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.

Make Time for Rest

“Rest” this word kept coming up in my days recently.

I was helping my toddler open up to a scribble-free page in his Winnie the Pooh Coloring Book.

Tigger was King of the Forest. Tigger was telling his followers (Piglet and Rabbit) to follow him and he would lead them to a place of “REST” in the Heffalump forest.

Tigger, Rabbit, and Piglet arrived to their destination. Rabbit said to Piglet, “There isn’t enough room for resting here, unless we make room. Let’s make room Piglet!”

Resting in God’s presence doesn’t happen accidentally. It will happen intentionally.

Genesis chapter two tells us even God rested on the seventh day.

Make room for rest or it won’t happen.

Cindee colored a scripture and showed me as she clipped it on the refrigerator.

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

The rest we find in Jesus is better than shopping the sales rack (or online.)

The rest we find in Jesus is better than sugar. (Yes, even coffee creamer and chocolate!)

Linger in God’s presence. Stay awhile. Listen. He will speak.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew 11:15

I have 5 children during the day. Ages 5 and under. Oh, how I NEED to be reminded of this daily!

The hustle and bustle of the day seems to have no end in sight.

The dishes, the messes, the laundry, and cooking meals, and making sure to engage with the children, and…. (Oh so much to do. How can I possibly REST???)

I NEED to rest.

Even if it’s just 30 minutes upstairs in my locked bedroom meditating on Scripture while my husband plays hide and seek with the kids.

Which could then turn into a 10 minute cat nap!

Find what works for you. Rest your mind from the things of this world to focus on Jesus. For He is the only thing that can satisfy.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Matthew 5:6

Does rest mean laziness? No way! It means to break away from ALL the things and spend time with Jesus. Being raw. Being real. Being still. In His presence. Not rushing anything.

Some nights I feel a drawing at 2 am or 3 am to just go sit in my rocking chair and worship God and just sit and listen. While my heart is quiet. While my kids are fast asleep. It allows my spirit be tuned in.

And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
Exodus 33:14

Go ahead. Rest a while. Make it a habit.

Thanks for reading. How do you find rest in your day? I’d love to hear any tips you’ve found.

Fix Your Heart on the “I AM”

I wrote a song in 2010 (during the hardest season of my life.) My mother was going through cancer.

🎶 “If our God is for us, who can be against us? He will keep His promise, even in the darkness. He’ll wipe away your tears and say, it’s going to be ok. I know His love will never fade away, so lift your hands and say… I will cry unto the God most High, my heart is fixed, my heart is fixed on You. I’m moving closer, closer, closer to you, God. 🎶

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
Psalms 57:7

It’s fitting for this year, 11 years later.

Fix your heart on Jesus. He is our HOPE.

Situations happen … sometimes really bad situations. God uses them to reveal Himself in a way that we didn’t know Him before.

If we’ve never been through the rough times, we wouldn’t know Him to be our Healer. Deliverer. Waymaker. Provider. Protector. Strength. Peacemaker.

We don’t know the value of the Light until we’ve walked in darkness.

When the Israelites were slaves to the Egyptians, God told Moses to go and tell Pharaoh to let His people go. Moses asked: “Who should I say sent me?”

God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.”
Exodus 3:14

I AM means I will be whatever you need me to be whenever you need me.

Isn’t God so amazing?

If you need a friend, He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. If you need love, He is the Everlasting Father. If you need a miracle, He is the miracle worker. If you need strength, He is the Mighty God. If you need peace, He is the Prince of Peace. If you need guidance, He is the Counselor. If you need joy, He is Wonderful. If you need provision, He is the provider.

He is your “I AM”. He will be whatever you need Him to be when you need Him.

In the new testament, He revealed His name, Jesus! God came to earth as a baby. He was born to save us from our sin. Yes, God is ONE.

“Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.
Deuteronomy 6:4

You can find rest in Jesus, my friend. He is unchanging. He is faithful. He is good. Always good.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Hebrews 13:8

Thanks for reading. I hope this brings encouragement to you today. -Tonya

A Thankful Heart

During my prayer time this morning, my 3-year-old son came to sit out in the room with me and my husband.

When I heard his body wrestle out of bed and then his little footsteps coming my way, I initially thought, “oh no, now my prayer time is going to be cut short, I should’ve stayed in bed.”

To my surprise, he didn’t ask for a snack, he didn’t ask me to get him dressed, he didn’t ask anything!

He was content just being close to me. Listening to us pray.

He melted my heart. He reminded me that God loves a grateful heart.

We melt the heart of God when we choose to wake up early and tell Him how wonderful He is.

I tend to complicate things. I need to set more time aside where I just sit in the room mediatating on Him. In the quiet. In the stillness.

O give thanks unto the Lord , for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalms 107:1

Come to him with a thankful heart and know that just being in God’s presence brings peace.

