“If There Be Any Virtue” – The Mid-Week Spotlight

“Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, honest, pure, lovely, and of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Philippians 4:8

From the launch of Rambling Ever On, we have tried our best to focus on the things which point to truth, beauty, and joy. As with anything manmade, we have not always been successful, though that has always been our goal. That mission statement informs most of the things we publish and will continue to do so.

One of the ways we carry out this mission statement is to shine a light on things we find in culture which speak to some aspect of our founding principles. Is there truth, beauty, or joy to be found in it? Or as Scripture would ask that question, is there any virtue to be found? After all, we are commanded to think on those sorts of things.

So, consider this another way we will attempt to point out things we believe are worth thinking about. Things that display elements of God’s truth, beauty, joy, and virtue. These won’t be full-blown reviews; rather they are just little blurbs describing why these things are worth your time and energy.

(Book) The Story of Reality – Greg Koukl

Simply put, The Story of Reality is the best introductory apologetics book I have ever read. Koukl does an amazing job of taking incredibly complex ideas and making them understandable. For me, that is one sign of a good writer. If you can take a complicated issue or topic and make it easy to understand, you have done your job well. Koukl does his job very well.

If you have teenagers in your home, have them read it. If you know someone who is new to the faith, give them a copy. Or, if you just want to reorient your focus on the particulars of what we believe, spend some time with it yourself.

(TV Show) Sports Night

Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) created this groundbreaking show that gave viewers a behind-the-scenes peek into the inner workings of a Sports Center-type program. But if you are not a sports fan, don’t let that setup turn you off. The show is so much more than sports. It is about the characters: The anchors, the producers, the writers and it follows their triumphs and their failures. The characters are three dimensional and fully fleshed out, the writing is sharp and fast-paced, and the acting is top-notch with Josh Charles, Peter Krause, and Felicity Huffman all giving some of the best performances of their careers. Sports Night only lasted 2 seasons but those two seasons were great. Also, since it is only 2 seasons long you can watch the whole thing in a fairly short amount of time.

Thematically, the show deals with a wide variety of topics, debates, and worldviews, and you probably won’t agree with their conclusions that often. That’s not the point of my recommendation. Sometimes, it’s worth celebrating good art for the sake of good art. Sports Night is expertly written and delivered and it will keep you engaged and thinking the entire time you watch. That should matter.

(Movie) Sweet Land

My guess is most people haven’t even heard of this film. That’s too bad because it’s a wonderful little romance set in rural 1920’s Minnesota. The film stars Elizabeth Reaser, Tim Guinee, Lois Smith, Ned Beatty, John Heard, Alex Kingston, and Alan Cumming. It tells the story of a young Norwegian woman who comes to the United States to marry a farmer due to an agreement with his parents back in Norway. It’s a simple, meditative film with subtle performances and beautiful imagery. While the film is slow-moving, it is never boring.

In a culture that celebrates noise and shock value, Sweet Land defies all of it and instead turns our hearts and minds to something more rewarding. Movies are powerful because they engage us in so many ways. They have the ability to entertain and more. Sweet Land does so much more than simply entertain. It is a peaceful and soothing film, the perfect remedy for a troubled and chaotic reality.

(Book) Auralia’s Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet

Auralia’s Colors, film critic and author Jeffrey Overstreet’s first attempt in the world of fantasy/fairytale, is an original and inventive piece of fantasy literature that is a delight to read. Overstreet has a way with words; He delights in constructing sentences that burst with vibrancy and color. His characters are memorable and interesting, the plot is straight forward yet intricate at the same time. It is not an easy read, whatever that phrase implies to you. You have to really pay attention because he doesn’t dumb things down. He kept me on my toes the entire time I read it, and when I got lazy, I would pay for it. It’s the first book in a four-part series and I highly recommend them all but it is necessary to start at the beginning of this tale. If you love fantasy or fairy tales then this series will be a joy for you to discover.

That does it for today. We are hopeful this will become an ongoing thing for Rambling Ever On. Please feel free to share any recommendations in the comment section. We love to hear from our readers.

Phill Lytle
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Phill Lytle

Phill Lytle loves Jesus, his wife, his kids, his family, his friends, his church, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, 80s rock, the Tennessee Titans, Brandon Sanderson books, Whiteheart, Band of Brothers, Thai food, the Nashville Predators, music, books, movies, TV, writing, pizza, vacation...

2 thoughts on ““If There Be Any Virtue” – The Mid-Week Spotlight

  • October 14, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Thank you, Phillip!

  • October 14, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    I have only watched/read two of these four, and I share a bed with the author of this article.


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