Interview with Anne Jackson, Part 2

Yesterday, I posted the first part of the interview with my friend, Anne Jackson, is a writer, speaker, and activist. In her newest book, Permission to Speak Freely, Anne chronicles her own story of growing up in church and being afraid to talk about certain “taboo” topics. She also shares some of the many “confessions” she received in response to the question she originally posed on her blog: “What is something you feel you can’t say in church or around other Christians?”

If you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here.

As I mentioned yesterday, the premise of Permission to Speak Freely is that you are not alone in your battle with secrets and brokenness.

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I first met Anne on Twitter. My wife, Gail, and I then had a chance to meet Anne and her husband, Chris when they were visiting Nashville. They subsequently moved to our neighborhood—literally!—and we have since become real-life friends.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with Anne and talk about her book: how she came to write it, why Christians find it so difficult to admit to having problems, and how leaders can create “communities of grace.” I hope you enjoy it. If you didn’t see Part 1, you might want to watch that first.

To celebrate the publication of Anne’s new book, I gave away 100 copies of the book FREE. To qualify, my readers had to comment below. You can find the list of winners here.
Question: Why do you want a copy of this book? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • ngie Buchanan

    Being “raised” in a strict Southern Baptist church, I know exactly what she means about certain subjects being thought of as not even supposed to be spoken about. Then even after coming if age and buying books on subjects for the knowledge of the topic I was accused by my husband as wanting to do those things. The South was a hard place to form your own conclusions. Church was to listen. Learn and not question what was taught.

  • Irm Brown

    Pick me, me, me. Been following Anne since early Flowerdust days. This challenge of being true self in church is my struggle as well. This has been my year to take the plunge and “speak freely,” I’m looking forward to her take on this in the book.

  • Jeremiah Clements

    As a pastor and father, I am struck by Anne’s story. I have seen the ugliness of church taboos and want to safeguard my own children against that side of working for the Church. I minister in a place where there are lots of people like Anne- people who have made the decision to bail on the Kingdom because of abuses in the Church. I’d like to read Anne’s full story to equip myself to lead in this context.

  • Chris Ashley

    I am a youth pastor who works with students that I think are in this same place in their lives. They feel the need to deeply examine their faith, yet they are constantly told not to go there by so many in the church. I have done my best to create an environment in our ministry where this is not only welcomed but encouraged. I would love to read this book to simply expand my thoughts on ways to do this for them.

  • TJ

    I strive each day to assist addicted people through the journey of recovery. Even when I’m working in secular settings I know I need to help people dig into their spiritual beliefs before any lasting change can come. Countless times I have ministered to people who were “self-medicating” because of shame they felt. I know that to truly be free from the substances, they must become free from shame. I only know ONE solution. So day after day I talk about these spiritual truths and try not to get “in trouble” for crossing appropriate boundaries. But I contend that it is clinically appropriate to teach about forgiveness and repentance. I try to create relationships and communities in my private and group therapies where people feel they can “Speak Freely.”

    I applaud and encourage Anne. Our God is fully able to restore what the locusts have stolen and He is the truth that sets us free!

  • Samantha

    Going to church is no easy task. There are many Sunday mornings on my way to church I have to convince myself to not turn around and go back home. Superficial conversations are always what I talk about to the people I know. Most days I question wheather there is some secret to their perfect lives they display or they are lying to me with their smiles. At church I seem like a rebel, when I talk about honest things going on in my life most people seem to give me a wide eyed look. If I’m honest about my struggle to find joy in christ or even believe in him half of them are quiet and don’t fess up to having the same struggle and about 40% of them tell me the Christian phrases they have been trained to use (I know the phrases, I’ve been trained to use them too). There is a struggle to be honest in the church setting or Christian community. Maybe if we’re brave enough to say the things we’re thinking, no matter how “unchristian” like they are, people will follow. This book may lead to answer on how to gently change the christian phrases and the wide eyed looks when honesty about tabboo topics come up. This book may help me lead the way on changing those taboo topics into honest subjects that will push honesty about the pain. Being honest about the pain will help our pain to heal and cause genuine relationships with our sisters and brothers in Christ and eventually Christ himself.

  • Elizabeth

    I work with my church’s youth ministry, and was just talking with a student TWO DAYS ago about the importance of not being held captive by stuff we’re afraid to talk about because she had finally just told me something that she’d been keeping to herself for a while. She said that finally telling somebody felt so much better, so I explained a little about why that is. But I would really love to read Anne’s book and see what she thinks about creating “communities of grace,” especially for teenagers.

  • jill

    About 5 years ago, I moved away from my hometown and home church for the first time. And I learned the greatest thing: God’s grace and mercy. In the church I was raised, we didn’t speak about our sins, our struggles; we weren’t “real.” It was all taboo. Learning that I could get honest with myself, get honest with God and (heaven forbid) honest with my CHURCH friends was an amazing revelation. And God’s mercy and grace are always enough to cover it! (but obviously not as an excuse to keep on knowingly doing wrong) We don’t do ourselves or Jesus any favors when we fake it. So I was thrilled to see that Anne was writing this book! I can’t wait to read it… and it would just be a bonus if I happened to get it for free ;)

  • Chris Brady

    I’m looking forward to reading this book. I, for one am tired of people havingbto live inauthentically in our churches. I tend to be more transparent, but it’s not an easy choice. I tell my kids that everyone has their issues. Some just hide theirs better than others. The ones that hide the most arr the most judgmental. Imagine sn environment of authenticity and trust. That is what Christ is about and how He would love, thank you for tjis venue to speak. Chris Brady

  • Chris Jeub

    Anne Jackson is hitting the nail on the head. I recall being angry and disillusioned, expecting a burning bush experience, too, 23 years ago before my conversion to following Christ. And there’s that word “transparent.” The transparent walk is a free, open life. Anne is right on!

  • pastormatt

    I’m a pastor and I desire for those in my congregation to feel comfortable speaking freely–asking tough questions and broaching sensitive topics. Sometimes (most of the time) they seem to feel reluctant to do so. Maybe this book provides insights into why and reveal more of the questions that may be on their minds. Seems like it would be a good tool and an enjoyable read.

  • Dan Nobles

    Lke many others, I was raised (and raised my family) in a strict, conservative Christian tradition. Most questions were discouraged, and some were simply not tolerated. Through years of personal Bible study, I realized that God’s grace is larger than my questions. My daughters, now grown, have endured rejection because they dare to question. How sad.

  • Brent

    To be honest I had never heard of Anne Jackson before listening to this interview. I stumbled across it via Don Miller’s tweet. I agree that as ‘church folk’ there are so many issues and subjects we just cannot talk about. It’s like they don’t exist in our perfect world. I am so thankful for my small group environment where we can be open and honest and hold each other accountable to things ‘Christians’ as the mass just don’t want to admit exist.

  • blair Roberts

    doubt can destroy or cause growth. when the church shuts out questions, doubt creeps in and destroys. when the church walks with you as you ask your question, doubt turns to faith and community and beauty. i would LOVE a copy of this book. the inability to speak openly about certain things in church drives me insane, and anything that will promote some open and honest discussion is something i will gladly read and review on my blog. i work with teens and i always want to encourage them to ask questions, so anything that could help equip me in this would be wonderful! i hope you’ll send me a copy. thanks a million!

  • David Rupert

    We need to ask questions, because within them we will find the answer.

    No questions? No answers. And that’s a sad and lonely place to be.

  • Rich Ward

    I am an adjunct faculty at a community college. I come into contact with so many kids and adults that have issues with church, God and just believeing in something that never asks or discusses the hard things in life.

    I want to read and absorb everything I can that can help me relate spiritual things to people I come in contact with.

    I would love a copy of the is book!

    Rich Ward
    Area Director
    Kennewick-Richland Young Life
    Adjunct Faculty, Columbia Basin College

  • Phyllis

    We were very active in our church several years ago…my husband was a deacon, I led women’s bible studies, led the women’s ministry and partnered with my husband on our missions team for years. When our teenage son started giving us problems and going through his own battles, we struggled with it all silently as a couple. When he finally attempted suicide, we sat in the ER waiting room questioning our faith. We have moved about an hour from our “old” church and have not been back. We’ve visited churches near our new town but just can’t seem to find a fit. I think we still question things we’ve been taught and what’s more, we see our friends from the previous church, attending churches that teach the opposite of what we were taught together at the first church. Our heads are spinning and we’re lost. I have to be honest though, we have had more opportunities to influence non-believers since we’ve been away from church. We were so busy volunteering and working on things within the church that outreach (even though we called some of these activities “outreach”) was impossible. We’re happier now, feel more secure in our beliefs, but have no desire to go back and “play church” as they say. If we could have been honest and upfront in the beginning or didn’t feel like we couldn’t talk about our son’s problems without feeling like we were doing something wrong or not trusting the Lord to deal with our son, maybe it would be different. “People that go to church don’t have problems,” is a huge misconception…but it’s one that even as believers, we can fall into that mind set and when we have problems, we don’t want to talk to too many people about it for fear of what they might think of us or how we may be judged. I think this book would be a big help & I’d love the opportunity to read it.

  • Rhett Konneman

    Roses are Red
    Violets are Blue
    Free books are cool
    When they’re gifted by you!!!!

    Apples are Red
    Tree Frogs are Green
    This is the best giveaway-contest
    I’ve ever seen.

    And since Roses are Red
    and Blueberries are Black
    If I win Anne’s BOOK
    I’ll have a heart attack.

    – I’m done Rhyming now. God Bless :)

  • Ivana

    Thank you for sharing this awesome interview with us, Anne and Mike.
    Why do I want to read Anne’s book and spread the word about it?
    First time, I have “met” Anne via Seth Godin’s book Linchpin, it was in Feb 2010, since then I did follow Anne and her art. She even left a comment on my blog Inspiring Shipments, which was great honor.
    I would love to spread a word about Anne in my part of the world – Slovakia that is, where for last 16 months I am running a movement known as NGLS = Next Generation Leaders of Slovakia. NGLS-ers need to learn how to speak up so badly…Anne’s wisdom, will be a great guidance.

  • tiffany stuart

    I would love to read this book because I am SLOWLY trying to write a book on freedom from shame. And I believe Anne’s book will be one I can glean from and even take a quote from. I love when Christians are real and I see that in Anne. There are so many secrets in the church. It breaks my heart to see hurting people live stuck lives.

  • clif

    I identify with Anne Jackson’s father and what he experienced as a pastor. My daughter knows what she felt. In 47 years as a pastor I went through all the emotions she is talking about in my own ministry and the ministry of others. I would love to review this book on my blog and share what I learn from Anne Jackson with young pastors and other Christians.

  • Brett

    Based on the response Anne received on her blog, and based upon the comments to these two blog posts, it is obvious Anne has touched a nerve. People are carrying around a lot of guilt and fear of being exposed. They need to be lovingly led toward the light. I loved what you said, Michael, when you expressed the desire of a lot of pastors: “…desperate to create communities of grace.” Amen!

    As I listen to Anne in this interview, I can’t help but think of 1 John 1.5-10:

    5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

  • Bekah

    There are really a lot of reasons I would love this book. I feel a kinship with Anne, like I could be her Diana and bosom buddy. I’ve grown up in church and listened to so many self destruct under the weight of hidden concerns and struggles. I’ve tried my hardest to put on the happy face. I can’t keep wearing it. But I feel so stuck and frozenand unsure how. How do you begin confession in groups when everyone us concerned with maintaining a fake level if grace and spiritual hierarchy? I dont know how, I’m hoping Anne does. Or at least I’ll feel the kinship continue with a fellow screwup loved by a crazy wonderful God

  • Susan Kerley

    I love the hope of Anne’s story. God so gently shows Himself and brings us back on His own timing after being “burnt” by people. He showed her in such a beautiful way how sharing doesn’t have to be dangerous but freeing.

  • Angela Schaefers

    I absolutely love that Ms. Jackson had the courage to step out and share her story with others. I know from experience in sharing my own story Grief to Grace, that it is not always easy to be so open and vulnerable with the world, much less those closest to you. However I learned that the community of grace as I have experienced it, is the very thing that gives meaning to sharing our stories. Our story is what God created as a way to shape us, show us our purpose and to use as a gift to encourage and inspire others. To be authentic in that process is what Ms. Jackson has done and I see that as what we are each called to do! I have taken my journey of sharing my story to another level of sharing others stories on a global level via Your Story Matters radio show. Because the truth is each of our stories matter, have value and can encourage and inspire others!

  • Amanda

    At 32, I still struggle with the false expectations and secrets I have carried through my life as a result of my southern church upbringing. Though I feel a lot of freedom from that now, I am still terrified that I will raise my three small children to fear losing my love or God’s grace. I am new to Anne, but I believe this book could resonate with me as I strive to live a more honest life before my children.

  • David

    I think this book is just what I need to read right now. I love my church but I feel like there is always something separating me from my friends at church. I believe if I was completely honest to them they would not understand me or even reject me. Essentially this keeps me from being my true self when I’m around people from church. I have just realized this in the past few weeks.

