Friday, April 29, 2011
We had to get in on the fever of this Royal day, the celebration of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Although we know most of you male readers are S-N-O-R-I-N-G through all of the hoopla and changing channels faster than ever, we also know that you are always interested in saving money - so stick with me :)
How about a Six-month subscription at Cache' Connections for just $29? Sign up or re-subscribe by midnight on this ROYAL DAY and use the promo code: ROYAL. This will render you a royal savings of $70.95 off of the regular price of $99.95 for a Six-month subscription at www.cacheconnections.com!
Whether you ever dreamed of being a prince or princess or not, most of you dream of finding your soul mate, because that is the way God hard-wired mankind (Gen 2:18). Cache' Connections just might be the place you meet your heart's desire, so step into our humble little kingdom and see what God's got in store for you!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Today we are sharing an article from Crosswalk.com that's co-written by Cliff Young and Laura MacCorkle. I'm sure that many of you can relate to the question being addressed. Believe it or not, I can even remember some of those feelings myself, when a co-worker had a child before I did. I think it's all too easy to allow ourselves to feel inferior when surrounded by people who have experienced marriage, parenting, extensive travel or a lifestyle that we have not. The phrase "What about me?" comes to mind. But once again, it's not about me. It's more about what God might be showing us through the discomfort.
QUESTION: I work with two other women in my department: my boss and a co-worker. Of course, both are married with young children and I am single, never married, no kids. It seems like all they ever talk about are their kids, their husbands, what their kids did this weekend, how their husbands get on their nerves, etc., etc. I really believe that my co-worker enjoys the fact that she has all this in common with my boss, and I don't. So, I sit there not being able to join in on most of the conversations, and I am really starting to feel like a social outcast and reject. Is there a way that I can properly deal with this, so that I am not so upset all the time by it?
HE SAID: In many ways, it seems as if we do live in a married world, even though there are 96 million singles in the United States (comprised of those at least 18 years old, never been married, divorced or widowed), which is 43 percent of the population according to the Census Bureau. Approximately 61 percent of those have never “walked down the aisle,” totaling nearly 60 million people. It would be a stretch to place singles as a whole into a social outcast status, but maybe we can receive a minority classification.
Nevertheless, having been single since the pre-cell phone days, I do empathize with you. Most of us spend the better part of our day at work in a situation which, if not conducive, has the tendency to affect the rest of our lives. I have to ask though, if you don’t share all of those commonalities with your co-workers, do you really want to take part in their “venting session”?
Here is my honest take on the situation.
First of all, your co-worker probably does enjoy having many things in common with your boss—wouldn’t you in that position? Whether she is trying to “stick it” to you or not, there’s not a lot you can do (i.e. confront her, talk to your boss, etc.) without it becoming a bigger deal in your office and alienating you even more.
You’re at work, so just work.
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world (John 9:5).
When I encounter times at work where I don’t feel part of a social conversation or don’t have anything constructive to offer, I usually bow out and do what I am being paid to do. If you utilize those opportunities where your boss and co-worker are sitting around socializing, and spend it working (with excellence) rather than trying to “fit in” to their world, what is the worst thing that will happen, your co-worker will say, “Look at her, all she does is work”? That won’t score any points or make her look any better.
You will seldom be scrutinized by your superiors for working too hard, and it will clearly separate you from your co-worker even if they do have a lot in common. Don’t feel as if you have to be like them to succeed.
Outside of work, expand your horizons.
I have come so they can have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way (John 10:10).
Instead of trying to blend into their world, establish your own. If you arrive each morning from having “experienced” your single life in the fullest possible way, others will want to hear about it, because they aren’t doing it.
When I worked as a youth worker, I always invited the children of my co-workers to attend the events and trips (even mission), which many did. Although I didn’t (and still don’t) have children of my own, my co-workers and I had much to discuss about the weekend I spent with theirs.
One thing I have discovered from many of my married friends is their lives are fairly “consistent” (some would even call it “mundane,” to describe it politely). I often get many more questions about what I’m doing and experiencing in contrast to their common response of, “Same ole, same ole.”
Don’t spend your time worrying about what you don’t have, but rather experience what you do have—a sense of freedom, more flexible lifestyle, and “free of concern and (seeking) how you can please the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:32).
Live your life to the fullest and be a light to the world—that is how you can properly deal with your circumstances.
SHE SAID: I’m so glad you wrote in and asked this question.
Yes, you, me, Cliff … we are all singles living in a “married world.” Those who have been married since graduating college (or very soon after) have no idea what it is like to be single for many years, even decades. And it is also true that those who have been single for many years (myself included) have no idea what it is like to be married for many years (or even just married at all).
