Book List

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“All I have learned, I learned from books.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

Our minds were created for dialogue. At the core of every book is a conversation the author wants to have with his/her readers. Whether it’s to educate on certain ways the world works or take you on a journey of imagination and adventure, books are there to help you experience life outside yourself.

Granted, not every book is worth the paper it’s printed on (even if it’s digital or narrated); so discernment on what your mind intakes is vital.  Here’s a quick synopsis of books I read in the past year or am still reading.  Perhaps some of these might stir you to pick up a copy. Every warrior, regardless of age, should be a reader, however fast or slow you turn the page.

Top Row: (left to right)

The Divine Conspiracy-Dallas Willard. On my list to read. Willard is deep and my soul has been thirsting for more depth with Jesus. Richard Foster says Divine Conspiracy brings a great overview and depth of the Christian life.  Excited to dive in!

The Journey of Desire-John Eldredge. I’ve never not enjoyed a book by Eldredge. His famous quote “Adventure feeds the masculine soul.” is woven into every book I’ve read of his. Looking forward to this journey of desire.

2023-David Riffel. I’m a journaler. It’s how I jumpstart my day. Story is told in my journal. Some days are ordinary, others come out of an adventure novel of epic proportions. All I know is my soul is far different at the end of 2023 than it was at the beginning. Every man has a story to tell. You might not journal daily but journal you should. You’ll discover you are part of a Larger story God is writing.

Bible-God. I’ve come to realize how casual we’ve all become with the Bible. Verse magnets on the fridge. Quotes on social media. But, do we dive into what the God of the Universe wants to say to us?  It’s the only book in the Universe that has a 100% endorsement by God himself. It’s living and active, and he wants to speak to you and me. Why would I want to miss that?

Jesus for President-Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw.  Just picked this one up. They begin with a meta-narrative of life and how God started everything back in Genesis. I haven’t seen Jesus banned from any State Primary ballots yet, but given this is a presidential election year in the USA, I thought this would be a good read on what may come next November.

Every Man a Warrior-Lonnie Berger. This is book 2 of a 3-part study series for guys who want to take living for Jesus seriously. A friend with young children and I are going through this one. The conversations have been great in sharpening each other on our marriage and parenting relationships.

Whereabouts Volumes 1 and 2-Tim Gilchrist.  My wife and I have a family cottage in Eastern Ontario Canada. These books explore hidden adventure spots and unique places in the Ottawa Valley of Renfrew County. We will check out some of those spots next summer!

Second Row (left to right)

The Body Keeps the Score-Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD. Written by a trauma doctor, he masterfully captures how our bodies tell the story of what is going on inside of us, physically and spiritually, I kept thinking of Psalm 139 which reminds us we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.  

Hearing God-Dallas Willard. This book was so good to read it has beach sand in the pages from when I took it to San Diego! I could not put it down! Willard does a great job of walking us through how to have a conversational relationship with God; something our souls were created for.

Asking Better Questions of the Bible-Marty Solomon.  Marty co-hosts the Bema Discipleship podcast and this book walks us through the different genres of the Bible and how to ask better questions of what we read in the Scriptures. Solomon explains it’s not about teaching you what to think, but how to think. Read the book and follow the podcast.

The Paradise King-Blaine Eldredge.  One of John’s sons, Blaine has a knack for telling story. It flows out of him like a refreshing waterfall.  Blaine retells the meta-narrative of the Bible culminating in the life of Jesus. I was a beta reader for his book on behalf of Mentoring Warriors.  Grab a copy, sit next to the fireplace with your favorite hot beverage, and enter a familiar story from a new yet very true perspective.

Manhood-The Masculine Virtues America Needs- Josh Hawley.  Josh is a US Senator from Missouri who has an extremely good handle on the biblical concepts of manhood. In his book, he compares and contrasts biblical manhood with what the woke version is pushing on men. Regardless of your political view, read this book!

Mandenity-Adam French.  I’m working through this book with a guy as a mutual manhood challenge. French tells personal accounts of the radical change in his manhood journey and then poses questions to challenge our stories. The book offers places to journal our answers. This book will challenge you to be courageously vulnerable.

King Me-Michael Thompson. I was introduced to Michael Thompson of Zoweh Ministries through a friend. His recent book, King Me, has been a game-changer in terms of how I live out my Christ-centered manhood. You can read more about Thompson and the book at this link.

Third Row from the top (left to right)

The Warrior’s Rune. Jared Ellis. Jared hails from Eastern Kansas where he pastors a church. His book leads us through kingship. Focusing on King David and the key characters surrounding his calling by God, we learn how true kingship is good for our own lives.

Mentoring Warriors-David Riffel. Ok, I re-read my book at least twice a year in conjunction with the Mentoring Warriors Boot Camps we lead. Here’s a review by Ben Perkins on Goodreads. 

This is the first book that I’ve ever read about mentoring and it did not disappoint. I didn’t realize how much you can learn from being a mentor trying to help someone else! Riffel’s writing style made it so easy to break down these new ideas and concepts and made me start to think a lot more about my perspective of teaching others and being taught.

Wild at Heart-John Eldredge. I’ve read this book six times and continue to learn more about myself and others. If you have not, get a copy and dive in!

Unwanted-Jay Stringer. The truth is virtually every guy has unwanted sexual behavior. Whether it is pornography and masturbation to promiscuous sex outside of marriage, Stringer points to the heart as the real source of sexual immorality. What’s unique is Jay says if we get to the pain of the heart, it reveals the path toward healing.  Don’t run from the pain, embrace it and you will meet Jesus there.

Mentoring Warriors Journal.  If you don’t have a journal, this one will get you started. Write anything in it. Notes from a speaker or podcast, dimensions for that wood project, your hardware supply list, and romantic date ideas! Every guy needs a journal. Get a copy

The Heart of a Warrior-Michael Thompson.  Michael gets two books on this list!  I’d HIGHLY recommend reading this one before you read King Me. He lays out the foundation for a warrior; that to know your calling as a warrior, you must first become a beloved son. 

Bottom Row (left to right)

Dog Man- For Whom the Ball Rolls- Dav Pilkey.  If you have a middle school son, this is right up his alley!  Or, like us, if you have a 2-year-old puppy with tons of energy who chases after balls, this book will help you chuckle!  We bought if for our dog, Zeke. We hope to start reading him stories soon!

100 Hikes of a Lifetime- National Geographic.  More than just a coffee-table book, this one captures the adventurer in me that wants to explore the world!  There are a couple of trails I’ve been on and one in Africa I hope to in the future. It’s the endurance that results through testing that helps fuel the adventurer in me!

Peekaboo Farm-Camilla Reid. Our first grandchild was born this past year. As a result, our shelves are filling up with kids’ books!  This is one of many we read to her!  What’s cool is at nearly a year old, she is interested in books, even if it is chewing a corner or two!

So, there you have it! Books worth considering. Books to tease the mind, challenge the soul, and perhaps give you a jolt or a nudge to explore the glorious world God created.

You have an amazing mind! Get with your mentor and read some of these books together.

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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