Whom Shall I Fear? ~ Anne Clare

Good morning! This Friday’s Fiction feature is Whom Shall I Fear? by Anne Clare! If you enjoy World War II stories, you will want to check this one out.

First Line

Sergeant James Milburn stumbled on a corner of threadbare carpet.

About the Book

Title: Whom Shall I Fear?

Author: Anne Clare

Genre: Historical

Publisher: Anne Clare

Publication Date: June 28, 2019

Length: 323 pages

Back Cover

1943

All that Sergeant James Milburn wants is to heal. Sent to finish his convalescence in a lonely village in the north of England, the friends he’s lost haunt his dreams. If he can only be declared fit for active service again, perhaps he can rejoin his surviving mates in the fight across Sicily and either protect them or die alongside them.

All that Evie Worther wants is purpose. War has reduced her family to an elderly matriarch and Charles, her controlling cousin, both determined to keep her safely tucked away in their family home. If she can somehow balance her sense of obligation to family with her desperate need to be of use, perhaps she can discover how she fits into her tumultuous world.

All that Charles Heatherington wants is his due. Since his brother’s death, he is positioned to be the family’s heir with only one step left to make his future secure. If only he can keep the family matriarch happy, he can finally start living the easy life he is certain he deserves.

However, when James’s, Evie’s and Charles’s paths collide, a dark secret of the past is forced into the light, and everything that they have hoped and striven for is thrown into doubt. Weaving in historical detail from World War II in Britain, Italy, and Egypt, WHOM SHALL I FEAR? follows their individual struggles with guilt and faith, love and family, and forces them to ask if the greatest threat they face is really from the enemy abroad.

My Thoughts

This is one of two WWII stories I’ve read this year. Whom Shall I Fear? was a history lesson and getaway rolled into one. I enjoyed Sergeant James Milburn’s and Evie Worther’s love story. The mystery kept me turning pages. Don’t tell the author, but I skipped ahead several times, fearing for the life of my new friends.

Clare’s love of history shines in her debut novel. With historical settings, a plausible plotline, and relatable characters, Whom Shall I Fear? is a page-turner.

Fans of WWII fiction will enjoy this tale of intrigue, clean romance, and victory.

Seven Things Needed When Dining

Good morning. Last week, I promised you an article for the song Come and Dine. Warning: It is longer than my usual posts. But I chose not to split it between the Friday Fiction posts, making it easier to use as a study guide. So, if you haven’t time to read it all, come back later. Thank you for joining me at the table. Let’s get started.

Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, 
Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord (John 21:12 KJV). 

As we read this chapter, several things become clear. Jesus cares for His people. Look closely.

The disciples toiled all night and caught nothing. Morning came, bringing with it fatigue and hunger. After filling their nets, Jesus prepared a meal and invited them to partake. Afterward, He taught them. Jesus cared enough to supply their material, physical, and spiritual needs. Nothing was left undone. (There’s an entire lesson in this thought!)

The Invitation

Today, Jesus invites us to come and dine on His Word. Peter, the disciple who denied knowing the Lord three times, later encouraged his readers to desire the sincere milk of the Word.

The Greek word for desire means to yearn dote upon, intensely crave possession, long after.

As babes in Christ and mature Christians, does the word “desire” describe our hunger for the Word of God? If not, we’re missing out on the best dining experience known to man.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; 
and he that believeth on me shall never thirst (John 6:35 KJV).

Dining

Dining isn’t about when or where. Not every family can sit down to an evening meal in today’s hurried world. Dining is about an encounter. A coming together to share a meal and fellowship. And no matter where or when the meal takes place, there are some must-haves to ensure we get the most from our time spent together.  

Appetite

Remember when your mom told you not to eat that snack ‘cause it would ruin your supper? Same thing goes for spiritual hunger. Too much snacking ruins our appetites, whether it’s a morsel of pleasure or work. Unplug. Disconnect. Work up a spiritual appetite. Beware of things that temporarily satisfy the soul. They may be sweet to the taste but turn bitter in the end.

Utensils

A fork or spoon is unnecessary when eating a hot dog, burger, or fried chicken. But it’s nice when folks use their napkins. When spiritually dining, my utensils are always near my computer. I like using commentaries, dictionaries, and concordances. Online Bible sites are great too. One of my favorite “utensils” is e-Sword bible software (© 2019 Rick Myers). It is a free download with lots of extras. Whether you donate or not, the product is free. The website is https:// e-sword.net.

Food

This one is obvious. One doesn’t dine without food. The time, place, and meal often dictate the food we eat. For example, snacks are anything from an apple to potato chips. Lunch can be from a sandwich alone to a full course meal with board members. Dinner, or supper as we southerners call it, is usually the biggest meal of the day.

Bible reading can vary from a 10-minute devotion to a year-long study. The good news is the Bible holds the perfect diet needed to fulfill spiritual hunger. And it’s calorie-free! 

