Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Athletes in Action: Rutgers Night Chapel (featuring Timotheus Pope)

Athletes in Action: Rutgers Night Chapel (featuring Timotheus Pope) from Timotheus Pope on Vimeo.

On December 3, 2010, going into the last game of the season versus WVU, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights players and coaching staff packed tight into a hotel conference room to hear Timotheus Pope share a message from God's Word found in Luke 15 called "Coming Home." Hear T. Pope speak on sports and competition, faith, family, and coming home to the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Gospel Message at Latrobe Skating Rink

Christmas Outreach at Latrobe Skating Rink from Timotheus Pope on Vimeo.

Timotheus Pope shares a message of hope and salvation with K-12 students at a skating rink in Latrobe, Pa as a part of a Christmas outreach. From John 3, Timotheus breaks down the Gospel for all who are willing to hear.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Higher Definition: Competing for God's Glory (Philippians 3:7-14)

“The problem with competition is that it’s almost always tied to self-promotion.”

I read an article called, "Is it a Sin to Win?" in which the above statement was shared. The statement is somewhat insightful, but misguided for at least three reasons. Reason #1: Competition is not properly defined in the article. Reason #2: The article assumes that competition is a problem. Reason #3: The statement seems to lack a Biblical perspective on competing for the glory of the LORD.

Based on the etymology of the word competition, the definition of the word is “joint seeking” or “striving together.” Often we assume competition has to do with individuals or groups battling against one another to see who is “top dog.” Competition is individuals or groups “jointly seeking” or “striving together” a common prize. Thus, when we return to the basics, much like when viewing an HD Television, we can more clearly see the detail within the bigger picture.

If we have no operational definitions, then we lack orientation. Lacking orientation often produces misguided assumptions. Defining words like “win,” “lose,” and “success” is necessary to understand the importance of allowing Christians to “jointly seek” and “strive together.” “Win” means “to overcome,” “attain by effort,” or “reach the mastery.” “Lose” means “ to be deprived of,” “not retain,” or “to give away; to waste or let go.” Success is “the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted” or “the discovery and mastery of that which is sought for.”

Clearly, these words in context of competition completely complement our Creator. After all, almost EVERYTHING in life is a competition by this definition because we are constantly jointly seeking, yes, even in Wal-Mart. We are ALL looking for that shortest line to check out or that special toy for our children that is selling like hotcakes or that new cd or latest video game. The LORD has made us for relationships in which we “jointly seek” and “strive together.” Paul often used competitive illustrations to awaken minds to spiritual truth. “Do you not understand that all who run in a race run, but only one receives the prize? So, RUN, in order that you might win. And every man who strenuously labors for the mastery is temperate in all things…I therefore run in this way, not without assurance; I fight in this way, not as one who swings aimlessly at the air; but rather I control my body, and make it my slave so that by any means, when I have preached to others, I am not disqualified,” (I Corinthians 9:24, 26-27). 

I believe with all my heart he encourages the saints to compete, i.e. “strive together, jointly seeking the same prize.” That prize is the extravagant of knowledge of God the Father and Jesus whom He sent (John 17:3; Philippians 3:7-14). Sports provide a perfect opportunity for all participants to learn how the body of Christ should encourage one another to continue to strive for the mastery of the LORD Jesus and through the rules and standards can more quickly point to the reality of sin than perhaps in other module.

Steven James, in the article “Is it a Sin to Win?” asks the question, “How can I love, serve, and honor someone I am wholeheartedly trying to defeat?” I answer that, by evaluating the heart. Here at Summer’s Best Two Weeks, we are dedicated to Hebrews 10:24, “And let us thoroughly examine one another to spur one another on to love and good works.” We teach that the point of sports is not to defeat your opponent. The point of sports and competition is to bring glory to the Father by exploring the gifts and talents He’s given and share them with the rest of the world for His glory. Listen, if we treat each competition, practice, and training as if we are doing it SOLELY for God's glory, then we will be REALLY tough to beat when we step onto the competition field, court, mat, etc.

Paul says in Philippians 3:7-10, “But the things that were advantageous to me, those I consider LOSS for Christ. Yes without doubt, and I count all things LOSS for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord; for whom I have allowed the loss of all things, and do count them as garbage, that I might WIN Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which comes through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which comes from God by faith. That I might know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering, being made one who conforms to His death…” Paul redefined winning and losing, so that we might understand how to live successfully. When saying “ALL,” he includes some of the “good” things in his life, but he understands that the greatest good is the LORD and thus, he considers those “good” or even “great things” disadvantages. Through competing for Christ, we get the unique opportunity to renounce the world’s view of sports and competition and redefine winning, losing, and success biblically. We teach and learn that winning is pursuing excellence by doing our absolute best considering the gifts and talents the Lord has given, while serving others through including, encouraging, training (if possible), and challenging teammates and opponents. We teach and learn that losing is missing the mark of God’s standard by exhibiting selfishness and pride in competition and in any other part of life, whether shown in attitude or felt in the heart. We care less about who finishes first or last, gets the answers right, or overcomes the opponent. We care most about who achieves success through seeing him/herself in the bigger picture, which shows the beauty of striving together because generally how one competes is how he/she lives. Success is refusing to let God’s law of love depart from the mouth and mind due to sports, but rather letting a continual meditation on God’s Word bring a prosperous end, whether in sports or in life (Joshua 1:8).

Though the world has corrupted what God has given, let us not through out the baby with the bath water. Satan’s job is to pollute all things God has made, sports/competition included. We operate a Christian sports camp in order to preserve what the LORD has given us.

In conclusion, success is NOT about being the winner of the highest price or praise, as is seen most evidently in our culture through the decision of professional athletes this summer. Rather success is about being the winner of the highest prize, the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you pressing toward that mark?

Monday, May 10, 2010


On Saturday, May 8, 2010, Kayla Mercy Pope, a gorgeous little girl, was born at 5:40 p.m., weighing 8 lbs. 14.7 ounces, and 21 inches. Please continue to pray for her and for Kendra as they both recover from the intensity of labor.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The P-3-1 Woman


It’s exciting. She’s nice and her value is priceless/
None fairer less comparing her to Jesus the Christ/
Let me describe her to you. You’ll find that you too/
Contend to have friends more like her than like you/
Her husband is struck; commits all to her trust/
She loves; does him good. Never brings him corruption/
She works with her hands. She obeys God’s commands/
Buys a field. Keeps it tilled. A vineyard’s been planted/
No need for alarm. She doesn’t even need an alarm/
She gets up while its dark and strengthens her arms/
She gives food to her house. Her lamp can’t go out/
She needs light at the spindle to finish a silk blouse/
She makes them to sell: coverings, shirts, even belts/
Everyone knows her and her family real well/
Her husband’s an elder. He’s known in the gates/
It’s because of the love of the wife that he praises/
Even her kids call her blessed, and I too can attest/
The P-3-1 woman, what a precious investment/
I hasten to stress for an example, its best/
Just to wait till the day that you see her upset/
She still speaks with wisdom and will kindly address/
The frustrated, naked, poor, and oppressed/
Her clothing is honor and she knows beauty’s vain/
She excels all the others in her joy and her fame/
Neither beauty and favor is the reason they praise her/
It's her sweetened demeanor, for by grace she's been saved/ 
Of all those I know, none is fairer than she/
Whose God is her refuge and Jesus her peace./

