Summer Camp Letters


At Lakewood Retreat, our goal is to use the facilities to promote the transformational message of the Gospel. Even though we are just a small part in this transformation work, nothing thrills us more than receiving a note from a camper expressing the change that took place in their heart. No doubt, every life is changed to some degree during there stay here, but occasionally, a camper finds the need to pen some extra special words of encouragement.

In reality, many of you take part in the ministry of Lakewood Retreat. Some of you have given financially to make Lakewood Retreat a reality. Others have donated supplies or time so that the facilities could be well-kept. Still others have taken part as prayer warriors–keeping the camp and the staff in your prayers. For those who have taken part of the ministry of Lakewood Retreat, these thank you notes are as much addressed to you as they are to us. We have all partnered together to advance the Gospel in the lives of our campers.

Every year we have opportunities to serve summer campers who are not financially able to pay for camp. This year is no different. We have already been made aware of some who are just not able to financially afford to come. These campers rely on the generous donations of sponsors. If you would like to help take part in providing a way for a summer camper to come to Lakewood, let us know. You can email the office at or call 352-796-4097.


Living for the Advance of the Gospel: Not Optional

Living for the advance of the Gospel is not just an ideal for Paul, it is a reality. The book of Philippians unpacks this theme with both precision and depth.

In the introduction, Paul addresses the immediate temptation for almost every believer–“Is it even possible to live for the advance of the Gospel?”.

Not only is it possible, but it is actually impossible for a believer to not live for the advance of the Gospel. Paul states it this way:

Philippians 1:5-6  5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Paul’s confidence in their continued growth is based on the faithfulness of God. God began a work and He will be faithful to see it to fruition. Therefore, every believer can be confident that when God starts a work, He will complete that work.

Not only does Paul address this issue from a future perspective, but also from the past.

Philippians 1:9-11  9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

As believers, Paul points out that they now have Christ’s righteousness placed on their account. Abounding love is the obvious and necessary response.

For believers, living for the advance of the Gospel is not even an option. God is faithful to complete the work in your life. Christ has already placed righteousness on your account. Therefore, it is impossible to not live for the advance of the Gospel.