That’s what I tell myself each time I feel left out of a conversation that is all about spouses or children or when it seems like I am being misunderstood or judged for not being married (or having not found someone to date) or that a married person thinks that he or she knows exactly what I’m going through as a single person or has the quick-fix solution to my problems (“You just need to ______.”).
CLICK HERE to read the article in its entirety.
Join the community of Christian singles at Cache' Connections, which is a community and matchmaking service built on biblical principles.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Dr. Stephen W. Simpson is building quite a fan base in Illinois, having been the featured expert on Cache' Connections DVD titled "Christian Dating Redefined." This DVD was filmed in Peoria last fall, and Dr. Steve couldn't resist the invitation to return back to our fair city for the Cache' Connections Christian Dating Redefined Conference and Expo, which will be held on Friday, May 20th at Northminster Presbyterian Church on N. Knoxville in Peoria, IL.
But in true Cache' fashion, we decided to make full use of his time and travel across the country, so we planned a piggy-back event of the same name to take place the following night, which is Saturday, May 21st at the U of I - Springfield campus. Three of the larger churches in Springfield, namely, West Side Christian Church, IWorship and Calvary Temple are happy to promote the event, as well as several other churches in both Peoria, Springfield and the surrounding areas.
Central Illinois singles, whether currently dating or not, are in for a treat! Dr. Simpson is an author, speaker, psychologist and Director of Clinical Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. In coming together with Dr. Steve for the DVD project, we all agreed that we need a new model for dating - one that includes being intentional and authentic and built on biblical principles. What exactly does that mean? Come out and hear for yourself! You will also have an opportunity to purchase the Christian Dating Redefined DVD at a reduced price at the upcoming Expo events. CLICK HERE for information on the DVD.
There are a few different ways that the Cache' Connections Expo is structured, depending on the hosting church and the desires of the singles in the area. Some will feature a showing of the DVD or will actually feature Dr. Steve in person, while others will simply show the popular trailer of the DVD to give a preview. Either way, the Expos are a very fun and popular event. It's a casual atmosphere, where guests are free to stroll from vendor booth to booth, participating in the games and challenges, tasting free food samples and vying for the many door prizes. Guests really seem to enjoy the structure-less opportunity to meet other singles in the area. Sometime around 8:15 pm, Cache' Connections will encourage guests to gather together for the viewing of the DVD or for the stage presentation. Afterwards, there will be a last chance to visit the many vendor booths and put your name in for the drawings. Then, at about 9:30 pm, all prizes will be announced.
Help us spread the word! Please talk to your friends and church leaders about this event, and send the link to this blog to your email buddies. Let us know if you can use some fliers. The more, the merrier! Let's show Dr. Steve that Peoria knows how to play!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Aaaaahhhh, how we dislike this inevitable question! Of course, everyone wants to know - including the founders of Cache' Connections! The fact is we just don't have an accurate count, and probably never will. There is no way to know the success rate due to all of the unanswered questions. While we do hear from many couples that they met through our events or online matching system, we also hear through the grapevines that others have met and even married, but we are never able to get full names and stories, try though we may! (Yes, Virginia, some people like to keep their private lives private - sigh.) And no doubt there's been some secondary matchmaking going on ...
CLICK HERE to view the Cache' Connections Couples pages.
So when you look at the ratios of our fluctuating membership compared to our prayer list of couples that we do know of, it can be a little disheartening. But this brings to mind this inspiring story:
The Starfish Story
Original Story by: Loren Eisley
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!” After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…”I made a difference for that one.”
The fact is, Cache' Connections has made a difference in many lives. Of course, there are the couples who have met and are now married and building families, those who are dating steadily or exploring a new, exciting relationship. And we shouldn't fail to mention the great friendships that have formed, both same gender and male/female. For members who are still hoping, we provide encouragement that there is a place where committed single Christians can meet each other, along with our prayers and expert advice to help them find success. For the church, we are quickly becoming a resource to leaders who are often asked for help in finding a Christian mate.
But probably one of our favorite testimonials came from Sandra in Illinois, a "still hopeful single," who stated: "Cache Connections means a lot to a lot of people. For some it is the pot at the end of the rainbow, the princess in the castle, the knight in shining white armor, a way to self-discover and make improvements we did not realize we needed to make to prepare ourselves for that special person, and to others what may be the end of what has seemed like a futile attempt in doing what God has asked us to do. "Go ye, and multiply..." For me, Cache Connections has taken on a whole new meaning; they are an area of oasis, restoration, recovery, and victory. A kind of Psalm 23 for singles, divorcee's, widow/widower's, and those with hope deferred. For, in Kim and Linda's life, marriage, relationships, and work God is the focus, the center, the beginning and the end of their day. As He should be to all of us, and as they mirror what a true relationship is, I see that is why their success is so great, because they teach the same tools to those who ask and apply them. Thank you Kim and Linda, for being used in God's master design for healthy Christian marriages and relationships and being woven into so many lives. I appreciate the oasis!" - Sandra, IL
Ocean, oasis ... do you see a theme? Kim and I always joked that one day we'd be operating the company from the beach. Maybe we ARE the beach?
Monday, April 25, 2011
A friend was helping me with an idea for a blog, and she did such a great job, I chose to simply copy and paste it as the today's entry (with her permission). We realize that many readers have suffered through divorce and other deep hurts that require forgiveness if they are ever to enjoy peace and healthy relationships again. Many of you know these things, but oftentimes we need to be reminded of what we already know:
Have you done a blog on forgiveness yet? A few years ago I came up with an analogy that has helped me immensely. I used to think forgiveness was a one-shot deal. I forgive someone then I'm done. And if I ever feel the bitterness or resentment (or rage or even hatred) again, I must not have really forgiven the person. Try as I might to forgive, I kept thinking I was failing.
I finally likened this to "tattoo forgiveness": you do it once and it's done, it sticks forever. Then I discovered that, as an incredibly fallible human being, it works a little different. I have to do "get in shape forgiveness": every day I pray for God's power to forgive, every day I have to choose to pray blessings for that person and lovingly act in their best interest.
It's much more like eating right & working out in order to get in shape. I have to choose to forgive every day. I can't say "Oh, I went to the gym yesterday so I won't ever have to do that again." And on the days the old bitterness and rage well up, I ask God to forgive me and to give me a forgiving heart. Then I pray blessing for my enemy.
So, I've discovered that forgiveness is not a one time occurrence like getting a tattoo. Rather, like getting in shape physically, forgiveness is an everyday choice.
I've been a single mother for almost 8 years now. My ex-husband is still taking me to court trying to get custody of our daughter. There are days when I still struggle with emotions from that abusive marriage and with emotions from this ongoing custody fight. For years I knew I needed to forgive him but I had no idea how. Now I know I have to choose to forgive every day, whether I feel like it or not. Forgiveness is the only way to release the hold pain and anger have on us. It's the only way to obey and be like our Jesus who forgives us over and over again.
Lewis Smedes wrote The Art of Forgiving: When you need to forgive and don’t know how. I found it very helpful. Maria
We encourage you to ask God to search your heart for any bitterness or anger that you may be harboring, and ask him to fill you with his grace and mercy so that you can completely and continually forgive. Matthew 6:12: .. and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Today's blog is taken from Charles Stanley's daily devotional. While our focus is usually on dating, as Christians our number one goal is to love God. Today we take time to remember the ultimate sacrifice and gift that our Lord offered up on that dark day some 2000 years ago ...
Matthew 26:47 - 27:56
Jesus is called by a variety of names—Messiah, Lord, Christ, Rabbi, Teacher—but the one that is probably the most unfamiliar to the modern world is the Lamb of God. Since most of us do not have a Jewish background, we have a limited understanding of this title. But the Israelites of that day understood the significance of this name. Lambs were for sacrifice.
God has always dealt with sin through the blood of sacrifices. When Adam and Eve sinned, an animal was slain to cover the nakedness and shame of two individuals(Gen. 3:21). On the first Passover, each household covered their doorway with sacrificial blood (Ex. 12:1-7). Later, a goat was slaughtered for the atonement of the entire nation (Lev. 16:15). Now in John 1:29, we see the ultimate sacrifice—the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.
Usually a person’s most impressive achievements are completed while he or she is alive, but think about what Jesus accomplished through His death. Just as innocent animals had died in place of the guilty, so Christ gave His perfect life for sinful mankind. He assumed full responsibility for all our sins and took the punishment that we deserved. As He hung on the cross, the judgment and wrath of God was poured out on Him instead of on us.
Since we are limited by our human minds and senses, we cannot fully understand all that the Lamb of God endured to bring us salvation. But we know enough to realize that we owe Him our lives. He took our place on the cross; let’s give Him first place in our hearts.
He is risen! Happy Easter!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Cache' Connections is proud to be partnering with Edan concerts for the upcoming MercyMe Concert taking place in Peoria, IL on Saturday, May 7th! If you are in Central Illinois (married or single!), get in on a chance to win TWO FREE TICKETS to this concert. It's easy - simply "Like" us on our Facebook Fan Page and post a comment on the wall and tell us your favorite way to meet people of the opposite gender. It's that easy! Everyone who makes a post will have their name entered in a drawing for two free tickets. You can also post your comment here on the blog, then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to have your name entered. The drawing will be held Monday, May 2nd at 3:00 pm CST. Winners will be notified via Facebook message or email. (One entry per person.)
