Interview with Tami Heim

Seven years ago, we met over coffee and, as they say, the rest is history. Tami Heim has not only been a friend, but a huge influence in my life. She is the CEO and President of Christian Leadership Alliance. She is a mom to Zoe and grandma to two. But, God wasn’t finished.

Her and her husband, Dale, just recently adopted a little girl from Haiti. I have had the privilege of meeting Sania and she is one of the sweetest little girls you’ll ever meet.

In this interview, we talked about the adoption process, the perseverance it took, and the joy it brings.

I can’t wait for you to hear her heart today!

Join us.

IN THIS EPISODE

  • How her Pastors tweets kept her captivated with Haiti
  • How a church leader asked a question that would change their life forever.
  • From being in the delivery room with her first grandbaby to filling out adoption papers at the same time.
  • The hard process of adoption
  • How the No’s became Yes’s
  • How a prophetic word changed the course of the why
  • What brought Tami to tears
  • How parenting is different the second time around

PERSPECTIVE

Parenting in the NOW moments

WEBSITE LINKS

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ENCOURAGING VERSE

Hebrews 12:1 – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”

MY FAVORITE TAKE AWAY(S)

If we try to say why we couldn’t do what God’s invited us into, we would be so selfish.

God showed us what it is to go to the very edge of impossible.

Even in our inadequacy, God makes up the difference. - Tami Heim

CONVERSATION:

What part of the interview, if any, changed your perspective? What if God wants you to pursue adoption?  We would love to hear your story.

Write the Vision Down

I love a new year. I love how we can look at a clean slate. We can forget what we left behind and press forward to all that is ahead.

Last Thursday night me and 3 of my dearest friends got together and prayed over our lists of goals and vision for 2012.  It is one of the sweetest times of the year for me.  It reminds me not just how amazing these women are but how big God is.  That in the busyness of life, we can take the time to "write the vison down, make it plain".  That each of us can go over each area that is on our list and know that not just in the moment of that night, but through out the year, we are continually praying for each other.

I encourage you before the month of January is over, grab your dearest friends, grab your husband and pray over those things that you know that only God can do.

That only He can order your steps. (Psalms 37:23)

That only He can direct your path. (Proverbs 3:6)

That only He can give you the peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)

Will you? Will you take the time and write "the vision" down?

Let me know. I would love to hear from you and be in agreement in prayer with you.

Remember What He Has Done

We have been talking about prayer, fasting and how we need to just worship God through our circumstance this week.  I want to close with this – don’t give up. Don’t rush to find answers, because the answers aren’t coming fast enough. By doing this all we do is delay the process.  I’ll give you an example, Wednesday I was ready to give up on my circumstance. I was ready to just do what needed to be done.  I was tired of waiting on the unknown.  I needed answers, but I also needed His blessing.  I needed to be like Jacob and not let go of God until He blesses me (Genesis 32:26).  I screamed and asked God, no told God, “I need a word”.  I need something that tells me you are there; that you are in the midst of all this.  I opened up my Sparkling Gem devotion to May 17 and the title read – When You’re Discouraged and Ready to Give Up, Here’s What You Should Do.  I looked at it and said, Ok God, I need you to speak to me through this.  The first sentence said, “What should you do when you’re feeling discouraged and dangerously close to doubting God’s integrity – when you start thinking He just might not come through for you? Hebrews 10:32 tells us what we are to do when we find ourselves in this situation”:

“But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings;” (NKJV)

When I look back and see all that He has done.  When He had done this or this, my Faith rises up in me and knows that He is there.

He is there for you too.

As you go into this weekend think on those things.  Look back and see all that God has done for you.  Did He heal your body? Did He provide the necessary resources to get you through? Did He restore a relationship?  If He has done those things for you before, why would He not do them for you now? Remember we are like the bow and arrow being pulled and stretched waiting to fly. It’s in the waiting that we don’t give up, but remember.

“Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.” (Isaiah 46:9 NLT)

Take the Limits Off

As I was reflecting today on yesterday’s post, I saw on my desk the logo of this website, Beyond Brave.  I realized I am in a moment of not just being brave, but going Beyond Brave.  That this ordinary moment will take extraordinary faith to move forward, to persevere. I hold on in knowing that my God is bigger than my circumstance. That nothing is impossible for Him.

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27 (NIV)

I encourage you to take the limits off God.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…” Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)

Take Him out of the box and let Him work in you and through you.

Keep up with the challenge of just worshiping Him this week.  Keep Him at the forefront of your mind.  Let Him know that you need Him and watch how you fall more and more in love with Him every day.  And in that love, you will begin to see the world through His eyes.

Don't Ask!

Last week I was praying and fasting for some circumstances and situations that had come up recently.  For those of you that sent emails and messages of concern, Jose and I are wonderful and the kids are counting down the days till summer.  But how many of us just kind of go through “stuff”?  I was there. During my time of prayer and fasting, God began to show me what I needed to fix in me.  What I was stumbling over. What I was putting as idols before Him; that I needed to do some “spiritual” cleaning to get to where He had me to go.  Each day was something new to write down in my journal or to see God as He sees me (and you).

Wednesday, God showed me Psalm 95:1-7 in such a different light.  That “He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care”.  I would rather be there than anywhere else. But then Thursday came and at 5:30 in the morning, I opened up my Bible and read a scripture I had highlighted over the years and my eyes went straight to it…1 Peter 5:7:

“Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” (NIV)

I began to weep.  God was showing me that no matter what the situation looks like or how bad the circumstance looks on paper, cast it on me.  “I’ll take care of it because I care for you”.  How many know when you just need God to show up that sometimes our comfort in Him is found in His Word?  As I put this scripture on Facebook for a @stickyJesus moment, a friend of mine responded about that scripture being in the Sparkling Gems devotional for that day.  I read it and cried. Then I turned on my Pandora and the first song I heard was Don Moen’s He Never Sleeps and guess what verse was in there? Yes, 1 Peter 5:7.  You know that’s when God is trying to tell you something!

I share all this with you because maybe you’re going through your own situation or circumstance.  I want to let you know there is hope in Him.  Matthew 17:20 says:

“He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (NIV)

Nothing!

God knows your struggles.  He knows your hurts. He even knows the plans and purposes for your life.

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

God’s not going to let us fail.  He loves us to much, read 1 Peter 5:7 again.

I challenge you this week to not ask one thing from God.  Don’t tell Him about your problems or situations, He already knows them.  Don’t ask Him questions of why or how.  I challenge you to just Worship Him.

Don’t ask, don’t seek, just Worship.

Nothing But Silence

Have you ever had one of those days where you read your devotional (I have three) that day looking for a nugget of wisdom or comfort in your circumstance only to find nothing relates to what your going through? That was me this morning.

As most of you have been following along this week, we are going through some battles that only God can answer. Praying and fasting this week and seeking God through it all. From the beginning of Monday and through Wednesday, I have in my journal notes of change and responsibility God has shared with me in my time with him. Some of them hurt a little, but yet so true. To hear God’s voice when He says, look at 1 Peter 5:7 and it brings you to tears and gives you such peace in knowing that He cares.

But what about the moments like I had today – silence. Do I question? Do I wonder where He is; don’t you see I need your comfort? No. Because in the silence I know He is working behind-the-scenes. Although I may not see the answer yet, its in my Faith that I know its coming. It’s my Faith that gives me comfort. Let Him be your comfort through your situation. Let Him wrap His arms around you and hear Him say, “Everything is going to be alright”. He didn’t create us to fail, but to succeed. That each day we can say that God is bigger than our circumstance.

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing," (James 1:2-4, NASB).

Have their been times God has brought you through a situation that you knew He could only get you through? Please share them with me.

 

Because He Cares

“Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7 God woke me at 5:30 Wednesday morning to this verse.  To let me know He is there and that He has everything under control…because He cares.

Maybe you’re struggling with worry and anxiety over some things.  Cast them on to Him.  I think our hardest times are when we get in the way.  If God doesn’t answer quickly enough then we somehow find the need to find the answer within ourselves.  Only further delaying the process.

This week I’m learning to fully trust in Him.  Writing things down in my journal as these things I’m asking God for are becoming clearer.  Hearing God; seeking His face.  Because I don’t want to endure this, I want to persevere through it.  I don’t want to go over, around or under the circumstance but I want to go through it.  Because I know that as I go through the fire, God is refining me to a genuine faith.

“These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”    1 Peter 1:7 NIV

A faith that passes all understanding.

A faith that has hope even though I may not see the answer yet.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1

If you are in a time where everything seems to be crashing in, then rest and know that He cares for you, all He asks is to cast your cares on Him.

Freedom in Waiting

In my post from yesterday, I have been praying and fasting this week. Asking God for answers to some circumstances and situations in my life.  What a time with Him this has been so far.  In these moments with Him I am learning not to ask but just to worship Him. I am reminded in Micah 7:7 to wait.  That He does hear me.

“But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”

Or in Romans 8:28:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

He is working on our behalf.

Isn’t that amazing to know that God is working behind-the-scenes right now for you and for me?  We may not see all that is going on or what He has planned, but just simply knowing that He is working “for the good” of our circumstances is a restful thought in itself.

If you yourself are in a season of circumstances and situations that only God has the answer for, then I assure you to do the two things I know are helping me:

  • Pray
  • Read His Word

I think Smith Wigglesworth says it best:

What you need is to know the mind of God and the Word of God, and you will be so free that you will never find a frown on your face or a tear in your eye.

May we live in His freedom as we wait.

Ready to Fly Like the Arrow

Some days I just don’t want to endure, I want to persevere. These last few weeks I have endured some things in my life that I have had to give to God.  I have had to lay them at His feet. Through prayer and fasting, I know we will persevere through it all!

I love what Oswald Chambers says in My Utmost for His Highest:

“A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, but our Lord continues to stretch and strain, and every once in a while the saint says, “I can’t take any more.” Yet God pays no attention; He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight, and then He lets the arrow fly.”

Don’t you wonder sometimes in circumstances if God still has you in a position of stretching or if He is close to getting you to the “purpose He has in sight”?  I do.  There are days when I have actually said, “I can’t take any more” or “I don’t have the strength to go through this again”. But I have to rise up my faith and not have it as some weak and pitiful emotion, but as a strong and powerful confidence built on the fact that I know Him.  That although I may not understand what He is doing, I can trust that in a little while I will fly like that arrow.

Maybe you are in the midst of your own circumstances; feeling as though you can’t be “stretched” any further. Then pray. Seek God’s face and know Him.

John 17:3 says, “This is eternal life, that they may know You…”

Oswald Chambers says, “The real meaning of eternal life is a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering.”

If we would take this perspective, life would become one big romance with God – an amazing opportunity of seeing magnificent things all the time.

Rise up your faith. Continue to walk in your circumstance knowing that we will be flying soon.

 

Let God Control the Situation

I want to finish up this series on Prayer, specifically the Lord’s Prayer, and look at Matthew 6:9-13 again: Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. 'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]' NASB

With this prayer we have learned who to pray to, what to pray for and why we pray. Today I want to focus on the last half of that prayer, when we need to pray.

Every phrase in this passage is talking about asking God to help us and provide us with our needs. Give us our daily bread - meet my needs God. Forgive us our debts - forgive me of MY sins God. As we forgive our debtors - help me to forgive OTHERS that have sinned against me God. The truth of the matter is that we need so much from God and Jesus knew that if He didn’t teach us how to go to the Father for our needs, that we would have really no idea how to get these needs met.

Sometimes there are days when our cup is empty and we need a refill.

Let’s begin with the first phrase in this passage: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Give Us: Jesus is making it clear here that each of us need to get something from God.

