Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I happened across a blog posted at LoveandRespectNOW.com, written by Joy Eggerichs, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Emerson Eggerichs, who are most well-known for their "Love and Respect" titles. Joy is a 20-something single who is working for her parents, researching the 20-35 year old segment of society in the hopes of preventing people from saying, "If only I knew then, what I know now."
In this post, Joy speaks on three things she has learned by being single. Her second point caught my attention: "Focus on who you are becoming and learn to give some grace." She wrote, "So often we are “looking” for the right person and yet my father always reminds me that it’s more important that I “be” the right person. I don’t think he means striving for perfection as much as he means a shift in focus." She refers to the infamous "list" of what you want in a person, but suggests that, as her father admonishes her, to focus on the person we are becoming. Are you a grace giver, encourager, higher-level faith walker? Do you honor God, your neighbor, your body? If not, Joy suggests that it is a bit hypocritical to expect someone else to fulfill our checklist.
What have you learned by being single? What is your focus?
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The Christian Dating Redefined area-wide singles groups in Peoria, Springfield, Rockford and Indianapolis (so far) will launch with the Cache' Connections version of the popular TV show called "Minute to Win It."
If you are not familiar with the NBC TV series, it is a game show that has started a "game revolution," where everyday people are challenged to perform "deceptively difficult games" to vie for a million dollars. Spin-offs of the games are being held at parties, booths, and homes across the country.
Our version will be much like the TV show, including an emcee, video tutorials of the game challenges, a 60-second clock and a few select contestants. Everything, you might say, but the million bucks :)
So whether you come out to be a part of the audience, cheering on one of three teams to victory, or if you apply to be a contestant and brave the challenges on stage, you are sure to have a good time at these kick-off events. As always, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to mix and mingle with other guests after the show. You can check out more information on these and other upcoming events by clicking here. Be sure to let us know if you are interested in being a contestant or a volunteer! We will see you there.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Today, take advantage of the "Cyber Monday" sale at Cache' Connections, which is $100 off of an entire year! One year is regularly $149.95, but today you pay just $49.95 when you use promotional code: CYBER100.
There are many new members at Cache' Connections, and the message boards are lighting up! Place your stake in the ground and commit to being a part of this growing community of like-minded believers who understand the importance of honoring God in their dating relationships.
New members are reminded to upload their primary photos (one headshot and one bodyshot - just you - taken against a plain indoor wall or door), sort through their Pending tab and send some messages to anyone you might be slightly interested in getting to know. All members are asked to respond to their messages in the spirit of Matthew 7:12: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Have a great week!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Okay. We are begging. We've been receiving a lot of "fan mail" from members who love the Cache' Connections website, but are disappointed that other members are not replying to the messages they've sent.
Unanswered emails is a common complaint with online dating - across the board. But at Cache' Connections, we strive to be uncommon, and in many ways we feel like we are a cut above the rest. Our members and fans realize that we strive to operate the website with godly integrity, and we treat our members with compassion and respect. I think there is a natural tendency, therefore, that members have higher expectations of each other.
At Cache' Connections, we encourage all members to respond to all messages, even if it is to politely say that you don't feel this would be a good connection. I know it can feel like you are being mean or negative, but trust us, the person wants to know where they stand. Part of intentional dating, healthy boundaries and all of that is to just simply "Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one." (Matt 5:37)
Members need to keep in mind that it is quite possible that the account of the message recipient may have recently expired, and so the member of interest cannot respond without renewing their membership. There are several other possible reasons for the silence, such as lack of access to a computer, lack of computer/typing skills, exploring another connection, and so on.
To some extent, online dating is a numbers game. So get your numbers up and increase your chances. Send a second message after about one week; also review your "Not Interested" folder and re-consider those you initially discarded. Why, just this morning we received an inquiry from a member, asking for information on a lady whose profile he admired in the Single Spotlight. I kindly told him that he could find out all kinds of information by reading her profile in his "Not Interested" tab :)
Monday, November 21, 2011
Today's blog post is taken from the weekly fast.pray blog, where singles and those who care for them fast and pray at lunchtime on Mondays for singles desiring marriage. To join this prayer group, click here. Today one of the founders, Connally, is writing about Paul's example of living with a community setting.