This is going to be an awesome concert, which will also feature the amazing talents of Natalie Grant and Brandon Heath. So whether this is a date night or even a special outing with your friends, it's going to be an awesome night of worship!
It's not often that big names in Christian music come to Peoria - so let's support them and make sure Christian music "plays in Peoria." Be sure to stop by the Cache' Connections booth and say hello!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I stumbled upon this website today titled "Hook Chas Up." Apparently Chas is offering a $10,000 reward for the person who introduces him to his wife. Too bad it does not appear that he is a Christian. Just in case we have any financially blessed blog followers, Cache' Connections would also accept a similar reward for connecting you to your Mr./Ms. Right :) (In fact we did have an offer of $1,000 once, but this special client ended up meeting his fiance through work.)
But as one recent event guest wrote recently, "Just wanted to thank you for a great time at your Cache Connections "Speed Dating" event last Saturday night. It was quite an experience and having been planned out well, rolled along smoothly. Enjoyed the fact that it was a Christian event sponsored by a Christian organization run by two Christian women who are doing God's work. I especially liked knowing that all the women I was meeting were Christians, as that is always my first priority. I did meet a woman that night and we are working on a friendship, just getting to know each other. Where it will go, only God knows! And He is always in charge! Thanks again to you and Kim for the wonderful work you do. Seems to be a lot of work with little financial reward, so your reward certainly lies elsewhere. Blessings, Bob, IL"
So, whether we "hook you up" with your Christian mate for just the $15 cost of an event ticket (which has been known to happen), a full-price lifetime membership at Cache' Connections for $349.95, or a sizable reward, we trust that God's got our finances under control. Although it's all too easy to get caught up in this world and it's "treasures," we trust that God has a future in store for us that "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Cor 2:9
p.s. ... but if you end up introducing Chas to his wife, remember me :)
Monday, April 18, 2011
Today's blog is taken from the Monday fast.pray group that we subscribe to. Rejection is something we've all faced, but it is probably something that both single women and men risk or face more than many others.
"We are fasting/praying Monday (again!) for God to give the gift of marriage to those who desire it, work change in men, and work change in us (women). We're praying for a fresh wave of God-honoring relationships that lead to God-honoring marriages.
A few weeks ago a friend told me about her 9-year-old nephew's reaction to not getting picked for a sports team at school: "It was like they reached in, grabbed my heart, ripped it out, threw it on the ground and stomped on it!" Who can't relate to his (albeit dramatic) response to rejection? Probably everyone among us has felt the pain of having our "heart stomped on" -- especially in the area of romantic relationships.
This is Holy Week. Today Jesus was cheered by crowds waving palms; on Friday he faced the ultimate rejection -- crucifixion. A dramatic turn-around in just a few short days. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering (Isaiah 53:3). This morning's sermon at my church was "What do you do when faced with rejection?" -- and I wanted to share the main points. They are simple, but helpful words.
1) Know that Jesus relates to the pain of rejection (Mark 14:64-65; 15:1). It is healing to know that he relates to our rejection, that he understands. He has experienced it himself.
2) When rejected, let others help you. God's help often comes through God's people (Mark 15:21; Hebrews 4:15; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5). So often when we are in pain we want to retreat and hold others at arms' length; resist this temptation. Let the strength of others strengthen you. Don't withdraw.
3) When rejected, resist the temptation to become bitter -- forgive and focus on others (Mark 15:22-28; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53:4-5). The best medicine for our wounded hearts is often looking around to see who else needs care -- and then offering it. Resist the temptation to sink into self-centeredness. Look for how you can help someone else.
During this Holy Week, whatever place your heart is in, may God draw near to you and meet you.
To receive the weekly reminder to fast and pray, along with a word of encouragement, CLICK HERE.
Have a great week!
Saturday, April 16, 2011
I've been reminded in speaking with a few different people recently, particularly guys, that some people tend to move way too fast in getting their hopes up about a new connection. This week we've talked to a guy who connected with a member on the website, a guy in Florida who met someone at the recent Expo, and a few gentlemen in Chicagoland who met someone very interesting at the Cache' Quick Introductions, and even a Facebook friendship that is blossomming ... and that's great!
But here's the thing. We want to caution both males and females to try to keep your excitement under wraps. For one thing, you really don't know in that first day or week or few emails what you've got. If you start strategizing where you will live, how many kids you will have, etc., there's a likelihood that you are setting yourself up for disappointment. On the other hand, your enthusiasm could frighten the other person, making him or her feel undue pressure if they are not experiencing the same feelings.
You have to remember, especially if you are over the age of about 30, that you are dealing with someone who has most likely been hurt from a past relationship. And hurt people tend to be a little protective of their sore spots. Wisely, they may want to take things slowly. This reminds me of a title to a speech that one of our experts delivered at a Cache' Connections Live! event: "It's a pace, not a race."
