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Summary: You only go around once in life, so you've got to grab for all the gusto you can." Some of you may remember that television commercial. But, what exactly is gusto?

For those not familiar with an Anglican Service; there are four Scripture Readings before the Sermon. The Scripture Readings for this day were: Proverbs 31:10-31; Psalm 1:1-6; James 3:13-4:8 and Mark 9:30-37.

You only go around once in life, .....so you've got to grab .....for all the gusto you can."

Some of you may remember that television commercial.

But, what exactly ......is gusto?

Webster defines it as ....."Hearty or Keen enjoyment."

And according to that commercial,..... you gain it .....by drinking a certain brand of beer..... Schlitz!

I don't know about that, ..... but the question that commercial raises .....is important.

As human beings, ....we are all .....looking for gusto.

But where do we find .....this elusive..... gusto?

What road do we take ....to arrive ......at gusto?

The psalmist begins by telling us...... that there is a road to avoid ....when seeking happiness ..... when seeking..... gusto.

The road to avoid is .....ungodly counsel ..... that is ....counsel...... with the wicked.

"If you want to go to Greensburg (Blairsville) from here,..... You do not turn left on Route 30 (Route 219 North).

That road will get you to Somerset (Indiana), .....But not to Greensburg (Blairsville)."

The Psalmist is clear .... crystal clear,.... "If you want to find true happiness ....if you want to find true joy .... if you want to find gusto, ....do not go the way ......of the ungodly.

Do not seek counsel .....with the wicked."

Do not seek council ......with the unrighteous.

So, ...where then do we find gusto ....where do we find ......true happiness?

Well, a good place to begin...... is God's Word.

Psalm 1 begins, BIBLE "Happy .... Blessed are they ....who have not walked ....in the counsel of the wicked ....nor lingered ....in the way of sinners ....nor sat ...in the seat.... of the scornful." END

"Blessed" ....is often translated.... happy ....in the scriptures.

Blessed are the pure in heart ..... happy are the pure in heart.

Here the psalmist says, .....Happy is the person who does not walk with the wicked, ..... who does not stand ....nor linger with the sinners, ..... who does not sit .....with the scornful.

Happiness ....has more to do with..... what we are .... than who we are.... or what we have.

Happiness at one time was,... "a chicken in every pot" .....then it was ....a "car in every garage."

Too often ..... we look in the wrong places ....for happiness.

Too often... we expect ....a fairy tale ending.

If you turn to the last chapter in the book of Cinderella.

The last verse reads..."and they lived happily ever after."

If you turn to the last chapter in the book of Sleeping Beauty.

The last verse reads..."and they lived happily ever after."

Finally, ....if you turn to the last chapter..... in the book of Snow White.

The last verse reads...... "and they lived happily ever after."

We all ....long for ....the fairy tale ending.

We have yearned for it .....since our childhood. (Pause)

We want to be able to live ..."happily ever after".

We desire happiness, .....we long for it, ....we search for it, ...we want it in our lives.

Our search for the fairy tale ....will often cause us ...to seek happiness ...from sources.... other than God.

In fact, ....sometimes our search ....actually leads us .....away from God ...to a place of... sinfulness.

A place where God ...is no longer ....at the center ....of our life

Our Lord has been replaced.... by another person, ....possession, ....pleasure or.....ideology.

This leading away .....is typically ....a very subtle thing ....but if we continue to stray ...over time ....we feel ourselves ....falling into ......the happiness trap.

If you seek happiness ....as an end in itself ....you will never find it; .... it will always ....escape you.

It is like catching a soap bubble ..... you think you have it, ... then it bursts ....and it is gone ....and there is .....nothing left. (Pause)

The Scriptures are not confusing.... They are very clear:

Happy is the person ....who does not walk with the wicked, ..... who does not stand nor linger with the sinners, .... who does not sit ....with the scornful.

One form of happiness ....and a tremendous blessing to many.....is having children....or grandchildren.

And one of the great things in having little ones around us .... is to remind us .... of the growth process.

Most of you will remember ....when your children (or your grandchildren) ....were able ....to sit up.

At first ...we watch their attempts ....to stay upright ....without slumping over.

Then we get excited ...when they learn to crawl ....and pull themselves up ..... to stand.

Then they start walking... by holding our hands ....or supporting themselves ...by holding on ....to the furniture.

Then it isn't long ...until they start walking on their own.

That is how growth .....progresses.

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