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It’s a Reality that I have yet to come to terms with. We live in an age that has progressed from micro engineering to nano engineering. Cell phones are so small, they have actually become difficult to use. Crouched over a tiny screen, we type in the code of communication like Goliath trying to thread a needle with twelve super sized fingers. And we call that progress? It might be progress…but perhaps along the path of increasing absurdity. In many ways, we have become prisoners of our own technological obsessions. Form has overtaken Function. We have also “progressed” to a point of unparalleled and unprecedented emphasis on frivolous tastes and trends. Designer everything. It is not enough to have useful technology. It now must be “personalized” by color, shape, texture and tone. A phone that I can carry anywhere is not enough…current culture demands a personally prescribed (and paid!) tone. It is not enough to have a handbag or car or pen that serves a function…it now necessitates a visible, if not oversized, logo or imprint that proudly proclaims the price I was “able” to pay. It is a quite irrelevant that I put it on my credit card because, in fact, I cannot afford it. Image is all that matters. Fantasy has become Reality. Illusion is made tangible. We live and operate in a world of Virtual Reality. Stage-managed “Reality” television is about as close as many of us come to being engaged in this world, its trouble and tribulations. In times past, this was called schizophrenia. Today such fictionalized functioning is not only pervasive…it is preferred. The “real” world is relegated to televised entertainment…but it is not something we would entertain for ourselves. All of this might seem like innocent distractions and discriminations of taste. Harmless pleasures to placate us in an increasingly pressurized world. This is a common

conclusion…but nonetheless a cunning one. Behind every action, reaction, motive and movement is a spiritual springboard. We would do well to examine the spiritual root beneath the trends we follow, and the causes we casually crusade on YouTube and Facebook. To avoid such introspection and investigation, is to aimlessly amble into the spirit of this age…the Age of Deception. The God-given warnings are prevalent and profound… “Now the Spirit expressly say that in latter time some will Depart from the Faith, giving heed to Deceiving spirits And Doctrines of demons…” 1 Timothy 4.1

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, will all power, signs and Lying wonders, and with all Unrighteous Deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the Truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason, God will send them strong Delusions That they should believe the Lie, That they all may be condemned Who did not believe the Truth But had Pleasure in Unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2.9

“For false Christ and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to Deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; See, I have told you all things beforehand.” Mark 13.22

And speaking of the end times world leader… “Through his Cunning He shall cause Deceit to Prosper under his rule. And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall Destroy many in their Prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes.” Daniel 9.25

An age of Deception. And age when physical and financial prosperity is destroyed…but in a Cunning, crafty way that tries to elude spiritual detection. An age that deludes many, if not most, into believing the world is MORE peaceful, progressive and prosperous. When in Reality, all around are wars, strife, regression and recession…if not despair and depression. An age when dictatorship is deemed “democracy” and abortion as “helping” women. Consider the case…it is the year 2012, and most of the Pastors and Ministry Leaders we serve live in squalid slums. Slums that hurl mankind back to the Dark Ages of fiefs and feigns. The slums are Reality. And they are not places of placid, peaceful poverty in a pastoral scene. They are dens of iniquity, injustice, ignorance and immorality. Many casualties and causes drive the poverty, but chief among them is the Reality of gross and purposeful Injustice… “Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, And for Lack of Justice there is what is swept away.” Proverbs 13.23

We might be deceived into thinking things are not so bad in this world. That the “global recession” is merely a blip on the stock market screen, or the fault of a few malevolent bankers. A report of recovering employment rates, an incremental increase in GDP output, a “reasonable” reduction in the inflation rate…and we quickly fantasize that things are coming back to “normal”. The Essential question is this: “Was ‘normal’ good for our souls?!” Going back to the “way things were”…would that be progress or regress in the eyes of God? Were things in the past honoring God, elevating God and submissive to God? Or were they focused on elevating Humanity…and sidelining God? Reality can be a strong and bitter tonic. Sober and solemn contemplation betrays the false hope we may have in this world’s solutions to this world’s problems. Consider the pastor in the picture on the front cover. Standing on the ruins of a “house” in the Mathare slum. 200 meters from the Bible School. The crumbling slab he stands upon marks the uttermost borders of his prior prosperity: Ten feet by Ten feet. A one room rusted steel shack…for him, his wife, and his many children. That room was his living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. No water, no electricity, no shower, no latrine. Micro sized…a

nano engineered life…not by desire, but by the godless powers of this current age. We might be deceived into to thinking this is acceptable in some cultures. It is not. It is never acceptable for mankind to live like a rat in a hole. And lest we succumb to speculative salves, let it be known this man is not a drunkard, nor uneducated, nor lazy. He will work two and a half weeks of hard, backbreaking manual labor to rent that rusted shack each month. Neither is he immoral, impatient nor impudent. He is a Pastor. A Christian Pastor. A son of the Most High God. A servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. One of many within a stone’s throw of the Bible Schools. Serving amongst millions of hopeless masses huddled together in a perfectly engineered hell on earth. What happened to the “house”? It was destroyed in a senseless raging riot. In the tumult, many of our Pastors lost everything except their lives and their family. For most, every possession, every scrap of material support was swept as bare as the site we see in the photo. All that remained was what each carried in his heart and head: that which is Essential for Eternity. The part that will determine divinely appointed Destiny. One Pastor summarized such a Perspective of Reality in these few, but profound, words… “I don’t know what to do. I suppose we will meet in the open air. You know, my house was our church.” His concern, first and foremost, was not his wife, his children nor home. It was not the complete absence of food, shelter nor clothing. It was the sheep. “Where will we have church tomorrow?” His Perspective of Reality had nothing to do with trends, nor style nor image. There was no room for luxury, leisure, pursuing mind-numbing pleasures or downloading another app on a smart phone. His church had no committee to decide the color of the sanctuary carpet or debate the desirable depth of the seat cushioning. And it is not because of a mere lack of provision. By God’s grace, he knows the Truth…according to God. He has been discipled through the Word of God. He may be poor…but he is not spiritually rooted to any of this world’s childish delusions, distractions or deceptions. Nor should he be. After all, he is a God-fearing Christian. And he is in a war for the hearts and souls of mankind. He is under no delusions. He is rooted to another Spirit. Not the deceptive spirit of this age…but of the Holy Spirit of the “age to Come.” To that “Pastor of the Least”, the “Ten by Ten” just didn’t matter in the final analysis. Not its color, not its size…not even if it existed. Which begs a Reality check for each of us… “If I lose my “Ten by Ten” world today, what will be my Reaction?” The spiritual stakes are simply too high to be Deceived or Distracted…from the Real answer.

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