Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Here is the video of the newly engaged Cache' couple, Dave and Anne from Central Illinois. They were sharing their story of how they connected through a Cache' Connections event at the Cache' Connections Christian Dating Redefined Expo on 5/20/11. This success story turned into a marriage proposal in front of approximately 100 singles who were wowed, encouraged and privileged to share in this couple's special moment.
We remember Dave ... a friend of Kim's husband, he had to be talked into attending his first CC event last November. We later strongly encouraged him to attend the December event where he met Anne. He was hesitant - like so many singles. But he got out of the boat - and look at his catch!
Thank you, Dave and Anne, for sharing your story with us. Not only does it give other singles hope, but it encourages the founders of Cache' Connections to keep moving forward with the plans God has for us.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Thought we'd have a little fun for today's blog. We were going through some photos and I stumbled upon this one and wondered to myself, "What was going on that we both made that face?" What do you think?
Thursday, May 26, 2011
More snappy advice from Dr. Stephen W. Simpson! Sometimes we feel that singles give up too soon after a not-so-great first date. Here are some ways to help you decide if you should give the guy or gal another chance.
For more great advice on Christian dating, check out the "Christian Dating Redefined" DVD featuring Dr. Simpson. CLICK HERE.
We caught up with Dr. Stephen W. Simpson recently and asked him, if he could just give one piece of dating advice to Christian singles, what would it be?
Cache' Connections is intent on helping you make wiser decisions when it comes to your dating decisions. Follow the blog, join us on Facebook and subscribe to our emails to keep up with the constant flow of advice, insights and encouragement for your journey as a Christian single.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
smoke screen or smoke·screen (smkskrn)
1. A mass of dense artificial smoke used to conceal military areas or operations from an enemy.
2. An action or statement used to conceal actual plans or intentions.
At Cache' Connections, we find that many people put up a variety of smokescreens, meaning that although they say they want to find someone special and even go so far as to join the website, attend singles events and even go out on dates, there is a wide variety of inhibitors that prevent them from moving forward in intimacy with one person.
The funny thing is, I don't even think most people realize they are using smokescreens. And what they are hiding is actually fear. Drs. Tom and Bev Rodgers state in their book, "The Singlehood Phenomenon," that fear is a powerful motivator. "Many singles adapt to fear by being controlling. If you fear you will not find a soul mate, you will try to control the process. You will become inflexible, immovable, and want your own agenda rather than the Lord's. You may wish some man would just come along and sweep you off your feet. My response is, "How can God send you a man to sweep you off your feet if your feet are glued to the floor?"
We conducted a Facebook poll for some common gluing agents or smokescreens. Do any of these ring true with you?
1. She's gotta be blonde.
2. Must have at least a Bachelor's Degree.
3. I once saw a personal where the headline read " looking for a motivated self-starter"......... I wouldn't be surprised if she asked for a resume.....
4. Must be tall, dark and handsome....make a lot of money & love chick flicks! :)
5. No joke the woman I waited on for 11 years finally handed me her needs list that I had to meet before she would marry me and it listed specifics like what kind of house, where, what kind of horses, what type of doors and flooring, 4 kids, 6... figures, and on and on....I laughed my head off and that was that....funny thing....she got what she wanted and is a happy woman today! I'm brokenhearted! I wish church work paid more!
6. Not ready to be the person I need to be. Not enough time. Not enough money. What if someone better is out there...
7. It's not the right time or the whole "it's me, it's not you" excuse.
We realize that some of these reasons may be valid, but we encourage you to search your heart and seek God's direction, asking him to search your heart and see if your heart is hardened or "capped" in such a way that He cannot work. What we appreciate at Cache' Connections is people who say, "I'm open!" Now that's someone we can work with.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
We recently heard from a single pastor/friend/fan/supporter who happens to be single. Let's call him Greg. Despite a revolving door chock full of attractive, eligible single ladies, Greg has not dated much in the past few years. But now Greg has met someone special and wanted us to convey a message to our single audience.
As you can imagine, being a single, single pastor comes with a unique set of challenges. There's a whole 'nuther set of boundaries that you will probably never have to set, and much more drama involved in that particular singles ministry, compared to others.
But getting back to the point, Greg wanted us to be sure to convey to our readers and members at Cache' Connections that it's okay for the woman to give an indication that she is interested. (This was recently confirmed by Dr. Stephen W. Simpson during his talk at the Christian Dating Redefined Conference and Expo in Springfield last Saturday.) A certain lady - let's call her Jill - had attended one of Greg's singles events, and they shared some light bantering. He didn't have a chance to get involved in a private conversation before she left, so he handed her his card and invited her to attend his singles meetings and other events.
From there a few emails were exchanged, but Greg was a little slow or reluctant to ask her out. So "Jill" finally made her move and asked him, "So do you treat all of your singles this way, or is there something else going on here?" Of course, Greg got the hint and took the reins from there, because he had intended to ask her out but had not gotten around to it. He stated that they hung out as friends first before an actual first date, which was crucial in building a relationship. (This was also part of Dr. Simpson' talk.)