  • Steve Collins

    One year ago I left my job of 17 years at a christian mission agency to start my own non-profit called Adults Protecting Children. We are a child sexual abuse prevention training program helping adults learn how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. There are 39 million survivors of child sexual abuse in the US (compared to 12 million cancer survivors). The pain and shame of this experience is so profound and it is happening in our churches. This is certainly one of those taboo subjects. The church MUST become a place where victims can find the courage to reveal their secrets and find healing. The pain of child abuse can be redeemed and the life of a victim can be a significant instrument in the prevention of abuse and the healing of others. I think this book could be a great resource to those who are holding in the secret.

  • Jennifer

    I’d love a copy of Anne’s book. I grew up in the church and I suffered from depression for over 20 years. It always seemed strange to me that the so-called place of healing was the one place I couldn’t talk about what was going on inside of me. I’ve a new church home now and I’m learning a lot about facing down those taboo topics head on but I could always learn more.

  • CC Williams

    Great interview. I can relate as someone who grew away from the church in my adult years but am drawn back as I have become a husband and more recently a father. The frankness is reassuring and welcoming!

  • C.C.

    I have followed Anne’s blog for quite some time enjoying & relating to her writing. I grew up as a very conservative Southern Baptist preacher’s kid. Went to college feeling called to ministry & thought that ministry would be as a missionary or minister’s wife. I did marry a minister, but our life took a turn when we became involved in the emergent movement. I am now an ordained Baptist minister serving as a chaplain in 2 hospitals. I am working to learn to be able to speak more freely. I’d love to read Anne’s book as part of my journey.

  • Willy Maxwell

    Thanks for the interview! As someone with a “past” who is in ministry, I have always been challenged about speaking out about what I have come through to get to where I am today. Yet, I believe that is exactly what the church needs to help people do in order to help them live the life that God wants for them.

  • Mark

    I would like to win a copy of the book because it sounds like me. I have doubts, questions, struggles that the average Christian doesn’t seem to have, but I am afraid to speak up, for fear of being looked down on

  • Sarah

    Wow. I’ve been meaning to get my hands on this book and so this is a really great opportunity!! Thanks Michael and Anne!!

    I’d really like a copy of this book because I’m one of those people who grew up and having spent almost all my life in church, pastors kid and now also in church leadership. I love the Church and I serve faithfully but even though I’ve addressed and dealt with most issues, learnt about grace and repentence, done the counselling and accountability thing, there are still things I struggle with and most times I still find myself attempting to ‘keep it together’ and pretend like everything is okay, a defence mechanism like a wall built to protect myself but it’s really just shutting me in and I know it’s hurting my ability to relate, to be honest and transparent with my leaders/mentors, and even build real relationships with family/friends and the people I lead. I don’t want to just blame it on being a pastors kid or misunderstanding grace and I definitely do not blame the church but I’m really honestly tired of living with a secret compartment in my heart and a mental diary that I would never want to share with anyone, I want to be free to be transparent and real.

    So I’d really love to read this book and hopefully get some insight and tips on how to live a life that’s transparent, honest and real and from there share my story and pray others are blessed, challenged and inspired to do the same too and that all our churches will be filled with people who know that it’s truly a place where grace is abundant and no one is ever shortchanged of grace and forgiveness.

  • Mark McKeen

    Sounds like this will be an excellent book to read. I am excited to see Anne’s thoughts on how to implement this type of openness in a church, ministry, family, and then develop a community that cares for one another and shares their brokenness. God gives us grace each day. We need to learn to show God’s grace to others. I would appreciate a copy of this book.

  • Jennifer

    I actually pre-purchased Anne’s book on her 30th Birthday where once again, she was giving the money away to another great cause (love you for that, Anne!) Since then though, in the process of a move, I never actually received the book as I imagine it was sent to my previous address – sad for me, though a possible plus for one of my neighbors:) All that said, I would love to have another copy! I feel so cheated that I never got to read it:(

  • Dave Pettengill

    I work with youth and young adults and I see in them this desire to be a part of something that is transparent and honest. They desire a church where people can share their brokenness, doubts, questions, and fears. Many are fleeing from the church because they see it as a place where people put on a facade and pretend that they have no problems at all. In our ministry we are really seeking to help people see our church as a place where they can come receive healing and be honest with where they are in their lives right now. This book would help me as a leader to dig deeper into this topic and share that with those in our ministry and community.

  • Marian Struble

    I am so intrigued by this topic. I am a spiritual life coach and I see two threads over and over again in my practice. The first is the shame factor for Christians based on legalism, taboos, and judgments they might face if they come into the light. The second is those who are in the church who want to see change in both structure and tone but have met resistance in questioning how things are done. I would love to read this book so I can have a better conversation with my clients as well as gain insight on my own relationship with and in the church.

  • JD

    I loved Anne’s first book, Mad Church Disease because I read it a year after I left “full time” ministry. I currently work at treatment center for teenage guys. We address addictions of all kinds, an issue that most churches keep hidden.

  • Lisa

    When I was young, church was very black and white; this was ok, this was not and if you did something in the “not” category and not confess it immediately, you were going to go to hell. There was no grace, no thinking for yourself. In youth group, we never took on anything more serious than rock music and backward masking. I remember thinking about certain things and wanting an answer from someone higher on the church totem pole as to if they were in the ok or not category but never being allowed to ask. One day I finally got up the courage to ask my “rebelious worldy” sister about some of those things and having her shun me for asking certain questions and feeling like such a failure as a Christian because I didn’t know what was an apparent obvious answer. Thankfully as I’ve aged I’ve learned that it’s not black and white and that those topics are poften avoided because the “know-it-alls” in the church don’t have an answer. But, I sometimes still struggle with bridging the gap between those things I was taught when I was younger (ok/not ok) with thinking for myself and being ok with making that decision for myself and not needing someone to agree with me.

  • Edwina Cowgill

    I am so in agreement with Ann! I have, because of life events, been in four different denominations since childhood. None of these denominations were open to the “taboo” topics, and today, at least in the Bible Belt, all of the four are still opposed to discussing these topics openingly. I will give credit to my priest. A number of years ago, he invited David Kyle Foster to hold a conference on homosexuality, how the church can help someone to leave that lifestyle, how they can support a person who has left that lifestyle and resources available at that time to assist the church. The conference was not well received at all (a mild understatement) and since then, the topic of homosexuality, or any other “taboo” topic has not been openingly address. It is a shame and something that the church universal needs to correct. It is no wonder to me that Christians are viewed as hypocritical. We won’t even help people who need us the most and in that area, I am the chiefest of sinners.

