This week, we are going to East Tennessee to a family reunion. My husband’s family — the Quesenberry clan — has dispersed so much that it has now become necessary to have an established time to meet, rather than rely on holidays. So, we will be in the country of the Great Smoky Mountains for a few days.

Though I was raised in the middle part of Tennessee, I do love to visit the mountains in the eastern part. It is comforting to here the familiar soft-Southern vowels and homey phrases that represent the state that I called home until I left for college. Whether it is actual fact or merely pleasant fantasy, life seems less threatening, more welcoming in the mountains. I suppose that is why so many folks go there for vacations and retreats, making the Smokies the most visited National Park in America.

I’m glad that Heaven is a home. You know, of all the words we could use to describe that glorious place, HOME is the most welcoming. This is a place that is more “home-like” than even Mom’s kitchen. It is the ultimate home. And Jesus is there to show us the way. Why should I be afraid? I’m going to my Father’s house. That’s how John describes it in chapter 14. I don’t know what will be there exactly, but I have faith that I will LOVE it. And that thought warms me inside even more than a trip to the homey beauty of the Smoky Mountains.

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