Faith Identity


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The past few months have been fast-paced, yet rich in experience. Along with the recent Mentoring Warriors’ eight-week Boot Camp, there’s been an unfolding of new relationships. New stories are being told of young men each on their journeys; some with Jesus, others figuring out if Jesus is all who he claims to be. 

A weekend men’s retreat in Nebraska introduced me to around 60 men ranging from 18 to 85 who understand the value of mentoring. That annual retreat has been going on for 52 years! Guys who were in their 20s and 30s back then are now the sages still passing on godly wisdom to the next generation. My notebook came back full, my heart overflowing!

Most men in our recent Mentoring Warriors Boot Camp are warrior-aged. Some single, some engaged, one or two married. Their hunger to understand the men they are becoming is obvious. Their questions, both on and off-line were deep, probing, and insightful.  Courageous vulnerability came quickly for many. What’s on their chests needed to be vented, shared, and heard.

Three things God’s been firehosing me with lately include:


My heart longs to be seen. Sure, I’d like to be a decent-looking guy, handsome to my wife and presentable in public.  Beyond the eyes that see me, do people see the David inside?  Do I let them in? When I open up, is theirs a token gesture of acknowledgment or are they truly interested in my life?  Am I doing the same to them?  Do I see them? Does time with them feel like an interruption or truly a delight of my day?

Who sees you? I mean truly sees you? Who would miss you if you didn’t show up?


Who understands me? Beyond grabbing a coffee with me, who truly cares to know me? Who is willing to hear me out and not simply rubber-stamp my thoughts, but challenge me to rethink things, where I am off base? 

 “Dude, not sure where you came up with that hair-brained idea, but you might want to take a different perspective before you act.”

Proverbs 27:17  “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

A man is not sharpened alone. It takes the sparring of an understanding soul that bestows masculinity.  

Who understands you? Who values knowing you? Who can you be with and come away feeling as if they truly understand you?


There is something deep inside a man that longs to be loved. Loved without condition. Love rooted not in your performance but in who you are. Love that sits with you in your pain. Love that wraps their arms around you. Love that smiles at you, delights in you. Love that shows Jesus to you.

It’s when a man experiences such love that his masculinity comes out of its shell. He acts out of confidence, not timidity. Intentionality, not passivity.




It seems God is firehosing me with much lately. In a truly supernatural way, experiencing His presence has been exactly what my soul ordered; even while going through some rough spots. He’s also been firehosing me through the tangible presence of others; brothers and sons who have my back, who literally put their hands on my shoulders, lean in to hear me, looking directly into my face. Men who speak truth in love to me, even if it hurts.

I hope you are being firehosed by God.

If you are not, then here are two suggestions:

  1. Step out of your hiding place and become courageously vulnerable with a few good men. This is not an overnight process, but it takes the intentionality mentioned above.  Men who respond in kind will be worth the relational investment.
  2. Step into a conversational relationship with Jesus. The Scriptures are clear. God longs for the spirit he created in each of us. It is in our intentional pursuit of Him that our soul becomes what Michael Thompson or Zoweh Ministries calls; “settled”.  

A settled man is seen, understood, and loved.

Time to get firehosed!

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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