Monday, June 6, 2016

First and Goal by Jake Byrne with Holly Michael

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 terms, 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
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 and follow her blog at

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.

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