Voice and Tone Can Make a Difference by Nona Freeman

During the war years we knew of a mother who regularly received letters from her son serving his country. Being illiterate she could not read them and depended on her neighbor to read her son’s letters to her. On one occasion the son asked his mother for money. The neighbor read the request in a gruff tone of voice, and when the neighbor finished the mother said, “Why that no good son of mine, I’ll not send him one cent.”

Later in the day I dropped in to visit this mother. Desperate to hear even bad news from her boy, the mother asked me if I would read her son’s letter to her once more. Unknowing that another had read it; I read it in a kind tone. Upon hearing the letter read in such a humble tone, the mother broke down and wept and said, “Bless my baby’s heart, he needs money. Of course I’ll send it to him.”

When talking to people concerning spiritual matters, continually remember this very illustration. Suppose our tone of voice is harsh to the soul we are talking to?


Although our words maybe true, they may be rejected because the tone of our voice is unsympathetic. On the other hand speaking to people with love, and showing genuine concern for them personally will do much and may even determine their eternity. Our manner of speaking may even have an effect on the sick. Be it good or bad; power is in the tongue. Our lips are the doors to our mouth. Our words become our guide.

Suppose we visit the sick and our words convey despondency, depression, pessimism or anxiety.
Is that desirable?
-Does anybody long to live a life like that?
-Does any soul want to go into eternity with negative words fed to them?
-Is that a reason to want to live?

If our attitude and our voice is kind and sympathetic, it could just be the encouragement that speeds recovery or encourages one in their walk with Jesus.

Proverbs 25:11-A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. KJV

Be very careful of the TONE of your voice. Physical wounds are not the only wounds one can feel and carry for life. Words hurt and can determine how a child grows up or the character an adult will have. Jails are full today because of souls who were destroyed with words alone.

-Your kind words today may be cherished by someone forever.


-Your words are the windows to your heart.

  • If you want your neighbor to see what Christ can do for them, let the soul see what Christ did for you.

When one is blessed with words; be it good or bad; words are burned in the heart and mind. People do not owe it to you to let you heap verbal abuse on them. If you have the sin of; well that is me; I am plain spoken; then you better lose that sin because it’s of the very devil. It’s not a quality it’s a sin and you claim to use it in the name of Jesus? Woe unto you.

Your spouse; children; public and dare I say it; your in-laws are watching you. Rest assure when you are your lowest your words will be visited back on you.

My continued prayer is Psalm 19:14- Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight…

Nona Freeman was born July 25, 1916 – December 26, 2009. She was an American Oneness Pentecostal preacher, evangelist, author and missionary.

In 1948 Freeman and her husband E. L. (Bug) Freeman were the first united Pentecostal church (UPCI) missionaries to South Africa. There they served 41 years!

Permission to use her writings has been granted by Kneemail.

Colorado Road Trip (with kids and COVID restrictions)

Our Colorado vacation was phenomenal and very achievable, even with all the new restrictions. You need to put in your time planning for a successful visit. It’s more work, but you’ll be glad to did the extra planning.

First of all, Colorado has an all-state mask mandate. Though most of the places we visited were outdoors. We went out to eat one time which required us to wear face masks if we were not sitting at the table eating.

We had 13 people in our group. 6 kids ages 9, 5, 3, 2, 1, and 1!

We drove 2 vans. We decided to drive all night; 16 hours from Milwaukee to Denver. I drove 8 and then, my Dear Husband drove 8. My brothers and sisters joined us. It was so much fun because Tasha ( my sister) would call me when she felt tired and I would call her if I got bored. I was on the phone with her when she hit a flat tire from a semi-truck! It left a tire shaped dent in their front bumper. We were thankful they were fine and their van was driveable.

We drove straight to downtown Denver to see the “Big Blue Bear”. The 40-foot bear is peeking in the window of a museum. (Which was not open because of Covid) but we got a photo with the bear!

Coloradans I met at a park told me they stay clear of Denver because it’s not family-friendly with all the homeless people on the streets. (Although we walked around one block; we didn’t see any homeless or vandalism.)


