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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Seek peace, and head for that mansion

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I drove to West Virginia this week and sat by the bedside of a dying friend. He has terminal cancer and his vital organs are shutting down.

I sat with him in his hospital room and prayed while he slept, held his hand and prayed when he was awake, and just was there with my friend.

The doctor has called in hospice care for him and I know that my friend is ready to go be with the Lord.

As I sat in the chair in his room, I could see the lush green hills and mountains of southern West Virginia through the window.

Sitting on top of one of those hills was a big red brick mansion with white columns. That sight made me think of Heaven and the promise Jesus made in John 14:1-3:

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Christian songwriter, Ira Stamphill, with those words of Jesus in mind, penned the lyrics to one of the church's favorite gospel songs, "Mansion Over the Hilltop."

I sang that song as I looked out that window in my friend's hospital room and saw that mansion in the distance.

I'm satisfied with just a cottage below, A little silver and a little gold, But in that city where the ransomed will shine, I want a gold one that's silver lined.

I've got a mansion just over the hilltop, In that bright land where we'll never grow old. And some day yonder we will never more wander, But walk on streets that are purest gold.

Though often tempted, tormented and tested, And like the prophet my pillow a stone, And though I find here no permanent dwelling, I know He'll give me a mansion my own.

I've got a mansion just over the hilltop, In that bright land where we'll never grow old. And some day yonder we will never more wander, But walk on streets that are purest gold.

Christians have the hope of Heaven in their future. Stamphill's song is all about that hope.

My friend lived his life pointing others toward Heaven. He and I served side by side in ministry for many years, and we saw our life's work as that of helping people find peace with God.

As my friend is at what appears to be the end of his life, I know that he has lived a good life, full of purpose, full of hope. And I know that he is ready for the next step. He has found his peace with God.

I think of Heaven a lot. It's my hope. It's my future. And I pray that you are thinking about Heaven, and the mansion that Jesus has gone to prepare for you.

My prayer for you is that you will find peace with God.

-- Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather and a friend to many. He can be reached at dougmdezotell@yahoo.com.

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Brother Doug, that is so beautiful, so touching and I also feel the same.

-- Posted by sapphireblue on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 2:11 PM

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Doug Dezotell
Memories and Musings
Doug Dezotell is pastor of Cannon United Methodist Church and a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette.