community and Advice
click on: The Meeting Room
click on: Java screen (you may need to download free Java software)
enter your CC username or nickname and then the password: cachecommunity
See you in the "box." Oh, and CLICK HERE to view the trailer to the DVD.
Monday, January 24, 2011
We admit that we haven't done much research on this topic (although I did find there is a book titled "Grieving for Dummies"). Cache' Connections has several members who have been widowed for a few or several years, and we've heard from them that although they feel ready to move forward, their children, family and friends don't feel they should. This has got to be a tough situation all the way around.
A few scriptures come to mind:
Ecclesiastes 3: 1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: ... 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.
Philippians 3: 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 7:39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but only if he loves the Lord.
1 Timothy 5:14-16 NLT says: 14 So I advise these younger widows to marry again, have children, and take care of their own homes.
And remember Ruth who was widowed and later remarried Boaz? We love how her mother-in-law served as a matchmaker, along with the fact that Ruth is part of the lineage of Jesus Christ!
After a proper time of grieving, it is time to move forward. Of course, one should never "forget" their former spouse. He or she no doubt holds a very special place in the widow's heart and history. The dominating question seems to be, however, what is a proper time of grieving? I'm sure everyone has a different opinion on this, and depending on how close they were to the deceased, their answers will vary. What it boils down to, IMHO (in my humble opinion), is that it is really the choice of the one who was left behind. He or she is the one who is left with a gaping hole in their life. He or she is the one who had established a way of life that very much included a partner. He or she in no way (hopefully!) created this circumstance. And alas, this person obviously is not suddenly blessed with the gift of singleness. Friends and family members should be respectful of the tender position the widow is left in, while realizing that harsh as it may sound, life is for the living.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Heartfelt comments continue to roll in via Facebook on yesterday's blog post, so today we are continuing with this hot topic:
Tim: I think that there are many who have hoped to get married and have a family, but because it did not happen and because they are now of the age when this would be very difficult to happen, if not impossible, they have given up or lost the de...sire to marry. Also, there are many who deal with the aftereffects of divorce for many years and are not able for whatever reason to get past them. These are not people who have the gift of singleness, but are just not motivated for these reasons to seek marriage or remarriage. For these people, they are grieving the losses of dreams or hopes that have died.
I would recommend that we support and love these people, not pressure them to seek marriage or lay platitudes on them about singleness being a "gift", or a calling, etc, or pressure them to seek marriage to someone they would not be interested in. I think this affects many people, and we need to be praying for them and encouraging them.
Stacey: Personally, I think churches have given up on singleness as a ministry. They cut off the ministry of singleness and condensed it into "young adults" and "older adults" ministries. They have abandoned the idea that singles over a certain age will not or does not want to marry. They have failed to address issues concerning singleness. They have failed to reach out and heal the broken hearted in this search for love and ultimately a ministry as a married couple. I think singleness is an epidemic and phenomenon because the church has failed singles.
For me, I have to travel to the next county to find a good singles ministry. Which is better than some people have to travel. Why is it that I have to travel at all?! I have a church at ever corner in my neck of the woods. Even the boonies has a church every 5 miles. I question why we need so many churches with half the pews filled. But, alas, that is a whole different subject...
We ultimately have to search out what is the role of the church. The church is a place of healing, encouragement, getting the word of God in our hearts, bringing in the un-believing, and fellowshiping with the believers. Granted the church is not a singles meet and greet, nor is it a "dating bar" but it is a place like I mentioned above. If at any time the church fails at fulfilling these roles, then they have failed as a church. If there is a need, they need to accommodate to reach the need. Singleness is an epidemic and phenomenon. Why couldn't a good Godly marriage be totally focused on the Lord, and them as a couple? Are our hearts so small? I think not! Jesus came into our hearts to enlarge it. And I think He can make it large enough for Him and our spouse. Of course Jesus gets first place in both spouses. To say that singles should focus on the Lord only is a cop-out of fulfilling a need.
Lorraine: i like tim's softness here ! and gentle approach giving thought to all sides ! and i like stacey's approach say it like it is woman your on my team !!
Gary: Well said guys. I personally haven't experienced much of the pressure to get married just to get married but have seen plenty of the singleness is a gift etc. It's frustrating to find a good singles ministry in any church, even here in the ...country's third largest metropolitan district. What I would like to see and I don't know if it's even possible is a ministry that can give hope, encouragement and "training" to those who seek marriage and are motivated to take the steps to do so on the one hand, but respect the wishes of those who for whatever reason can't or don't seek marriage on the other. Again, I don't know if this balance is possible in one group or not.