Greg indicated that he had no regrets that "Jill" made the first move, and from the tone of his emails and phone calls, we can tell that he's really excited about this budding relationship. We hear from guys all the time that women need to give men an indication that they are interested. As Dr. Simpson says, "Go ahead and flirt with him. This doesn't mean you have to act all weird, just be a little extra nice, and smile at him or touch his shoulder. Believe me, guys notice these things."
Greg also mentioned that he believes there is a small window of opportunity to ask a girl out before things settle into a friendship or the circumstances otherwise changes and you miss the opportunity to explore a dating relationship.
So gals ... we know you want to be pursued, but by the same token, guys sometimes need a clue. But THAT could be a whole 'nuther blog ...
To get more of Dr. Simpson's great dating advice, check out the Christian Dating Redefined DVD. CLICK HERE for details and to order your copy!
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Sometimes all you can say is "oooohhhhh la la!" Last night's Cache' Connections Conference and Expo held a big surprise for all when our success couple story turned into a marriage proposal in front of about 125 guests.
We had invited Anne and Dave to share with our audience at the 5/20/11 event their story of how they connected through a Cache' Connections event last December. A success story is a common element of our larger events, as it offers great encouragement for those who are actively waiting for a mate. In talking with Dave prior to the event about how their talk would go, he made us aware that they would most likely be married soon, as they were deeply in love and saw no need to wait a year or more to begin their new life together. Of course, I suggested he consider proposing to her at the event, and he kinda liked the idea!
After some thought, prayer, preparation and asking Anne's son for his blessing, Dave decided to pop the question at the event. It was a tender sweet moment that won't soon be forgotten by those of us who got to be a part of it. We'll post the video later, but for now here are a few pics of the happy couple. Oh -- she said yes! They plan to be married on July 29th, 2011.
Don't forget we have another Cache' Connections "Christian Dating Redefined" Conference and Expo TONIGHT in Springfield from 6:30 - 10:00 pm. CLICK HERE for details. You never know what surprises might be in store! For now these elves have a lot more work to do! Have a great weekend.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Not quite sure what to expect at this weekend's events in Peoria and Springfield, Illinois? Take a look at this trailer which features Dr. Stephen W. Simpson, our speaker for both nights. He'll be talking for about 45 minutes on Authentic Dating. That starts around 8:00 pm.
Prior to that, the atmosphere is fun and casual - you don't even have to arrive on time! Doors open at 6:30 at both venues, and you are free to casually stroll from booth to booth (of which there are many!) to check out their samples, games, challenges, and put your name in for their door prizes! Some examples of the activities include golf pitching, basketball shooting contest, Ipad Farkle, People Bingo, self-defense demonstrations, food trivia, most kissable lips contest, chair massages and much more! Each vendor is offering a door prize valued at $25 or more. You will be in the midst of other Christian singles of all ages, so don't be shy about reaching out to others to introduce yourself.
After the programmed portion of the evening, we'll break out again from about 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm to check on the prize winners and enjoy more socializing. Here's the nuts and bolts of both events - why not double your chances and come out for both?
Christian Dating Redefined - Conference and Expo
~ sponsored by Northminster Presbyterian Church
Northminster Presbyterian Church
10720 North Knoxville Avenue
Peoria, IL 61615-1142
Friday, May 20, 2011
6:30 pm to 10:00 pm
6:30 - Cache' Connections Expo
8:00 - Cache' Connections Welcome
8:10 - Dr. Stephen W. Simpson - Christian Dating Redefined
9:15 - Vendor Prizes and Refreshments
Christian Dating Redefined - Conference and Expo
University of Illinois Springfield - Brookens Auditorium - (Click Here for Directions)
One University Plaza
Eliza Farnham Dr.
Springfield, Illinois 62703
Saturday, May 21, 2011
6:30 pm to 10:00 pm
6:30 - Cache' Connections Expo
8:00 - Cache' Connections Welcome
8:10 - Dr. Stephen W. Simpson - Christian Dating Redefined
9:15 - Vendor Prizes and Door Prizes
Save $5 by pre-registering by midnight the night before each event. Tickets are $15 preregistration or $20 at the door. CLICK HERE for details on all upcoming events. See you there!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Today's blog is an article that was forwarded to us from a friend. Taken from CBSNEWS.com, it is not geared toward Christians, but I think overall there are some points worth pondering and praying about for your situation:
12 Reasons You're Still Single
It seems everyone you know is paired off. So how come you're still single? There are lots of possible reasons. Here are 12 biggies from Dr. Amir Levine, a psychiatrist in New York City and the co-author of Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment."
You Play Hard to Get
Do you pretend to be busy when asked out? Pretend not to care when you really do? Playing hard to get makes it hard to find Mr./Ms. Right. In fact, it's likely to attract just the sort of person who will make you unhappy: someone who doesn't feel comfortable being close.
Better always to be authentic.
You Fall for Gender Stereotypes
Men fear commitment? Women are needy? Not necessarily. When it comes to relationships, people fall into one of three basic categories. "Secure" people are warm and loving and feel comfortable with intimacy. "Anxious" people seek closeness but worry their love won't be reciprocated. "Avoidant" people shun intimacy, valuing independence above all. And studies show most people are "secure."