Our advice is to stay close to God through prayer in all phases of a relationship, but especially at the onset. Remember all of those chemicals that are ignited in your brain (yes, God put them there) that make the sky seem bluer and her eyes sparkle brighter? Don't be totally fooled by them! They are there for a basic reason - procreation. But gradually those chemicals wear off and reality will set in - ask any married couple. But that's all good.
My point today is that just because you met someone that you are really attracted to, give it at least a week or two before you shut off all other communications, matching status, etc. You don't really know what the other person is thinking. And you don't want to set yourself up for an unnecessary disappointment. Let God lead!
Have a great weekend.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Cache' Connections has been invited to partner with Edan Concerts for a fabulous night of worship on Saturday, May 7th, 2011 at the Peoria Civic Center. Featuring not only MercyMe but also Natalie Grant and Brandon Heath, this event is perfect for everyone!
~ date night (first date, married couples, etc.)
~ singles group outing
~ family night
So grab your friends, kids or special someone and come out for fabulous night of worship! And be sure to stop by the Cache' Connections booth and see what surprises and announcements we have in store. CLICK HERE for all details.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
... at church this past Sunday. I was hanging out in the Atrium at Northwoods Community Church, minding my ministry of keeping things tidy, when I was chased down by a cute couple who looked familiar.
The last time I saw Dave and Anne was at our Cache' Quick Introductions in Peoria last December. I remember Dave better because we had a chat after the activity. He seemed somewhat excited but doubtful at the same time, stating there was one lady that he was interested in, but he didn't think he stood a chance. He gave her a card but didn't expect to hear from her. If I remember correctly, I encouraged him to hang in there and get busy with his new profile on the website at cacheconnections.com.
Dave called us a few months later and reported that he and Anne did start talking and things were progressing rapidly. They seem to be on the "Craig and Phillis" pace. If you're a CC blog fan, you know what I mean. They can't wait to get married, but are counting on God to show them the timing and work out all of the logistics. (As a side note, they are working on getting a picture and written story together for our "couples" page.)
These two were too cute together! They couldn't keep their eyes off of each other, finished each others' sentences, and told me everything they have in common. The first thing that Anne told me was that Dave was everything she'd hoped and prayed for, and then some. She's had some very sad things happen in her life, but gives God the glory for turning things around. She's happier than ever!
They shared this special rendition of Rascal Flatt's "God Blessed the Broken Road" with me. Both the original version, which implies the road to Mr./Mrs. Right, and the Selah rendition, which implies the road to Christ, are true for them.
For those in the Central Illinois area, Anne and Dave will be sharing their love story at the Cache' Connections Christian Dating Redefined Conference and Expo at Northminster Presbyterian Church on May 20th. Come on our for encouragement, fun, prizes, food, and to hear from Dr. Stephen W. Simpson, author of What Women Wish You Knew About Dating and featured expert on our Christian Dating Redefined DVD.
Enjoy the video!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Cache' Connections calendar is on overload - we're becoming a veritable event machine! Will you help us help you? If you would be willing to take fliers, send emails, make Facebook posts, etc., on any of the upcoming events, we would greatly appreciate it. We can reach a lot of people, but there are still a lot of Christian singles who have not yet heard about Cache' Connections. Help us spread the good word about Cache' Connections events. Christian singles need a place to connect outside of the typical meeting places such as bars and nightclubs. Here's what's coming up:
Cache' Connections Mixer
Socialize naturally and then enjoy dinner
Online Chat with Expert Emily Shupert
Topic: Boundaries in Dating
Cache' Quick Introductions
Christian speed dating in groups of 3 or 4
Cache' Connections Mixer
Socialize naturally and then enjoy dinner
Cache' Connections Dance Lessons and Mixer
Rumba, practice, Salsa, practice!
Christian Dating Redefined - Conference and Expo
Featuring Dr. Stephen Simpson "live!"
Northminster Presbyterian Church
Christian Dating Redefined - Conference and Expo
Featuring Dr. Stephen Simpson "live!"
U of I Springfield, Brookens Auditorium
Cache' Quick Introductions
Christian speed dating in groups of 3 or 4
Cache' Quick Introductions
Christian speed dating in groups of 3 or 4
Cache' Connections Expo
Sharonville Convention Center
(near Cincinnati, OH)
Please contact us if you would like to receive fliers or a sample email that you can copy, paste and blast! CLICK HERE for all event details.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Since when does M-o-n-d-a-y spell relief? When Cache' Connections has had back-to-back events on the weekend, that's when! As you may know, this past Saturday we held our first Cache' Connections Christian Dating Redefined Conference and Expo in Naperville, followed by Cache' Quick Introductions. The Sunday following a big day with travel like this is usually lived out in a stupefied blur, so we've made the monumental decision to take today off (sorta), for once.
