2019 Book Reviews

Mentors and Warriors, it’s that time of the year again! Book Reviews for 2019.  Here are books and periodicals I’ve read this past year. Some are first time reads, others re-reads and others still in process. So, sit back, and see if there is a book or two you might want to add to your 2020 reading list.

Scoring Legend; 

0 don’t waste your time

2 So So

4 Worth pondering

6 This one has my attention

8 Hard to put this one down!

10 Why didn’t I read this one sooner?!

Top Row: Left to Right

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry-John Mark Comer.  I found this one at a small bookstore in Oklahoma City this fall. Comer does a great job of identifying the problem hurry has on all of us, Christians or not. I’m not rushing myself as I am still working through it, but if you find life with slim margins, slow down and read this book. It’s all about becoming an apprentice of Jesus in ALL aspects of your life.   MW Score 8

Just Do Something-Kevin DeYoung. Probably the 3rd time I’ve read this book! A great read on discovering what God’s will is and isn’t. It makes you re-think what is actually God’s will and what we want God’s will to be.  MW Score 9

Unwanted-Jay Stringer. I heard Julie Slattery interview, Jay Stringer, on a podcast about this book. Very intriguing how many of us who have experienced sexual brokenness run from the pain when in reality, in Christ, running towards the pain breaks its strongholds over you. MW Score 8

North and South-Elizabeth Gaskell. First published in 1854, this story is set in England, about love and relationships. It’s fiction, which isn’t my forte, but it has led to a good discussion with my daughter who loves this genre.  MW Score 6

Journal 2019-Me. Every guy needs a blank journal to jot down life. Everything from milestones to musings, to questions, to prayers to God. This one took me all year to fill up. It’ll go on my shelf for future ponderings. Find one, get a good pen and some seat time to express your soul. It’s good for your manhood journey.  MW Score 8

Second Row from Top:

Letters to the Church-Francis Chan. What does Francis write that isn’t good?  Thought-provoking, Stirring. Chan contrasts the church we experience today with the church Scripture teaches.  MW Score 10

Spiritual Depression; Its Causes and Cure-D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. A Christian businessman recommended this book to me. First published in 1965, it talks about why we suffer from depression and how in Christ, we find the cure. Given my personality and my bent to jump on the D-train, it’s a good read; still working through it. MW Score 6

Conquer Series; the Battle Plan for Purity-Jeremy and Tiana Wiles This journal, along with the DVD series that features Dr. Ted Roberts, we find hope for the man who struggles with pornography and sexual bondage. I’ve been through this series 5 times now with warriors. Each time, God grabs my more of my soul.  MW Score 10

Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married-Gary Chapman.  This is one of the required readings for any pre-marital counseling Sandy and I do. In fact, it’s a good read for single warriors wanting to marry. I’ve been through it four times now and am looking forward to reading it again!  MW Score 9

Mentoring Warriors- David Riffel. This one has had the greatest impact on me! I wrote it! It took me 2-½ years to write. In it, I walk through what biblical mentoring is and why mentoring young men ages 18-30 (aka warriors) is such a crucial part of seeing our society follow Christ.  You can purchase this book online at  I’ll autograph any books you purchase from MW. Did I mention free shipping in the USA?  MW Score 10

A Visual Theology Guide to the Bible; Seeing and Knowing God’s Word- Tim Challies and Josh Byers. I like pictures. Visualizing truth helps me understand how the parts of the Bible fit together and what God is saying to me. This is a great reference book! MW Score 7

Third Row:

The Epoch Times.  There’s a lot of news outlets clamoring to tell you what is the truth. Whereas no news outlet is totally perfect in how they communicate, it’s good to get a source that offers a perspective not always held by the major media. It offers balance. This one comes out weekly.  MW Score 4

Who Do You Think You Are?-Mark Driscoll. Whether you are a fan of Driscoll or not, the question he raises is pertinent to every warrior. If you do not know who you are, in Christ, you will struggle with life far more than you would like to admit. I speak from personal experience. Still working through this book, but it’s been a hot topic with a lot of warriors I meet with!  MW Score 9

Finally Free-Heath Lambert. Similar to the call of the Conquer Series, this book is a call for men to find victory from the bondage of pornography and sexual forrays through a life in Christ. I’ve gone through this book multiple times with young men and it’s been a helpful tool in their journey towards purity. MW Score 9

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality-Peter Scazzero. Peter seems like a busy man! Honest about his own struggles with emotions and its impact on his family and calling as a pastor, he helps us rethink what a life in Christ does to make us emotionally healthy.  MW Score 5

Unfreedom of the Press. Mark Levin. Growing up as an American, I never had a good education about the US Constitution. This book outlines the history of the press in America and how it has become biased over the past decades towards one political vantage-point, You may or may not agree with everything Levin writes about, but as with other books I’ve read, it helps one ponder views as you sort through a worldview that will please Christ.  MW Score 4

And Sons Magazine. Sam Eldredge  Executive Editor. This periodic journal is sub-titled Initiation and the Young Man’s Soul. Sam and his cohorts do an excellent job of walking through the issues young men face. It’s a great parallel to Mentoring Warriors. The graphic design is excellent, the articles stirring and the message deeply Christ-focused.  Available at    MW Score 10

Last Row, but not Least:

Kansas-Official Travel Guide.  OK, so Kansas may be one of those fly-over States to you, but keep in mind, beyond wheat for your bread, beef for your burger, oil for your car and the plane you’re flying in, there are tons of things to discover in Kansas! The latest is the newest State Park- Little Jerusalem; the badlands of Kansas.  

Next time you are road-tripping through Kansas, stop, view, hike, eat and ponder. So often we race past to our destination when there are things to discover right where you are.  MW Score 6

Just Thinking-RZIM.  For years, we’ve enjoyed the thought-provoking articles written by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. As their by-line reads; Helping the Thinker believe. Helping the believer think. Worth getting a subscription!  MW Score 8

Motor Trend. What guy isn’t interested in four wheels!?!  Obviously, I can’t afford most vehicles reported on in this magazine, but it keeps me abreast of what’s out there and what my next one might be.  Race on!  MW Score 4

Family Handyman- OK, most single warriors aren’t into fixing things, but get married and add a few kids and suddenly, you become a DIYer whether you are skilled at it or not!  This magazine has helped me with a lot of handyman jobs around the house. MW Score 4

Mentoring Warriors  Of course, if you are reading this, you are on the website. All I can say is become a newsletter subscriber. It costs nothing and we promise not to sell your address to anyone. Each week, you’ll get a friendly email reminder of that week’s post or special event. If you are a man wanting to mentor, or a warrior needing to be mentored, stay connected and let’s Warrior On together!  MW Score 10

Bible-Ultimate Author-God.  The Bible is the only book on the planet, in the universe, that has the 100% endorsement of God Himself! It is supernatural, life-changing and worth every moment you give to it. In fact, the Bible is so far above all of the other books and periodicals listed it gets an MW Score of Infinity!

Got some books of your own?  Share them with us at

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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