Says Dr. Levine, "Most men and women really do want a close, committed relationship and won't act overly needy or try to push you away."
You're Fixated on Your Ex
Idealizing an old mate makes it hard to find a new one.
This is a particular problem for "avoidant" people: Uncomfortable with intimacy, they push their partner away. But once the relationship ends, their love resurfaces and they convince themselves that the failed relationship had been terrific. Then they compare every new person they meet to their idealized ex. Who can live up to that ideal?
You Think Love Conquers All
Certain red flags indicate you're dating someone with an "avoidant" attachment style - a person who is unlikely to make for a satisfying mate. Does he/she send you mixed signals? Tell you he/she needs a lot of space? Does he/she say or do things that make you feel like you represent some sort of "compromise?"
Maybe it's time to move on.
You Stick with a "Situationship"
Are you marooned in a "zombie relationship? Not getting much out of it but unable to end it? Yes, breaking up can be hard, in part because the mind is under the control of age-old "attachment circuitry" that encourages you to stick with your mate. Once you realize this, you've taken your first step out toward ending a bad relationship and moving on.
You're Stuck on "the One"
Maybe you have an ideal mate or relationship in mind and are determined to find that and only that. If so, it might take a very long time.
Getting stuck on "the one" is something "avoidant" people often do in order to keep true intimacy at bay. Instead of waiting for "the one," Dr. Levine recommends changing your mindset: Choose someone, allow him/her to get close, and make him/her special to you.
You're a Drama Junkie
Are you "addicted" to the highs and lows of unstable relationships? Lots of people are. They're drawn to emotionally unavailable people who make them work hard for every morsel of affection, while dismissing as boring those who are genuine and forthcoming. Eventually, this leads one to equate anxiety with love. That's not sustainable. Even worse, you let secure, loving people pass you by.
You Believe in "E-Romance"
Online romances just aren't the real deal. They may meet some of your attachment needs, but not in a real way. Even if you "graduate" from email to voice, that's not good enough.
Meet new prospects ASAP, and stick to the old-fashioned kind of attachment.
You Fear Becoming Dependent
Some people avoid committed relationships because they worry they'll become dependent on their mate. They think people must retain their independence at all costs.
Dr. Levine says this kind of relationship simply doesn't exist. "We're all hard-wired to become dependent," he says. "The trick is to find the right person to depend on."
You Let Mates "Mirandize" You
Police read the "Miranda" rights to people the arrest: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of a law." In a similar way, some people try to warn potential mates that they're "not ready for commitment," and think that doing so absolves them of any obligation to the other person.
If someone tries that on you, spell out your own expectations. Say you're looking for someone to be close to, someone who'll be there and care for you.
You Think You Should Wait...
Some people think they simply aren't worthy until they lose weight, amass a certain amount of money, etc. But there's no point in waiting, says Dr. Levine.
"If you're wary of getting out there - and this is especially true of people with an anxious attachment style - the best thing you can do is to start dating with a vengeance," he says. "You can find that special someone and improve while you're with them."
You Think Good Mates Are Scarce
Date infrequently, and you'll inevitably invest a huge amount of emotional energy into each new prospect. That's a sure recipe for disappointment.
Better to meet lots of people and desensitize yourself to inevitable dating setbacks. "Just go out there and date," says Dr. Levine.
At Cache' Connections, we always say that online dating is just a place to start. We encourage members to fully engage in the system by completing their profiles, uploading the proper photos, and sending messages. As soon as both parties feel comfortable, they should move forward to the next steps in a relationship, which include telephone calls, regular email and meeting face to face. To join in this community of like-minded believers, take advantage of the May special, which is a Three-month subscription for just $24.95! That's a savings of $40. Use promo code: May2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
We came, we danced, we had fun! The first event of this type for Cache' Connections, the dance lessons that took place at DeSarge DanceWorld in Naperville were a huge hit! I'm so proud of all of the participants who took a step (or two) outside of their comfort zones to learn a few dance steps in a group setting. And what a perfect way to mix and mingle! We had an almost perfect split of men and women. First, the instructor had the women line up against the mirrored wall, and the men against the opposite wall for instructions. When they had learned a few basic steps, he had them come together in the middle to partner up and dance to the music. Then every few minutes the guests switched partners - whalaa! A perfect dance mixer.
Here are some of the comments we received:
"We didn't get a chance to talk at the event in Naperville last night. I've never done anything like that before but I had a lot of fun. Since we were all beginners I found I learned a lot about a woman by the way we danced together. Some tried to lead while others were very good at following my lead. I also noticed that some women danced better with the man next to me than she would with me. And the same was true of me, I danced better with some women - we would just "click". While with other women I was all left feet - even if they followed my lead. bIt is probably a good indicator of how well people work together. So I found it to be a form of "speed dating". I'll have to do this more often!! Thanks for putting that together."
"We were happy to host the event! Everyone that passed by me in the lesson told me they were having a great time! We always change partners in our lessons, it helps people to get to know one another as well as helps them to work on their leads and follows. Sometimes we take our own partners for granted and you can't do that with someone else!! Sarge has been doing this for 30 years, he is the best at this!
