QUESTION: Today's comes from E.McL.
"I've always believed in God, but some people I know are always talking about having a personal relationship with God, and I'm not sure what they mean. Is this different from just believing in God?".
A personal relationship is one that is the same as you have with another person. It doesn't necessarily have to be with a human being but it has to have the same characteristics, ie you can both see, converse with, and feel each other. Patently it is impossible to achieve this with a supernatural being whom you can never see, hear, nor touch. It is absurd to postulate that a human being can have a personal relationship with a supernatural being.
Religious recruiters tell you that to have a personal relationship with their god you need to work at it because good relationships rarely happen without effort on both sides. This is a convenient ploy to avoid people's natural disbelief. When you say to them "where is this god?", they avoid the issue by putting the onus on you to "work at it". In fact all you are doing is working at deluding yourself. Stop wasting your time trying to convert yourself.
BILL GRAHAM'S ANSWER: