Spiritual Health

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Sometimes I think I’ve figured things out,  at least some things. However, certainty is an elusive, relative and transient thing. As soon as you think you might have it, it slips through your fingers like clutching a handful of beach sand. The harder you grasp the more it slips through your […]

Closed Borders … Open Doors

Every week my stories are made possible by the staff of The Knoxville Focus and my wife, Becky, who serves double duty as my editress. I appreciate strong and thoughtful women, so this week welcome the other half of our team: essayist Becky!   By Becky Ferguson I support LEGAL immigration. I am resentful of […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson Southerners are generally a friendly bunch, certainly by comparison to, for instance, New Yorkers or Parisians during the late summer tourist onslaught. My son-in-law from Ohio tells the story of our trip to pick up a boxer for the farm tractor. When the deal was consummated we were treated to breakfast […]

Traveling reflections

By Dr. Jim Ferguson One my travel axioms (sayings) is, “Get on a plane, rent a car and you can see the world.” Having visited four continents and after a dozen sojourns in Europe, my wanderlust has dissipated, but not gone altogether. The picture above is a view of snow capped Mount Hood on landing […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson By the time you read this essay I will be in Portland, Oregon to see my new granddaughter, and, of course, her now big sister, Cleo. It’s hard to be contemporaneous when an essay has to be written the week before it runs in The Focus. However, I’m not complaining because […]

Monsters and zombies

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Fall is finally here and the chill will turn our unseasonably green tree leaves to warmer colors of orange, red and gold. Leaves are green because of chlorophyll a pigment that absorbs and transfers light energy from the sun and transforms carbon in the atmosphere into leaves, stems and tree trunks. […]

Paying attention

 By Dr. Jim Ferguson One thing that really irks my wife is people who walk on the wrong side of the road. Folks, it’s dangerous to walk with your back to oncoming traffic. And it is especially dangerous for pedestrians when cars pass each other and have to choose between a head on collision or […]

Standing in the gap

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Perhaps by the time you read this essay, my daughter in Portland, Oregon will be bringing her second daughter into the world. And what a landscape awaits my fifth grandchild. Antifa blocks city streets in Portland and accosts citizens. Becky and I thought seriously about postponing our visit to celebrate the […]

The Crucible

 By Dr. Jim Ferguson I am not a fan of long winded character development in novels. I’m more of a plot focused guy. Consequently, Charles Dickens wears me out. However, the opening lines of his novel “A Tale of Two Cities” captures where I am today. “It was the best of times, it was the […]

The A’s of our days

 By Dr. Jim Ferguson Though I have tried to avoid the dark vortex of Washington, I have found it impossible to escape the debacle of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ordinarily, I am unaware of the despicable Feinstein and her craven colleagues. But now, I can’t escape them and stay informed of world, national or even […]

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