COFFEE TALK WITH GOD — Swan Song —  Ode to Joy

Did you read Friday’s Coffee Talk With God? If not, please do so online to catch up with the rest of the story in this special edition of my column. Today’s Teche Life section in The Daily Iberian will be my last as an employee of Wick Communications.

2020 is a year of movement and transition for all of our futures. My plans, Wick Communications plans and God’s plans were not in sync. In transition none of us have determined if the column will continue, or, if I will finally have time to do the layout for the long-desired book, COFFEE TALK WITH GOD, a collection of weekly conversations with the readers of The Daily Iberian, and my talks with God. The series began June 2017 and ran weekly through Jan. 17, 2020. Amazing times and you all have been with me, or not, through a lot of changes. This is just another one.

Last week I applied for the PUBLISHER position. They reviewed my application, decided not to pursue the new possible relationship and released me from my duties to pursue the right thing for both of us. It is finished. Time for a New Chapter in my book, or, a new book or two.

It’s hard to believe February will mark my fifth anniversary at The Daily Iberian, the longest I’ve ever worked for anyone, much less a big company. The experience and opportunity to meet so many wonderful folks, learn so many great histories and stories of area people, places and things has meant everything to me. Support this last week has been overwhelming. This decision is not quick or without a lot of thought from both sides.

The week before Will Chapman retired in 2016, I had prepared a pitch for him to present to Wick Communications expanding the parent company vision to include more diverse “communications,” including the three areas I had experience and interest in developing for our community — book publishing, motion pictures and events. Instead of giving it to Will, I personally handed CEO Francis Wick the proposal. When Christina arrived, I did the same thing. My application continued these ideas.

Hearing this news, many of you did not know Christina Pierce has resigned her position as Publisher of the Louisiana Wick Communication properties. Her reasons were personal and meaningful, the column is available online at Iberianet.com if you’d like to read about her decision. As my swan song, I am leaving you with these final thoughts and a request.

For years I’ve been telling many of you it is important to read The Daily Iberian to know what is going on in our community. That fact remains. I like the printed version. For me even if reading them later, I’m in the know, or selectively informed. At least I know what is going on and something always catches my eye that I would not have noticed online — therefore.

I’m just now starting to utilize the online electronic edition more and more. It automatically is included with the print subscription. Sometimes I’m on the run and take a glance. In the future, if I’m out of town, I can continue to keep up with all of my friends and things in my new hometown. For those on the go, out of town or with limited income, electronic subscriptions are inexpensive. No reason not to have one if you live in the region, or, are a native of the area and former resident.

As one of the internal goals at the paper, “... to pay for the newsroom staff,” as Pierce put it one day in a staff meeting, more than 4,000 new online scribers is our goal to be added to increase our digital footprint — the future of publishing, some say. To meet that goal and to honor my time as your lifestyle editor, a swan song request for all who are still not subscribers — but kept meaning to be — please immediately subscribe at Iberianet.com as a show of support for my previous work at the paper and for the future promotions of your businesses, families and organizations.

Which reminds me, the Bayou Teche Museum Gala is Jan. 30 and the online auction is proving to be very beneficial. If you haven’t visited the site to see what all has been donated to help raise this year’s operating budget, go to BiddingForGood.com/BTM. Items are available for auction until the morning of Jan. 31.

Although you may not understand this shocking news, rest assured it is not a surprise to our Heavenly Father. 

In obedience Tuesday afternoon as I was reading the qualifications for the Wick Publisher position in New Iberia, Holy Spirit said, “Apply.” Immediately I obeyed, then requested confidential letters to accompany my application. Within 12 hours, 20 out of 30 letter requests came in with positive support, plus a few phone calls from others who could not meet the quick turnaround deadline. I needed to quickly know what my future for 2020 would look like. I now know it will not be on staff at the paper.

I still have to walk out and into the next adventure in my life journey, but I can with confidence — because I know the Navigator. I can see the bright future before me. I am ready for the challenges and blessings.

Wednesday morning, after making this decision Tuesday, I told my doctor, “Mark today on your calendar, Jan. 15, 2020. Either God is about to light my skyrocket into flight, or he’s going to bring me home. I’m ready for either.” First, I’ll take the long overdue week of total vacation to rest and heal my body in a sterile environment. Then, I’ll be back in business as Vicky Branton Entertainment LLC. The company has been in place for a decade, now is the time to activate it again — by faith.

Not much more to say except Thank You and goodbye. New Iberia and The Daily Iberian have been just what I needed for such a time as this. Without those years and the experience of getting to know and serve all of the readers and people of the Teche Area, I would not have the courage or confidence to launch this decades-old HUGE vision.

Embrace your own vision for 2020. God is in the miracle business and just waiting for you to ask for His plans for you. Gifts are waiting for all who desire to join His journey into the future. There will be parties at Vicky’s before we attend the Biblical wedding feast. See you there.

VICKY BRANTON is a freelance writer and producer with Vicky Branton Entertainment LLC.

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