The first step

By Dr. Jim Ferguson “Wine gladdens the hearts of men.” Psalm 104:15 Another week, another column. I sometimes ask myself, why do I continue after eleven years? Surely, I’ve said enough. But, the beat goes on. As a doctor I’ve treated hundreds, if not thousands, of people who abuse alcohol and drugs like opioids. I’ve […]

What the hemp?

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Something is going on. Bank buildings, which dot virtually every street corner in Knoxville, are being challenged by CBD shops, which are springing up everywhere to sell the oil extracted from hemp plants. I have no problem with entrepreneurs who open businesses to meet public demand, but I also remember the […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson My favorite modern Christian writer is Philip Yancey. If you’ve never read his meaningful and beautiful prose, I encourage you to pick up any of his books as a worthy experience. I have learned much from Yancey’s writing which he says is born of contemplation. I too am a contemplative which […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson I’ve just finished a course of study which focuses on Luke’s account of Jesus’ life and his Easter “Journey to the Cross.” Because I am a follower of The Way, the Easter message is an important one for me, though I’ll admit as a child I much preferred the celebration of […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson I’ve said my stories find me, but nothing found me this week; at least nothing around which to construct an essay. So, as I sit on my porch late Wednesday afternoon, I decided to write about what I see from my porch and my observations of the week. Becky and I […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson Sometimes I can’t remember whether I’ve thought something, discussed my opinion with others or wrote about it in The Focus or my spiritual journal. Similarly, it’s sometimes hard to remember where I’ve heard or read something because I read extensively and peruse multiple news sites, medical journals and blogs. And for […]

Who am I?

By Dr. Jim Ferguson One of the most moving scenes in the movie Les Miserables, is when the protagonist, Jean Valjean, comes to grips with his salvation as a result of God’s grace. After nineteen years of imprisonment and abuse, Valjean had become an animalistic, hate-filled man who was known only by his prison number […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson One of my axioms is, “I don’t find stories/essays; they find me.” “The Doctor is in…” is an opinion column, but recently a self-avowed atheist took umbrage at my religion, my opinions and my observations. Public speaking and writing take courage because there will always be “nattering nabobs of negativity” who […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson It had been years since I was in the sanctuary of my youth. The occasion was a celebration of the life of a great lady, now “passed on.” I like the term passed on better than “passed away.” For me, the former better conveys the sense of continuity that as a […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson Spiritually and philosophically I am Trinitarian. I’ve told Becky that if we ever participate in a newlywed-like game and we’re asked my favorite number, the answer is three – in most instances. Becky maintains that I find three choices in almost any situation. In my defense I think four choices is […]

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