Lorraine: I think there should be a dating site based just on dont join if your not interested in marriage end of story ! and if your to scared of the idea of being hurt stay home !! sorry :) life is a risk to get out of bed everyday... where are the brave hearts in the world... the fairy tail still is at hand im thinking. i think to many books to many sermons to many self help books to many whatever besides being yourself and just gettin out the boat and gettin on with gettin on ....
Gary: I would add that part of the challenge is for singles to put aside the petty differences and look at God's purpose in marriage. I've found too often people ditch promising relationships because of a minor incident. That won't get one married and it won't work in a marriage. Whatever happened to commitment, sacrifice etc?
Feel free to add your comments below. Have a great weekend!
Friday, January 21, 2011
We've been contacting a lot of single pastors and leaders, inviting them to take a look at our new DVD titled Christian Dating ... Redefined. One pastor replied that he felt our philosophies were too different to consider a partnership, and therefore didn't want to waste our time or resources. We had spoken with him a time or two in the past, and apparently used the word "epidemic," when in fact we should have used the word "phenomenon." With the singles population at its peak of 50%, it's something!
Here's what he had to say: ... we actually think that singleness is a completely legitimate way of life and that there is a really strong biblical position to be made out of some Paul’s teachings that make it equal to marriage in the NT. That being said, we want to be careful to walk this really fine line where we siphon out our own cultural bias that pulls us towards marriage from the single life. It feels like Cache sees marriage as the preferred Christian life. I am all for marriage and we are certainly addressing a host of reasons in our singles for singleness that are far from Gospel centered. But, that being said I would be remiss to replace that kind of thinking with another form of thinking that also seems a bit off.
Here's our reply: Thanks for the candid response. We certainly would agree that some people are gifted with singleness and are completely comfortable and satisfied in that role, and can be more focused in their service to the kingdom. However, we have found that, by and large, the majority of singles recognize that desire that God planted in their heart to have a mate. It is of utmost importance to Cache' Connections that singles be grounded in their walk with Christ first and foremost "and then all these things shall be added unto" them. This is substantiated in the DVD with the chapter titled "Get a Life Before You Get a Date." All of that being said, we don't wish to get into an argument about our philosophies, as we are pretty close, after all ...
What do you think? Epidemic or phenomenon? Or neither?
Thursday, January 20, 2011
While winter is not everyone's favorite time of year, it is a great time to get involved in online dating! Most of us are cooped up in the house at night and find we have some extra time for social networking. This is proven by hundreds of messages being sent between members over the past few weeks. We've taken on several new members, too, who are realizing that Cache' Connections is quickly becoming THE place to be for committed Christians seeking God's best for their lives. And with the January specials, it's really a no-brainer:
One year for $49.98 - promo code JAN12MONTHS
One month - $4.99 - promo code JAN2011
Here are some tips for new 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
- Both genders are encouraged to send a friendly message to those they are interested in
- Please respond to all of your messages, if even to indicate you don't feel there is a connection
- Consider widening your age and mileage ranges under My Account Settings to increase your connections
- Stay in touch with Kim Whitaker and Linda Martin on Facebook; also join the Fan Page!
- Join a growing group (originating from the NE states) of those who are fasting and praying for singles desiring marriage. CLICK HERE to subscribe to a weekly blog
- Join in the live chats in The Meeting Room to gain support and encouragement. CLICK HERE for scheduled chats and other events.
- Lastly, remember that all subscriptions will automatically renew unless you cancel your subscription under Billing Management.
As always, feel free to reach out to us with your questions or concerns. That' a huge part of what sets Cache' Connections apart from the rest!
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The Meeting Room was full of females last night, and in discussing the challenges of dating in the 21st century, this question seemed to be pretty prevalent. Although there is a new, unwritten rule that women can now ask a guy out, most women still prefer to be pursued. Here are some of the tips that we offered on how to attract a man:
First, women should feel free to send men a message of interest. Online, this means sending a friendly hello. One past member's such faith-in-action landed her "the man of her dreams" and they were happily married this past October :) In person, a guy wants to know if you are interested. Some things you can do are to make good eye contact with him, smile, and ask questions that imply you are interested in him. Don't do all the talking! Be sure your clothes, hair, and makeup are all up to date. Remember for guys 9.9 times out of 10 it's got to start with attraction - guys like dolls who take care of themselves. It might be a good idea to employ a friend's help with this. Also, consider asking a friend of the opposite sex how their gender views or perceives you. It could be that you are sending off "don't approach!" messages.
