Saturday, July 25, 2015


photo by Sean O'Toole
Hey Stitchers! Caryl McAdoo here, and I'm so pleased to be with you on a Saturday! I have a very special, very big and handsome author to introduce you to this morning! Meet Jake Byrne, an NFL tight end who has overcome so many obstacles with God's help. He's just such an inspiration! At the age of fourteen, Jake was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He was already his schools top athlete... please, help me welcome this debut author! Thank you for granting me this interview and welcome to Stitches Thru Time, Jake!

Well, thanks for having me.

So without a doubt, that doctor's report had to be devastating. I know you love the Lord now, it's so evident in your book, but did you know Him then?

Yes, ma'am. I've always had faith. Was baptized as a baby. Taught in the Catholic faith, I guess I just always have. There’s so much about religion I still don’t know, but the simple fact is that deep down, my faith is real and I trust in God above all things. 

I have three sons and can't imagine... When he told you that you had Type 1 Diabetes, how did it affect your faith?

I had my “why me,” moment with God. It hit me hard when I understood that there was no cure for the disease, and I’d be insulin dependent for the rest of my life. It was a tough blow. But through my struggles, the more I prayed about it, and pushed ahead toward my goals. Despite the disease, I got this feeling that God would use everything for the good. And looking back, He has.

How about your life? I mean as a freshman in high school, right? How was your every day affected?

My doctor asked if I liked to watch high school football from the sidelines or stands? I said no, why would I do that. He said I would have no choice if I couldn’t control my diabetes. My life changed drastically with that diagnosis, but those doctor’s words were sobering. I had to make a choice. I quickly grasped that by not being diligent, I was only hurting myself. It was up to me to control my levels if I wanted to be able to compete.

You mentioned one of my favorite promises in the Word, that you believed God would use everything for the good. With 20/20 hindsight, tell us how He did if you will.

He sure did.  Diabetes made me become a responsible adult sooner than I was prepared to be one. Managing diabetes reinforced a strong sense of discipline and a good work ethic. If I didn’t work really hard at controlling the disease, I'd never have had a chance to play football on any level. Competing in sports with a disadvantage helped me develop into a stronger competitor throughout my entire football career.

So, your book is out! And I heard Amazon already sold out once! I'm certain Harvest House shipped them plenty more right away! :) How awesome was it to hold the finished copy in your hand?

So awesome!

My favorite part of my first book was my name on the spine :) How did such a young busy football player decide to write a book?

From high school football, I went on to play football for the University of Wisconsin on a scholarship. During my college years, I struggled a lot with managing college life, grades, diabetes and football.  I had no mentors. 
     Everything was trial and error for me.  I fumbled a lot and learned the hard way. When given the opportunity to write a book, especially a devotional, I was excited. Gave me a way to share my experiences and encourage others--not only in pursuing goals no matter how hard and high the obstacle, but in their faith too.

Jake, I truly admire your faith and strength after all your setbacks. What would you say to people who feel God has handed them a bum deal in life?

No one gets an easy pass in life. We all meet struggles while pursuing our dreams. Sometimes our knees shake when facing giants, and sometimes our feet get knocked out from under us. Those are defining moments. But the Bible says that God arms us and keeps our way secure. When knocked down, we must not sit and cower. God equips us with the confidence to get back up on our feet. There is peace in knowing that no matter how hard we fall, God reaches out His hand, like a teammate in a game, and pulls us back onto our feet.

Alright! Now let's get to YOUR BOOK! Will you share with us?

Sure I will.
First and Goal to Go: What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up is an A-to-Z football terminology devotional, and short anecdotes from childhood, my struggles as a type 1 diabetic, and my journey in the NFL.

Here's the jacket copy: 
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.

Thank you, Jake, for being with us today and for your service to the Kingdom! You be blessed, an dmay God's favor go before you in the good works you're doing with young people who are living with Type 1 diabetes. 

Jake with his author mother, Holly Michael
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. Currently, Jake and his wife Emma life in Dallas and have two four-legged kids – Yeti the Great Dane and Duke the Dogo Argentino.

Jake blogs at
He can be reached through the following social media:
Facebook Page (Type Won):
Twitter: @sugarfreejb82
Instagram: Jakebyrne81

First and Goal, published through Harvest House Publishers, can be purchased at most all bookseller retailers and online booksellers. BOOK at AMAZON 

Caryl McAdoo currently writes three series: the historical Christian ‘Texas Romance’; a contemporary ‘Red River Romance’; and The Generations, her Biblical fiction. The novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her, and she paints. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and fourteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes each will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far NE corner of the Lone Star State.


  1. Great interview, Caryl! Thank you for introducing us to Jake, a fine young man!

  2. Great interview, Caryl! I hope Jake's story touches many lives.

  3. Jake, welcome to Stitches Thru Time! We're so honored you would join us.
    A very inspirational interview, Caryl. Thanks for introducing us to Jake. I know many people who struggle with diabetes. But I also know folks that God has completely healed of diabetes. We serve an awesome God who is not limited by medical science. :)

    Thanks again for sharing.

  4. I've been following Jake's career for several years through his mom, Holly Micheals. He's an awesome witness for God!

  5. Thanks all, Jake's mom here. :-) Amber, Type one diabetes is an auto immune disease, not like Type 2 which is curable. There isn't a cure for type one, but God is merciful and we also pray and hope for that full healing and for type one diabetes to no longer be an incurable disease. Really excited about what God is doing in Jake's life. Love the post, Caryl. Great job!

  6. As I read this, I knew right away that I would be purchasing a copy for my 13 year old son. Thank you, Caryl and Jake for the great interview.