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."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Slow Down December!

Whew. Where does the time go? At last post, I was wrapping up Thanksgiving and entering into December. This has been a season of thankfulness...turkey or not.

As posted before, Matt's job was eliminated on September 29. Monday, December 15, was 77 days with no job. I am thrilled to report that our Provider hasn't missed a beat. We are so thankful for the unusual ways God has allowed us to be resourceful and make money! From ebay to a craft fair at school...we have had enough. Actually, after wrapping gifts for the kids today...we have had more than enough!

Early in the month I heard James Dobson speak of his ministry beginnings. He said, "Our money has always been like manna. We have enough for today but never enough to store up." Man, that's us. This season has really made us thankful for the daily provisions!

On December 8, Thomas Nelson met for the second time to pitch/discuss the proposed book "Car-Line Devotions for Moms" Amy and I are writing. Since the proposal was just sent out in October, this process has moved quicker than "normal". God is so faithful to give little rays of light when life seems cloudy. I just love Him. Hopefully we'll know more soon.

While we were visiting family in Ohio last weekend, Matt received a call from a company he would like to work with. Monday and Tuesday this week he interviewed with them. We should know next week whether that position is for him. I would love for him to have a job for Christmas!

Matt's frame of mind was among the conversations of the week. He has, with very little exception, been at peace with godly perspective throughout this process. Then, on Sunday morning while I was dressing, God brought back to mind the prayer we prayed when Matt came home from being "let go". We prayed from the Psalm that God would keep our minds in perfect peace as we kept our minds on Him. And He has!

Why are we so shocked when we ask for something specifically...and God gives it to us? Mercy. That's a lesson in itself!

I'll post more often...hopefully with terrific news about a job or book contract!

Friday, November 28, 2008

TSMS! Casting Crowns - I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

This song is so beautiful. I love it when a group updates a familiar standard. This entire project is GREAT! Definitely one for the holiday wish list.

More TSMS - visit Amy!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

TSMS - I'm Amazed

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir...what else needs to be said? Jason Crabb does a terrific job leading this beautiful love song to God. I love to watch the men in the multi-racial choir wiping tears away as they sing. Beautiful.

I’m Amazed
No one knew how alone I was feeling
And the emptiness I tried so hard to hide
Through I laughed and said my life was fine without You.

I was covering up the secret tears I cried
Then one day someone told me of Your mercy
And the love You showed on a hill called Calvary
There you died and purchased my redemption
When you broke sin’s power and set my spirit free

I’m amazed that You love me
I’m amazed how You care
Through Your precious blood
I’ve fond pardon
And my sins are washed,
They’re all washed away
All my sins are washed away

It’s true there have been days when I’ve failed You
Lord, You know the many times I’ve gone astray
But I’ve learned that Your love is stronger than my weakness
And you ear is open every time I pray
No one else has ever cared for me like You, Lord
Other friends could never be as close to me
I’m not afraid to face the problems of tomorrow
Knowing You are everything I’ll ever need

I’m amazed that You love me
I’m amazed how You care
Through Your precious blood
I’ve fond pardon
And my sins are washed,
They’re all washed away
All my sins are washed away

For more TSMS- Check out Amy's blog!

Friday, November 14, 2008


I can hardly believe it is mid-November!
Since I last posted pictures, our kids (and we) dressed up to beg for sweets around our neighborhood.

As you can see, Darby is Little Bo Peep...Sam is "Ben 10" (a character from Cartoon Network. No one else knew who he was but he was happy)...and I was Sarah Palin. The heels were regrettable by the end of the night! I did, however, enjoy saying things to our neighbors like, "You betcha" and "Maverick". Matt (our photographer) was "Joe the Plumber". He wore a tool belt with a NEW plunger and a name tag that said, "Hello, My Name is Joe the Plumber." Funny Stuff.

