The Comfort+ Quest Continues


Before I launch into today’s newsletter, I have a request from my friend Autumn to include a correction to my last newsletter.  In response to the grave crisis I faced regarding the potential loss of my Delta status and my quest to find 1500 more miles before the end of the month, she wants you to know that she did not say, “You have lost your mind.”  Rather she said, “Are you bats?#$t crazy?!?”  Autumn does not feel that the way I recorded our conversation earlier conveys the profound depth of her concern for my sanity.

Nevertheless, I have not given up my quest and I am writing today from approximately 30,000 feet above the coastline of Beaumont, TX.  I can tell this because Delta has free wifi on most of its flights now. Not only can I spot the smoke stacks along the coast line, but I can spot my location on Google Maps.   Shortly the information I just shared will be important to the purpose of this newsletter, but not quite yet.

First, I need to say that on Leg One of this pre-Christmas scurry across the middle of the country, I enjoyed lovely time with Autumn and her husband David.  They were able to help me memorialize what I have taken to calling my “Comfort + Quest” by dropping me off on the side of the high way to take my picture in Comfort, Texas.  We have a theme-of-the-month to stick to, you know.  Over the past three days, Autumn took me hiking in Lost Maples State Park. She took me clothes shopping because she was not so happy about that hole in my favorite yoga pants. And then she took me at high speeds over gravel roads in an ancient, dust-coated, open-air jeep into the blinding light of sunset so that we could not see a darn thing, leaving me with no doubt as to which one of us is truly “bat$#%t crazy.”

If I come across as less than grateful, you are hearing me wrong.  Leg One of this journey really was a fun adventure and now I am safely ensconced on Leg Two of the “Comfort+ Quest” which will take me to Chicago to visit my webmaster Scott to tweak a few things on the website (pre-order book here!)…. before Leg Three of the journey takes me back to Atlanta tomorrow… via Detroit… naturally.  Silliness I know, but an Extra-Six-Inches-of-Leg-Room-for-All-of-2024-Silliness.

And this brings us back in the most circuitous way possible to Beaumont, TX and the true purpose of this newsletter, which is to say that I have a new Waking Up Goliath podcast episode out with Bishop David Toups—the bishop of Beaumont, TX.  (Also available on Spotify)  Bishop Toups is a son of the bayou who after many years in Florida as a parish priest and seminary rector is now once again ministering nearer home where Texas meets the Louisiana border. 

Bishop Toups was named bishop of the Beaumont diocese right in the middle of Covid.  His installation on August 21,2020 took place only days before Hurricane Laura slammed the region with over $19 billion in damages.  His leadership journey has not been an easy one! If you listen, however, you’ll meet a man who is quick to laugh and loves being with his people.  He tries to exercise his power with a spirit of service, and has great tips on how to do so.  I very much enjoyed doing this interview and I think you’ll very much enjoy listening to it as an early Christmas present for yourself!

Wishing you a beautiful holiday ahead!