News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Scotties’ paradigm

Scotties see the world from their own special perspective. Their worldview, or life paradigm, is focused on food, shelter, safety, love and play. If all these things are in abundance the Scotties are content. What is the focus of your life?

A while ago I had a significant paradigm shift. I read an amazing book, “The Sermon on the Mount,” by Emmet Fox. He was such an inspiring speaker that during the 1920s and ’30s he filled some of the largest halls and churches in New York City with standing-room-only throngs. He also wrote dozens of books, many of which are still in print, including the one above.

The reason for my paradigm shift was Fox’s emphasis on putting your life’s focus on the basic teachings of Christ; eliminating all the theological paraphernalia that has gathered around formal Christianity during the past two millennia. When I was young I was given my grandmother’s “red letter” Bible. I often said that I wished Christianity would just focus on the red letters, which are Jesus’ words. In essence, that is what Fox preached.

Fox’s Sunday sermons helped to inspire a generation of best-selling books, including “The Power of Positive Thinking” and “Think and Grow Rich.”

His paradigm’s emphasis was on affirmative prayer; developing a style of prayer framed in a positive language: for instance saying, “Lord, thank you for giving me health and prosperity,” rather than asking to receive those things. Then he guided people to recognize that Christ is always with them, ready to help. Eventually people learned to retain a positive attitude about everything; especially thinking positively about all people they knew and worked with.

Fox said again and again in his books, “See the Christ in every person.” Not easy, I’ve found, but so helpful when I do it. He also told people to believe that God wanted their lives to be filled with joy, peace, good health and all that they needed to prosper—this is the “daily bread” mentioned in The Lord’s Prayer. He told people to act and believe that way all the time and health and happiness would come to them.

His concepts were based upon the red letters in my grandmother’s Bible. Through his books I found what I had been looking for. I needed to hear it presented in his amazing style to finally internalize what Christ worked so hard to tell us 2,000 years ago.

Scotties focus first on food, shelter and safety. Abraham Maslow built his 20th century psychology career on his Pyramid of Human Needs, of which those items were its foundation. Maslow believed that all people must have food, shelter and safety before they ascend to higher values where they can eventually reach the top level of self-actualization.

Christ told us not to worry about those basic needs. Jesus explained that if we had enough faith in God our Father and led a life based on love and service to others, those basic needs would all be met. Christ held that we should put our focus on God first. He explained that if we did that we would have the prosperous, fulfilling lives of our dreams.

It is true. If we change our thinking, we change our world. We can have an abundant, prosperous and healthy life. For most of us it begins with a paradigm shift to affirmative prayer, positive thinking, loving our fellow humans and deep faith that God is with us at all times. I have discovered that it takes a lot of work to live that way every day, yet it is well worth the


“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

— Romans 12:2


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