Cover Image: Eyes Up

Eyes Up

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Member Reviews

I had more hope for this book but couldn't get into it. I think it comes down to our different views of some biblical doctrines but this wasn't a book for me.

*I received this dARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my review.

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Years ago I realized I was believing a lot of wrong things about God, one being “He is good…to other people.” I felt connected to Alexandra Hoover’s stories as she learned to mark where God was working in and around her with Ebenezer stones. The stories are personal but relatable, allowing readers to reflect on their own views of God. I walked away inspired to chart my own Ebenezer stones to more clearly see and remember the goodness and faithfulness of God in my life.

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This book was unlike any other women's Christian self-help books I have read. This book is for any woman at any point in her relationship with God; it doesn't deal with one particular moment in the journey. That was what I loved most about it. Alexandra does a great job of outlining some of the major things (or stones as she refers to them in the book) we deal with in our walk with God, then how to reflect on that moment based on what the scripture has to say. Each chapter is another stone on the journey that you may have experienced or will one day experience. She also does a wonderful job of tying in her personal story to go along with each chapter. It reads like she is sitting there having a conversation with you. The reflection questions at the end of each chapter were extremely helpful in finding the correlation in my own life to that chapter. The questions really helped me examine my walk with God and forced me to think back on various stones in my journey. As a pastor's wife, this really helped me look back and see what God has brought me through and all that He has been trying to teach me on my journey. However, this book will also be great for a woman just beginning her relationship with God. It really can speak to the masses.

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Alexander Hoover has laid before us, in Eyes Up, an amazing story of God’s redemption, mercy and grace. Along with many Biblical illustrations, she charted her Ebenrzer stones (those times when she could look back and see God’s hand in the midst of even the darkest circumstances) and encourages her readers to chart their own Ebenrzer stones. I attend church with Alexander and see a bubbly, vivacious godly woman. Observing her makes one of my favorite quotes in her book even more real: “Our stories are a doorway for onlookers to see God’s redemption and love.” If you have ever questioned “where’s God in what I’m going through, Eyes Up is certainly a book you want to read.

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I was encouraged and challenged on every page of Eyes Up by Alexandra Hoover. The book centers around the idea that our stories matter to God, to ourselves, and to each other. The author challenges readers to find the Ebenezer moments in our stories that point us to God, despite the hardships we all face. I really appreciated her questions at the end of each chapter. They weren't cheesy, and would be great discussion for a small group. She uses scripture in encouraging ways to challenge us to see how our stories can be pointed back to Jesus - and how was there all along even at times when we thought He was not. My only complaint is that there was a good deal of emphasis on sharing stories in community at the end of the book. I do think that is important, but the author did not address safety as part of that. If you are not safe in relationship or in the church, sharing your story can be dangerous/damaging and it would have been nice to have that mentioned. Overall though, this is an encouraging book I will return to in order to savor.

Thank you to the publisher & NetGalley for the advanced ebook copy to read. All opinions are my own.

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Have you ever felt lost? Scared? Disoriented or discouraged? Overlooked or confused? Then Eyes Up is for you. Articulate and eloquent, this book is firmly anchored in a biblical worldview that’s marinated in grace. Drenched in hope and saturated in truth, it’s simply extraordinary.

The book’s main premise comes from a paraphrased quote by Charles Spurgeon: “God is too good to be unkind and He’s too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.”

Packed with practical insights and timely reminders, Eyes Up draws from “Ebenezer” stones of remembrance from the author’s own life as it carefully fleshes out the principles and precepts presented in the text. The purpose of an “Ebenezer stone,” writes the author, is “to trace the places God showed up. To prove to you that God isn’t just good, He is good to YOU.”

Eyes Up urges readers to “Chart your Ebenezers” and “mark you story,” remembering when God showed up and worked in ways both large and small in your own life. It shows how walking in faith isn’t done by seeing but by remembering and looking backwards at all the other “Ebenezers” in your journey and where God met you. It gently reminds us that faith doesn’t need sight. It can last in the dark. And that our sight will never be able to take us where faith can.

Because “He will always show up.”

This book doesn’t pull any punches. It asks the tough questions: “Where was God in this?” “Where are You, God? Why have you left me all alone?” It tackles crises of faith and other personal dilemmas head-on.

There are no canned answers or trite cliches here. No pie-in-the-sky, bye-and-bye breezy bloviating. This is rubber-meets-the-road honest. It’s raw and it’s real. Tightly written with a conversational, chatty style, the text overflows with warmth and authenticity. It includes a discussion of spiritual gifts, where and how believers fit in the Body of Christ, and why and how to “multiply your story” and share your “Ebenezers.” Chapters conclude with lists of questions to prompt further thought and personal reflection.

This a wonderful must-read. If you want to know how and why your story matters, dive in. Reading this book will make you feel like you just swam in an ocean of grace and danced through a fountain of hope.

Indeed, Eyes Up is an exceptional achievement. I didn’t want it to end. Look for more from this talented author. Cuz this one’s a keeper

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