All i want for Christmas are my two front teeth

Last night i bit into something and immediately i had the sensation that something had gotten wedged up in between my two front teeth. You know what i mean. The sensation that there is something there, applying pressure to both teeth. Well, i went and got some floss but it kept shredding. So i get a third piece a look in the mirror to see what it's getting caught on. Imagine my dismay when i see a crack appear in one my two front teeth as pressure is applied backwards to get the floss down in between! Fortunately neither tooth is 'original equipment'. When i was thirteen i was running and missed a step (no wise cracks ;) ), landed squarely on my chin and took of the better part off of both teeth. They were replaced by something pretty hard, but the dentist at the time had said they would have to be replaced when i was eighteen. Fast forward to May of this year and whatever the material was, was finally starting to give out and they both had to be replaced. Not fun, but we have a pretty good dentist who we've been using since '92. Now, one of them has to be replaced already. :( Such is life. :) I am just glad i am not in a lot of pain. Lately i have been 'chewing on' Mark 4 : 14-23:
And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” [5] And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” [6] (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (ESV)
I know this verse speaks in the context of food, but i have been thinking about this in terms of our other four senses. This is probably not something i can put together in a cohesive thought in written form, but here is my attempt. Basically i am going to concentrate on sight and sound as smell and touch often incorporate at least one of the other four. We live in a world, at least here in the United Sates, where carnal things assault our senses every day. It is a common notion that "sex sells". Now, is sex bad? Context, context, context. Sex with one's spouse is not bad, but outside of that - bad (i.e. a sin). Jesus was pretty specific, "I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:28, ESV). Does that mean you can never look at a woman? No, it means you need to guard your heart about how you "digest" such a sight. It irritates me when i hear "that's the way God made me". Horseradish! That's the way sin has corrupted you! What about the things you listen to? Gossip, music, slander... None of these actually cause you to sin, but how do you deal with such things? Do you put in your own little quip? Or do you excuse yourself from the conversation? What about music? There are a ton of lyrics out there with suggestive content. Guarding our hearts has to be a full time occupation. It is impossible to fully shield ourselves from such input all of the time. We can make good choices to limit exposure, but unless you live in a hole somewhere, it comes at you. I've heard CJ Mahaney say on several occasion, "we need to talk to ourselves, not listen to ourselves". When we take a passive role in guarding and monitoring our heart outside influences wear down your heart. Sooner or later those influences move in and take hold. I was once a TOW gunner. The T.O.W. missile is still in use by the United States military as a viable anti-tank weapon. It replaced the Recoilless Rifle as the primary infantryman's defense against tanks. Why? Because a bullet in flight, even one as big that can be affected by outside influences like wind, but the T.O.W. is wire guided. It takes commands from the controller and actually makes mid-flight adjustments to make sure it stays on target. We need to be the same way in our walk with the Lord. Verse for today: Proverbs 4 : 23-27, ESV Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder [3] the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

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