This Outside Life

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

I only feel right about myself on days I go outside, no matter the weather. That’s why This Outside Life caught my eye. Laurie Kehler has lived a far more adventurous life than I have, yet I enjoyed living vicariously through her nature stories. She also shares interesting facts about the creation and paints poetically beautiful pictures. Her book inspires me to praise God every time I set out on a country walk, even today while it was pouring down rain. It’s a great Christian book for nature lovers who enjoy communing with the one true God in creation.

Favorite quote:

“When I pluck a sun-warmed blackberry off the vine in the late afternoon and taste exploding summer sweetness, I close my eyes in reverence.”

I received a preview copy of This Outside Life from Netgalley.
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This Outside Life by Laurie Kehler is a wonderful exploration of how God works through nature.  The Scriptures are full of references to nature and how it expresses God's glory.  This book is a wonderful reminder to stop and soak it all in.  This is a book to savor and enjoy.  I highly recommend it.  I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.
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Nowhere, do we see, hear, smell, or taste God, then through being outdoors. In this book, chapter upon chapter, from her adventures with scuba diving, wind, chipmunks, fireflies, etc... Laurie not only talks about her love of outdoor adventures, (in which she describes some of them in educating details) she shows how God is there among all of it. In her stories and that of others, she opens a whole new way of relating with God, the Creator of the great outdoors. And at the end of every chapter she invites you through questions to reflect upon that relationship.
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I initially thought this would be a scientific look at God revealed in nature. I’m not sure why I thought that but I did! My slight disappointment that it’s not like that (although there are science bits in it) was quickly replaced with delight. I love this book! The author follows a similar pattern in each chapter, relating experiences from her own life, from the high octane adventures to the more relaxed observations and then uses biblical examples and her own reflections. I’ve read similarly reflective books that seem quite shallow but this one achieves a great balance, in-depth without being too deep whilst being an easy and insightful read, no getting bogged down in academic language. I’d recommend reading it slowly and maybe a chapter a day to get the full benefit. There are many great stories here you could use for sermon illustrations as well. Definitely recommended. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Harvest House for ARC.
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This Outside Life is full of tales of the outside coupled with Biblical principals and stories you can learn from getting outside.
This book isn't what i thought it was at first; i thought it was a book about seeing God in Nature. After the initial disappointment, I really got into the book. In most chapters, Laurie Ostby Kehler regales you tales of her outdoor adventures.She educates the reader about nature including animals and plants. In most chapters, she ties into a biblical passages or ideal. She beautiful spins a tale about bob cats into having strength in God.
Overall, I  loved this book. It really fed the naturey spiritual side of me
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I wanted to read this because I completely agree that spending time in nature is a great way to experience God's creation and to calm ourselves with a focus on gratitude for all that God provides. For people of like minds, I do suggest giving this book a look, but I found it very meandering and surface-level, and for me, there wasn't enough meat to the observations.
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You know, I somehow managed to download this book by accident. But it was a happy mistake because I ended up enjoying it quite a bit!  I had a little trouble getting started but eventually found her format to be somewhat similar to Gift From the Sea.  The author focused each chapter on one aspect of nature- wind, bluebirds, starfish- and after giving us some facts, she skillfully directed our attention to spiritual insights.  I learned a lot of science, which was an unexpected bonus.  The best gift, however, was the application part of the chapter. Taking our spiritual lessons and learning to apply them in our life is an ongoing journey.  The questions at the end of each chapter were well considered and would enable this book to be adapted for bible study or small groups. 
I want to thank the author, the publisher and Netgalley for this advance copy.  I'm happy to find a new author who speaks to my heart and I look forward to reading more of her works.
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I loved this book! There is nothing like getting outside and seeing and hearing all of God's beautiful creation. This book is well written and a book I will read more than once. Thank you Harvest House Publishing via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. This is my honest opinion.
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The ideas and perspective in this book are fantastic; that we should all spend time worshiping in and connecting to creation. With busy, internally and indoor focused lives, we all need a reminder to look up and out regularly. The writing wasn't perfect or terribly engaging, but a worthwhile read for sure.
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I was initially drawn to this book because of the name: This Outside Life: Finding God in the Heart of Nature. I am a huge believer in the value of regularly being outside (and personally, I feel closest to God when in nature!) The introduction highlights God's character which can be seen throughout every aspect of nature; we are encouraged to slow down and take notice. Kehler's book is a standout to me - it's a unique outdoor commentary that combines personal experience with God's Word. I enjoyed the ending section of each chapter where the author provides further discussion questions regarding the specific topic. There were a few grammatical errors that I marked; however, Kehler is a beautiful writer who notices the details many of us have failed to see. I recommend this book for anyone who desires to slow down to 'stop and smell the roses' (so to speak!) There is so much God is ready to reveal to you as you get outdoors and find Him!
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This outside life

The author begins her book by sharing how God wants us to enjoy His creation as it reveals His character, power and nature. She then speaks about “ forest bathing”, walking outside and paying attention to the sights and sounds around you - such as breaking a branch to smell its’ fragrance!
The author mentions that a childhood spent indoors can lead to mental issues, but a child who is exposed to nature is mentally healthy.
You are also taken on a wild rapids trip, in which the author falls into raging rapids and has to avoid being crushed by boulders, and by going underwater at a depth of 160 feet to get “auger shells!” 
There is a chapter on wind that discusses stormy winds, hot winds, and icy winds, and then the subject of the Holy Spirit’s wind at Pentecost is discussed.
After each chapter, the author uses discussion questions to deepen your understanding of the topic being discussed and how it relates to your life and the Word of God.
Enjoy your outdoor adventure!
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