About Shirley

Shirley Corder is an author who writes to inspire and encourage. She has a passion for helping other writers and cancer survivors.

A Place of Safety for All in Any Storm

To stop the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 in South Africa, a National lock-down is currently in place until midnight 16 April. For more see: National Covid-19 website

Keep you safe?

He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases. He will cover you with his wings; you will be safe in his care; his faithfulness will protect and defend you.
(Psalms 91:3-4 GNB)

Really?

He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases. Really? Read on.... Click To Tweet

 

As I type these words from South Africa, we are in extremely strict lockdown from the deadly microscopic COVID-19 virus. Our borders are mostly closed. Schools, businesses, shops, factories, are shut down. Only essential services are in operation. People are restricted to their homes except for essential reasons.  The army has even been called out to support the police to enforce the ban.

Why?  In an attempt to limit the spread of this killer disease and return our lives to some form of normalcy.

Yet God’s Word says You need not fear any dangers at night or sudden attacks during the day or the plagues that strike in the dark or the evils that kill in daylight.

God's Word says, You need not fear any dangers at night or sudden attacks during the day or the plagues that strike in the dark or the evils that kill in daylight. Click To Tweet

Really?

COVID-19 is by no way the first plague to ever hit mankind. Over the next weeks, we’re going to explore a few of them. I would really encourage you to respond to these posts in the comment section. Add anything else that you think should be included, so we can encourage others as we struggle through this monstrous storm.

 

THE BIGGEST STORM EVER

In Genesis chapters 6-9 we read of another world-changing event, one so massive that it destroyed all of mankind.

Nothing microscopic here. We’re talking about the flood God sent upon the world.

Can you imagine the terror growing among the people of Noah’s time as they began to realize that the gigantic monstrosity their strange neighbor had been building for years was actually going to be needed? They had laughed and jeered.  Humiliated him and his family. Carried on with their partying and lawlessness.

And then the rains came. And the storm began.

Did the skies turn black? Rumble with a thunder never heard before?

What was the reaction when well-behaved rows of animals lined up in groups, apparently without any type of herding, in order to enter the ark?

 

WHEN DID THEY START TO BELIEVE?

At what point did panic set in?

Sadly, it was too late. All but Noah’s family perished in the worst human calamity ever.

As I look at the havoc and devastation caused by out-of-control weather patterns or invisible-to-the-naked eye viruses, I cannot help but wonder. We are so dependent upon God’s laws of nature. We rely on going to bed one night and waking the next morning to a world that’s operating the same way as the night before.

Yet how often do we thank Him for this global routine?

Suddenly, it is no longer operating the same way. We may go to our beds one evening and awaken to a whole new reality as COVID-19 continues to cause disease that thrashes the continents, and governments take drastic steps to try and flatten the curve of the pandemic.

 

Do we ever stop to praise Him for the routine and normalcy of life as we know it?

Or have we taken it all for granted?

 

Noah’s ark must have been the most horrific lockdown of all time. Imagine how you would feel if you learned our current lockdown (or whatever your country is observing) would last for over 360 days*?

The only way the people of Noah’s day could experience safety from the dreadful storm which was about to hit their world was to enter the door to the ark. And there was no back way in. There was only one door. All those who entered also stepped out over a year later, to see God’s glorious rainbow. The assurance that He was still with them.

flood

In the same way, for us today, the only salvation we can experience during this horrific pandemic of disease is by entering the door–the only door–God has given to us. The door of Jesus Christ. Only through Him, do we receive a guarantee of eternal life. Unfortunately, some of God’s own people are testing positive with COVID-19. Some will probably pass on. But there’s the beauty. If they have entered into the salvation offered by Jesus, their death will be a move into eternal life in Heaven.

I think there must have been times when Noah and his family wondered if it was really worth it. What a terrible experience it would have been. But God saw them through it. And He’ll see us through it too. If we only take that step and put our trust in Jesus.

How about you? Have you taken that step? Are you secure in your relationship with God? I pray you are.

 

READ MORE:

He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases.

He will cover you with his wings; you will be safe in his care; his faithfulness will protect and defend you. You need not fear any dangers at night or sudden attacks during the day or the plagues that strike in the dark or the evils that kill in daylight. A thousand may fall dead beside you, ten thousand all around you, but you will not be harmed. Whoever goes to the LORD for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty  (Psalms 91:3-7 GNB).

