Hectic Summer Party! Books and Fun Galore

A summer party? During lockdown?

And I’m sure that headline has got you wondering. All across the world countries are easing off their lockdown regulations and very often re-inforcing some of them.  Here in South Africa, we are no different. You never know from one day to the other what rules will change during the course of the day. We are behind most of the world with the virus spread, and right now we are approaching what the experts believe will be our peak. (I sure hope they’re right! We are spiking exponentially.)

Before we go any further, no I’m not one of the rebels that are attending parties against lockdown regulations! This was all very correct, law-abiding, and great fun!

Ann Perault of the  Inspirational Reads and Authors group on Facebook hosted a “Dive into Summer Multi-Author Book Party” over the weekend of the 26th to 29th June.

Summer party? Location?

It took place on the Facebook page for the group. The moderators for the weekend comprised 38 authors from the group, and each was required to host the party for an hour. I am a newbie to the group but despite my being in the middle of a South African winter, I decided to join the summer party.

So I was “on duty” at 10 am EST (4 pm my time) on Sunday. However, most of us were on for a good deal of the time, supporting one another, doing the puzzles, participating in the games, getting to know one another, and enjoying meeting our readers. It was HECTIC as each time anyone posted on ANY of the many posts, Facebook tossed it to the top. Immediately there was a scramble as we tried to find the one we were following or wanting to respond to! I think we were all drained by the end of the time, Ann most of all!

Scheduling Posts

Ann asked us to schedule posts for the summer party that would appear about every 10 minutes for our hour and which should include games and fun activities. Games? What did she mean, games? Well, I compiled a crossword of The Boat that Saved Mankind and that seemed to be much appreciated, and I created a picture including twelve of our larger African animals. I then asked them to name Africa’s BIG FIVE, all of which were in the picture. (See below).

Before we go on, take a look and see if you can pick them out. If you would like to, select the five you think and list them in a comment section. (No Google now! I trust you!) If there are more than ten correct answers, I will enter them for a draw for a small book of 7-Animals of Africa devotional book that I’m still busy with – so closing day 10th July. The book will include some insight into each of The Big Five.

I soon learned that there are many games you can play on Facebook! What fun! Link up with my Facebook Author Page, and join in as I put up one or two games each week.

Giveaways and Prizes

Most if not all of the authors handed out free offers, prizes, or special sales on one or more books. The prizes were announced on Monday, and for some of us, that proved to be quite a challenge.

I had offered four different books as prizes, each one to be earned by completing a puzzle or answering a question. As I moved to each post, I typed all the relevant names into CommentPicker.com, and it happily churned the names around and spat out the winner. That was simple, effective, and fair.

However, the challenge came when I realized in my introduction I said I would give a free copy of the e-Book Naomi, to anyone who commented on any of my posts. I had, in all, seven posts.

All with comments.

That was fun.

Fortunately, this clever program gives you an option to ignore all duplicates, so I didn’t have to figure that out. I just typed. And typed. And typed. And finally I had my winner.

Was it worth it?

Oh yes, a hundred times yes. I met authors I had never heard of, and I downloaded a number of books I would never have read if it hadn’t been for this party. I got to “know” a number of readers and they were such a treasure. The interaction was wonderful. A truly lovely, happy party atmosphere.

I also learned a lot about what works well and what doesn’t when it comes to a party. Not that anything “didn’t work” but a couple of times I had to clarify what I meant. For example, I didn’t TELL my readers that all of the Big Five were in the picture. So I had a number of interesting suggestions. Not serious, but I now realize when a party goes at the pace this one did, it’s important to explain everything very clearly and KEEP IT SIMPLE!

Outcome:

I have had awesome growth on my Facebook Author page. If you haven’t already joined up, please do. Just click on this link and “like” the page.

I’ve also had a number of folk signup to receive my newsletter. That in itself is marvelous, as that was one of my shortcomings. I didn’t promote that enough – and here I keep joining BookFunnel Newsletter Promotions to encourage signups! Again, if you don’t receive my newsletter, I’d love you to signup to receive it. No strings attached, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Oh yes, and perhaps I should mention . . . you will receive a welcome gift of one of my 7-day-devotion series, God in the Unexpected.

Sign up here

Moving on . . .

I didn’t promote my Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Pinterest accounts as I’ll be honest. I have the accounts, but with Facebook, my website with its blog, and my newsletter, that is all I can manage and continue to write! So I’m not active on any of those.

Before I run – err – move on – just one little tidbit for you. I have signed up for this promotion:

This includes way more than 55 fabulous books! There are 55 items – but two of them are full series! I think every possible genre is included, so do take a look. There may be some free, I’m not sure, but many are on special.

God in Africa is still available after the summer party at a reduced price as is The Boat that Saved Mankind.

Closing thought:

As I look at this amazing selection of books, all so different in appearance and content, it reminds me of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 9:22 (NIV): I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. Perhaps this is the most important thing about a promotional offer such as this. We can be open to read books we would normally never think of reading—and be blessed in the process.

There are people who will never darken the door of a church—but they will read a gripping suspense novel or a sweet romance, and they may see Jesus in the words they read. There are those who do not, or perhaps cannot, attend Bible Study, but they hear the Lord speak to them through His Word as it comes across through a devotional book. So as you look through the books, choose not only for yourself. Ask whether there’s a book that could speak to someone known to you who would not be open to hearing the message in another way.

I do encourage you to look through all the book titles and see what you fancy. Especially with so many book shops closing, and for those of us where it’s still not safe to go into shopping malls.