We walked through the Garden of the gods. (No reservations needed) We saw the mysterious beautiful red rock structures in front of the mountains.


Next, we went to Cheyanne Mountain Zoo. (Reservations required) This zoo is in the top 5 zoos in the nation. The whole zoo is on the side of the mountain. The more animals you want to see the higher you climb the stairs. (They do have elevators and ramps)

We toured The Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and a playground! It was a full day. Everyone was tired and ready to nap for 3 hours in the car. Heading toward Great Sand Dunes National Park for the next day’s adventures.


The Great Sand Dunes National Park: The scenery is epic. We rented sandboards and sleds to go down the dunes. (Snowboards and snow sleds DO NOT work) you need to use the special sand sleds with wax.

Bring lots of water! We spent around 4 hours here. That’s including the time waiting in line for board rentals. (No mask no service.)


Next, we drove to Glenwood Springs, CO. 4 hour drive from Sand Dunes. We stopped at a free fish hatchery. There was a TINY hike in the forest with a beautiful lake. I recommend stopping there to stretch and let the kids out of the car.


We hiked at Saint Mary’s Glacier and boy, are we glad we did! Just make sure you take the trail IN THE WOODS instead of the rocky way all the way up like we did. We just followed everyone else. There were many people. It was almost impossible to park in the parking lots. We walked further to park on the side of the road.

The view was worth the trek. The glacier is always there. Some guys from the group hiked all the way to the tip-top.


I sent 8 from our group rafting. Roaring Upfork is a good rafting trip for kids. My daughter is 5, she enjoyed it. We went with Glenwood Rafting Company because we did the 8 person raft.


Next we went to Glenwood Caverns Amusement Park. You take a Gondola ride up the side of the mountain to get to the park. I definitely recommend the Cliffhanger Ride and the Alpine Coaster, they were worth the long wait in line! It was such a fun. Don’t forget your mask. (They enforce the mandate IF you are standing in line or in the caves.) Online Reservations required


We drove to Estes Park and stayed at an Airbnb with gorgeous views. We rented an entire house it was perfect for all the kids and adults!

We went horseback riding at Cowpoke Corner Corral. We went with them because they allowed the youngest ages to ride. We did the 2-hour ride tour for $80/person.

Let me tell you! These are mountain climbing horses! The horses we rode had 10+ years of experience! The horses were experts. Our guide was fun and down to earth as well. It was quite the adventure as the horses literally had to climb up and down boulders at times!


We tried to get into Rocky Mountain National Park, but you need reservations. They go on sale 2 days prior to the date you want to go. The tickets sell out in 3-4 mins at 8 am. I was unable to get early morning tickets ( what we preferred) but we made it work. Without reservations, you can still get into the park after 5 pm with a $25-day pass at the gate. We waiting in line for 50 mins just to get into the park.

We hiked to Dream Lake (at Bear Lake trailhead) we all agreed the wait and cost were worth the views!

Even though is started to pour rain when we reached the top. It was very windy and chilly by the lake. Bring sweaters and ponchos. Again we did this hike with 4 kids ages 3 and under!


We stopped at Stanley Park 3 times during our visit at Estes Park. It had the most gorgeous views. They had a new zipline swing that my kids loved! They had play grounds for older kids and one for younger toddlers. This park has rock structures too. Micah found a cave he didn’t want to leave. Cindee like climbing high on the rocks.


The best thing about vacations is the time spent with the people you love and care about most. We did some devotionals. Which were some of my favorite times. There’s just nothing like praying together and talking about the Lord. I’d definitely go back to Colorado someday.

I hope this helps you. Below are links to the websites we reserved online.

Mom’s lesson

Cindee Lee Sweeney, my Mother. She had a contagious laugh. She loved to have a “good laugh” (which meant laughing until your belly was sore and your eyelashes were wet with tears.) She loved to chuckle, even if it was at the expense of herself, or someone else. She would much rather have a good time than do chores, but she instilled in us the following lesson: work first, then play!

