Christian Favorites

I always enjoy finding lists of so-called favorites in magazines and newspapers; maybe its books, movies, or favorite places to visit.  Here I share some of mine.

Favorite All-Time Person God, Christ, Holy Spirit No further defense needed.  How could there be anyone else?  They are three-in-one you know.
Favorite National Radio or TV Speaker David Jeremiah He has a great voice, captivating delivery, speaks without yelling, and his words are great.  One of his sermons inspired Chapter 6 of this book.
Least Favorite National Radio or TV Speaker Those who constantly yell and gyrate throughout their sermons. A Chinese proverb applies, “Truth is not determined by the volume of the voice.”
Favorite Christian Author – Deceased C. S. Lewis He can sometimes overwhelm me intellectually, but almost as often I come to a topic that just grabs me.  He does not use the buzzwords of Christianity.  More than any other writer, Lewis puts into words what people know but didn’t know they knew.
Favorite Present – Day Christian Authors M. Scott Peck Peck is the present-day C. S. Lewis combining Christianity and psychology.  My favorite books of his  Gifts For the Journey, In Search of Stones, and the second and third Road Less Traveled Books.   Peck told me he calls the last one “Terminator 3.”   He passed away in 2005.
  Philip Yancey Not only are his books Reaching for the Invisible God  and Rumors incredible, but so are the accompanying audiotapes.  You can sample his writings at by posting “Yancey” in its search engine.
  John Eldredge Read Wild at Heart, Sacred Romance, and Waking the Dead.
  Charles Swindoll Read Grace Awakening
  Norman Geisler and Frank Turek Read I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Athiest,
Favorite Local Minister

Mark Vroegop

College Park Church, Indianapolis, IN
Most fascinating aspect of Christianity. Its mystery and paradox. I thank God for giving me a brain and for the fact that He wants me to use it.  He can stand any test.
Favorite Bible Quote Psalm 92:10 “But you have made me as strong as a wild bull.   How refreshed I am by your power!”  New Living Translation, 1st ed.  It is not like this in the 2nd ed.
Second favorite Bible quote 2 Tim 1: 7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Favorite Book of the Bible Proverbs I like the one-liners.
Most Troubling Issue of Christianity That you must come to faith in Christ in order to get to heaven. To discuss this adequately might require another book.  If it is true, then I grieve for dear friends who live good lives, but might not make it.  But, on the other hand, God can do anything He wants.
What I would like most to change about church. I would like to have stadium seating like some of the more modern movie theaters, and plenty of leg room. I don’t like to have someone’s head blocking my view.  We got stadium seating in a recently completed remodeling of our church.
Second choice of what I would like to change most at church. The paradox of being  challenged in a men’s meeting to deal with sexual purity. In the same church, women wear spandex sun dresses and halter tops to church.  The two situations are a true paradox.
Favorite Present-Day Christian Song The praise song, “Shout to the Lord.” I will never forget on Easter morning, April 4, 1999, the day Elaine’s mother died, how we gripped each while singing this song at church.
Favorite Old-Time Christian Hymn “He Leadeth Me” It was my mother’s favorite.
The first thing I will ask to do when I get to heaven. Eat anything I want for three weeks:  Bisquick pancakes with real maple syrup, Wendy’s Double Cheeseburgers, meat loaf,  sloppy joes, baked beans, corn, jello, cherry pie covered with Haagen-Daaz vanilla ice cream. Need I explain?  Note that steak did not make the list nor did liver.
The second thing I will ask to do when I get to heaven. Meet my loved ones. I especially want to meet my mother who either fell or jumped to her death from a hospital window 10 days after my birth, and then see my grandmother who raised me and my father.
The third thing I will ask to do when I get to heaven. Meet with God and ask tons of questions. For example, “What is the Real Story Behind the Assassination of John F. Kennedy?”, “Can you show me a video tape of the Big Bang?”,  “What really happened on Flight 93 of 9/11/01?”;  “Is there life on other planets, and if so, can I see it?”;  “Why did you bother to make us?”;  “Did somebody make you?”; “What do you think about mathematics?”;  “Why do children have to be born with birth defects?”; and most of all, “How did my mother die 10 days after my birth and why?  Have I lived the kind of life you wanted to resolve the paradox of her death?”
The complaint I least like to hear from a non-Christian. “If Christianity is so great, why does Jack Doe, who is a Christian, cheat his employer?” Jack should not be the role model for our lives, Christ should be.
Favorite Christian Singing Duet Jeff & Sheri Easter Put Sheri in a white dress and have her sing “Remembering Angels” or “One Way” and you are close to a real angel.
Favorite Country Gospel  Quartet The Kingdom Heirs I like the bass, Eric Bennett.
Favorite Seldom Heard Christmas Song Bethlehem Morning Sandy Patty has a great recording.
Favorite Christian Comedian Ken Davis It takes real creativity to perform quality clean comedy.  He has it!
Favorite Christian Ventriloquist Geraldine Reagan and her ventriloquist dummy “Ricky.” This woman is the sweetest, kindest person you could ever meet.  But, put that dummy on her knee and her alter ego comes to the front.  Look out!   Ken Davis says he tires of people coming up to him and commenting how quick witted she is.
Most Humble Christian I have ever met. David L. Neuhouser He was my first math professor at Manchester College, and ironically it was the first college class he ever taught.  I have quoted from him in this book.
Three favorite Christian role models. Danny Klingensmith He retried as our mail man for over 26 years.  When he visited each day it is like bringing rays of sunshine.  If ever there was a saint who walked the earth it is Danny.  It would take another book to tell his story.   He taught me 2 Tim 1: 7.
  Dr. John H. Isch Retired as the top cardio-vascular surgeon in the State of Indiana, he is now rewired as a devoted servant to all kinds of Christian endeavors, among them Walk-Thru The Bible, Navigators, a leader of our couples Bible and numerous other types of Christian efforts.
  Dr. Bruce F. Schilt He is a cardiologist. Though, not my doctor when I had my heart attack, he has been a spiritual “heart” doctor to me ever since.  It would take another book to tell his story.  It is not uncommon for Bruce to pray for his patients.
The next favorite Christian females in my life *Margaret Grace Bittinger

