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, April 30, 2008

More Than Enough

If you're like me, no matter what you do, doesn't there always seem to be more? My recent post "Priority" went a little stream-of-conscientiousness on me. That is, I just started recording all of the possibilities of the day/night alone. Well, I did get a good bit accomplished, but nowhere near all that was on the list. Now, several days later, that list remains with more added to it.
Even as I logged on to check-in on my blogger friends I thought,
I should really blog more.
When I have morning quiet time I think,
I should really read my Bible more.
As I drop the kids off for school, as they walk away I think,
I should really pray for them more.
I should really clean more, compliment my husband more, love more, write encouraging notes more, laugh more, exercise more...
In a world where there is never enough time, money, energy, food - it's easy to feel like my daily life needs more. Even as I look at my life I realize, God is the More that I need the most. All of the other stuff will fall into...not just place...but its place. Behind the One Who is More Than Enough for Me.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Priority

This week has been very uneventful compared to the past 4 months: No studio sessions, no evening appointments and no serious deadlines. NO Deadlines? What a joke. Isn't there always something to work toward?

Matt called yesterday with a loaded question. "How would you like Friday night to yourself?" Matt is taking the kids camping tonight with his brother (and his kids). It is sure to be a fun time of laughing, hiking and smelling like outside. Since I opted out of the trip, my mind churned with thoughts of what I could/should do. I must admit, at first, I thought, I don't have anything to do! Gas is too expensive to drive to a good-shopping town (since our shopping is VERY limited). Any "deal" I'd find, my mind would rationalize and add the price of gas - cancelling out the good price. (weird, I know) Even if I did drive there, I don't really want to do all that by myself.

Then the morning came. Kids off to school. Teeth brushed. Lunches packed. Alone in the house. A quick look around as my morning cup of coffee warms my hand, what was I thinking? There is never a shortage of things to do!!! I'll re-clean the house, like I did yesterday and the day before and the day... My window box flowers from winter need to be changed. Hey, maybe I'll paint my den...or my bedroom! Organize! That's what I'll do. Man, we will all feel better if I can just get the whole house organized tonight! I'm tired already.

I'm going to be leading worship at Cliffside Baptist's Women's Conference in May. This will be a great opportunity to prepare further for that. I've been working on compiling a DVD of my speaking events for churches that request a sneak peek. That needs more work. The Blue Ridge Christian Writers' Conference is coming up May 18-22 and I need to focus on a book proposal (or two) to present. Ministry brochures have been requested by some churches that need to be prepared and mailed. Yikes! Suddenly, the one-night "to myself" doesn't seem so relaxing. Now I'm wondering if one night is enough!

The possibilities of busyness are unending. Never is there a lack of things to occupy us. But now, I am choosing the "better thing" to begin the day. I began reading Psalm again yesterday. As I pray this morning, I know God will weed out the list of "need to's" and "ought to's". And, just like that, the empty house, once desperate for direction, becomes a sanctuary with a purpose.

Lord, thank You for being the ultimate Refocus-er! It would be so easy to become overwhelmed with confusion. You are NOT the author of confusion - Satan is. I cling to You today for direction and know when this day is done, more than anything else, I've been in Your Will. You are my priority.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Car-Line Show-Off



But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

All across America, between two-thirty and three o'clock, moms in cars line up to retrieve their children from school. Based on continued observation, the "lead" cars and the "last" cars are usually the same. Have you noticed?

What makes the lady who is always at the front of the car-line motivated to get to the front of the car-line? Did she miss out on something as a child? Has her competitive nature taken a turn for the worst? Doesn’t she have anything else to do?
What does she do for so long?

Certainly I'm not the only one who has thought some of these thought about the lead car occupant. Consider this: What if that woman makes a daily appointment with her Heavenly Father? Nothing interferes with the appointed time of Bible study, reflection and prayer. While others have been questioning her motive for line-leadership, she has been making the better choice.
Mary and Martha had a similar dilemma. Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet while Martha busily rushed around preparing. Was Martha wrong in her busyness? Only when it contributed to her loss of focus. Mary chose the better thing: sitting at her Master’s feet.
Do you judge others with little facts about their current situation based on how they appear? Do you carve time for the “better thing” in your busyness? Maybe it’s time to show up early in car-line.

