570: What are you watching—and what are you reading—this time of year?

OK, it’s your turn. Email us with your “holiday favorites.” The majority of Americans are Christian, so most of “our” favorites are Christmas books, movies and TV specials. But your family might be Jewish and might have a Hanukkah “favorite” or a fond holiday related to a whole array of other year-end observances.
    Want to learn more about other holidays this time of year? Check out Stephanie Fenton’s “Spiritual Season” column.
    We know from Emails, Facebook messages and Tweets you’ve sent to our Home Office that millions of families haul out favorite videos and storybooks at this time of year. You love the memories and you enjoy sharing the stories. In fact, this is one of the main questions this week at the Bible Here and Now Web site, which is geared toward Christian youth groups.
    We’ve already published our “10 Best Bets for Holiday Shopping,” which includes one very Christmas-y book, Edward Lucie-Smith’s “The Glory of Angels.”

    We also just got word about a new picture book From Davy Liu, the illustrator and animator whose past accomplishments include work on Disney’s “Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Among other projects, these days, Davy produces beautiful evangelical Christian picture books for children.
    We’ve earlier recommended his books, “The Giant Leaf” and “Fire Fish.” Now, he’s back with “Jordan’s Guest,” which is an animal-eye view of Jesus life from Nativity through death and resurrection. Jordan is a donkey with a self-esteem problem. But, if you’re familiar with the gospel narratives, you know that donkeys play a key role both in the Christmas story and in Jesus’ later life.
    The story is solid. The images are gorgeous—and perfect for kids raised with an eye for the kinds of scenes depicted in animated movies. I showed the book to a few kids this past weekend and they eagerly flipped through the images.
    The theological message may float above the heads of the youngest readers—but they’ll catch the earthy core of the story that great events sprang from humble origins.
    Liu’s big line in the book is:
    “Small purpose. Big destiny.”

    In other words, our individual ability to change the world may seem pretty small—but if we fulfill our calling each day—we can play a role in big spiritual transformations.
    Click Here to order a copy of “Jordan’s Guest” from Amazon. NOTE: The Amazon page may say “temporarily out of stock,” but we checked with Liu’s studo this week and the stock of books is continually being renewed. So, it’s fine to go ahead and order the book.

    But tell us about the “favorites” you’re hauling out this year—or new “favorites” you’re just encountering. We want to share your thoughts with our readers. Email us at [email protected] anytime.


    This is a good time to sign up for our Monday-morning ReadTheSpirit Planner by Emailit’s
free and you can cancel it any time you’d like to do so. The Planner
goes out each week to readers who want more of an “inside track” on
what we’re seeing on the horizon, plus it’s got a popular “holidays”

    Not only do we welcome your notes—but our readers enjoy them as well. You can do this
anytime by clicking on the “Comment” links at the end of each story.
You also can Email ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm. We’re also reachable on Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, YouTube and other social-networking sites as well.
    (Originally published at https://readthespirit.com/)

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