Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Permission To Speak Freely: Book Review

In May 2008, Anne Jackson asked a question on her blog, “What is one thing you feel you can’t say in church?” 

Hundreds responded. Everyone had a story.

Permission to Speak Freely is the unique new project and movement of author Anne Jackson, who is finished with keeping brokenness in the dark. Bringing to light the original intent of God’s sanctuary as a place of help and healing, Anne reveals that through confession, both to God and to others, we can live lives that are whole and healed.

Told with disarming transparency, Anne shares what led to her own addictions and the ensuing lifestyle that left her wounded and withdrawn, but ultimately rescued and redeemed. She includes dramatic stories of others who also learned to abandon their fear, pride, and masks; to identify their hurts; and to find the courage to speak freely.

Their confessions, submitted as mixed media pieces, photography, and sketches, were collected from people across the world, and are included throughout the book. Readers will share in the opportunity to find their own path to redemption and freedom.


Anne Jackson is an author, speaker, and activist. A contributing writer to various blogs and magazines, she is also the author of Mad Church Disease. Anne will participate in the 2010 Ride: Well Tour, a cross-country cycling tour in June and July to raise awareness and funding for water wells in Africa. An advocate for Compassion International, Anne and her husband, Chris, live in Nashville.

My Review:

It always amazes me how difficult it can be for Christians to be honest with each other. I know for myself I am always afraid that if I am honest about where I am in my life, I am going to be judged, or told I am wrong, or even worse, be told that so-and-so no longer wants to associate with me because of choices made or situations in my life. 

How awful that this has to occur within fellowship amongst Christians, but it happens more than we realize, and what to freely admit! I am so glad that the Church today is realizing that we are human, we sin and we deal with tough issues like abuse, addictions of all kinds, drug abuse and more. Not only are they realizing these issues do exist amongst Christians, but they are finally taking steps to deal with the very issues that even five or ten years ago you just "did not talk about".

Recently I had the opportunity to read and review a book that touches on this very subject. Permission To Speak Freely by Anne Jackson is a honest, open book that will change the way you look at fear, confession and Grace!

I so appreciated the candor and honesty that Anne Jackson wrote with, and the respect with which she told others' stories! The book is full of sound Bible references, beautiful poetry and honest comments from Anne Jackson's blog readers. 

There is so much to digest from the honesty portrayed in this book that I really encourage each of you to read this book for yourself. You will be brought to a place in your life you may have been fighting for a long time, and don't want to visit, but you NEED to. Throughout Permission To Speak Freely, Jackson stresses the importance of confessing to one another as a community of believers in Christ. She quotes one of my favorite passages of scripture:

"And the prayer that is said with faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will heal that person. ANd if the person has sinned, the sins will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen" (James 5:15-17) (p. 122)

 Confession and facing our issues is not an easy task, but Jackson reminds us that we need to do this in order to allow God to work in our lives, regardless of what we are dealing with! Here is what Jackson says about confession:

"Someone once told me that there is a difference between admission and confession, and I think that's important to recognize. Admission is just sharing something that's wrong so you can get it off your chest. Confession, on the other hand, is the beginning of transformation.

When you confess something that's shattered in your life, something that you've kept hidden, you're acknowledging that you need the Cross. You need God's grace, and you're willing to allow it to find you as you seek the truth." (p.123)

I have read and re-read this book a second time, and I am learning so much from it. I will definitely be purchasing more of this book to pass around to those in my life! I have already marked up this book so that I can reference it in the future! Though a Christian book, be warned that Jackson gets very specific about life situations and there is some vulgar language, but none that is out of context. 

If you want to be real about your life, despite the warnings from traditional church, you need to read this book!

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Permission To Speak Freely by Anne Jackson online here, directly from Thomas Nelson - it is also available through your favorite, local Christian bookseller.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc***

1 comment:

  1. I have definetly experienced the same thing. I have opened up to fellow christians and have been judged and even shunned by some. It's a shame that when a fellow Christian is hurting we don't uplift them in prayer as we're commanded to do. Instead so many times I have heard this reference that we kill our wounded.