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  • ivanildotrindade 9:07 pm on May 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: career move, changing direction, desert experience, , , go and do book review, go and do here, go and do overseas, jay milbrandt, laura gibson, middle class life   

    “Go and Do” Is Closer Than You Think! 

    Blogger’s Note: Today I have the great privilege to welcome Laura Gibson, my friend and former co-worker, into these pages. Laura now serves as a board member of G.R.O.W. and she just finished reading the book Go and Do (remember, the one that if you buy on Amazon you will be helping G.R.O.W.?). Well, here are her reflections, please give a listen:

    Go and Do is a book about one young man’s journey in life through the lens of his Christian faith. Jay Milbrandt seemed to come from a typical middle-class family that afforded him the opportunity to go to college and then on to law school. But Jay, like many of us who have lives of relative privilege, felt bored and less than purposeful pursuing the typical American lawyer life.

    So, through the work of the Spirit in him, a sermon about life’s deserts, and Jay’s own choice to risk the possibility of hurting his career, he set out to go and do. Jay’s go and do trip led him to  spend a summer interning in Thailand to help combat human trafficking and his life has never been the same.  In going and doing , taking the biggest risk of his life, he felt more alive than he ever had and more in the center of God’s will than ever before. He continues to live this lifestyle and remains alive and purpose-filled in it.

    In reading this book, I resonated with Jay. From as young as I can remember, I have always felt the urge to go and do, specifically for orphans. I did this in college, spending six months in Cambodia, helping AIDS orphans.  The experience wrecked and re-ordered my life priorities in good and bad ways. But God was in it all.

    If you are bored with your life, if you hope that Christianity has to be more than church on Sundays and daily personal devos, this book is for you. God will change you in the midst of it, in ways you hope for and possibly ways you don’t. If you go and do, you will be different when you come back. You won’t fit into “normal life” the way you used to. You have to be ready to risk and truly believe that the only life you need to fit into is the one God calls you to.

    One caveat, Jay talks of going to far away places like Thailand, Uganda, and Rwanda. This is great and if this is where your heart is, pray for funds to go and live frugally so you can. But you can go and do in the exact place you live right now. There are children and adults who are abused, parentless, and homeless in every town in America. You can go and do to the least of these right where you are or across an ocean. One might lead to the other. Just don’t limit yourself and don’t limit God. One appears more glamorous, but they are of equal value in the eyes of God. Be in the Word and in prayer so you can determine where God might be leading you.

    And then: DON’T THINK TOO MUCH. Just go and do. And see where God takes you.

    Laura Gibson

    • Julie 12:52 pm on May 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Ivanildo, Can you give us some “go and do” ideas in a future post? I’m especially interested in the areas of abuse prevention through domestic violence work and through prison ministries, both male and female.

  • ivanildotrindade 6:01 pm on May 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ecclesiastes, , jay milbrandt, Meredith Brooks, parallel career, second half of life   

    “Go and Do” Book: Your Future Starts Now! 

    We have a proverb in Portuguese that has to do with moving the hot charcoal closer to your sardines. No idea where that comes from, but a rough equivalent in English would be something like “tooting your own horn” or doing something to benefit yourself. I am going to do that today (a “self-serving” post, see last paragraph).

    I’ve been reading Jay Milbrandt’s new book Go and Do — daring to change the world one story at a time. Yesterday I was once again confronted with an issue Jay calls “the great tension” — the tendency we all have to live between what others want us for us and what we truly want for ourselves.

    Jay says that students sometimes come into his office excited about “going and doing” something. Time goes by and the next time they come in the excitement is gone. There is no fire in the eyes anymore. Their balloon is deflated and the “go and do” turns into “settling and gathering” (my language). When Jay asks what happened, typical answers are: “My parents are not too keen on the idea,” or “I was told it would not help me get a good job,” etc.  So Jay warns us not to become a “collection of other people’s desires for our lives.”

    I feel blessed there were times I did not to listen to some well-meaning but misguided people in my life. My math teacher in High School thought I should become a civil engineer — I followed my gut and went with languages and literature, which turned out to be a great choice. My friends in school laughed at my feeble attempts to learn English — I pressed on, bugging every blue-eyed, light-haired person within sight. And that’s why I can write this blog today.

    I have met so many people whom I call “wish people.” They wanted to write poetry. Or travel the world. Or take on rock climbing. Or write a book, learn Arabic. They wanted to learn to paint. The list goes on and on. One day they woke up and realized that their waiting outlasted their useful life. Or perhaps disaster hit and their time is no more. They  spend the rest of whatever time they have left regretting that they waited so long. They’ve now become “could’ve been people.”

    Don’t be a “wish” or “could’ve been” person. Here is how:

    1. Listen to your heart and to what God is whispering to you. Run other people’s desires about you through that filter.

    2. Don’t have grand illusions of changing the world. Only a few will be capable of great sacrifice to benefit the entire world. But all of us can just start with what is right in front of us.

    3. Be present. You don’t have to have an agenda or a project. Be willing to go even if it means only sharing your story with people and letting them share their story with you.

    4. Start your “parallel career” now. Planning the second half of your life does not have wait until you reach the second half mark. Start today, perhaps by working light hours for a non-profit, starting a foundation or discovering how your skills can benefit a worthy project.

    Beyond what Jay says, I say throw yourself with enthusiasm at whatever it is you’re doing. I don’t mean by that more zeal for work, better systems, more efficiency. I mean exactly what the word means. “Enthusiasm” comes from the Greek. It means to be filed with inspiration. Literally “in+theos” (= God-filled). God is the author of unrestricted, unmitigated, totally outrageous, over-dosed, over-sized joy. The author of Ecclesiastes puts it this way, “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might…” Like the rocker Meredith Brooks says in a song, “If you are going to shout, do it good and loud.”

    Thankfully, I already have my “parallel career”: I am trying to do all I can to get small children out of the hands of the sick sex traders in Thailand and Cambodia. And every time you buy a copy of Jay’s book on Amazon, a portion of the purchase will benefit the work of G.R.O.W. So if you ever wanted to make a difference, don’t wait until tomorrow!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

  • ivanildotrindade 4:28 pm on April 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , jay milbrandt, pepperdine university, , , , , , , vacation with a purpose,   

    Go and Do – a little book with a big dare 

    It’s not every day that you get a book for free and you go home and you read half of it before you go to bed on the same day, but that’s exactly what happened to me last Friday!

    Just before I went home, as I always do, I checked my mail box and found a yellow envelope from Tyndale Publishers. Inside it was a brand new copy of Jay Milbrandt’s book Go and Do: Daring to Change the World One Story at a Time with a note from the author. The book is outstanding and I can’t recommend it enough. You can pre-order it on Amazon now and it will be available on Barnes & Nobles starting this coming Thursday.

    Jay Milbrandt is a young attorney and serves as the Director of the Global Justice Program and Associate Director of the Nootbaar Institute for Law, Religion, and Ethics at Pepperdine University School of Law. He is also a friend and more importantly, he is a friend to Faa, the young lady with whom I co-founded G.R.O.W., an organization that is rescuing children from the sex trade industry in SE Asia.

    For this reason, I am partial to the book. I knew it was being published and I even got an advanced copy of some of its contents. Gosh, I even made some suggestions to the author, a couple of which made it to the final version of the book. But I am biased for another reason: every purchased copy of Jay’s book will generate a contribution to the work of G.R.O.W.

    And here is why: I met Jay in Thailand. He already knew Faa and had been working with her on some projects rescuing at-risk children and advocating on behalf of some landless, displaced youths who had no place to go. Jay had his life changed by the children Faa introduced to him on the streets of Chiang Mai and in fact in the first 55 pages of his book, he tells the story of how me met Faa and how the children she was helping on the streets changed his life.

    Jay is convinced that every change starts with us first and he tells the story of how this happened to him. Faa played a big part in it and thus his tale is filled with stories of redemption and chaos from the life of children with no voice. You will laugh and cry as you read Jay’s story, and I hope it will inspire you to go and do something.

    It could start with a trip overseas. Not simply a vacation, but a vacation with a purpose. Perhaps your journey will parallel Jay’s. If nothing also, you will be helping G.R.O.W. build a learning center in Wiang Pa Pao, Thailand, which is how Jay is going to use part the funds generated through the sale of his book.

    I hope you will buy a copy of this book. It is not a long book, in fact, as books go, it is a little book. But there is a big dare inside of it. Read it to find out. You may find yourself, just like Jay, asking the question, “What Am I Here For?” And the journey will start.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

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