Sunday, August 22, 2010

Permission to Speak Freely

51XtV4H9vVL__SS500_ Permission to Speak Freely – Essays and Art On Fear, Confession, and Grace
Written by Anne Jackson
Published at Thomas Nelson

About the book

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disarming transparency, Anne shares what led to her own addictions and the ensuing lifestyle that left her wounded and withdrawn, but ultimately rescued and redeemed.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.

Who is Anne Jackson?

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.  Follow Anne on her blog: .  The book itself has a website; .

My Thoughts

I didn’t know what to expect from this book when I agreed to review it.   I just like the idea behind it and loved the cover.   Part of me expected more art in it I guess so when it arrived I was surprised by the text included in the book as well.    I grabbed this book one afternoon and it took me about three or four sitting to finish it.   I devoured it and enjoyed the writings of Anne Jackson as well as the insights on what people wish they could say in church but don’t.

I sense that many in the church these days, don’t voice out their troubles or struggles because they are discouraged on the reaction of others in the past or simply fearful of the reaction of the ones around them.  True there are people who think they are holier than thou and will make you feel like crap (hey – I’m being TOTALLY honest here… so please don’t judge me.)  but there is also loving and caring people around you.   People who might be going through the same struggles than you and would love to chat and share their views on the subject.   So why is it so bad to open up and let the cat out of the bag?   I wonder.

In the past, I have experience similar reactions as well as misunderstanding due to my inability to express my thoughts in English properly (you see French is my first language so… sometimes it creates interesting situations or misunderstandings…) .    I got misjudge for a comment I said while participating to a 9 months training for leaders, we got hurt by leaders in a church and denomination as well.   When we voiced up our concerns it wasn’t well received.   Conclusion.   We were in pain.   We had to deal with it ourselves.  We had to forgive over time.   And God never left us.   He was there and still is there.   He is ever present.

I find that part of the healing process is to open up.   The book of Anne Jackson reminded me that it is important not to fake it and to speak up.   Permission to Speak Freely is part of autobiography of the author and part thoughtful insights on her views on faith and real life.  

I enjoyed reading through it and will return to it in the future.  I am expecting a different reaction from my part when I do so.  Why?  Because  this book doesn’t tell you what to do and such.   It is simply going to let you ponder about what you read and then you have a decision to make whether to speak up or not.  Whether to change or not.  Whether to trust or not.   It is in your hands – plain and simple.   So what’s is it going to be?  

Not convinced?   Check out this promotional video from Anne Jackson about her book Permission To Speak Freely.

Permission to Speak Freely Resource Video from Anne Jackson on Vimeo.

This review was possible because a copy of the book, Permission to Speak Freely,  has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

Permission to Speak Freely is available now at your favourite bookseller, even at



  1. Great review, and really appreciate the trailer at the end.