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."

Friday, February 29, 2008

Thin Hair, Buck Teeth and a Camo Coat

I talked with my good friend Kathy today. She is a godly woman, mother and truely special friend of mine of nearly 10 years - (and more like me than my own relatives). She told the sweetest story and I have to share it with you (note: some names have been changed to protect the innocent).

Kathy's 10-year-old son recently had a Valentine's Day party in his school class. On the ride home, he shared with her the day's activites. Apparently, after the "great card-exchange" the students began exchanging compliments. "You are always very nice" and "You have a friendly face" were among the responses.

Then the conversation went toward the "like" department. Not just "like" but "like-like". He began to inform her of all the would-be pair-ups in the elementary class. She asked, "Well, who do you like?"


"What do you mean 'anymore'? Who did you like?"


"Which one is Michelle?"

"You know...the girl with long thin hair, buck teeth - she wears the camoflage coat?"

"Oh." (With such a description, who wouldn't like her???) Thinking about all of the extremely cute girls in his class, why had he settled on this one to like?

"What is it about her that you like?" she asked.

"Well, she's nice and she goes to church."

What an example from a 5th grader!

Aren't we sometimes so quick to choose the most popular or best-looking option...when what God really wants is for us to love Him?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Four More

Hey! Just wanted to let you know that today I am going back to the studio to record four more songs! Please be in prayer today if God brings it to your mind!
I met with the keyboardist yesterday and he was fantastic! Although I feel more comfortable going in after getting my songs from my head to paper with him, I know it is going to be a long night.
More to come!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Baby Jesus is Missing!

Draw near to me and I will draw near to you. James 4:7

A missionary couple came to our church one Sunday with items from far-away lands. There were carvings, glass sculptures and other hand-made art pieces for sale to support those answering the call to reach others for Christ. Looking through the pieces, the one piece that meshed my love for pretty things and my husband’s love for exotic woods stood out. A hand-carved nativity of olive wood from Jordan went home with us. It was beautiful.
Since it was such a pricy set, our young children were advised strongly not to play with the new smooth statues. Clearly tempted, they agreed. A week went by and I began dusting the den. It was then I noticed the smallest piece of the collection was missing, that of baby Jesus.
When school was over, questioning began about the missing baby Jesus. After little interrogation, the younger of the two reached deep into his pocket to reveal the faceless, unhurt carving. “I didn’t mess it up, Mommy,” he explained “I thought we could keep each other company. I just wanted Him to be with me all day.” Humbled by the thought of a small child wanting to be close to “Jesus” left me speechless and introspective. The lesson was more precious than the rare collection.
Do you long for His closeness? He longs to be near you. Just call His precious name and He will come right where you are. We don’t have to carry a symbol of Him in our pockets – but He does want to live in your heart. If you’ve never asked Him to live there-take a moment to talk to Him. He wants to be where you are!

Lord, sometimes it is hard to believe You would want to spend time with me. I know You do. Help me to draw closer to you and desire you more than ever. Today I dedicate my life to You. Help me desire and long for your company and guidance in my life. I love you, Lord.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Your Worries are Over!

Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Several times a week, the unsolicited mail comes in. “Act Now! Your Worries are Over!” Creditors offering quick-fixes for long-term bad habits seem like a good thing. I’ll have to admit, there was a time I looked through them and even considered their offers. However, the deal was never as good as it seemed. Many times, the interest rates after an introductory period rocketed making your debt worse off than you started.
Is it possible to get out of this much debt?

Here’s Hope. With God, all things are possible. Will your debt problems magically disappear overnight? Most likely not. But what God will do is offer you peace and contentment during these stressful times.

He may direct you to use a hidden talent or gift to bring income to your house. In 2 Kings 4:1-7, a widow woman was in desperate need of some money. Elisha instructed her to take every vessel she could find and fill it with oil. This seemed strange to her because she only had a little oil left! Trusting God, she obeyed. That little bit of oil filled all of the containers. After selling it, she was able to meet the need of her household. What has God given you?
Are you using the gifts He gave you?

His introductory period is just the beginning of His Grace Period. Want a quick fix? Trust God. He’s the only offer that is as good as it seems our there!

God, help me to always be thankful for what I have. You know my needs, Lord. I desire to be in Your Will. I ask for Your direction in how to be the best steward of what I have and what you will give me.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Have you ever had a day when everyone around you seems to have perfectly manicured hands with shiny, even, fresh-and-white nails? You can't help but look at your nails with a little disgust and self-pity.

By no means is this a product ad for nailcare but...there were a few months recently when I used a product called "REJUVACOAT" by Duri for my nails. It was wonderful. After simply applying it every other day...my nails were stronger, longer and noticibly healthier.

Well, just this week, I was out to lunch with a friend who had those shiny, even, fresh-and-white nails. I looked down to see my splitting, cracking, uneven nails... which reminded me that I was out of the routine!

Why had I stopped? It was working! My nails had never looked so good or healthy! There was no real reason - I just got comfortable with my new healthy nails and forgot that I had been nurturing them.

