Review: Permission to Speak Freely by Anne Jackson (TN)

Permission to Speak Freely is the follow up release to Mad Church Disease by Anne Jackson.  I have followed Anne's blog for some time and when the question,

“What is one thing you feel you can't say in the church?”

came up, it caught my attention.  Anne has the unique ability to be completely transparent, vulnerable and authentic through her writings.

I had a chance to review this book as an audiobook selection through christianaudio.com awhile back; however, the one thing that is missed with audio is the wonderful graphics that accompany Anne's books.

Perhaps the strongest takeaway from reading this book (versus listening) are the stories that you read from other people.  The stories of personal tragedy.  Deep down, in the recesses of our own hearts, we (I) know that I want to write my deepest, darkest secret on a post-it note and just sign my first name.  This book offers something for everyone, not just some people.  We all, at some point in time, have hidden from God.  Some stories might be deeper than others, but if we really take time to examine our hearts, I bet we will find something in there that jumps out at us.

Here are some of notes that hit me like a ton of bricks:

  • “As I got older, the disconnect between what I'd read in the Bible and what people in the church would actually say or do became more apparent and more confusing.” – pg. 19
  • “I should have gone with my first instinct of staying far away from church and Christians, because I never could wrap my mind around the tension of being who God created me to be in a place that required that I keep the most unique parts of who I was hidden.” – pg. 48
  • “The Bible is filled with broken people, most of whom at some point or another tried to cover up their brokenness.” – pg. 80
  • “So many times when we sin, we feel like we need to work our way back into a relationship with God.  We find ourselves unworthy and shameful.  It's difficult to embrace forgiveness.  We feel like we have to do something to earn it.” – pg. 94
  • “It doesn't matter how much we have sinned, or what things we keep in the dark, or just how hidden we think we are from God – we may be out of His will, but we're not out of His reach.” – pg. 159

My book is filled with highlights, notes, flags – all for the purpose of returning for future study.  If you let the words sink into the core of who you are, you will see that the arms of God are reaching out for you – to provide comfort, healing, grace and love.

I highly recommend that you pick this book up today.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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I help facilities manager and planner create spaces that are backed by research, engage employees of all generations, and drive business objectives. I am also the founder of Dave's Book Club – a once per month reading experience designed to help professionals grow their influence.

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