Janet Roller - Living Oak Ministries

My photo
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, June 27, 2008

Deeper Still

Headin' down to Atlanta this weekend for "Deeper Still" with Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer and Kay Arthur. Whew. It ought to be great!!! Add a little Travis Cottrell and Mandisa...Mercy!
The Phillips Arena event is SOLD OUT. (Other than the drive to Atlanta) I am sooo excited about hearing what God has placed on these ladies hearts! Please be in prayer for them as they minister to all those women!
I'm taking notes and I'll let you know.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

He Gives the Vision

Several months ago I submitted an entry for a scholarship to the Blue Ridge Christian Writer's Conference at Ridgecrest Conference Center. I marked it on my calendar and prayed about it, not knowing how I would get there. The Cecil B. Murphey scholarship application was simple: in 50 words or less, tell why you would like to go to BWCWC. Here's what I wrote:

"Attending the Blue Ridge conference will equip me in ministering to others through the written word. Having written many devotions and a Christian children’s book about dealing with the death of a loved one, I am excited about learning the proper channels for publication. Thank you for the opportunity to be considered for this scholarship."

The conference was in late May. One month later, I have talked to a literary agent who feels this devotional is marketable. I am preparing a proposal to be considered by some of the top publishing houses in Christian writing. This, my friends, blows my mind.

God is so faithful. With the series of amazing encounters I have had over the past year, only God can be praised. No strategy on my part could have orchestrated such plans. My brain doesn't do strategy. God has the Master plan with every detail mapped out.

Now, even as I look back at the words I wrote to be considered for the scholarship...I see how God is faithful to give a vision and fulfill it. If this devotional book is picked up, I will be "ministering to others through the written word". Not just others, moms like me who need encouragement daily.

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

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Welcome to the World!

Papa Charlie (my Dad) with Baby Adam and Big Sister Maggie

I have a new nephew!!!


Adam River Powers
June 24, 2008

8lbs. 10oz.

Little Adam is finally here. Congratulations to John (my brother), Gina and big sister Maggie.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer Fun!

Sam! Lovin' that missing tooth!

Darby on the swing.

Best Buddies...today.

Oh, to be young again!
This is our first summer that really means "summer". Since they both are out of school now, we are enjoying the relaxed mornings and lazy afternoons. August will be here too soon and our 1st and 2nd graders will be off to school again.
But for now, we'll just play.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Godly.

Here we are in the last week of June. How did that happen so quickly? It's almost Christmas!

This past weekend I was in Hartsville, SC to emcee the Little Miss South Carolina pageant. The committee does such a great job organizing this program. Over $38,000 is given away in scholarship at the state competition. That's pretty impressive.

To top it all off for me, the organizers allowed me to do the "pre-show". During that time I shared a brief testimony and sang two of my songs, Come Join in the Choir and For Such a Time as This.

I was able to catch up with my sweet high school friend Meredith. To my great surprise, many of my fellow classmates now have blogs dedicated to their children. Sweet. Now I can check in on them more than once a year! Even though I have two little ones, it is still hard to believe my friends are moms and dads!

Today I checked e-mail to find a less-than-pleasant message from a pageant attendee. Apparently her contestant did not win...and she was not happy. "Shocked", actually. Because I had given my testimony and made my faith obvious, she decided to challenge my authenticity as a Christian. Obviously confused about scoring in some categories, basically she said if I call myself a Christian I shouldn't associate myself with a system that is not on the "up and up". Wow.

You know, even though she was completely misinformed and inappropriate in how she approached me, she did make me think. Christians have a responsibility - It's called a witness. If we claim to be part of God's family, we should act like it in word and deed. Where we go, what we say and who we hang out with says a lot about us!

Sometimes it's hard to take the "high road". My default reaction when I read her yucky message to me was to bow up like a cat and claw her back with my "oh no she didn't" attitude. But, that would not be representing my Heavenly Father very well, would it? So, in turn, I attempted to diffuse her frustration with kindness. Will she receive it? That's not my responsibility. My job is to do my part: respond in a Christ-like attitude above reproach.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What a Difference a Week Makes!

Well, we had a big time at the beach! We all survived and returned to our homes a little more toasted. I celebrated my 32nd birthday while away. Matt took me out to dinner and surprised me with tickets to Le Grande Cirque on our date-night. It was great to be able to just spend time with my sweet husband.

