Monday, October 31, 2011
Today's blog comes from the fast.pray group that fasts and prays every Monday for singles desiring marriage.
We’re fasting and praying for marriages for those who want to be married, for courage for men to walk upright and into relationship, and for courage for women (us) to be able to change where we need to change.
After Heidi's fabulous practical post last week on dating, I received numerous comments from friends along the lines of "Well, that's great if someone is asking you out...but no one is asking me out!" So I wanted to add a few extra thoughts into the conversation about dating well. Some of them come out of my own experience (the good, the bad and the ugly) and some out of conversations with friends and mentors.
If no one is asking me out, I can still be doing things to date well.
Even if no one is pursuing me right now, I can still be implementing some of Heidi's advice. On one hand, I can practice living with an open, gracious heart instead of hiding behind emotional walls and negativity. On the other hand, I can steward my feminine ability to build relationships by being careful about where I invest that ability. And I can be looking to encourage the men in my life, even if they aren't dating prospects.
Don't ignore your heart.
Sometimes it's a close guy friend who spends more and more time with you but never actually asks you out. Sometimes it's a guy you know isn't a believer, but otherwise seems so perfect. In any case, it's easy to start rationalizing: "Well, it's just coffee." "It's just a phone call." "We just have good conversation." Obviously every situation is different and requires godly discernment and grace, but don't ignore your gut instincts and start trying to find short cuts. This is also where Heidi's advice to "have an audience" (in essence: be open with a few close friends about your dating life) comes in handy -- even if you're tempted to rationalize, trusted friends probably won't let you.
Live your life forward, no matter how many dates seem to be on the horizon.
Even when that girl has a date and you don't, you are not less loved or less valued or less beautiful or less worthy in your heavenly Father's eyes. Whenever my emotions are invested in my dating drama (or lack thereof), there is perpetual disappointment. My hope has to be grounded God's character and plans for me, not in my value as measured by number of dates. Sometimes I also reread a few articles that help reset my perspective: Single While Active, Seven Myths Single Women Believe, and Object of My Affection.
Then I do a heart check: "Are the things that I hope will characterize my married life characterizing my life right now? Am I giving my roommate or family the same level of grace, forgiveness, and sacrificial service I imagine I will give my future spouse? Am I valuing today as the precious gift it is and not waiting for "real life" to start when I get married? Am I glorifying God with the opportunities and gifts and skills I have right now, regardless of what the next chapter holds?" When I can answer those questions positively, the number of dates on my calendar is suddenly a much less vexing concern.
In His Grace,
Saturday, October 29, 2011
We just realized we haven't spotlighted Dave and Anne's wedding, which we attended this past July. This is the couple who got engaged on stage in May at our Cache' Connections Expo in Peoria in May 2011.
Dave is an acquaintance of Founder Kim's husband, Ed. When a Cache' Connections Live! event was coming up in Central Illinois in November 2010, Ed encouraged Dave to check it out. Dave was very reticent to attend, but he did. That night, Kim encouraged him to sign up for the website and again, he reluctantly agreed. Staying with the theme of "Reluctant Dave," Linda called him and talked him into attending a Cache' Coffee Connections event about three weeks later, stating that we needed him to even out the male/female ratios or we might need to cancel the event. Wouldn't you know that Dave met a cute gal named Anne, who was not a member but decided to attend the Cache' Connections event because her friend had found a successful relationship there. Dave gave her Anne card, but it took a little while for them to connect. In fact, they connected a few months later through Facebook because Anne never joined cacheconnections.com. Anne and Dave quickly fell in love. Linda ran into them at Northwoods Community Church one Spring Sunday and observed that they couldn't stop telling her about all the things they have in common, how each one had the qualities they'd been praying for, not to mention the way they kept looking into each others' eyes and holding hands.
Sometimes it takes a two- or three-pronged approach to finding the mate you desire. Why not throw your hat in the ring? Join the website in October and save 70% off of any subscription. (Promo code: OCT70.) Also, be on the lookout for a Christian Dating Redefined group coming to your area, or better yet, talk to your church leaders about hosting an area-wide singles ministry. We have found that churches respond better to their own flock.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
This is a common issue ... All Too Common. Today's blog is a post from Crosswalk.com. A reader wrote that she is friends with a guy in her church, but is interested in seeing the relationship get more serious. Read the two varying opinions of the editors; it is interesting that "He" (Cliff Young) says to go for it and "She" (Laura MacCorkle) says to wait. Hmmm ... not sure we are getting anywhere, but some good food for thought. Read on:
QUESTION: I am single female, in my late 30s and never married. I am good friends with a single man from church, and we have spent quite a bit of time talking/texting/hanging out, but we are not in a dating relationship. I am interested in our friendship progressing to that level, but am not sure what the best God-honoring step should be. I have been given lots of conflicting advice from well-meaning friends and am so uncertain of the best choice. Should I . . .
a.) Wait for him to make the move? (There are plenty of verses on "Be still!)
b.) Bring it up (seems like I would be taking control, and yet clarity would be so freeing).
c.) Ask a male friend to approach the subject with him?
HE SAID: You raise questions that are probably on the minds of most single Christian women and plagues church singles groups throughout the world—“Is he interested in me and why doesn’t he ask me out?” and “What action ‘should’ I take?”
In a very broad blanket statement, there seems to be two general types of guys who are seeking to date—those who have the confidence to (immediately) ask a girl out without worrying what others may think, sometimes distinguished and somewhat unjustly characterized as a “player,” and those who take a more thoughtful approach of becoming “friends” first, who doesn’t express his true feelings or intentions (right away) for fear of jeopardizing the friendship or impacting those around them.
