Extremely well-wrapped, Jesus

(This is a devotional I shared at our church’s annual Ladies Christmas Brunch.)

I used to go all out in gift wrapping.  I took my time with each and every gift – making my own fancy bows, picking out just the right paper, and making sure the wrapping paper had nice crisp edges.  But it got tiresome and nobody in my family really noticed my efforts.  They just ripped the paper open.

Have you ever been challenged with a gift that doesn’t wrap so easily? You know, the gifts that don’t come with a box, and they don’t fit into any box. I have three boys, and we had plenty of those gifts in my house: fish tanks, fire trucks, baseball bats and baseball gloves, skate boards and basketballs, light sabers and so on. Some gifts will never fit into a box.

My boys used to play the guessing game on what was wrapped for them under the tree.  They would picking up each gift and shake it.  As their mom I just wanted to keep the presents I bought for them a surprise until Christmas Day. I didn’t want them guessing. So I had to disguise the more elaborate gifts to keep it a mystery until they opened it.

What is interesting is that when my sons got old enough to buy their own gifts and wrap them … they really got creative.  I guess they knew what big snoops they were themselves.  And just like extreme sports, for them it was “extreme gift wrapping.”  They would use so much wrapping paper.  They would pad their gifts with socks, towels or toilet paper rolls – anything to throw you off.  And they would create shapes.  One of my sons created a dinosaur shape around his gift, even though the gift was not a dinosaur.  I don’t even remember what the gift actually was, but I remember the dinosaur!

One Christmas our son, Sam, bought three gifts for his Dad, and he shaped a letter around each of the three presents to spell out the word “DAD.”   It was so funny.  I don’t remember what those gifts were either, but I remember how they were wrapped.


These extremely-wrapped gifts were a lot of fun to unwrap, because there were so many layers to get through just to get to the gift. But things are much simpler now, and I am grateful for e-cards and gift cards and, and I love gift bags for wrapping. So much easier!

Well, just as our family did extreme gift wrapping for each other, God also gave us a gift that was masterfully and cleverly and extremely well-wrapped.  (more…)

Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes


If you are feeling out a shape in your walk with God, then Disciplines of a Godly Woman is a book you want to read. It is the cure to a “flabby soul” as Barbara Hughes says. I just finished reading this book, and it really inspired me to get myself on that godly training track. I found it  especially helpful as it was written for women.

Hughes is a seasoned pastor’s wife and a grandmother. And I love her heart for writing this book. She says, “I open my heart and thoughts to you with the hope that they will help you choose to train arduously in your pursuit of God and godliness and that you will submit to His plan for your life.”

There are fifteen disciplines that Hughes presents to us women as a challenge for a good “spiritual workout.” Her book explains the importance and understanding of each discipline, and she provides us with guidance to help us achieve each discipline. Hughes also includes extra helps at the end of the book.

I will keep coming back to this book again and again. It is a classic read for my bookshelf.

“…train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things.” (1 Timothy 4-7).


A Mom’s Prayer for Help

My boys back in 2003.

Boys New England Blog2

I have three sons. They are now grown, and they love the Lord. I have always sought to pray for them faithfully and for myself as their mom. I got involved in Moms In Prayer International which helped guide me in my prayers for them. Here is a page from one of my prayer journals.

February 20, 2003

Dear Lord,

I confess I have blown it in the past. I know I have not been readily available. I know I have not been the witness of Christ to them. Please forgive me. I pray that you make me a godly mother once again. I pray that you make me wise in your word and ready to impart it upon my sons for their spiritual growth.

Help me not to forget to pray for them and with them.
Help me to always bring you into our conversations and disagreements.
Help me to train them up in righteousness.
Help me to truly enjoy them.
Help me to enjoy all their jokes and their joys of the day.
Help me to laugh and get carried away by all their happenings.
Help me to be an anchor and a rock for them.
Help me to be able to impart to them godly counsel.
Help me to truly dedicate myself completely to their spiritual growth.
Help me to make them my priority.
Help me not to lose my temper.
Help me not to mistreat them.
Help me to be filled with wisdom and faithful instruction for them.
Help me not to be selfish but to do my job as a mother and listen. (This is hard when they interrupt.)
Help me to raise them as godly men.
Help me to discern when they are truly disrespectful.
Help me to know how to discipline them and train them.
Help me to know how to deal with all their squabbles.
Help me to know how to pass on my faith filled with passion for God Almighty.
Help me to pass on a heart of servanthood.

