Almost New

The Prayer - be with us.

Happy New Year!!!

Just doesn’t have the ring I remember.

Truth be told the last couple of years have been… tough.

Not just challenging. Or hard. But heartbreaking-ly barely bare-able.

And if I’m honest. Things don’t look like they are going to be much better next year.

If you believe in God, then you are praying – Dear God, please make it better!

AND if you believe in God, the God of the Old AND New Testaments… well, you aren’t really expecting improvement in the way the world is going. You know that…

“Men’s hearts will wax worse and worse”


But – you also believe the promises.

The promise that He loves us sooooo very much that he literally gave everything for us.

That he NEVER forgets us and is always with us.

Holding us. Loving us.

Planning good things for us and “Singing over” us.

That NO MATTER what happens in this sphere – We’ll be fine.

But if you believe the news. The Pandemic. The Politics. The Climate Change.

The Wars… and rumors of wars…

God help us.

It appears we cannot help ourselves!!!

“I pray you’ll be our eyes…”

“The Prayer” by Vocal Artist Ti Maria
Available on all streaming services!
“The Prayer” by Vocal Artist Ti Maria

The Rose Garden

I, your editor, spend as much time in my garden as the weather allows.  🙂

I am just a hobby gardener, not professional or expert in any degree.  But I find happiness there, and proof that I am loved. Not by the plants, but by the creator of the plants!

Today, I sit here visiting with you, sipping my tea, and snacking on rose jelly made from the spent blossoms in my garden!

Below is a little tour I took of my garden just between rose flushes.  I hope you enjoy our visit!

“Fear of Falling”

For many years, I thought I was afraid of heights. I’d get nervous, really nervous on tall ladders, overlooks, overhangs, roofs, you name it.  If it was up, I was pretty much not interested.

But. After a while, I became aware that my real fear wasn’t in being up off the ground, but in hitting the ground, er, without planning.

Seems like it’s an inherited trait. while I was careful to NOT instill fear in my children, by acting all cool and all, well, turns out they DON’T LIKE HEIGHTS – either.

But If I’m tethered in, and on a solid footing, or say behind a glass wall, I’m good, so I decided, It isn’t heights I don’t like, but the gnawing fear that well, things can just not turn out like you – plan.  So I wrote this song, lyrics here, to express my hopes about this realization!

(Video – Coming Soon)

MP3 available: Here (Coming Soon)

Fear of Falling

Fear of falling keeps me standing
Far away from you.
Fear of falling keeps me waiting
Don’t know what to do.

I can’t find my way without you
lost and lonely
I can’t see where
I’m falling too…

Fear of falling keeps me standing
Far away from you.
Fear of falling keeps me waiting
Don’t know what to do.

Everything about you
Is confidence and grace
When I’m close to you
I’m fearless too.

Fear of falling keeps me standing
Far away from you.
Fear of falling keeps me waiting
Don’t know what to do.

If I thought that you were near me
I think I could try
If I thought that you would catch me
I think I could fly.

Fear of falling keeps me standing…

Lyrics by Tina Steele Penn

From Grace to Glory

From Grace to Glory


The gifts we receive that we don’t deserve. Will never deserve.

Heaven – here and now- the beauty of – life – art – music – friendship – shower us now. I believe it is grace that allows us to see beyond this world to the next.

What is in an eye to receive beauty? What is in an ear to hear it? Blood, membranes, a lens, a drum? Beauty has a power in and of itself, apart from us. Imbued from the source, not the receiver.

To hunger – and thereby appreciate a power so far beyond ourselves that we can only capture glimmers of it shimmering through a veil.

As we devote ourselves – we become the vessel of Grace to those around us. We become light and life and perhaps even display a small modicum of Glory to those who walk near us.


Grace shows us Glory.

Glory we don’t deserve to see. Will never deserve.

But Glory so bright that our hearts are sometimes moved beyond sinew and bone, cell and neuron, and drawn though the veil to taste a world beyond the material – the ethereal – where abstraction flees before the solid realization of the Creator of Light who is Love.

Love we don’t deserve – but ah- that’s the point of love. Love has no requirement. No demands. It cannot be bought. It is showered. We are immersed.

We are loved!

Grace shows us the power and glory of a Love so great that it reaches and touches us in the core of our being. Shredding our humanness, and laying bare our limitations, while wrapping us in warm and gentle caresses – “Singing over us in Love”.

All we can do – all we are capable of doing – in return – is love.

Tina Steele Penn

Love Descending

The Rain – Love Descending

The rain outside my window awakens me. It (and the deluge in my thoughts )
is coming in waves….. filling the night.

Countless drops pouring in sheets through the air, lovingly drenching the world in freshness.

The bright and shining miracle of a single measure of a drop of love outshines everything in my world of matter, space and time.

There is truly a power in love, unlike any other. The power to move us beyond ourselves, to give beyond ourselves, and be more – than we can be – without love.

But defining love… it’s essence, limits and borders… if we approach it honestly, is simply impossible

The concept seems simple. Like the raindrop on a leaf.

Until we realize that in the smallest drop – is a universe beyond our understanding.

We cannot see love, or touch love, or hold love.

It seems instead that love sees us. Touches us. Holds us. Binds us to each other, and perhaps more than anything else gives our living,  …   life.

Our quest.

Perhaps love is the holy grail.

Not made of matter. Nor energy. Tho certainly of power. Power to disarm. To overcome. To endure. To flourish. To enjoy. To be good for goodness sake.

Love is the thing outside ourselves, that we cannot define, that tells us that there is more. That we are not alone. That there is hope. Help. Provision. …. Love.

If it were not for love, I would not believe in anything.

But I can’t explain the universe in the tiniest droplet of love. The bright and shining miracle of a single measure of a drop of love outshines everything in my world of matter, space and time.


Facing the Fire


Sitting down to lunch with you, and a plate of Spanish Stewed Beef on Noodles. (I finally figured out how to make it sans tomato. YAY!!! ) 

In my mind today, I am harking back to my grandmother’s kitchen. Mary Etta Faulkner Horton could feed an army at any meal on any day. A great cook, even if it seemed like simple food. It was all amazing. I think she always cooked so much, because from depression times till the Seventies, she often had many people at her table. Neighbors, extended family, passersby, many – in need; Richard and Etta, always welcomed anyone and everyone to their table. They worked as hard to raise and farm that food, as they worked to generously provide the hospitality and meet the need.

Etta at her stove was a wonder to behold. So many pots, pans, and skillets were cooking on the top and in the oven of that wood stove, with no concern for how the fire would burn her face, or age her before her time. The fire was being stoked; pots stirred and juggled for space, the whole cook top, hot and productive, the oven filled with warming or baking. I think maybe that is where we learned it … Bessie and I – To think about so many things, and manage so many things at once.

We were never rich people, when compared to the rich. We’ve never been poor, when compared to actually poor people. But we have always in our juggling of responsibility, love and creativity, been blessed at every turn of the road and lift of the hand. Whether it was in the joy of the depths of the painting, the lift of the song, the turn of the tale or the long road of adventure, there was so much blessing in each encounter.

Yes my friend, I know you think I keep a lot juggling on my stove, and nothing stays on the back burner long, but if it means that I enjoy this lunch with you, Etta, and Bessie… it is worth every moment facing the fire.