Watch this video:
This study has caused quite a stir in our city. I agree and disagree with this ranking. Crime in Memphis is horrible. With nearly 1300 violent crimes per every 100,000 people, Memphis ranks number two under Detroit for most violent crimes per capita. Corruption in government is astonishing. Vacant houses, trash, closed business, etc. litter the neighborhoods. I am not completely suprised that Memphis ranked as the number two most miserable city in America this year.
This Forbes study used the following criteria to assess the “miserable-ness” of the 150 most populated cities in America, of which Memphis ranks 16th in terms of population:
- commute times
- pro sports teams
- Superfund sites
- taxes (both income and sales)
- violent crime
Obviously, some of these criteria are very subjective, so I wouldn’t say this was a very scientific study. However, I think our city should not shrug off reality.
Yet, I am not hopeless…
This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.
Jeremiah 29:4-7, NLT
Father is radically changing my heart. I have a deepening longing for my cities welfare. In the the original Hebrew text, the underlined words above are all “shalom”. This word is rich with meaning, and refers to far more than the absence of turmoil. It is very holistic and refers to the total well-being, completeness, and wholeness of a person and/or a people. The Northern Kingdom of Israel had been taken into capitivity in Babylon, and they hated it. They were taken to cities they considered miserable, pagan, unclean, and cursed by God. Yet, this is where God sent them with the mission to pray for the shalom of the city. This was God’s way of making His presence known among the nations.
Memphis is not experiencing shalom. Yet, Father is raising up people throughout the city to pray for the city. He desires for His shalom to be experienced in our city. I will be sharing more about this in the time to come.
Here is my request: will join me in praying for the city of Memphis. There are over 1.5 Million people in the metro area. Pray for the shalom of Yahweh to come to our city. Pray for the people, the leaders, the businesses, the churches (of which there are over 2,000!!), and others who have a vested interest in our city.