Then it occurred to me. When I nurture my relationship with God, my spirit is stronger, healthier, closer to God than ever. It is wonderful! But sometimes I get comfortable in that relationship and stop nurturing it with daily upkeep. It's only with time that I notice I'm feeling disconnected, "cracked and uneven"... especially when I see fellow Christians growing and healthy.

My prayer today is to remain focused on my relationship with God - and not get too comfortable in my current stage - forgetting to nurture the relationship to grow in Him. Afterall, His nails made it possible to have the relationship.

Let's grow together, girls!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Best of Both Worlds

Little Darby (my 5 year-old) told me recently that she knew what she wanted to be when she "grew up". She "either wanted to be a mommy or a rockstar like Hannah Montana". Who says you can't be both? Lysa TerKeurst has a hilarious post today about taking her girls to the new H.M. movie. The whole premise of the Hannah Montana show is she "has the best of both worlds".

If you take a quick look at the little girls who have seen Hannah Montana- they don't just like her - they want to be like her. Clothes, songs,moves - hair.
Wow - wouldn't it be awesome if our lives were so magnetic that others would want to be like Christ they see in us?

Living a double life might work out great for Miley Cyrus on her Disney Channel hit show, but unfortunatly, alot of Christians try to do the same thing.

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. Matthew 6:24 (NIV)

How many 'Sunday morning seat fillers' spend the rest of the week watching shows that are questionable on TV? Going places we shouldn't? Saying things we know do not build up the body? We justify all of these things because "we're adults and we can handle it". But everything we take in - adds a layer to our heart. Intead of a holy protection guarding our hearts, we end up with a just holes.
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16 (NIV)

Who likes lukewarm? Coffee-drinkers? Bath-takers? No? God doesn't either! Our "God fire" is diluted each time we act outside of His will. What is His Best?

My prayer today is that I recognize what areas of my life are cooling off my cup. . . and get them out of it! I don't want to be divided in any area - no double life! Who I am is based on Whose I am...and nothing more..

After all, praising God on this planet is just practice for around the throne - and that really will be "The Best of Both Worlds".

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

To Know Him is to Love Him

For those who check in on me from time-to-time, please be in prayer about the "next step" toward my recording project. As it stands, I am scheduled to go back into the studio to record 4-5 more songs on February 28th.
These songs are a combination of styles and messages that I hope will fit together for a worshipful end result.
I am a bit excited about one for sentimental reasons. In the early 90's my mom wrote some poetry. Although I realize I didn't value alot of things I should have in my "youth", I have looked over those writings since her death 12 years ago. One she entitled "Divine Love" was basically a love poem to God. She was always writing, singing, cooking or creating.
I remember her washing the dishes and singing that old 50's or 60's tune, "To know, know, know him is to love,love, love him...and I do". Do you remember the one? Man, that woman could sing, too! Well, at that time in my life, anything that didn't come out the hymnal with four verses and a refrain was considered "worldly!" I was in shock! My mama was singing worldly music! How did she even know that song? Afterall, there was no way she had a life outside of my lifetime, right?
Well, after I quickly pointed out her sin - sure she would fall to her knees in repentance - she simply answered, "you don't know who I'm singin' to". That brief moment in my early teens has stuck with me.
As one who loves worshipful expression through music, I admit I often observe those in services singing the most beautifu lyrics - with no concept of what they are singing or Who they are singing to/for. This song will be for God- but honoring my mom.
I am so thankful that I had a mom who cared enough about God and me to point out simple ways to worship - even when you are doing the dishes.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Healthy Glow - The "Son" Looks Good on You.

The sun comes up every morning, right?
This morning held a surprise for us as we rushed around to get ready for school. Because of our house's position, we can witness the sunrise each day. Some days, although it is should always amaze us, it is just the sun coming up. But other days, it's like God is showing off. That was today.
Pinks, oranges, purples and all colors in between painted an everchanging backdrop for the outline of leafless trees. "Come look at the sunrise!" I yelled to my kids.
As my 5-year-old daughter looked at the sun coming up over the neighbor's house. She quickly moved from enjoying God's work to wondering why God wouldn't let the sun come up over our house.
"Well, if the sunrise was over our house, we wouldn't be able to see it everyday through our kitchen window."
Satisfied with that answer - she went on to finish up the morning activities.
Just then I realized her reaction of jealousy and "why can't I have that?" creeps into my heart too. Instead of enjoying the work around us that God is doing...we just want Him all to ourselves.
Let's face it...we are not all going to be "Beth Moore" or "Billy Graham"... but we can be who God intended us to be. When we sit under the teaching of such inspired people, especially if you feel called into ministry, it is easy to say - "Why can't I have that?", "Why can't I write/speak/witness/encourage like that?"
Instead, thank God that you were able to take in His handiwork and creation - Be what He called You to be: your position, your vantage point, your ministry. If you spend all your time wishing the "Son" would rise over you, you miss the fact that He just did.
Take in some "Son" today - the glow looks good on you.