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ABOUT THE BOOK (176 pages):

Jake Byrne dreamed of playing professional football. He had the size, the talent, the drive... but at age 14, he found out he also had type 1 diabetes.

Still, Jake was determined to reach his goal. And God was determined to guide and empower him all along the way.

Jake's journey to the NFL is the backdrop for this collection of inspiring devotions based on nearly a hundred football terms. Jake takes you to the weight room, practice field, and even across the goal line. You'll feel as if you're lined up next to him, facing a very large defender you're about to take down. He also includes Scripture and then ties up each story in a way that feels real and encouraging. You'll discover...

  • what to do when God calls an audible in your life
  • how to respond when God puts you on special teams
  • why prayer is never an incomplete pass

These quick daily readings will help you press through your own difficulties and experience God's dream for you.


Jake Byrne grew up in Rogers, Arkansas. A type 1 diabetic since the age of fourteen, he has since been proactive combating the disease and mentoring diabetic youth. He played football for the University of Wisconsin as a tight end, and went on to compete in the NFL. Originally an undrafted free agent who signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2012, he has also been a Houston Texan, Kansas City Chief, and San Diego Charger.

Holly Michael, published in various magazines, newspapers, and in Guideposts books has released her debut novel, Crooked Lines. She and her husband, Anglican Bishop Leo Michael, regularly travel from their home in Kansas City to India. She has a grown daughter, Betsy and two sons. She enjoys watching football, especially when her two sons are playing—Jake (NFL) and Nick (Rajin’ Cajuns). Visit Holly at www.HollyMichael.com and check out her blog: www.writingstraight.com

Joan Nienhuis Janice Sisemore
Sonnetta Jones Gee Dixon
Kim Napier Penny Marks
Melissa Finnegan Debra Lindquist
Joan Boxell Rachel Dodson
Robbi Bourne Jackie McNutt
Rebecca Phelps Anne Rightler
Nickie Elliott Carrie Gould
Jalynn Patterson Connie Saunders
Vickie Jameson Cheri Swalwell

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First and Goal, by Jake Byrne, is written for young people, but I believe there are lessons for everyone in this book. My son was a football player, so I could relate to many of the devotions throughout. Each section begins with a title that is related to football, such as Practice Film, Trainer or Draft Choice. This is followed by a definition of the term, then the lesson, including Bible references. 

It is easy for those that are training for a sport to lose sight of what is truly important and this book helps to ground them in this foundation. 

Byrne has a gift of being able to reach people with his words and I would highly recommend this book to youth and parents. 

I was given this book by Harvest House Publishing and bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review. 

This review was posted on Amazon.com, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, CBD, DeeperShopping, http://ksnapier.blogspot.com/2016/05/book-review-first-and-goal.htmlhttps://ksnapier475.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/book-review-first-and-..., twitter, facebook, 

This is a very unique devotional book based on 90 football terms that explain God’s wonderful attributes.  For football fans, it is a fun way to be challenged to live out the Christian life.


The author, Jake Byrne, began playing football in middle school, continued to the University of Wisconsin, and then on to play for four NFL teams.  While still a teenager, it was discovered that he had type 1 diabetes so throughout his football career he has had to live with that challenge.  The game taught him that with God’s strength, never to give up.


I received this free book from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review that is also posted on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites.

Blog Snippet:

God is never far from us and our faith is to grow stronger with each passing second. Jack Byrne knows all too well that sometimes things don't look like they will ever fall into place and what seems to be a dream will always be just that--a dream. God loves us and He is all about giving us the desires of our heart. He wants us to be obedient in what we have been trusted with and to show Him all the glory.

Blog Link:    http://asimplelifereally.blogspot.com/2016/05/review-first-and-goal...

Also posted on Amazon, Goodreads, Deeper Shopping, and B&N.

First and Goal was a wonderful devotional! I originally got it with my son in mind, but I ended up enjoying it as much as he did. We aren’t a major sports minded family but we do enjoy and understand sports to a degree. However, this book isn’t just for sports-affiliated people - it’s for anyone who loves God and wants to be encouraged in their walk with Him. I can think of many more people who would enjoy reading this book and they aren’t all sports focused either. This is a great book for people of all ages - well written, personal, authentic and encouraging.
I received this book for free from The Book Club Network and the author in exchange for my honest review. I placed my review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Deeper Shopping, if available.

I have read the book and blogged my review: http://bit.ly/1Uvtui0

That blog posts to Facebook and  Google+. I also placed reviews on Amazon, CBD, Deeper Shopping, GoodReads, and Twitter.

Here is the text of my blogged review:

Can there be spiritual lessons in football? Byrne shares what he has learned from his experience in the NFL and his struggle with diabetes.

The format is an A to Z collection of a football term, definition, then devotional. The devotionals are spiritual truths related to experiences he has had on the field and off.

For example: a blitz in football is when the opposing team sends more than the usual defensive linemen after the quarterback. Byrne experienced a blitz when he was diagnosed with diabetes. He had to learn to control his diet to keep his system regulated during practice and games. He felt overwhelmed on occasion and found his strength in the Lord.

This book is a good one for people who enjoy football and need to be reminded (or informed) of the meaning of football specific terms.