I understand this is an oversimplification resulting in two extremes; however, it may help to give you some perspective on your situation.
You have narrowed your options down to three alternatives.
Wait—There are a lot of verses on “be still.” However, they don’t say, “Be still and do nothing.” Many speak of being still and knowing or trusting God is who he says he is.
Bring it up—This is often avoided because of choice ‘A’ or not wanting to make the first move.
Ask a friend—This works when you’re in grade school and don’t really know him, but you’re friends, hang out together and communicate already.
I choose “B”—ask the guy. You don’t have to make it an all serious “We NEED to talk” type overture, but you can approach it from a lighter side like, “What is ‘this’ between us . . . are we going somewhere with it or ‘just friends’?”
If the relationship is going to develop, there will be times you will need to share what you’re thinking or take the lead on certain issues. I can’t imagine a marriage where a wife will just wait around for the husband to bring up every topic that’s on her mind. I don’t know for sure, but I’m just saying.
For the guys out there, let’s do our Christian sisters a favor, if you are interested in them, let them know, don’t play games with their feelings. If they don’t reciprocate, take it in stride and move on. We have been called to be the “spiritual leader” in a relationship, let’s act that way in any relationship we have.
SHE SAID: I’ve been in your shoes, as I’m sure many other female readers of this column have as well.
What is so frustrating is when you have met someone and seem to click, and then nothing happens. I’ll admit that it’s very tempting to get in there and start tinkering and try to get something going to progress the friendship toward a full-fledged relationship. After all, we were designed for relationship and are wired to connect with others. But let me caution you, as one who has tinkered many a time in trying to move along a friendship to a romantic relationship, not to do so. Really. Step away from the “love tinkering.”
I believe that you must stick with your first option: “Wait for him to make the move.” If you do not, you are not allowing a man the opportunity and the space in which to pursue you. There is trouble when women start acting like men; there just is. Because when women start acting like men, then men start acting like women. They become more passive. They let the women do the work in bringing the two of them together, and so they miss out on living to the fullest potential of their male design as God created them to be.
Ask yourself these questions:
* Is it more important that you are with someone or that you are with the “right” someone who God has purposed for you (Prov. 19:21)?
* Could God have allowed this man to be in your life solely for the purpose of knowing how to maintain a male friendship, so that you would be prepared for your future husband one day?
* Is it possible that this man is not God’s best for you, even though you are attracted to him and he has qualities that you think are perfectly suited for you?
* Or is it possible that this man is God’s best for you, but God still has more work to do in his life before he is ready to pursue you?
I think it all comes down to trust (Prov. 3:5-6). Do you trust God or do you trust what you can see in your current life circumstances? Whether we have someone interesting in our lives or not, it’s easy to get frustrated with “timing” and want to take matters into our own hands. I would prayerfully consider what God wants you to do in this matter. Then ask him to conform the desires of your heart into his desires for your life (Psa. 37:4). CLICK HERE to read the full article with links embedded.
What would you do, oh female blog follower?
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
This is probably true with many professions: you hear the same things over and over again. If you are a Midas employee, you hear, "I don't want to pay a lot for this muffler." Store clerks hear, "Do you take debit cards?" If you are a physical trainer, you probably hear: "That hurts, why are you so mean to me?" Car salesmen hear, "what's your bottom dollar?" I remember back in my days as a real estate closing agent, people used to always joke that they needed a signature stamp so they wouldn't have to sign so many papers. I tried to smile and act like it was the first time I ever heard that remark :)
It is no different at Cache' Connections. There are certain things we hear over and over again. It's very interesting capturing a bird's eye view of what's going on in the Christian dating world, as you can imagine. We can't give away all of our secrets, but we can tell you some things that we DO NOT hear, such as:
* I want a man who will allow me to be the main breadwinner of the family.
* I want a woman who doesn't like to cook - I'll take her out every night.
* I want a man/woman who prefers staying home and a low energy lifestyle. I work hard and like watching TV in my spare time.
* I want a man who will let me be the spiritual leader, and I prefer to do all my praying by myself.
* I want a woman who is older than me - I look and feel old for my age.
* I want a man/woman who will put me in a good mood.
* I want a woman/man who is at least 30 lbs. overweight.
At Cache' Connections, part of our prayer for our members is that they will take whatever action is necessary for them to be healthy daters in order to attract healthy daters. Read between the lines, pray and ask God if there are any changes to your attitude, appearance, spiritual life, etc. that you should make in order to seek and find the mate you desire according to Genesis 2:18: The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
We are so excited for Amy (27) and Justin (31)! Because he is from the Peoria area, we've met Justin a few times at our speed dating events. Although he was usually the youngest one in attendance, Justin kept a positive attitude about his belief and involvement in Cache' Connections. He's also been great about keeping us informed on the progress of his budding relationship with Amy, sometimes asking for the matchmakers' advice.
Although Justin and Amy live about three hours apart, their connection was too strong to dismiss. It sounds like they've been busy over the past months, often meeting at Starved Rock, like some of our other couples do. Here is their official story that can be found on the Cache' Couples page:
Justin heard of Cache' Connections through some friends. Justin went to a quick date event and enjoyed the atmosphere and feel of Cache. After trying a few events and not running into anyone around his age, he tried the online dating of Cache in May of 2011. He felt a tugging on his heart to join online. A week later Justin came across Amy's profile and decided to message her. They hit it off and after e-mailing back and forth they decided to meet.
