Pastor David Myers Blog

Pastor David Myers and Aimee Myers

Should Kim Davis be the “Person of the Year?” 

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Kim Davis and Matt Staver hold press conference following release from prison.

Recently nominated by TIME Magazine for “Person of the Year”, Kim Davis was not even on the radar of America only a few months ago.  Outside of the small county      in Kentucky where she was voted in as the county clerk, Kim Davis was unknown.

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court 5 to 4 decision in early summer that legalized same-sex marriage, Kim Davis refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples where her name was on the license as the county clerk.

Kim Davis was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union, (ACLU) for refusing to issue the licenses with her name on them.  Citing sincerely held religious beliefs and requesting religious accommodation, Kim Davis stood her ground.

A federal judge ordered Kim to issue the licenses notwithstanding that Kentucky law had not yet been changed to accommodate the recent Supreme Court decision.  In spite of the tension between states’ rights and Federal rights concerning this issue, Kim was sent to jail for following her right of conscience.

lc-logoMat Staver, the attorney who represented her stated, “Kim joins a long list of people who were imprisoned for their conscience. People who today we admire like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Jan Huss, John Bunyan, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and others like them. Each had their own cause, but they all shared the same resolve not to violate their consciences.”

There is no debate that Kim was the first person jailed in America as a result of the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.  After a media firestorm that captured the attention of America and perhaps when the federal judge realized that placing Kim in jail was just pouring fuel on the fire, Kim was released from jail on September 8th, 2015.

The subsequent fall out of this stand off resulted in Kentucky electing a new Governor by the name of Matt Bevin who, immediately upon being sworn in, changed the county clerk licenses and marriage forms in Kentucky so the county clerk’s name does not have to be on the license.

Kim Davis was on the cover of USA Today, met with the Pope, was visited by Presidential candidates and on Sunday, December 13th will speak at First Pentecostal Church in Palm Bay, Florida at 11:00am.

All of the attention and discussion has brought to a head more than just the differences between people who oppose same-sex marriage and people that approve of same-sex marriage, it has crystalized a concern that sincerely held religious beliefs could become a crime.

It has long been understood in Constitutional law circles that the tension between the free exercise clause and the establishment clause of the first amendment defines the concept that individual rights only extend to the point that they violate someone else’s rights.

You may feel passionate about your cause but that does not entitle you to disregard others whose beliefs may differ.  A spirited discussion in our culture is under way concerning the treatment of an alternate lifestyle, but there is no basis in the Constitution to trample on the majority to appease the minority.

Most people have a sense of fairness and believe that others should be treated with respect, but to what point does that respect for others become restriction for an opposing demographic.

In my first year of law school, a couple of students questioned me after class concerning my statements of fairness in affirmative action and set-aside programs.  They used a foot race to illustrate that if one person has been held back, it is not fair to just turn them loose.  “The person who has been held back must have assistance like a bicycle to catch up to the other runners”, they insisted.  I agreed but then asked, “Does the person get off the bike, once they catch up?”

The reason that Kim Davis captured our attention is because in our quest for fairness, we are not willing to sacrifice our sincerely held religious beliefs.  It is more than just what our country was founded upon, it is the heart and soul of our conscience.

Just a few years ago few people would have believed that a Christian could be put in jail for their beliefs, but the bicycle can become a motorcycle and folks start getting run over and put in jail. Putting Kim Davis in jail made all of us as a country sit up and ask, “what if that was me, what would I do?”

Does all of this warrant a “Person of the Year” award?  If not what does?  Regardless if you agree or disagree with Kim Davis, religious freedom is something that every one of us should stand for.  Kim Davis will address this issue on Religious Freedom Day at First Pentecostal Church in Palm Bay, this Sunday December 13th at 11:00am.  www.fpcpalmbay.com.

Pastor David Myers and Aimee Myers

Is Thanksgiving a Vanishing Holiday?

I walked into Target the other day with my wife and immediately stopped to get some Starbucks coffee. My wife explained that some holiday-flavored coffee would help me get through a “shopping experience.” I don’t mind coffee as long as it tastes like it has a Snickers bar in it.

The female barista and I got into an interesting conversation about the paper cups that Starbucks is using for the Christmas season and the controversy surrounding it. The nice lady informed us that the previous day a customer had asked her if the barista was allowed to greet them with the words, “Merry Christmas.” She said, “I could, but I would rather say Happy Thanksgiving since it is first.”