  • William McPherson

    Let me just say as a future pastor and a studying young would-be-leader; I can see the great need for authenticity amongst our congregations. Having worked with broken, often homeless people in the city of New Orleans while attending the University of Mobile; I have seen the rejection that the church hashes out against people who are in destructive lifestyle patterns by their own choice. Hearing some of the responses that people gave to Anne’s question, “What is something that you could never say in church?” might benefit the people I now live with in Northern Alabama, where often times we substitute true holy love with conservative morality and thus isolate (and God forbid insulate) ourselves from the hurting and broken.

  • McNair Wilson

    When I wrote my 3rd book, “RAISED IN CAPTIVITY< A Memoir of a Life Long Churchaholic" is started as an open letter to an old friend who had left the church but was trying to hold on to personal faith–apart form community and accountability.

    The response was amazing from Protestants, Roman Catholics, Mormons, Jews…I had no idea that so many were wounded, hurting, and carrying long-held pain. As I chose to write my stories conversationally and humorously (with little or no anger) they seem to serve as a healing, restorative agent for many I could never have imagined reaching.

    Eager to read Anne's thoughts on this important subject.

  • Kerry Sandelin

    I think it would be a great book to read since I work with our student ministries department here and work with students on a daily basis. Most of these students come from un-churched homes and feel that what they have to say sometimes will offend me because we are in a church building. We feel in our ministry that it is best to just be honest with them, even if it is embarrassing or uncomfortable to answer. I want my students to be able to ask whatever is on their minds, and know that they will not be judged for it.

  • Daniel Braun

    I’m a pastors kid, so this book resonates with my church experience. As a leader, I hope this book would give me ideas on how to lead authentically.

  • Scott Savage

    Anne Jackson has emerged from her 20s the way I want to…with optimism, hope, and grace. I have spent too much of this decade of my life as a snarky, pessimistic, rebellious, and frustrated young pastor. I think I have a lot I can learn from her – especially in this book – about sharing my struggles and inviting God and others into the process of healing and growth.

  • Kelly Young

    I’d like this book because my small group is going to be discussing it over the next few weeks.

  • Karen Barnhart

    I’ve listened to the pod-casts and believe this book could be an inspiration for me to share my experiences and life. So many times I’ve been told that is your past let it go. The Lord has healed so many areas in my life and I want to be able to step out and help others. I believe sharing is a big part of helping others and giving them hope. We don’t need to hide things, we are no longer those people, we are God’s and he wants to see people healed and go on with there lives.Connection with others, is so important.

  • Chad Jones

    To be blunt, although I have two copies of Anne’s book already (each of them signed and personalized to myself and my wife, respectively), I would dearly love to have an autographed copy to give away on my blog. (Her book was in fact one of the catalysts that lead me to actively blogging. It is a place where I’ve begun to speak freely). Plus, as a part of celebrating our 20th anniversary, we were able to attend one of the Permission to Speak Freely tour events (where we met Anne, Susan, and Solveig–all very gracious and kind to us). I’m honestly humbled and amazed by things God has been doing since I started blogging–it’s like he was confirming that this is what I was supposed to be doing all along. All that and more is why I would like to have another copy–so I can pay forward some of the blessings I’ve received.

  • Jennifer Batt

    As someone who was not raised in the church, I often say things that seem straightforward, but are mired in a mess of church history red tape. It should be interesting to see how someone else stepped away from the red tape and into honest conversation.

  • Olga Griffin

    My Bible Study was discussing this very thing today and so, I can’t wait to email them the 2 links so they can watch both of the clips and perhaps get the book.

  • Mark

    I want Anne Jackson’s book because I have a lot of secrets I wish I didn’t have.

  • Suellen Maia

    Okay, I already left my comment asking for the free copy of the book, but I forgot to ask if you would ship it to Brazil. If not I’m already out of the question, and will wait until the book is published here. Thank you anyway for sharing this story.

  • elliana

    I want a copy of the book because I am still learning what it means to speak freely, knowing that it is okay to struggle with things that we often keep in the dark. I’m learning that it doesn’t have to stay that way, and finding that freedom in Christ. I want a copy of the book, because I know what it’s like to wrestle with shame with a major contributor being the church. I am hoping that I create the kind of legacy that people are able to speak freely with me, knowing that judgment won’t be found.

  • Dan

    I’m intrigued by the “communities of grace” concept. Far too many people in the church don’t feel free to be transparent about their hurts and struggles. I’d love to read the book and be inspired by one person’s story and journey of grace as I minister to others.

  • Brian

    Anne is a very fresh breath of air with in the Christian community. She has taken a chance by being vulnerable and that transparency will encourage those who live in broken place to know that they are not alone. I can’t wait to read it. Thanks Anne for your life of pure honesty.

  • Becky Fuentes

    I would love a chance to win Anna Jackson’s book because I can definitely relate in feeling like there are certain secrets that Christians don’t feel free to share. Thanks!

  • Samuel

    I want the book because I fell in love with “postsecret” and talked to Anne about it at Influence conference. I didn’t have the money at the time to purchase the book, but I did flip through some of it and read parts. I’d love to be able to own it and add it to my collection. :)

  • Jerry McNamara

    I want this book because I want to promote the message of the safety of grace among real Christ-followers. After reading Ted Haggard’s advice to live like you have no secrets (and then watching him implode, AND after experiencing grace when I could share my own burdens with a trusted Christian friend, this aspect of Christian love has to be promoted, nurtured, and encouraged. Who else is with me? Michael, thanks for having the courage to get this topic and Anne’s story ought in front of the Church!

    • Jerry McNamara

      Oh, yeah, and I have used “postsecrets” in our small group. Powerful reminder why we all need someone to listen with acceptance, grace, and unconditional love!

  • Justin M

    I have a lot of things in my past, a lot of things that affect me today, and a big part of it is because I’m so afraid to speak about them. I was taught that you just push things aside and ignore them by my mom, but now, I hate that. It’s caused a lot of problems, and I would love to talk to her about it, but hey, ignore it according to her.

  • Shelley

    I follow Anne on twitter. I have been touched by her adventurous spirit and her grace is pursuit of joy.
    I would be interested in a book like this because my job as a therapist is to encourage people to find their
    Voice and break free of the secrets of the past that hold them back.
    It is refreshing to have permission to be real and go deeper to what really matters.
    Thanks Anne for your efforts.

  • Virginia

    I grew up in a church in which almost everything was a taboo subject. I still, almost 30 years later have trouble talking about those subjects. I would dearly love to get past this. And that is why I want this book.

  • Jacob Albrecht

    Freely speaking, I would love a copy of Anne Jackson’s new book. And who wouldn’t want to read a book by someone who has ridden across the U.S. on a bicycle?

  • Matt

    Sounds like a very interesting topic & can help a lot of people. We need more resources like this in ‘the body’, it’d make us a lot more like we’re supposed to be. (Not good grammar but it sounds profound.)