This Day: And when do we need these things from God? Every day!

Our: He is reminding us again that we need something that we can only get from God.

Daily: How often do we need to get these things provided for by God? Daily!

Bread: What is it that we are supposed to be going to God for? Not only for our daily needs, but a filling of our cup.

Have you ever sat and thought about what your daily needs are:

* Peace * Patience * Help with losing weight * Financial help * Better health * Kids to obey them * Time to themselves * Wisdom to make right decisions

There is nothing wrong with these needs.  God cares for each need and loves to provide them for us. But God knows that the greatest need that anyone really has is a need to be dependent upon Him, because without Him, we can do nothing.

“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” II Corinthians 3:5

“I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5

By spending time in His Word on a daily basis is the first “bread” that God wants us to need and eat daily.

The next few sentences go into sin, temptation, and evil.  To close this week out I want to look at the last sentence:

“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen”

I find it interesting that this model prayer began with Jesus teaching us the importance of remembering the Holiness of God and it ends with reminding us that we can rest in the Sovereignty of God.

Sovereignty meaning He has complete control over the situation.  I think we sometimes forget that and we try to control it ourselves. But look at that verse again…For YOURS is:

The kingdom – the situation or circumstance

The power – the strength that it takes to get through it.

The glory – He gets all the credit as you see the end result.

So truly, what this means is Jesus is telling us to confess our confidence in God that He is able to meet our needs and that in our confidence we can praise Him and worship His glory in the victory.

Only God sees the big picture. Only God knows exactly what needs to be done or not done. Only God knows what is best and what will bring about what is best. And because of this, He is the only one that can truly be trusted to make the best decisions and bring the best of things to past. So as you come to the close of your prayers each day, thank Him. Thank Him for being in control.

Find What You Are Supposed To Be Praying For

The last few days we have talked about what is prayer and who we are praying to. Today I want to talk about the WHAT we are to be praying for. We will look at Matthew 6:9-10 again:

Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” NASB

There are two new parts to these verses that Jesus teaches us what we are supposed to be praying for.

Your kingdom come - Who is the “Your” that Jesus is talking about in this verse? It is God. This verse is teaching us that God has a kingdom that we need to pray that comes. The word “kingdom” means “to reign”. This is what we need to be praying for is for God’s reign to come. Where is it coming? On earth as it is in heaven.

So what does all this mean to us as we pray? We are praying that God would have rule over everything that inhabits this earth. How can we be a part of that? By doing what Matthew 28:19-20 says:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." NASB

Not only do I think you can 100% witness to someone in the grocery store or in the shopping center by showing the love of Jesus in our walk, but since we are talking about prayer here are some things we can do:

* Pray for the salvation of those you know are lost * Pray for the growth of those new believers that have been newly saved * Pray that you would go soul winning and reach others with the good news of Christ * Pray that you would have a willing heart to obey the Word of God

Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Believe it or not, God has a will about EVERYTHING in life! Contrary to popular teaching and belief, there are NO gray areas with God! And when we pray for others, the thing He wants us to be praying for is HIS WILL for their situations and life.

The first person that you and I should be praying for to do God’s Will is US!

Here are two scriptures that we could use as we pray for ourselves in this way each day:

“Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:4-5NASB

“Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God;  Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Psalm 143:10 NASB

What are you praying for?

Who Are We Praying To

Today I want to talk to you about the “who” that Jesus teaches us to pray to in Matthew 6:9: “Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” NASB

The very first thing He teaches us is who we are to direct our prayers to.

I was raised Catholic up until I was 9 years old.  When we would go to church or mass, we had a choice, to go to confession (which I was to young), take communion or kneel to the statue of Mary when we prayed.  I think Jesus taught this “who” we are to pray in Matthew not only for the biblical times of idols and pagans but for the future of knowing that no statue or priest can ever take the place of Almighty God.

So who is this Who we are supposed to be praying to?