We laughed and I walked away thinking that as Christmas continues to grow and expand its calendar boundaries, is Thanksgiving a holiday that is getting swallowed up in the waves of Christmas preparation? It used to be that the lights went up and the house was decorated after Thanksgiving, but now it seems like we immediately go from Halloween to Christmas.

The events of December must be planned further in advance. The shopping starts in early autumn. The planned giving and charitable causes are initiated earlier and earlier in the year as many churches and non-profit organizations depend on end of the year donations. All of this causes Thanksgiving to sort of be an appetizer for the main meal in December.

Perhaps just being thankful is on the decline. Earlier this year on a visit to China, it was explained to me that each of the ancient Chinese dynasties were overthrown after the 20th generation. Apparently, each generation following the one that came to power would become less appreciative and less willing to make the sacrifices to sustain the dynasty.

My generation of baby boomers is not the same as the World War 2 generation. My children are digital natives and I feel like a digital immigrant. Each succeeding generation has greater affluence and greater challenges. One of those challenges is to be intentional in bringing to remembrance the things that we all should be thankful for.

Sometimes it takes a crisis to remember what we should be thankful for. I grew up on the East coast of Florida remembering how communities came together when a hurricane would blow through. I remember how America responded when our World Trade Centers and Pentagon buildings were attacked on September 11th and thousands lost their lives. Everyone paused to be thankful.

Recently, more than 100 people in Paris lost their lives in senseless bombings and shootings. Many were injured and many more families and friends were affected by the loss. The ripple effect of a tragedy is widespread and part of that ripple effect is the sense of thankfulness from people who did not suffer any direct personal loss.

Thanksgiving was a holiday that was established so that we would never forget to remember. We would take time to remember how blessed we are. We would be able to do that without a tragedy to remind us of everything that we take for granted on a daily basis.

Football, food and family are some of my favorite things and they are all on display at Thanksgiving, but perhaps faith has been forced to the outskirts and should be invited back to the dinner table.

Thanksgiving comes in many forms and in many ways through out the year. Any trip to a third world country or a mission’s trip to an overseas orphanage and we are reminded of how blessed we are. But one does not have to go to a foreign land to find thanksgiving.

Why not spend this Thanksgiving volunteering? Serve food to those who are hungry. Provide warmth and encouragement by lending a hand to someone in need. “Hands for Healing” is a community based non-profit organization that exists in Palm Bay to help people who are hurting. They feed almost 500 people a week. You can contact them through their Facebook page, “Hands for Healing International” or their website, www.hands4healing.org.

Help others and you will preserve Thanksgiving. Not just as a holiday but as a special place in your heart.

Pastor David Myers and Aimee Myers

The Hijacking of Halloween

I was raised in a conservative home with devout Christians as parents.  We did not have a television in our home.  We did not go to movies.  We did not drink alcohol.  Smoking of any kind was forbidden.  We were great at Putt-Putt golf and Ping-Pong.

We had a lot of fun and I have nothing but great memories of my childhood.

The irony of growing up in a conservative home, where my father was a pastor, is that we never thought of Halloween as being evil.  We dressed up.  We went door-to-door trick or treating.  We even had a haunted house in our church.  We decorated the classrooms and scared the kids as they came through.  Looking back, it seems strange that we were devout Christians and did not hyperventilate with hostility towards Halloween.

Did a changing culture force Christians to draw a line in the sand?  The seeming paradox is that as society has become more secular, a Christian’s view of Halloween has become more conservative.  The irony is that if modern culture has dictated that Christ followers take an abolition approach to Halloween, why is that position based on the history of Halloween’s origin?

The answer must be in the changing tides of our culture in the last generation.  There is no doubt that the Christian teaching on Halloween has become more isolationistic. Halloween has been hijacked in modern culture to somehow become the “Devil’s Birthday.”  This position is not biblical as Psalms 118:24 records “every day is made by the Lord and we should rejoice in it.

Notwithstanding the fact that Christians have taken a position of running for the hills, it is undeniable that society has seized this particular celebration to be the cornerstone for all activities and rituals on the dark side. Salem, Massachusetts, a beautiful city on the Northeastern coast, is known historically as the place of witch trials in 1692.

Salem is also where my mother grew up and some of my family still lives.  I remember as a kid visiting my cousins and playing at “Salem Willows”, a beautiful park and carnival like boardwalk on the rocky coast of the Atlantic Ocean.  City officials in recent years have embraced the idea of increasing revenue by celebrating witches and ghosts and pagan rituals during the entire month of October.

You can’t visit St. Augustine, Florida or Savanna, Georgia without someone handing you a pamphlet on ghost tours.  Apparently, it is a big money maker to load people up on buses at night and take them around to the city cemeteries and tell ghost stories.  I have no interest, but does this mean that I should never visit these beautiful, historical cities that have much more to offer than fabled tales?

The point is that secularists have profited on societies’ appetite for the supernatural.  People are not sure what to believe, but they are interested.  Commercial opportunists and secular propagandists have joined forces to create a more hostile environment for Christian families.  Horror and gore used to be on the culture fringe, but now mainstream theme parks have joined the ranks.

The modern trend toward graphic violence and splatter films has created a climate that many people with small children and conservative values are not comfortable with.  They are forced to look for a safe place to attend and participate in this week.  Churches and Christians not wanting to relinquish even one day to the dark side, offer a substitute.

Fall Festivals and Trunk or Treats are becoming more popular with Christian churches.  On Saturday, in almost every city, you will find cars in church parking lots, decorated and full of candy.  First Pentecostal Church in Palm Bay is hosting a Family Fall Festival on Saturday from 10am to 2pm.  You will find a wholesome environment of games, food, candy, bounce houses, animals, hayrides, and positive music.  It is free and everyone is welcome.

Having fun is not a sin and the last week of October is not exclusive for wrong behavior.  It is a beautiful time of the year to celebrate with your kids and enjoy another day of life.  Don’t let anyone rob you of that!

Pastor David Myers and Aimee Myers

From Failure to Freedom

As imperfect humans, we often fail. Moses had some doozies. Moses was raised in Pharoah’s palace as a son, but one day his passion for his people got the best of him. After seeing many Egyptians beat their Hebrew captives, he finally couldn’t take it anymore. He rose up and struck an Egyptian guard responsible for many beatings and killed him.

Quickly Moses buried the Egyptian in the sand, but others saw it and word got out. Pharaoh learned of it and tried to kill Moses (Exodus 2:15).

Moses ran for his life. He ended up in the wilderness, tending sheep for a living.

He must have replayed that murder scene over and over in his mind. The act that drove him from the palace. The act that drove him out of Egypt.

He must have thought his life was over. But God had a plan. God had seen to it that Moses had identified with the Hebrews, and not with the strong arm of the Egyptian army that he had grown up with. And the Hebrews, because two of them had seen the murder and told their friends about it, came to identify with Moses and view him as their defender.

That “failure” was a successful failure, because God made it so. God used it to free the Hebrew people.

Likewise, God can turn your failure into freedom.

~ Excerpt from “Heaven We Have a Problem”

Pastor David Myers and Aimee Myers

The Supreme God

The supreme God that we serve has the final say in all matters. There is no higher law and there is no greater power. Hebrews 6:13 states, “He could swear by none greater, so He swore by himself.” Since God has a supreme status, When the ideas of man conflict with the laws of God, the ideas of man are doomed. When the concepts of false teachings purvey useless information, they may flounder and flop around on the canvass of human curiosity for some time, but when they rear their ugly head against God’s law they are on a collision course with extinction. ~ From the book Supremacy Clause by Pastor Myers

Pastor David Myers and Aimee Myers

A Deeper Calling

The challenge of our day is at times daunting.  In spite of the comforts of living in a first world nation and the speed of our technology advancement, we are still attempting to solve a host of social dilemmas.

Pain is not going extinct.  Loneliness is on the rise.  Fear is far from being eradicated.  Divisiveness is more prevalent than ever.  Regardless of how much we earn or how much we learn, we are constant in our uncertainty about how to respond to the twenty-first century challenges.

One of the most controversial challenges of our day is the attempt to get consensus on how we should instruct and influence the demographic of young people between the ages of twelve and twenty-five.  Influence comes from many sources, but it all seems to travel the same highway of technology.