The daytime event at NIU - Naperville Campus, which was our first large event held in a public venue, went very well, although Mr. Sunshine kept some guests away! The crowd was lighter than usual, but that just gave our guests better chances at winning the fabulous door prizes offered by our vendors. And we're happy to report that the premier showing of the Christian Dating Redefined DVD went over extremely well! There were giggles as well as nods, ooh's and aaaah's at all of the appropriate places. It seemed that everyone appreciated Dr. Stephen Simpson's wisdom combined with his casual approach. Many picked up a copy of the DVD and study guide to take home and share with their single friends.
Speaking of crowds ... have you ever been to downtown Naperville on the first warm night of the Spring season? If not, I'm sure it's because you couldn't find a place to park! The city was swarming with suburbians who were happy to break out of the winter blahs. And 47 Christian singles also broke out for Cache' Quick Introductions, which we hosted at the Tangerine Cafe. After sweating out the huge gender imbalance all week long according to pre-registrations, would you believe we ended up with one more male than females? Who would have thought? We encouraged some men from the Expo to come over and had several walk-ins, so we were scrambling to call females on the waiting list. Overall, God provided. He never fails us, but he often shocks us!
Having 12 tables of 4 is probably the largest speed dating event we've ever had. I'm sure it was overwhelming for some who have not gone through this process before. But we did see a lot connection cards being exchanged and guests continued to gab after all of the concerted connection activities had ended. Finally at 8:30 p.m. we encouraged the guests to sit down and order food from our wonderful hosting cafe, then we hit the long road home.
After events like these, there is plenty of unpacking, tallying, and posting to be done, along with pressing into future events and tasks that have had to wait. So today, we take just a bit of a reprieve to do some personal business as well as keeping the communication lines at Cache' Connections open. Have a great week!
Friday, April 8, 2011
BOGO = Buy One, Get One Free. That's the deal this month at Cache' Connections. Chicagoland singles can get two tickets for the price of one for the Christian Dating Redefined Conference and Expo that is taking place this Saturday afternoon at the NIU - Naperville campus. You and a friend can enjoy free food, prizes and great dating advice for just $15! There will be guests from their 20's to their 60's, so don't delay! Pre-register by midnight at this link. We will put you down for two guests on the registration list.
For those outside of Chicagoland, you can enjoy TWO for the Price of ONE on your new subscriptions at www.cacheconnections.com! Whether you purchase Two Weeks or One Year, we will DOUBLE the length of your subscription from the administration panel within 24 hours of your transaction and send you an email notification. Your subscription length can also be verified under Billing Management on your account.
There is NO promotional code to worry about! Just choose the subscription based on the original subscription and amount you intend to spend, and Cache' Connections will double the length of the subscription ... easy!
Here are the regular prices:
$14.95 - 2 weeks
$29.95 - 1 month
$64.95 - 3 months
$99.95 - 6 months
$149.95 - 12 months
$349.95 - Until Married
About half of our success couples met through Cache' Connections events, and the other half through the website. Of course, you double your changes if you participate in both! As always, feel free to call or write with your questions: 309-550-5580.
Have a great weekend!
Kim and Linda
Thursday, April 7, 2011
This Saturday we will be testing a revised marketing plan, which involves holding area-wide events outside of churches. Although Cache' Connections LOVES to partner with churches to host large events, sometimes those wheels move very slowly. And if you know Cache' Connections, you know the only pace is full steam ahead! Several Chicagoland churches are promoting this event, and it is being advertised on Christian radio and websites, so rest assured it will still attract those singles who are serious about their faith.
So we encourage you to come out on Saturday afternoon from 2 - 5:30 pm to the first Cache' Connections Christian Dating Redefined Conference and Expo at the NIU - Naperville Campus. This event also includes the premier showing of our popular DVD of the same title, which is being used in singles ministries and small groups across the country!
Come and enjoy the fun, prizes and interaction with other singles at the vendor tables, and then join us in a lecture room from 3 - 4 pm for the DVD premier. We will have a few short break-out opportunities for you to discuss a few questions from the study guide that was developed by Dr. Stephen W. Simpson.
For more information, including a list of vendors, CLICK HERE.
See you Saturday!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Today our fearless leader, President and all around idea machine is celebrating her birthday. Join me in wishing Kim a happy birthday! You can comment on the blog here, or visit her Facebook page.
Don't let her slight size fool you, she's known as a strong leader, always exploring new territory, challenging herself, myself and those around her.