When I first moved to DC, my head spun at how quickly people moved in and then away. I'd make a friend, and s/he'd move--to another part of the city, to another church, to another town all together. I quickly realized why people who had been here a few years often operated with their guard up--it's hard to stay open to new attachments when bonds keep getting broken. And yet, I've always known I long for & thrive in community.
Community, though, is neither simply my longing nor the ache of our generation (though a report from Duke University on "Friendship in America" said that 25% of Americans have ZERO close friends with whom they can talk personally). It is an idea woven throughout the Scriptures. It shows up in the Trinity, and it's in Genesis as God's provision for loneliness But I want to look briefly at the Apostle Paul, a guy I always thought was like an independent John Wayne in a toga. As it turns out, he's not.
1) Have you ever looked closely in Acts at the first thing Paul did after he believed? He is led by another (Acts 9:8). This powerful man found himself vulnerable and needy. I have a couple of older mentors whose active leading I've sought, but I'm also learning to invite the friends around me who know more than I do (be it about cooking, working with kids with disabilities, running a meeting, relating to men, connecting with God, doing conflict resolution, etc.) to teach me. Something about allowing ourselves to need and receive from others actually embeds us more deeply into community. You might ask yourself, "Who in my current community am I allowing to lead me?"
2) The next thing Paul did? He experienced healing in the context of relationship (with Ananias in Acts 9:17ff). It's no shame to be broken, wounded, or even to have recurring sin issues. But they way forward is with others. I've repeatedly asked my housemates & other friends to pray with me about my aches, my weaknesses & my loneliness, even as I've confessed sin and asked for forgiveness. And it is so freeing. As well, when needed, I've sought professional counseling and spiritual direction. Nobody gets through life unscathed or sinless, and finding others with whom we can give/receive the gift of healing i s worth the work. Who are your truly 'safe' people? If you could use a few more, ask God to open doors for friends or 'for such a time as this' outsiders. Healing is crucial for (and a deep joy of) community.
3) And after that? Paul simply spent time being with these new friends (Acts 9:19). Since I was a child, I have believed that I am meant for marriage.
To read the rest of the blog, click here.
Friday, November 18, 2011
We're kicking off the holidays at Cache' Connections by inviting all new and former members to join for FREE (no strings attached) through December 31st! Be sure to spread this good news to all of your single friends in the North, South, East and West! The sooner you join, the more free time you enjoy.
So help us grow the website membership ... sign up! It's easy. New members can simply click "Join Now" from the home page at cacheconnections.com and go through the sign-up pages. When you get to the billing page, log out and reply to this email, requesting free membership. We will then open your account until the end of the year.
Those who have already established a username and password can let us know they are still interested in meeting other like-minded Christian singles by replying to this email with their request for free membership.
We have some exciting things coming up in the New Year, including opening up some new areas with new church partnerships. Stay tuned!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I posted a random question on Facebook one day last week. It simply read, "Someone tell me please how to wait on God. What do you do while waiting?" I really like some of these answers. Since singles do their fair share of waiting, we thought you could gain some wisdom for yourselves:
Lisa: Something else that He has right in front of you to do, even if it's mundane. Or go take a run and wear yourself out!
Alerice: via Dr. Samantha Phillips: 'Waiting on God' is not supposed to be a passive stance. When you truly believe, you take DAILY deliberate action towards your breakthrough! Never use faith as a mask for laziness! There is no such thing as doing nothing & being in faith for a breakthrough. Take at least one step each day towards your dream! 1 phone call, follow up, etc. but whatever you do, don't let this day pass without forward movement. It's a CHOICE not something that happens to you! What will YOU do today in faith for your dream??
Christa: Hbr 4:10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God [did] from His.
Sandra: Whenever we're 'waiting' we are-looking or expecting-so i do all the same things i always do, but with the expectation that i will see the Lord move or answer in some way.
