Thursday, April 24, 2008

One of the Toughest Days of My Ministry for the Homegoing Ceremony of a Young Soldier: R.I.P. Joshua Caleb Burroughs

Earlier today (Thursday, April 24, 2008), our church where I am the youth pastor (Bethesda Baptist Church in Austell, GA) conducted a home going ceremony (funeral) for a young teen who was gunned down in broad daylight last week.

Gang involvement is being attached to the death and the lines are still blurred and the starting and ending points are still yet to be identified.

Our youth that was buried today, Joshua Caleb Burroughs, was a gentle and compassionate young man who had absolutely mesmerized our church family during a Black History play in 2007.  I was not fortunate to see the play, but every statement made about the play included how well Caleb had performed.

He was our budding playwright or actor and he was reminded of this several times since.

Caleb always had a smile on his face and his eyes always signaled that he was aware of any preaching, teaching, and biblical instruction that was taking place regardless of who the minister was and how the information was being delivered.

I could always personally tell that he was getting it and knew what needed to be done.

Now that the procession of cars and release of balloons have been done, we are depending upon God to lead us on how to not only honor our memories of Caleb, but how to move aggressively in a way to expand the kingdom of God to reach the young men and women who are drowning in lifestyles that will not sustain them.

There is no room or time for physical revenge because such thoughts and actions are simply not productive.

The necessity for our steps to be taken boldly and to demonstrate to the surrounding community and world that a better way does exist that meets your physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual needs.

The kingdom of God is not boring but the uninspired and laziness of mankind will cause it to appear that way.  Today, I am rededicating myself to become more bolder and creative to do whatever it takes to make a difference to reach today's youth and this present age.

My difficulty that I am now experiencing is that I was already in the process of releasing new music beginning in the month of May when this tragedy occurred.  Although the enemy wants to further accuse us all of either activity or inactivity that led to Caleb's death, we have already realized as a church family that this battle is not over yet.

So I am asking anyone that comes across these words to reexamine your relationship with Jesus Christ, allow Him to be your Savior, allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, and be inspired to be, see, do, and have the kingdom of God expanded in earth as it is in heaven.

If Christ Jesus was good enough for young Brother Caleb, then Christ Jesus is good enough for you. 

Now we will work continuously to show you how much better Christ's wine is.

R.I.P. Joshua Caleb Burroughs

Here are URLs related to the funeral conducted today: