Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 000 Introduction

Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 000 Introduction

Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Introduction Episode #000

Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast. I’m Terri and you are listening to my Introductory Episode #000.

I cannot believe I actually just said those words! Aren’t the things God calls us to do often very surprising and above our ability? At least I find that to be true in my life and this is definitely one of those times.
Thank you for spending part of your day with me by listening to my first podcast episode.

Sharing God stories and talking about Jesus are two of my favorite things to do with others. If you’re like me, and we were face-to-face, we would probably sip hot teas in a cute coffee shop while time slipped away unnoticed.

One of my greatest joys and blessings is sharing what God has done in my life, hearing what He has done in yours, and also encouraging others to deepen their walk with Him. I truly believe part of my calling is to encourage, educate, and equip women to lead intentional lives by embracing an eternal perspective. Today I’ll talk more about what that means to me and why I started this podcast about it.

By the way, it feels a little challenging to be the only person talking on this podcast, because I want the authenticity behind what I say to be recognized. I pray you’ll hear my heart behind the words and connect with the love I have for Jesus, and more importantly, the love He has for you. Being able to share ways that He has changed my life and promising you that He can change yours, too is a joy for me. I’ll be the main person sharing on this podcast, but I do also plan to have guests from time to time.

One of the most important experiences I want to share today is how the deepest pain in my life so far became a catalyst for me to live intentionally and with eternal perspective. I know we’re supposed to live with our minds fixed on Jesus and eternity, and as a believer, I know that this world is just a passage for me. I am not meant to stay in this temporary dwelling. So let me back up a bit to before everything changed.

Although I already understood that truth, and tried to keep it foremost in my heart, I didn’t in the way that I do now. It wasn’t that I blatantly disregarded God’s word. It’s just that life happens and it’s simple to move right along with all the demands and distractions we allow. Of course, sometimes I would stop and ponder the words written in Hebrews 13:14, “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come,” or the verse in Matthew 6:19-21 that states, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Each time I reflected on those verses, it would bring me a step closer to trying to live the way God calls us to. Don’t you appreciate the way God intimately works in each of us? He knows us so well! He loves us so deeply. Despite ourselves, He cares for us. It’s not that I was living a lifestyle that excluded God. I loved Him and was working to grow my faith walk and relationship daily. I was blessed with nice things I was grateful for, but they weren’t excessive. I didn’t try to store up extravagant treasures, but I know deep down I took too much for granted, even life itself, and sometimes I felt entitled to what I had.

Take health insurance, for example. When the premiums kept rising, I complained that I wasn’t getting the benefits I used to, instead of rejoicing that I still had insurance. In His goodness, God is able to use events to guide us to Him in even deeper ways. I hadn’t kept eternity in the forefront of my mind and actions. Even though I attempted to, the active thought of me as an alien or stranger in this world was not embedded into my brain daily until I received a mindset shift when my oldest daughter died. Then, my perception of this world was altered. This world was no longer my home.

During that immensely painful season of deep loss, God "lifted the veil" and showed me His face. My precious relationship with Jesus was elevated to an altar of faith. As I experienced this loss with Him, I continued growing and developing holier bonds of understanding and trust. My comfort was endless as He never left my side. As long as I continued to hold tightly to Him, not relying on support from others, or inside myself for strength, Jesus went above and beyond what I knew to expect because His care was deeply personal. No one else perfectly understood what I endured, except for Him. He didn’t just walk through each day with me; He cradled and carried me. I’m not saying a bereaving person should not allow others to help them, but simply that Jesus alone knew what I needed in each moment.

When my precious daughter passed, God set me free from life on this earth. This place is no longer my home. My spirit now feels what my head thought it understood. I live with one foot on earth to do as He instructs, and one foot in heaven. I delight in being here with my beloved family. Yet, I know that I must listen intently to what God calls me to. He must work His purposes through me. Eternal perspective is beautifully multi-faceted, it’s not just a lifestyle directive we read about in the Bible and think we interpret and attempt to live. God touched the depths of my heart in new ways that my eyes couldn't see and my ears could not hear previously.

Every moment, even when I make mistakes, is a miraculous opportunity to live in a way that moves me, and others, to a deeper relationship with Jesus. I am not guaranteed another second of life. Living with eternal perspective is truly in the forefront of my mind and intentions. I am no longer deceived. Everything that happens to me is viewed through an eternal perspective that also affects everyone around me.
After my beloved daughter died, I received extreme comfort in knowing that she was with Jesus. This drove home the impact of including others in my eternal viewpoint. Before my daughter died, when I pondered the definition of eternal perspective, I knew not to store treasures on earth, but to look heavenward. I understood that I was to share the gospel. Those commands are basics in Christianity. What makes it different for me now is that I also keep in the forefront of my mind just how my actions and words can affect the eternal life of another person.

Every reaction and word I speak has eternal repercussions for someone else. Of course, I knew it before, but now that God has shifted His wisdom in my heart and renewed my mind, I see more clearly just how easily our own emotions and histories can cloud human reactions. I now purposely attempt to give each emotion and reaction to God before responding or speaking to others. Living with this different viewpoint makes it so much easier to sincerely care more deeply about how everything I do can be shaped to better impact the life of another for Christ.

As I raise my younger children, I see clearly how what I do becomes who they are. I knew it before, but Jesus continues to drive the point home to me even more. Here’s a story that may better illustrate what I mean. One day we were on our way home from speech therapy with my youngest daughter. It was hours past lunch time and I was hungry. We had another appointment in a couple of hours and all I could think about was getting food in the girls and me before we had to head out again.

I decided to stop at a Subway restaurant on the way home. Because of allergies, I can’t eat it, but the girls love it. I hoped we could run in, get the food, take it home, and I would fix myself something while they ate. The only potential flaw with this solution was that Subway can be SO sloooow.

Of course, when we pulled into the parking lot and looked through the window, we could see customers already in line. Another car pulled in beside us. I told my teen to get out quickly and get inside before the other people got in line before us. My plan was for her to run in to get the food while I waited in the car with our youngest. After I spoke, I noticed she started moving a little slower than before. “Hurry,” I reminded her as my stomach growled.

“Mom,” she said as she looked at me with disappointment and irritation in her eyes and voice. “Don’t you think they’re hungry, too? What if they need to get in line first?”

“We’re in a hurry,” I told her, although the sting of conviction was already pricking my spirit. “Please move faster.” Just short of an eye roll, my daughter got out of the car and entered the restaurant behind the group of people from the car next to us.

As I feared, we waited about twenty minutes for her to get back to the car as my lunch time was rapidly dwindling away. Before I backed out of the parking spot, I made sure to address the sting in my pride.”You were right that I was being selfish. I’m hungry and I wanted to eat before we have to leave for our next appointment. You have your food now, but I still have to get home and eat mine before it’s time to leave. I was putting myself first,” I admitted. Although I wanted her to listen to and respect what I instructed her to do, I knew that there was a bigger lesson - an eternal one - at stake.

God wants us to follow Him and put others before ourselves. Philippians 2:3 instructs, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” God wants absolutely everything I do to reflect the highest level of living for Him. Every single moment offers me an opportunity to allow Him to flow through me. It is not easy. As you can see, I make mistakes. My heart is seen by God, however, and He knows that I desire showing Him to all and that I need Him to continue humbling, stretching, and molding me to become who He desires. There is no pleasure in remaining me. True joy abides when He is allowed to reside in and restore what He created.

Eternal perspective living applies to absolutely everything I do. Every decision, comment, and action becomes part of a chain of events impacting myself and others around me, especially those I love. Sometimes, when I am tired or rushed, I might feel an urge to hurry things, but I hear Jesus speak to my soul. He reminds me to slow down. The moment at hand becomes a snapshot of the life album of the person I am dealing with. My reaction and attitude have the ability to affect them beyond what I can see, becoming part of their eternity.

I’m honestly the worst with strangers when I get this way, especially people I cannot understand well on the telephone and I have been on an endless loop of transfers with no one able to help me when dealing with health issues for my daughter. I also have a hard time when someone offends or harms one of my children. God has worked on, and will continue working with me in these areas. Although I am far from perfect, He reminds me that I represent Him, and that the simple ways I respond can add up to complex negative or positive outcomes. How different would our world be if we lived according to God’s principles and consistently allowed others to become more important than ourselves?

I am not a Bible scholar, but I am in love with God’s words and teachings. I’m fascinated that He took the trouble of preparing a life manual for us, sent straight from Him, and full of everything we need to live for Him, learn from Him, and be prepared to meet Him face-to-face one day. There is so much to learn, but I delight in sitting at the feet of Jesus. I consider myself a girl in love with Him. It’s true that I’m technically a married woman, a mother of four, and a grandma to one, but I consider myself a girl in my faith walk, because I want to maintain the childlike faith Jesus calls us to embrace in Matthew 18:3-4. “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Another scripture, 1 Corinthians 14:20, tells us, “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.” We are called to become mature in spiritual knowledge and understanding, yet remain naive regarding evil. Adults often confuse the two. We become knowledgeable about sins of the world, and focus our attention on things that aren’t really important in our relationship with eternity. We neglect living in reverence for God, and postpone deepening our walk with Him. We lack the trust to rely on Him to provide for us. Think about the opposite way children approach life. They trust the one who cares for them, even when they shouldn’t. They want to spend time with those they care about and lavish love on the ones who adore them, the way we must intentionally be with Jesus and others.