Things are slow-but-steady at our house. Matt is still in search of a job. Lately he is in search of other things, too. Geocaching has taken the place of his crossword puzzle obsession. If you are unfamiliar with this hobby...basically there are about 600,000 hidden treasures around the world. These "finds" range from just a 35mm film case with a log to sign, to a shoe-box filled with trade-able trinkets. With the help of a handheld GPS, searchers follow coordinates registered by the hider. Matt is hooked. There is a devotion in there somewhere about "searching for the hidden things". I'll work on it.

This was part of an attempt to find goodies. I couldn't help but feel like I was in an episode of CSI as we went deeper into the woods. NO cell service. Perfect.

Darby on the trail by the Broad River in Boiling Springs, NC. Did I mention the GPS wouldn't work because we were so far in the woods? Excellent.

I call this picture "The Rock n Rollers" or "Matt on the Rocks". Look how happy he is. Maybe I should hide a paint brush in our back yard for him...the search is the best part. Wonderful.

And, of course, there's nothing like ending up a good day of "caching" at the base of a water tower shaped like a peach (at least they say it's a peach). The clues lead us to this great location in Gaffney, SC. If you're not from around here, the trip down I-85 is not complete until you've seen "The Peach" near exit 90. The kids loved it...at least from the car it looked like they did. Peachy.

Last night, I had a great time opening the show for The Toney Brothers and The Dove Brothers at the Carolina Gospel Association Show. It was great fun to be a part of and to watch!

The Multi-Award Winning Dove Brothers posed for a quick picture during intermission.

Until next time...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Baby Ella Grace is Here!

Matt's sister, Rachel, with her new precious baby.

Matt and Me with baby Ella Grace.

8 is Enough! All the Roller Cousins.

Yesterday was an exciting day in the Roller family. Ella Grace Mode was born at 6:33am. She is beautiful!

Rachel experienced 3-minute-apart contractions last week and thought she would surely deliver.With plenty of time to get childcare for her other two children she made her way to the hospital with bags packed...only to be sent home. Yesterday morning, she woke up to find the time had come. She arrived at the hospital at 6:15am and Baby Ella arrived at 6:33am. Whew!

I began thinking this morning about deliverance. I like a set plan that has been spelled out in a few easy steps. The ideal. However, sometimes God's time for us to be delivered from whatever we are in bondage to doesn't follow the 12-step-process. If He chooses, some have a very quick experience.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you...to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future."

God is gracious. God is good. God is love. God is in control.

Whatever needs to be removed from us, He can deliver...and always in perfect time.

More to come later…check back.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

TSMS- I Call Him Lord

Mark Lowry and Lordsong

My sweet Mama used to sing this Dottie Rambo song when I was a little girl. I was reminded of it as we began preparing for a Christmas program this week. Before I knew it, my hands were in the air and tears were filling my eyes. I am so glad I can call Him "Lord".
I hope you enjoy it!

For more TSMS check out AMY at Sign, Miracles and Wonders.

Friday, October 17, 2008

TSMS - Nothin' for My Journey

The Happy Goodman Family - I Wouldn't Take Nothin' For My Journey Now!!!

I grew up singing this song in my little country church. God is really impressing on my spirit the importance of obeying in every step of the journey. I act like my little kids when I keep asking, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? How much farther, Lord?" Instead I should be enjoying where I am with Him that day.

Enjoy. If this isn't your style of music...just enjoy how far we've come since the as-big-as-your-head bow tie days. But Vestel still had her white hanky!

For more great songs, check out Then Sings My Soul Saturday with Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

Who Holds the Keys

Yesterday was interesting. The day began with a police officer at my door requesting that we "leash" our dog (apparently there's a law or something). Although shocked that anyone would make the effort to tame the beast that is "Millie", I agreed. Millie is an overweight beagle with short legs and torn ligaments. Even if she did "go after" someone...a quick skip would put said person far enough ahead that she would give up the chase. Funny.
Millie - Be Afraid. Be very afraid!

Next, I locked myself out of the house. Matt, who had been home for 18 days straight due to his recent job loss, was out of town. Of course he was. But here's the "glory lining": during my walk to retrieve keys from Matt's parents' home (1/2 mile away), God gave me this devotional. May it bless and challenge your heart as it did mine.