You have a nice group of people, anytime you want to do something like this again just let us know!"
"Last night was very well done. We had lots of fun and danced with many wonderful new friends. Now if we can just dance without counting (1, 2, 3, twirl, salsa one salsa two, crossover one crossover two....) We had a blast!!!"
Thanks to all those who came out - it was especially nice to see some new faces. As always, there's never quite enough time to chit chat, but we've heard through the grapevine that a few dates have already been set up. And that, my friends, is the best feedback by far!
Have a great week!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
We've had a lot of requests for a dance event, so we are taking the plunge and starting out with group dance lessons, which will take place this Saturday night from 8 - 10 pm at DeSarge DanceWorld in Naperville, Illinois.
Don't let your inexperience keep you away from this fun night! Some of the comments we've heard from those who have signed up are:
"Now I dance like a White Boy. After Saturday, I should dance like Fred Estaire."
"You must have seen me dancing and decided to offer dance lessons."
"This is something I've always wanted to do, so I've got some single friends rounded up and we are ready for a good time."
So don't worry about your two left feet, just bring clean-bottomed dress shoes for them and let's dance! Feel free to coming alone; this will be a casual, fun atmosphere and if necessary, we'll pair you with a partner to learn with.
Here's how it will go:
8:00 - 8:30 Dance Lesson (Rumba)
8:30 - 9:00 Practice, Socialize
9:00 - 9:30 Dance Lesson (Salsa)
9:30 - 10:00 Practice, Socialize
Light refreshments will be provided. Dress is casual. So far the male/female ratios are pretty even! CLICK HERE for all details and to register. I will see you there!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Today's blog comes again from Crosswalk.com.
by Sarah Phillips, Crosswalk.com Family Editor
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1 -2 NIV
It's a beautiful thing, right? Little girls dream of their future Prince Charmings sweeping them off their feet. Young men put their hearts and pride on the line to pursue beauties in hopes of finding happiness.
Although romantic love is a gift - a little slice of heaven at it's finest - let's be honest: it's also the primary place all our little demons come out to play.
After all, the one who knows us most intimately is not just privy to our gifts and strengths. He or she eventually sees us at our worst. And there's something about romantic love that seems to amplify the worst - even when our intentions are good.
It's astounding to me that marriages last a lifetime given the pain we are capable of inflicting on each other. Poets and writers have referred to love as a form of insanity. I was joking with a friend recently that infatuation probably is a form of insanity. But for the Christian, love is so much more.
If we look to Christ on the cross, we see that true, godly love bleeds. Love is vulnerable and suffers.
In his book The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis observed:
"To love at all is to be vulnerable… If you want to make sure of keeping your heart intact, you must give your heart to no one…Lock it up safe in the casket of your selfishness. But in that casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken -- it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable… The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from love is Hell."
As much as we'd like to do away with the painful, dangerous side of love -- would we have known the depth of God's love for us without the cross? I doubt it. Scripture points out the hard truth about human nature: most of us wouldn't die for a friend. But Christ - fully anticipating the pain -- died for friends and enemies alike. That's love expressed more eloquently than the finest love letter.
Christ's example alone is enough to justify the risks that come with love. But thankfully, love isn't just suffering. If it were, then love really would be insanity.
Instead, God -- in a way only God can - uses suffering to bring forth life... life far better than had we avoided the dangers of the cross. Resurrection follows for the couple willing to mutually embrace Christ and the cross of love. And it is this transformation that makes sacrificial love "fragrant."
In our own brief time together, my husband and I can attest to God's redemptive work. We've dated for 3 years. We've seen ugliness. And we've also seen the sweet rewards of working through that ugliness. Of submitting it to God. Of allowing Him to make the cross our "glory."
Sometimes I wish we had one of those whirlwind romantic courtship stories. You know, where boy meets girl, and after 6 months of whispering sweet nothings, they get engaged and plan their fairy tale wedding.
Instead we got heavy discernment. Some tears and some wounds. But in being open to love and in submitting all the ups and downs to Christ, we also experienced growth, depth, and now a brand new life together.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Have you ever met someone who got burned in love and vowed to never give their heart away again? Perhaps this describes you. Spend some time in prayer this week asking God to break down any unhealthy walls built around your heart so that you can give and receive love more fully.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
PEKIN - Markita Hicks of Plainfield had nearly given up on finding a husband when the man of her dreams walked into a singles event she didn't even attend.
Lucky for her, the owners of Cache Connections, a Pekin-based online Christian dating service, knew Hicks well enough to recognize the potential for a connection. After dating for five months, Hicks and her husband, Darrick, were married last year and now are the parents of six-month old twins.
"We're just overjoyed. If they wouldn't have been looking out for me, I would never have met my husband," Markita, a 36-year-old musician, said in a recent phone interview. "I believe Cache Connections is like salvation because they're dedicated to helping single Christians meet people who are looking for similar things in life."
Entrepreneurs Kim Whitaker and Linda Martin launched Cache Connections as a personalized matchmaking service in 2007 and have nurtured it into a multi-state business that now serves more than 6,000 clients online and helps thousands more through events that offer relationship advice and a chance to meet like-minded singles in person.
