01 September 2015

First and Goal by Jake Byrne Reviewed by Bonnie Roof


Jake Byrne dreamed of playing professional football but, at age 14, found out he had type 1 diabetes - determined, he persevered. 'First And Goal', written by Jake and his mother, Holly Michael, is a collection of 90 devotionals. Each titled alphabetically with a football term, and relating a personal experience from his journey to the NFL, enhanced by a related scripture which the reader can apply to his/her own situation. It will appeal to both youth and adults, male and female. I enjoyed reading Jake's story, and was inspired by his courage, determination, and faith. He currently works in Dallas, and has a blog to "educate and encourage others, especially diabetic youth, to be active and achieve goals - regardless of what life throws at them". 

Following are excerpts from 2 of the devotionals:
TWO MINUTE WARNING (A stop in the game clock, 2 minutes before each half. Normally results in a TV commercial.):
Jack relates his first year of tackle football, as a 3rd grader, and in his awkward chubby stage. Constantly being yelled at because of his mistakes, he hated football - yet his father forced him to complete the season. Just as the 2 minute warning is a time for the team to regroup, he needed 2 years to regroup and decide if he would continue the sport. Two years later, when his friend encouraged him to sign up for youth football because of his size, and knowing all his friends would be playing - he decides to try it again. It was the right decision and time.

When pushing oneself, or being pushed by another, and it doesn't work out - he urges that it not be counted as a failure. "Is there anything that you gave up on because of poor results, thinking you weren't good at it? Have you given it a season of rest? Maybe it's time to try again."
(There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1)

EXTRA POINT (After a touchdown, the offense has a chance to kick the ball through the goal posts to earn an extra point, which is also known as the point after touchdown or PAT.): 
Lying in her hospital bed, the doctor confirmed what Holly Michael already knew - she was miscarrying. She argued with, and questioned, God. Why would He take her first child? A nurse entered the room and encouraged her to "always have hope", leaving without physically examining her. Considering the cramps and huge loss of blood, hope seemed useless. Yet, contemplating the nurse's encouraging word, Holly realized hope meant giving one's trials to God, and trusting the outcome to Him. Obstacles can prevent an extra point after a touchdown, yet an attempt is made. Scared and sad, Holly made an attempt by giving her situation to Him - dedicating the baby to Him in prayer, trusting Him for the outcome, and understanding that a miscarriage would be His decision. Immediately after, she was filled with a peace, bleeding ceased, and the baby was okay! Hearing the baby's heartbeat, for the first time, brought her to tears, also surprised looks from the medical staff - she never again saw the nurse who had comforted her.

A few months later, looking into her newborn's eyes for the first time, he stared at her with what she can only describe as "wisdom from heaven", cooed, then just as suddenly, his gaze switched to one of an innocent newborn. She knew from that moment, God had big plans for Jake's life. "Like the football soaring into the end zone for the extra point, hope - rising up to heaven - always brings the best results. It's never pointless." (You have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you. Psalm 71: 5-6.) 


Quotes taken from 'First And Goal' (Jake Byrne and Holly Michael, Harvest House Publishers), and Jake Byrne's blog: www.typewon.net

Giveaway: We're giving away a copy of this new devotional this week. Currently #1 in Teen Devotions on Amazon!Leave a comment to enter!

25 comments:

  1. What a wonderful and inspiring review, BONNIE! My, you put a lot of work into it! I also know what it's like to have a miracle baby boy after 3 miscarriages. When I looked into his beautiful face for the first time, it was love at first sight.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet words, Diana. I enjoyed reading of Jake's experiences, was inspired by the spiritual applications, and hope I did justice to the book with my review. I didn't know about your miscarriages - I'm so glad God honored the desires of your heart by giving you children, after going the heartbreak of those miscarriages. I relate to your feelings of love at seeing your baby for the first time!!

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  2. Great review, Bonnie! Isn't this a wonderful book! :) Everyone should get multiple copies to have plenty for gifts to those who love football, to those who love people who love football, and to anyone who needs encouragement through tough times! It's almost unfathomable to imagine what this young man faced in reaching his goal...and with God's help, He did it! I love First and Goal!

