With the Super Bowl coming up, I’d like to share excerpts from the most amazing football devotional! Jake Byrne’s FIRST AND GOAL – What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up. Denver Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak is taking the team to the Super Bowl! The devotional shares one of Jake’s experience under Coach Kubiak
Coach – The coach is the man in charge, the guy responsible for the entire team. When the team wins, every fan boasts that it’s because of the coach. When the team loses, fans and media blame him. He is motivator, teacher, and leader. The coach sculpts players into the best athletes they can be in order to win games. He’s also the guy who calls the plays.
Playing for the Texans against Indianapolis in 2013, we were up by three touchdowns after a few weeks of losses.
At halftime, our morale high, we headed toward the locker room with Coach Gary Kubiak behind us.
Nearing the tunnel, a collective gasp rose from the stadium. My teammates and I stopped and turned. Our leader had fallen onto the ground! Medical staff rushed to his side and officials cleared the crowd away from the scene. An ambulance soon hauled him away. Without the rock that held us all together, without our leader and play caller, we didn’t score again and lost that game.
Later, we discovered our head coach had a ministroke. Already dealing with a losing season, the team’s morale couldn’t get much lower. Then, more bad news. Coach Kubiak was let go. The one man in the organization who was loved by all, the one we trusted and respected, was gone. I’d never seen lower spirits in any team or group of people. The Texans didn’t win another game that season.
Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.” And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said.” Deuteronomy 34:4-5
Moses—the leader of the Israelites for 40 years—was not allowed to take the people into the Promised Land because he disobeyed God.
When Coach Kubiak was with the Texans, he was a well-loved coach—like Moses was for the Israelites—always taking care of the team and putting players’ interests first. Like Coach and Moses, even beloved leaders can fall or fail unexpectedly. Either way, the team suffers. Our hearts went out to the revered man, but we also worried about what would happen to us. Who would lead us?
Has someone you admired fallen, failed, or suddenly disappeared from your life? That makes for tough times. You wonder if you’ll pull through. After Coach Kubiak was fired, Wade Philips, defensive coordinator was named as the interim coach that 2013 season and the remainder of a shaky team ambled through a losing season.
God sent Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Later, in the fullness of time, God sent Jesus, His Son, to earth—as God and human—to live among us and be our Savior. When we’re in need of a leader, we don’t have to worry. God always sends someone. We must regroup and move on but never give up.
Coach Gary Kubiak was hired as the Broncos head coach on January 18, 2015. This Super Bowl Broncos’ Head Coach, Gary Kubiak is the 1st person in NFL history to make a Super Bowl as both a player and head coach with the same team.
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. Jake lives in Dallas with his wife, Emma, and two four-legged kids: Duke the Dogo Argentino and Yeti the Great Dane.
Back Cover Blurb for First and Goal:
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 blogs at www.typewon.net.
He can be reached through the following social media:
Facebook Page (Type Won): http://www.facebook.com/typewon1