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God Revealed: Revisit Your Past to Enrich Your Future Paperback – February 2, 2014
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The Amazon Book Review
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"A memoir with practical and often powerful inspirational advice." - Kirkus Reviews
“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
—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
About 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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Top customer reviews
The book has many wonderful stories from his family life and career life and he discusses how God may have had a hand in how each of the stories played to conclusion. The way that he ended his migraine headaches seems miraculous as does his mother's healing of her heart disease. His father's vision of the afterlife was inspiring as well and the fact that he was able to share it helped him and his family to have less grief when his father died soon after the vision.
Each chapter has a few loosely related stories and then summarizes the lessons learned, how God had been in the moment and he also poses questions to the reader about whether he or she can see any similar moments in their own lives.
Mr. Sievert's life as portrayed in this book is one to be emulated and is strong evidence that a spiritual life coupled with active love and care for other people raises the level of that person's life to higher planes and levels of happiness and success.
The point of the book, which I agree with, is that there are times in your past where God was at work in what happened and you may not have realized it until you looked back later and saw just what needed to occur for that change or significant moment to happen.