Our Father – When we come to God in prayer, it is important to know that He is a Father to all that believe and have confessed Him as Lord over their life.  He is not my Father or your Father, He is our Father. Secondly, I think it’s amazing that God asks us to come to Him in such an intimate and personal way.  This is what’s amazing to me is that as you read the scriptures from the Old Testament to the New Testament, you see in the Old a compassionate and gracious God yet if people willfully sinned you had some serious consequences come your way.  But in the New, Jesus refers to God as Father, His Creator, and His life-giver. No one had ever heard God addressed that way before.

This is what I love, that in Matthew 6:9, Jesus is telling the people to pray in this way…OUR Father.  Not pray to MY Father, but OUR Father.  Something they were not familiar with.  To see God as their Father.

God wants you to see Him in this way.

Maybe you didn’t have the best of relationship with your natural Father.  Maybe you’re wondering how am I supposed to see God in this way when all that I know of what a Father is is hurt and disappointment.  Then I would say to you look to the Word.  Find and understand how God wants you to see Him.  Look to the scriptures and see what God says an earthly father is to be and let God fill in those gaps of what was missing.

Who is in heaven – Jesus reminds us that Our Father is not an earthly father but is our Heavenly Father.  A Father that resides in Heaven.  A place covered in gold and where everything is perfect.  A place where God is never burdened or overwhelmed, is never void of compassion or confused on what to do and yet He still never gets tired of hearing our prayers. This brings me hope.

Hallowed be thy name – Webster’s dictionary defines hallowed as “regarded as holy”.  Jesus wants us to understand that who we are praying to is somebody that we must treat with reverence.  We have to be very careful that we don’t form a habit of unloading or dumping on God as though He doesn’t know our circumstance or our frustration with it.  God is holy and his name must flow from our lips with praise.  Names like Jehovah Jireh, the First & Last, Almighty, I Am and Everlasting Father. He will never fail you or disappoint you.  He will love you as Our Father.

How do you see God when you pray?

A Simple Prayer Is So Much More

A couple of weeks ago, God began to deal with my spirit about prayer.  I found myself, especially in the mornings, reading my devotional and studying the Word.  I look forward to this time with Him.  It helps me to start my day and order my steps.  But God reminded me that he didn’t just create me to read a devotional, study the Word or say a quick prayer of thanks and praise, he created me to also worship Him in prayer.  That I needed to change the way I approach prayer. So for the next few days, I want to talk to you about the Lord’s Prayer and, God willing, articulate what He has been showing me:

“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” Luke 11:1-4

I want to ask you a few questions:

What is prayer?

What kind of things do you ask for when you pray?

The Bible is filled with tremendous amounts of instruction on who and what we are supposed to be praying for and this is what I want to dissect in the new few days.

So, why do we pray?

We pray because we need His help. This life we are living is so much bigger than us and we need His guidance through it all. I need to Him to comfort me, teach me, help me and provide for me with this life He has given me.

You might ask, how do we pray?

In Luke 11:1-4 Jesus instructs us on how to pray and again it says this:

“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”

Maybe you’re asking why me? Why would God want me to pray? Especially if He says He knows everything even before we ask Him.

"So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Matthew 6:8 NASB

But here is where the wisdom of God is, I believe He asks us to pray because He wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him.  Like any relationship, you must spend a lot of time getting to know who they are and how much they care. You have to cultivate it; therefore it takes time and effort on our part. What an AMAZING God (and dare I say pretty smart too!).

God loves us so much and because He does, there are some things He wants to show us as we learn how to spend time with Him in prayer.

He wants to show us:

1. His enormity (Our Father, which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name) 2. His authority (Thy kingdom come, thy will be done) 3. His provision (Give us this day our daily bread) 4. Our sinfulness (And forgive us our sins) 5. The disobedient sin of others (For we also forgive every one that is indebted to us) 6. Our dependence on Him (And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil)

Although prayer is about asking, it is also about knowing who this amazing God is and how much He loves us. It’s about finding who we are and how He sees us and finding out how much we need Him.

Is prayer an essential part of your day?