Many of my friends ask me for recommendations to books and other resources that will help them improve the quality of their marriage relationships or to be a better father. 
Below, you will find a variety of resources that influenced me in living my life intentionally in the areas of my faith, family, fitness, finances, and furthering my personal and professional growth. All of those areas of one's life are important to build a stronger, healthier, happier family relationship.
Please feel free to bookmark this page, and share it with your family and friends.

Vision/Life Planning

Today is the Day by Bil Cornelius. We all have dreams God has placed in our hearts, but many things keep us from fulfilling them. Fear of failure, insecurity about our financial situation, self-doubt, and more erode those ambitions until they are little more than pipe dreams. But Bil Cornelius is here to tell readers that today is the day they are going to start reaching their full potential and fulfilling their dreams.

I Dare You to Change by Bil Cornelius.

The Four-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. The new rich do not measure their success through net worth but through their level of freedom and mobility. Do you wish you lived a life where you could go where you wanted to go, when you wanted to go? You may not desire the exact 4-hour workweek Ferriss describes in this book, but it will give you ideas and insight on how you can achieve your own dreams.

Let Go by Pat Flynn is an inspirational story about opportunity found during a period of job loss in a crashing real estate market.

Use Your Smartphone to Lose Weight by Jerry Dugan (That’s me! Don’t want to get the eBook for free as a subscriber to my blog, then buy it from Amazon here.) While initially written as a tale of the tape, this eBook turned out to be how my goal to lose 56 lbs in less than a year was the result of discovering my “Why?” in life. This book can help you answer for yourself, “Why do you exist?”

Faith (Christian)

YouVersion, choose a reading plan and build the habit of reading a little each day first thing in the morning. Available in the App Store and on iTunes and on Google Play for FREE!

The Barbarian Way by Erwin Raphael McManus. Jesus never made a pristine call to a proper or safe religion. Jesus beckons His followers to a path that is far from the easy road. It is a path filled with adventure, uncertainty, and unlimited possibilities―the only path that can fulfill the deepest longings and desires of your heart.

Family (Marriage)

The Christian Husband by Bob Lepine. The way we treat our wives the moment we realize she is a daughter of God. Lepine takes us through a practical interview for fathers and husbands (current & future).

Tender Warrior by Stu Weber. If you think Christian men are too soft and frilly to take seriously, then how about taking advice from a guy who has survived helicopter crashes and broken backs? Learn what it means to be both a warrior and a tender, loving man.

FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember. This weekend conference is worth every penny, but save some money with the Group Name "Corpus Christi". Olivia and I have attended many of these events throughout the U.S. Find one near you, and commit to attending a Weekend to Remember every couple of years to recharge and recommit your marriage.



The Art of Marriage is a video based event that can be hosted anywhere you have a group, couples willing to gather, and the ability to show video to that group. If you have a heart to strengthen your own marriage and help other couples do the same, then purchase a kit for yourself, gather a group.

  • Host kit for 1.5-day video-cast events (churches, organizations, businesses, etc.)
  • Each couple will need a couple’s manual set for the event. Cheaper to collect money and order this in bulk.

Feel free to contact me for (free) advice on how to host an event or small group. This is a ministry tool that Olivia and I are passionate about, and we want to help people strengthen their own marriages as well as help strengthen the marriages of other couples.

Family (Fatherhood)

Stepping Up by Dennis Rainey. Inspired by the movie, Courageous, Dennis Rainey identifies five stages of a man’s journey through life—boyhood, adolescence, manhood, mentor, and patriarch—and examines a man’s responsibilities at each step. Rainey calls men to seize the moment and take action, stepping up to responsibility and inspiring others in the process. It’s about embracing courage, rejecting passivity and cowardice.

Raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis.


Learn how you can best Use Your Smartphone to Lose Weight. My eBook about how I use my smartphone as my personal fitness trainer. Amazon Kindle eBook, $0.99.

My McDonald’s Diet by John Cisna and Ed Sweet. In early 2014, we heard about a man who lost weight while eating nothing but McDonald’s for 90 days. This book details Cisna’s personal account of the media sensation that inspired him to share his results, his meal plans, and workout plans. I found this book refreshing, real, and written for the common man.

Fitbit One (Black)
Fitbit One by Digifit - Many of the folks I have connected with who use MyFitnessPal love these devices. Whatever exercise or activity you do, Fitbit tracks it and synchronizes that information with your Digifit account which can then sync with your one-stop shop, MyFitnessPal. Get it in burgundy, or try out the Fitbit Flex.

Fitness Flex

41zH94zSuwL.jpgWithings Wi-Fi Scale - While I don’t have one of these, I do use MyFitnessPal. You can have your weigh-ins synchronize with the Withings app which can then sync to your MyFitnessPal journal. If you’re a runner who uses the Runkeeper app, this scale will also sync with that app.


Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. The tagline says it all, “What the rich teach their kids about money that the poor and middle class do not.”

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. This book changed how I handle my money for the better. Instead of my money leaving my hands without direction, my family is able to use our money with purpose.

Financial Peace University. Can’t find a FPU offered in your area, get the kit and take the course online! This link will take you to Dave Ramsey’s website.

Professional Growth

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. If you are an avid reader of my blog, first I want to thank you. Second, this is the book that helped me create a platform that would be noticed by those who need to see it.

An Army of Davids by Glenn Reynolds. This book provides insights and inspiration on how we can create our own business and succeed with the power of new media technologies to compete with big business like never before.

Sam Walton: Made in America. Bootstrapping is something I am good at doing, and while many may not like Wal Mart and what it’s become there are valuable lessons to learn from Walton’s wisdom and insights to how he built this mega-discount retail chain.

$100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau.

Many of these links are Amazon affiliate links. That means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make any purchase through those links, even if you wind up purchasing a different product. The commissions I earn through these affiliate links help me continue to produce and deliver great content on this blog.

Please, understand that I will never recommend a book or product I have not tried myself. I also do not want you to spend money on any book or product unless you feel they will help you achieve your goals.