Suggestion for ESV Section Name Change

In my ESV Bible about half-way through verse 4 of chapter 16 in the Gospel of John is the following section title, "The Work of the Holy Spirit." I suggest it should be changed to, "The Holy Spirit is Going to be Awesome."

Seems to me that would have much better described what Jesus had to say.

An Organizational Priorities Paradigm Shift

There has been a trend in Christian circles towards emphasizing getting our personal priorities straight. Basically the argument goes something like this:

In the past, people have valued ministry before their families and often their families suffered as a result. Now people have recognized this as foolishness and are arguing that the family is the most important ministry anyone can have. Our families are our most important disciples. Therefore our priorities should be in the following order: 1) God, 2) Family, and finally 3) Ministry.

Ministry is very important, but only God should be valued above family.

Okay, maybe you've heard this. Now I'd like to propose a similar paradigm shift in the way our churches and missions organizations order their priorities:

In the past, organizations have valued their mission before their people, and their people have suffered and been burned as a result. Now people should recognize that their people are the most important part of their mission. Our people are what God cares about far more than our idea of what our "mission" or "vision" is. If people aren't on board they may not belong with us, but we can at least send them off in love. We are foolish if we ever believe our calling is the whole of God's Kingdom. And more than foolish when we risk burning out wonderful men and women of God. If someone comes through our ministry and discovers they are called to something else, it is absolutely our responsibility to release them to do what God has called them to do even if it means losing one person on board with our mission/vision.

Our mission is very important, but God's mission is much more important, and his method is people.

Our mission is important, but only God should be valued above God's people. 

We must value the people God loves over our thin view of what we're called to do in God's Kingdom. Love them, send them out lovingly. If we can help a follower of Christ love Him more even in another area of ministry then we will have contributed greatly to the Kingdom of God. If we give one follower of Christ so horrible of an experience in ministry that they burn out and never serve again, then we will have some answering to do when it comes time to account for our contributions to the Kingdom of God.

Our priorities should be ordered thus:

Personal: 1) God, 2) Family, 3) Ministry.
Organizational: 1) God, 2) Our People, 3) Our Mission.

Violence Victorious ➙

"From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence,[a] and the violent take it by force." - Matthew 11:12. One of my favorite verses. And somewhere, something I read pointed me towards this. Brilliance by Richard Sibbes.
Again God will have this violence and striving, as a character of difference, to shew who are bastard professors and who are not; who will go to the price of Christianity, and who will not. If men will go to heaven they must be violent, they must be at the cost and charges, sometimes to venture life itself, and whatsoever is dear and precious in the world. A man must be so violent, that he must go through all even death itself, though it be a bloody death, to Christ. This discards all lukewarm carnal professors, who shake off this violence. In all estates of the church, it is almost equally difficult to be a sound Christian; for God requires this violence even in the most peaceable times. Now, the truth and religion are countenanced by the laws, yet the power of it is by many much opposed. Therefore he now that in spite of reproach, in spite of slander, will bear the scorns cast upon the gospel, that will 'go with Christ without the gate, bearing his reproach,' Heb. xiii. 13, such a man may be said to be thus violent. It is an easy thing to have so much Christianity as will stand with our commodity or with pleasure, &c.; but to have so much as will bring us to heaven, I say it is equally hard in all times of the church, it requires violence to carry us through these lesser oppositions. . . . So that it be violence that hath eyes in its head, violence guided with judgment, from the knowledge of the excellency of the good things of the gospel, I speak of such a violence as that.

On the Origin of Cyrus ➙

I'm reading Ezra as our house church moves in to studying the book. I am moved by how the Lord worked through Cyrus, and even his humility in declaring that he knows his authority and power have come from the God of Heaven (Ezra 1:2). So I got to wondering who was this guy? Apparently there are several different versions of his origin. But this one is pretty amazing. Click the title above to read the rest from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. This reads like a Sophocles tragedy. In fact I can't believe there hasn't been a movie made with this as it's premise.
Several versions of his birth and rise to power are recorded. Herodotus (i.95) mentions three. In that which he quotes (i.107), it is said that Mandane was the daughter of the Median king Astyages, who, in consequence of a dream which he had had, foretelling the ultimate triumph of her son over his dynasty, gave her in marriage to a Persian named Cambyses, who was not one of his peers. A second dream caused him to watch for her expected offspring, and when Cyrus came into the world Astyages delivered the child to his relative, Harpagus, with orders to destroy it. Being Unwilling to do this, he handed the infant to a Shepherd named Mitradates, who, his wife having brought forth a still-born child, consented to spare the life of the infant Cyrus. Later on, in consequence of his imperious acts, Cyrus was recognized by Astyages, who came to learn the whole story, and spared him because, having once been made king by his companions in play, the Magians held the predictions concerning his ultimate royal state to have been fulfilled. The vengeance taken by Astyages upon Harpagus for his apparent disobedience to orders is well known: 
his son was slain, and a portion, disguised, given him to eat. Though filled with grief, Harpagus concealed his feelings, and departed with the remains of his son's body; and Cyrus, in due course, was sent to stay with his parents, Cambyses and Mandane. Later on, Harpagus persuaded Cyrus to induce the Persians to revolt, and Astyages having blindly appointed Harpagus commander- in-chief of the Median army, the last-named went over to the side of Cyrus. The result was an easy victory for the latter, but Astyages took care to impale the Magians who had advised him to spare his grandson. Having gathered another, but smaller, army, he took the field in person, but was defeated and captured. Cyrus, however, who became king of Media as well as of Persia, treated him honorably and well.
Humble beginnings as a son of a shepherd would certainly help.... but wow. The people in this world available to do the work of God's Kingdom never fail to amaze me.