Who Holds the Keys

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”
Psalm 91:14

I am a door locker. If my family is leaving for the day, I am the one who makes sure everything is locked up. At night, the last thing I do is make my rounds to ensure all locks are secured. This has been my routine for so long, it has become instinctual: I lock the door without even knowing it. Normally, this routine is not a problem…unless my key is on the other side of the door.

When I blindly go through my “routine” and forget my key, the same dead bolt lock that offers so much security is the very thing that keeps me from getting where I want and need to be. In the same way, physical securities are not bad for us: job, insurance, health, family. However, if we lose sight of the True Key to our security, the very same blessings can become the barriers standing between where we are and where God wants us to be: in His presence.

Evaluate today your priorities. Is something standing in between you and your ability to give all to Christ? Has a recent job loss, sickness or lost relationship made you feel out of control? Our need to control our circumstances removes God from the throne of our lives. Take comfort knowing God is in control. If we give Him the keys, we will never be locked out.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bedtime Revelation

I know I haven't been terribly faithful to this blog lately. Anything I feel inspired by...I'm throwing in the book I'm working on!

Had to share this, though...

Last night during bedtime prayers, I was bragging on Sam about how proud I was that he was behaving in school. See, we've had an interesting school career so far. Last year, in FIRST GRADE, he was suspended for 1 day for repeatedly talking in class. A BIT extreme in my opinion but...that's another post.

Anyway, the conversation was kind of like this:
"Sam, I am so proud of you for doing so great at school. I already knew you were smart...but I love that you are now being respectful and behaving in class."

"Well, a person can be smart and not be good. It's not about the brain - it's about the heart."

"You're right, Sam."

Sincerely, he very seriously added, "Sometimes when I do good things my heart is clean. When I my heart is dirty, I don't do good things and my heart needs to be washed in the washing machine. Then I can do good things again."

Stunned by the profoundness of this 7-year-old's revelation, we said good-night.

Sam's right. When we act with a clean heart, God enables us to "do good". God is the washing machine. My prayer today is to have a clean heart so I can act in a way that is pleasing to God - not just from my head - but from my heart.

Good stuff.

Friday, October 10, 2008

TSMS - Blessed Be The Name of the LORD

This week has been such a mix of ups and downs! It really has been a "Roller" coaster. Last Monday, Matt was a victim of our economy...that's right...downsized. Yuck.

Just a few days later, I received thrilling, long-awaited news...I officially have a literary agent! The proposal for a new book went out to Christian publishers and already received positive response! Yeah.

Our health insurance ended 2 weeks ago. Yuck.

The Bible study I'm leading, "Discerning the Voice of God," began with great response. Yeah.

Matt continues to follow-up on leads: some with positive response.

Please join me in praying that God's Will be VERY EVIDENT in our lives during these times. We are united in our passion to please Him. We will CHOOSE to say, "Blessed be the name of the LORD!"

Check out more TSMS with Amy!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

TSMS - I Will Not Be Moved

Every once in a while I'll hear a song that I just want to pump up as loud as my speakers can stand...this Natalie Grant song is it right now.

I LOVE the message, rhythm and it's easy to dance to...I give it a 10.

Better Together

I just love Jack Johnson. My awareness of him began when we saw the movie, Curious George.

This week at our school, students were asked to dress as a book character for Book Fair activities. Sam dressed as "The Man in the Yellow Hat" - and won the prize for 2nd grade!

Darby was ADORABLE as Little Bo Peep - fully equipped with staff and sheep. It was a such fun day!

I had a great time making their outfits and have really been bitten by the sewing bug again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Women of Faith - Here We Come!

Oh I am so excited! Atlanta's Phillip's Arena is hosting Women of Faith - Infinite Grace September 26-27. Thanks to my sweet friend Carol... Amy, Carol H. and I will be attending. I have had awesome experiences at WOF.

About 5 years ago, Amy Wyatt and I went to our first Women of Faith in Charlotte, NC. We ordered tickets late so our seats were...well, really bad. We were up so high that people were making and taking cell phone calls! Not great. The tickets for the event have Friday's tear-off ticket on one side and Saturday's on the other.

