If you haven’t learned this about me by now, you should know that I am intrinsically averse to the concept of replacing one-on-one connection with organizational participation. For example, when a Jesus follower gets to know a neighbor and begins to truly care about the status of their neighbor’s soul, the default solution is to invite the neighbor to church. What the caring person has unwittingly done is to bypass the expression of their personal care and instead attempts to introduce the recipient to an organization of people who have spent zero time getting to know her.

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Do I really want to kill a deer? I mean, I’m not overly fond of venison. I’m not going to use the pelt. I WILL eat deer meat but more as both an obligation after killing and a practice for a self-reliant future.

I get to spend hours alone in Nature, which recharges my soul.

If I killed 2+ deer each year, how much money would I SAVE on meat?

If I buy all the gear most guys use to hunt, how much money will I LOSE on meat?

At some point, the gain has to exceed the expense. Otherwise I have a very expensive hobby. 

Why does it cost so much to do EVERYTHING? Land is expensive. Building a house is expensive. Owning chickens is expensive. Hunting is expensive. Farming is expensive. Grocery shopping is expensive. There has to be a line drawn where we decide to make due with minimal supplies or build our own accessories with minimal tools.

Early in my career, our digital agency staff went to lunch at a burger joint. While we sat and ate our burgers, the president of the company announced that I would henceforth have a new nickname. He dubbed me Mister Confrontational. I was a bit surprised. In my world, conflict is typically caused by a disagreeable sort of person who has staked their identity in proving other people wrong.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a stand against error. But if that’s all you ever do, what do you really stand for, right? Standing against injustice is important, but abundant, life-changing life spreads through love, joy, goodness, and kindness.

So while conflict is necessary, it’s not meant to be identity. And yet, I’m here to talk to you about conflict. See what I did there?

Over the course of generations, we have adopted new layers of propriety. There’s so little we can say freely now without being labeled one wretched thing or another. There’s a fine line between avoiding hate speech and reducing freedom of expression to a meaningless propriety.

While I don’t wish to be remembered as Mister Confrontational, there’s a mission before us that must be accomplished. The veil of propriety must be torn in two. Like the thick veil in the temple separating everyday people from the manifest presence of God, the veil of propriety separates believers from unrestricted dynamic Ministry. The word in due season is often blunt and abrasive. Not rude and unkind. But it doesn’t play by the rules of propriety. It doesn’t pretend that everything is okay when it’s not. It doesn’t mask pain behind pride or fear of exposure. 

The dynamic and powerful demonstration of God’s love doesn’t flirt with shadows. It doesn’t acquiesce to political correctness. Don’t get me wrong: the ministry of God doesn’t expose every sin or pain. It is more balm and healing. Think of the love you’d have for a child who needs to have a festering bandage removed in order to receive vital soothing and disinfecting oils. This is very much a love process. At all times. 

Propriety holds a list of what is permissible to confront. And the list is brief. But God’s love touches all things. It applies to all matters. There are no “off limits” areas of our lives where it holds no authority. 

The veil of propriety is meant to be torn in our day. This era we now enter will be identified and remembered as the era in which the power of truth + love creates rips in the atmosphere. The air will surge with raw power. Reality will become more real. And mere words will no longer be mere. They will shape governments and set people free and transform the vibe of entire regions. The veil of propriety has settled over our land like a coma-induced drug. And the people are about to wake up.

That's right, it's Wife Appreciation Wednesday, where we husbands give credit and thanks to the wonderful women in our lives. On this second day of 2008, I have every reason to brag on my wife.

Four days before Christmas, my wife went into labor. Because of her personal convictions about health and wellness, she chose to have a natural childbirth at home. No drugs. No surgeries. No inducing to speed up the process. Just a natural, allow the birth to happen type of situation. At 3:30am on Friday morning, Heather started feeling very strong birthing waves (a.k.a. "contractions"), and she woke me up at 4am to start timing them. For the first hour of record, they were 7 minutes apart. We were big-time excited! I started texting my family to start praying over the birth. Well, within an hour or two, the birthing waves spaced out 20+ minutes apart, and my wife was seriously disappointed. I did my very best to encourage her. 

She went through spurts of heavy birthing waves off and on for most of the day. It wasn't until 2am Saturday morning that our midwife and her assistant came to our house to monitor the progress. They were absolute angels, giving my wife encouragement and comfort much more easily than I could. They knew what was normal and what wasn't, so they could speak to her with authority and calm her fears and questions. 

We were making little progress throughout Saturday morning. Then we sent out another request to friends and family to pray that this would happen sooner than later. At 3pm, Heather took a warm shower to relax and loosen up her muscles. She came out a different person. She had her game face on, and was full of determination like I've never seen. She began pacing the house and lifting her belly properly to put the baby's head right on top of the cervix. She was a woman on a mission.  

I won't give you all the details because those are intimate and shared only with my wife, myself, our midwives, and our two mothers. But I will tell you that at 9:46pm on Saturday, our daughter Kathryn Taylor Dessinger was born. And my beautiful wife had endured 42 hours of labor! Let me tell you, I was exhausted and I didn't have to do anything but face worry and be her emotional support.

This woman faced something that almost no women in our society choose to face anymore, and she did it with great courage. I've told her since that I consider her resolve to birth our baby naturally was much more courageous and difficult than what women went through 300+ years ago. They had no choice but to have babies naturally. Anesthesia wasn't available except for opium-like substances. But my wife had every avenue of pain relief available and chose not take the easy road for the sake of her baby. 

And because we did not induce the birth, our baby was born a perfect 7lbs. 8oz. at 2 weeks past her due date! She was perfectly healthy and VERY alert when she was born, and breastfed as soon as we could let her. Kathryn has done very well thus far and we are very gushingly proud parents. But I give credit to my wife, who made choices and stood by them even when she wanted the drugs mid-way through.

Our baby will be healthier and happier because of her choices, and I am forever grateful for that. I always want my child to have the very best we can offer her, so that she has every opportunity to live a full life. She will make mistakes and learn from them, but she will be equipped to face life as well as we can possibly arrange. 

Thank you, Heather, for being my heroine and an example to many others as well! Your standards can be difficult to live up to, but you prove that most of them can be attained by anyone who makes a choice and keeps it. I love you.

******* 

If you're married and would like to brag on your wife, post a comment below and give her kudos for specific things you love about her. If you're single, you can post a comment shout out to your future wife and tell us what she's like.  

What are YOU doing for New Year's Eve? Are you connected to the hottest NYE celebration in the U.S.? If not, you'll be missing out on one of the premiere events of 2007/2008. Check it out:

The biggest New Year's Eve Party in the country is brought to you by New Year's Nation. More than 8,000 party goers are expected to join in the nationwide festivities. This party covers eight cities in four time zones, and the venues for each city are top notch. 

Visit the website to learn about THE New York New Year's Eve Party of the year. The average person attending will be a young professional in their 20s or 30s. Participating cities include New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Follow the link provided to learn more about the New Year's Eve Party in LA. 

If you live in the Dallas area, and you're looking for THE PLACE TO BE this New Year's Eve, join New Year's Nation at the Ivy Lounge in downtown Dallas between 9pm and 2am. Hilary Kennedy from the television show "Hot on Homes" will be hosting the local event. 

No matter which city you live in, visit the website and learn more about venue, dress code, menu, and VIP options. And get ready for a party!