Amy accidentally friended Cache on Facebook. She didn't even know what they were. Amy looked at the website for over a year. They just kept popping up. She liked that they were overtly Christian, and pointed towards marriage. Then a friend of hers had her 30th birthday, and she signed up for eharmony. Amy admired her friend for being so intentional. So when the Peoria Expo came up, Amy dragged her friend down to Peoria to check it out. She signed up in May as well and answered Justin's message.
After the first initial meeting, Justin and Amy have continued to get together every weekend. Justin asked Amy to marry him October 1st. They are planning for a February wedding.
Have you been proactive in finding the desire of your heart? Have you attended Cache' Connections events, followed this blog, joined the website and sent messages, read some Christian dating books and talked to your friends and relatives about your search? Remember, your search is a partnership with God. Are you doing your part?
This month, save 70% on any subscription at cacheconnections.com. Use promo code: OCT70
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Today's post comes from the weekly fast.pray blog, which is a group of singles (and people who love them) who fast and pray at lunchtime on Mondays. These are some GREAT tips!
Just a reminder: we're fasting and praying for marriages for those who want to be married, for courage for men to walk upright and into relationship, and for courage for women (us) to be able to change where we need to change. And as you pray, you might consider Heidi's words on 'dating.' Heidi was an original fast.pray. contributor, but she's rejoined us this week to share some thoughts on being a 'good dater.'
Can you think of anyone that you would say is a "good dater"? Is a good dater someone who got married, or someone who has a lot of dates, or someone who has a series of long-term relationships with very little time "on the bench"? Whatever you think success looks like when it comes to good dating, for a moment, let's set aside results as a measure of success and think through some elements of the process. Here are a few tips for women that I learned through my extensive years of dating.
Deal Flow: When investors look for companies to buy or products to invest in, they know they need to look at a LOT of deals in order to find one good one. They call this deal flow. An investor who wants a good rate of return on her investment does not grab the first bid sheet or business proposal someone pitches because she is afraid no one else will want her cash. A wise investor will develop a pipeline of deals to explore and do the necessary due diligence to determine if the deal is worth the investment. There are ways to develop deal flow in dating. Get online, be open to blind dates, smile at people and be open to conversations. There are advantages to deal flow as well. If you know you have 15 matches you find relatively interesting in your pipeline, you can resist the temptation to suffocate the fir st guy that shows up. You can be breezy and open-handed, not desperately afraid you have to make this deal work because it's the only investment out there.
Be the Change-For years through Fasting and Praying we've encouraged you to pray for spouses for those who desire them, for the men of our generation to step into the role of husbands and for us to pray for God to change us where we need to be changed. It was this third prayer that had a transformative impact on my life through the years of fasting and praying. It was a dynamic process, meaning active, that I went through WHILE I was dating and the dating I did while God worked on me played a role in the change. I had some stuff to learn, some areas of my heart to open up and some points of pride that needed to be softened. As God worked his way in me, I was able to receive his gift in a man to me. Do pray for God to change you and then be a part of that change.
Be Open: Ok, I am not your mother when I say "Be Open". But listen to this...I went out with a guy, and it was a perfectly fine date, by the way. But the guy told me over email a couple of days later (and I'm paraphrasing here) "I don't like you, but I'd like to introduce you to my friend who might". The sarcastic comic in me could have turned just that line into a good laugh with the girls about the latest ridiculous line in my dating drama. Because of my commitment to "being the change", however, I was committed to being open. I knew I wanted to be married and I was committed to a road of no regret which meant I was open to using all the tools in the tool box to meet quality men. Because this guy was a quality guy (notable exception that he did not fall in love with me at first sight, of course) , I was open and said "sure!". In turn, I set him up with my friend and the four of us went out on a double-blind date. There's more to the story, but I married the "friend who might". Be open; you just never know.
Focus on the Positive: I had a few hangups about the man I married while we were dating. The hangups were not substantive things. He had all the things that were important and substantive and I was attracted to him, but I found myself focusing on his loud laugh, his pleated pants, and somewhat slow driving. An older and wiser friend challenged me to focus on the positive. This may have been the best advice anyone has ever given me in dating. You can re-merchandise your man, ladies, but his heart and character and whatever else is on your essentials list cannot be given a face-lift.
Good endings make good beginnings: I'm not a psychologist, but it is easier to begin a healthy relationship when the last relationship you had ended well. It is easier for you and it is easier for your (former) partner. Different people might have different definitions of what ending well means so let me discuss that next.
Leave things better than you found them: Build him up, whoever he is. Before I wrote this post, I asked a couple of friends to tell me about their thoughts on dating well. One told me she'd taken my advice to "leave things better than you found them". Her words of her experience describe this point better than I can.
"... I decided that my main goal in all the first dates was to pay attention to the guy and think about making sure that he walked away feeling good/better about himself, regardless if I was attracted or not. It was a GREAT framework because: a) it took my focus off of ME and as a result I was literally less "self-conscious" which is always a good thing, and I think it is Godly; b) it put the whole experience in a POSITIVE light - regardless of whether I was attracted to him, what a great thing to put it entirely in the perspective of encouraging and uplifting someone else, instead of focusing on "what might I get out of this? - another date, a free meal, a boyfriend, maybe a husband" etc.; and c) it has "worked" in the sense that every guy I have gone out with has been pretty interested and asked me out again. I D O think that it has made the experiences more positive for me, AND probably for the men."
