Gratitude is the attitude for every day.
That is the message some area church leaders gave when asked for some Thanksgiving advice.
"We can have that belief and trust in God that gives us no opportunity to do anything but praise Him, because we know He is working those blessings in our lives," said Lani VanDusen, assistant pastor at Grace Bible Ministries in Harrisville.
She said one of the best ways to enter into a close relationship with God is through praise.
"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you," she said, quoting the King James version of 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
"There isn't anything we do that isn't God-given," VanDusen said. "In everything, we should give Him thanks back."
She also quoted in part Romans 8:28 in the King James Bible:
"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God."
"When it comes to thankfulness, we can make a choice," wrote Mark Gomez, senior pastor at Calvary Chapel Wasatch Front in Clearfield. "I encourage you to make a choice to be thankful. As you do this, your eyes will be opened once again to all of the good in your life."
He quoted the Apostle Paul in Colossians 4:2 (New American Standard version): "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving."
"We can, on purpose, turn our focus to the blessings in our lives," Gomez wrote in an email to the Standard-Examiner.
But Gomez warned not to ignore reality in such observance.
"Despite the hard realities of life, there remain many people and things in our lives that are worth being thankful for," he wrote.
Gomez said his gratitude is enhanced when he visits Third World countries doing mission work.
"Those trips have always caused me to renew my thankfulness as I return home," he wrote.
"To sleep in a bed, in a home that is safe, with running water, and access to food are such basic graces that we tend to take for granted."
Dr. Rick Minnich, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Ogden, said gratitude is the foundation for a happy life.
"If you are not grateful, then you really don't understand how much you have," he said. "Is the glass half full or half empty?"
Minnich said a person makes his or her life by their attitude toward it.
"If you look at the good things, you are going to find yourself constantly happy," he said.
Minnich said he has even found opportunity to be grateful for the difficult challenges he has faced in his life, including being shot one time, bad enough that he nearly died.
"I still don't like that I was shot," he said. "The way I grew from it made it an incident I would never have wanted to let go of at this point from the other side."
He said when people face challenges, they may realize those difficulties are part of the plan God has for them that will eventually yield some fruit.
"The worst things that have happened to me have turned out to be gifts that God has given me," he said. "It didn't look like it at the time."
Father Mario Giannopoulos, minister at the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Ogden, said he has had a lot of opportunities to realize his gratitude of late, as he has officiated at five funerals in three weeks.
"In general, we have to stop every day and think about not what we don't have but what we do have," he said, naming health, family and happiness specifically.
"In spite of any difficulties, there is always something to be grateful for."
Ron Tabor, who is the interim pastor at Grace Bible Ministries in Harrisville, said Psalm 106:1 (King James version) always comes to his mind when thinking of gratitude.
The verse reads: "Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."
"There is so much to unpack from that verse," he said.
"First is that God is good. His goodness is poured out among us."
Tabor also pointed to mercy enduring forever.
"In order for us to be grateful, we have to recognize that God is merciful to mankind," he said.
"Newspapers are filled with predominantly bad news. That is because man is fundamentally sinful. We are actually rebels against God by our nature."
But he said the ultimate manifestation of the goodness of God that causes people to be thankful is the Atonement.
"According to biblical Christianity, God himself became a man and he bore the sins of man," he said, "that we might be freed from sin and have eternal life as a free gift by a loving God through Jesus Christ."
Tabor said the response of a humble heart as opposed to an entitled heart is gratitude.
"Whether or not we give thanks is a result of our heart condition."
Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
OGDEN -- The community is invited to attend "Traditions of Gratitude," the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving celebration sponsored by Interfaith Works!
The event is set for 5 p.m. Sunday at Your Community Connection, 2261 Adams Ave. in Ogden.
Featured will be short presentations from members of many faiths who will discuss how gratitude is expressed in their respective traditions.