Dick: Remember time is "meaningless" to God. So while we "wait" on Him, we should revel in His glory, praise Him continually, pray unceasingly. He will answer "by and by".
Keith: Psalm 37:34 which says "Wait on the Lord..." is also translated, in the New Living Translation like this: "Put your hope in the LORD". So as we wait, we're supposed to actually wait. To trust in HIM to accomplish what we're seeking for and praying for, and not seek, in our own strength and means, to carry it out. So often, we miss God's plan because we FAIL to wait on the Lord. Although this is often seen as passive by many of our brethren, let me hasten to add, it is never passive to agressively WAIT! It is very difficult to do. PATIENCE is a virture not well learned by many.
Cari: Pray and Pray and EAT! :) Oh and uh exercise and sing the John Waller Song ~ While I'm waiting.... ALOT!! :)
Rick: While you wait you keep on with the business of His kingdom.
Lisa: In Mary Kay they tell us to "work while you wonder". I think we often wait on God to see what He has in store for us, but in my experience I have discovered His blessings by actively seeking them, not sitting around waiting for things to happen.
Cathy: Just trust the Lord while...going back to college, work out to get in the best shape of your life, enjoy being single and... freezing your eggs (which is what I'll probably do). Understand that God made Eve for a reason, lol!
Shirley: When I put something in God's hands I then go about my daily business. When my question or my request gets answered, I know it. I wait (in that I don't try to MAKE something happen) but I'm going about my daily business while I'm waiting.
Carol: You do what you would do if you were a "waitress"....serve Him the best you can!!!!!
Dawn: You continue to PRAY...and have faith that God's gonna do what needs to be done....
Nancy: Do what you can do , God will do what you can't !
Carrol: God is waiting on us. From what I see you post, you seem to be a go getter. Sometimes God wants to teach us go getters, that waiting for Him is obedience even though for us waiting seems to be a waste. I'm an overachiever and God has used waiting as a way to wait on Him and his timing. He knows what He has in store for us. We don't.
Debby: I try to remember His faithfulness in the past; that keeps me going for quite awhile!
Tom: Hey Linda, you keep praying, trusting and believing. Stand on the promises of the Word of God. Hope that helps :)
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Today's post is taken from the fast.pray blog that is issued every Monday to a group of (mostly) singles who are praying and fasting for singles desiring marriage. CLICK HERE to join this prayer group who believes in the power of prayer to affect the singlehood phenomenon!
Just a reminder: we’re fasting and praying for marriages for those who want to be married, for courage for men to walk upright and into relationship, and for courage for us to be able to change where we need to change.
Last week was avoiding codependency in female friendships and this week is healthy friendships with guys. Knowing my mixed results on this front, I decided to get some more opinions with a survey. Granted, this survey has an extremely unrepresentative sample (ie: my three brothers), but here are some of the themes from our conversations.
* It's complicated. Examples of healthy platonic friendships between single guys and girls are few. One party usually ends up with hurt feelings and often the friendship is lost along the way. Don't assume that any particular friendship is free from that reality.
* Let go of your expectations. The survey sample agreed that girls tend to make assumptions and then go to extremes: either being angry/upset/surprised that he doesn't ask her out, or being angry/upset/surprised when he does ask her out. Although there is often plenty of fault to go around, it's a helpful reminder that true friendships are not agenda-driven. When we don't have an end goal, we are free to relax, trust God, and let things unfold as they will.
* Don't keep score. Often women divide and rank themselves based on who, in reality or perception, gets to hang out with the guys and who doesn't. Don't let that kind of silliness interfere with your friendships with guys or girls. Treat girl friends as sisters, not your competition. And treat guy friends as brothers, not a means to an end.
* Keep doors open for everyone in your life. Instead of focusing on befriending guys with "potential," keep your eyes open to the variety of folks God is putting in your path in this season of life. Invest in and befriend and encourage with an eye toward God's goodness and grace toward us.
