If I ever had to pinpoint a week in which I love the Universal Church most, it would be the first week of March. It is that week in which thousands of men gather at my home church for our annual Shepherd's Conference. The campus is full of pastors anxious to be taught and encouraged by one another, and by the many gifted men who call this church home. It makes me proud (in a good way, I think) of my local church - its leadership, its members, and the way we work together to make this week a time of great refreshment for men who labor for the Kingdom all over the world. And that is certainly the reason I love this week most of all: it's much like a big family reunion. Because we're so closely linked with The Master's Seminary, our church is in the business of training men for service and then sending them out (a unique role that a newly-former pastor explained so well here). We say good-bye to our shepherds a lot, but we get to welcome many of them back each March. It's just a little taste of the joy I know we'll experience in heaven.
So what does that have to do with a tattered bill? Not much, except that one of the dear friends we were reunited with this week brought it all the way from Malawi. Nearby Zimbabwe has effectively abandoned their own dollar, so they transact business using U.S. dollars and other foreign currency. Since those bills are never pulled out of circulation the way they would be here, they sustain significantly more wear. Would you believe these bills were both printed in 2009? Crazy huh?