Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where I Got The Idea For Honest August

As the month of August ends, so does Honest August. I got the theme of honesty from a blogger I regularly read and highly respect. Anne Jackson. I have her listed in my 'Bloggers Who Inspire Me'. On that page I say that I am inspired by her honesty. And amazingly enough, she took the time to comment her appreciation on that page!

But honesty is who she is.

Today is her book release. Permission to Speak Freely hit the shelves in paperback and websites as an audiobook. I managed to get a pre-released copy. It's short. I read it over the course of 2 cigars* (about 3 hours).

And I was deeply moved by her words. She is calling for the church to be honest. I wanted to post my Amazon review of her book here:

"This book hurts. Because it is messy.
Anne Jackson has a one of a kind boldness to publicly confess her deepest and darkest secrets. To show that she is broken. And to show that she is healing.
This book is a gem. One that I want all of my friends to read.
I read the first half of the book in one sitting. Heartbroken, I closed the book to ponder what I read. I left the book closed for a few days. Re-opened and read one chapter (#14, Sanctuary).
In it, she states,
"Churches have been sacrificing the beauty of confession and brokenness for religious trappings and the malady of perfectionism."
Wow. I had to sit the book down again and wonder about this for a day.
This is a short book. I suppose it could be read in one sitting. But for me, I wouldn't be able to digest the massively important ideas she presents in one sitting. It took breaks. It took chewing.
Usually, with a book like this, the author will use a powerful real life example at the end to prove their final point. What did Anne pick to display confession and the power of healing? She chose To Write Love On Her Arms. And believe me. It drove the point home.
Lastly, the art and images she picked to separate the parts of her book are wonderful confessions. They're messy, just like the rest of the book. But expect to be moved by some."

Thank you Anne for being honest.

I really want you guys to buy and read this book. I want us to truly discover the sacredness of confession. In too many ways, I believe the American Church has trapped itself in perfectionism, professionalism, and false impressions. Our only way out of this corner is to be honest. To God, ourselves, and others.

This is the end of Honest August.
But not the end of honesty.
This is a boy and his God.

Let me know if you decide to read this book. And let me know what you think of it.

*Yes. I smoke cigars. Just being honest. ;)