 

LET’S PRAY:

Lord Jesus, please help us to appreciate every moment of the lives you have given us. Thank you for Your goodness in providing us with a place of safety, and a Door that will lead us to Heaven. Lord, please help me to take that step through the door, and encourage me to stretch out a hand to those around me to help them on board as well. Oh Lord, we do plead with You to end this pandemic. But Lord, help us to learn lessons from this time. Help the people of this world to listen before it’s too late.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


*https://bibleanswergirl.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/how-long-was-noah-on-the-ark/
*https://creation.com/how-long-was-noah-on-the-ark

A Unique Anthem and a Prayer

To stop the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 in South Africa, a National lock-down is currently in place until midnight 16 April. For more see: National Covid-19 website

If ever South Africa needed prayer it’s now.

Yet every time we sing our anthem, we pray.

If ever South Africa needed prayer it's now, yet every time we sing our anthem, we pray. Click To Tweet

As COVID-19 sweeps the globe, South Africa started behind many of the big countries, partly because we were in summer while other countries were in winter. Evidently, COVID-19 doesn’t like heat. However, we have now joined the pandemic and sadly, we’re catching up.

Only God can save this land –  as indeed is true of the world. 

Only God can save this land - as indeed is true of the world. Request prayer for your country here. Click To Tweet

As a country, South Africa has some unique problems, including a huge population suffering with AIDS and TB. We also have huge residential “townships” jam-packed with people, many of whom are not able or willing to cooperate in the call to a total lockdown of 21 days.

But we have also some amazing factors in our favour.

  • Our president called for a national day of prayer.
  • He and the government have issued strict regulations to control a nation-wide lockdown of at least 21 days.
  • The police, supported by the army, are trying to enforce these regulations. Why anyone wants to rebel is quite beyond me, but there you have it.
  • But perhaps the biggest factor of all is our National Anthem. You see, it is actually a prayer.

South Africa is famous for many “firsts” but I wonder how many people know that our official anthem, Nkosi Sikilel iAfrica is the only neo-modal national anthem in the world. That means, it ends in a different key to where it begins. It is also a multi-language anthem.

The national anthem of a country is normally sung in the language used by most of the people of the nation. But we have twelve official languages! So read on . . .

The South African anthem developed along with the history of the nation as follows:

 

N S_A_Flag

History of Anthem

  • 1897: a Methodist school teacher by the name of   Enoch Sontonga composed a hymn in Zulu, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. This was first sung in churches, but later became used as an act of political defiance against the apartheid government.
  • 1918: South African poet, C.J.Langenhoven, wrote an Afrikaans poem called, Die Stem (The Call).
  •  1921: Rev. Marthinus Lourens de Villiers set the song to music.
  • 1936: Die Stem van Suid-Afrika became the co-anthem with God Save the King/Queen.
  • 1942: Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika was published in Sesotho by Moses Mphahlele.
  • 1957: Die Stem became the sole national anthem.
  •  1994: The S.African government adopted both Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika and Die Stem as the national anthems, and they were both performed at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela.
  • 1997: All of these were merged to form the current anthem. New English lyrics were adapted from the last four lines on the first verse of Die Stem and part of the Sesotho version was included.

The Result

The result is a stirring anthem sung in the five languages of  Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English.

The national anthem of South Africa is the only neo-modal anthem in the world. And it's a prayer in five languages! Click To Tweet

After you’ve read the words below, listen to the song.

Language Lyrics English translation
Xhosa Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo
God bless Africa
Let its (Africa’s) horn be raised
Zulu Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.
Listen also to our prayers,
Lord bless us, we are the family of it (Africa).
Sesotho Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
Setjhaba sa, South Afrika, South Afrika
Lord bless our nation,
Stop wars and sufferings,
Save it, save our nation,
The nation of South Africa, South Africa.
Afrikaans Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,
From the blue of our skies,
From the depth of our sea,
Over our everlasting mountains,
Where the echoing crags resound.
English Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
In South Africa our land.
Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
In South Africa our land.

Click here to listen to this magnificent anthem (less than 2 minutes).

Will you offer up a prayer for South Africa right now? Afterwards, please add the name of your country into a comment below and I promise to add your country

The Bad News – COVID-19. The Good News – God Saw it Coming

To stop the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 in South Africa, a National lock-down is currently in place until midnight 16 April. For more see: National Covid-19 website

Since my last post, the world has gone crazy. Hence this early blog post.

Mid-November 2019 saw the diagnosis of the first case of Corona Virus, or more accurately, COVID-19. That is less than four months ago! Since that moment, we have seen global news changing at such a rapid pace it’s been virtually impossible to keep track.

Presidents and heads of state have been making decisions with shattering implications in some cases, and often changing their minds a day later because of new developments. Just today, I heard of weddings that have had to be canceled with only a few days’ warning, and an expensive honeymoon suddenly called off.  A few hours ago, I spoke to a lady in the pharmacy who is out on holiday from England. She is due to fly home later this week, but she had come into the pharmacy to see if he could give her more of her prescription medication because, thanks to COVID-19, she doesn’t now know how long she’s here for. read more

If it Ain’t Read, it’s Dead! So who did I write this for?

