1. Corrie ten Boom. Read The Hiding Place in college and pretty much re-read it every year. Amazing lady who truly proved that there is no pit so deep but that God's love is deeper still.
2. Isobel Kuhn. Found her autobiography, By Searching, on sale when I was in my early twenties. Bought it b/c it was cheap - had never heard of her. It's re-printed every so often. The last time I saw it at Lifeway, I let out a squeal that caused my son to back away from me and pretend he didn't know me. I took it to The Oasis a few days later - in the midst of a frantic shopping day - thinking I could eat a quick sandwich, read a few pages, and then go back to searching for the perfect dress that I had to have for an event that evening. And my lunch was quick; I did read just a few pages. But in that time, I renewed my commitment to Christ and things changed for me - simply because of what I read in her book. Very sweet story of her journey from agnosticism to Christianity and the way God revealed Himself to her. It's available from Overseas Missionary Fellowship via the net. And to my surprise, I was able to download it on my Kindle from Amazon recently.
3. Juanita Simpson. Found her autobiography on the BSF reading list. Walking on Waves is an amazing story of how she learned to receive God's guidance when faced with tough decisions and also how God led her family to become missionaries in Micronesia. To me, this lady is amazing. At one place in her book, she wrote that while she was a well-known missionary on one island, her son was a well-known drug-addict on another island. Yet she believed God had promised that her son would be restored and so she kept praying and hanging on to those promises and her son was not only delivered from the drugs but was drawn into full-time Christian ministry.
4. Joanie Yoder. Her book, Finding The God-Dependent LIfe, is out of print as far as I know. To me, this book is interesting because she was a missionary's wife, serving in Europe, when she began to suffer from panic attacks. These attacks brought her to the place where she was pretty well unable to function in public. And when she reached bottom, she bottomed out not only emotionally but spiritually as well. She's very honest about all of that. The rest of the book details the steps that God used to bring her back to a normal life and a renewed faith. Also very practical - steps that anyone can follow.
5. Darlene Diebler Rose. This woman's book, Evidence Not Seen, impacted my life greatly 21 years ago. I've read the book more than once and also listened to a tape of her testimony many times (from Focus on the Family). She was an amazing woman who spent 4 years in a Japanese POW camp in New Guinea during WWII. She told her story with honesty, amazing detail, and humor. After I read it, for about three days, I didn't even see the world around me in the same light - my perspective was so changed. Plus, I learned a lot about WWII.
6. Dawson Trotman. There are several books about Dawson, founder of the Navigators Ministry. But the one that impacted me greatly is also probably out of print. It's a little paperback called The Navigator and it's just a spiritual biography of him - not the whole biographical story. A friend gave this to me as a Christmas present back in the '80s. I hadn't read very far in it before I found myself on my knees, asking God what I could give Him for a Christmas present - a totally new thing for me.
7. Bill Bright. I really respect him and the ministry he founded, Campus Crusade for Christ. But I sometimes have trouble connecting with the books he wrote. However, one of the last books he wrote, The Journey Home, caught my attention and held it and it also is one that I go back to over and over again. And even though it is autobiographical, I sometimes use parts of it to jump-start my devotional times. He was terminally ill when he wrote it and at the very beginning he pretty much says, since I'm dying, people ask me if I have anything to say.. and I do! The Puritans used to sit by the bed of dying saints, expecting words of wisdom and perhaps even a glimpse of the other world as the spiritual leader transitioned from one world to the next. This book is like being able to sit by Bill Bright's bedside while he re-caps lessons gleaned from 50 years of following Christ. And he also delineates in it how God was using this last illness to bless him! Truly amazing.
8. Chuck Colson. I'm old enough :( to remember when Watergate was a nightly news story and Nixon resigned. Colson worked as legal counsel to the president, became embroiled in the illegal activities that seemed to characterize most of the President's men and then, during a time of crisis, became a Christian. This book details the first steps that he took as a Christian, moving from prison back to the real world and eventually starting Prison Fellowship. The stories in it are great - he gives mistakes as well as successes, lessons learned - just a neat look at a man who fell from power and then rose again, transformed by the power of Christ.
9. Nate Saint. Nate was one of the five missionaries killed in Ecuador in 1956 while trying to reach a primitive jungle tribe. After Nate died, his widow commissioned Russell Hitt to write a biography of Nate. Jungle Pilot sounds like it might just be for guys but I didn't find it to be that way. The author drew a lot of the material from Nate's journals so it has humor and a lot of insight into the work these men did. In recent years, Nate's son, Steve, moved his family into the jungle to live with the people who had killed his father so many years ago and that story is told in the movie, End of the Spear.
10. Reema Goode. I've already written about Reema's book, Which None Can Shut, in an earlier blog. I really hope to meet her some day - have already read the book twice since I got it a month or so ago. She just has a neat sense of humor and a lot of insight and shares information about miraculous things on the Arabian peninsula.