God Revealed: Revisit Your Past to Enrich Your Future

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Overview

Raised in a lower-middle-class family that only occasionally spoke of God, Fred Sievert received an unexpected visit from God when he was twelve. Despite his subsequent experiences as an adult, transitioning from a math teacher to the president of a Fortune 100 company—a journey driven by an aggressive pursuit of the American dream—his habit of thoughtful reflection and his spiritual longing from that one encounter in boyhood informed his decisions for the rest of his life.

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God Revealed: Revisit Your Past to Enrich Your Future

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Overview

Raised in a lower-middle-class family that only occasionally spoke of God, Fred Sievert received an unexpected visit from God when he was twelve. Despite his subsequent experiences as an adult, transitioning from a math teacher to the president of a Fortune 100 company—a journey driven by an aggressive pursuit of the American dream—his habit of thoughtful reflection and his spiritual longing from that one encounter in boyhood informed his decisions for the rest of his life.

Whether it was during meetings with presidents of the United States, a chance encounter with a long-forgotten acquaintance, or on family trips, Fred developed a habit of prayer and listening. The significance of what he heard during these reflections, his choice of actions, and the experiences themselves—events that seemed random at the time—only became clear many years later. As he began telling the stories of his life to his family, for the first time he truly understood how every step of the way, and particularly during hardship and disappointment, God had been by his side, whispering, advising, and helping him make course corrections along his journey.

In God Revealed, Fred shares these stories because they are stories about you—your longing, your disappointments, your successes, your need for balance. His stories are memory triggers for your own insights. They will prompt recollections in your own life, experiences you may not previously have realized were packed with divine guidance or intervention. “Every life is a unique journey,” says Fred, and by reading God Revealed and revisiting your past, you most certainly will enrich your future.

Millions of Americans are driven to business success at the expense of both their spiritual development and their family’s need for time and attention. The reflections in God Revealed will encourage ongoing attentiveness to God and His divine role in the reader’s future as well as the development of a healthy balance between the career, family, and spiritual dimensions of their lives.

Consumers who read God Revealed will be inspired, motivated, and at times amused. They also will be able to:

• Draw on stories from the author’s life to reflect on their own experiences for evidence of God’s guidance and presence.

• Consider the real possibility that their experiences may have been providential rather than serendipitous.

• Recognize that they may have missed life-transforming opportunities, and that they may still be able to act on them.

• Become attuned to watching and listening for messages and guidance from God in the future as they learn to balance the work, family, and spiritual dimensions of their lives.

• Learn from the referenced biblical passages that connect the author’s experiences to spiritual truths or to God’s promises.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In this debut memoir, a life insurance executive retires early and focuses his life on family and faith.

Executive-turned–inspirational writer Sievert tells how he went from running the rat race to living a life of grace. He writes that he wasn’t particularly devout as he was growing up, although at age 12 he had a “mystical experience” that led to a close relationship with God. He traces what he sees as God’s influence in his life, including an incident when he suddenly told his father to stop the car before backing out of a driveway; incredibly, a neighborhood toddler was fast asleep behind a rear tire. After marrying, climbing the corporate ladder and becoming president of New York Life Insurance, Sievert left a successful career to attend divinity school and pursue “things that really mattered.” This wasn’t easy for Sievert, a man who got by on minimal sleep and checked his email at 4 a.m. while on vacation. The author writes about how his faith saw through personal crises (infertility, the deaths of his parents) as well as professional ones (project failures, stressful job situations). The book starts slowly, but the stories soon gather momentum. Sievert’s prose is crisp and clear, and his tales about his family are particularly moving. Although he was clearly a power player during his business career, he never comes off as arrogant, instead modestly and honestly relating his faults and struggles. (One story, about how he worked to change tax law, delves a bit too deeply into insurance company workings, but otherwise, the book is free of business jargon.) He also tells about the challenge of raising a son who suffered from depression. “I trust in God’s wisdom and believe our experiences, both joyful and dreadful, have a divine purpose,” Sievert writes. He follows each chapter with exercises for reflection to help those interested in using the book for individual or group study.

A memoir with practical and often powerful inspirational advice.”