*Claire Elizabeth Bittinger

*Emma Marie BiYun Bittinger

*Sarah Elaine Gong Meng Ying Bittinger

Tricia Ann Bittinger

Karen Elaine Bittinger

My four precious grandaughters* and their mothers.
Favorite Christian Sons Lowell D. Bittinger

Christopher N.Bittinger

They are truly the “son” shine of my life.
Most Satisfying Part of My Profession Students finding success learning math and then applying it their career. Sometimes I get e-mails and letters.
What is the most difficult or least satisfying part of your profession? Dealing with the reviewers of my textbooks. Responding to this could fill another book.
If you could choose to be successful at two other professions, what would they be?  Why? 1. Major-League Home Run Hitter, built like Jose Conseco, approaching Barry Bond’s all-time record. Pete Rose would be second, but on the field only, not off.
  2.  An architect. There is an analogy with writing a book; when done you see a finished product, touch it, and have the satisfaction of others using it.
What profession would you least like to have? Coal miner I can’t imagine being stuck down there everyday.
When you get to heaven, and you meet God at the gate, what do you hope He might to say to you? You worked hard to follow my dreams for you. I hope I captured them all, but I know His grace will endure those possibilities.
When you get to heaven, and you meet God at the gate, and you could ask Him one question, and know He would answer it, what would it be? Can I ask a million more questions? I could hardly stand to ask just one.
If you could change one thing about how God made the world, what would it be? Couldn’t you get rid of birth defects in children? This would deal with a lot of issues in adults.
My favorite all-time TV show. Third Watch I love the paradoxical life styles the characters must lead; dealing with crimes and suffering all day, and trying to be loving persons when they get home.  I also like the team aspect of their work.
My favorite all-time TV comedy. Everybody Loves Raymond The writing and the five actors are just outstanding.
My favorite number. 8 It has lots of symmetries.
My three favorite foods. Bisquick pancakes, cherry pie, Thai-chicken pizza. A fourth would be meat loaf.
My pet peeve. Sudden loud noises. This is also Joe Torre’s.
If you were stuck on an island, and you could have three books with you other than the Bible that you have not read, what would they be? 1. “The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky I haven’t read it, but I know it would keep me thinking.  William Lane Craig says that FD is a “Far, far grander writer than C. S. Lewis.”
  2.  “Miracles” by C. S. Lewis I’ve tried to read it, but stopped because it was too difficult to understand.
  3.  ” How to Build a Boat From the Stuff on an Island” I didn’t think this up.  I read it somewhere.
If you were stuck on an island, and you could have four books with you other than the Bible that you have read, what would they be? 1. ” The Shack” by William P. Young Most refreshing look at Christianity that I have ever read. This book reminds you of the writings of Brian McClaren and Rob Bell, but is even more thought provoking.
  2.  “Reasonable Faith” by William Lane Craig Craig challenges me and I could reread it and keep learning more.
  3.  “The Great Divorce” by C. S. Lewis This is my favorite of his, though I should pick a longer one because this one is short.
  4. “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Athiest” by Geisler and Turek Is so well written, and the most thorough treatment of Christian apologetics that I know.  I like their use of logic and reasoning.
If you could have dinner with any living person, not God, who would it be?  Why? William P. Young He wrote “The Shack” and I would love to pick his brain about the creative process.
If you could have dinner with any deceased person, not God, who would it be?  Why? M. Scott Peck Before he passed away in 2005, I was blessed with three lengthy phone calls with him.  I felt like I was sitting on the lap of wisdom.
My favorite vacation spot. Moab, Utah There I am as close to heaven as I can be on this earth.  I absolutely yearn for the place.  Check out Arches National Park and the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.
My favorite sport to participate in. Bowling As opposed to golf I have some skill at bowling, once scoring a 299 game in a tournament and a 297 in an PBA event.
My favorite sport to attend. Women’s softball at Arizona State University They won the Women’s College World Series in 2008 and 2011.  I had the joy of being there both times.
My favorite sport to watch in TV. Major League Baseball But even I admit the games are too long.
My favorite all-time NFL player. Peyton Manning He finally won a Super Bowl for Indianapolis.  The most intelligent football player to ever play the game.
My favorite all-time college softball player. Kaitlin Cochran of ASU. Not only can she hit home runs and win NCAA batting titles and play for TEAM USA, she was a math major, and now teaches math in Fargo, ND.
My favorite love song. I’ll Never Say Goodbye (The Promise) sung by Maureen McGovern When Sarah E. Hughes won the Gold medal in figure skating at 2002 Olympics this was the background song.  I had not heard it before and it knocked me out.  It took me some time to track down the name and a recording.
My favorite orchestra. Cincinnati Pops led by Erich Kunzel I have most of their recordings.  I love the movie sound tracks.

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