Saturday morning came and, skipping lots of details...I had lost my ticket. Convinced I had dropped it somewhere within the arena the night before - I just gave up on the possibility of getting in. "Take good notes," I told Amy. Just then and lady walked by and said, "Do you need a ticket?" WHOO! And just like that, God provided a ticket...not just any ticket...a place in a better section/closer to the stage. In much appreciation, I said, "You rescued me!" To which the lady said, "I work for a rescue mission!" (Of course you do, I thought.)

As lunch was wrapping up on Saturday, another "new" friend said, "Hey where are you sitting? There are plenty of seats around us. Why don't y'all come sit with us?" Well, as we followed them down, down, down steps...we ended up on the second row behind the speakers. No kidding. Amy and I looked at each other and bawled like babies!

You see, we had both prayed for confirmation from God of a calling in our hearts. A calling into ministry. Our separate (unknown to the other) prayer was to be moved closer so we wouldn't miss a thing due to distraction. There we were ... on the second row where the only people closer were the ladies who escort the speakers.

In an auditorium of 16,000+, God heard the heart's cry of two and confirmed a call into ministry. Since then, we have both been moving toward Him.

NEEDLESSTOSAY, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to soak it all in and hear from God this weekend. I'm going to sing loud and listen louder! I am expectant! God is always BIG but we don't always notice. I'm sitting up straight this weekend with leaning ears.

Join me in praying for each of the 19,000 attending in Atlanta.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Isaiah 61

The Year of the LORD's Favor

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise nstead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.
8 "For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed."
10 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

TSMS - Something About That Name

I woke up this morning with this song on my heart! After sharing at night's Relay for Life Luminary Ceremony, I am awed by the tremendous opportunity we all have to share the name of Jesus. Just this week I was getting my nails done (my recent uncharacteristic indulgence). The Vietnam native holding my hand was giving his opinion on the day's news and politics when he said a very interesting thing. "When I die, I want to be sitting right here holding someone's hand. When I go to the Kingdom of God, I'll look through the gate and say, "Hey, I did her nails, and her nails...let me in! I know them!"

Then I said with a nervous stomach, "you know there's only one you need to know to enter into the Kingdom of God."
"Jesus. All the others are just extras. He is the only Way."

That room-silencing statement was followed by his mis-information about Peter holding the key to the gate...and some other really mixed up statements.

My heart ached and leaped - all at the same time. You see, his little girl was sitting just feet away from us with a Christian school logo on her shirt. I'm assuming they chose that school because it was private...not Christian. God is so awesome! Even in a fume-filled nail salon, He places opportunities to witness.

I'll pray for that family and try again...in two weeks!

For more Then Sings My Soul - check out Amy's site!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sam's Project!

Okay! Today was the big day. Sam's first big project as a 2nd grader: Geographic Landform - A Valley. In order to have a valley...you have to have mountains or hills. After the trusty "google" located a great idea...we totally copied it! Using the foam insulation in a can, we made two mountain-looking mounds in a box. This "great stuff" puffs up and makes it's own bumps and peaks. After it dried for two days, Sam started painting it.
Then we got creative! I cut a road in the side of one of the mountains and painted it. Then we molded tiny cars with modeling clay.

Sam had the great idea to make a little man climbing the mountain. We painted a waterfall on one of the lumpy parts.
Here's the finished project! For a scrap box, foam in a can and some craft paint...I think it's pretty cool!!!
Good job Sam!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Big Springs Cat goes Back to School!

I had the opportunity to speak and sing at Big Springs Baptist Church in Hollis, NC on Thursday. Sweet people...and great food! I may have to join this spunky seniors group next month!

A few weeks late on the update but...here we are. Sam and Darby started back to school on August 21! I can't believe I have 1st and 2nd graders. Every day they look forward to going to school. That alone is a blessing! We are thankful Thomas Jefferson Classical Grammar opened in Forest City. Not only is the education top notch, the "community atmosphere" is wonderful!