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    1. Hi, Caryl - thank you for taking the time to stop by, and for your kind comments!! Yes, buying copies of this devotional, to give as gifts, is a wonderful idea. I always keeps books on hand for gifts - 'First And Goal' is an inspiring devotional that will appeal to everyone from teens to senior citizens, both male and female. Knowing the rigors of football, from experience with a son who played, Jake definitely faced what would have been insurmountable obstacles - without God's help. He also had to have the determination, and is an inspiration to all. I loved the book, also!!

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  3. This book looks great from my pre-teen grandson, Bonnie and Holly - inspiring. Thanks for this opportunity.

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    1. SO glad you stopped by, Gail!! 'First And Goal' is currently the #1 Teen Devotional on Amazon - I feel sure your grandson will love it, as will sports fans of all ages, and anyone else needing encouragement and inspiration, male or female. I'm not a sports fan, but enjoyed the stories relating Jake's experiences, and was inspired by the scriptures and spiritual applications included. Thanks, and please stop by again - we have giveaways every week: books, gifts cards, and more!!

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  4. I would love to read this book. Inspirational, strong, loving......I think a great read!

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    1. Melanie - Jake is so inspiring, himself, because of his determination and the obstacles he has overcome. The stories of his experiences, accompanied by scriptural applications, are beautiful bits of encouragement that everyone should enjoy and appreciate. Thanks for your comments!!

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  5. I would love to win this book! Thanks so much for the giveaway :)

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    1. Hi, Betti!! You will enjoy it, I feel sure. Good luck!!

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  6. This sounds like such an inspiring read.

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    1. It's very inspiring, Mary - both Jake's story, and the scriptures and spiritual applications. Thanks for commenting!!

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  7. Oh wow, I'm sitting here almost in tears... Holly and Jake, you have a very special book on your hands here... It feels so incredibly anointed!! I'm looking forward to getting a copy of your book, it's going high onto my Amazon wishlist! :)
    Wonderful, fabulous review Bonnie, thanks!!

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  8. There are some very touching devotionals in the book, Noela. The reason why I think it will appeal to both male and female, regardless of whether they are sports fans - there should be a huge appeal to males, because of the football theme, however, I hope many females will read it also. Holly has mentioned God's hand being on the book since it's inception, so you are right when you say it is anointed. Thanks so much for your sweet comments!!

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    1. Thank you, Kim!! Hope you get a chance to read 'First and Goal', and good luck in the drawing!!

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  10. Bonnie, thank you so much for the review. Glad you enjoyed First and Goal. It was such a blessing to write it with my son, Jake.

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    1. It was my pleasure, Holly - glad you felt I did the book justice. I really enjoyed reading it, was encouraged by Jake's courage and determination (enhanced by my own health issues), and inspired by the related scripture and quotes. Thanks for your kind words, for stopping by, and for the opportunity to read/review 'First and Goal' - I so appreciate it!!!!

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  11. Thanks Caryl, I'm sure those Grandsugars of yours will love this book.

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  12. Noela, thank you for your kind words. I felt God really guiding and blessing us through this process.

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  13. Thanks Kim, Mary, Betti, Melanie, and Gail. Thanks for stopping by. Bonnie's did an excellent job with the review. :-)

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  14. Great review Bonnie and congrats to Jake & his mother Holly. This sounds like a great book of encouragement and my prayers follow. I would be honored to read such an anointed book--please add me to the drawing.

    DIANA--I remember the days before God gifted you with your son as you and I both longed for and received our 2nd child. Those were some precious days that the two of us shared. Miss you girl!

    Vicki

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    1. Thank you, Vicki!! 'First and Goal' is a very encouraging book, and as you said - anointed, as well!! I feel sure it will "speak" to you when you read it. Thanks so much for your sweet comments, and for stopping by.

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  15. God bless Jake and Holly for writing this! Great review, Bonnie! Thanks for sharing!

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  16. Thank you, and amen, Carrie!! It truly is a devotional I think everyone, teenage and up - male and female, will be inspired by. I was encouraged by Jake's story, inspired by the scriptural applications, and honored to read and review 'First and Goal'!!

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