God, I know You made everything and You made me. I want to sit at Your feet and know more of you. Help me to make time to wait for you, even while I’m waiting for others.

Monday, April 21, 2008

For Such a Time as This

As the count-down for the release of the new CD continues, it is my nature to want to "do something" while I wait. Maybe I should call this person or e-mail that person to let them know just what is happening. But somewhere in the recesses of my mind swirl the lyrics to the last song God gave me. So many times I want to "help God out". Newsflash: He doesn't need my help. Every opportunity I've had, every person I've met, every place I've been - brought me to where I am now - both physically and spiritually. God is in control. He IS-so I don't have to be.
Quiet my hands
Quiet my soul
Quiet my mind to remind me
that You are in control
And I'll be still in Your Presence until
I know I'm in Your Will
You have brought me to this place...
For Such a Time as This.
Lord, help me be still until You say "move". Your timing is always perfect. Afterall, You have brought me to this place...for such a time as this.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Angels On the Way

Carol Kent at Edwards Road Baptist, April 14th




Me, Kimberly, Carol and Amy





Have you ever had a week (or month) when you were constantly questioning, "What day is it?" April 2008 qualifies as my answer. Man, what a month so far. A quick look to the right --> and you will see a few calendar dates that have kept me busy. Throw in a family reunion 3 hours away, studio time to finish up the CD project and the occasional FAMILY interaction...it's enough to run a chick ragged.


Even though God wants us to "be still", let me share how God shows up - even in the busyness. Monday was a crazy day. After taking the kids to school, I finished up some Forum (that's PTO for any other school) papers that needed to go home to 400 kids. By 9am I was on my way to Dallas, NC (one hour from my town) to meet with the background vocalists. 10am - 2pm...in the studio. 2pm, headed back to Forest City to pick up my mother-in-law because we were heading to Greenville, SC (hour + away) to meet with the ladies from Taylors First Baptist Church about a possibility of ministering before we went to hear Carol Kent speak at Edwards Road Baptist. As we were leaving the meeting place, I realized my car was making a terrible, Harley-type of sound (nothing against Harleys - it's just not a very appealing sound for a Ford Windstar!) As I pulled over into the next parking lot, it was clearly the tire. A flat. That was not on the schedule. Penny, my M.I.L., quickly accessed her AAA card and called for help. In the meanwhile, I began impressing her with my knowledge of where the spare tire was (it doesn't take much, apparently). As I was in the process of releasing the spare from underneath the car, a sweet-faced fella' approached us. I, in my southern-girl way, immediately started explaining what happened and what our position was. He only said, "No English". And without a word or compensation, he changed the tire in record time. We were on our way with renewed hope in mankind and chivalry.


We went to Sears to repair the tire - and were met by Amy, who was also going to see Carol Kent, to take us the rest of the way. Provision and perfect placement.


The night's events involving the car and getting back to NC were far from over. On a different day, at a different time, my mind and heart may have been flustered by the events of Monday. However, I realize my purposeful daily reading of God's word had softened my response and sharpened my acknowlegement of God's hand in this situation.


Carol Kent was wonderful and has a dynamic testimony. But my most inspiring "God moment" was the interaction of a mild-mannered, selfless stranger - whose only translatable language was kindness. God, thank You for angels in all packages.








Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's Almost Here!

Here's the first draft of my CD cover!!!! Yikes!
God is faithful.
Please be in prayer as we finish up. Monday (4/14) I will return to the studio for the addition of background vocals on all ten songs. I've been told that the BGV are like salt and pepper on your food...it may have been good before - but now it's better. The graphics are underway. Vocals will be finalized on Tuesday. Then the engineering begins: mixing, mastering and making it sound GREAT. By Friday next week (4/18), I will have the finished product in my little hands. This has been completely unbelievable.