  • Adam Smith

    I want a copy because I love her first book and know I would love this one.


    Yes bOO, I want a copy. Because I luv da TiTle (and its how I operate in REAL Life / @ Work / on my GospelkHip Hop Radio Show “FRIDAY NIGHT HIP HOP | Fridays | 8pm – 2am | http://www.theCORE104mcom (its more than music…Money/debt/health/real talk issues & etc)) its Time fo da Church/church folks/Christians to Keep it REAL! God didnkt give you da spirit of FEAR!!!!!


    Yes bOO, I want a copy. Because I luv da TiTle (and its how I operate in REAL Life / @ Work / on my Gospel Hip Hop Radio Show “FRIDAY NIGHT HIP HOP | Fridays | 8pm – 2am | http://www.theCORE104mcom (its more than music…Money/debt/health/real talk issues & etc)) its Time fo da Church/church folks/Christians to Keep it REAL! God didnt give you da spirit of FEAR!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    A. Personal Journey- I am a minister who has been on a journey of ‘speaking freely’ for about ten years now. This is the first book I’ve seen that resonates with my journey-a journey which tremendously infects positively my…

    B. Public Ministry- I am a campus minister in Memphis, TN. I minister daily to and with those who are from families of physical and spiritual abuse, backgrounds of addiction, and painful church experiences. My students would read the fire out of this book-each student for reasons all their own. I think several of them would find ways to voice their own battles and victories in relationships and faith through this book in a way that blesses others and heals their souls.


    Yes bOO, I want a copy. Because I luv da TiTle (and its how I operate in REAL Life / @ Work / on my Gospel Hip Hop Radio Show “FRIDAY NIGHT HIP HOP | Fridays | 8pm – 2am | (its more than music…Money/debt/health/real talk issues & etc)) its Time fo da Church/church folks/Christians to Keep it REAL! God didnt give you da spirit of FEAR!!!!!


    Yes bOO, I want a copy. Because I luv da TiTle (and its how I operate in REAL Life / @ Work / on my Gospel Hip Hop Radio Show “FRIDAY NIGHT HIP HOP” | Fridays | 8pm – 2am | (its more than music…Money/debt/health/real talk issues & etc)) its Time fo da Church/church folks/Christians to Keep it REAL! God didnt give you da spirit of FEAR!!!!!

  • Michael Bollinger

    I had no idea what Anne’s book was about from the title. I have followed her on twitter and still had no idea. But I have watched the interview and I am genuinely interested in reading her book now.

  • Brent Chavez

    My 2011 new years resolution is going to be committing to read more! This can be my first book to tackle :)

  • Rusty

    A. Personal Journey- I am a minister who has been on a journey of ‘speaking freely’ for about ten years now. This is the first book I’ve seen that resonates with my journey-a journey which tremendously infects positively my…

    B. Public Ministry- I am a campus minister in Memphis, TN. I minister daily to and with those who are from families of physical and spiritual abuse, backgrounds of addiction, and painful church experiences. My students would read the fire out of this book-each student for reasons all their own. I think several of them would find ways to voice their own battles and victories in relationships and faith through this book in a way that blesses others and heals their souls.

    (Posted this accidentally anonymously a second ago)

  • Gian Montemayor

    If i win this book, santa would be jobless. Enough said.

  • Legacy Dad

    I would like a copy of the book to empower parents and our own children to change the old mold of church. As Christians, we should be able to speak freely and garner support from one another without fear of ridicule or judgment. The church should be a place to be transparent and bring all our problems before God, not a place to feel shameful.

  • Steph

    I work with university students overseas but regardless of in the USA or on other soil the Church has a huge problem of condemning instead of loving and judging instead of extending grace. I want to know how people see the Church and find a way to be one of the ones that helps give people the permission to speak freely

  • Jeremiah Nelson

    If you’ve done this before, can you do it again? This sounds like a very powerful, honest book. My wife is going through a tremendous struggle right now. She feels like she is stagnating in her faith, while also great conflicted about my desire to become Orthodox Christian. I think for her to share in someone else’s struggle would give her that bit of hope to get through it.
    BTW, I don’t plan on becoming Orthodox until she is either REALLY okay with it, or decides to join herself. I love her very much, and hate seeing her so torn. Anything that might help would be… helpful.

  • Barbara Wright

    Someone once said, “Secrets will kill you, but privacy will preserve you.” Thank God for the emphasis on communities of healing and integrity, leading us from brokenness to truth.

  • Barb Shelton

    This is an exceptionally interesting book that appears to fit into my area of thinking about not being able to reveal problems to fellow Christians and church peers. So many times in my life, I have not felt welcome to air my dirty laundry in the church because I’m not using the right brand of soap that could clean up the dirty laundry – so to speak. I therefore live as a hostage to shame and confusion. I’ve been afraid to mention them to God, although he knows anyway. I believe Anne Jackson has written things in her book that I need to know and identify with. I am the age of 72, and also endeavoring a new journey in writing. This might sound trite, but I truthfully say that I feel led of the Lord to help others who are going through like situations I’ve experienced. There have been many traumatic, dramatic and joyous events in my life that the Lord has brought me through. I want to share with others that their experiences can be touched by the Lords hand in a way to bring glory to him. I have identified with Christian authors like Michelle Sutton, Julie Lessman and others that are writing “on the edge” of issues not normally written about in Christian books and stories. Subjects that aren’t approached or conversed within the ministry and churches. We, as responsible Christians need to change this and I’m willing to stick my neck out and speak from my generation. Thanks for offering Ms Jackson’s book as a giveaway and for the chance to win her incredible book. I hope I win!

    I promise to read this book with intensity and to do everything required in the instructions. I would like to add a bit more to why I know God is encouraging me to write. Ten years ago I was the victim of Nacrotizing Fasciitis, a flesh eating bacteria which kills quickly. I was not expected to live; however God apparently still had plans for me. He brought me back to my earthly life to continue suffering serious illnesses, hospitalizations and near death setbacks until two years ago. My immune system finally was boosted enough to improve my health; even though damage was done to my legs with extreme neuropathy, gout, and increasing arthritis and pain. God sat me in front of my pc and indicated I was to work. At my age to start writing, I feel sure that he still will give me time enough to finish what he requires of me before he returns me to my heavenly home. I have hope and I want what’s left of my good qualities to serve him in whatever way he wants of me to help and love others. I have a lot to write about, and as long as I can’t use my legs much for walking and standing, I need something worthwhile to accomplish sitting in front of my pc. i think it’s a good reason to be a winner of Anne Jackson’s book.

    It would be wonderful to take with me on my flight to Portland,OR next Monday to spend Thanksgiving and my mother’s 92nd birthday with her and my brother. Don’t you agree?

