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By: Lee De Groot 








***Have each High Schooler and Leader collect their change in a jar for a couple of weeks. Count each individual amount, then add the total sum. See how a 'little change' can add up! OPTION:At the end of the lesson: bring vending machine items they can “buy” with their small change (CANDY BARS, SKITTLES, REESE'S PIECES, POP) or order Pizza with the added change.

BIBLE VERSES: Romans 12:2
 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 
 2 Corinthians 5:17
 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come
READ THIS STORY: It was a hot day and I was 4 hours into an 8 hour shift at work. The economy was bad and I was broke. My spirit was also broke. As I walked past the vending machines I couldn't help myself look at the picture of the ice cold Coke on the front of one of the machines. A cold Coke would be the perfect reward for my hard work, but my pockets were empty. My stomach was empty too and I caught myself singing in my head "A Snickers would satisfy me." But I was broke. I looked down in discussed at the situation I was in. It was at that moment that I noticed that there were little, red pennies scattered on the ground. Some were shiny and bright and others were more used and dull just blending in with the surface around them. I continued on and noticed more little unwanted, discarded pennies by the next machine. As bad as my situation was financially I still had pride... I looked around to see if I was alone. I wouldn't want anyone to see what I was about to do. I backed up and looked around again, I bent over, picked up that unwanted change that others had thrown aside and gently one by one pushed the little coins to the bottom of my jean pocket. Once I got home I put the pennies in a jar. Day after day, week after week, little by little I collected the change. As the days went by I noticed three things... 1. I noticed that my jar was beginning to fill up with a lot of change and the little daily change was adding up to a larger sum and it was making a difference. 2. I noticed that the little discarded, unwanted, pennies would show up when I was really "down and out".  3.I noticed that if I looked closely at each penny I could read 4 very reassuring words "In God We Trust".  My lessons learned were now when I walk past a vending machine I pick up the "change" knowing that God is reminding me right at that moment that I can trust in Him. Also, I have learned that "Little Changes" can and do add up and make a difference in time. 
BIBLE VERSES: Galatians 5:19-24 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry , sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self - control; against such things there is no law. 
WHICH LIFE IS CLOSEST TO YOUR LIFE: Encourage everyone to pick life that closest resembles you.

1. Everyone in my family is a Christian. Our church, school, and family life are based on the Lord. My personal faith life is strengthened through prayer and devotions. I have great friends; we hold each other accountable for all our choices. I feel my walk with the Lord is strong and sure. I love the Lord and am passionate about His word. I just don't understand why others do not get it. 
2. I am being raised in a Christian home, by Christian parents. I go to a Christian School. I attend Church every Sunday twice! I do devotions with my parents at every evening meal. I pray when I have troubles to deal with in my life. I thank God for my accomplishments. And we do not let others know when we mess up. I'm really busy so I do not have a lot of time for personal devotions and prayer. From all out ward appearances I look pretty good.  
3. My parents are doing their best. We go to church as often as possible, but we are tired most weekends. We are very busy with things outside the house and most of our friends are busy too. We live a fast pace life and therefore do not think or pray before making choices. We do not always make wise choices when it comes to entertainment, but it is fun! I guess you could say, our motto is, we will change when we are older and living a slower pace life. After all, all my friends are doing it! 
Growing up some of us do devotions with our family and some of us even do personal devotions. Many of us are devoted to the Lord and our walk with Him is strong and sure, but there are still things that need changing, especially our attitude towards others. There are some of us who are just going through the motions and are concerned with what others are seeing in us or thinking of us. These individuals look good from all out ward appearances, but inside we are struggling and not growing because of secret obstacles. Others of us would rather live the "fast pace" life that at the time seems "fun" and yet we are going nowhere. These individuals seem not to care what others think or what they see in us. No matter where you are in your walk there are changes that need to happen. For all individuals... Little changes/challenges can add up over time to make a huge change/ difference in our life.  
TIME TO THINK: Most of us when ask if we are a Christian we will say "Yes" without hesitation. BUT, does this sound familiar? I listen to music with bad lyrics and actually know the words by memory. I occasionally, party on the weekends. I have cheated on school work. I disrespect my parents and teachers-once in awhile. My language is far from 'Christian' around my friends and I talk bad about the opposite sex. I bully or do not stand up for those being bullied. I have tremendous road rage. I swear. I think down on people of different races. I put down those who are too skinny, to fat, who struggle in school, who are poor, who dress different. I talk about those who drink, who do drugs, and who have sex. I talk about those who are goody goodies. I binge and purge before big events just to feel thin. In private, I go to websites that I wouldn't go to if others were in the room. I watch movies that are not helping me keep my mind pure. I cut. I do things to make myself feel good. I do good things just so people think I'm good. I think about sex all the time. I have sex. My mind is full of sexual images I have seen in the past. I put others down to build myself up. I gossip. I lie. I steal. I do not use my time wisely. I am constantly pushing the limit and stepping over the imaginary line between right and wrong. 
ACTIVITY: Obstacle and Changes 
SUPPLIES: paper and ink pens or pencils 
Hand out sheets of paper and have each of the members write down where they think they are in need of “change”. Take time and read over the list above or below (adding any other obstacles to the list that you can think of) as each individual is writing. Leaders make sure you too are writing so the students know that obstacles and growth happen at every stage of life. Hang on to the obstacle papers till the end of the lesson for the final activity. 