Growing up, chores were to be done right away in the morning. Then we were free to do the things we loved to do IF we accomplished the things we despised first.

The chore I dreaded most was laundry. I hated putting clothes away, especially for a family of 8. It would’ve made sense to have everyone be responsible for putting their own clothes away; which did occur, but rarely. It was more work to be the “laundry coach”.  This job included going around the house rounding everyone up and making sure they put their clothes in their appropriate dresser drawers.

I would get in trouble if my siblings left their clothes lying around. So it was a tough duty. It was just easier to put everybody’s clothes away yourself.

I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters. When you’re the oldest you automatically get a majority of the tasks.

Every eldest child knows that fact. I would hang the laundry out on the line. I would carry the bulging heavy basket up the basement stairs and out the back door, and down the deck steps. I hung the clothes over the clothesline using all the clothespins we had.

Now, this wasn’t an ordinary basket of wet clothes I carried. Oh no, not normal at all. Sometimes when I pulled them from the washing machine they would be sopping wet and dripping with water.

My mother thought it was necessary to stop the washer before the spin cycle was complete. She was savvy. She saved money and water, but at my expense (yes, I’m smiling)

Not always, but occasionally, the jeans would be hung and they would drip, drip, drip, with water because they had been interrupted during the spin cycle.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t do ALL the laundry in the house, but I did help with much of it. Mom would do at least 2 loads per day, if not 3, so she expected my help. If she skipped a day of laundry, the next day she would have to do 5, or even 6 loads.  Occasionally I would refuse and battle it out. It didn’t ever go well.

I remember the laundry basket breaking on my way up the stairs. Not from accidentally dropping it, or being too rough with it. Oh no, this was because it was so full and so very heavy! The poor basket was literally breaking down in my arms.

My uncle Ryan would grip my biceps. He would ask how I got these muscles. My answer was always, “I don’t know, laundry I guess.”

Some early mornings the hill was covered with dew. I would be outside hanging up laundry. As I reached up to grab the clothespins I would be slipping and sliding down the wet hill.

My oldest brother would run and hide in the woods when chore time came around, not every day, maybe every other day, he thought that chore time was a good time for him to work on his tree fort. We wouldn’t see him for hours. He’d show up at lunchtime.

He was careful never to give away his hideout. When mom would start passing out chores, he would vanish, almost as if it was mid-step (like the rapture will be someday.)

One day my sister, Tasha, and I were determined to see where (and how) my brother got out of sight so fast.

Trying to catch our brother, we may have had Walkie Talkies to be more official spies and more dramatic. We needed to communicate with each other the details of Tanner’s plan.

He put to use the phrase “out of sight out of mind”. If mom didn’t see you, usually you got away with no chores… maybe, at least until our bedtime chore routine.

One day we caught him. He whisked outside with snacks out the basement back door and through the garage! We finally had the answers to his masterminded intentions.

We told mom of his scheme. She had a talk with him when he showed up hours later coming up out of the thick green forest. By that time chores were long accomplished.

Mom chose to show him mercy. She was good at that.

Was it fair? No.

I feel like I was one of the people with the stones ready to throw mine at the sinner woman who was brought to Jesus caught in the very act of adultery. Jesus said, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” One by one, the people left. The woman covering her face in shame heard the sound of stones thumping as they fell to the ground instead of on her. By law, they had a right to stone her. Jesus showed her mercy instead of judgment. He said, “Go and sin no  more.”

Was it fair? No.

I was eagerly waiting for my brother’s judgment. It was like I had my stone clenched in my hand and positioned over my shoulder ready to strike, but mom showed Mercy.

Was it fair, No

I’m thankful for God’s mercy on my life. His mercies are new every morning.

Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness! Lamentations 3:22-23

Thanks mom for showing me what it means to be merciful. Thanks for teaching me how to do laundry and the importance of self disciplines.

I miss her wisdom. I miss her smile. I miss her prayers. I miss her laugh. I miss her.

Thanks for reading!  What chore was your least favorite growing up? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.