This entry is part 1 of the series Marketing

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Does anyone read what I write?”

I have. Often. Yet, I continue to write.

So I decided to explore the problem. I realized that no one is going to read what I’ve written, if they don’t know about it.

And it’s true.

If it’s not read – it may as well be dead!

But I’m not ready for my new book, God in Africa ~ 90 Days in the Land of Majesty & Mystery, to die! So I set out on a journey of exploration. What was I doing wrong? What was I failing to do?

read more

TGIF – and I don’t mean Friday! Fun at the Bank

Today is 02.02.2020

What an incredible date!

According to News Yahoo, this date is a rare palindrome that hasn’t happened in over 900 years!

So why TGIF?

I haven’t used this acronym since school days! But boy, do I mean it today?
Why?
Because it’s the last day of January! I want to believe February is going to be a better month!

It seemed as if every day of January brought with it a new crisis or problem! If you haven’t read about our run into 2020, read New Year here we come! And thanks for angels.

We’ve gone from alarming to scary to urgent to what-do-we-do-now . . . right down to the ridiculous situation of my bank card. Last week, I received a friendly notification from Amazon that my bank card is due to expire in February. I knew that, but when Amazon was getting concerned, I decided to take action. First, I attempted to renew my card online, but I received the response that it was “unable to renew this card – contact your nearest bank.

I hit the support button and explained my dilemma. The very polite person on the end responded by sending me detailed instructions to follow that would definitely help me renew it online.

read more

Not an Easy Book – Not an Easy Journey

This entry is part 1 of the series Cancer 90-day

RIDDLE: What is the similarity between a car and watch?

ANSWER: You don’t realize how often you need it until it’s not there!

If you read my last post, New Year and Angels, you’ll know we were suddenly and drastically without wheels two days before Christmas.

We have Wheels

What a relief! After a full month, we got the car back on Monday. Thank You Lord for Your provision. It’s wonderful to have wheels once more.

I have to say we have been blessed with great neighbors who offered to take us wherever we needed to go, but we tried to only take them up on their offers when we needed to. It’s great to now be able to pop into the car when convenient – like this afternoon. It’s blowing a true Port Elizabeth gale, and we need to get a couple of things from the shops. We hung onto one another on our walk back from church so we didn’t get blown over! We decided shopping could wait until later, and we would go by car.

Books on Cancer

Strength Renewed

I ended the last post by saying I was planning on writing a second devotional book on cancer due to my inability to get Strength Renewed, Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer here in South Africa. Every few weeks, someone asks me for a copy and I have none.  So I decided to write another book and this time publish it here in South Africa so I have control over pricing and availability.

I had no sooner made the decision, when CUM, the Christian bookstore in South Africa that initially stocked the book and with whom I still have an author account, contacted me after many months of silence. Yes, they could get me the book, and how many did I want?

Really? What took so long?

After I heard the price, I nearly backed out. Then I decided to see what other similar books there were in the shops, and perhaps make a note of their titles and authors, so I could simply refer people looking for my book to an alternate suggestion.

Book Hunt

So my husband and I did a tour of the local big bookstores, asking about devotional books on breast cancer. None available. Okay, how about devotional books about any cancer? None available. The saleslady in the biggest Christian store earnestly assured me “There are no such books. People don’t write that sort of book.” I equally earnestly assured her that “Oh yes, they do. I know several such authors, and in fact I have written one myself which you used to stock in this shop.”

That ended the discussion.

However, after we had confirmed there were actually no books covering people’s cancer experiences, even if not devotional or Christian, in any of these shops, I had my answer. I need to write one, and make it available even if I have to sell it myself.

In the meantime I need to have something available, so with a big gulp and a leap of faith that I was doing the right thing, I ordered six copies of Strength Renewed. I will never be able to sell them at the recommended retail price, and I’ll probably have to sell them at almost what I pay for them. But at least I’ll be able to encourage folk in need of the book until the next one is available.

Not an Easy Book

So, as I mentioned, my initial working title is Rise and Soar, 90 Days with God in the Cancer Valley. However, since I wrote that on the previous post, several things have happened.

Having confirmed the need for the book, I wrote the first three chapters and sent them to my critique partner. She made a remark that she was praying for me as I tackled this project as it wasn’t going to be an easy book to write. That stopped me in my tracks. I was finding it an emotional journey as I replayed the events of twenty-two years ago in my mind. Am I really up to this? Do I want to do this?

