Men of Strength Monday: Papa Jim

Men of Strength Papa

My grandfather, Papa Jim, is not only one of the best men I know; he is also one of the best men in the known universe. And one of the greatest “men of strength”. I know this for a fact. And so do a lot of people. Papa is one of those very rare men that everyone knows is special. He has taught and mentored many, many men. He has been, and continues to be, an example for everyone who knows him. For the men in our family, from his sons and sons-in-law down to his great-grandsons, he is an example of what a good man should look like. For the women in our family, from daughters and daughters-in-law down to great-granddaughters, he is an example of the same: what a good man should look like.

I know what it looks like and feels like to be around good men because of the men in my family, so it was easy to spot that my now-husband was a good man when I met him. My family and I, and many other families around the world, have a lot to thank Papa Jim for.

A few months ago, I asked some men in my family to write advice for other men to put on the blog for “March Man-ness” and then I got sick and haven’t posted. My Papa Jim’s advice is worth putting up, so I won’t deprive you of it a moment longer. It starts, as all good things do, in the dining room:

On the buffet in our dining room is a picture of all our family members except three-about 30 people. The picture was taken when we were celebrating my 80th birthday. I look at that picture almost daily and ask how in the world someone like me could be so blessed with such a fulfilling life and such a great family.


I am convinced it is the result of two commitments I made that have shaped my life and made it worth living. The first commitment I made when I was 13 years old. That was the day I gave my life to Jesus Christ. When I was 16 I stood before my church and committed my life to ministry. I went through a time when I thought I wanted out of that commitment but the results were disastrous. When I was 21 I came back to that commitment and I would not exchange the life God has laid out for me with anyone.


The second commitment was when Margey and I stood before her brother and her pastor and committed our lives to God and each other. I am sometimes asked how I feel about the soon to be 58 years Margey and I have been married and I am quick to say I just wish we could do it all over again. Our family now numbers about 30 including our children and their spouses, our grandchildren and their spouses, and now 8 great-grandchildren. The amazing thing is their relationship with the Lord and they enjoy being together.

Isn’t it amazing what God can do with our lives when we can keep just two major commitments?

12 Good Quotes from 12 Great Men

Welcome to #menofstrengthmonday ! Today I have selected for you some pretty good quotes from some pretty great men. It’s hard to define “greatness”. Some men are esteemed because of their physical strength, some for their mental smarts, and others for their integrity. Below, you’ll find a mix of each.

men - 12 good quotes

Obviously, we begin with Chuck Norristhe ultimate man. He can stare down wolves and make them cower in fear. He can jump out of helicopters and land on his feet. It has been said that there are no weapons of mass destruction – just Chuck Norris. A weapon made out of steel.

Men - Chuck Norris

How about the ultimate rugby player? Richie McCaw is world famous, known both for being one of the best players the sport has known and for being a great leader, captaining the New Zealand All-Blacks through two world cup victories. McCaw is most capped test rugby player in the history of ever, and in his retired life, he’s come out with a book and a movie. In talking about doing the movie about himself, the legend said:

Men - Richie McCaw quote

I have to include another of the best male leaders in NBA history here. David Robinson played for the San Antonio Spurs for 14 years before retiring after his second NBA title. He is committed to helping inner city kids in San Antonio, founding a school called Carver Academy, and aiding students so they can attend college. This is what he said after his last game:

Men - David Robinson

How can we not mention George Washington? I mean, don’t you automatically think of that painting where he’s standing, tall and strong and brave, in a small boat crossing the Delaware River? Amazing. You have to be a great man to stand in a moving boat like that…

Men - George Washington

Theodore Roosevelt was president of the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. He was everything a tough man could be – a frontiersman, a war hero straight out of the Spanish-American War, and an outdoorsman who set the national parks in motion.

Men - Theodore Roosevelt quote

You don’t have to get out the front door much to know the last president on the list – Honest Abe. Abraham Lincoln was known for his integrity, his honesty, and his great Gettysburg Address. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t consider him one of the greatest men in history. Here is a powerful quote:

Men - Abraham Lincoln quote

Cross the ocean to the UK and let’s talk about the great Winston Churchill. He was prime minister through the entirety of World War II. Not easy. I like what he says here:

Men - Winston Churchill

Let’s head over to France. Napoleon Bonaparte didn’t have quite the same values or priorities as Abraham Lincoln, but he did conquer a whole bunch of land and made himself emperor of it. This quote gives me chills.

Men - Napoleon Bonaparte quote

Rewind 2500 years and dig a tunnel straight to China. Confucius is the founder of “The Golden Rule” and Confucianism. His writings on morality have guided the east for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Men - Confucius quote

Mahatma Gandhi was a civil rights activist in India during British reign. A prolific writer, he brought down the British empire with idealistic nonviolence. He is well known as one of the most influential people in all of history. Here he speaks to masculinity:

Men - mahatma Gandhi

Coming to the end of our list, let’s look at another civil rights activist who believed in the power of nonviolence – Martin Luther King, Jr. He was so amazing that he has an entire national holiday named after him in the States. His writings are beautiful and his speeches were the stuff of “dreams”.

men - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our final manly man is, of course, Nelson Mandela. The good quotes from the great man who ended apartheid in South Africa are nearly endless. After 27 years in prison, he became president and is affectionately called the “Father of the Nation”. He knew a little something about courage when he wrote like this:

Men -Nelson Mandela

These are just a few good men. Haha, get it? But, seriously. It’s worth it to take a look at the lives of those people we call great. It’s worth it to try and imitate the things that are great about them, whether we are men or women, weak or strong, Chuck Norrises or Nelson Mandelas. Okay, let’s be honest. No one is Chuck Norris. Or Nelson Mandela. But, hey. We can all have a dream….


March Man-Ness: The Month for Men

James & CatherineHere at A Little Sanctuary, we tend to focus on women and the feminine. This isn’t really for any one particular reason other than, well, I am a girl. So my experience is quite limited. I mean, I really like to help everyone. One of my greatest fears in life is that I will make someone feel left out. This goes all the way back to my kindergarten years when I invited all my little classmates to my birthday party when I was only allowed to bring about three and then I had to un-invite them all and it was very sad. I digress. We want to be a refuge for everyone, men and women. And hopefully everyone can benefit from our posts. But this month, it’s all about men.

This is your time.

We will have some male guest writers as well as some quotes from the world’s greatest men. We’ll tackle real masculinity and we’ll talk about what it looks like to be a good father, husband, brother, and friend.

What makes a good man? What does a good man look like?

Because Charlie Brown isn’t the only good man in this world. You’re probably a good man, too.

Stay tuned here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this month! We’ll see you soon.