Also, guys like girls who are fit and active; they want a woman to play with them. So it's probably not a good idea to tout your knitting skills at first. If you are into anything that involves physical activity, you might want to mention it. Men are also highly attracted to women with a friendly, outgoing attitude. So if you are the shy type, you might have to force yourself out of your comfort zone to attract his attention.
Guys - did we miss anything?
Sorry if you are sorry you asked ;) These are the things we see and hear at Cache' Connections. We've recently heard God telling us that we need to help the singles with their struggles, and sometimes that includes speaking the (hard) truth ... in love. (Eph. 4:15) God looks at the heart, but unfortunately man has to get past the exterior. Once he does, a man who seeks after God's heart will want to find a woman who does, too.
Join us next Tuesday night at 7:30 pm CST as we discuss Chapter of our DVD titled Christian Dating ... Redefined. Chapter 2: Get a Life Before You Get a Date. Click here for details on how to get in on the live chats!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Cache' Connections Mission Statement:
Cache' Connections is committed to:
1. Providing a connection point for Christian singles for community and matchmaking services
2. Supporting and promoting healthy dating relationships based on biblical standards
The live chats at Cache' Connections are a great avenue for supporting Christian singles. Join me in The Meeting Room tonight at 7:30 pm CST as we kick off a series of chats based on our DVD titled, Christian Dating ... Redefined. There's usually a very manageable sized and friendly group, so don't be shy about joining us! You can log in just to observe the conversation, or jump in with your thoughts and opinions when you feel the urge. (Bet you can't resist!)
Tonight we will start with the problems surrounding dating. How is dating different than in previous centuries? Previous decades? What are your particular challenges? One thing is for certain, there is a lot of confusion ... and that confusion is multiplied for Christian daters. Let's start with identifying the issues and struggles. Then in later weeks - we'll conquer the dating world :)
Don't have your copy of the DVD yet? For shame! It's on sale at an incredibly low price of $11.95 through Valentine's Day. CLICK HERE to view the trailer and order yours.
Here are instructions on how to participate in The Meeting Room:
go to: www.cacheconnections.com
click on: Community and Advice
click on: The Meeting Room
click on: Java screen
enter your CC username and then the password: cachecommunity
The chats are available for ALL Christian singles and those who care about them. Join us at 7:30 pm CST TONIGHT! It may be necessary to download Java free software at java.com - so get a head start so you don't miss anything.
Friday, January 14, 2011
To gear up for Valentine's Day ... and to redefine Christian dating overall, we've drastically reduced the price of our Christian Dating ... Redefined DVD through 2/15/11. Save 40% ... AND save yourself from making a lot of mistakes in your approach to dating!
James 2:17 tells us, "Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." Take action concerning your love life!
You are sure to enjoy the casual, modern feel of this video series, featuring Dr. Stephen W. Simpson, author, speaker, and professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. We had a lot of fun with him while shooting the video last September. At the time, he told us, "Frankly, these are just things I wish someone would have told me when I was dating." CLICK HERE to order your copy for just $11.95 plus tax and shipping. You can also view the trailer on YouTube on this link: CLICK HERE
Order yours today and you will have your DVD in time for the Tuesday night chats coming up based on the four chapters of the DVD:
1/18/11: The Challenge of Dating in the 21st Century
1/25/11: Get a Life Before You Get a Date
2/1/11: Authentic Dating
2/8/11: Healthy, Holy Sexuality
You and your single friends are encouraged to join Kim or Linda on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 - 8:30 pm CST in The Meeting Room.
Here are instructions on how to participate in The Meeting Room:
go to: www.cacheconnections.com
click on: Community and Advice
click on: The Meeting Room
click on: Java screen (you may need to install free Java software at java.com)
enter your CC username or first name and then the password: cachecommunity
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17, NIV
Today's blog includes an article written by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Editor. This article touches on a point that we at Cache' Connections hear quite often, that is that singles often tell us they are looking for a best friend for their life mate. But what does that mean? This is worth some introspection, especially for those who have never married and almost naturally fall into this pattern. Being a friend and husband or wife is not about what you get, but much more about what you give. A true friend is much more than a playmate ...
Christmas is just about three weeks past us, but the remnants remain on a bulletin board in my office.
There, I have thumb-tacked various holiday family pictures and newsletters that I received in the mail from all different friends and acquaintances. I decided that that's how I would "handle" these materials this year, instead of putting them in a pile to collect dust and go forgotten.
As I look at the bulletin board each day, my heart is warmed as I see the faces of friends who have played different roles in my life: comforter, truth-teller, listener, hugger, encourager, constructive criticizer, relationship decoder/investigator, and so forth.