Romans 12:1 - The Will of God

To truly understand the will of God, one must first understand God's Personality. The selfless love God has for us looks out for our best interest at all times, under any circumstances. He has a spotless character with a perfect track record. If God has never failed, why are we so arrogant to think that we will be the first person God lets down. We act like our case is too much for God to handle. It's like we think God is in Heaven saying, "You know ___________ (insert your name), I have NEVER failed! But you...YOU are just TOO MUCH! YOU just don't get it. I know I said I would never leave, nor forsake you, but you know what, I was tired of being God anyway. I'm going on vacation." That is NOT who our God is. He is the Sovereign God of creation, the perfection of beauty, majestic and holy in ALL splendor. He is ALL powerful, All-knowing, Everlasting, and Self-Sufficient. He has the right to be who He is and do what He chooses whenever He wants to. Yet, we can be sure that His intention is not to hurt us as if He is a God who doesn't care. NO! As a matter of fact, He cares so much that each of us is actually a part of His Plan.

The Lord's heart desires that we first get saved (Luke 19:10; Matthew 20:28; John 3:16). Salvation frees us from the power, penalty, pollution, and ultimately the presence of Sin. Once we are saved from sin, we become sanctified, that is separated from the powers of this world, the pleasures of whoredom, and the pressures of wickedness. He sanctifies us by the Truth of His Eternal Word (John 17:17). He equips us for service in His kingdom. We must learn to respect the time God gives us on this Earth, and redeem the time we have used pursuing our own selfish desires. WAKE UP! Don't you see! When we understand God's Personality and ultimate plan to turn us into Jesus, we will naturally, supernaturally uphold the Lord's Principles.

At some point in our lives, Jesus has to become all that matters. Everything else in our lives must die by our hands or we can be sure that it will die by God's hands because He has called us to relationship with Him, and oh is He jealous over us. We were made for God, NOT the things of this world. When we "Can't get no satisfaction..." it is because we are looking in the wrong place. This world was neither made, nor meant to satisfy us. That is God's job. If that is true, wouldn't it make sense to continue to run to Him, NOT just for consolation from trouble, but because in His presence is the fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore (Psalm 16:11). You see, the best way to know God's will for your life is to live God's will right now. And right now the Lord desires that you get to know Him by entrusting your entire life to His perfect care.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Vital Signs of the Saints - Prayer

So this morning I was convicted of a truth that I would like to share with you. I have often quoted Dr. John Alexander, who once said, "Prayer is not only a PART of the work. Prayer IS the work."

As I reflected on that statement this morning I was convicted of the reality that I do not pray near enough. I'm not talking about hoisting up words to the Almighty so that He can rain down melodies from Heaven. I'm talking about the continual openness to the Lord aligning my heart with His vision and mission. Jesus never allowed the business of a day to overshadow the mission and vision that He communicated to His followers. In Luke 4, as Jesus read in the Temple, He said His intentions, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed me 1) To PREACH the GOSPEL to the poor; He sent me 2) To HEAL the brokenhearted, 3) To PREACH DELIVERANCE to the captives, and 4) RECOVER SIGHT to the blind, 5) To FREE those who are bruised, 6) To PROCLAIM the acceptable year of the Lord. This mission is wrapped up in the vision statement of the Lord Jesus Christ: "To give My life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28).

What does that have to do with prayer? You might remember in Matthew 9:35-38 that Jesus was moved with the multitude because were like "sheep with no shepherd." Notice that Jesus did not instruct the disciples to become Rambo Christians who would assassinate the multitude with the Gospel. Rather He said, "Pray..."

The categorical distinctive here is the recognition from the Son of God that ministry is God's job from first to last. Our spreading of the Gospel is contingent on the vibrancy of our relationship with the Lord that begins and ends with aligning our heart with His will through prayer. Jesus prayed. Was that to cover everything on somebody's wish list? NO! It was the supernaturally natural partaking of a relationship with the Father. It was the surrender of His heart that overflowed into the outpouring of God's Spirit, who ultimately then completed the work. Notice the overwhelming love of the Lord, revealed in Isaiah and read by Christ, makes the Almighty somehow completely "other"-focused, while remaining true to Himself as Yahweh, the Self-Existing, All-Powerful, I AM that I AM, I am God All By Myself One and Only. Thus, we see Christ-like humility in the total submission of His will to the Father, and therefore we receive what we ask, when we prayer in that same character of submissive obedience.

