Monday, October 26, 2020

Family Day & Halloween

The movie Coco inspired me.  I already knew about the Day of the Dead (November 1) because I lived in South America for two years as a missionary.  It’s a day of family reunion, both living and dead, and remembering family.  It’s a time to think about family with a deeper perspective.  

If I had my druthers, I’d transform Halloween into more of a Family Day.  I wouldn’t lose the positive things I like about Halloween; I’d only place more emphasis on family history, family love, and (of course) family fun. Hey, let’s start a movement!

Speaking of fun, I have selected 10 Halloween-type movies that I think are appropriate for families with children (all G and PG rated).  Consider selecting one or more to watch with your family.

  • Coco         
  • Monsters, Inc.
  • From Time to Time (a family ghost story)
  • E.T.
  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • Spookley, the Square Pumpkin (only 47 minutes)
  • Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Goosebumps

The final two may be a bit questionable for some families.  Check Common Sense Media for a review.  

Do you have any movie suggestions you’d like to add?  And do you have any ideas for the next Family Day? 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Coping with Commotion

It’s been years since I’ve contributed to my blog.  I write today because I see difficult days ahead, and today’s message focuses on four dimensions of living—mind, heart, spirit, and body. 


These days, we tend to think of ourselves as African-American, White, Latino, Asian, Dallas Cowboys fan, consummate Bar-b-cue master, Republican, Democrat, Soccer Mom, ace Pickle Ball player, and so on.  Without discarding any of the positive ways we view ourselves, please consider a new, over-riding and primary identity.

You are a child of God.  Think about that a little.  Perhaps you’ve always known this.  If you are a child of God, then you can approach Him in prayer.  You can expand your perspective.  Your spiritual heritage also implies that there is a lot of goodness in you.  Thus, you can relate to others from that good heart of yours.


Speaking of heart, COVID time is family time and friendship time.  It’s an opportunity to strengthen our relationships with those we are closest to, those that we most love.  We may wish to reconcile with Aunt Alice or smooth over the contention with Brother Bob. 

In response to the current and future civil unrest, I’d like to quote Martin Luther King, Jr., who pointed out that “hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.... Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Let’s get tough with ourselves and turn to love.


For me, the epitome of living is being “alive in Christ” and relying on His love and grace to strengthen me in time of need. Regardless of your religion or spiritual path, turn to the principles of your God.  For me, those are found in the Bible and The Book of Mormon.  If you are not religious, seek for the good that you can find.  Often, you can find the silver lining in dark clouds and become a support to those in need.


I’m always saying to myself, Dave, get in better physical shape and eat right.  That’s sound advice for all of us.  Have a 72-hour supply of food, emergency items, and water.  Be wise with your credit cards.  Create a plan for possible tough times ahead, whether it’s ice storms, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, riots, or an overlong visit from relatives. 

God bless you and keep living!