Though sometimes I'm remiss to admit it, she has taught me a lot over the past four years. One thing that stands out in my mind is how she involves her faith in God in nearly every aspect of her life. She's keenly aware of His hand moving in her life and in the lives of her family and Cache' Connections. Although we still struggle and strain over new ideas and constant decisions being made, (and you never really know 100% for sure what God is up to), Kim has taught me to remember in day-to-day living that God is sovereign and as long as we continue to submit to Him, He is leading and guiding us, and sometimes allowing things to happen that we'd rather wish away. (Romans 8:28)
And ... it's okay to talk about God! Having been brought up in a home where trying to live faith out loud usually fell flat and unfortunately bringing that mindset into my own grown-up home, Kim has encouraged me to talk to my family about God and what he's up to in our lives.
So today, we say aloud to you, Miss Kim, may God continue to richly bless you, your marriage, your children and grandchildren, and all of your endeavors, both personal and professional. You are a precious child of the King - don't ever forget that!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Expert Emily Shupert, a relationship counselor in Atlanta, GA, leads a monthly chat at Cache' Connections. Here are some highlights from Sunday night's chat:
Emily: Glad to answer your dating questions on boundaries or whatever dating questions you might have.
Chatter: thank you Emily. Do you think it is a good idea to have a few male friends, if you are desiring a spouse? Does that hinder the process, or opportunity you think? I am a woman.
Emily: Good question! I'll ask a few additional questions so that I can make the wisest response possible. If possible, could you let me know if you have a few guy friends for either.. limiting so that you have space for a spouse when he comes - or desire to have a few guy friends because you want to increase the number of men in your life?
Chatter: I am thinking it may not be good idea, cause they take up a lot of time. I am seeing that now. Met a man on this site, that does not want marriage, just friendship.
Emily: Do you currently have a lot of guy friends in your life?
Chatter: I have 3 guy friends. I see they like me however.
Emily: Ok, so you met someone here through cache and he wants to be friends but not date, is that right? And then you also have guy friends already outside of cache. Are the other guys time draining?
Chatter: Draining me like a bad birthday. Yes, the one on cache calls me all the time, and wants to see me a lot, and he lives far too.
Emily: oh no! That is no good! But good to know...i can help, no worries :) Good to know all these details so that I can formulate the most helpful response...
Emily: So, different people have different theories on male/female relationships so I'm not saying that my response is absolute truth, but something that I've seen clinically in counseling and in client lives.
Chatter: Many christian men, want marriage, and I would like to know first if he is someone I even wanna be with, amen?
Emily: First and foremost, friendship is the core of any solid marriage. The love feelings will come and go but the friendship and being "for one another" is foundational. With that said, it is a friendship that also has purpose and honors one another. Many times I've seen individuals who enter into relationships where they are "friends" but they are emotionally vulnerable like seen in dating. They basically are fearful for some reason of "dating" but have emotional intimacy and support with friends without the stressors, strings attached, etc. found in dating. I honestly don't think that this is "caring" but sometimes it even looks like "using" one another for emotional support which can sometimes steal the time and energy needed for a relationship.
Chatter: either way - with our friendships or a relationship, right? I guess that is where boundaries come in or so I believe.
Emily: I encourage friendships of the opposite sex to be supportive and caring but when it becomes really close to an emotional level that is often found in dating, I think it is not helpful for either party. Yes, boundaries are important because many times the friendship will cross over such boundaries and often fill the void that only a boyfriend/girlfriend can fill.
Chatter: What expert emily is saying is so true...I've unfortunately had to suffer when a relationship crossed over.
Emily: I've seen individuals of the opposite sex befriend others and never date but psychologically, it makes perfect sense...they are getting their psychological, emotional, and sometimes spiritual intimacy needs met without the attachment and commitment found in a committed dating relationship.
Chatter: Yes, and we become content with the friend, and don't desire a spouse.
Emily: It sounds like you all have unfortunately experienced this in the past so I challenge you to look in a different direction. Instead of thinking and asking yourself "how close do we get?" I would encourage you to ask a bigger picture question. Ask yourself: "where do I want to be? What do I want for my life down the road in the area of relationships? Do I want more friendships or do I desire a mate?"
Begin with the end in mind...your destination determines the direction you take in relationships. I'm a big fan of being intentional with our time, energy, and relationships....we are stewards of our money, our time, and also our relationships.
Chatter: Yes, we need to give the whole thing to God, because we are not good at this stuff. I speak for myself!
Expert Emily: Yes, entrust your relationships with God but also act in wisdom and in discretion as you are a faithful steward of relationships. Relationships are hard, and they def. take time...i encourage folks to remember the phrase "Rome wasn't build in a day" and neither are friendships. I encourage folks to enter into relationships with a desire to learn more about themselves and others.