1. Drinking

2. Choice of music

3. Eating habits-binge, purge, not eating, over exercising

4. Language

5. Body Mutilation-cutting, street fights

6. Disrespect of Parents, Teachers, Boss

7. Lack of prayer life

8. Slacking on School work

9. Slacking on the Job

10. Sexual activity-mind, body, soul

11. Porn at any level-even the rated "R" movies

12. Bullying

13. Gossip-locker room talk

14. Technology addictions or over use

15. Judging others for their choices

16. What is standing in our way?  

1. This week-end even if you go to the party say "No" to drinking. The challenge is to do this for 21 Friday/ Saturday nights.

2. Change your car/truck radio station. Switch from Country, Rock, Oldies...whatever, to Life 96.5 or any other Christian station for 21 days.

3. Do not purge for 21 days.

4. Do not swear for 21 days.

5. Do not cut for 21 days.

6. Show respect to your parents for 21 days.

7. Pray on your way to school, work, or extra activity for 21 days.

8. Do your home work for 21 days.

9. Do devotions for 21 days. If you don't know where to start, try James.

10. Do not have sex (USE THE BIBLE'S DEFINITION) for 21 days.

11. Do not cave in to the temptation of porn for 21 days.

12. Try to be kind to the unwanted kid in your class (just like the unwanted penny). Just say "Hi".

13. Do not talk "DOWN" about any one for 21 days.

14. Use your free time to serve others for 21 days...small things like... opening doors for handicap/elderly, clearing your McD's table before leaving.

15. Start slow and make a difference one little change at a time! 
BIBLE VERSES: James 1:2-4  Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be matu re and complete, not lacking anything.
The Message James 1:2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith - life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well - developed, not deficient in any wa y.  
Why 21 days? Researchers say it takes 21 days to makes a habit or to break a habit. That got me thinking...Why 21? Why not 23, 25, or 27? This is what I came up with...21 is dividable by 7 (God's perfect number). 21 is dividable by 7 = 3 times, which is like the trinity. the power of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit lives can be “changed” “little change” at a time. “Little changes” add up to big changes!!! Pray to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to help you face these challenges head on. If you find it working to change one little thing in your life and after 21 days it is still ok to have this change then try to add another change for 21 days and then after that change try another and another until you are mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. “Little Change” Adds Up! 
ACTIVITY: Obstacle Shredding 
SUPPLIES: paper shredder, sharpies, smooth river stones, Have each student come forward and have them shred their obstacle paper in a paper shredder. The shredded paper symbolizes the forgiveness we receive through Jesus Christ.  As the youth walks by hand them each a small smooth river rock. Have them each draw a cross on their rock with a sharpie and initial it. This rock will be a reminder of the obstacle that we are fighting. Encourage them to place “the Rock' by their computer, in their locker, on the dash of their car, in their purse, in their Bible case, or in their pocket. Together pray:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we come to you to ask that you be our Rock. Please, give each of us strength to face this 21 day challenge head on. Help us to make this “little change” so that it becomes a permanent change in our lives. Thank You Lord! Amen