I see so many ways of serving and giving from so many different types of friends. And I am blessed as I am reminded of what they have done for me. And then I am also convicted: What am I doing for my friends? How am I pouring into their lives as they are pouring into mine? How is God moving me to be part of their worlds? And am I responding to his instruction and guidance in my life?
Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said: "The only way to have a friend is to be one." And he was so right about that. Friendships don't just happen. They take time. They take effort. They take upkeep. And that means we all have to do something if we want to cultivate, grow and nurture relationships with others.
When I look at my bulletin board of friends, if I am truly willing to be a friend "who loves at all times," I know that that means I have to always be ready to shelve or alter my plans in order to help meet the varied needs of others.
It's something God has been working on me for a while now. Am I willing to lay down my plans and sacrifice my time and my desires for my friends? Or is it more important that I get done today what is on my list and what I think is right for me? Am I seeking the Lord for his direction? Am I paying attention to the Holy Spirit for conviction?
Let me warn you, though. Don't ask God to move in your life in this way unless you really mean it. Because when you do ask him to help you be a better friend and to help you reach out to others, he will give you plenty of opportunities that may or may not be what you had in mind.
You might be asked to ...
* Offer your professional skills to someone else in need for free.
* Forgo your after-work errands or agenda to just sit, listen and offer a warm hug/
* Give up your Saturday to help someone move, paint a house or run a garage sale.
Better yet, you might be moved to ...
* Give financially to someone you don't even know.
* Befriend the "different" or "difficult" person whom no one else likes.
* Not take careless words or confusing situations personally and instead choose to "cover" these minor offenses with love.
That's what a true friend does: gets outside of themselves and gives. And gives. And gives! Are you up to it? I'm asking myself the same question. For friends both new and old, how can we be a true friend to someone else today?
Intersecting Faith & Life:
No doubt, at some point in your life you've known what it's like to be on the receiving end of someone who has been a good friend to you. But what's it like to be your friend? Do you take more than you give? Are you ever around? Do you take time to listen and care about others' concerns and life matters? Take a friend inventory today and see what changes you might need to make in your outreach to those you call "friend."
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Cache' Connections has a lot of events coming up starting January 22 in Naperville, Illinois. There are events in Chicagoland, Springfield, Illinois and even in Florida. CLICK HERE to see scheduled events. Our intention is to give you fun opportunities to meet people before or during Valentine's Day weekend, which we know can be a rough holiday for most singles. Along those lines, we want to provide a few helpful tips for you to keep in mind as you meet people "live":
1. Pray and ask God to open your mind to new possibilities. That image of the perfect mate you've been carrying around in your head since childhood? Consider giving that to God and asking His opinion.
2. Stand up! It sounds simple, but it is hard to approach a person who is seated and engaged with a group. If you really want to meet people, staying on your feet sends a message that it's a safe risk for someone who may want to approach you. Of course, manners and standard conduct still apply - don't try to steal the speaker's thunder, or rudely interrupt someone who is talking in a small hub.
3. Homework: Ask a friend or trusted relative if you happen to be sending out any "not available" vibes. You might be surprised! Then prayerfully ask God to help you deal with the underlying reasons for the behavior.
4. Smile! Again ... rudimentary. But it goes a long way.
5. Challenge yourself to be the first to introduce yourself to five new people at an event. This is a great exercise, and the more people you know, the more possibilities open up.
6. Ask open-ended questions, concentrating on being interested, not interesting. People like to talk about themselves - so just ask.
7. If you meet someone you are interested in, make good eye contact - no wandering eyes. And be bold enough to ask for his or her contact information before you walk away!
Those are just a few tips to ponder before your next event. Not able to attend? You can meet people online at Cache' Connections according to your own schedule and pace. Be sure to check out the January special, which is just $4.95 for one month. Promo code: Jan2011.
Have fun - and don't forget to smile!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Recently we received an inquiry from a female member who is a bit confused about a certain connection she has with another Cache' Connections members. They've exchanged friendly messages on the website for two or three weeks, but they don't seem to be getting anywhere. This is a common occurrence, so we thought we'd share our advice to "Confused."
It seems that if a guy is interested, he will let you know by being more regular in his emails and also give you some idea he is interested by what he says. Although sometimes people are not sure what they want and keep the door open just in case they're wrong. My assumption is this is the case with ____. Since you seem pretty stumped with him and desire an answer or closure, it might be time to ask him where he stands .... maybe something like, "Do you see our relationship progressing in a romantic way or just remaining friends?" This would enable you to lay it down or go forward. My guess is that he's looking at it as more of a friendship, but see what he says.
