Sitting at the pool relaxing. This is great. What can I say, vacation is going wonderfully. Today I went snorkeling in probably the most beautiful reefs I’ve ever seen. Maybe some of the best in the world for all I know. It was like a forest of color stretching as far as I could see. A whole underwater world that I rarely if ever get the chance to be a part of. Thousands of fish all around me. Waters teeming with life. All I could do was laugh, trying not to gag on my snorkel! Sometimes God’s creation leaves me like that- speechless but bursting with praise and wonder inside.

I can’t think of a more beautiful place to be. We’re on a remote island off of Bali. It’s so much more calm and peaceful here than the main island- nobody hounding me about buying things, nobody chasing me down asking if I want a massage. No traffic. Much quieter. The local people here exist as they always have. In fact our hotel is split into two sections- an older one by the beach, a newer one down the road, and locals still living in huts in between. They’re all really helpful too, willing to give us a motorbike ride up the beach or advising us as to the best surfing spots.

I remarked to some friends today that although we work in some pretty tough conditions we have by far the best vacation spots in the world. Yes, living in Southeast Asia does have it’s benefits. There are times when I just have to pinch myself and say “Josh, where are you? Do you really get to do this?” The people I’ve been able to meet. . . The places I’ve been able to go. . . What can I say? I’m truly blessed to be able to do this. And I thank God for all the opportunities He’s given me. It’s truly remarkable.

“Thank you lord for the beauty of your world. Thank you lord for the wonder of your creation. Thank you lord for the privilege to experience it. I stand in awe lord! Amen!”

— the glory of woman is her beauty
— the glory of man is his strength
— the glory of God is His everything

One of the interesting side effects of living overseas is that I’m for the most part removed from current events and news. At first this was hard for me to adjust to. One thing we have readily available in America is information. We have access to pretty much anything we want to know, be it the weather or how to get from point A to B. As an American it’s a really unsettling feeling not having access to information anymore. We feel kind of stranded.

It’s been a couple years now and I’m really starting to feel a little differently about it. I’m starting to feel a sense of freedom. This is something that gained clarity for me when a small group of Americans came to visit recently. They updated us on all the latest news. It was interesting. I made the offhanded comment that I really have no clue about what was happening in the states. One person from the group said they really admired that, that to them it seemed a purer way to live. I kind of took that to heart. what an insightful comment. I can’t say I disagree. It reminds me of a philosophy, an axiom that I’ve held onto over the years and have applied to several areas of my life: “ignorance is bliss”. This little idea has been a recurrent theme in my life for quite some time. I’m seeing the truth in it now more than ever.

The basic idea is that sometimes we’re better off for NOT knowing, or not seeing, or not doing something. Sometimes being in the dark has it’s benefits. I’m not saying we should run away from things. I’m not saying be stupid I’m only suggesting that sometimes we’re better off not knowing everything.

I think politics is a good example of what I mean. Political season is right around the corner and people are starting to think about elections again. I love the fact that over here I’m completely removed from that whole scene. I love the fact that I don’t know much or anything about the upcoming candidates. I haven’t seen the tv ads, I haven’t watched the news, I haven’t listened to the commentators or heard everyone’s opinion. I just simply don’t have access to it. But it’s great! I’m not complaining at all! On the contrary this is giving me the complete freedom to make up my own mind about the candidates. I’m not influenced by anything. What a wonderful feeling it is! It’s so freeing- the freedom to make up my own mind. It’s no longer a complicated or divisive thing. I feel so often politics is such a personal and heated subject. Oftentimes there’s so much slander and misinformation it’s nearly impossible to know what’s true. It’s even harder to have a productive open-minded conversation about it. Being free to make up my own mind is a rare opportunity that I’m enjoying.

I think this also applies to television. I rarely watch tv in the states, it’s virtually nil here. Matthew 8:22 says “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.” So much of what is seen on tv is junk. I’m better off not seeing it.

In a world that places great value on “knowing”, on having all the information, on being up to date with the latest trends and gossip, I argue the opposite. Sometimes it’s so refreshing to be removed from the deluge of information and media. I’m thankful that living overseas has afforded me the opportunity to experience this.