Lastly, I am trying (half inspired by 1 Timothy 5:1) to build a habit of encouraging all the guys in my life, regardless of relationship status. The other half of the inspiration was, of all things, online dating profiles. I know this sounds ridiculous, but at one point I realized how encouraged I was by what some guys were writing about their hearts and lives. So I decided to start telling them that, regardless of immediate attraction level and with no expectations. After several good conversations, I decided maybe I should do the same thing in everyday life and not just with my single guy friends. The results have been uniformly positive!
So whether that's dad, brothers, friends, coworkers, friends' boyfriends/husbands, or even awkward first dates, I want to be an encouragement. Obviously that looks different in those relational contexts and I have much left to learn (probably the subject of another survey!), but I want to be a source of support, not destruction in any friendship.
As we fast tomorrow, let's make a particular point to pray for our brothers, biological or spiritual.
In His Grace,
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Here are the results of a recent Facebook poll, asking "what are your online dating pet peeves?"
Stacey: I like it when the guys take time to get to know a woman. Some men seem like they are on a time table and need to seal the deal quick. These men say to me by that speed that they aren't interested in ME, they are just interested in being in a relationship.
Mario: When you state "locals only" and you get request from Manila LOL. Pictures from high school or tiny pictures you cannot see, blurry dark pictures or no pictures. Idealism.... The killer of any relationship.
Lee: When I find a gorgeous, beautiful girl's profile with a very general, non-specific description. Then when you message them, they immediately want you to switch over to email without getting to know each other. It's usually a Russian-scam/con-artist or similar scum. Use the golden discerning rule: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Doug: Ladies whose profiles basically say "if your not ready to marry me next week don't contact me . Nobody wants to date anymore they think online dating is like ordering a book on the internet.
Jeff: When I used a popular internet dating site, I went through about 750 different matches over a period of about 5 years. My biggest pet peeve were the women who were on the site but obviously not ready to make a commitment (at least not to me) yet they were engaged on this site. Dating is hard work. So a lot of these women thought that a magic genie in a bottle would jump out and show them what to do instead of them doing the substantial work. And then the pendulum would swing the other way and they would want to get married next week. So go figure??
Cari: Men that don't say hardly anything about themselves on their profiles and have blurry far away pictures or thee ole' shirt off in the bathroom mirror taken by themselves with their phone. You are marketing yourself doesn't sound the greatest but that's what it is.
Les: You're on a "Christian" dating site and the only pictures you have of yourself are in a bar holding a bottle of beer?
Dee Dee: You're on a Christian dating site and the profile summary speaks nothing of your relationship with God. Annoying much!!
Lisa: Men who think you owe them a date just because you responded to their message. I politely responded to one that I wasn't interested in him but wished him the best, and he told me I should take my profile off if I wasn't interested.
Cari: Haha Lisa That's funny! I had a guy list all of his "Christian" credentials including where he went to college and his kids being saved etc...I still didn't want to go out with him he was too far away among other things like a temper : /....he got so upset and kept writing horrible things and I had to block him...
Michelle: Some just cannot take no for an answer!
Les: Or how about the time you saw a profile and thought "wow" and spent some time writing this person putting some thought into it only to never get a reply!
Heather: When you send an email and they send you an email that tells you absolutely nothing about themselves.
Do you see yourself in any of these scenes? At Cache' Connections, we encourage all members to respectfully respond to all messages and treat one another as you would prefer to be treated (Matt 7:12.)
Monday, November 7, 2011
Here's another script for our video blog that will be shown at the upcoming Christian Dating Redefined area-wide singles meetings.
One of the basic questions we get frequently is, how does your matching system work? Well, to be honest, we started out working with Drs. Tom and Beverly Rodgers, who are relationship experts, speakers, and authors who have been featured on Focus on the Family, and we were working on a compatibility matching system. We even got some mathematicians involved, but the further we got, the more frustrated we all became. We collectively decided that there is no true system or algorithm that can guarantee that two people will have a connection. Of course, what’s left out of all of the quantifiers is the all-important aspect of chemistry, you know, that special click that you just can’t name, measure or predict.
So the matching system at Cache’ Connections is simply based on the age and mileage range that you select upon signing up. You can select a 5, 10 or 15 year age span, and the mileage ranges are set at 60, 120, 200 or 350+ miles, which actually goes across the United States. From there, it’s up to you to decide, based upon your review of the profiles, if you want to connect with someone by sending them a message through the website.
Which leads me to tonight’s tip for you. We’ve talked to so many singles that are really insistent on meeting someone within just a few miles of where they live. Of course, everyone would prefer the convenience of dating someone from their own town or area. But we have to remember that Christian dating is NICHE dating. That means that the pool of possibilities is naturally smaller than worldly dating. As a committed Christian, you want to connect with someone who shares your faith – someone who can challenge you spiritually and walk together with you on your journey with Christ. As you know, you are seeking a very special person! So it only makes sense that you might need to expand your thinking about how far you might be willing to travel for a connection. Is it worth an hour’s drive? Maybe two or three hours? Some of our success couples have connected over 3 hours, and we have at least one marriage that connected from Atlanta to Detroit! Of course, long distance dating does have its challenges, and it’s certainly not for everyone. We just want you to be open to some possibilities that God might have for you. Remember, we serve a great big God, and with him, all things are possible!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
This week we've been spending time putting together a kit for the upcoming "Christian Dating Redefined" groups. The kit will contain everything needed for a semester of meetings. One piece for the weekly meetings will be a video snippet of Cache' Connections giving a "video blog." So here is a script we drafted for one of our frequently asked questions. What do you think?
Have you heard of the book titled, "If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the Boat" by John Ortberg? That’s one expression we use often at Cache’ Connections – get out of the boat. When Peter got out of the boat and walked toward Jesus, he actually took a huge risk, didn’t he? In fact, 2 Corinthians tells us we walk by faith, not by sight. Living by faith definitely involves a level of risk. In fact, in order to be successful in finding your future mate, you are going to have to take some risks. You’re going to possibly risk feeling embarrassed, being rejected, or having your heart broken. But when you find that special someone, it will all be worth it. So our encouragement to you today is to consider increasing your risk level. Maybe you just need to change your mindset to be more approachable, maybe you need to approach someone, maybe you need to ask that guy or girl exactly where that special friendship is heading?
A lot of people ask how we got started at Cache’ Connections. Well, WE got out of the boat in 2007. Until that time, I had a full time job as a real estate closing agent, and Kim was a realtor and general contractor in new construction. Both of us have been married for several years and we each have two grown children. Kim and I had been acquaintances because we lived in the same town and worked in the real estate field, but we actually reconnected when we both ended up at Northwoods Community Church in Peoria, IL. We found ourselves at a Sat. morning workshop there on building relationships, as God would have it, and that’s where our friendship started. Shortly after that, we went on a shopping trip when Kim and I were talking about our work. Then kind of suddenly, Kim interrupted herself and said, "I don’t want to talk about real estate. Do you want to know what I’ve always wanted to do? I’ve always wanted to be a matchmaker!" And to this day, I remember that “thud” I felt inside when she said that, which I know was the prompting of the Holy Spirit, that was saying, "you need to do this!"
So that very day we started talking about what that would look like, it is feasible, is there a market, would the people come? That was December 31, 2006, and six short weeks later, Cache’ Connections launched on Valentine’s Day 2007. We started out on the local, more personalized level, but we soon found that was too expensive for members and too time-consuming for us. So the website you now see was launched in May 2009. Since then, we’ve seen several marriages and committed relationships formed through not only the website, but people meeting at events – or both; and we’ve heard from a lot of singles that our advice through the blogs, emails, expert articles and chats have helped them identify some issues that have been holding them back. So God has been a part of Cache’ Connections since, well, before Day 1.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
This was the big question posed by Pastor Andy Stanley, Senior Pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia in a message to singles. We've selected Andy's DVD titled, "The New Rules of Love, Sex & Dating" as part of the teaching material for the upcoming Christian Dating Redefined program. This week we reviewed the material and were quite impressed with Andy's insights, fresh, energetic delivery and heart for Christian singles.
In one of the chapters, Andy tells the story of a young woman who told her mother that she recently met the "dreamiest" guy. She told her mother about all the wonderful attributes he possessed - all of the characteristics of the man she wants to marry someday. After her daughter finished her enumeration of his winning qualities, the mother tenderly told her, "Honey, that kind of guy isn't looking for a girl like you." The young woman was crushed and immediately recognized the truth of the hurtful statement and fell into a heap of tears.
This is a true but sad story, for sure. But it is also true and sad for many singles. We've found that oftentimes singles spend most of their lives dreaming of their perfect mate. Come on - admit it. Since the time we played house at the tender ages of 5 or 6, we've been forming an image of our imaginary spouse in our minds. While we realize that no one is perfect, we carry an invisible list around of what our perfect mate looks like: he loves the Lord, adores children and animals and frequently helps little old ladies cross the street; he rises up each morning, makes the coffee, wakes me up and calls me "blessed" and teaches our children to do the same; he makes well over $100K in the ministry, where he is well-respected, lives above reproach and is genuinely liked by others. His sense of humor is unmatched. Although he's the best-looking man in town with sparkly blue eyes, a full head of dark, wavy hair and a 6'2" stature, he only has eyes for me. He gives generously to the church, regularly travels on mission trips and is involved heavily in the community at large, always with an eye and a heart for those who need Jesus. Oh, and he often but randomly brings me little love gifts!
Who wouldn't love and want this man? The problem is, first of all, he doesn't exist. So if you want to continue dreaming, go for it. It is kind of fun, after all. The second problem may be, however, that this perfect man is looking for a perfect woman. I won't go into details, but you know what he is looking for in his mate. The question is, is that woman you? If it isn't, what could you be working on to become more attractive to such a man? Or, do you stick tight to your "must have" list, boxing yourself into such a corner that no man can fit the bill?
Of course, this article is written to the extreme, and we don't mean to pick on the women. We've seen many men set themselves up to be unmatchable in such a way. The point is that we want singles to be open to new ways of thinking - be open to whatever type of man or woman might have for you. Aside from that, we love to see singles take measures to become "that guy" or "that girl" that Mr./Ms. Wonderful is looking for: emotionally, physically, and relationally. It is often our prayer that Cache' Connections members take measures so they will be healthy daters. You see, as Andy Stanley makes clear in his DVD series, healthy marriages are made up of healthy individuals.
What have you done for your Dream Date lately?
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
This is a quote from Dr. Hubert Morken, a professor at Regent University. I picked it up in Candice Watters' book titled, "Get Married - What Women Can Do to Help It Happen." She opens the book with a story of a day she was sitting in class learning about all the ways our country is slipping from its constitutional foundations. When Candice posed the question, "So what's the solution?" Dr. Morken's simple antidote was just this: "Get married, make babies, and do government! That's how we win."
Candice, not yet having the opportunity to marry, apparently was working on her Master's degree so that she could continue her work in Washington to defend the rights of traditional families. The single spitfire replied, "I want to be married. But that opportunity hasn't come my way. So I've devoted myself to working on behalf of families. I'm doing all this hard work so they can enjoy their cozy life in the suburbs," she said with not a little envy and bitterness.
Dr. Morken replied with a laugh, "Candice, do the math. The people who form families, who raise children and send them into the next generation, are the ones who will influence where our government and culture go in the future." Dr. Morken went on to explain that the creation mandate has never been rescinded. In fact, it's been part of our basic pitch at Cache' Connections: marriage is the backbone of our society and our government.
Dr. Morken's wife Mary, known as somewhat of a matchmaker herself, played a huge role as a mentor to Candice and to many other women, helping them see some practical and philosophical changes they need to make in order to become marriage minded and to attract a mate. This book is packed with practical, mindset-changing advice for those who desire to get married and helps clear away some of the scriptural misinterpretations concerning marriage. Follow Candice on her journey that took her from the state of singleness to a happy marriage to the guy who wouldn't commit.
We highly recommend that you get a copy for yourself - and one for your single friends, too! It's time that we get over our self-focus and get married, have babies, and do government, according to God's design.