Drop breadcrumbs: My husband could give great dating advice to men, but his advice to women was something akin to dropping breadcrumbs...in your conversations on dates, leave the guy with enough knowledge about you and your interests and maybe shared interests with him so that he knows enough to plan a good next date.
Have an audience: By audience, I really mean a caring one, two, several friends who are in this with you. I met with a group of women weekly who were differing ages and marital status. When I was excited about possibility, they celebrated with me. When I was devastated, they were in it with me. And they played a critical role in helping me "be the change" I referred to before. If you get the "deals" flowing, you're going to have some stories. Laugh, cry, and hope--but do it with friends who can point you first and foremost to Jesus. Once you turn that date into a relationship that sticks around, you will need those friends equally as much!
Still in the Journey with My Friends~
P.S. If you are a reader, I do have to recommend two books I found helpful. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus on a Date by John Gray--probably most helpful resource to me. And secondly, How to Get a Date Worth Keeping by Henry Cloud.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Today's post comes from Susan Ellingburg of Crosswalk.com. These are great tips that will go a long way in your attempts to "win friends and influence people." Although Cacheconnections.com is an online connection point for Christian singles, we emphasize that it is only a beginning. We do not recommend extensive "e relationships." As soon as members feel comfortable, they are encouraged to take their friendship to the next level: i.e., telephone, coffee date, etc. We also offer live events where these people skills will go a long way!
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the latest installment of The Single Life, a monthly column written specifically for singles.
We interrupt this column to activate the social situation service: a party warning has been issued for the upcoming holiday season. Between now and the New Year, various social events are likely to occur. These settings may require you to take part in actual face-to-face discussions, which may involve using the vocal apparatus known as your mouth as opposed to operating an electronic device with your thumbs. In the event of such a social situation, your ability to text like the wind will be of no help whatsoever. Please be prepared to converse while simultaneously looking at the other part(ies) involved. We now return to your regularly scheduled story.
Consider yourself warned: party season is almost upon us. Now, a social occasion where most (or all) of the guests are your friends is generally not a cause of conversational stress, but what if you find yourself at a work party, church gathering, or other event where you’re obliged to make nice with people you don’t know (or don’t know well)? That’s a little trickier, especially in this digital age when so much “conversation” is done via text, e-mail, and so on.
But don’t fret: If the thought of actually talking to another person without benefit of technology makes you nervous, just think of conversation as a game. Once you know a few basic ground rules you’ll be able to talk to anyone else who’s willing to play along.
Rule 1: Step Up to the Plate
The first (and often scariest) step is the first one: get out there and play ball. Toss out a conversational pitch and see if someone catches it and lobs it back. One way to do that is to ask an open-ended question: How do you know [party host]? Try to position your question for a positive answer: What one thing are you looking forward to this ? What holiday tradition do you enjoy most?
Once you’ve asked the question—and this is the most important part of the process—shut up and listen to the answer. As in, pay attention to what they’re saying, don’t just wait for them to take a breath so you can jump in with your own story. Next, ask a follow-up question or comment on what they just said. This one simple step will earn you a reputation as a conversational genius. Why? Because (especially in this “here’s-my-latest-post-about-what-I’m-doing-now” obsessed world we live in) just about everybody is talking but almost no one is listening.
If you are willing to step up to the plate as a listener, you will validate the other person’s right to an opinion. (It doesn’t mean you agree with them, just that you are willing to let them have their say.) This is especially helpful if you’re in a room with a bunch of people who outrank you, such as corporate higher-ups. Not only will you come across as an interested, engaged, intelligent person, you might actually learn something.
Rule 2: Take Turns
A well-played conversation is more akin to a tennis match than a football game. You may be able to break through the competition’s conversational line with a long-winded monologue but you won’t score any points that way. I’ve been in conversations where the other party talked so nonstop for so long I was convinced they’d mastered the art of circular breathing. After a while I tuned out and entertained myself placing mental bets on how much longer they’d be able to go before passing out due to lack of oxygen. There’s certainly nothing wrong with sharing an observation or story, just don’t drone on and on. As Walt Disney (or was it P.T. Barnum?) said, “Always leave them wanting more.” Hint: if your audience’s eyes glaze over, it’s probably time to wind up that story and take a breather.
On the other hand, when someone tosses you a conversational ball, do your part to keep it moving. Even if you’re engaged in listening, the talker will appreciate some sign that you’re still awake and alert.
Rule 3: Stay in Bounds
Depending on the situation the old ban on discussing religion or politics may or may not apply, but don’t bring up things that you know will be divisive or hurtful. What’s the point? And tempting though it may be, don’t talk badly about another person, even if they’re an easy mark. While, “the words of a gossip are like tasty bits of food. People like to gobble them up” (Prov. 18:8), those nuggets of scandal lead to indigestion and infection. Besides, if someone is going say ugly things about another person to you, who knows what they’re going to say about you to the next person?
Rule 4: Play Nice
Remember the things your mother always told you? This is a good time to put them into practice. For example . . .
Don’t interrupt. I’ll just confess right here that this is a personal failing of mine and please, if I’ve ever stepped on your conversational toes, I do apologize. I really do not think my comments are more important than yours, I just get excited and want to chime in. Nevertheless, it’s rude and I’m sorry.
Don’t overshare. In the film 50/50 the main character attempts to pick up girls by playing the sympathy card, but as he quickly learns, beginning a conversation “I have cancer” is a nonstarter. Some things are best saved for your mom, therapist, or BFF. Too much too soon is just awkward for everyone.