Just to be close to Him satisfies our souls.

Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well:

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 4:13-14

He was talking about spiritual thirst. Not physical. Earthly things do not make us happy, except for a couple of days after we purchase them and the rush we get when we hit the purchase now button online.

He is Joy. He is Peace. He is Love. He is Good. He alone brings TRUE contentment.

Eventually, my son did ask me for a drink of water. And I was more than happy and more than ready to grant his request.

I’m not saying we will always get what we want, because that’s false, but God will be ready to pour out his blessings on his children when we keep a grateful heart.


…Blessing and glory and majesty and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might belong to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Revelation 7:12


This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for my family, friends, and freedom.

What’s something you’re grateful for? I’d love to hear from you.

I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving -Tonya

Genuineness is as Gold

May 2019, I went on a Ladies Heartwork trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota. On that trip God birthed a desire in me to start writing. 1 year later, I finally took the plunge and started this blog. Last week I went to another Heartwork trip in the Ozark mountains in Arkansas. It was so valuable to me on so many levels. I was happy my sister Tasha could join me this year.

It was such a refreshing escape away from the duties of motherhood, wife, homemaker, …. and chef, and maid, and teacher…  And…. (I’m sure you mommas get it.)

It seems (to me at least) so much easier to get closer to God when you’re in the woods…Maybe not for everyone.

In the Ozarks, we hiked. We laughed. We cried. We sang. We prayed. We ate. We were true.

I felt so connected. I felt like a little girl again. I felt the excitement of meeting a new friends. There were no mean girls nor bullies. Life seemed as it was supposed to be. ALL TOGETHER. Hand in hand.

We spent time gathered around the warm campfire. It was quite chilly. We pondered about the God-inspired teachings we heard. What we took away from the lessons. These conversations naturally lead to deeper things we were all dealing with. “Life” things. “Messy” things. “Real” things.

I tend to desire a deeper relationship than just “surface” friends. Small talk kills me. It feels so shallow to me. I desire true, raw, authentic friendship.

My life isn’t perfect. My life is messy. I feel lonely at times. I feel like a failure some days. I feel like a bad mom on other days. I have lies float into my head that I must lasso and fling out of mind. “God can’t use me anymore.” “My season is over.” “I’m Unworthy”, “Unimportant”, “Unappreciated” ….. I could go on, but you get the point.

The best thing we can do is talk about our shortcomings to Jesus. He is our Savior. He is our Helper.

Also, find a SAFE friend to share your experiences with. (Let me tell you, they will be so relieved, and you will too! Because we are NOT alone!! and then, girl, let go of those lies from the enemy!

You are NOT a failure, He has mercy for you.

You are not a mistake, He has a plan for you.

You ARE good enough, with His grace.

You CAN have joy! Thanks, God.

Being true helps the other person overcome those same lies in their minds.

Be authentic. It’s a breath of fresh air in today’s world.


Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly. -Lee Stoneking


I encourage you to find someone you can trust and BE YOU. Don’t be fake, because that’s exhausting and people can tell! We have plenty of fake in this world.

Genuineness is as Gold!

So that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:7

I encourage you to find a true friend. It’s hard for me. It takes time. But it’s well worth it. Cherish her. She is valuable. We need each other.

Thanks for reading! -Tonya

Becoming a Butterfly

I felt God spoke these words to me. I hope to bring you encouragement today.

“YOU are a butterfly” these words boomed inside my chest in the middle of the night.

Which made me study the caterpillar’s journey to become a butterfly.

The caterpillar encloses himself into chrysalis, in that cocoon the entire  caterpillar is broken down into a soup like mixture.

All of the major structures, including the heart, are broken down and then rebuilt.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

You are in a process, my Friend. We all are! You are going to come out of this stronger than you were before. Right now it’s dark and lonely. You are isolated. It can be scary. The unknown surrounds us. But God is making you into something new. It’s not a waste. He’s changing our heart and He’s changing our mind. He’s preparing us to be greater for HIS glory. He’s creating in You and I a clean heart and a right spirit.

The bible says “Be still and know that HE is God.”

Just like the process of a growing baby inside of you there’s no way around it. Those growing pains are there. But you will never be the same after that baby is delivered. And neither will your baby for that matter!

“And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:27

He will give us HIS desires. And he will give you the ability and the POWER to do it.

The butterfly soon emerges from the chrysalis, just after 2 short weeks. The butterfly is free to fly.

He’s rebuilding you and shaping you into what he sees you can be.

He sees your potential. He sees your heart.

He gives us grace to be what HE wants us to be.

Butterflies and caterpillars don’t just look different — they behave differently, too. Caterpillars live in a tree. Butterflies must go through a time of isolation to get broken so they can fly!

When we lose our structure, when we lose our control, we are forced to be STILL inside the cocoon. It’s quiet. We have to remain comfortable with the quietness.


Caterpillars eat leaves, while butterflies feed on nectar.

It matters what we consume. What we read, watch, and listen to. If we listen and watch dark things, darkness will surround us. If we listen to positive things, like worship music, uplifting podcasts, and Bible reading, angels are drawn to worship. Angels can be in your home.


We are strengthened by the Words of the Lord. You can ask God to direct you in your bible reading. While you are reading, scriptures will jump out at you.

That’s not just you, that’s God saying this is for you, right now.

When he speaks to you write it down in a journal so you don’t forget. You can easily look back at the things God told you in different seasons of your life. We encourage ourselves in the Lord by keeping a Journal.

I’ll be talking more about the butterfly and caterpillar next week.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share some encouragement the Lord has placed on your heart. I’d love to hear from you!

-Tonya

Learning to Reflect

While I was praying I had a vision of an olive tree. It was beautiful. It had a thick healthy trunk, but it was different. There was a branch on the left and a branch on the right, but the middle was missing. What did this mean? I especially wanted to know because I was praying for unity.

While Rob took the kids on a bike ride a couple of days later (thanks honey!) I had some alone time to really pray and ask God to guide my study.

Without looking up any scripture references I began reading my bible. I came across this scripture:

Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree, do not brag that you are better than those branches.
Romans 11:17-18 HCSB

I am NOTHING without Christ. HE puts breath in my body. I can’t even brush my teeth without HIS help.

I am not better than anyone else. If I think I am, I have a problem. As my Mom would say a “heart problem.”

In studying the Olive trees I found the best time to prune them is after winter and just when the tree is starting to produce the first fruits of the season.

We have gone through the “wilderness.” It was a long “winter”.

During this “winter” you have been seeking God and spending more time with Him. You are able to hear God’s voice clearer. You are walking in the spirit as you are putting your flesh down daily (it’s hard some days) God is bringing you through. You entered a new season. You’re experiencing new and exciting things in God.

Now comes the pruning.

One prayer I’ve tried to pray everyday this year in 2020 is, “God help me see me the way you see me. All the good. All the bad. All the beautiful. And yes… All the ugly.”

Growing closer to God requires the removal of toxic things.

God has done it. He has revealed to me some things He needs to cut out of me (and I’m sure I have a long way to go) Embarrassing things… Like self-doubt, discontentment, jealousy, and comparing myself to others. How toxic!

He has brought things to the surface I didn’t know existed. I could then pray specifically and ask the Lord for His help.

For every ugly thing he revealed in me, He has shown me so much more beautiful things about me!

He showed me I was worth dying for on the cross. I have great faith. I am a peacemaker. I am anointed for such a time as this. I am effective. I am hopeful. I am a “good” mom. I am striving to become a Proverbs 31 woman. I do hear the voice of God. I am led of the spirit. I am joyful. I do trust in Him. Thank you Jesus!

Back to the olive tree, I found there is a special technique to pruning olive trees. It consists of pruning the center of the tree. So the tree gets more light for more healthy growth.

When God prunes us he removes old branches. Old traditions. Old mindsets Old habits. Only then we are able to grow in new areas and new ways. (Not changing the message, of course, Acts 2:38.)

You are producing fruit, but God is not finished yet. He is pruning you so you have the opportunity to grow even more, which means more expansion. More fruits of the spirit. More love. More anointing.

You can’t produce oil without being pressed.

Our attitudes can get us in trouble. His word says to “humble yourself”.

It would be ever so nice to skip the pruning process, but we wouldn’t be all what we are called to be and we wouldn’t be ready for what God has in store and that’s not part of God’s plan either.

We can’t go from point A to point D. We are in a process. We are on God’s time. Not our own.

When we try to figure out the details, we move from the dimension of faith to the dimension of hope. We walk in FAITH.

We have to wait on God when he says to wait. While we wait we put our COMPLETE TRUST in Him. And give him FULL CONTROL in our lives.

Stay busy in His presence. Give God 100%. Stay faithful. Stay consistent in prayer and fasting.

You will make it through! God has a specific call for everyone. When you find it, it’s exciting and it’s the only thing that satisfies.

Stay content in the process. Stay humble. Stay kind. And you will go far!

He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Psalms 1:3 HCSB

Prayer to pray: Lord help me see myself the way you see me, all the good and all the bad. Help me learn to reflect.

I believe the vision God gave me was the picture of a healthy Olive Tree after it had gone through the pruning process.

What are some beautiful things God is revealing about you? What are some things He has helped you realize He is not finished working with you yet?

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Let’s Go Morel Hunting

photo by Randi Perry

My family has roots in morel hunting. My uncle puts his treasures on homemade morel mushroom pizza. My Granny fries them in butter and they are the most delicious thing you’d ever eat. They are melt-in-your-mouth good!