It is also a good book for any young athlete struggling with a medical issue. Byrne gives lots of encouragement for facing challenges like getting knocked down unexpectedly. He also spurs readers on to being a cheerleader for someone else, being reliable, recovering from a fumble, busting out of your comfort zone, and much more. He also gives good information on diabetes such as the difference between the two types.

Food for thought: The NFL determines your worth as a player, but only God knows your true worth.” (45)

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Jake Byrne has battled type 1 diabetes since a young teen and has since been proactive combating the disease and mentoring diabetic youth. He played football for the University of Wisconsin as a tight end and went on to compete in the NFL. You can follow his blog at www.typewon.net.

Holly Michael has been published in various magazines and has one published novel. She has an adult daughter and two adult sons. She and her husband live in Kansas City. You can find out more at www.HollyMichael.com and follow her blog at www.writingstraight.com.

Harvest House Publishers, 174 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

Loved it, thank you. Review below
An incredible and uplifting devotional. First and Goal is geared toward teen boys to show how to overcome adversity. But I enjoyed learning a lot of the terms of football and how he relates them spirituality.
We have three boys each that played football. I would have loved to have had this book as a devotional for them through their teen years. Jake Byrne is truly an inspiration to all. At the age of 14 life as he knew it stopped. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He thought that this would destroy his dream of becoming a high school football player as well as an NFL player. He was determined not to be sidelined and fight. This book shows how God empowered him and was right by his side throughout it all.
I recieved this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.
Posted to Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Facebook, Twitter,Barnes and Noble, Pinterest, Google,BAM,CBD,DeeperShopping,Instagram and tumblr

This is a great devotional, especially if you have a man in your life who likes football. I think they could really get into this. I know it's always hard to find good devotionals that men might enjoy but I think this is one my husband would even like.

Honestly, because I am married to a football coach and my son plays I really enjoyed it as well, and I even learned a bit more about terms used in football.

I love the way Jake defined the term and then related it to life and also wove in scripture. Overall, this is a great book for anyone looking for a new way to go deeper into the word.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, AmazonBarnes and NobleChristianbook.comDeeper Shopping or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to be through The Book Club Network Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 

First and Goal by Jake Byrne is a captivating devotional. Byrne writes from his experience as a professional football player and a person who has dealt with type 1 diabetes since he was a young teen. He gives readers 90 inspiring devotionals which he relates to football jargon. Each devotional begins with the definition of a term, has a related scripture passage within and ends with a paragraph that has questions for the reader to be able to personalize the daily reading to his own life. These short, sometimes humorous, anecdotal writings give encouragement, remind readers they are not alone in their struggles and inspire a deeper relationship with God. First and Goal is not just for teens...adults can learn and be encouraged as well.
I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review. I have posted reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Deepershopping.com, Christianbook.com, Bookfun.org, Booksamillion.com, Familychristian.com, Kobobooks.com, librarything.com, and GoodReads.com, if available.

I loved "First and Goal" as a daily devotional. I do watch football especially the Super Bowl but was not sure how I would like reading a book about football. Boy was I surprised. 

Jake takes us through his trials he has with being diabetic and playing football. He has had to trust and have faith in the Lord and it pulled him through his disappointments due to his disease.

This ended up being a book I will keep in my library, as it is now a go to book. He touches a person's life by his faith and trust and even has helped me to see a more positive outlook on the trials I am going through. 

I also enjoyed the football terminology that entwined with the inspirational meaning  too.

I was given this book by bookfun.org for my honest review.

If you like football you will love how the authors incorporate football term to tell about God. Even if you are not a fan of the game his story is written in such a way that you will be able to follow along and give you a better understanding of what it takes to play the game.

I was really interested in this book because I wanted to read about how an athlete deals with serious illness. Although he mentioned his struggles I felt that I did not really get what he went through.

I appreciate the lessons he learned and how he was able to excel at football with health issues. His story let the readers know that they can choose to rise above their limitations. The camaraderie, friendship and discipline it takes is enlightening.

The corndog incident was hilarious at the same time cute.

I received this book for free from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. I also posted this review on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Goodreads, Deepershopper, etc.)”

This 170 page youth devotional is written by Jake Byrne, whose love for football took him to a career within the NFL.

Since he was age 14 Jake has delt with type 1 diabetes.

This wonderful devotional is filled with his hopes, dreams, and struggles , but also how he has used these things and faith in God to fulfill his goals.

Written in an easy to read style, that will appeal to football fans, and others, the chapters covers football terms, that are explained , how he applies these terms to his life and beliefs and how they can be used by the reader.

This is a great way to interest youth in prayer, and reading by example how they apply to life.

I received this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.

This will also be posted on Amazon; C B D, and B&N

My teenage son and I really enjoyed this book.  It was not only a daily devotional, but also Jake Byrne would list a football term then tell the definition.  Next, he would go on to tell a story from his life and yet manage to teach a life lesson along the way.

Thank you to Book Club Network and the Author for my complimentary copy for my honest review.

Also placed a review on Amazon, Goodreads and Deeper Shopping.


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Created by Phred St Laurent May 27, 2010 at 11:35pm. Last updated by Phred St Laurent May 31, 2010.

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