Do recognize that no matter what you do, some people aren’t going to play. Most likely it has nothing to do with you. Some people will be rude, possibly even downright offensive. You don’t have to keep talking to them, but try not to respond in kind. It won’t do any good and may do immeasurable harm.
If you have a less-than-positive experience, shake it off and get back in the game. Have fun out there and remember—in the conversation game, everyone can be a winner!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The idea of forming Cache' Connections Christian Dating Redefined (CDR) singles ministries is going over well! So far, we've met with pastors and singles leaders in Peoria, Springfield, Bloomington and Naperville, Illinois. Coming up are luncheon meetings with Rockford, Champaign and St. Louis, and on our radar are Decatur, Peru, the Quad Cities and Indianapolis. As you can see, we are starting these groups closer to CC headquarters and moving outward. As suspected, securing a venue is the biggest challenge, and it takes more time than we'd like to take, but it looks like Peoria and Springfield will be launching early 2012; possibly other areas too.
The feedback on our proposed program has been overwhelmingly positive thus far. Everyone who has had opportunity to hear our plans agrees that it makes sense to work together to minister to singles, and many churches readily admit that they are over-scheduled and understaffed to handle a singles ministry of their own. Most advisers agreed that holding the meetings bi-weekly would be the desired frequency.
So what does a CDR meeting look like? If you are an adult Christian single aged 20 or over, you are welcome! You will pay $5 at the door and be welcomed and introduced to others after checking in. You'll have a few minutes to chat with others before the Area Coordinator gets things underway, starting with an icebreaker. There will be approximately 20 minutes of video teaching from well-respected relationship experts such as Dr. Stephen W. Simpson, Cloud and Townsend, Gary and Michael Smalley, and Andy Stanley. Following the video teaching, there will be 10 minute break-outs called "Group Think" to discuss the topic in small groups. Each meeting will also include a video blog or announcement from Cache' Connections.
The evening will finish off with refreshments and more time to socialize and depending on the venue, possibly remain and play board games or other opportunities to connect.
If you feel that your area could sustain a healthy singles group and your church might consider serving as a host site, please contact us and we can send an informational packet. Also, a volunteer team will be needed in each area.
There's a lot of confusion about Christian dating, and the topic of relationships will never go out of style. After all, God hardwired us for relationships (Genesis 2:18). There's strength in numbers, and with churches working together, we can stamp out society's message of "anything goes" and give Christian singles a more clear path and opportunity to form relationships that are pleasing to God.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Today's blog comes from Joyce Meyer Ministries. It's important to love yourself before you expect someone else to love and accept you.
Do you like yourself? After years of trying to help people emotionally, mentally, spiritually and socially, it was a major breakthrough when I discovered that most people really don't like themselves. Some of them know it, while others don't even have a clue that this is probably the root of so many other problems in their lives.
God wants us to have great relationships, but self-rejection and even self-hatred are the roots of many relationship problems. In fact, I've found the Bible to be a book about relationships, providing valuable advice about my relationship with God, other people and even myself.
How are the relationships with other people in your life? What about your relationship with God…and even with yourself?
Did it ever occur to you that you have a relationship with yourself? While I've never given it much thought, I spend more time with myself than with anyone, and it's vital to get along well with me. Remember, you are the one person you never get away from.
We all know how agonizing it is to work day after day with someone we don't get along with, but at least that person doesn't come home with us at night. We can't get away from ourselves, not even for one second, so it's of the utmost importance that we have peace with ourselves.
Many of us fall prey to self-rejection because we feel that nobody really loves us or accepts us. We figure that if nobody else loves us, then why should we love ourselves? Because we think others don't love us, we feel that we must not be worth loving. But that's a LIE we've believed for way too long!
We should love ourselves—not in a selfish, self-centered way that produces a lifestyle of self-indulgence, but in a balanced, godly way that affirms God's creation as essentially good and right. We may be flawed by unfortunate experiences we've gone through, but that doesn't mean we're worthless and good-for-nothing.
We must have the kind of love for ourselves that says, "I know God loves me, so I can love what God chooses to love. I don't love everything I do, but I accept myself because God accepts me." We must develop the kind of mature love that says, "I know I need to change, and I want to change. In fact, I believe God is changing me daily, but during this process, I will not reject what God accepts. I'll accept myself as I am right now, knowing that I will not always remain this way."
Many times people who reject themselves do so because they can't see themselves as good, proper, or right. They fail to see themselves the way God sees them—as precious children He dearly loves.
As you begin to see yourself through God's eyes—someone who's loved and cherished—your view of yourself will begin to change. You'll begin to see yourself not as rejected, but as loved and accepted…unique and beautiful in His sight.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Ready to meet some new people? The Cache' Connections Speed Dating and Expo event is coming up this Friday night in Moline, Illinois. We encourage our friends in surrounding areas to round up your carpools and "change flight patterns." In fact, just this week we received an engagement announcement from a young couple who met at an event in Peoria and continued their connection online. They actually live 3 hours away from each other! Here's what Justin wrote:
"Thanks for providing such a good service to be used by like minded Christians to seek out a Godly significant other. The website definitely provided a jump start for our relationship to grow on."
Here are the details on Friday night's event in the Quad Cities:
Cache' Connections Speed Dating and Expo
United Methodist Life Center
2420 41st Street
Moline, IL 61265
Friday, October 14, 2011
7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
All adult ages - speed dating will be in 2 separate age ranges
CLICK HERE for more information such as the schedule, list of vendors, and to pre-register and save $5 through Thursday at midnight!