Cache' Connections is all about intentional dating, which goes for both the men and the women. In a perfect world, all men would take a strong lead as warriors of we princesses, always saving the day and letting us know we are safe and secure in his loving care and pursuit of our hearts. (Dreamy, huh?) Unfortunately, this fallen world is far less than perfect. (Thank God for the hope of heaven!) So, due to mixed feelings, mixed matches, unrecognized scars of the heart and patterns of aimless behavior, confusion is inevitable when it comes to dating. However, there are steps we can take, and one of them is to have the boldness to step out and ask the direct questions so that you know where each of you stands in the relationship.
Another shameless plug but I can't help myself:
A lot of these questions are answered in the Christian Dating ... Redefined DVD produced by Cache' Connections. Dr. Stephen W. Simpson is an expert at relationships, especially dating. He frankly stated, "These are just things I wish someone would have told me when I was dating." Get your copy here and cast out the confusion!
Monday, January 10, 2011
For those who couldn't make last night's chat session, here are the highlights:
Expert Emily: Hey friends! Welcome to tonight's chat! I can't set you lovely ladies up with anyone but I can use my training/experience to help you have healthy boundaries.
Chatter: Boundaries-- Let's start with church. Now that I have a little free time everyone wants me to be in their group. I was even asked to be a trustee to manage money and the building. I have enough trouble keeping my old house from falling apart.
Expert Emily: It sounds like making some boundaries in this area is very needed if you are feeling stretched. So, I want to make sure I understand your question correctly. You are serving and though you enjoy it, you feel that their recent requests are pulling you even thinner in regards to your time and attention?
Chatter: Oh yes, I just want to be a member. I like doing one time things. Like a fair to raise money, or going to feed the poor, etc. Yes Emily, you are right. I have low energy. To look at me you couldn't tell.
Expert Emily: Great, it sounds like you know what works best for you which makes sense why being asked to do other roles would feel overwhelming. I use this quote often when working in my private practice with clients and I think that it says a lot for boundary setting: You teach people how to treat you. This means that when we say yes to multiple things, we are telling them that we are ok with the new roles. If we don't like something, it is very important to tell them so that they don't continue asking or requiring of us what is uncomfortable.
Chatter: unfortunately the church has a habit of stretching certain members thin, its always the same people who get asked to do things...sometimes you just have to say No.
Expert Emily: And they will continue to do so, we have to be sure to assert our "no" muscle just as much, if not more than "yes."
Chatter: It's a small congregation. You are right the same people work all the time.
Expert Emily: That sounds very frustrating! I always ask clients "who is working harder? You or the other person?" If they won't listen to your "no" then I'd encourage you to continue giving it until they respect it. Be as direct, yet kind, as possible. When we give others what they want instead of protecting our boundaries, we either get angry initially or resentful down the road (or both).
Chatter: The boundary I'm not sure how to handle is how do you pace a new relationship. I'm not really talking about the physical aspect so much so as sharing personal information, knowing when the person is really interested, if they want you to call or wait for them. (this gal is just getting started dating.)
Expert Emily: I think that waiting for him to call is a personal preference but the decision on how deep to go in conversation is very important for you to know from the beginning. Many couples, especially Christians, go really deep really early. I think it is because the topic of faith opens conversations up to very personal issues such as "how did you find Christ?" and then it can go into a personal story that can emotionally bond the couple prematurely.
Chatter: Emily are you suggesting to avoid testimony type questions too early on?
Expert Emily: It does depend on the couple and how comfortable they feel but it is also a general boundary that I encourage individuals to have before even dating.... I'd encourage testimony conversation but on a surface level and not all the in depth stuff....once you talk about very personal stuff you are likely to discuss things with him/her that you wouldn't typically tell everyone. If you aren't friends before or you don't know each other well when beginning to date, I'd encourage you to take your time to get to know each other...pace yourself!
Chatter: how would you get a person to just talk on a personal level, do you ask them to not get that involved in their answer?
Chatter: Thanks Emily for clarifying...so you are suggesting even sharing faith type things at various levels. I hadn't thought of that before. I tend to love to share but never considered how that might prematurely bond someone.
Expert Emily: If you are already friends and know each other's past/story, then that is a totally different situation because the conversation doesn't even need to happen. Many people don't think about it and then when the person walks away, they feel rejected on a deep level...it is as if they exposed their thoughts and feelings and then the person says "you're not the one" or "you're not enough" or whatever.
Chatter: That is the worse hurt when that happens.
Expert Emily: When people break up, they feel rejected personally and as if a part of them has been exposed and then totally rejected. It is an unnecessary hurt too sometimes when people share their deepest, darkest stories, history, etc. on the first or second date...or even in the first month I believe. It just opens yourself up to someone that you don't know is committed yet. I ask people to think about if they would share that same information with a new friend and many times they say "no, I want to know I can trust them first." It is the same with dating.