Since moving to Milwaukee I have been eager to find these delicacies in the forest. I have yet to find them.

It’s a challenge to spend 2 plus hours in the woods with my 3 children, ages 5, 3, and 1.5. My good and faithful husband every year tries his very best to fulfill my dreams. He helps carry the toddler when he gets tired. When they start the “I’m hungry” chant, he gets out the snacks. Soon after, the “I’m thirsty” parade starts.

My kids and Rob, yes even my hubby was napping this time, in the car. I couldn’t hold back my anticipation to get out in the woods. So I went ahead of my tribe.

In the woods I started talking with God. The warm Wisconsin air hit my face as I sat on a green moss covered log. (the morels are supposed to be there.)

I began to question God.

Why doesn’t everyone find what they are truly longing for?

We try to fill our days with busy schedules and seek out thrills. When they come to an end we are back where we started. 

Since Covid19 we are told to stay home and stay safe. In doing so we are bound to the fact that there’s a hole in each of our hearts which we can’t ignore. 

Matthew 7:7 says, “seek and ye shall find, ask and it will be given you, knock and it shall be opened unto you”.

As I was still keeping my eyes peeled for morels,

He said in a still quiet thought, “They aren’t looking in the right spots”.

We need to know where to find God. We should start with His Word. His Word is alive and true. The Bible is His written Word.

I felt impressed, “They don’t go deep enough.”

For some, the search is a short lived fad. Only when they are hurting. Just when they are bored.

The deeper you venture into the woods, the thicker it becomes. God may reveal things in our hearts that He wants to purge. He always reveals and then waits for our permission to remove. He is a gentleman. He doesn’t take it without our consent and submission to Him.

While hunting with my Granny, when I was a child, she would tell me “Sometimes you need a different angle. You need to get down on your hands and knees sometimes. You’ll get dirty. It’s work, but some mushrooms are so tiny you won’t see them otherwise.”

We need a different perspective. We need to humble ourselves before God. James 4:10 says “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you”. 

We are not doormats. That’s not it. It’s about humility and meekness (for the record, meekness is NOT weakness.) We can not be too high minded and prideful. If our noses are up in the air, we think we don’t need God.

We have a nice job, nice clothes, a nice house, nice cars, good health. What do we need God for? We need to humble ourselves; if we don’t do it on our own, God will do it eventually to get our attention. 

The next thought He gave me was, “They ask direction from people who think the same way they do.”

I asked my Dad for tips and tricks to find morels. He told me where to look. Mossy shaded areas on the south side of the hills.

My Granny taught me the time of year they pop up and which trees they tend to grow beside.

My Mom cooked them growing up. She would dip the Morels in egg wash, roll them in crushed saltine crackers, then pan fry them in butter. She told me, ” If you eat too many your belly will hurt.” (she was right.)

In searching for Jesus or striving to go deeper with Him we should not only talk to Jesus Himself, but also surround ourselves with people who are on a greater level with God. “Mentors” if you would, who have more experience with God than us. That’s part of being humble, like I stated before.

The thing about the journey is that there will always be people ahead of you and people behind you. We are all in it together. We need each other. 

Distractions keep us from finding God or growing closer to him.

Finding morels can be nearly impossible if you are not focused. It can even be a “good” or “okay” distraction. But nonetheless it’s still keeps our eyes off God.

When my kids are whining and having to stop and go potty; then I think “wait, I know I packed hand sanitizer in this back pack somewhere, oh there it is.” They find their treasured rocks and sticks. They pick weeds and proudly present them to me, So sweet, really. Nonetheless all these things are distracting me! They are keeping my eyes from finding these forest delicacies! 

The next thing I felt him say was “They’re impatient”.

A relationship with God doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to build trust. We need determination and a desperation for God. We need a strong hunger for him. We need him all the time. Not just when we are hurting or at a dead end. That’s selfish of us. We should desire Him when life is good and peachy too.

I felt like giving up trying to find morels after 2.5 hours of trampling through the woods. My thought was what if my next step is when I find a hill side full of them? Even though I would have been content finding just a single ONE!

I wish I could tell you I found a mushroom hotspot that was gorging with these sponge bodied vegetables. Oh! That would have been quite the ending. I could have made up “fairy tale” happy ending, but I’m all about being real. The truth is I am still on a quest to find my morel. I haven’t been able to spot them the last few years.

It doesn’t help when my cousin sends me a pictures of her 2 FULL bags of her prized mushrooms, she found them in half the time I searched.

I guess it goes to show we are all unique in the process. We reach milestones at a different rates. We can easily compare to each other, but that’s harmful. Just simply keep striving after Jesus. For you will indeed find him! He will reveal himself to you. I know it.

What childhood traditions did you keep to share with your family? How did your children or spouse respond to the idea or adventure? What is God working on in you?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Thanks for reading!