III – Be

Secure Your Base (Your Soul)

Portrait of Carl von Clausewitz19th-century military strategist Carl von Clausewitz was a Prussian general who fought against Napoleon. In 1832, his book On War was published and military experts regard it even today as the definitive study of warfare.

In the novel Dr. No, Ian Fleming writes, “Clausewitz’s first principle was to have a secure base. From there one proceeds to freedom of action.” Fleming’s paraphrase of the famous war strategist’s philosophy is worth adopting. Securing your base means establishing a self-sustaining, shock-resistant “headquarters” that’s well-defended against disruptions from external forces.

In a letter written to his son, Gen. George S. Patton said, “Defeat is not due to losses but to the destruction of the soul of the leaders.”

For the SemperVerus Brotherhood, a secure base begins with a strong, healthy soul that directs your moral compass. Keep Psalm 73:26 (“Maybe my mind and body will become weak, but God is my source of strength. He is mine forever!”) before you in order to accomplish 1 Corinthians 10:13.

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Centuries ago Clausewitz wrote, “The talent of the strategist is to identify the decisive point and to concentrate everything on it, removing forces from secondary fronts and ignoring lesser objectives.”

Let’s apply his definition of strategy to the small and big decisions we make every day from the basis of securing our base:

Identify: Perceive and analyze the everyday situations you face with a worldview rooted in biblical teaching. Exercise wisdom to discern the good path from the bad path before taking action. For example, use Luke 6:31 as one of your guiding principles. In the words of the military, “intel precedes ops.”

The decisive point: Marketers call it the unique value proposition. It’s the most important, pivotal, and centralized determinant from which to organize all your decisions and actions. What’s your decisive point? How about Proverbs 4:23. And Mark 12:30-31.

Concentrate: Once your decision is made to stay true to what is right (1 Timothy 4:16) in any given situation, focus your attention on following through on it. According to military historian Basil Hart, “all the lessons of war can be reduced to a single word: concentration.” Keep looking straight ahead, without turning aside (Proverbs 4:25).

Remove: Making choices to act rightly means deciding what we will not do. Remove whatever hinders you from achieving the optimum results (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Ignore: Cultivate a disciplined mind and a steadfast character. Don’t be distracted by inferior goals. Keep your main objective to be: “staying true to what is right” (Philippians 3:13-14).

[Adapted from Von Clausewitz on War: Six Lessons for the Modern Strategist]

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[ Read the SemperVerus article, SemperVerus™ Brotherhood/Sisterhood Launches to Help People ‘Stay True’ ]


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Quality Training Builds Character

IDPA target to illustrate the importance of firearms trainingAn article in Psychology Today suggests that training seriously and responsibly for armed self-defense contributes to developing a sense of human empathy and strengthens human character.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, The Greatest Man… ]

The article’s author, David Yamane, professor of sociology at Wake Forest University, writes that those who are dedicated to improving their self-defense knowledge and skills “see that it is indeed appropriate at times to use our human capacity for violence pro-socially, in defense of self, loved ones, children, the weak and infirm, and other innocents. Gun Culture 2.0, to borrow an idea from sociologist Harel Shapira, sees defensive violence as ‘civilized’ rather than barbaric.”

SemperVerus and the Way of the Wise

The Way of the Wise illustrationThe pastors of Ada Bible Church, Grand Rapids, MI—senior pastor Jeff Manion and teaching pastor Aaron Buer—delved into the Bible book of Proverbs for their multi-Sunday sermon series, The Way of the Wise. This series unpacks Proverbs and explains how it presents a path toward a wise life by challenging us to make the right small (and large) decisions every day so that we eventually end up our lives at the right destination.

Contributing to our spiritual fitness, it’s exactly the message of SemperVerus to stay true to what is right with every decision we make throughout every day. We encourage you to carve out time to watch all the sermons in the series to benefit from the wise teachings of Proverbs.

As an example, here’s the video of sermon #10 in the series, “100 Steps in the Right Direction.”

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The Greatest Man…

[ Read the SemperVerus article, SemperVerus Brotherhood/Sisterhood™ Launches to Help People ‘Stay True’ ]

“The greatest man is he who chooses right with invincible resolution, who resists the sorest temptation from within and without, who bears the heaviest burdens cheerfully; who is calmest in storms, and most fearless under menaces and frowns; whose reliance on truth, on virtue, on God, is most unfaltering.”

—19th-century cleric William Ellery Channing

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Be Like Ernest Shackleton ]


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