Chatter: But Rome also didn't take an eternity..lol :)
Chatter: We save it for our Lord and savior first and foremost.
Emily: That is true! God is sovereign and He has relationships for His children, whether that is dating or just other female friendships.
Chatter: It is just easier to be single sometimes. For me. Relationships are confusing. I don't really see a purpose for them.
Chatter: I desire the opposite...i feel its easier to be in a relationship at times, being single can be hard.
Emily: They def. are confusing, that is for sure! Women and men are hard wired so differently but I do believe that it is possible, even if it takes some time.
Chatter: Men can be work.
Emily: Yes, but even so, we need to continue to work on ourselves. It sounds like some in this room are feeling stuck...either as a single person wanting to be dating or in confusing relationships wanting to have a dating relationship that is totally dating.
Chatter: Yes I feel stuck.
Emily: So, I have some advice that I use often when counseling individuals in private practice...are you guys open for some feedback?
Chatter: Definitely ready for advice.
Emily: Ok, so I'm going to give some insight but I won't be able to respond to updated posts until I'm done....needing to stay on one stream of thought so stick with me for a min :)
Many times individuals I work with those who feel stuck in their love life and want to be dating someone but they feel stuck. So, I encourage you to consider scripts that you believe and hear yourself say on a continual basis. I ask you to think about it but also have the humility and courage to ask your friends/family who will be honest with you because sometimes you might not hear yourself in these patterns... patterns are often so automatic we are unaware. These are some scripts you might be saying, "I've never been in a healthy relationship, so something must be wrong with me." "I've been friendly and doing everything right, what is wrong with these guys." "I've been rejected every time I like someone or get dumped, so why date anyone new, it hurts too much" (this might be subconscious and you might be rejecting people over superficial things or just off the bat but it is really a pattern of ""I reject you first so that I don't feel hurt if you reject me."
"I've messed up so much in past relationships, I don't think I'm able to date a certain guy because of my past." "If someone came close, they might not stick around after seeing me more closely." I encourage you to think about what your script might be and if you are having a difficult time, think about times you use absolutes such as "never, always, etc." because those are often found in scripts we tell ourselves. We often are told these scripts or come up with them to make sense of our current or past situations. Regardless of where they come from, they keep us stuck because we use the script as "law" and while it might help us feel like we have some control or understanding....we never move past "stuck."
Often, these scripts will sound different (such as what I listed in examples above) but scripts are typically pointing out or pointing in. I've heard individuals in sessions and through chat rooms in the past who have blamed everyone except looking constructively at themselves. I've also heard folks look at themselves and blame themselves for everything...like they have the ability to attract every single guy in the country :) and it is all 100% their fault for past relationship break ups
In therapy, we talk about people either blaming or shaming...blaming others or shaming themselves. These are the two core roots of scripts and I would encourage you to think about where yours are rooted. So, what do you do now? No worries, we don't simply expose false scripts but we replace them through the renewing of our mind....
We replace the shaming or blaming scripts with truthful statements about ourselves. Instead of saying "I'm a dating failure, I'm not capable of successful dating" with "I've not had the best dating relationships in the past but I'm not a failure, God loves me and has great things planned for me. I am loved, accepted, and cherished by my heavenly father and I desire to enter into relationships but those relationship outcomes can never take away what Christ says about me. I might make mistakes but I can learn from them and grow. I'm not a failure, even if I have failed relationships in my past. I am not my past but I must be responsible for what I do in order to have successful relationships in the future.
Ok folks...does that make sense?
Chatter: Makes sense, but it will be a struggle for me.
Emily: It was a lot to write and I can't go into full detail because of time limitations but hopefully that was a good start point. Yes, it is a struggle but when in the world is anything that helps us grow and change into better people is it easy?
Emily: Growth is often a struggle because when we are stuck, we have to change in order to go into another direction...change is hard. However, I always say...."the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome" I am guilty of it too but love this quote because it is so true! Wish it wasn't though.. life would be way easier! Challenge your scripts and encourage yourself to think about alternate scripts. individuals psychologically have several scripts that they hold onto in every area of life so in order to replace the inaccurate ones, it is important to be aware first. I encourage you all to be an "anthropologist" of yourself and simply notice when you think in a way that is connected to a "stuck" area in your life.
Chatter: I do think optimism and looking inward are steps in the right direction...thx & have a nice evening all!
Emily: We can't change what we aren't aware of so be aware first and then challenge it to an alternate script.
Chatter: Yes. Self-awareness is so important. And then having the courage to act upon what is the Truth rather than lies we are used to playing in our mind.
Emily: Ok group! Wow, time flies when you are typing fast! I hope you guys have gained some insight and new ways of thinking after this talk!