Moral Psychology

By Dr. Jim Ferguson How can we have common sense if we have nothing in common? The word community derives from the root word common and refers to a people who have commonly held interests. Does common sense or community still exist in our divided United States of America? I’ve always wondered how two sane […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson With all that is wrong in the world today I sometimes lose sight of the beauty and the majesty of creation. A friend and a reader of my stories noted a sense of pessimism in my Focus musings. I will admit that I am a glass-half-empty kind of guy. And though […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson As I crossed the dark parking lot it happened again. This time I was not threatened, because the disheveled woman who approached me for alms was pitiable and obviously only harmful to herself. And in my heart and mind the conundrum replayed. Should I follow the Master’s directive (Matthew 25:40) or […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson Sometimes the best explanation for the otherwise inexplicable is evil. But then you’d have to believe that there is such a thing as evil. Is there a force in the world that opposes good? For most of man’s history the notion that there were opposing forces at work in the world […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson Though we hear much these days about concussions, football players are not the only victims of head injury. I aver that Americans have had their hearts and souls and minds assaulted for years, and the attacks just keep increasing. No one knows in what context head injury produces the entity known […]

Intentional Living

By Dr. Jim Ferguson If you are reading this essay you will know that the calculations of a so-called Christian numerologist, who predicted the end of the world on Saturday, September 23, 2017, was wrong. I guess it is possible that the world will end the day after this essay is submitted (Friday), but I […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson There’s a difference between Southerners and so-called “Yankees,” just as there are differences between Knoxvillians and folks from San Francisco. My observation is not rocket science, and even the Beach Boys sang about regional differences in “California Girls.” Actually, our differences are American strengths when not politicized. My son-in-law (SIL) and I […]

Let’s Get Philosophical

By Dr. Jim Ferguson It has finally quit raining here in Knoxville, though flooding in Texas continues and another hurricane is threatening Florida. Suffering Americans and Caribbean islanders remain on my mind and heart, but I just can’t write about rain, flooding and misery this week. So, to paraphrase Olivia Newton-John,  Let’s get physical… no, […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson I pay more attention to rainfall than I once did. Perhaps it’s because I’m semi-retired and have a big garden. Perhaps it’s because we rely on a well for our potable water, and when it doesn’t rain I begin to worry about the aquifer being depleted. We are frugal with water […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson There have been enumerable stories about the Great American Eclipse, but this is not. I am a stargazer. I even have an app on my iPhone to help me identify stars, planets and constellations. Interestingly, all heavenly bodies except the moon and the sun were considered “stars” in antiquity. The word […]