There seems to be a way of thinking nowadays that thinks that we are to ask God for help by closing our eyes and speaking to God, either silently or out loud. Then ask God in our mind or with our voice for help. Some people may "pray" in this way for days, weeks, months, or many years, often with no affect.
Time and again I've heard various preachers and other Christians say "the Bible clearly says....." Now stop, think a minute. What are they really saying. When someone says the words "the Bible clearly says..." it is usually in the middle of a discussion or speach where they want to prove that he (the speaker) is right. For example one might say, "the Bible clearly says that women are to submit to their husbands" OR, on the other side, another might say, "No, the Bible clearly says that both are to submit to one another."
I've gone to various churches for countlelss years. I've heard many sermons. The focus of each message seems to boil down to a few specific things. Although it is very subtly worded, it basically says, "In order to be saved, you have to believe some very specific things (the correct doctrine). God is a great and wonderful loving God. If you believe these things, and say this specific prayer, then You can go to heaven when you die. (and it just so happens that this "correct doctrine" so happens to be the same as "we" (the church) believe.
We all make mistakes. But if we fix out mistakes immediately it's almst as though we never made the mistake. This weekend we had gone camping on a friend's property. When we had finished camping and departed for home I left my camera at my frien's house. After we had arrived home my friend called and told me that I had left my camera at his house. He offered to drop if by my place after work on the next day. With that I began to think about how my camera would then be left in his car all day.
We just got back from camping this weekend. We have a friend who we've known from church for about 7 or 8 years. Last weekend he had made his 12 acres available to the church for a camping weekend. Previous to the weekend he had spend countless hours mowing fields (to be used for parking and camping) pruning back many trails, hauling tables and chairs from the church, setting up a volleyball court and other games. However, it turned out that there were other church events happening during this same weekend.