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The past 2 school years I subbed in 23 of Broken Arrow’s 25 public schools- elementary to middle school to high school. I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure of it all. The students were fascinating to me and I studied them like a textbook. I did write down some of the little to big experiences I had upon being in the schools with these charming little… students. Some of the tales I will relate are cute and some are on the more serious side. These tales are of our students today; this generation for which we are courageously responsible.

September ’10     Elementary School

As I was assigned to indoor recess duty for a Kindergarten class, a group of boys were sitting around a round table talking (which is quite humorous in itself) when they began asking me questions. Questions like, “Guess my first name.” And “Guess my last name”. I was truly trying to guess, then just for fun I threw out the name “Obama”. One little 5 year old boy replied excitedly, “That’s my grandma’s new president!”


October ’10     Elementary School

During large group circle time in a Kindergarten class, I was needing to know a particular boy’s name so that I could tell him something I needed him to do. (That is one of the hardest things about subbing…not knowing the students’ names!) So I asked the boy what his name is. The boy said “Josh”. The boy next to him said, “His name is always Josh”.


October  ’10     Middle School

I had a two day job assignment in American History in the same classroom. On the second day one girl told me I looked familiar. Then her friend responds, “Well she was our sub yesterday!”


October ’10     Middle School

The students in the classroom were working on an assignment in partners. I walked around the room overseeing their work. Two girls who were partners were working really well, then out of the blue I overheard one girl ask the other, “Are you going to save your first kiss until you get married?” The girl being asked looked down at her book, shrugged her shoulders, and said,”I don’t know”. Apparently, the girl had already given away her first kiss. Then the girls continued on with their assignment.


April ’11      Middle School

I was in a small LD English class when one of the boys told me he had heart problems. “Yeah”, he told me, “my head and my brain are not on the same page.” I asked him who had told him that. He said, “My heart doctor. I think they are called cardiologists”. I pronounced the word correctly to him and he agreed. Then he found a book and pointed to a page and said “that is my heart”. Then he pointed to another page and said “that is my brain”.


May ’11     Elementary School

I took my designated second grade class to music for our “specials” time. We had to wait our turn into the music class so we waited in the hall. The hall was especially noisy- teachers were talking and another class was lined up down the hall for their “specials” time. As I stood monitoring my class as they were not quiet or still themselves, one little boy blatantly told me “I’m going to kill myself”. Yes, unfortunately, I had heard right. It was such a shocking statement from a 2nd grader. I was totally taken aback. I immediately told him that he is such a cute little boy and that he is needed and has a purpose here. I told him he has a goal to find out what his purpose is. He said that he was needed and that his “place is at the bottom of the ocean”.


September ’11     Elementary School

I had recess duty after the students lunch time. I was tired of standing all morning,so I found a bench within the playground and watched the students. One of my “favorite” students (a 1st grader) saw me and joined me on the bench. She sat and visited with me for quite some time. We talked about her summer and her family vacation to Florida and how she got stung by a jelly fish. We talked about her cute blond, curly hair. She told me her parents are both teachers. Then she said she wanted to go do the monkey bars. And she skipped away.


These are just a few of my substitute experiences. I will share more later.

So much to learn from our children…so much to teach them.

Every once in a while my spiritual eyes will reveal something to me I wasn’t necessarily looking for. Other times, I am deliberate about asking God to show me something in particular with my spiritual eyes concerning a person or circumstance so that I can get a glimpse of what is going on in the heavenly realm and not just the natural or what is obvious to the natural man’s eyes. Seeing with my spiritual eyes is tapping into the supernatural…it is seeing with God’s spirit within me.

So…as I was subbing in a 5th grade class the last week of school, the teacher left a movie for us to watch. It was one I hadn’t seen before or even heard of. The movie was Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. (You can watch a trailer for it by clicking on the the hyperlink if you haven’t seen it.) Basically the movie is about a magical toy store where the toys/books come to life. Natalie Portman is the main character who inherits the store and through the character played by Jason Bateman saves the store from financial ruin. I’m not into magic, so I didn’t really like the movie although it is clean and entertaining. It is not one I would own. Personally, I believe anything magical is a counterfeit of Satan. You may say that is a little extreme and what’s so wrong with a  little childish make believe. Magical is more than a child’s imagination. To me, it involves mystery and wonder and powers. If something is magical and cannot be explained especially to a child to understand, I am not for that. I would rather spend my time pointing a child to the mystery, wonder, and powers of God Almighty as opposed to some unseen force! Never would I ever associate magical with God or even faith in God. God is supernatural as well as our faith in Him; it is of His Holy Spirit who is a person of the trinity.

Anyway…as I was watching the movie, my spiritual eyes saw something. I will try to explain. In a scene, a customer in the toy store is looking for a fire truck for her grandson, and she asks the store manager (Natalie Portman) where she can find the fire truck. The store manager then gets out an enormous book and begins to think out loud whether she wants to look in the big book under “E” for engine or “F” for fire truck. She runs her fingers along the side of the book and asks the book for a fire truck. When she opens the book smoke comes out, and on top of the pages out pops the fire truck her grandson wanted. Customer asks, “How did you do that?” Store manager replies, “I didn’t do anything. The book is magic.”  After I watched the scene unfold, my spirit within me was awakened and I saw on screen exactly the way I feel about the Bible. Actually, it isn’t just the way I “feel”…it is what the Bible is…alive, real, and relevant for today. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

I want to be like the store manager in the movie. Through the teaching of God’s Word, I want to reveal the wonders, the mysteries, and the power of God and His holy Word to others. Just like she replied that it wasn’t her…so I too know it isn’t me, but the power of God Himself speaking truth into one’s soul and spirit. I am just the vessel. The stories in the Old Testament are so far from boring and are not so familiar that they lose its power or mystery. Can’t you just see the stories come to life as you turn the pages of the Bible. You could see Noah’s ark surviving the rain and preserving those in it, Moses turning the river into blood, God writing on the tablets of stone, Jericho walls falling, David playing the harp, Naomi meeting Boaz for the first time, Nehemiah with calvary on his way to help the Jews in Jerusalem, Jonah being ejected from a big fish, and the list could go on and on!

God has so graciously given us the Holy Spirit who reveals the mysteries of God. As you and I spend time alone with God reading His Word, may it come alive and minister to you and me! Pray as David did, “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.”

Hey! I just want to update you on what is happening currently in my life. Not that a lot is going on, I just thought instead of writing a devotional of sorts, I would let you in on where I am on this journey of life. In fact, as I think about it, I’m not sure that I have ever written something about me. Yes, I’ve written my thoughts and a few achievements, but I don’t think much else. Maybe I should write more than what is happening as of Feb.’11.  Nah…I think I will stick to the current.

The Lord has opened the door for me to be a substitute teacher for Broken Arrow Public Schools as well as Summit Christian Academy. I began the school year subbing and have subbed everyday since. I never really saw myself back in the classroom or gym (as I have my P.E. certification), but amazingly I like it. I had envisioned the classroom full of students completely draining me and me not having the skills to maintain an orderly classroom. As both of those are still true, what I hadn’t imagined was the energy and confidence I have gained from the students. They inspire me, make me laugh, make me appreciate my own children, teach me, and give me hope. Since I have enjoyed the classroom so much more than I anticipated, I am currently studying to pass the English certification test coming up in April. This will give me the opportunity to be qualified for more than just a P.E. position in the public or private schools.

Randall House Publishers will be releasing my second Bible study, Back From Captivity, early next month. This study is for men & women college age and older. It is about rebuilding your identity in Christ. I look forward to its release and believe the Lord has ordained it for prodigals who have recently made the journey back to their Heavenly Father. My hopes is that it will be a tool for counselors to use in their counseling sessions.

I would love to write a third book as the Lord leads. My subject I would love to write on is beauty. But, for whatever reason, I am not moved to sit and write the book just yet. Actually, I haven’t moved on from my research from Back From Captivity which concentrated on the book of Jeremiah. I am going back through Jeremiah and reading/studying it in its chronological order and not in the order it is as we see it in the Bible.  The history of the book is truly fascinating. Then, the fact that it relates to God’s people even now, is even more fascinating. Just this morning, I read Jer.6:15, “Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.” I always hate it when speakers/preachers tell us statistics and realities of the church as it relates to how the church looks like the world. I pray I be one to shine God’s light amidst the darkness and not conform to it.

My girls are doing fabulous. Growing so pretty everyday. We are about to begin a new soccer season where I will be spending my evenings as their chauffeur and juggling to get a nutritious meal on the table. As I write this, it is hard to imagine anyone playing soccer in Broken Arrow. Two days ago we got a record breaking 15 inches of snow! And it is all still on the ground as the high for the past 2 days has been 18 degrees. We have had a lot of family time since the snow and don’t really see an end to it as of yet. 

I do, however, see an end to this post! I will leave you with the truth of God’s Word as it has come alive to me as I gaze out my window onto the massive amounts of snow everywhere. “‘Come now, let us reason together’, says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'” Isaiah 1:18.

Jennifer Johnson

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"To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen." -Revelations 1:5b-6

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