Free Book Giveaway & Book Review: Orange Jumpsuit: Letters to the God of Freedom

by Bobby Gilles

in Exhortations And Musings

Kristen Gilles holding a copy of "Orange Jumpsuit: Letters to the God of Freedom" by Tara-Leigh Cobble

Here's the copy of "Orange Jumpsuit" you could win. Kristen is my Gameshow Model.

Some of you don’t need to read my book review because you already know what a vibrant, honest, convicting author Tara-Leigh Cobble is, or you are a fan of her music who didn’t realize she writes books too, or you read my recent Tara-Leigh Cobble interview and can see that you should familiarize yourself with her work. So for you, here’s the nitty-gritty:

Jump on Twitter (even if you don’t currently have an account it will take you seconds to sign up, for free). Then post this exact Tweet (you can simply copy-and-paste this into your Twitter status update):

@bobbygilles register me to win a free, signed copy of #OrangeJumpsuit, the new book by @taraleighcobble

That’s it! You have until 9am tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 17). I’ll choose the contest winner by using the True Random Number Generator at You’ll get a brand new, first edition copy, signed by Tara-Leigh.

Pastor/author Jared Wilson wrote of Orange Jumpsuit: Letters to the God of Freedom, “With great depth and wit, Tara-Leigh Cobble provides a powerful portrait of the feminine heart — resilient, complex, awakening to God’s love.”

I couldn’t agree more. But it’s not just for women. As I inhaled this entire book in one day, these are the kinds of people I imagined myself buying copies in bulk for, if I were a rich man:

  • Songwriters (and check out her cool Appendix list of songs that correspond to the chapters of this book)
  • Church small group leaders
  • Singles, divorcees, widows and widowers
  • Christians struggling in their faith
  • Doubters and agnostics
  • Church youth & college groups
  • Everyone whom Christ has freed, yet who still puts on that orange prison jumpsuit and paces back and forth in their cell, as if oblivious to the widely-swung prison door that now stands open. Which is all of us, from time to time.
Author Tara-Leigh Cobble. Photo courtesy Jeremy Cowart

Author Tara-Leigh Cobble. Photo courtesy Jeremy Cowart

In other words, enter the My Song In The Night contest to win this book. And then if you don’t win, buy it. And buy some copies for the people in your life who fit in one or more of the above categories.

Tara-Leigh Cobble’s writing seems effortless because she is a master of the conversational style. But deep art resides in the marrow of her writing. Check out her use of metaphor and personification here:

Leaves crunched under the wheels of my luggage. The sky was an angry neighbor, throwing things into our yard, disturbing my efforts at silence with raucous exclamations.

Orange Jumpsuit is a memoir, covering the period of Tara-Leigh’s move from New York City to a small town in South Carolina. During this period she grew a Discipleship ministry for young female church small group leaders, she struggled to overcome the aftermath of a failed relationship, and she fell in love with someone new, only to see things go south again.

But we don’t just get a “Dear Diary” version of someone’s life. You’ll learn stuff. Some of it is so practically helpful that you’d expect to find it in a dry “How to do ministry” manual, like her list of questions she and her accountability partner drafted for making their accountability group more productive — questions on:

  • Spiritual Disciplines
  • Specific Areas Of Sin
  • Relationship With God

and closing questions. Its so helpful that my own accountability partner and I will begin using it immediately. In all my study as a church staff worker, I’ve never seen a better and yet more succinct field guide for accountability groups.

And you’ll learn something that Kristen and I preach over and again here at My Song In The Night, the value of an honest, open, courageous testimony. Tara-Leigh shies away from nothing, similar to the brutal honesty with God that David the Psalmist recorded. Orange Jumpsuit can teach you a thing or two about lament:

“I regret obeying You!” I screamed into the night air as I drove home. I hit my palms on the steering wheel at a red light. “I have followed You my whole life — not out of obligation, and not because I was trying to earn something, but because I love you! And now my bones are on fire and You’re holding a fire hose and I keep calling Your name, but you’re standing across the street handing out flowers to other people who don’t even like You! I love You and You won’t even touch me. What’s wrong with You! You’re a tease. Go make Your sunsets, go stir up wind and thunderstorms, go plant love in the hearts of the lonely. Whatever. I’ll plug my ears and close my eyes because I don’t want any of that from You anymore. Stop taunting me.”

But her story is ultimately one of hope and grace, even though there are no easy answers or Disney endings. It’s a story that involves people you may know (like Pastor Matt Chandler and his wife Lauren, who wrote the Forward) and many you don’t know, although they will feel familiar to you.

Tara-Leigh herself summed up this book in the best possible way: “This is a love story. But it’s no fairytale. Or maybe, it is.”

Again, you can win a copy of Orange Jumpsuit: Letters to the God of Freedom through our Twitter book giveaway. Simply Tweet this:

@bobbygilles register me to win a free copy of #OrangeJumpsuit, the new book by @taraleighcobble

You can purchase Orange Jumpsuit in a combo pack with Tara-Leigh Cobble’s latest record, Morning’s War, for just $22.

Buy the Kindle version of Orange Jumpsuit: Letters to the God of Freedom here.

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