At the very top I want to put two of my Bibles. Dad let me have one of his English Bibles when I was 10 because I was doing a lot of memory work for prizes, both at school and Sunday School. A year or two later I earned one for standing up in class and reciting 13 verses all very fast. I was nimble of tongue, but memorizing them made me faster! The next year I earned another one at school under the Mid-Prairie Scripture plan, where I memorized in sections of 25 verses, a total of 200. I gave that Bible to my grandmother.
The first one I had won became my pride and joy, and I learned to read it daily, and to weep over it when upset, and mark it up during sermons when I heard something that made a profound impression on me, and I simply wore that Bible out by the time I was in my late twenties. It got to where it was (and is, in storage) a clutch of papers in my hand with a tattered cover.
Then I joined a Christian Book Club and was able to choose four books for .99. I choose a New International Version Bible, and although it took a while to get used to a new one, it has become my precious standby. To lengthen it's life I've covered it with clear mac-tac and made zip-up covers out of upholstry remmants for it. When I need a word from the Lord, He uses that Bible to speak to me.
The Spiritual Man by Watchman Nee would be next as having the most profound impact. It was first loaned to me in three volumes by friends who had discovered it in Bible School. I found much of it too deep for me to understand, and yet I learned a great deal, and because of that boring job, I was able to spend hours reading it very slowly for many weeks and months. A few years later, I had questions that I felt had been answered there, so I bought a three-in-one volume copy, and read it again, over about five months. Again, I understood so much more of how God has created us as tri-part beings, and how our spirit, soul and body are inter-related. Absorbing that concept has done wonders towards helping me grasp the truths of many passages in the Bible that refer to these things.
Watchman Nee was martyred for his faith in China when it was taken over by the Communists, however, before that he had been the leading intellectual preacher and teacher in that land, and a number of his sermons had been printed up and were passed around like Paul's epistles of the New Testament. The Spiritual Man was his one major work, which has since been translated into English. It cost him in physical weakness as Satan tried to keep him from writing it, and many shallow Christians have mis-understood it. That is why I don't quickly recommend this to new or weak believers. I think it is good that the English is slow and difficult to read, because that discourages all but the earnest diggers for truth.
However, if this and his other books appeal to you, I've found that they are available on line at ChristianBook.com. In fact, there are whole libraries of his books available now! Just put "Watchman Nee" into the search box, or "The Spiritual Man." You will quickly be presented with a long list of his books and books about his life.
A. B. Simpson (Albert Benjamin) was another author whose works I learned to enjoy during those quiet reflective years. I made some profound decisions about my life as a result of them, and I know I have not exhausted them yet!
Simpson was a sickly child, but discovered God's healing power and became a powerful and passionate preacher with a heart for missions. He founded the Christian and Missionary Alliance, a great missionary sending agency and denomination.
You will also find a great selection of his books at ChristianBook.com. Or, you might find cheaper second-hand copies at Amazon.com, or Amazon.ca.
Check out over 85 reviews of other books I can recommend in this section. Book Reviews. This virtual library is only likely to grow and grow!