Adrian Rogers said it best, "If you have a problem with prayerlessness (that is, you don't pray enough), it is not prayerlessness that is your problem. Pride is your problem." Have we learned to do life without God? Have we learned to write, preach, teach, sing, serve, record albums, train, etc. without the overwhelming presence and essence of Jesus consuming our entire lives?

If you want to know the answer to the questions above examine your life of prayer. Do you find yourself spending unhurried time with the Lord, basking in His presence? I'm not talking about pontificating or levitating in a room somewhere with your legs in the Criss Cross Applesauce or lotus position waiting for God to blow out the windows. Rather, I am talking about the supernaturally natural communion that is VITAL to the Christian's spiritual heartbeat. I'm talking about the openness that see God's agenda in the midst of the phone calls, sticky notes, and daily planner. If not, I can guarantee that you are living by something other than faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary. His death gives us access into God's presence. And there we find rest for our weary souls.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Process - Romans 13:10

Many times, the Word says Jesus worked "as He went" (Matthew 9:9; 26:21). This reminds me that the process is just as important as the end result. Today, you may be in the middle of great pain or great promise, great conflict or great celebration, great rivalry or great revelation. Enjoy the process of learning to walk by faith and not sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). As you walk, the only answer for questions about your walk may be "Jesus, and that's my final answer!!" Example. Why do you want to leave your job? Jesus! Why are you so excited? Jesus! Why do you spend money with so much purpose knowing where every cent goes? Jesus! How is it that you long for a future reality that you have never seen? Jesus! Where will the money come from? Jesus!! Why are your eating habits so healthy? Jesus!

Think about this. Whatever concerns you is something God can totally take care of without you. God can pay your bills without you. He can go to work without you and do a much better job. God can take care of your pet without you. He can care for your friends and family, AND He can take care of the church without you. He can command soldiers and bring them to faith WITHOUT you. But there is one thing God CANNOT do without you and that is have a relationship with you. Without [put your name in this blank], God CANNOT have a relationship with [put your name in this blank]. That process of relationship is top priority. Have you ever stopped to think of the vastness of the universe, in relation to the brevity of our lives? God is the Author of the Universe, and out of all the things and beings He could've chosen to show the greatest extent of His love, He chose humans. The LORD loves you. He is not in Heaven saying, "Gee, I hope this puny human never figures out that I really want him/her to know Me or that I want to bless her/him with the abundance of my Being." Our LORD desires so desperately to give us the Kingdom [His reign and rule by way of relationship] (Luke 12:29-31). How fresh is your relationship? Do you have a crush on Jesus? He definitely has a crush on you. Why? Because He made you and me for Himself (Proverbs 16:4; Colossians 1:16-17; Revelation 4:11).

This week can be really good or really bad. Remember, the ultimate purpose of our lives is to know and love God as much as He loves and knows us. Live in that purpose knowing that NOTHING you do is haphazard. Every phone call you make, trip to the supermarket or bank, meal, and/or meeting is for the purpose of getting to know the LORD as you walk with Christ. Spend time in His presence. Therefore, as you study, take exams or give exams, pay bills, go to work, sit in your office, plan activities, etc., please remember that your focus determines your perception of reality. What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? The difference is focus, attitude, and outlook. Who are you trusting to get you through this week? Where is your heart focused? Do you love Jesus more today than yesterday? Is your relationship fresh? What metaphor would you use to describe your relationship with Jesus?

“Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently.”
– William A. Ward

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Potty Training - HEBREWS 12:1-2

You may remember from a previous blog that my son is potty training. You might also remember that I said he loves having fun, playing games, and enjoys his toys. He’ll play by himself in his room for hours on end. He doesn’t like to stop for anything. We introduced this whole “going on the big boy potty” concept, and his world is upside down. Got that fresh in your mind.

