Tuesday, September 07, 2010

book review: permission to speak freely - anne jackson

Anne Jackson's new book Permission To Speak Freely.JPG Permission to Speak Freely arrived a couple of weeks ago... I put off looking at, because the cover and some of the graphics did nothing for me.

Yesterday, I read the entire book.

This is not a book that you "enjoy". Her raw honesty is engaging. A couple of years ago, in May 2008, Anne asked this question on her blog, FlowerDust.net:
What is one thing you feel you can’t say in the church?
Hundreds of people responded.
This book, is a reflection on those responses, but more so, is rooted in her own experiences.

I think one of the reasons, I was caught up in the book, is that so much of what she writes about is so very true and real. People are hurting and too often the church is the cause of the hurt, or refuses to acknowedge the hurt. Brokenness is so a huge part of the human experience. But we bury it, we slap bandaids on it, and don't let the Spirit do the work of healing.

The book opens with a candid discussion on fear. Anne writes:
I realize Fear isn’t only affecting me, but humanity as well. As I look around today, I see him hooking into many people I encounter. Their hearts are fighting for their dreams, yet Fear claws away at their spirits, telling them their dreams are impossible.
These people want to have a family, go back to school, quit their jobs and move to Africa, ask that girl out, volunteer at a shelter, stand up for justice, pose a question, right a wrong, or say hi to their neighbor, but Fear soaks into their bloodstream like a paralyzing virus and prevents them from taking a step in the beautiful, wonderful, difficult life in front of them.
Fear wants to stop our stories.
The book is filled with people’s honest statements, doubts, struggles and hope. Too often churches can feel like a Christian version of the prom. Everybody dresses up their brokenness and hides their pain. Everything looks good, right? Anne pulls the curtain back to show us what’s really happening in the hearts and minds of many people.

As the book moves along, Anne paints a very practical picture of the steps necessary to walk in freedom. She writes about the power of admission and confession: and the importance of knowing the difference.
"...there is a difference between admission and confession... Admission is just sharing something that’s wrong so you can get it off you chest. Confession, on the other hand, is the beginning of transformation."
There are the facts in our life and then there is the truth. Anne rightly writes about getting the facts out into the light, and then allowing the truth of God to bring the freedom.

You can check out more at the Permission to Speak Freely website and at flowerdust.net.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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