Chatter: That is a good way to look at it.
Expert Emily: I also don't encourage new relationships to pray together... I'm not going to go into details but I've heard of couples who pray and then cross serious physical boundaries right after. They feel so connected emotionally and spiritually that they want to connect physically as well. When we are emotionally naked with someone whom we don't know for a long time, it is putting ourselves in a very vulnerable position.
Expert Emily: I'd encourage conversations to be about background stuff but you can be safe by knowing how much in detail you want to go....for example:
When talking about where you came from, you can say, "I grew up in California with 2 siblings. My father was a pastor and my mom was a nurse, blah, blah, blah."
... or you could say "I grew up in California with 2 siblings and a father who was an alcoholic who hid it because he was a pastor. He was very abusive and I always wished I had a father emotionally present in my life and I am so wounded from his abuse even though it was years ago."
Expert Emily: See the difference? One leads to more "fact finding" while the other goes into deep feelings. We wouldn't talk about things like that in new friend circles or at work so why do people do it on first and second dates? Not healthy conversations! Many individuals share information and then look to the partner to be/fill whatever their parent (abusive/absent/etc) wasn't. Not everyone has that intent but it does happen on a subconscious level often. It is put out there by some in a way to say "can you hear my pain? can you fill the void he didn't fill? etc." It is something that the individual must find healing for her/his own but often subconsciously folks will mention things in order to get a response they never received in their family of origin.
Chatter: So my question would be how long after you get out of a relationship should you get involved with someone else?
Chatter: I think of it as if you had major surgery, you wouldn't automatically run a marathon the next day...you have to heal first.
Expert Emily: great point (Chatter)! I would take a few months off for sure just to make sure that you are healing and then ask for a mentor and friends to give you honest feedback on whether or not they see you as ready to go back into relationship again.
Chatter: Little off subject but throwing this out there. Scenario: Guy at church seems to be looking. I'm interested. He's on way other side of church so our paths never cross. Do I make a move? If so .. exactly what would that be. Don't want to cross a boundary of looking too forward.
Expert Emily: I'd sit on his side and during the greeting time, say "hello, it's nice to meet you" Then ask him how long he has attended, etc. If he is in a ministry area, ask him about it and invite him to the singles group that you go to as well....tell him that he is welcome to come with you or at the times they meet...depending on how direct you want to be :) Give him some opportunities to meet you and chat and then pray about it, asking to have more opportunities to hang out with him. Ultimately, after he has seen you after a while, he will make an effort to get to know you more.
Chatter: do you think that all guys should be the ones that initiate a relationship?
Expert Emily: I don't think that the guy asking is "right" or the gal asking is "wrong" because it is up to personal preference....never seen anything in the Bible on it. However, you can be super direct; you can say "let's go out" or you can be indirect: "I'd love to hang out with you and get to know you, are you going to the event the singles are putting on this weekend?
Ok ladies, sadly our time is up. It has been a pleasure talking with you all and I wish you the best in your dating and boundary making :)
Check out Cache' Connections Scheduled Events for future chats to help you with your dating dilemmas!
Friday, January 7, 2011
This may come as a surprise to our readers, but we often receive a lot of "suggestions." While we do listen and glean what we feel is useful, there is a lot to take into consideration for the big picture, and frankly, we feel we've heard just about everything by now. (The song "Walk a mile in my shoes" comes to mind ...)
On the flip side, however, we also receive encouraging words quite frequently. Not surprisingly, these blow the wind in our sails! There is power in an encouraging word, which is why we are commanded to encourage each other. 1 Thessalonians tells us: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Today started off with wind in our sails :) Actually, we've had a great start to the new year at Cache' Connections, and we praise God for that! Here are some quotes that we've received recently through emails and Facebook:
Re: New Year's Eve Party:
"That was the best time I have ever had at a NYE party. What a great way to bring in the new year. I had so much fun. Every one was just so nice. Thanks for all your hard work. Look forward to seeing you at the next event."
"It was great fun....everyone was really nice and I am SO glad I came. Wish I would have talked to more people. Maybe next time. :=)"
"Thank you so much for the pictures. That was very nice of you and I really enjoyed myself on new years eve. Everyone was very nice and I am really looking forward to future events."
"It was a fun time...I enjoyed the food, Bunco game and company. I'm glad you and Kim where there too....you ladies are special and a blessing to us singles. Have a great 2011."
"I had a great time on New Year's Eve and glad that I came out. It was also very convenient being just a few miles from home! It was a very friendly group and Bunco was a great way to get to meet everyone."