The business has yet to make a profit, but the two say bringing Christians together is a God-inspired passion they've made personal sacrifices to pursue. Both happily married with grown children, they want to help others find that happiness as well.
Part of what makes Cache Connections unique are the events they host, which are open to non-members and range from large expos that attract upwards of 400 people to small eight-person dinner parties. Whitaker and Martin organize two to five events monthly in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Georgia, Florida and Ohio. They're hosting a conference and expo May 20 at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Peoria and have other events planned in May and June in Springfield, Naperville and Cincinatti, Ohio.
"Events were not part of our original plan," admitted Whitaker. "But people really like the face-to-face meetings."
Dan Murphy, a 49-year-old single Cache Connections member from Naperville, said the events "take online dating from window shopping to the facility that it should be - an opportunity to communicate with people you've just met."
Murphy also likes that Whitaker and Martin personally attend most of the events. "It shows that they are committed to this, and it kind of invites me to be more committed, too," he said.
Cache Connections has even recreated the Dating Game a few times, giving a bachelor or bachelorette a chance to blindly question three potential dates sequestered behind a curtain.
Pekinite Phillis DeWitt, a nurse and widowed mother of 13 biological and adopted children, was a reluctant contestant at a Dating Game event last year.
"I told them I was going to wear a Big Bird costume, and I was going to say that I have 13 children by 10 different men," DeWitt recalled, laughing.
Whatever DeWitt did say enticed bachelor Craig Nelson to pick her for a date. She didn't know, however, that Nelson had already been attracted to her online profile but was scared off by her large brood, Martin said.
"He pretended he was going to pass out when he realized it was me," DeWitt said. "Evidently, he got past the 13 children, because we dated about four months before we got married."
Whitaker and Martin were invited to both the Hicks' and the DeWitt/Nelson weddings and even were asked by the Hicks to "release them from a life of singleness to a life of marriage."
The two figure they've played a part in at least 10 marriages and impacted hundreds of lives. CLICK HERE to read the entire article.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Today's blog includes a reminder and a note of encouragement from the group that regularly fasts and prays against the "singlehood phenomenon" on Mondays at lunchtime:
This is your reminder that we are fasting and praying during what would be Monday lunch for 1) marriages for those who long to be married and 2) courage, for men and for women, to change in whatever ways marriage would demand. And as we fast and pray, you might consider....
Today is Mother's Day (in the US....I know not everyone who subscribes is in the US). It's a day where, especially at many churches, the lives of our moms and/or those who have mothered us is celebrated. For me, growing up, we always celebrated our mother by making her a somewhat questionable breakfast of egg with shell and blackened toast. Honestly, as sketchy as it was, I think she loved it!
For many women who long to be married or married women without children, however, Mother's Day can't help but carry with it a longing, a questioning--Where is my husband? Where are my children? And then inevitably, at least inside my own soul, that can give way to the age old questions: Has God forgotten me? Am I bearing any fruit that matters?
Today in an e-mail exchange, a wise guy friend who amazingly gets this dynamic and who has been aware of this prayer and fasting movement for a while wrote:
"As I was sitting in [my church] service this morning, which rightly offered thanks, encouragement and practical help to Moms, Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers ... I couldn't help but consider the wonderful single women present, and wonder where their hearts might be in such celebrations. ... it really hurts me too, to know such bright, lovely, vibrant, loving young women, longing like Hannah for something thus far, un-granted.
I'll be praying today for you ... knowing for sure, that you are no less deeply loved and cherished by Him. This is a deep, hard mystery....
Moreover, could God be at work ... in response to passionate prayer and fasting?
It may not be massive in scale, yet(?), but Christian men have begun grappling in fresh, new ways with a proposition [i.e. marriage] which had, for 1,000s of reasons, fallen on hard times among them."
He then went on to tell stories of men taking relational initiative, guys he knows getting married, etc. He even credits the prayer/fasting group for drawing his and some other guys' attention to the whole topic!
So be encouraged--Hannah did cry out, and God heard her (check out 1 Sam. 1). We, too, can and should keep crying out for the longings of our hearts. Know, God does hear us. And he responds (honestly, I think the empathetic and encouraging response of this above mentioned guy was one of God's gifts to me, today). Our heavenly Father sees, cares, and actively loves--all of his daughters (and sons, for that matter). This Mother's Day, we can give thanks for our mothers and any women who have mothered us. We can rejoice for the chances we've had to be aunts, God-mothers, babysitters, big sisters, mentors, biological mothers, and a whole host of other "mothering" roles (for me, being an aunt and a God-mother and a spiritual big sister have been some of my favorite mothering roles thus far). And while we do this, we can trust that our heavenly Father is decidedly paying loving attention, he is at work in and through his beloved daughters' lives and prayers, and we can be bearing fruit, now. This is true.
Great Blessings on your Week,
To join this group of prayer warriors and receive weekly reminders, CLICK HERE.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Today we are announcing the special for May, which is 3 months at cacheconnections.com for just $24.95! Use promo code: "May2010" and save 62% off of the regular price of $64.95.