And don't forget today is the last day to SAVE on your online subscription. The One Year subscription is on sale at the incredibly low price of just $24.95! Be sure to register for the One Year subscription rate (regular $149.95) and use promo code: ONEYEAR2495
(Promo code expires Thursday night at midnight.)
If you have any questions about these two great opportunities to connect, please don't hesitate to call 309-550-5580.
~ Kim and Linda
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Cache' Connections is breaking into the Quad Cities this Friday night with the Cache' Connections Speed Dating and Expo, held in partnership with Riverside United Methodist Church. Here is an article that was published last Saturday in the local paper, QC Online. CLICK HERE to read the article as published.
MOLINE -- Speed-dating rounds take only five minutes, but Biblically based relationship advice to be discussed at an Oct. 14 Christian singles event has been around for a long, long time, organizers say.
Riverside Methodist Church will sponsor a speed-dating event and expo on Friday, Oct. 14, at the church's Life Center, 2420 41st St. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Vendors from 20 to 30 local companies will have booths set up with information about their business or ministry, games or activities designed to help people become better acquainted, and prizes to be awarded at 8:25 p.m.
The optional speed-dating component will be held from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. and be divided into two sessions, one for people ages 20 to 35, and another for people older than 35. Four- to six-member groups will take five-minute turns meeting one another.
The event will be conducted by a professional community and matchmaking for Christian singles business called Cacheconnections, based in Pekin. For information about the company or the expo, visit connections.com. Tickets are $15 for those who preregister by midnight Thursday, Oct. 13, or $20 at the door.
Cacheconnections was formed in 2007 by Kim Whitaker and Linda Martin.
''Our mission is to provide a connection point for Christian singles for community and matchmaking services, and secondly, for supporting and promoting healthy dating relationships based on Biblical standards,'' Mrs. Martin, company vice president, said in a telephone interview.
''A couple of them we usually lean on are: 'Do not be yoked together with unbelievers,' from 2 Corinthians 6:14; and 'Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord,' from Psalm 31:24.''
Mrs. Martin said they've invested a lot of time and money into the business, but they also see it as a ''calling. Singles are often overlooked and underserved, and churches often aren't equipped to minister to them. Some are quite happy to find someone like us to partner with them.''
Riverside pastor the Rev. Donald Jackson said he hopes the program ''will be a beginning for us to start a singles ministry for our church and community. They contacted us and asked if we would be open to do something. I wouldn't have invited them to Riverside or to the Quad-Cities, though, if I didn't have complete trust in them. I know them and I know of their integrity and what they believe.''
Singles generally feel more comfortable coming to such an event ''when they feel it has a church's stamp of approval,'' Mrs. Martin said.
Guests and members typically find it encouraging when they learn how long Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Whitaker have been married to their husbands.
''It makes people feel that we know what we are doing, and that we don't have ulterior motives of trying to find someone for ourselves,'' said Mrs. Martin, who's been married for 27 years.
Events they've held at other churches don't always include speed dating, but Rev. Jackson thought it would be a good idea to offer it when they visit Riverside.
''It's nice to know that people might find someone that evening with whom they could start building a relationship,'' said Rev. Jackson, who recently became engaged.
Riverside has a small percentage of singles attending church, Rev. Jackson said. ''But I think it's an appropriate event for the Quad-Cities, which hasn't had something exactly like this before.''
Mrs. Martin said Cacheconnections ultimately hopes to form a permanent areawide group to meet regularly to share Christian relationship advice, dating advice that has stood the test of time.
We look forward to helping the Christian singles of Davenport, Moline, Rock Island and Bettendorf connect. If you are in the Quad Cities area, be sure to encourage your Christian single friends to come out for this unique opportunity!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
A friend asked us recently if it is normal for someone that you are dating to require you to spend virtually all of your spare time with him or her. Apparently his girlfriend gets bent out of shape when she is left out of some of his weekend plans, not allowing him to spend time with his friends and family without her throwing a "hissy fit."
My reply was that his girlfriend definitely seems needy and clingy and therefore the relationship is unhealthy. I recommended he have a talk with her and set some clear boundaries with her regarding his personal time. If she continues to cry and carry on, then he needs to break it off with her. It's unfortunate, but one unhealthy dater makes for an unhealthy relationship.
Has this ever happened to you? I asked some of my Facebook friends and several of them could identify with this type of behavior. Some even admitted to being the clingy one! It's important to remember that you need to have a stable identity in Christ before you get involved in a relationship. If your identity is firmly rooted in Christ, you won't need another person to make you feel complete - it will just be the "icing on the cake." Keep in mind that the person you are dating had a life before you came into the picture, and you need to respect his other relationships and commitments. In other words, it's not all about you!
My friend asked why dating has to be so hard ... I wish it weren't! You can learn more about healthy dating by ordering a copy of "Christian Dating Redefined," featuring great dating advice from Dr. Stephen W. Simpson, Professor and Director of Clinical Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. CLICK HERE to see the trailer and order your copy!
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Yes, you read the headline correctly... Cache' Connections is now offering a full year membership for only $24.95! The regular price is $149.95, so this is a $125.00 savings! That is a one-time charge for an entire year which is a fantastic price for full access to the website including the following:
-complete your personal profile
-receive connections within your age and mileage parameters
-sort your connections according to your preferences
-view all received profiles, including photos
-send private messages
-participate in online chats
Pretty unbelievable, right? Take note though that this offer expires in only 6 days. The special will run through Thursday, October 13th ONLY. So don't delay and risk missing this great offer.
The promo code for the one time price of $24.95 for a full year membership is ONEYEAR2495.