We are now working on a geographic landform project for Sam's first project as a 2nd grader. If it turns out okay...I'll post pictures. If not - you'll know.

We've also added a new member to our family. In classic creative style...her name is "Kitty". A neighborhood wanderer no more...she's now a Roller.

This Friday is Relay for Life here. I have the honor of performing during the luminary service.
Thanks for checkin' in. More to come.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I recently heard the quote:
"Discernment is more than knowing right from wrong.
True discernment is knowing right from almost right. "

Today I began my morning reading in I Kings. Solomon, after being hand-appointed by King David before his death, is in charge. Most know Solomon as the writer of most of the Proverbs and the spicy Song of Solomon. "Wisdom" seems to be interchangable with his name. Today the "holy high-lighter" beamed on one over-looked point.

When dreaming of a conversation with the Lord, God asked him what he most wanted. Faced with many choices including wealth, love, fame and power, Solomon said he wanted wisdom and discernment. Pleased by this, God granted his request but also favored him by also providing the other riches.

I know God is not a "genie in a bottle". But, if I was given one "wish"... would I choose wisdom? Would you? Today, consider all God has to offer and choose wisely when making requests.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Weekend Wrap-up: Interview, Fairview and Mountain view

The weekend was very eventful! I had a great time sharing my faith on "Your Carolina with Jack and Kimberly" WSPA-TV Channel 7 in Greenville, SC. Sweet friends Donna and Debra met me downtown to show support. That experience was followed up by a quick trip to Starbucks...who can complain about that?

As I made my way back to Forest City, NC, three precious packages accompanied me: Sarah, Hannah and Caroline. Tim and Alison headed to the Clemson-Alabama game and we spent time with their girls. We miss living one street away from them in Mauldin. It was great to get all the cousins together again!

On Sunday, I had the honor of singing and speaking at Fairview Baptist Church in Caser, NC. Never heard of Caser? Me, neither. But I'll say, I will never forget this precious church. As we rounded the country road, the white, should-be-on-a-postcard church sat high on the freshly mowed hill. Three wooded crosses greeted us on the sloped drive. The simple decor of the building was made beautiful by the unbelievable mountain views from the full-length glass windows. What wonderful sights to bring you into a time of worship! My concert was followed by a fellowship and refreshment time in their fellowship hall. Good food. Good company. Great time.

I thank God for the opportunity to share what He's done in my life. I am humbled by the thought that someone could see perfect Him through one as flawed as me...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lysa Terkeurst at ERBC

Me, Carol, Lysa, Amy and Kimberly

Lysa Terkeurst. The name is enough if you've heard the testimony. Last night she blessed 300+ ladies at Edwards Road Baptist Church (my home-church) in Greenville, SC with her story of God's very perfect plan in our very imperfect lives. Many were moved to tears. She does such a wonderful job conveying passion and emotion through her story.

I'm encouraged today to say "yes" to God!!!

It was a blast to see all of the "home folk" at ERBC. Ladies First Choice is such a wonderful ministry. I miss being a part of it. With a couple hours on my hands before its start at 6:30, I went by to help out - just like old times. It was my pleasure to serve as we placed brownies and salads on the beautifully prepared tables.

Bloggie buddies united once again. I actually met "Runner Mom" (for the second time). Susan had been on my blog before and introduced herself at the event. Get this...she actually looked at my house in Mauldin when it was for sale 2 years ago! Crazy stuff! I'm so glad we connected again...this time in the Lord's house.

Susan, Lysa and Me.

The kids are in school and I have more to post. Check back soon.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Your Carolina

Friday, August 29th - Live @ 10a.m.
WSPA-TV Channel 7 is a CBS affiliate out of Upstate South Carolina with an 800,000 home viewing audience. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to sing and share a bit about what God is actively doing in my life and ministry. Tune in if you're in the area!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Darby Looks at 6!

Halloween 2007 - Beautiful Bride.

Halloween 2005. Rhinestone Cowgirl and Larryboy!

Just some of my favorite pictures of Darby. Tomorrow is her birthday! She is such a sweetie and I can't believe we've had her for 6 years.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Off a Roll

Well, "hello again" everyone.

I was really on a "blogroll" last month. Now, August has left my blog a bit bare. I would love to say it's because I am SOOO busy. Actually, it's more because we are just doing the day-by-day summer thing: rearranging bedrooms, cleaning out too-small clothes to make room for new school duds...Nothing very 'blogworthy'...
  • My baby girl, Darby, will be 6 in one week. More to come about that!
  • School starts on August 21. Much more to come about that!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday - Trust His Heart

Hello, Saturday "Then Singer's". Today I've posted one of my all-time favorites by Babbie Mason. I had the opportunity to attend The Inner Circle songwriter's conference last year. It was wonderful.

All around us people are struggling - relationships, health, death, finances, job loss...

This song is such a reminder to not look at today's circumstances.

God's plan is bigger than circumstances.

All things work for our good

Though sometimes we can't see how they could

Struggles that break our hearts in two

sometimes blinds us to the truth

Our Father knows what's best for us

His ways are not our own

So when your pathway grows dim,

and you just can't see Him

Remember you're never alone


God is too wise to be mistaken

God is too good to be unkind

So when you don't understand...

When you don't see His plan

When you can't trace His hand

Trust His heart


He sees the master plan and

He holds our future in His hands

So don't live as those who have no hope

all our hope is found in Him

We see the present clearly but

He sees the first and the last

And like a tapestry He's weaving you and me

to someday be just like Him


He alone is faithful and true

He alone knows what is best for you

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays

"Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down." You could probably sing along with this Carpenter's hit and nod in agreement. Noone likes rainy days! Or Mondays! But I will say...yesterday we were hoping that those dark grey clouds looming above our drought-parched houses would drop buckets of relief. Thunder roared. Lightning pierced. No rain fell.

A quick peek at the nightly weather report informed us that there were storms all around us. It seemed that everyone was getting that lovely wet stuff but us! Put off and a little dissappointed that our grass would die another day, we went to bed.

"I guess the grass will always be greener on the other side...if they're the ones getting the rain."

The morning news report shared a new story. Those same storms we were hoping for had caused tremendous damage in surrounding areas. Fallen trees and power outages were tops of the headlines today. Sometimes the rain brings more.

"Whew. I'm glad that storm missed us!"

Isn't it funny how our perception changes when time has passed? We were praying for the event, grumbling at it's loss and rejoicing that it wasn't us...all within 12 hours! When will we figure out that God has this thing figured out???

God's hand protected us from the high winds and falling trees...but we still wanted rain. I can look at my spiritual life and see the same pattern. It seems that everyone around me is getting "rain" except me and I am desperate for a taste of it. I want to be close to Him. To know Him like no other. I want to "praise Him in the storm" - when and if He chooses to work there.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Adaville Baptist Church

Today was a great day at Adaville Baptist in Spindale, NC. These precious folks were so welcoming and supportive. Pastor Cal Sayles delivered a message refocusing our minds on life's real goal: Heaven. He reminded us that our treasures should not be invested in things of this life - instead on things that have eternal value.
I had the opportunity to share 3 songs and brief testimony. God is gracious and faithful. I am thankful.

Friday, July 18, 2008

TSMS - Mighty to Save - Hillsong

The video is precious!
Everyone needs compassion
A love that's never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
A kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations
He can move the mountains
My God is Mighty to save
He is Mighty to save
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave
So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender
Shine your light and let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus

Visit AMY at SIGNS, MIRACLES AND WONDERS for more Then Sings My Soul Saturday.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Twenty Cans of Success

My sweet friend Carol shared this today.
Be encouraged as I was by this!

Open up a Can.

Twenty Cans of Success
by Neil Anderson

Why should I say I can't when the Bible says I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)?

Why should I lack when I know that God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)?

Why should I fear when the Bible says God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)?

Why should I lack faith to fulfill my calling, knowing that God has allotted to me a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)?