Also - don't forget this weekend you can save money with the BUY ONE - GET ONE FREE tickets for the Cache' Connections "Christian Dating Redefined" Conference and Expo events that are coming up:
Friday, May 20th
Northminster Presbyterian Church
6:30 - 10:00 pm
Saturday, May 21st
U of I Springfield - Brookens Auditorium
6:30 - 10:00 pm
Click here for all upcoming event details and to register.
So whether you prefer meeting other Christian singles online or at live events, or both, Cache' Connections is the place to connect with those who share your faith foundation.
Tell your friends about these special savings! Feel free to call if you need any assistance. Have a blessed weekend!
Kim and Linda
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Today we are posting another article published on 3/24/11 in Crosswalk.com. Since biblical times, the issue of homosexuality is one that escapes none of us, whether it involves someone we love, work or worship with, or even questions that long-time singles are asked. Here's a healthy perspective and some great food for thought and prayer on this delicate topic:
It’s a suspicion married folk often have of singles:
“Are you gay?”
Even amongst Christians, probably even in your church, adults living solo can’t avoid the question. Especially the longer we stay single.
And especially now that we know gay Christians can and do exist. After all, sex is like food and money: none are bad in and of themselves. But our desire for them can be perverted for various reasons, resulting in such sins as gluttony, greed, and homosexuality. The only thing different about homosexuality has been the church’s refusal to acknowledge it for what it really is: just one of many expressions of sin.
An expression of sin that has nothing to do with marital status, and everything to do with understanding how God wants us to live.
Sin in Perspective
Ricky Chelette, director of Living Hope Ministries, calls homosexuality “same gender attraction,” or SGA. If that sounds like an attempt to re-interpret the sin behavior of homosexuality, you’re right. Advocates for ministry to people struggling with SGA hope a more accurate definition of the condition can help people of faith recognize that although gay Christians do exist, homosexuality doesn’t need to be a lifestyle.
Because how we view sexual awareness also helps frame our definition of grace. And vice versa.
If we consider homosexuality to be a pattern for living, being gay becomes a prism for an identity that does not honor Christ. If, however, we view homosexuality as a sinful behavior, like heterosexual adultery, we can also see how God’s grace can provide freedom from enslavement to what makes us crave a sinful behavior in the first place.
The Apostle Paul says as much in Galatians 5:19-26, where he lumps sexual immorality and impurity, hatred, jealousy, selfishness, and inebriation together as sin patterns exhibited by people who do not follow Christ.
“Those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (NIV, emphasis added)
Instead, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.”
Moving Past the Stereotypes
As a Southern Baptist minister, Chelette has heard all the stereotypes evangelicals hype concerning homosexuality. Particularly since SGA continues to gain prominence in North America’s sociopolitical narrative. Unfortunately, none of it makes for effective outreach to and discipleship of people seeking release from SGA.
Instead, he thinks we believers need a reality check. “The church must see the sin of homosexuality as simply another sin among the many sins for which all of humanity is guilty,” Chelette explains. “Sin is prevalent and destructive in everyone’s life and must be addressed by the gospel. I don’t believe a single sin defines the identity of a person.”
And, speaking of erroneous thinking, don’t assume SGA is exclusive to singles. Chelette estimates that of the people coming to Living Hope for care, 40 percent are married.
Indeed, marriage isn’t a cure for anything, as the evangelical church itself has proven. Consider our vanishing influence in our society’s dialog regarding homosexual marriage.
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011
By far this is the most common question that Cache' Connections receives from members. I'm sure we've blogged about it before, but for those of you who don't have half a day to research our three-year trail of blog entries, I thought I'd put this at the top of the heap today.
Here's what a female member wrote the other day: Are the same male connections that I am receiving also sent my profile? I am encouraged to communicate with them unless the male is supposed to begin communication and prefers to pursue.
Our response: Thanks for the note. You may wish to review the Matching System and Matching Method under How It Works. All connections are mutual. We do encourage the females to send a note to those male members she is interested in. We've yet to meet a man who complains that he didn't get to send the first message :)
We tossed this topic out on Facebook asking if we were right. Here are some responses:
Paul: You are correct Linda.
Jim: if you were interested in me (back when) you would have to tell me because I missed all the hints.....
Anne: Yes, you are right, Linda. If I hadn't proposed to Larry, we still wouldn't be married. I say go for it women!
Ronda: So ... for those of us "older" daters, are the 'old school' dating rules still applicable? Guys should initiate the conversations, never contact the guy first, etc.? I am SOOOOO confused : )
Anne: I was an "older" dater, married at 48 for the first time and I took the initiative. If you get signals from a guy but he hasn't asked you out, he might be shy.
Linda: wrong Ronda! anything goes for initiation!
Tom: there's nothing wrong with a woman showing interest, but trusts God that the man will respond. But, what woman wants a man who won't take initiative?
Linda: but what man doesn't like a free clue? :)
Bob: I agree, Men dont see what a woman sees.
Mary: I agree with you Linda, guys sometimes don't see the signs females are interested.