I am writing the story as I went through it during my year  of treatment, curtailing it to 90 chapters. There’s no way I can turn this into a “sweet easy read” book. It is going to be real and at times emotional. Will anyone read it?

Then came Church

This morning, during our church service, we had a lady (I think from Cape Town) giving her testimony. Her beautiful 38-year-old daughter, also called Shirley, died a few years ago after a tough battle with bone cancer. As Shirley accepted her disease was terminal, she asked her mother, “Mum, please will you help me to die?”

When I heard those words, they reminded me of how, a few years ago, I walked a spiritual walk with a friend whose husband was dying, also of cancer. His request was that we would pray that even as he had lived well, he would now be able to die well. Shirley’s desire was to die in a way that would bring glory to God.

One week before she died, she took herself off her Morphine at great cost to herself, in order to have her testimony recorded. She saw this as “one last thing I can do to glorify God.”not easy book

Some time after she went to her heavenly home, her mother, Thy Cameron, had a vivid dream. Her daughter was running a relay race. She stuck out the batten, and handed it to her mother.

When Thy awoke, she knew God wanted to take Shirley’s story and continue to pass on the story. And so she wrote her very first book from a position of grieving and personal pain. Not an easy book to write.

The book is called, Mum, Please Help Me to Die. It is available in paperback and in e-format through Amazon.

I spent a few minutes chatting to Thy after the service, and both of us had the initial sense that God was bringing us together for a purpose. We have exchanged email and web addresses, and we’ll be in touch.

Rise and Soar?

As soon as I got home, I downloaded the book onto my Kindle and have already made a start to it. From Thy’s words as well as what I’ve read so far, I am encouraged. No, this will not be an “easy” book  to read, although the story is already drawing me in. And my book will not be an “easy” book to write. But there is nothing “easy” about a cancer journey either. In both cases, these books are needed. There are people out there who need to read them, and to know that, despite the trauma, pain, and emotional upheaval, of a cancer journey, God’s grace is available to carry us through.

So I end this post with another question. Is Rise and Soar going to be the final title for my next book? All the way through Thy’s testimony, and also throughout our pastor’s sermon based on Jonah in the belly of the massive sea creature, I kept hearing the words, “God’s grace.” Is this meant to be part of the title of my next book?

What do you think? Any words that come to your mind that should be included in my title?
Please leave it in a comment.

Since completing my first three chapters, I’ve been through a valley of self-doubt and questioning. But I’ve come out the valley. Tomorrow I’ll be tackling chapter four with a new confidence that this book is God’s plan for my next project.

New Year Here We Come – and Thanks for Angels

Welcome to 2020!

The cockatoo wall plaque is a gorgeous gift we received from one of our sons and daughters-in-law, evidently chosen by our littlest grandsons!

I really don’t know what happened to 2019, and I hope 2020 goes by just a tad slower. And you?

Christmas was its usual crazy time, but more hectic and dramatic in some ways. Fortunately, we didn’t know just how dramatic! read more

ROUND UP OF AFRICA BOOK SAFARI

This entry is part 1 of the series Africa Book Safari
Round up of a fantastic Africa Book Safari. Read all about how a virtual safari across Africa became an incredible success. Please RT Click To Tweet

The Initial Idea

It all started several months ago, when Marion Ueckermann and I had a long phone chat discussing ways we could showcase some of the Christian authors of Africa, i.e. authors who either live in Africa, or were born and brought up here before emigrating to lands afar. We also felt they needed to have at least one book published that was based in Africa to qualify for what we had in mind— a book safari. read more

A Real Live African Safari!

This entry is part 15 of the series Africa Book Safari

The year of Africa in the Corder Home!

As many of you are aware, we have just come to the end of an amazing virtual Africa Book Safari on Facebook.

For many years, my husband, Rob, and I have longed to go on an African Safari with a game drive which takes you off-road to see some of the animals close up in their natural habitat. But they are all SO expensive, and now that we’ve reached retirement we couldn’t see it ever happening.

However, it is 50 years this month since we entered full-time ministry when my husband was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. We wanted to celebrate it in some special way. What better way than to take a game drive into a game reserve? Especially after the recent publication of my book, God in Africa, and the conclusion of the very successful Africa Book Safari. (More about that tomorrow.) read more

Let’s Visit Val Waldeck and her book With My Own Eyes

This entry is part 10 of the series Africa Book Safari
Visit Africa with author Val Waldeck on the Africa Book Safari. Read her interview and learn about her new book, 'With My Own Eyes'. Please RT. Thank you. Click To Tweet

The Africa Book Safari

During the month of October, a group of authors, who either live in Africa or are rooted in this amazing continent, teamed up for an exciting adventure. read more