-Kirkus Reviews

“Fred Sievert retired from a successful business career as the highly respected president of New York Life to pursue his deeper passions, including attending Yale Divinity School and writing about his lifelong encounters with God. I have been studying, writing, and speaking for decades about the ways in which longer life affords us second chances and new beginnings. Fred’s story is a dazzling example of an individual, who in his post-career life, is attempting to make the transition from success to significance. God Revealed is a poignant, thoughtful, and illuminating look into life’s deeper meanings and mysteries.”
—Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., psychologist/gerontologist,founding CEO of Age Wave,author of Bodymind, Age Wave, The Power Years, and A New Purpose: Redefining Money, Family, Work, Retirement and Success

“Fred’s family stories inspired me to write my own family story about God’s grace through a painful divorce. My Christmas letter reconnected me with family and friends. You’ll be inspired too as you see God Revealed in the stories in this book.”
—Larry Bennett, past president of the New York Life Agents Advisory Council

“Through thirty-two refreshingly clear-headed recollections, Sievert engages us in an exploration of faithfulness and the sacred in life. His rich experience of family, business leadership, and personal growth is coupled to a theologically trained approach that challenges him and the reader to discover, listen, trust, and receive the very complicated blessings of faith.”
—Laura Nash, Ph.D., co-author of Just Enough: Tools for Creating Success in Work and Life; former senior lecturer, Harvard Business School

“Restless souls in a restless culture we are, and often unaware that our very restlessness is a form of longing for transcendence, for the experience of the Divine. In this book the former president of a major company (rather than a “religious professional”) tells his own story with the goal of opening minds and hearts to the possibility of encounters with God in everyday life. Like our loves, our encounters with God are unique to each one of us; and also like our loves, our genuine encounters with God are contagious. The record of Sievert’s experiences in God Revealed will fascinate and challenge you and stimulate you to think in a discerning way about your life and God’s place in it.”
—Miroslav Volf, Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology, Yale Divinity School, and founder and director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture

“I was in New York City when Fred Sievert spoke to more than 10,000 New York Life agents and employees at Radio City Music Hall. He was electrifying as the leader of a great company. But his greatest inspiration is found in the pages of this book, where he quietly shares the lessons he’s learned from listening to the kind and benevolent God who quietly guides our lives. His experiences will remind you of the crucial times when God was part of your life. Draw deeply from this well of inspiration.”
—Jerry Borrowman, co-author of A Distant Prayer—Miracles of the 49th Combat Mission with Joseph Banks, DFC, deceased

“Fred Sievert’s book God Revealed fits perfectly wherever you are in your own faith journey. While reading, prepare to be challenged, comforted, charmed, and humbled. My own journey through the pages revealed God’s presence in my life as I reflected on relationships, crossroads, God’s timing, struggles, and joy. Fred Sievert’s website, www.godrevealed.com, nourishes my soul; this book provides a wonderful companion as I seek to find passion during retirement years and understand God’s purpose for my life.”
—Sue Johnson, seeker, lifelong learner, retired teacher, counselor, and school principal

God Revealed is a remarkable and inspiring book that gives us real-life examples of how to watch for and listen to God’s guidance in our lives. If the book were only a collection of Fred’s memoirs it would be fascinating reading, but it is much more than that. Here Fred challenges us to reflect on our own lives in a way that I found especially meaningful and revealed new truths about my own walk with God.”
—Wendy T. Wallace, president of Christian Message through Art

“Sometimes it’s hard to see God’s hand at work; however, looking back, God’s fingerprints are often visible everywhere. In order to help us learn how to recognize God in our personal experiences, Fred Sievert has put together this wonderful collection of stories about how God has been revealed in his life.”
  —David M. Holland, retired president and CEO of Munich American Reassurance Co.

“This honest and engaging book deserves careful consideration by anyone interested in broadening his understanding of the many ways in which God can reveal Himself to us. As President of New York Life Insurance Company, Fred Sievert’s enlightened leadership had a positive impact on the lives of many people. He continues on that path by sharing with us this inspiring account of his personal spiritual journey.”
—James L. Broadhead, retired CEO of NextEra Energy, Inc.

“This book has encouraged me to look at my emerging life experiences from a new perspective. Now, when I don’t see or understand God’s plan, I feel cradled in His loving arms despite my lack of insight. Fred’s words encourage me to approach each day as if it were a renewed search for God’s existence and influence in my life. I find myself looking about in curious wonder while my heart leaps into my voice, saying, ‘Here I am.’ Thank you, Fred, for the awakening!”
—Donnah K. Haisley, owner, designer, and president of HootieBrown Designs, LLC

Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-24
In this debut memoir, a life insurance executive retires early and focuses his life on family and faith. Executive-turned–inspirational writer Sievert tells how he went from running the rat race to living a life of grace. He writes that he wasn't particularly devout as he was growing up, although at age 12 he had a "mystical experience" that led to a close relationship with God. He traces what he sees as God's influence in his life, including an incident when he suddenly told his father to stop the car before backing out of a driveway; incredibly, a neighborhood toddler was fast asleep behind a rear tire. After marrying, climbing the corporate ladder and becoming president of New York Life Insurance, Sievert left a successful career to attend divinity school and pursue "things that really mattered." This wasn't easy for Sievert, a man who got by on minimal sleep and checked his email at 4 a.m. while on vacation. The author writes about how his faith saw through personal crises (infertility, the deaths of his parents) as well as professional ones (project failures, stressful job situations). The book starts slowly, but the stories soon gather momentum. Sievert's prose is crisp and clear, and his tales about his family are particularly moving. Although he was clearly a power player during his business career, he never comes off as arrogant, instead modestly and honestly relating his faults and struggles. (One story, about how he worked to change tax law, delves a bit too deeply into insurance company workings, but otherwise, the book is free of business jargon.) He also tells about the challenge of raising a son who suffered from depression. "I trust in God's wisdom and believe our experiences, both joyful and dreadful, have a divine purpose," Sievert writes. He follows each chapter with exercises for reflection to help those interested in using the book for individual or group study. A memoir with practical and often powerful inspirational advice.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781614486992
  • Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/2/2014
  • Series: Morgan James Faith Series
  • Pages: 252
  • Sales rank: 1,477,578
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred Sievert started his career as a teacher, later entered the insurance business, and retired early—in 2007—as president of New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 corporation. Feeling he had neglected his spiritual education and development, Fred enrolled in Yale Divinity School where he earned a master’s degree in religion in May 2011. His passion is to impact other lives, and to that end he writes, teaches business school courses on strategy and leadership, and serves on the boards of five nonprofit organizations and two for-profit corporations. He also mentors young executives and speaks frequently to church and corporate leaders on the topic of business and spirituality.

Though Fred was not raised in an overtly Christian family, he found God through various life experiences that started in adolescence. This foundation guided and often moderated his aggressive pursuit of business success and the American dream. The power of the stories in God Revealed—and the extent to which God was with Fred throughout his young life and business career—only became fully apparent to him after retirement, as he reflected on his life, his family, and his successes. These stories have been published in more than a dozen printed and electronic periodicals, attracting an audience of more than 125,000 readers, many of whom in turn have shared their own realizations triggered by the work.

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Read an Excerpt

People are often reluctant to tell their stories for fear of rendering themselves transparent or even vulnerable. But the voices of friends can represent and deliver messages God wants us to hear, teaching or revealing deep truths or lessons that we might otherwise not benefit from or experience directly. If you have missed such messages through friends in the past, chances are this is a fruitful area to revisit for evidence of God speaking to you.

As you read the following stories of God speaking to me through my friends, there may be lessons I learned that are applicable to you as well. But more importantly, think back on your own interactions with friends. Perhaps a friend revealed issues in his or her life that you found strangely similar to your own. Perhaps you learned or could have learned something from that conversation and just maybe God was sending you a message. I encourage you to think of how you may have benefitted in the intervening years if you had only listened, heard, and acted on those messages. It may not be too late.

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Table of Contents

How to Read and Get the Most Out of this Book

Introduction

Chapter 1: God Revealed . . . in Faith-Stirring Experiences
My Mystical Adolescent Experience
Sue’s Prayers
Saving a Family from Ruin
Epiphany in India
Exercises

Chapter 2: God Revealed . . . Through Our Friendships
My Friend Warren
Finding Your Greatness
My Not-So-Secret Love
Erin’s Story
Exercises

Chapter 3: God Revealed . . . at the Crossroads in Our Lives
Tragedy Interrupted
A Math Teacher in the Girl’s Locker Room
A Career Turning Point
Lessons for the Affluent in Africa
Exercises

Chapter 4: God Revealed . . . According to His Timing
The Miracles of Childbirth and Adoption
A Posthumous Business Lesson from Dad
Unexpected Lessons from President Clinton
The Hanoi Hilton: Burying the Painful Past
Exercises

Chapter 5: God Revealed . . . in Our Hours of Need
Doing What’s Right
Prayers for Mom
The Migraine Headache Cure
Dad’s Transcendence
Exercise

Chapter 6: God Revealed . . . in Our Family Relationships
Memories of Mom
The Accidental Legacy
Cultural Differences
Johnny’s Yard
Discovery in Korea
Finding Roots in Poland
Creation versus Evolution
Exercises

Chapter 7: God Revealed . . . in the Workplace
Pride and Congressional Sausage-Making
Lunch with a President
Trusting God to See Us through Failures
Houston, We Have a Problem with Neil
Impacting the Lives of Others
Exercises

Chapter 8: Receiving and Responding to God’s Messages
Preparing to Hear from God
Discoveries about God’s Nature
Responding to God
And Finally . . .

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Finally

    Can't wait to read about actual evidence for the existence of a god.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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