Monday, April 8, 2013

Book review: Free Yourself to Love



I have to admit, it took me two years to read this book but once I determined to read it through, I was so grateful and blessed by the message. 

Free Yourself to Love: The Liberating Power of Forgiveness is the brainchild of bestselling author Jackie Kendall. Jackie is a writer with talents for teaching and counseling and she’s been devoting her life to that threefold ministry for more than 30 years. She is the president of Power to Grow Ministries and very in demand to speak at conferences to people of all ages and walks of life. Jackie is known for sharing her heart through her personal story of abuse. She captivates her audiences with her transparent nature that is not afraid to expose her own vulnerability and she is committed to honesty but speaks the truth in love. 

So when I say it took me two years to read Jackie’s book that was at my own fault of not finding time but I assure you if you take time to read this book, you will benefit because Jackie uses her skill of sharing her heart and speaking the truth in love to a positive effect. Jackie shares her own heartbreak and past abuse and then uses the facts in the form of research, statistics and personal stories she’s heard first hand during her ministry of 30 years. 

The pages of Free Yourself to Love are filled with pearls of wisdom that effectively draws from Scripture. In the Chapter 7 which is titled “Held Hostage by Revenge Fantasies,” Jackie writes, “You can throw something hateful at the one who offended you, but it ends up swinging right back into your life. I would rather be chased by God’s blessings than by a boomerang heading straight for my head. “Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous,” says Proverbs (13:21, NLT)."

Ample evidence from real life scenarios support every point Jackie makes on the necessity of forgiveness. In Chapter 8 ("Held Hostage by the Incubation of Anger"), Jackie shares a story about a time when she as college student, accepted an invitation to spend a weekend at the home of her English literature teacher Dr. Evangeline Banta and Banta’s husband. The weekend provided time for Jackie to closely examine the love relationship between the Banta’s and she witnessed a love she thought was only found in literature. So impressed by what she saw, Jackie asked Evangeline to share her secret to such a beautiful love relationship that has lasted for over 40 years. Evangeline answered Jackie with Bible based advice about not letting the sun go down on your anger (Ephesians 4:26). “We made a commitment on our wedding night that we would not go to sleep angry with one another,” she said, making an indelible impression on Jackie which when she wrote this book led Jackie to tell her readers with a bit of humor, “Going to bed angry with one’s mate will only result in dragon breath come morning.” 

Perhaps the best advice in all of the 224 pages of Free Yourself to Love is found on page 214 where Jackie shares a story of how she personally took time at a conference where she was the speaker to tell each of the girls present to “place her hand over her heart and continually whisper this prayer to Jesus: “Heal my heart wound, Lord.”

While Jackie is a realist in the sense that she tells her readers healing from a broken past or great offense will take time but there is hope because Jesus Christ will, if you let Him, turn your broken into beautiful. 

My recommendation for this book goes out to everyone and anyone who’s suffering from a broken past, a painful present and an uncertain future. Read this book, apply the advice and you will find yourself not only free to love but leading as Jackie says, “the freedom march of forgiveness.” 

2 comments:

  1. Great review and I am honored that you would blog about "my heart in print." Just last week I received an email from a young father who is just beginning to recover from a heinous crime committed against his children. How is he finally healing--he has started to read my book on forgiveness. He remarked that he has been held hostage by rage for 3 years. He said peace began to flow into his heart by merely reading the introduction! Forgiveness is the greatest gift that Jesus gave us and it is also the greatest gift we give our own souls. Thanks for helping me spread the liberating news of Forgiveness.
    Blessings, Jackie Kendall

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  2. Hi Jackie!
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I appreciate your comment. All the best to you as you continue to minister to the masses with your words, wisdom and engaging personality! :)
    Sincerely,

    Alexis

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