Here's a quickie for the hard core addicts who freak when I'm off-line for long.
Read "The Gingerbread Man" to my students today. I had never paid attention to the stages of the poor cookie's demise. He's escaping danger, comes to a river and takes the easy way across - the fox. Could have run downstream till he found a bridge, hidden from the crowd following him, begged for mercy, climbed a tree ...but no.... he took the first solution available. He started out on the fox's tail - far away from the mouth. Just a tiny flirt with danger. Then afraid of getting wet, he moves to the fox's back. Then to the fox's head, then SNAP - right into the fox's mouth. Yummy! I also noticed that every step of the way, the fox coaxed him with false assurances of safety.
For me, this is typically how sin begins...I'm just riding on the tail....I usually know that it's a bad choice, but I fully plan to escape before I get consumed. But temptation is a tricky fox...it coaxes you into one small step at a time until you suddenly realize that you are in way over your head. This is why God warns us so often about avoiding temptation.
The easiest way to keep from getting eaten is to stay away from the fox.