Re: Yesterday's blog post:
"Excellent article Linda and OH SO TRUE! We can't expect different results in 2011 if we're not willing to step out and try new things!!! Tonight a friend of mine (female) and I were invited to dinner with 2 single men. While at the end of the night I don't foresee it being a "match" we still had a great evening and hopefully will get together often as friends. Who knows ... maybe I'll have a friend I can introduce to these wonderful men. It's all about "Connections". I believe in what you're doing!!!!" (We LOVE this gal's attitude!)
"That article is really concise and practical...to everyone's success in 2011!!!"
Re: DVD previews by pastors:
"Hi Linda and yes, I previewed the DVD and it is well done. And yes, let's talk again soon about the possibility of hosting a singles event."
"I view the DVD New Years Day and like it very much. I'd love to use it as a study later this year. Please give me details on using it and if there will be a workbook."
"Yes I finally had a chance to review the DVD and thought it was excellent."
From a happy new bride:
"p.s. I hope things are going well for you... people ask all the time how I met the man of my dreams... trying to always put in a good word for cache connections :) Without which, I would have never met the most amazing man ever!! So thank you!"
Who can you encourage today? Who can I encourage today?
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Okay, I won't bore you with the definition of insanity, but it might be a good idea to look at your old dating strategies and decide to change a few patterns, a mindset, etc. If you are (still) single and hoping to find your special someone, even this year, maybe it's time to take a step back and re-think some things. As this is "just a blog," this will not be an exhaustive, orderly dissertation on how to find your "10" in "2011." We make no guarantees. But we often see some sticky points that might be holding many singles back from finding successful relationships ...
1. Order your copy of the Cache' Connections DVD titled "Christian Dating ... Redefined." Although at first glance this may seem like a shameless plug, we are confident you'll agree that Dr. Stephen W. Simpson, our featured expert, really lays out a solid plan on how to approach dating with authenticity. He covers the basics - and then some. He answers some of the tough questions, and lends clarity to some of the conflicting messages you are receiving from the world. From "Get a Life Before You Get a Date" to "Healthy, Holy Sexuality," there's plenty of advice you can sink your teeth into. Rave reviews continue to roll in from church leaders! Click here for details.
2. Keep an open mind and let God lead. What does this mean in practical terms? For starters, chuck that mental picture of your "10" and that well-worn 50 point list of must-haves. Ask God to open your mind and heart to the type of woman or man that would be a good mate for you. I bet He has some different ideas. This would be a good time to remind you that I'm not my husband (of 26 years)'s type. Or I wasn't - or his type changed - you get the drift. His advice to the guys: If a girl has the qualities you are looking for and has a "nice face," then you have to meet her face to face. Don't rely on a photo and a bio. You just might find she has the prettiest smile and sweetest, sparkliest personality you've ever encountered.
3. Change patterns. Change directions. Change gas stations, coffee shops, gyms, eating habits, makeup, hairstyle, clothes, friends, church, breath mints. You can't keep doing what you are doing and expect to see different results. And please widen your mileage range, somewhere outside the vicinity of your backyard. (Okay, that was sarcastic and won't likely make it through the editing process.) Ms. Sparkly Smile will be worth the drive :)
4. Have a serious talk with a good friend or relative about your date-ability. Ask if you are putting off any bad vibes. Ask their opinion on how you can change some of the items in No. 3 above to attract members of the opposite gender.
5. Trust God! It's important to have faith to believe, despite your present circumstances, that He is working all things together for your good. (Rom 8:28). Also, what might God be trying to show you during this journey?
Our prayer for all unmarried friends, fans and members of Cache' Connections is that God will provide and fulfill that desire He planted in your heart, and that in the waiting, each of you will find hope, growth and healing so that you will one day be a healthy half of a marriage that is honored by all. (Heb. 13:4)
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Here are the results of our most recent Facebook poll, which was prompted by an inquiry from a member of Cache' Connections who is apparently not a fan of the phone:
Is The Phone Call necessary between the online messages and the first face to face meeting?
Tom: no question, yes.
Casi: I don't think it is, but I'm not a phone person.
Nila: I think so too Tom. You can tell a lot from a live conversation. I would not have a face to face meeting without first having a few phone conversations.
Jay: absolutley, there is a lot that can be determined from voice inflection, tonal quality and personality these things cant be articulated through written words alone.
Ray: It's a good idea to talk on the phone before the first date.
Ronda: Yes it is! It helps prepare U for a sense of the personality behind the messages! In a recent encounter I had I was sooooooo glad I heard his voice first because it wasn't at all what I expected and I may have reacted in person (by the look on my face). Just my opinion.