Why should I be weak when the Bible says that the Lord is the strength of my life and that I will display strength and take action because I know God (Psalm 27:1; Daniel 11:32)?

Why should I allow Satan supremacy over my life when He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)?

Why should I accept defeat when the Bible says that God always leads me in triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14)?

Why should I lack wisdom when Christ became wisdom to me from God and God gives wisdom to me generously when I ask Him for it (1 Corinthians 1:30; James 1:5)?

Why should I be depressed when I can recall to mind God's lovingkindness, compassion and faithfulness, and have hope (Lamentations 3:21-23)?

Why should I worry and fret when I can cast all my anxiety on Christ who cares for me (1 Peter 5:7)?

Why should I ever be in bondage knowing that there is liberty where the Spirit of the Lord is (2 Corinthians 3:17)?

Why should I feel condemned when the Bible says I am not condemned because I am in Christ (Romans 8:1)?

Why should I feel alone when Jesus said He is with me always and He will never leave me nor forsake me (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)?

Why should I feel accursed or that I am the victim of bad luck when the Bible says that Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law that I might receive His Spirit (Galatians 3:13, 14)?

Why should I be discontented when I, like Paul, can learn to be content in all my circumstances (Philippians 4:11)?

Why should I feel worthless when Christ became sin on my behalf that I might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21)?

Why should I have a persecution complex knowing that nobody can be against me when God is for me (Romans 8:31)?

Why should I be confused when God is the author of peace and He gives me knowledge through his indwelling Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:33; 2:12)?

Why should I feel like a failure when I am a conqueror in all things through Christ (Romans 8:37)?

Why should I let the pressures of life bother me when I can take courage knowing that Jesus has overcome the world and its tribulations (John 16:33)?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ministering to the Lord

OK. I'll admit it. This week, I have been bit pouty. With chores, children and household chaos, I lost sight of my Lord for a few days. He wasn't behind the laundry...He was in it the whole time. My connection to Him isn't "when it's all done"...it's in the doing.
Tonight I picked up a little book called "Prayers & Promises for Women" and read this entry:
And the twelve were with him, and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna...and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance. Luke 8:1-3
The role of women in Your ministry is not clear, but we can catch glimpses of them now and then. As with many men You healed, women also left their homes to follow You, to minister to Your needs. They saw You were fed and clothed, with a place to rest at night, taking on those burdens to free You and the disciples to do Your work. Many women carry on this ministry today, quietly supporting Your work, seeing to the details of church life. Only You know who they are. Bless them and keep them; give them Your reward for faithful service."
Today, I thank God for the opportunity to serve my family: to keep their clothes smelling like Downy, to maintain the household and feed their sweet little faces. That is my ministry...not just to my family...to the Lord.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Today Will Be Better

Today is going to be a great day. My first thoughts this morning as I woke up. It has to be better than yesterday.

Yesterday was...humph. It started out good - and ambitious for a Monday! "Everyone strip your beds! We're washing sheets!" The kids loved not having to make their beds. Then I got the brilliant idea to clean out closets. What was I thinking???? Darby's was a mix of too-small shoes, Barbies and random toy pieces. So, we removed everything and started with a blank canvas, I mean closet. The sight of an empty closet was wonderful. I was great until I turned around to see the mountain-high mound of assorted treasures piled up on her sheetless bed. How are we going to get all this stuff back in the closet?

I really wanted to lie down somewhere at this point...but none of the beds had sheets!

Still, I proceeded - but not without a few interruptions. Remember my post from a few days ago? I also bought birdhouses. Darby painted her birdhouse WITH HER HANDS and not the messless squeeze paint brush kit. Then, Sam added water to the PlayDoh. If you've ever done that (and why would you) it just makes a slimy, gross mess. It seemed like as soon as I would get one mess cleaned up...there was another.

I would like to say that I handled all of it with grace and love. Let's just say I was reading "Shepherding the Heart of a Child" again last night. I needed a reminder of how God would handle these situations. Man, I blew it.

Aren't you glad God loves us enough to give us another chance when we just plain BLOW IT?

