Books,  Celebrate Lit

The Essence of Joy by Lynn U. Watson

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About the Book

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Book Title: The Essence of Joy

Author: Lynn U. Watson

Release Date: October 12, 2017

Genre: Women’s Devotional; Women’s Inspiration; Christmas/Advent Devotional

It’s Christmas in March!

The scents of Christmas invite our imaginations into the holiday season. What emotions flood your heart when the holiday aromas waft your way?

Did you know:

  • Many favorite holiday scents like cinnamon, citrus, and cinnamon are found in the Bible?
  • There is a rich heart connection attached to many of the plant essences found in Scripture?
  • Myrrh is such an important essence, we can follow its trail from Genesis to Revelation with many significant stops along the way?
  • Women of the Bible have personal encounters with God bringing aromas of His love and joy into their lives?
  • Palm branches are an important part of Biblical celebrations beginning in Genesis and ending in the ultimate beach party around the Crystal Sea? (Christmas at the beach, anyone?)

In The Essence of Joy you’ll meet women of the Bible and contemporary women like you and me who will encourage you to discover the refreshing essence of a life lived in the presence of Jesus. Let JOY fill your heart with the aromas of His nativity.

Watch the book trailer here!

MY THOUGHTS

I love Christmas.  I love cheesy Christmas movies and good Christmas movies.  I love Christmas food and Christmas decorations and Christmas carols.  When I saw the opportunity to review a book about Christmas joy, I jumped on it.

To start, The Essence of Joy is cute.  It’s a light read and has some nice ideas for thinking about Jesus and helping a bit to center Christmas around Him.  The book has some nice tips and history.  It does preface that some things being said are stretched a little to fit, so I was forewarned.

I couldn’t finish it and gave it 3 stars.  I have to admit any book that is supposed to be specifically teaching about God, Jesus, the Bible, living a Christian life, I hold to a much higher standard than any fiction I read.  I expect there to be some sense of respect and honor of God and His Holiness.  Calling congregating at the Crystal sea by the throne of God at the end of time a big holy beach party, kind of just put me off, considering how all the people and angels are falling on their faces in the presence of Our Holy God on His throne.  Making an assumption about why Jesus rejected the wine and myrrh, instead of finding out why, trivialized his action.  Jesus did not want to be numb to His Father’s wrath on the cross, because He knew His mission was to bear, with full impact, all the sins of those who would follow Him, on that horrible cross.

The writing for the most part is a bit disjointed and hard to grasp the flow.  I understand the format, which I am fine with. But when there is story-telling, it’s difficult to follow.  Each person has the same personality, the same way of talking, so it’s hard to know who is talking.

For those who expect the Christian books they read to use Bible translations instead of paraphrases, I warn you, this book has portions from The Message (which is a paraphrase, NOT a translation).  Personally, I have little tolerance for it, because it degrades God’s Holy Word into modern day drivel, removing the awe and dignity that is due, even changing the meaning of many verses, especially those that could be considered convicting.

DISCLAIMER:  I received this book as a gift.  No compensation was received.  The opinions I express are provided without obligation.

Click here to purchase the book.

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About the Author

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Lynn Watson combines many years’ experience in women’s ministry, love of essential oils, and her passion for God’s word to bring her readers freshly inspired encouragement for their walk with Jesus. Her devotional, The Essence of Courage, was recognized as a ‘must read’ by regional publishing industry leaders. Married since 1973, Lynn and Steve have filled their Bartlett, Tennessee home with handmade treasures and lots of love for family, especially their five beautiful (of course) grandchildren. Aromas of freshly baked bread often fill Lynn’s kitchen. Jasmine, her tuxedo kitty, enjoys sleeping in Lynn’s lap while she writes.

Guest Post from Lynn Watson

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A walk down memory lane on a snowy day (today) transported my thoughts to a Christmas shop our children and I visited every year. Open only for the holiday season, rich aromas reached out and drew you into this wonderland. The owners filled the space with unique treasures. A few we chose years ago remain prized member of my Christmas favorites close to four decades later.

My debut encounter with essential oils came many years later. I loved their aromas (including many of those Christmas scents) and studied their aromatic influences and potential benefits. Bible verses jumped to life in new ways. God created all plants and inspired the Biblical authors to include many. The desire to share my discoveries burned in my heart, until God finally released me to publish The Essence of Courage in December 2016. Before I completed the devotional based on Solomon’s locked garden in Song of Solomon 4:12-15, God reminded me just how many aromas and tastes of the Christmas season are found in the pages of His word, too.

Cinnamon, cedarwood, mint, citrus, myrrh, frankincense, rose, and figs are found in the pages of Scripture. So, are palms. They may not appear Christmasy unless you favor a tropical holiday, but they are an integral part of celebration in the Bible. The Essence of Joy offers discoveries of connections of all this plant life to Jesus’ nativity.

Looking back a dozen years to my first not-quite-inspired imaginings of a devotional book with aromatic offerings, I’m grateful God chose different timing. He presented me an unusual format for the collection. — one of those things easier experienced than explained. Contemporary women’s very real stories (fictionalized and often combined to create anonymity), stories from very real women living on the pages of Scripture, and a focused look at the botanical and its aromas, flavors, and essences as found in the Bible, are topped off with icing on the cake: ‘Fun Facts” and ‘Your Turn’ to invite the reader to more than read – to participate.

In The Essence of Joy you’ll encounter Scriptures in ways you had not considered before. Your faith will be enriched and stretched as you relate to the ancient women of the Bible and those that may be your next door neighbor today. You’ll be encouraged to breathe in the aromas of Jesus’ nativity, sample goodies from The Coffee Cottage’s specials of the day, and tune in to musical selections welcoming you into a posture of worship. I’m praying you are filled with His joy!

NOTE: Cinnamah-Brosia, the owner of The Coffee Cottage in the fictional stories asks readers at the very beginning of the book to be sure to read the introductory material. It helps set the stage for the book’s character and personality.

Blog Stops

Multifarious, March 3

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A Baker’s Perspective, March 5

Blossoms and Blessings, March 6

Mary Hake, March 6

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Texas Book-aholic, March 8

Seasons of Opportunities, March 9

Reading is my Super Power, March 9 (Interview)

Bibliophile Reviews, March 10

A Greater Yes, March 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 11

Janices book reviews, March 12

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 12

Pursuing Stacie, March 13

Aryn the Libraryan, March 14

Simple Harvest Reads, March 15 (Guest post from Mindy)

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Pause for Tales, March 16

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Lynn is giving away a grand prize of a “Choose Joy” hand made necklace, a “Cups of Joy” (adult coloring book) + set of 24 prismacolor colored pencils, a “Choose Joy Today” stamped silver-plated teaspoon,
flower Seeds, raspberry tea (it’s in the Cinnamah-Brosia story in the “Mint/Giving” section), a “Choose Joy” tote bag, and a signed copy of “The Essence of Joy”!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca47

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