Our youth are bombarded on a regular basis by social media and mobile platforms that stream unbridled sounds and images.  The mixture of modern technology and elaborate entertainment has made millions for the creators but created a culture of co-dependence.

My daughter’s first word was “mama,” and her second word was “dada” but her third word was “Ipad.”  Once, while waiting for a seat at a nice restaurant, my daughter was given a small “Etch-a-Sketch” to keep her occupied.  I watched her try to move the ink by running her finger across the small screen rather than using the knobs.  Soon, she handed it to me and said,  “This thing is broke.”

The question that confronts us all is what is broke?  Is it the youth that are destined to malfunction or have we handed them a system that is void of meaning and purpose?  We cannot inoculate our youth from the world that changes on a daily basis, but we also have a responsibility to couple the teaching of morality with the purchase of modern technology.

The paradox of our day is that while we seem focused on the plight of a youth culture that appears to be out of control, the spiritual hunger of our young people is at an all-time high. The youth may be finding the answer as we ponder the question!

Recently, in Oklahoma City at the Chesapeake Energy arena, 20,000 young people gathered. The stage was in a rotunda and theater lights created a climate of expectation but it was not the high quality of technology that turned this gathering into an epic event, it was the spiritual pursuit and shout of the young people in the stands that got the attention of the folks at the Guinness book of World Records.

It was recorded that as the young people prayed and shouted unto God, the noise reached a decibel level of 134.2.  This was possibly the loudest of any gathering of any size in an indoor arena.  Is this a glimpse of young people who have embraced spiritual tenacity rather than moral decline?

The First Pentecostal Church in Palm Bay, one of the largest evangelical congregations in Palm Bay, is hosting an event on Friday night, Oct. 9th called youthQuake. This annual event draws students by the hundreds all across Florida.  Students gather in a facility of lights and sounds that is indicative of the culture that they share with their peers, but yet there is something distinctly different.

The music is different.  The expressions are different.  The body language indicates they are expecting something great rather than the dread of obligatory attendance.  In short there is a hunger and a pursuit that is palpable.

Fresh from the success of Oklahoma City’s North American Youth Congress, Youth President Michael Ensey of the United Pentecostal Church International will be ministering Friday night at 8:00pm and Saturday morning at 11:00am.

You can register online and receive additional information at www.youthquakeFL.com.  Registration includes all sessions, Bible study guide, media drop card and admission to AfterShock, an after service late night party of pizza, recreation, music, games and good clean fun.

The 2015 theme of this youth gathering in Palm Bay is “Deep Calleth” and perhaps that theme is reflective of the underground youth culture that is growing every day.  Called to do something more than just consume.  Called to the deep waters of sacrifice and commitment.  Called to a higher cause.

Pastor David Myers

A Plan (Redemption)

Before there was sin, there was a way out. I believe one of the biggest lies that the devil tells us is that we will never change. We are trapped in sin. We cannot get out. We need to remind our enemy that we know the founder, we know the Father and we know what His intent is. God intends for us to be saved. He not only intended for it to happen. He has a plan. He has a path. He has a purpose. God intends for us to make it.

~ From David Myers book The Supremacy Clause

Pastor David Myers and Aimee Myers
Preparation

How many times has something broken in our lives and we thought it meant the absence of God? A broken job. A broken relationship. A broken body.

I’m sure something has broken at one point in your life; few get through adulthood without experiencing this. Something or someone in your life…just shut down. Then you cried through the night, overwhelmed with grief, questioning God and trying to find a reasonable, rational answer, if He’s even there. He seems so distant.

Little did you know, God was preparing you so that you would be able to cope with something greater, so that you would be able to endure. He may have even prepared you so that you could save your own or someone else’s life.

God uses troubles to prepare us for greater challenges, and greater achievements.

~ Excerpt from Heaven We Have A Problem

Pastor David Myers and Aimee Myers
About Helplessness

“Sometimes we are put in situations that make us totally dependent on God. The trouble comes not to cause us discomfort, but to develop our faith in God. He wants us to trust in Him.” ~ Excerpt from Heaven We Have A Problem

Pastor David Myers and Aimee Myers
The Hand of God

“What appears to be a mistake, mishap, or trouble may actually be the hand of God.” ~ Excerpt from Heaven We Have A Problem