  • Julia

    Everyday I guide some 40 elementary aged kids through the tackles and troubles of school, annoying siblings, absentee parents, and crushes on various pop stars. Everyday I am constantly challenged to be as simple and as honest as I can manage in my relationships with those kids, admitting my own faults and mistakes as I help them with theirs, so that God’s grace may be made famous. I have chosen to help teach the coming generations about the mess we all are and the Perfect Love that Christ is.

  • Michael Wilkinson

    I wrote alot about this during the time anne jackson was writing this book. It is cool that me and the Anne were communing in the Spirit. Freedom in Christ is so important to be able to not have to say anything and to have the freedom to be able to say something.

    Some have this bondage that they have to say something too. It is a hard moralist obligation. It is hard battle to walk in love instead of obligation. And walk in freedom, living life to its fullest.

    These are things the church needs to grow in. I would love to read anne’s book and see how she further dives into this subject.

  • Tim Morgan

    Because I feel that more of my generation could benefit from this kind of conversation. We are missional in nature and hope to bring more authentic discussion to our church.

  • SKCamarillo

    I have very little hope in my life. I deal a little with depression and have trust issues. There are hurts in my life that need to be healed but I sometimes don’t think anyone cares or there isn’t a way to deal with it. It sounds as though this book would help shed some light in those dark areas.

  • Barb Shelton

    Whoops! Just noticed a typo in my comment and need to correct it in case the term needs to be researched. The correct spelling for the deadly flesh eating bacterial disease I spoke of is Necrotizing Fasciitis.

    Additionally, I want to say that I served in leadership positions many years of my life through my profession in church music direction, church leadership positions, teaching nutritional and weight loss classes for Weight Watchers, and other interesting positions. I am familiar with public speaking and do so well, I’m told. Anne Jackson’s book is more than likely full of good advice for people like me. I will be entering Lay Speaker training in February of 2011. Before I became deathly ill and subsequent disabilities, my life was full. I was an active and busy woman. Wife of a military officer for 20 years who had commands. I am a gracious hostess, etc…I’m sure the idea is understood. My husband and I have 8 children between us, 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. On the subject of speaking freely, I would like to use my creative talents in writing and speaking to help bring about changes in churchs to speak freely and receive Christian help and fellowship in dealing with their problems that could devastate their lives without admitting their “secrets” and healing from the spiritual and emotional damage. I noticed a quote on the side of this page that I feel sums up beautifully what I’m trying to express.

    “Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. After you become a leader, success is about growing others.”
    — Jack Welch

    Thank you again. Blessings to you and Anne Jackson for what you’re doing.

  • Jennifer S McColley

    Dear Anne & Michael,
    “In my Middle.”
    That’s THE answer.
    (But not just to the question you’re asking.)

  • Allie Marie Smith

    As a speaker to young women, I want to be inspired to speak freely and help cultivate an atmosphere of authenticity and grace for the young women who are a part of Wonderfully Made. My story is one that is difficult to speak freely about, but I know I’m doing what God has called me to. I’ve also heard great things about Anne through the lovely Lindsey Nobles (Lindsey, does Michael make you read all these comments?) and some other friends.

    P.S. I also think the book cover is really cute!

  • rtimothy

    You know that curiosity that hits you when you are not allowed to do something. Honestly that is the reason why I would want to get that book off the shelf at the bookstore. In my environs there is a Christian radio; which runs a program called ‘Ask the pastor’ every Saturday. It is relayed at a time when I am always driving home in traffic so I rarely miss it. However, I always ask myself whether if my child (I don’t have any as yet) asked me such a question, I would answer it the way many of the questions are answered. As Christians we tend to push many issues under the carpet (or just ‘Spiritualize’ simple life issues) and I always wonder if I would have been a better communicator if I had been born in a more liberal family? May be that book may be the enlightenment that I need.

  • Mike Fitzpatrick

    I am a ministry leader and I often feel like I have to tiptoe around the things I really want to say…

  • Joanna H

    I actually want to get a copy of this book so I can give it away. I went through some very difficult stuff early this year which caused me to withdraw from people. Withdrawing put me into a downwards spiral of things becoming worse and worse. Anne’s book was a big part of my road to healing because it encouraged me to stop hiding and seek the support of friends and mental health professionals that I so desperately needed. Opening up to people really made a difference. I’d like to win this so I have an extra copy I can give away when I have a friend who could benefit from it.

  • Bob Lisi

    This is a great point to be able understand and communicate with others about the power of an intimate realtionship with our God

  • Candace Carpenter

    I would like to receive a copy of this book because it is an important topic. The church is at it’s best when it is able heal the brokenness of it’s people. I hope it will be a tool for me in my own life and to reach out to those who have expressed brokenness in their own lives.

  • Allie Marie Smith

    As a speaker to young women, I want to be inspired to speak freely. My story is one that is difficult to speak freely about, but I continue to share it because I know God has called me to. I want to help cultivate an atmosphere of deeper authenticity within Wonderfully Made – a ministry I started for young women and I think Anne’s book will help inspire and equip our team to do so. I’ve heard great things about Anne through the lovely Lindsey Nobles (Lindsey, do you have to read all these comments?!!) and other friends.

    P.S. I also think the cover is really cute! Props to the TN design team!

  • Kristen Wilson

    It is my satirical humor and recovering foot and mouth syndrome that drives me to read a book with such a title! I want to say…should I be asking permission?

  • Carl Franzon

    I am trying to help my church understand the need to allow for freedom and ways in which we might be keeping people away from the gospel by our desire to appear to have it all together. This would be a great resource.

  • Lincoln Parks

    WOW, what an amazing story. So many people are struggling with this same problem. In church, children, youth, men, women of all ages EVERYONE. I too have a similar story to share. We are being truly bombarded by so much evil that we think its normal. This book would be awesome to add to my library. I want to share as many as I can.

  • Kyle Strickland

    Wow. I would love to have a copy of this book. As a student minister and worship leader and college instructor, I have great access to a large demographic of people in my own church. I am anticipating powerful conversations through these venues of leadership, with people across generations.

  • Kim Steele

    My life is the culmination of secret things I have never talked about. I am, quite honestly, afraid of the rejection that would come from revealing them. And yet, I see how they have shaped my life and in some cases, stunted me. I would like to write a book about my secrets and how God has used me IN SPITE OF THEM. I want to help other people let go of their secrets. I would like the book to see how this brave soul revealed her secrets and learned from them.