I love vacation. But I LOVE coming home.

After a week at the beach, our trip ended with a stop through my hometown of Hartsville, SC. For the past 6 years, I have emceed the Little Miss South Carolina pageants for two weekends in June. It was, as always, super-organized and well-done. I'll be back in Hartsville for the televised state finals on June 21!

When we got home LATE Saturday night, I couldn't believe my eyes. As the headlights cut through the dark driveway, our house, left empty for only a 9 days, was in desperate need of attention. The grass was overtaking the walkway, the ferns were brown, trash was all over the yard from our precious animals and the house was dark. Not very inviting. What a difference a week makes!

What must our spiritual house look like when we take our "vacation" from upkeep? A "break" from reading our Bible, or just spending time with God can lead to weeds where there should be fruit. Life's once-cleared pathway of what God would have for us does not seem so clear because other grassy things are making the lines of right and wrong blurred. Without the watering of the Word, our once healthy, growing spirit-life becomes dry, brittle and brown...just like those ferns!

Bringing my house back up to standard will take some work: Weed-eating, weed-pulling and grass-cutting is in my Monday-future. And that's okay...I love personal satisfaction of the yard work. After a good week of maintenance, we should be ready to do it all again next week.

How's your week been? Are your edges cleared or is there a bit of overgrowth? Clear it out today with a step into God's Garden of Grace. He will meet you there and you'll be growing toward the Son with His Care. Next Monday you will say, "Wow! What a difference a week makes!"

Friday, June 6, 2008

Ahh! Sweet Vacation

Today my family is heading down to North Myrtle Beach, SC for summer vacation! Matt's entire family continues the tradition of making our presence known the first week in June each year. Without-a-doubt, this is certainly an anticipated event by all 15 of us!

Somehow this year is different for me, though. I look forward to the beach's calming waves and warming atmosphere. My spirit needs a rest and inspiration. Don't get me wrong, the laundry and dishes are enough to inspire anyone! In fact, God has used the dishwasher to help me write a song (another day/another post). But now, I am looking for God to show up by the shore.

My kids are getting bigger and I am beginning to see the evidence of time passing too quickly. In just a few short years the small puddles of ocean water in low places of shore will no longer capture their attention.

So, until the day comes when little plastic pails aren't enough, I am cherishing these moments. This week, I will try to post but...if I don't, I'm probably sitting on the beach.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jobs V. Careers

Today I got one of those e-mails that spam missed. It was called "Jobs verses Careers". Take a peek at this clip - then I'll explain why it made the post.

"In this day and age, jobs tend to be confused with careers. An easy way to appreciate the difference is to understand that a job is what pays the bills and a career is what you’re passionate about.For many people they are not one and the same. So what can you do if you’re in a job but you want to be in a career?"

I just read Carol's post about being Jesus Next Door. Sometimes Christians can slip into the "job" mentality about serving Christ. No, it doesn't pay the bills...but it's also not what gets you up in the morning. Being a Christian is more than just "getting us through til the next crisis"... flippin' burgers to pay off our Visa. It should be a life-long commitment.

When we serve God as a "career" - we know we, and He, are in it for the long haul. With that level of commitment secured, we are ready to weather any storm knowing God is at the head of the ship. He's the boss who will never fire us. Never leave us. Provide for us. Love us.

So, what about you? Is your walk with God a "get me by" job...or a life-long career until we retire in our heavenly home?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Little Country Church

Tonight I had the opportunity to return to Smith Grove Baptist Church in Forest City, NC. After visiting with them a couple months ago, I was asked back to share songs from my new cd! What a treat!

Smith Grove is a self-described "little country church". With the large mega-churches and large congregations I've gotten used to attending, it is so refreshing to see a small group of people so invested in each other! Just like the church I grew up in, most of the people in the church are related. Members rarely miss a service. There's no program or "order of service" bulletin. Folks just sing out and sing loud. If you have a song, you just let the minister know the night of service. Their loving spirit is visible in their words and actions. They still have a "fellowship hall" not a "family life center". Sunday School is still Sunday School.

Smith Grove is without a pastor right now. Please join with me in prayer that God's Perfect Plan will be revealed to the search committee. Also, pray that the hearts of the church will be prepared to receive their new pastor.