Time

Eating on the run is not dining. It’s necessary at times for survival but not beneficial to the soul. Dining is a sit-down-take-your-time-and-enjoy-the-meal-and-conversation-affair. It’s a meal and a visit wrapped in one package. Same thing with dining on the Word of God. Sometimes we don’t have an hour or even thirty minutes to read. But that shouldn’t be the norm. Otherwise, we are starving ourselves of the nutrients we need to grow. Let me say self-help books and devotionals are great. I enjoy well-written and well-researched Christian *nonfiction books. But nothing takes the place of the Bible. It’s the perfect meal to grow roots and fruits.

Light

Not a physical necessity if starving in a forest or cave. 😊 But lighting brings so much to the table, whether for visibility or ambience. The mere sight of food can make your mouth water. Seeing what you’re about to eat heightens the expectation. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to guess what I’m consuming all the time. True, it’s fun to close our eyes and imagine the food flavors, but again, not the norm.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12).

In his commentary, Adam Clarke said this about the above verse. “The fountain whence an intellectual light and spiritual understanding proceed: without me all is darkness, misery, and death.”

Without the Light, we may wander through the Bible without understanding what we’re reading. We need to comprehend what the scriptures are saying to get the nutritional value offered therein. And that brings me to my next point.

Companions

I eat breakfast and lunch alone during the week. I’ve learned to read, listen to a podcast, or work at my desk while eating. If not, I skip meals. Eating alone is not fun.

Companions make for a better meal. They can be family, a friend, or people at church. There’s something about sharing a meal with another person while laughing and talking that fills a person physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Online or in-home Bible studies with friends are fun. Connecting with others at church is another way to share our spiritual meals. But the most important companions are Jesus and Holy Spirit. Jesus said He would never leave us nor forsake us. He also told his disciples: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13). When studying, the Holy Spirit will guide us if only we ask.

Location

In the opening scripture, the Lord prepared fish. Other times He offered bread. While writing articles and devotions, I think about and study what I can offer that others may need. While reading the Word or researching, I may not get what I personally need though I have consumed the Bread and sincere milk.

But then I notice something in nature or hear a song, and Holy Spirit leads me to the perfect scripture. Other times, I may be sitting in a café or on a park bench when a verse comes to mind, and suddenly, the answer becomes apparent. That is why it’s crucial to study and memorize verses.

The location doesn’t matter. Jesus meets us where we are, just as He met the disciples on the shore, offering an invitation to come and dine. Why not RSVP and dine to your delight?

Note

*When searching for nonfiction authors, I encourage you to choose wisely. Not all authors agree on what matters. Of those I read 10-20 years ago, some have taken a different stance in the past few years. The books they wrote then held truths that helped me through a difficult situation. Sadly, I no longer read or buy their books. I won’t call names. It is sad when anyone leaves behind the foundational truths clearly defined in the Word of God.

Mouthwatering Photos courtesy of CongerDesigns, RitaE, HNBS, NestorMartinezGaravito, and Svetlanabar from Pixabay

Prompt

Share your favorite spiritual dining suggestions in the comment!

Come and Dine

Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine (John 21:12 KJV).

Just as Jesus cooked a meal for His disciples, He’s prepared a banquet for us. Each day, He extends an invitation to come and dine on His Word. It’s a meal prepared with our specific nutritional needs in mind. No meal is the same.

Think about that!

The Author

Charles B. Widmyer began voice lessons at the age of twelve. He wrote his first song when he was fifteen. Come and dine was written after reading and meditating on the above passage.

The Song

Jesus has a table spread
Where the saints of God are fed,
He invites His chosen people, “Come and dine”;
With His manna He doth feed
And supplies our every need:
Oh, ’tis sweet to sup with Jesus all the time!

Refrain:
“Come and dine,” the Master calleth, “Come and dine”;
You may feast at Jesus’ table all the time;
He Who fed the multitude, turned the water into wine,
To the hungry calleth now, “Come and dine.”

The disciples came to land,
Thus obeying Christ’s command,
For the Master called unto them, “Come and dine”;
There they found their heart’s desire,
Bread and fish upon the fire;
Thus He satisfies the hungry every time. [Refrain]

Soon the Lamb will take His bride
To be ever at His side,
All the host of heaven will assembled be;
Oh, ’twill be a glorious sight,
All the saints in spotless white;
And with Jesus they will feast eternally. [Refrain]

Charles B. Widmyer – 1907 – Public Domain

The Video

Several videos were found on this song, ranging from southern gospel to bluegrass. I chose The Issacs because it reminded me of when my teenage brother taught himself how to play the banjo.

One of the first lessons you must learn is a technique called a roll. You have a forward, backward, reverse, and alternating thumb roll. You pluck the notes over and over and over and over. The secret is to play it slowly until you get it. Speed comes with precision. It’s not the prettiest sound. In fact, it’s right up there with a three-year-old cuttin’ loose on a fiddle. And *Bubba didn’t sound much better. Several plucks into his lesson found him outside on the porch.

Momma enjoys listening to him now, but she wasn’t a fan when he was learning. Come to think of it, neither was I.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent. That would be me.

Please join me next week for an article on this scripture. Enjoy the video!