Okay, so, yesterday, I walked into the house after work and heard, "I gotta go potty, Mommy." I heard those memorable dancing footsteps of a boy who waited waaay too long. Then I heard, "Uh oh, Mommy." I knew that an "accident" had occurred. I ran to the bathroom and there was my son with a small trail of something behind him. I proceeded to give my son that prophetic exhortation of being focused and aware of when he needed to go potty to keep from having "accidents." His 2 year old response was, "It's okay, Dadda, it was just an accident."

To be honest, it didn't hit me until about 2:00 AM as I wrestled in my bed, having some unrest in my heart, that the "accident" had become and "incident." My son is too young to recognize the severity of learning to potty train now because perhaps in his mind it is "okay." After all, it's just an accident.

If you are like me you have heard the statement, "I fell into sin," or "I slipped into sin." The reality for many of us is that we hardly ever recognize that James says that sin is the part of the equation right before death. Long before that, we are led astray and enticed. You see, Simeon loved playing with his sister and his toys so much that he neglected to let go of the waste in his system. For those who would say, "He's two, it's only water." Hey, Hebrews 12 talks about the sin "and the weights that so easily set us back." And think, for the next 30 minutes, he couldn't play with his toys, because we needed to clean the carpet, rinse him off, and give that prophetic exhortation. Even Jada's world was cracked up by his "accident" because she couldn't play in his room at that time either. But that didn't stop either of them from crying. It was like they were begging to go into the room. I mean, who cares that urine is soaking the carpet or that it is on toys that often end up in my 15 month old daughters hands and (if you know that age of children) mouth. If you think THAT'S nasty, keep reading.

I stressed the importance to Simeon of staying focused and aware, being vigilant and alert, and it didn't hit me until 2:00 a.m. that the exhortation was to me as well. I can get so distracted with family, work, sports, relaxation, teaching, writing, fundraising, etc. that I neglect to check my own heart. I get led astray and enticed, and before I know it, I am spiritually having an "accident." Yet, sometimes we say, "Well, it's okay. Nobody is perfect." It's like we're immaturely begging God to let us go play in the room where the stinch of our sin saturates certain relationships and memories. And some of those toys that are poisonous spiritual urine end up in our immature hands and mouths. And that "accident" becomes an "incident."

Oh that we would live each day as mature believers, getting the waste out as soon as we feel it coming, being proactive and vigilant, aware and focused.  How can we do that? The writer of Hebrews answers that question so eloquently, by "...looking to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith..." Where are your spiritual eyes today? Is God's only way to get you to look up by knocking you flat on your back? Just remember, you can't be focused on Jesus and on the world at the same time.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

Monday, March 8, 2010


A little boy was running around the house, and his mom told him to sit down for breakfast. He did so, and upon sitting he screamed, "What about my treat?" "What treat? Where did you get that idea?" his mother asked. "From you," he said. "When I do good you give me something." His father chuckled and said, "You have the wrong idea about mom." With a very loving, patient, and instructive look, the mother said, "He's right. Can't you just be good, for nothing, like your father? He does not ask for a treat."

Isn't that the idea we have about God sometimes? We think He only acts in reaction to us. Do you know the story of Job? Job was a god-fearing, upright, and innocent man. Everybody knew it, for even God testified to Job's excellence (Job 1:8). In one week Job lost everything; everything, except faith. Faith IS NOT the ability or capacity to change things into the way we want them. Rather faith is the courage to face things as they are. We have this concept of God that MUST change, for faith IS NOT just receiving from God the things we want, but accepting from God the things He gives. Through Job's trials, he learned that God was ALL he had, ALL he needed, and at the end, ALL he wanted (Job 42:1-5). The striking conclusions we arrive at when suffering, seemingly for no reason, are: 1) God is NOT who we think He is. 2) Faith/Trust/Confidence coupled with communication is key to ANY relationship. 3) We find out the TRUE nature of LOVE.