Lord, strengthen me as their mother and enable me to complete this task until the day they leave our home. Thank you for giving me these boys. The challenge is great. Lord, I pray for your grace.

The task of raising children is hard.  As moms we have to allow ourselves lots of grace. The task is overwhelming and we can really beat ourselves up. “Did I do something wrong?  Did I do something to mess them up from ever receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?”  But we moms need to submit ourselves unto God daily. Be the women he has called us to be first.  And faithfully entrust the lives of our children to the Lord. We only have them for a short season, and then they are gone. Let’s persevere and do the job of raising a godly generation while we can.  Pray for their souls faithfully.  “I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand I will never be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8)

Book Recommendation: This is a great read.  It is a  little old fashioned, but it contains wonderful inspiration on Raising Your Child to Love God (by Andrew Murray).


© Copyright 2015 by Rosi Fowler



God bless our South Florida mornings!

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I love waking up to something different in South Florida. Most of the time it is sunny and hot! Today we have heavy rains and thunder. The sky is dark. The branches of the trees hang lower. There is a large puddle at the end of our driveway. Our front entry porch is wet.

My husband had to get to work this morning. So he put on his raincoat which he rarely wears. And he grabbed plastic grocery bags for his dress shoes and to carry his work belongings. We had a chance to try out our new umbrella. (We are always replacing our umbrellas.)

Driving was slow. The sides of the roads were flooded. Visibility was hindered. We had our headlights on and the wipers on high. Now mind you, we don’t have to travel major highways to get to my husband’s workplace. For that I am grateful!

But I don’t mind the rain. The rain is warm. I am so delighted and grateful to be living in South Florida. I love the rain and the sound of the ominous thunder. God bless our South Florida mornings!

Mrs. C, Let Me Tell You About My Son

Years ago shortly after my soon-to-be husband and I announced our engagement, my soon to be mother-in-law wrote a letter to my mom. Having not yet met each other, she introduced herself in the letter and gave my mom assurances of her son’s character. It was a lovely letter.

Twenty-five years later my son has announced his engagement to his college sweetheart. And it is my turn to tell my son’s future mother-in-law a little bit about my son.SnRWeddingDay

Dear Mrs. C,

I just wanted to let you know how thrilled my husband and I are on this engagement. We love our son. His life was entrusted to us by the Lord. The Lord granted our son to us as part of our prayers to raise a godly generation unto him. Hannah said in 1 Samuel 1:27, “I prayed for this child.” And so our son will leave our home with a legacy of prayers going before him.

We raised our son in a home where both his mom and dad have loved Jesus and have sought to live their lives in service to Him. We read good books and played games. We laughed a lot at the dinner table.

We dedicated our son at three months. We took the charge seriously of committing ourselves to prayer for his salvation. We prayed continually for wisdom in our parenting of him. We also prayed for the woman that was to be his wife.

We read to him God’s Word faithfully. We had many nights of family devotion, worship and prayer. We faithfully brought him to church. We taught him the importance of commitment to church and service.

We have sought to understand our son’s interests and gifts. We have tried to nurture him and provide encouragement and support to help him be exactly who God made him to be. We have prayed that his life would make a difference for the Kingdom of God.

We have also prayed that he would grow to be strong in faith and a man after God’s own heart always walking in integrity. We have prayed that he would be a godly man able to lead his own family and raise another godly generation for the Lord.

We have seen that God has been good and faithful to answer all our prayers for our son throughout all these years. We are grateful for his wise choice in your daughter. It is a blessing to finally meet the woman that we have been praying for our son after all these years.




What I’ve Learned in Twenty Years of Marriage by Russell Moore

My son is getting married.  He and his bride-to-be are both twenty-one years old.  To me they are so young, and I worry about their readiness for marriage.  My husband and I are so happy that both of them are committed in following the Lord in their relationship.  We applaud them for doing it right.  But I still wish they had their careers in order and that they had a bigger bank account.  Then my husband forwarded to me a wonderful article by Russell Moore:  What I’ve Learned in Twenty Years of Marriage.   What a timely article.  It really spoke to my concerns.  Thank you, Dr. Moore!


Missionary Trip to Honduras

Recently my husband and I traveled to San Pedro Sula in Honduras for an annual board meeting. Our church supports a mission, La Vida Hospital, in San Pedro Sula, and my husband serves on the board.

Hospital sign

It was my first time visiting Honduras. I have visited Mexico many times and there were many similarities. There were many sections of very poor people living in very poor dwellings. There were also, of course, several American business chains.

We stayed in the compound of the hospital. Every morning we began the day with a chapel service. After chapel, the hospital opened and so many people came seeking medical treatment. There are two doctors, a dentist, a couple of nurses and a chaplain. The patients waited in an open patio under ceiling fans blowing nothing but hot air. It was very, very hot in Honduras. The temperatures reached 107 degrees in the afternoon – 112 degrees heat index.

Patio pics 2014

We made friends with local ministry couples and foreign missionaries. We heard many testimonies of God’s work. We were so moved by the service of the Christian medical team and the hospital staff and felt their joy in serving the Lord. We were surrounded by so many servant hearts and were so blessed to be spending time with these people. Their service and devotion to the Lord’s work was infectious. Pastor Carlos and Naomi

“Serve the Lord with gladness.” – Psalm 100:2 KJV

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin

This book is a great resource to help women study and interpret the Bible well. It will equip you to teach the Bible to women in your church. This book reminds me so much of some of the Bible study workshops I attended at the Gospel Coalition 2014 National Women’s Conference. The emphasis of these workshops and this book is to read and interpret each passage of the Bible as a part of the whole. In other words, it will help you to see the big picture, the overarching story from creation to redemption in every passage.

Jen Wilkin lays out the five “P’s” for studying the word of God: Purpose, Perspective, Patience, Process and Prayer. She challenges us to be disciplined as we read and study God’s word for ourselves and then to study the word together in the same manner with other women.

I love to study the Word of God. I am always looking for good material to help me study and know God’s Word better. I enjoyed this book so much I ended up reading it in one day. Of course I am now going back to re-read and process more slowly.

© Copyright 2015 by Rosi Fowler

Her Children Arise and Call Her Blessed

This is one of the nicest readings I have read on Mother’s Day from the Desiring God blog. It is very encouraging for any mom seeking to raise her children in the Lord.

Her Children Arise and Call Her Blessed – Mother’s Day Meditation
by David Mathis

Mother’s Day is a sweet opportunity for Christians to celebrate one of God’s most significant means of his common and redeeming grace.

For most, there’s some bitter flavor somewhere. We live in a fallen world. All mothers are sinful — even Jesus’s own mother knew well her need for a Savior (Luke 1:47) and for God’s mercy (Luke 1:50). Whether your own mother monumentally failed you, or you’re a mother…Continue reading.

Ten Characteristics of a Woman who Fears the Lord


 Ten Characteristics of a Woman who Fears the Lordfb roses

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)


  1. She knows the Lord.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)

  1. She loves the Lord deeply.

“My hearts says of you, ‘Seek his face.’ Your face, Lord, I will seek.” (Psalm 27:8 )

“As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God.” (Psalm 42:1)

  1. She is wise.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”  (Proverbs 1:7)

“The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom.” (Proverbs 15:33)

  1. She has a tender heart towards the things of God.

“Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.” (Proverbs 28:14)

  1. She repents of her sin.

“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.  Against you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.” (Psalm 51:3)

  1. She seeks to walk upright and in full integrity.

“He whose walk is upright fears the Lord.” (Proverbs 14:2)

  1. She can laugh at the days to come.

“I know, O Lord, that man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

“The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied.” (Proverbs 19:23)

“In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence.” (Proverbs 14:26)

“Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.” (Psalm 34:9)

  1. She seeks to serve God’s Kingdom.

“Serve the Lord with reverent fear.” (Psalm 2:11)

“Now fear the Lord and serve Him with faithfulness.” (Joshua 24:14)

“They will still bear fruit in old age; they will stay fresh and green.” (Psalm 92:14)

  1. She has a passion for God’s Word and his ways.

“What does the Lord God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 10:12)

  1. She seeks to do God’s will.

“Through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.” (Proverbs 16:6)

“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua  24:15)


© Copyright 2015 by Rosi Fowler