  • http://www.jessegiglio Jesse Giglio

    I need to hear real life confessions to make real life confessions to draw real life confessions out of others. I love that this is not a book but a collection. A voice to those rendered voiceless by the same faith that promotes honest authenticity…

  • Thomas

    As a small group leader of married couples this book would help me to understand and encourage my small group family to find the freedom to talk about some of the most difficult topics that we as Christ followers have faced or will face. My small group is really like a family and because of that sometimes family members are very frieghtened to say what’s on their mind or are afraid to talk about topics such as pornography, homosexuality, addictions, becase as Christ followers were’re not to go there. Yet day in and day out we constantly miss the mark in our lives when it comes to our own sin and we’re freightened to talk about the sin struggles we have because we’re afraid people will judge us or not love us if they only knew the real people we are or the struggles that we face in our daily walk.

    For an example yesterday at lunch I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with 2 co-workers who have not yet crossed the line of faith. They asked some incredible questions about why I believe what I believe about the bible and about some of the mainline moral questions that are being discussed in our culture today. Our conversation was just that a conversation about who Jesus is and why Jesus came down from heaven and what he offers each of us through his cross. Some taboo subjects came up and we discussed them without arguing or leaving in a huff. However in our own Christian circles we may not have so those same types of conversations because our Christian brothers/sisters are like family and that’s where opinions get vented.

    Anne’s book can help my wife and I be better small group leaders as well as better grace dispensers not only to the other 10 people we lead but the people God places in our paths each and every day.

  • D. Lewis

    As pastor of a new church trying to reach folks who don’t know or have wandered away from Christ, the honesty and pain of their brokenness sometimes astonishes me. How do we create a safe place for restoration, forgiveness and new life.

  • Eric

    I am working with my wife about our shared and separate histories and how that is impacting our relationship with each other and the church. I believe that this book could help me understand what I need to do differently to improve all of our relationships

  • D. Lewis

    As the pastor of a new church that is working to reach people who don’t know Christ or who have wandered away from them I’m sometimes overwhelmed by the immensity of the pain and brokenness they deal with and continually struggle to find a way which leads them to forgiveness, restoration, and a new and hopeful life.

  • Ren

    I was raised in a staunchly christian home as well – – one of the first realizations that really shook me from my sense of being alone in my concerns/misgivings/doubts/disagreements was when I discovered that I was not the only one who felt as I did. It seems now like an obvious realization – but at the time, it was tantamount to the invention of fire.

    Thank you for writing this book – – it’s a sublime truth, and the more people who discover it, the better.

  • Eli Pagel

    Since the first time I saw this book, I felt like it was the representation of two hands freely reaching to pull the tape from my mouth. Those hands are inching ever closer, but haven’t reached the edge of the tape yet. I continue to struggle to simply utter the muted cry, “Help”, or even more selfishly “I want that.”, but the tape is too tight. My lips are sealed, not of my own desires, but by the tape that life and expectations has placed across my face. I want Permission to Speak Freely, and to share with others the grace and mercy to do the same, and a copy of the book would be great too.

  • Kevin Jack

    Love Anne Jackson but have never had th opportunity to pick up her book. My bargain budget and lack of presence of her book at half price books have led to that. Would love to be able to dig into it

  • jt

    I’d like to read the book to continue to grow in confession and transpparency. I’ve endured depression and continue to seek counsel reguarly. Facing my own brokenness has revelaed to me dimensions of the gospel I don’t know I would have otherwise encountered. Never would have this much need to experience the redemptive, healing power of the Cross.

    I’ll probably lend this book out to others I know who could benefit. Maybe I’ll buy more copies and share them as well. The biggest gratitude I have for all that I’ve endured and been delivered from is the genuine empathy I can share with others and the penetrating truth I can share in building their trust/confidence in the Lord.

  • Paul R. Stanley

    I would like to have a copy of Anne’s book because I am writing my own memoir and would like to see how she addresses these “taboo” topics. There are things I need to tell and say, but do not want to hurt those I love or have loved in the past.

    Thank you for your consideration and I hope I have a chance to read this book.

  • Greg

    As a spiritual director, I meet some of the same needs in person with individual people that Anne does through her blog and her books. People are desperate for someone to listen, with whom they can be honest, and who will help them explore their own deepest selves and beliefs. I look forward to reading this new book. Thank you.

  • Marie Wells Coutu

    I am writing novels that deal with brokenness and show how God can use broken people after He mends them. Sounds very much like what Anne Jackson is talking about. After we become “Mended Vessels” we don’t want to reveal our pastdue to shame. I want to build an online community to share and encourage one another. Would loveto read her book and connect with her on this effort!

  • Agatha Nolen

    I’m excited to read Anne’s book as I have come to a similar place. I have just started a blog and am writing a book about how Relationships have gone awry, even among christians. It is almost taboo to talk about sex outside of marriage and self-centered commitment any longer because the world has tried so hard to convince us that they are ok. But our disobedience is causing brokkenness and despair, yet churches shy away from these tough issues and just want everyone to feel good and that God is only a God of love. Can’t wait to read what God has given Anne, Permission to Speak.

  • Radu

    Although I have the book and read it, I have a friend in mind who would benefit greatly from reading this book. I would give her mine, but I feel a new book, with the new book smell and feel and perception would be a nicer gesture. Anne is so refreshing in her transparency and her continual upward journey with God is what inspired me most. Thank you for this opportunity. Be blessed.

  • @jasoninman


    Where x equals the random person* you pick and y equals a happy ending.



  • Agatha Nolen

    I can’t wait to read it. I’ve come to the same place recently and have launched a blog and writing a book proposal. Our relationships with God and each other are in disrepair, even among Christians! Yet there is reluctance to talk about sex outside of marriage, self-centered commitments and individualism even in our churches. Our disobedience is causing incredible brokenness and despair. As Christians we have to tackle these tough subjects or who else will? Can’t wait to read what God has given, Anne, Permission to Speak.

  • Laura Bowman

    I came to God in my Twenties and spent the first ten years in a legalistic setting where we were criticized for just about everything. We strive today to show God’s grace and have seen more results with family and friends then before. I would love to read her book, I’m sure it will hit home.

  • Angie Weldy

    I’ve happily won a book from you lately so I won’t try to win a copy but I definitely need to check out Anne Jackson. She sounds like a fresh and honest voice that is really needed these days.

  • Tricia

    I spend a lot of time in the community with people who are seeking God but are afraid to come to church because their perception is that church-goers are perfect and so different from them. I love what Anne started on her blog – it’s great to see the truth of who we are and yet the power of Jesus to save us from our truth.

  • Trina

    Hearing Anne speak during her book tour was inspiring, but I didn’t feel that I had the means to buy her book. I oversee a young singles ministry and as a community, we could grow a lot in our honesty and grace with one another.

  • jamie

    I’ve been wanting this book since I first came across Anne on twitter! I would love to read it!!!! She’s an inspiration. I have my own thoughts on “taboo” subjects and would love to learn more about addressing them and putting them into words.

  • Holly Leach

    I would love to have the opportunity to read this book. I tend to keep everything inside and have struggled with depression for 21 years. Perhaps if I find a way to let some stuff out in an appropriate manner, it could help my depression. I enjoyed watching the video. I really felt connected. God Bless.

  • Roman

    I want this book because I counsel and mentor a lot of young adults and teenagers who deal with this very issue. i would devour this book in a week because I think it’s a vital and significant issue in the Church and in the world today. I will DEFINITELY read this book.

  • Kristy

    In March my daughter will be two years old, just after my son is born in February. Just yesterday I talked with another young, Christ-following mom about discussing the “taboo topics” with our kids when the time comes. We both admitted our parents had not approached some important issues until we were much older, if at all. It hasn’t been any easier getting church families to welcome or encourage these types of discussions either. As a Momma to a daughter and son, I am motivated to dig deeper into this issue and hopefully gain insight that will help my husband and I to navigate these waters in righteousness and grace. I hope to win a copy of this book and to soak in Anne’s wisdom and experience!

  • Christopher Lash

    There are three main reasons I would like this book.
    1) I am a Moody Bible Institute student and I am…well… broke. The ability for me to buy books is limited.
    2) It would be a great gift to read this book (an even greater one to be able to read it for free!) because this is an issue in the church (the issue of silence through pain) that I believe needs to be addressed. I would love to be able to flip through pages to learn more about the problem AND how we as Christian leaders can tell people “it is okay to not be okay, it is just not okay to stay there.”
    3) I would most assuredly read this book. There is more of a guarantee of me reading this book than the probability of the average college student consuming over 4 cups of coffee in writing a research paper.

    Happy picking!

  • Dave Gullett

    We’re called to bear one another’s burdens and to confess our faults to each other, yet fear and lack of love keep us hiding behind masks and keep our lips sealed about what we really have going on in our hearts. I would love to read Anne’s book and share it with my wife and those in our small group….we keep edging closer and closer to truly being honest with each other, and I believe this would help.

  • Mel

    I love the words that Anne has given us to read! Very precious indeed…and very thought provoking! Her first book “Mad Church Disease” came to us at a time when we so needed it. It helped to read those words and then start to heal from our experiences. I know that God has great things in store for this next book!

  • Brenda Hook

    I would LOVE to have a copy of the book… (I would normally buy one for myself, but I recently left my job in nonprofit to start a new wellness ministry so I’m on a very limited budget.) I have some dear friends who are “musicianaries” and deliver a very unique message about hidden addictions, particularly pornography. Their ministry, White Collar Sideshow, is extremely unusual and more than a little bizarre… but they are authentic and God is changing lives through them. Still, many churches are afraid to discuss the topics of porn, drug addiction, eating disorders, and self-mutilation. Hopefully the efforts of people like Anne Jackson and TD & Veronica Benton (of WCS) will bring these issues into the light — even within the church.

  • karen haring

    My top two prayer requests for our church for the year: GRACE and UNITY. This book will help our leadership team understand how authenticity and brokenness can lead to a culture of grace.

  • Tammy T

    I would love to read this book. I have spent most of my life searching. What I have been taught has been the leagalistic approach of deeds and works and never about the peace of ‘grace’ until just in the last three years. It is refreshing to hear other’s stories and realize you aren’t alone and realize that there is healing if we can all open up and talk about it.

  • Audie

    Over the past several years, the Lord has been breaking me out of some of the chains of my upbringing, a mentality that says that the most important thing about being a Christian is making sure everything looks nice and tidy on the outside, even if it’s a disaster inside our hearts. Over the past several years of my life, God has been teaching me that He’s not a God who requires us to be neatly wrapped packages. He wants our mess, and He wants our question. I’m so looking forward to reading this book as another step in the direction of uncovering His heart in regards to us being open and transparent with everyone, first and foremost Him.

  • Lisa White

    I would like a copy of this book.

  • Ottersathome

    Thank you for this interview. I intend to purchase the book. This issue is something I personally have walked in the church and ministered grace to people who have been hurt by the church. I’ve been frustrated by the lack of grace and honesty in the church and I’m glad to see a potential move of the Holy Spirit to heal the body of Christ. I love your idea of “communities of grace”. That’s what we’re suppose to be but unfortunately we aren’t always. We should always err on the side of grace and love. Not so sin will increase but so that God’s love will increase and do His transforming work. (sound familiar?) Thanks again for writing and sharing the book.

  • Uma Maheswaran S

    Mike! Thoroughly enjoyed reading the book sent by you. You can read my review on .

  • Pingback: Mistakes Are Your Chance to Shine Out Others! | :: Inspiring Shipments :: by Ivana Sendecka()

  • Roy Wallen

    Convicted by the story Anne jackson shared and a grateful recipient of her book, I have now finished reading it and posted the following review on,, and Thank you for sharing her story and publishing her book.

    _Permission to Speak Freely_ by Anne Jackson
    Published by Thomas Nelson, 2010; 194 pp.
    This book is beautiful and ugly. On the one side, it can be considered in the same context as those hand-crafted note, poems, and pictures that are included in its pages. The paper, the feel of the embossed cover, and the words as they fitted together are all part of Jackson’s craft in writing. In fact, “beautiful” is a word she uses as she describes the result of confessing broken and discouraged lives.
    On the other side, this book is ugly. Who would think that upstanding, Christian, young women could be addicted to pornography, willing to live behind a façade of “being good”? Who would think that a depressed and cocaine-riddled young woman could start a movement that would inspire Jackson to tell the story? In Christianity, there is an ugliness of self-righteousness that needs to be confessed and buried. There is also an ugliness of sin that needs to be confessed and for which we need to be accountable. If we are to love as we have been loved, we need to accept the ugly side of people’s lives – and, if we are honest, of our own lives.
    Jackson pulls no punches. While the book is largely autobiographical, it is more an example of what lies beneath the surface of too many Christians. The book is, as she writes, the “gift of going first” in confessing something that is normally withheld by fear but, once said, opens the way for others to realize that they are not along and need not fear exposing themselves by their own confessions. The book does a service to women – as well as men – who need to know there are resources for help. We need to be comfortable in these uncomfortable situations to love the unlovely.
    Reading this book will show that we are not alone in sin and we need not be alone in confession. Adopting the love of others, as instructed as a central part of Christian faith, will make us each stronger.

  • Jocelyne

    I would love a copy of this book because I need to read for myself that no one in church is perfect, and no one in church has it all together.  I need to hear there’s hope for me, hope to go on and keep growing, no matter what the past holds… thank you.