Barbara: Affirmative! Phone conversation is a must prior to meeting face to face.
Vicki: Absolutely. In this day of technology, hearing someone's voice is still a thrill !!!!
Me: why do people hate the phone?
Vicki: I wonder that myself! Texting has no personality. Emails are ok, but respect me enough to let me hear your voice when you have something to say to me.
Trisha: Vicki a lot of people would rather text (they have unlimited texting) then talk on the phone (limited minutes for phone calls). Personally for me when I'm going to met someone for the first time (I have been trying to make friends the last few years....friends with similar interest) I would lke a text or phone call .... a call is best because then I know what I sound like & I know what they sound like.
As you can see, the majority is in favor of talking on the phone before meeting. What does Cache' Connections think? We tend to agree, but wouldn't consider it a dealbreaker. It would be like a self-screened blind date. But I'm still wondering why people don't like the phone. Any ideas? Also, what does that initial phone call sound like?
Monday, January 3, 2011
We packed about 40 singles into the private room at Pompeii in Schaumburg on New Year's Eve, where everyone was in good spirits as they enjoyed the icebreaker game, introductions, great Italian food and playing a new-to-many dice game called Bunco.
Laughter, encouragement, loud shouts of "bunco!" to receive a toss of the fuzzy Bunco dice were in the air. Kim and I were busy directing traffic, as the teams of two who had the highest score after each 5-minute round moved to the next table. After the first couple of rounds, everyone got the hang of the game and were able to loosen up and enjoy. The only slight glitches were people coming in late and leaving early, which left us scratching our heads for a few minutes, but we were able to "punt." Also, we played two out of the three intended rounds, but this allowed time for the guests to mingle and chat naturally without the race of the time clock.
Some guests had their photos taken for the website as a favor from CC, then we readied ourselves for the countdown for the New Year. We employed one of our male guests (who turned out to be quite boisterous) to do the announcements and lead the countdown. Yes, we had party hats, blowers, and toasts around the room to ring in the New Year with all the expected festivities.
This year's event was a little lower key than our past years, but with the singles being even more careful with their spending, and all the conflicting events, we were very pleased with the way this party turned out. The vast majority of guests seemed to enjoy the game and asked about others to come. Check the Events Tab for more fun events on the horizon!
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Happy New Year! It seems that everywhere we go, the most common question we hear is "How long have you two been doing this?" Well, today marks the 4th New Year's Day that Kim and Linda spent together. Pictured here is our first official meeting of the minds :) Our New Year's Day meetings since then have been just as casual, as we are resting after New Year's Eve parties sponsored by Cache' Connections.
It's been a whirlwind ride since that fateful day that Kim shared with Linda, (her new friend) oh-so-innocently, "I always wanted to be a matchmaker!" And Linda felt a funny nudge inside and said, "Sounds good. Let's do it!" Of course there's a whole book to be written someday of all the events that have transpired since that day. We've had our share of highs and lows over the past three years, but God has been with us all along, providing as always "just enough" to keep us moving forward in faith.
We firmly believe God has us on a mission to bring Christian singles together, to provide them hope, encouragement and support, not only in their pursuit of finding a mate, but also in growing personally and spiritually along the way. We've grown too - and God's not done with any of us yet. So today we look back briefly at our humble beginnings and remember the blessings and provisions God has provided. God is faithful to provide - on His timetable!
If you've been considering joining this movement to redefine Christian dating, now is a GREAT time to join in! Become a member, check out our events, join in the chats, read the daily blog, buy the DVD and share it with your single friends or small group. It's time to send a message to society that anything does NOT go!
Through midnight 1/3/11, save 50% to 60% with these fantastic offers:
DOUBLE BUBBLE SPECIAL:
Purchase a subscription for 3, 6 or 12 months for 50% off, AND we will DOUBLE the length of your subscription from the administration panel. Promo code: DOUBLEDEC. Expires: 1/3/11
$64.95 - 3 months - Now 6 months for $32.48
$99.95 - 6 months - Now 12 months for $49.98
$149.95 - 12 months - Now 24 months for $74.98
UNTIL MARRIED SPECIAL:
This is a one-time only payment, on sale for just $139, that ensures your membership at Cache' Connections until you find your husband or wife! Save 60% off of the regular price of $349.95, AND we will throw in our new DVD, "Christian Dating ... Redefined" to help start your 2011 dating on the right foot. Promo code: UNTILMARRIED. Expires: 1/3/11
CLICK HERE for all subscription prices and info on the DVD.
"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14
Kim and Linda