From the Publisher

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Romans 12:2

For those of us blessed to live in areas where we have seasonal change, the concept of renewal happens at least twice a year when we leave Winter and enter Spring. The end of Summer means a return to a regular schedule, our children returning to school, giving them the opportunity to start fresh in their new classes.

The concept of renewal is not something we often look forward to because it often means the need for change because of a deteriorating situation or recent loss. It may come out of an internal or physical struggle, more often than not the situations that require renewal are out of our control.

I was recently celebrating with a friend of mine - his recovery from a bone marrow transplant that cured his Leukemia. He was laughing about his recent fishing trip where he had been eaten up by mosquitoes. You see, he had never reacted to mosquito bites before his transplant, but with the donor’s healthy bone marrow came the donor’s sensitivity to mosquito bites. Clearly, it was a humorous and small price to pay for his health. Renewal in this case was a tremendous blessing, allowing him to overcome a physical struggle that would have cost him his life without the successful bone marrow transplant.

If one does a case study on business entrepreneurship, you would find some of the most successful companies were started by a loss of a job or a failure of a company. The need for an individual to start over again may lead to opportunities they would never have considered if life hadn’t forced them into renewal. Recently, Kroger announced that they were discontinuing across the region the service of providing rack space for local community publications to distribute their magazines. Forty percent of 4Memphis’ distribution has been through these public racks in a neighborhood store. The news of Kroger’s decision came at quite a surprise, but like all setbacks it forced us to implement a new plan.

Our most popular spots have been in locations that regularly serve our target market, such as High Point Grocery, Superlo Foods, and Gibson’s Donuts. After all, Gibson’s one of Memphis’ most cherished businesses. We distribute more magazines at Gibson’s than any other location by a factor of four. Who doesn’t enjoy standing in line on Saturday or Sunday morning to get a box or two of Gibson’s famous donuts? Gibson’s is only one of many examples of the direct-to-consumer distribution outlets that allow 4Memphis to reach its target market to share with Memphis the good works of our not-for-profit sector, while supporting our local businesses through advertising in the pages of 4Memphis.

4Memphis is in the business of supporting our community, both the tremendous not-for-profit sector and the locally-owned business. The lifeblood of Memphis is the Poplar corridor that starts at the Mississippi River and ends in Collierville where Poplar and the 385-loop cross. We are in the process of placing 100 re-designed racks along this corridor, concentrating our efforts to deliver the message of the great works of Memphis’ not-for-profit organizations to those in our city that can most help them financially. Renewal, the opportunity to transform our business model by improving our reach to the community we serve; 4Memphis and its advertisers will be better off because of it.

Romans 12:2 is calling its readers to leave their old ways of thinking and acting, by changing how they think and view the world and their place in it. Sometimes renewal in our lives can be extremely painful and other times pure joy because of the opportunities it creates, may all of us who live in Memphis look for ways to work toward the renewal of Memphis.

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