April: I have sent the first message to a lot of guys. I don't really like doing it. I want to be pursued. Is that so wrong?
Vicky: Online is different than in person. In person you can tell by a look or actions if there is interest. Online you cannot. So one must throw out that first "look" online to know that the other is interested. Once that is done, then he will be able to pursue.
Ray: Yes the ladies should! What's wrong with a little "nudge"? The guy may be put-off by the idea that a woman takes the first step, or perhaps he's thinking "she's way out of my league" [and HE needs to at least give her a chance...a woman's... intuition is usually really good...and if she is right about you, that could potentially be life-changing...and who doesn't want life change in the relational area of their lives???]. But if there seems to be little hope for the two to ever meet in person first - because of time, distance or a reluctance to attend a 'live' event - this can be a way of starting the "getting to know each other" process...
I'd like to add that if my memory serves me correctly, our very own Cache' Connections President Kim admitted that she sent some type of a message to her (now) husband that she was interested. Apparently he took the lead from there. Thirty-two years later, who can argue with that?
In a perfect world, all women would be pursued by men - rescued from singleness from our knight in shining armor. He would be tall, dark, handsome, rich, and generous to a fault. He would love the Lord with all his heart and be anxious to be the spiritual leader of the household. There would be one perfect man for each woman, and everyone would live happily ever after. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that perfect man doesn't exist. (I often wonder if women use the "I want to be pursued" excuse as a cover-up for her fear of intimacy ... probably another blog.) Lastly, the idea of men being the pursuers is a cultural directive. We've not found anything in the Bible that says that women should not pursue men.
So go ahead ladies, make your move.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The Meeting Room is always open at Cache' Connections! Did you know that you can utilize this tool to chat live with those members that you are getting to know through www.cacheconnections.com?
It's free, fun and easy! First, here's how to access 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 or first name and then the password: cachecommunity
(It may be necessary to download free Java software at java.com)
Second, we would suggest that you set a time with the guy or gal that you have been messaging. The Meeting Room is generally a quiet place, so chances are that you would have the room to yourselves. This is a fun way to get to know someone better as it is a "live" (but typed) conversation. Many of our members have utilized chat programs via Facebook and other dating websites, but if you haven't, just get in there and start poking around!
To get started, type a greeting in the rectangular box at the bottom and hit the "Send" button to submit your text. You can add levels of fun by changing the color of your text, using smiley faces and even add sounds such as ambulance, horns, water running, yeehaw ... well you get the idea. The text of your conversation will appear in the larger box. The box at the right side shows all of the chat attendees.
There is also a monthly chat led by "Expert Emily" Shupert, who is a relationship therapist from Atlanta, Georgia. Emily is passionate about helping Christian singles make good decisions so that they are guarding their hearts and their relationships will have a better chance of success. Join this group discussion next on Sunday, June 5th at 7:30 pm CST.
Have fun and let us know if you have any questions. You can write the founders of Cache' Connections at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, May 2, 2011
Here are the highlights from last night's monthly chat led by "Expert Emily" Shupert, a relationship therapist from Atlanta, GA:
Chatter: why do so many guys find it so hard to risk asking a woman out for a date?
Emily: Great question, are you asking for why it's hard for you or why it's been hard in the past?
Chatter: It's still hard for me. After all, it shouldn't be the decision of a lifetime...or is it?
Emily: It is a big decision but asking on a date is different from marriage. Many singles make a huge focus on the first date and asking out because they put the weight of the wrong marriage on them.
Chatter: weight of the wrong marriage? please elaborate!
Emily: Yes, it takes a lot of courage to ask someone out and when rejection occurs, it is easy to shut down for future dating. However, just because someone or some people have said "no" it doesn't mean that everyone will in the future. The difficult thing is that when you are asking future folks out, you need to have worked through your fear of rejection since that might be projected onto the new date. Many times we take our fears from past rejection and we put that between us and those who might be possible dating options. They don't stand a chance if we are still walking around and feeling the pain of past rejection.
Chatter: if I see a lady in a singles group, but once or twice a month, and only get to speak with her a few minutes, and I don't feel I know her well enough to ask her on a date, is this ever going to go anywhere????
Emily: Great question! I think that it Can go somewhere but only if something changes.... meaning she or you take initiative to go out. What about this..."I've really enjoyed talking with you in this class but would love to know more about your story, faith, etc. Would you be interested in grabbing lunch or something after church next week?"
Chatter: should men consider women who are not at all in the ball park of what we are hoping for? I don't mean just looks. If I'm athletic, and she's a couch potato, am I correct in avoiding such women? What a dull life, I'm in shape, and she is constantly sickly, tired and with no energy...
Emily: while the phrase that you probably hear in dating is "opposites attract" its actually a myth to some extent....you can have opposites for sure but successful couples do need to have similarities in key areas such as finances, work, faith, etc. or it will be a big area of contention. So, while you might be very active and someone else doesn't get off the couch, I don't know if they are for sure not a match for you but it might be difficult to spend time together when your "leisure time" will be different from hers.
Chatter: what do you do when you love someone and they don't love you back?
Emily: Great question...is this in a dating relationship? marriage?