One thing I must ask myself daily is whether my actions match what my heart believes. Do others see Jesus through me? What about you. Can others see what you believe?

Before my daughter died, I thought the worst thing that could ever happen to me would be to lose a child. Now I know that the most devastating thing would be to lose Jesus. He has taken me through my biggest fear and proven Himself faithful. Thankfully, His word promises me that no one can pluck me from His hand. I will never lose Jesus.

When Jesus lived on this earth, His desire was to glorify God. He modeled that for me to follow. He modeled that for you to follow. Are we representing Christ in the way He should be shown? The hardest challenges and excruciating pains in our life can drive us deeper into the arms of Jesus or give us an excuse to run away from Him.

In order to truly live with eternal perspective, we must view eternity through a new lens. Eternity is multi-dimensional; affecting everything we are and do. While we have a limited amount of time on earth to know, love, and show Jesus, we will spend the remainder of our timeless existence in the presence of the Lord, if we are believers. That means we must submit to God’s plan for our life – and His plan for others. We must glorify and honor Jesus in all that we do. We must look beyond ourselves to Jesus and abide in His view of others. We must focus on discipleship of ourselves and others. We must place Jesus on the throne of our affections and thoughts. When our mind is fixed on things above, seeking Jesus and drawing nearer to Him, our heart organically develops to be more like His. Our life reflects the change. We are allowing Him to truly abide in us and transform us. Sometimes the transformation is easy; sometimes it is agonizing. It is always worth the investment – for self, others, and Him.

Let me list some important questions that I think help us to put eternity into an easier focus for us. Let’s ask ourselves the following:

What do I believe about the promise Jesus gives me regarding eternity?

Do my actions reflect my beliefs?

What do I believe about the potential Jesus says I have to affect His kingdom?

Do my actions reflect my beliefs?

What do I believe about the possibilities (the gifts) Jesus created in me?

Do my actions reflect my beliefs?

What do I believe about the value Jesus places on me as His beloved child?

Do my actions reflect my beliefs?

Do I know and have I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior?

Do my actions reflect my beliefs?

How we measure our belief will become our result – both here and for eternity.

Imagine groggily lifting yourself from bed fifteen minutes later than normal one morning with all the “to-do” list of items already rolling through your mind. You can barely take another step because you’ve been so behind with all the activities and expectations of life, and you just can’t get enough sleep. As you walk from the bedroom to the kitchen, you see Jesus sitting at your kitchen table, waiting to visit with just you. Are you panic-stricken? Or do you feel peace?

Do you begin apologizing for the mess in your house? Are you giving excuses as to why you don’t have enough time to keep it as clean as you’d like to and start telling Him everything that you’ve had to do? Maybe you ask Him why He didn’t add about ten more hours to each day; or better yet, another day to each week.

Or do you simply sit with Him? Are you able to abide in the presence of your Savior? Are you willing to let go of the expectations you place on yourself and allow Him to restore your mindset and spirit?

Often, we don’t know Jesus because we say that we don’t have time, deceiving ourselves that in order to grow in Him, we must be involved in several group Bible studies, be at every church function, take lessons on how to interpret our spiritual gifts, read every good book about faith and Jesus, and keep a spiritual journal. The list can be endless. We make knowing and loving Jesus a task. Love for our Savior should fuel our actions in simple and direct ways. Sit with Bible in hand and read His teachings and the wisdom of God. Pray. Listen for God. Connect with other believers. See where the Heavenly Father leads you next. Jesus simply desires our heart in genuine worship and relationship.

Luke 10:38-42 illustrates two sisters who love Jesus. One is consumed with doing what she thinks is important, instead of simply being in His presence. After complaining to Jesus about the actions of her sister, Jesus gently rebukes her. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Live to be more engaged with Jesus than engaged for Him. Make time to be at His feet and listen for His direction. Soak up His presence.

Thank you for listening to this first Live With Eternal Perspective podcast. God has impressed so much on my heart to share. Living with an eternal perspective affects absolutely everything in my life. I am thrilled to delve into different areas with you. Since everything affects our eternity, we will have a lot to discuss! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you found value in this podcast, please subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. I also encourage you to leave a review. In order for others to be able to find this podcast, I will need the support of listeners who will invest a few minutes in subscribing and reviewing to lift Live With Eternal Perspective higher on the charts so that the platform shows it to everyone.
Thank you again for sharing part of your day with me. Until next time, keep looking Upward and finding new ways to live with an Eternal Perspective.