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some (1 Corinthians 9:22 NIV). Click To Tweet

Keep safe all! And do scroll back and take a look at that picture of The Big Five and see if you can win yourself a copy of the book-in-progress!

The Boat that Saved Mankind – 7-day devotions

This entry is part 3 of the series 7-Day Readings
To stop the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 in South Africa, a National lock-down is currently in place. For more see: National Covid-19 website

About The Boat that Saved Mankind

God tells you He is going to put an end to the human race. Then you learn you are one of only eight people He plans to save.

It gets worse. He wants you to build a boat to start over. How crazy is that? Does He even know how old you are?

Will you obey? Read about the one man who did.

God was going to wipe out all of mankind. The future of the world was in one man's hands. Would he obey? Would you? Pls RT Click To Tweet

Story of The Boat that Saved . . . 

Chapter 1 is “Life in Noah’s Day” and includes some fascinating information I didn’t know until I researched the topic.

The final chapter tells of “A New Earth” and really makes you think what a daunting task the Noah family faced as they stepped off that stuffy ark.

What was the first thing they did?

And what is the first thing you do when you face overwhelming circumstances?

I really enjoyed writing this book. Then I faced the task of looking for suitable pictures to illustrate the story. I was delighted to find ideal images and I know my readers will love them too.

UPDATE: Get your copy of the ebook here: 

Get Your Copy

Series:

The Boat that Saved Mankind is the third in a growing series of 7- day devotional reading books.

Also available 

Other books by Shirley: Click here then select Published Work

 

Contact Shirley:

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Email me: writetoinspire@shirleycorder.com

Amazon Author Page

 

Who is Anna Jensen? Interview of another Christian South African Author

Hello Everyone!

How’s it going with you this beautiful sunny but freezing winter’s day (speaking from a South African perspective that is!)

What state is your country in with regards to lockdown or stay-at-home orders? Please post your response in a comment below.

Here in South Africa, we are currently on Day 79 of Lockdown! However, the government had to ease up in some fields or the country would never have survived economically. So we’re into the 2nd phase of returning to normal, i.e. Lockdown Stage 3.

Sadly, many people think they have the right to “do their own thing” and there is chaos in so many areas. Yet, as I watch the TV news, it looks as if South Africa is not alone in this. For us, our initial lockdown was so early and severe, and therefore excellent, that we received praise from across the world. However, we have yet to reach our peak and now numbers are escalating every day.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to another South African author, Anna Jensen, who will explain how she was not always South African. So without more ado  . . . here is Anna. read more

Captivated Gifts – a platform for Christian authors and craftspeople

Captivated Gifts

is a brainchild of Anna Jensen. She created this group a matter of weeks ago and it is exciting to see it developing. Do read on and learn what it’s about, and pay the site a visit. It is particularly relevant for South Africans because of shipping and financial issues.

Description of the venture from Anna:

Captivated Gifts is a platform for Christian authors in South Africa to showcase their books. Many hours are spent by these authors as they faithfully use their talents to put words onto pages, and yet getting the results of those hours into the hands of readers isn’t always so easy. It’s time to change that.

​Other artists and craftspeople can find themselves in a similar situation, with beautifully created pieces unable to reach those who will be delighted by them.

Captivated Gifts is a carefully curated selection of Christian books and other gifts, all lovingly made here in South Africa. Learn about the authors and artists as you browse our unique collection. And come back often, as what’s on offer will change!

​”Just as I am ‘Captivated by the Creator’, so I am captivated by the abundance of creative talent he has given!”

 

A Mother’s Heart – 7-Day devotions for mothers of all generations

This entry is part 2 of the series 7-Day Readings
To stop the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 in South Africa, a National lock-down is currently in place. For more see: National Covid-19 website

A BOOK FOR MOTHERS OF ALL GENERATIONS

Mothering isn’t easy, but it can be fun.

Being a mother isn’t for sissies.

No one knows that better than Shirley Corder who is mother to three now-grown children, plus their married partners and six grandchildren. She is all an RN who spent many years nursing children of all ages with all sorts of mothers.

In these seven short stories, Shirley shares some life-lessons drawn from her own life as a mother that will draw you closer to God, and to your children.

A Mother's Grace includes 7 reflections to draw you closer to God, based on the personal experiences of this mother and grandmother. Click To Tweet

Chapters include

  • I’m Listening!
  • Out of Sight
  • Teacher Knows Best
  • And others.

Click on this link or on the image above to purchase.

Series:

A Mother’s Heart is the second in a growing series of 7- day devotional reading books.

Also available 

Contact Shirley:

Email: writetoinspire@shirleycorder.com

Amazon Author Page:

Meet Vida Li Sik – Christian Author from South Africa

This entry is part 1 of the series African Authors
To stop the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 in South Africa, a National lock-down is currently in place. For more see: National Covid-19 website

Good morning all!

How are you all today? Surviving the Lockdown or Stay Home measures in your particular country? What is the most difficult thing for you among your regulations? Please share below.

I head up a Facebook group for Christian Writers of Southern Africa (a.k.a. CWOSA – pronounced as in QUO zu).  Currently there is a book promotion of Christian Non-fiction Books titled, “For Such A Time As This.” I am proud to share that out of the 15 books available, 6 of them are from our group. I’ve decided to do a number of interviews of Christian Authors living in Southern Africa, and what better a plan than to start with the authors featured in this promotion.

Today, to kick off the series, I am interviewing Vida Li Sik who lives in Johannesburg, the epicenter of the global pandemic currently sweeping the globe.  read more

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. 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