Chatter: dating relationship.
Emily: So challenging, I'm sorry to hear! How long did it take until he told you/you found out?
Chatter: my suggestion would be to cut your losses & move on. despite the initial heart ache & grieving process better to know than long investment of time "hoping for them to change their mind."
Emily: did you tell him that you loved him and he told you he loved you? I'm curious because 3 years is a long time, did he say "I'm not in love with you anymore" or that he never was in love with you?
Chatter: he said He never was in love with me, but I don't believe it or I'm naive.
Emily: Oh no! So painful! I look at love as not merely a word that we see in Hollywood movies tossed around but a verb that is displayed in actions. Love is caring for someone and the fruit of it is seen in an honesty, respect for your emotions, and an authenticity that is seen throughout the relationship. Many individuals say that they love someone but they can easily fall in and out of love...love is a verb that is displayed on a continual basis...not someone that comes/goes. Yes, love can increase and chemistry can increase but love is seen as a constant and if you see him/her respecting the other person, putting his/her needs first, envying others, etc then love isn't present.
Chatter: I just feel as if I have wasted 3 years thinking that this relationship would lead to something deeper, but honestly I feel used.
Chatter: sometimes in our heart we really know that it's exactly as it is on the surface but still hope that it will be different so we hang around. I have a friend who hung around for 10 years waiting for the man to ask her to marry him.
Emily: I'm so sorry to hear about this but I'd encourage you to look at the situation and consider what you learned. God is "green" in our pain...he recycles everything! For His glory and your good!
Chatter: it's a learning opportunity take time to learn about yourself & know better what your needs & expectations are from the get go so next time you won't invest 3 years. These conversations should start long before that.
Emily: Yes, after a 3 year relationship, I'd encourage anyone to take a break and do some counseling to find out where the holes were and how to not make the same path for the future....even if it was unfortunate, it is always an opportunity for growth!
Chatter: single and lonely is sad...married and lonely is tragic.
Emily: Yes, nothing is more lonely than being alone in a marriage that is unhealthy! It takes two whole people to make a marriage work...no one can complete someone else, that isn't another person's job nor is it possible. Taking time to develop yourself is the biggest investment you can make in your future! If you stay single and lonely, you will become married and lonely because you didn't take an opportunity to develop yourself. You can use this time to develop and grow and then enter into a healthy relationship.
Chatter: Emily that's true i think most of us so much hate that lonely feeling we don't want to give it time to pass but it does.
Emily: yes, very true! I love books, counseling, and sermons that can help you become the person God intended...spend time with Him as well, let Him meet you in your place of woundedness and loneliness and see how He is able to meet you there!
Lonely can bring us in to solitude with ourselves and our heavenly father or it can bring us into feeling like a victim and feeling sorry for ourselves....same beginning but different outcomes.
Chatter: At what point should finances be discussed? going steady or engaged? some women I know are trying to figure out how much $$$ I make by what kind of job I hold, they are very nosey about what I do for a living, then they ask where I live, so they can figure out what kind of neighborhood I can afford.
Emily: It's something that you can see and observe easily on a consistent basis...actions speak louder than words. So, while you might not know about past or current debt, seeing how he/she deals with money can be a great answer. In addition, I'd encourage you to talk about money before ever going towards the alter. I do pre-marriage counseling with people who are in love but don't have a similar stance on money...it can be late in the game to talk about money in the engagement period. Plus, folks are usually so smitten during that time that they down play some big deal breakers such as money issues, in laws, etc. I'd encourage you to discuss money once the relationship is defined and stable. Don't talk about it on the first date but definitely don't talk about it after the wedding :) Last comment though, I'd encourage you and your date to discuss over books like Dave Ramsey's money makeover book, Crown Ministries materials, etc as they talk about $ issues and behaviors in a Christian perspective.
Chatter: Good advice!
Emily: So, the next question I believe was in regards to dating someone and he doesn't let others know? He flirts with other women or he doesn't let them know you are dating...is that correct?
Emily: Well, I'd encourage you to be very honest with him. I don't encourage "you make me feel" because no one can make us feel anything without us giving them permission. However, their actions can influence us. I'd encourage your showing him what is happening and how you are feeling. i.e. "when I see girls flirt with you, I have a difficult time feeling secure in our relationship. I'd like to feel secure in our relationship but I also want to hear your thoughts as we work towards a possible ways to go forward.
Chatter: That sounds good.
Emily: If he says, "you're crazy, that's not what I am doing" then I'd encourage you to not argue...but say how you feel and own your responses...someone who loves you might not always agree with everything you do but that's ok, he needs to respect you and honor you!
Ok folks, it's almost time. I hope you guys have had a wonderful evening and it's been a pleasure chatting with each and every one of you :) Great feedback and comments...feel free to keep chatting! I've got to jet to prep for sessions tomorrow but continue to converse and gain insights from one another.. wise crowd tonight :)
Join Emily on Sunday night, June 5th at 7:30 pm CST for her next chat based on Boundaries in Dating. Emily is passionate about helping Christian singles make better choices so that they will be healthy daters that can progress into healthy marriages that are pleasing to God.