Why did Job serve God? Was it because of the blessings? No. Health and wealth? Doubt it. Prosperity? Not likely. Rewards? Uh-uh. Understanding? Definitely not. Job served God for nothing. He loved God for God, not because of what God could do. That's what you and I want. Isn’t it? We want someone to love us for free, without strings attached, for nothing. God wants that too (John 4:23-24). When you encounter the fiery trial of suffering and evil, you see what kind of faith you have. Will you be faithful to God right now, even though it may seem like He is not faithful to you? Are you helplessly in love with Jesus? I've learned that love is that passionate commitment that's left after ALL has been stripped away or given away (Job 1:20-23). If we love the Lord, we will keep His commands (John 14:15). If we center our lives on keeping His commandments rather than love, we will never come to know the delight in the duty.

Each day, each of us can express the depth of Christ's love to the world and to our Father. Christ's love requires unconditional obedience to the Lord and unconditional openness to the Lost, for Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners because of His great love (Matthew 20:28; Luke 19:10; John 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:1-10; I Timothy 1:15). 

“Only when we give joyfully, without hesitation or thought of gain, can we truly know what love means.”
- Leo Buscaglia -

Friday, March 5, 2010

Potty Training - Phillipians 3:7-14

As many of you know, there comes a time to take off the diaper and begin what has been conveniently called “Potty Training.” I always wondered why the word “training” was a part of that phrase. I never thought days (weeks) would go into teaching and practicing pulling up a pair of underwear. But now, I understand the “training” part of that phrase in a way that I personally never thought I would. The good news is it’s my two-year-old son training, not me. Or is it?

My oldest son is A LOT like me. He loves having fun, playing games, and enjoying his toys. He’ll play by himself in his room for hours on end. He doesn’t like to stop for anything. Well, since we have introduced this whole “going on the big boy potty” concept, his world has been drastically affected.

So there we were playing just 4 days ago, my son was having the time of his life, when all of a sudden he looked at me with the face of immanent concern, and I knew he needed to potty. He was so distracted playing that he either neglected to tell me or didn’t even recognize his need to relieve himself. Either way, when he finally said something, we were 3 seconds from what has been so gently called an “accident,” as if wetting yourself is like breaking an expensive glass vase at a neighbor’s house while throwing a football or wrecking your car in a snow storm on your way to Wal-Mart to get more butter on a night when the authorities have advised everyone to stay home. Like a complete moron, I asked my son, “Do you need to go potty?” He crossed his legs and began to shuffle to the bathroom, which answered my question. Urgently I ran behind him, helping him pull down his pants and get on the potty. About half a second after I sat him down he began using the restroom and I began my prophetic delivery of “training,” exclaiming with urgency, “Son, when you have to pee, you need to get to the potty as quickly as you can. We are trying to teach you to go on the big boy potty, so you don’t grow up peeing on yourself everywhere you go. Do you understand?”

In an instant, it hit me, as I realized, we are NOT training him to potty just to keep him from wetting himself later in life. Rather, this is a vital step to maturity. I think we would all agree that if a person still wets him or herself after a certain age/time, there is an issue with that person’s maturity level. In the same way, God’s sanctification process in our life is a vital step to maturity. God does not require us to let go of certain relationships, habits, jobs, friends, churches, doctrines, actions, feelings, thoughts, etc. just to keep us from sin or waste. He does it so that we might grow into the fullness of who HE has made us to be. It’s about maturity. It’s about knowing Jesus more deeply. Paul understood that fact as he wrote to the Philippian Church.

As we continue to mature, we must constantly ask if there are areas of our lives where we have not learned the basic principle of potty training, that is, counting all things but “dung,” that we might gain understanding of who Christ truly is. In what way are we living completely distracted by the things of this world, so much so that we either fail to recognize or we outright neglect our need to communicate our areas of weakness to the Father?