But wait! It gets even better! If you present this offer to a new member that has not previously joined Cache' Connections and they sign up and Contact Us letting us know you encouraged them to join, we'll give you another year for free! Just ask them to provide us with your name and email.
Remember, by letting your friends know about this offer, you could be helping yourself. Maybe this effort will bring your special someone to the Cache' Connections website, so please forward this email to as many single friends as possible! You will also be helping to spread the word of healthy biblical relationships to others and for that you will be blessed in return!
Kim and Linda
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Where oh where did the third quarter go? It's officially Fall and that means it's time to get back to business and a more normal routine for most of us. For Cache' Connections, that means more events for Christian singles.
A highlight from the third quarter included the Cache' Connections Expo and Speed Dating event that was held at The Chapel in Barrington Hills at the end of August. We found that adding the element of speed dating is key, as the majority of guests participated in that portion of the event at the end of the evening. Although we urged singles to pre-register for the speed dating, many guests arrived late just for the speed dating. So we decided to work them all in the best we could and had our largest speed dating event ever with approximately 80 participants! The guests loved it!
A few weeks later, Chicagoland singles gathered again at the Fred Astaire Dance Studios for group dance lessons. This smaller crowd had a great time learning the Rumba, the Salsa and the Hustle. In Peoria, singles came out for a speed dating event. It was refreshing to have approximately 8 or 10 guests who were 35 and under, in addition to the guests who were 35+. All seemed to have a good time making new friends.
As far as future events, you may be wondering why the schedule looks a little slim. We've been busy working behind the scenes, developing a program to plant area-wide singles groups in several areas. These "Christian Dating Redefined" groups, which will focus on healthy Christian dating, will be managed by Cache' Connections, run by volunteers, and supported by local churches. August and September were filled with planning and logistics, and at this writing we have held three meetings with pastors and singles leaders in Peoria, Springfield and Bloomington, Illinois. Lists, luncheons and phone calls to other areas are keeping us busy! The feedback from these meetings has been overwhelmingly positive, and plans for these local groups are being put into motion. It all takes time, however. Check out the blog post from October 3rd with more of the inside scoop.
If you live in an area that you feel would support an area-wide singles group of this nature, please contact us to receive a packet to present to your local church(s).
We celebrated some Cache' Connections weddings this summer, and even attended one in Central Illinois where another Cache' Connections married couple was attending as well! This fall we look forward to the marriage of Kelly and Glen on 11/1/11. Many of our Chicago friends have met Kelly and Glen at events that they have hosted or served as volunteers. Since they met at a Cache' Connections event, Kelly and Glen are strong supporters of Cache' Connections, both our online membership and event opportunities. To read their love story, CLICK HERE.
A few reminders to new members:
- Please post your photos! First we need your headshot and bodyshot taken against a plain indoor wall or door, then we can approve 6 casual photos
- Consider widening your age and mileage ranges under My Account Settings to increase your connections
- Don't forget to read the blog and find Kim Whitaker and Linda Martin on Facebook; also join the Fan Page!
- If you have prayer requests or would like to join the Cache' Connections Prayer Team, please contact us.
- Join a growing email group of those who are fasting and praying for singles desiring marriage. Email email@example.com to be added to the list!
- Check out the expert-led chats in The Meeting Room. Click Scheduled Events for details.
- Lastly, remember that all subscriptions will automatically renew unless you cancel your subscription under Billing Management.
Kim and Linda
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Christian Dating Redefined ... that's the name of area-wide singles groups will be popping up soon, Lord willing. We've held two luncheon meetings already with area singles leaders and pastors - one in Peoria, Illinois and another in Springfield, Illinois. So far the feedback from these info-lunches has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are in the process of nailing down venues for the groups to meet in each of these two areas.
Today we will be meeting with pastors in Bloomington, Illinois and Thursday we will travel to Naperville, Illinois to explain the concept and program outline that we've been working on for the past two months. We've found that it is partly true that "a way to a man's heart is through his stomach" ... or at least it's an acceptable, friendly approach for pitching an idea that comes out of left field for most of them. We've also learned that once church leaders meet us, the founders of Cache' Connections, in person, they suddenly realize that online dating isn't quite so scary, after all.
We will continue to set up meetings in the coming months and will be establishing and launching groups simultaneously. Areas on the near horizon are the Quad Cities, St. Louis area, Indianapolis, Indiana and Champaign, Illinois.
In a nutshell, the Christian Dating Redefined singles groups will be managed by Cache' Connections, run by local volunteers and backed by area churches. The focus of the groups will be healthy Christian dating, and the teaching will be in the form of DVD's recorded by well-respected Christian relationship experts. As Dr. Stephen W. Simpson said in the Christian Dating Redefined DVD produced by Cache' Connections, "We need a new model for dating." We need to get on the same page and with the power of unity and numbers, stamp out the message that society is sending, which is: "Anything goes!"
If you live in an area that would support such an area-wide group, please contact us to receive a packet that you can present to your church.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Swarming women and dealing with discouragement: recaps from last night's chat with Expert Emily Shupert
Emily: Feel free to ask any dating question, there therapist is in :)
Chatter: How should I handle overly aggressive women when I go out? For example, I saw a guy that I was interested in, but he was immediately swarmed by women (like vultures around dead meat)
Emily: Interesting question. Thanks for asking this question and it sounds like you are in a tough spot...not wanting to swarm him too but also wanting to get to know him, right?
Emily: well, I think that this is a great situation where you can get to know him by talking with him in a way that stands out from the others who swarm...be original.
Chatter: Such as????
Emily: By saying this, I wonder what activities you both might like? I wonder if you can reach out to him in a more subtle way that doesn't swarm him but shows interest in him...like asking him if he is going to a church event, serve in a ministry outreach, etc. Be different by being more original and showing that you are interested in him as a person....but also leave him with a desire to get to know you more.....let him feel like he would be pursuing you not vice versa.
Chatter: Unfortunately, I don't see him in a church setting, so being subtle may not be an option.
Emily: Ok, well, if it isn't a church event, you could probably wait until the swarm team is gone and then make a comment that intrigues him or gets his interest in a non-aggressive way.
Chatter: This guy maybe a lost cause, the swarm team never leaves. Its like they multiply.
Emily: I think that there are some situations where this is possible and others where it isn't...let the Lord open the doors if there is room/time for the conversation but if its a swarm and you aren't able to engage without shouting over them, then maybe it's not a door you are intended to walk through.
Chatter: Very true. I'm starting to realize that because he doesn't respond to any non-verbal cues I give, so it may be a lost cause.
Chatter: I don't know, Miranda, it seems like "non-verbal cues" aren't exactly big on most guys' radar screens!
Emily It's really hard to know when it is a lost cause or not but if it feels like the door continues to shut and there isn't a connection, then also look at other ways of meeting people like through cache connections. Have you gone to any of their events? they are really great! (I promise, they don't pay me to endorse but I suggest them because I truly believe that they have wonderful events.) Keep on going and try to make connections but also look online through cache, in your church, and also in areas you are interested like book clubs, community organizations, and intramural sports teams...fun ways to connect!
Chatter: I try to leave every stone unturned but everywhere I look there is nothing. (please no one say that my problem is I'm looking, I've heard that enough::laugh)
Emily: oh gosh, I wouldn't say that...one of my pet peeves to hear when clients hear that from others. Its so over used and really is faulty many times because it promotes passivity in your dating life.
But, do you have guy friends who know you well? I might suggest asking them some questions but first want to see if you have a group of guys who you know and trust.
Chatter: I don't have any guy friends.
Emily: that might be the first thing to look at. I often suggest asking a group of questions to your guy friends for honest feedback (since we can't see our blind spots or be objective with ourselves). However, I'd encourage you to think outside the box. In addition to online through cache, try to talk with at least 4-5 people a week...new guys, no matter the age, just to get some more exercise in talking with new men. It's all about a numbers game at first, especially when you feel so disconnected from meeting new guys. Many people will say "there are no good guys" but I think that it is often because we have tunnel vision. Talking with 4-5 single mostly but sometimes can include married men (not to date the married men.) But simply practice because they are all men...get your numbers up so you can see the guys around you, gain self confidence as you get in conversations more often, and see how you can strike up connecting with people, even in the grocery store line!
I take this idea from How to Get a Date Worth Keeping where Drs. Cloud and Townsend encourage 5 guys a week (and having an accountability partner to check in at the end of each week).
It isn't guys you are interested in...it's just a male...many times we look for guys of interests but we miss out on meeting guys in general. I'm not saying you need to lower your standards, but it does mean that you are increasing your frequency to simply talking and meeting new guys. Who knows, you might fall in love with one of the guys you would pass by or meet one of their friends and date them. It's not about filtering people out before talking with them but simply talking with them, possibly getting to know them more, and then deciding.
Chatter: I'm not sure if that will work for those of us who live in small cities.
Emily: I promise, it will! Give it 2-3 weeks and then decide...what do you have to lose?
Chatter: Do you all think it's a cop out for me to decide that, having done all of these sorts of suggestions--attended events, been diligent about initiating contacts online, going to different churches, volunteering, etc.--and I'm not even meeting men with whom I have anything in common (being very open-minded about that, too, and allowing for lots of differences)...given all that, is it a cop out, lack of faith, cynicism--take your pick--to decide that God does not have this plan for me right now and to just put the idea of meeting someone aside? (that sounds really pathetic and whiney, so I'm attempting realism.)
Emily: Sorry, I think I'm confused....are you saying that God doesn't have that in your path right now?
Chatter: Yes. I've begun to wonder if I've crossed the line of taking too much into my own control and not allowing for God's leading--even if it's a "no" to what I want.
Emily: I believe that the Lord opens and closes doors but I also believe that we must be faithful to pursue relationships with same and opposite genders as the community of Christ. If the Lord has put you in a place where you are feeling discouraged by the lack of guys present, it is possible that He is working behind the scenes in areas you can't see. Regardless, I encourage you to keep faithful in prayer and keeping your eyes open. It's very hard so I'm not saying that its easy...because it's not at all. But I do want to encourage you to continue to pray, keep open eyes, and become the woman who the man you are looking for would be looking for....
Chatter: I agree Emily. I have been using this time to unload old baggage from past relationships. its been so freeing and I have such peace.
Emily: continue to work on yourselves and allow the Lord to refine you in the process.
Chatter: I have grown so much in this time and feel God has put me in a better place to appreciate all it takes to handle a real relationship He would ordain.
Emily: Yes, God recycles all the time you have in this dessert time...keep letting Him work in your life, refine you, and bring you closer to Him. It's difficult in this process, but to grow in your relationship with God and in your own personal development will prepare you to meet someone great!
Expert Emily Shupert leads a monthly chat at cacheconnections.com. Mark your calendar for the next expert-led chat on Sunday, November 6th at 7:30 pm CST. You can CLICK HERE for more information on Emily.