God must look at me sometimes and think, "Didn't I just get you cleaned up?" And there I go again - doing things my own way or adding to it. Still He whispers, "Forget yesterday. Today will be better."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

One of my MOST favorite songs is "Sing to the King" by Billy Foote. There's an energy with this song that just gets my hands up and the rest of me swaying. It comes from an old hymn called "Sing We the King" from 1910 (at least the first verse). The awesome chorus was added and it has been recorded by Passion, Hillsong and, most recently, Sandy Patti.

The chorus lyrics are:

Come let us sing a song - A song declaring we belong to Jesus -

He's all we need.

Lift up a song of praise - Sing now with voices raised to Jesus -

Sing to the King!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Anybody Ready for School to Start?

OK, Moms. Summer is in full swing and the travel has nearly stopped. That translates into a LOT of time at home. I love that! There is NO PLACE I would rather be than in my house! However, two short people in said house are making me wish they were back in school. I don't like feeling that way. So, sometimes I feel the need to exit my house to go to my
2nd favorite place...Wal-Mart.
Last night the exit was necessary. Matt agreed to handle all of the bed-time duties while I just got out for a while. A large bookstore would have been my ideal refuge; however, we live in Forest City. So...Wal-Mart would have to do.
While there, I searched for some busy...I mean bonding stuff for us to do. I came up with a few paint kits: a star frame for Sam and a butterfly mirror for Darby. My plan was to begin today as normal and when the "he looked at me" "she breathed near me" talk began...I would break out the kits.
Good idea, right?
Ahhh the best laid plans...
When I returned from the store, they were both still awake (thank you sweet tea with dinner) and saw the Thursday activity plan. Needlesstosay, this morning I was awakened with desperate voices in need of painting.
"Guys," I reasoned, "we aren't painting yet. I bought those for when you start fighting today." (Morning mind.)
"OK. If we start fighting now...can we paint?" (That Darby - always thinking)

So, we painted.
Darby - Always very careful.

Sam, always very colorful.

In the end...Sam's favorite part was taking the extra stickers and making a "Sam-bot" out of himself.

Drumroll Please.........

Here's Darby's Frame/Mirror!

And Sam's Star Frame.

Time well spent!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Robots, Magic Hats and Me...Oh My!

This summer has been full of events, travel and interesting e-mails. After our week-long vacation, Little Miss South Carolina in Hartsville, Deeper Still in Atlanta and Miss South Carolina in Spartanburg...I'm ready to stay at home in Forest City for a while!

Much-needed rain came down yesterday and today. As wonderful as that was, Sam and Darby don't do well without a sunshine-run-around-outside break. Neither does Mommy. So, to break up the day, yesterday we headed out to see Wall-E.
After reading reviews ranging from "I slept through this movie" to "This was the best movie ever"...I wasn't sure what to make of it. I will say this - any movie that can captivate the attention of 4 kids under 7 is OK with me! Minimal dialogue. Cute robot. G-rating. I won't be waiting to rent it again but...it was good.

Today, "Nana" took the kids to see a magic show at the local library. Needlesstosay, Sam has been pulling things out of his hat all night.

During my quiet time, I wrote several devotions for the book Amy and I are trying to complete. By God's grace and provision, in two years, moms all over the country will be encouraged by words God gives now. Amazing. More about this new devotional when more is known.

I am excited about a few new invitations and confirmations I've received over the last few days: August 9 - Rock Hill, SC, September 11 - Big Springs Baptist in Hollis, NC and March 27-29 - Taylors First Baptist Church's Women's Conference (held at The Cove).

Please continue to pray for us! God is working. I am thankful.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Miss South Carolina 2008

Darby and Crystal Garrett, Miss SC 2007


Last night Darby and I headed down to Spartanburg, SC for the last night of preliminary competition at Miss South Carolina. It was a sweet girls night out that ended with a trip through the Krispy Kreme drive-thru window.
The finals are Saturday, July 5th. Guess who's doing the pre-show!!!! Me! I have an opportunity to sing 15-20 minutes before the state-wide event.
Keep us in your prayers!