Janet Roller - Living Oak Ministries

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Hi. I'm Janet Roller: wife of one, mother of two, lover of coffee and writer of songs. I have just finished my first fiction novel and I'm looking forward to watching how God uses the simple story to minister to others. God is a big deal to me. My goal each day is to wake up and declare, "This day is Yours, Lord. Show me what to do with it."

Saturday, November 5, 2016


Are you ever overwhelmed?
For me, the days I'm NOT overwhelmed are getting fewer and farther between.

As a mother of 2 teenagers now, I am constantly on guard against what may be around the corner for them. Any offered advice or guidance usually ends in one of us sighing loudly since the "I've learned all I want to from you" section of their brains has now fully developed.

As a wife with an outside job, I am welcomed at home with dirty laundry and unfinished projects that fall to the bottom of the long list of things that took my energy hours before I came back home. The unending responsibilities of a home and family can, at times, send me running for the comfort of my bed, curled in the fetal position.

As a worship leader and full-time employee of a church, I am forever chasing Sunday, while being tripped on the other days of the week along the way. Fighting the guilt that sometimes comes with ministry when you realize the effort you've expended isn't yielding the result you had hoped or the next holiday/emphasis leaves no room to breath and reflect on what God just allowed to happen.

Finally, as a writer (yes, I said it), I am faced with the choice each day...to write or not to write. Internal dialogue of the other things that need my attention keep me from recording the dialogue my characters are screaming in my head. Why would I spend time writing anyway? Who's gonna read it anyway? Choosing to do any other activity inevitably results in the weight of shirking the calling of telling this story, whether anyone reads it or not.

So today ... I write. I write to thank God for his blessing of family, sighs and all. I write to thank God for the many piles of clothes we have to wear and the means to clean them. I write to acknowledge (again) the ministry at my church or home was never mine to begin with. God allowed the contacts and position and each day is about opening my mind to His agenda.
Finally, I write because NOT to is rejecting a gift God allowed me to have. A few minutes a day, or a few hours a day is better than not at all and makes me feel closer to Him.

Whether anyone ever reads it, while the clothes turn in the washer, I write. Today, I accept my calling mother, wife, worship leader and writer (and whatever else the day throws at me) and as God to help me filter the demands of the day through His plan for my day. Suddenly, I 'm not so overwhelmed.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Live on Display

Living on display comes with consequence. The year I was Miss South Carolina, I received many interesting gifts. Some were savable and others – not so much. I kept all the special items in their original packaging in the basement. One treasure was a limited edition plate I received at the 100th Anniversary of Pepsi. I know, wow. I decided it would be better to enjoy my “pretties”, so I took the plate out of its perfectly fitted blue box and bought a special gold rack for it.

For years, it remained unharmed, safely nestled on the wall. Today, however, I heard the sound that can only be breaking glass – not like a drinking glass or window; the dull thud of china echoing as it hits ceramic.

I hurried around the corner to find my prized piece broken beyond repair. The once smiling woman on the simple print was now beheaded and shattered.

A flood of emotions filled me. I wanted to comfort the guilty plate breaker by saying it didn’t matter because it was an accident. But it did matter. I felt angry. I felt like something that meant so much to me was taken.

My internal dialogue raced as I searched for a response.
I guess I can’t have anything.
IF it was yours you would have been more careful.
I never should have taken it out of the box.

In an effort not to respond at all, I turned and walked to my room and did what every spiritually mature woman in her 30’s should do – I slammed the door.

Stewing and sifting through the next emotions, the sound of sweeping and a dustpan dumping the shards into a trashcan pierced my ear. With each piece clanging against the other, my heart ached as the piece seemed to break all over again.

When the kitchen was cleared, I walked out to see the broken pieces lying on top of tea bags, chicken bones and coffee grounds. I left them there for a while. Then God began to speak. People may not see the value in brokenness but God does.

Carefully I brought each piece from the trash and placed the collection on the counter. After a few minutes, all pieces were together except one – the woman’s face. Careful not to shift any wet paper towels, I went back to the trashcan to retrieve the missing piece. There she was – lying face town in a heap of trash. Now with all the pieces were in place, with new cracks of character, the once perfect prize seemed better with the cracks.

We can be like that plate. We keep ourselves protected for so many years so no one can hurt us. When we finally put ourselves “out there,” the possibility of getting injured, hurt or disappointed is inevitable. When we do, we have a choice. Do we stay in the scrap pile or do we allow God to piece us back together?

Friends, God’s Word said we were made for display, cracks and all. Our imperfections and spiritual scars only make our relationship with Christ more precious. He is perfect – so we don’t have to be. HIS scars have made a Way for us to receive righteousness.

Christians tend to hide behind their Sunday morning smiles and pretend all is well when they are shattered inside. It’s time to get real with each other and serve with transparency. The times I’ve been reliant on God enough to share with my fellow believers about what I’m struggling with have been times of refreshing and healing for all involved.

Isaiah 61:3 tells us “He will give a crown of beauty instead of ashes, oil of joy for mourning and a garment of praise for a spirit of despair.” Many of us want the crown, joy and praise without the ashes, mourning and despair. Suffering-free lives don’t exist on this side of Heaven – but redemption for sin does. Isaiah goes on to say, “so we may be Oaks of Righteousness on display for His glory.”

We don’t endure hardships for our benefit. We endure through Christ to build our testimony of His Grace toward us.

No matter what your past includes, live on display for His glory. Your cracks and imperfections may bring healing to someone else. We are all in this life together to bring God glory.

Live on display.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Root or Fruit?

Yesterday I heard a good "nugget" on Pastor Greg Laurie's broadcast. Maybe you'll appreciate it too.

He asked, "Is it a root problem or a fruit problem?"

Think about that. In our spiritual lives, we often attribute our sin to the result or "fruit" of our actions instead of the base or "root" of them.
Ex: "If I could just get rid of my credit card debt, my life would be better. These credit cards are killing me!"

While that may be true, the root of the debt is not the credit card. The debt is the fruit of the sin. The root is covetousness or selfishness. Now, please understand, I'm not referring to those who are resorting to credit to stay afloat in a terrible economy. However, for the rest of us, the "gotta have it" that ran up the bills stemmed from discontentment. That's a root problem.

Christ gets to the root of the matter. Today, as you struggle with issues in your life, decide whether they are the fruit of larger issue. Then, ask God to show and remove the root.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

2011. Wasn't it just a few years ago when we were gonna' "party like it's 1999"? Now what?

In the month of resolutions, I have searched my mind and heart for some changes that need to be made in my life. I don't make resolutions - anymore. I've done that and then feel like a big ole' failure when I don't get up earlier...or lose 30 pounds.

I will not make plans that don't have an end. "Getting healthy" and "growing closer to God" are daily disciplines that won't be determined by a calendar. Each day, I begin again to make that day count in those areas.

This year, I'm making plans and placing them at the foot of the cross. My plans are big but His plans are always better!

With my speaking schedule a little lighter in the coming months, I have set a few goals: finish & print my testimony book (really close), complete the music project I'm currently working on, and finish my fiction book before the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in May. (I would be happy getting really close to finishing.)

Accomplishing these goals will not define me; however, God convicted my heart a few years ago about finishing what I start. Unfinished sewing and craft projects in a box in the basement haunt me when I think of the time invested with no satisfaction of completion.

New year. New beginnings. New completions. New Direction.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christian Devotions SPEAK UP Blogtalk Radio

Tuesday was a busy day of recording in the studio and with a studio. After a full day working on a new music project at Rushing Winds Music Studio in Dallas, NC, my day wrapped up by talking with Scott McCausey at Christian Devotions SPEAK UP Blogtalk Radio from 6-7pm EST.

Thanks, Scott!