By Ken McEachern
Ken McEachern
October 29, 2023

I was born into a family in the southeast Texas town of Groves. Groves was in many ways a typical small town in 1950’s America. I knew all my neighbors and they knew me—and my family. We had Little League baseball, Fourth of July parades, and high school football. My family was active in our local Baptist church, my grandparents owned a local shoe repair shop, my dad worked at the Texaco oil refinery, and my mother was a homemaker. It was a great place to grow up. It was familiar. It was safe. No matter where my travels have taken me, I have always thought of Groves, Texas as “home.”

I have lived in other places. I lived in Marshall Texas to pursue my college degree, in Fort Worth, Texas for 3 ½ years of seminary, six years in Lincoln Nebraska, and three years in Emporia, Kansas. In each of those locations, I had friends and was involved to some extent in the community. Each of those places became my temporary home.

After Kansas, I returned to Texas, this time to East Texas. Since 1983 I have lived in three more towns: Tyler, Jacksonville, and Bullard. It is likely that I will spend the rest of my days in this same area. The Tyler, Texas area has become my new home.

I have traveled to all 50 states and a few other countries. I have enjoyed the sights and cultures of each nation. I have met interesting people. I loved traveling but it was always better to get home. In the back of my mind, although I love the people in East Texas, was the thought that my real home was where I grew up—Groves, TX.

As I grow older, though, I sense a longing for another home. In Hebrews 11, is a list sometimes referred to as the rollcall of the faithful. These faithful servants of God endured awful persecution but kept their faith because they knew there was a better home awaiting them.

All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. Heb 11:13-16

I am longing for that home where, as the Lord says in Revelation:

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. Rev 21:4

Squire Parsons immortalized that sentiment in his song, Sweet Beulah Land.


I'm kind of homesick for a country

To which I've never been before.

No sad goodbyes will there be spoken

For time won't matter anymore.

Beulah Land I'm longing for you

And some day on thee I'll stand

There my home shall be eternal

Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land

Songwriter: Squire Parsons

Sweet Beulah Land lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group, Capitol CMG Publishing

Isaiah 6 is the inspiration for this song.

Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah [married]: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. Isa 62:4 KJV

Here the prophet is describing a future time when God’s people will be united with God. The land will no longer be desolate. That’s the home I long for.

All Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible

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