God in Africa – 90 Days in the Land of Majesty & Mystery

Launch Time Approaching

Time is flying past now. God in Africa – 90 days in the Land of Majesty and Mystery has its official launch on the 28th September. If you happen to live in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, you are very welcome to join us at the celebration!

We’re looking forward to a great afternoon. The Happy Echoes choir will be singing four comedy songs about African Animals. Our favorite song being, “I’m a G-nu!” My hubby, Rob, is doing the speaking part, and I am accompanying the song on the choir. So we have been doing a fair amount of practicing. We aren’t the only ones to love this song, Coco, our Cockatiel loves it, and whistles a good portion of it, combined with a couple of other tunes he knows, which makes for a different sort of medley!

We have a guest artist singing a beautiful song, The Rain in Africa, with a PowerPoint presentation in the background, and the choir will close off that section with “God Bless Africa”.

Instead of the traditional author reading an excerpt from the book, I will be reading the relevant chapters that tie in with the comic songs. So that should be fun.

Learning about Africa

I have learned so much about Africa in the research I’ve done for writing this book.

  • Did you know, for example, that the African animal kingdom has a Mafia?
  • And that we have an insect that has his own built-in GPS system?
  • Do you know what the Crown of Africa is?
  • And what animal walks with its right legs together, then its left? But when it runs, it switches to a gallop using its front legs together, then its back?
  • And which animal is believed to never forgive?

Oh, we do live in a wonderful continent!

We will end the afternoon off with a scrumptious tea, during which I will do a book signing.

Two weeks ago, I decided I needed a small e-book to give away as part of an online campaign, so I wrote a 7-day devotional book over the space of a week. But then, I liked it so much, I decided to put it into print and have it as a giveaway for the launch as well as future speaking arrangements. So in the middle of all the other pre-launch craziness, I faced another book – small though it is. There was still quite a bit of work involved.

Book #1, God in Africa, is in the final stages of printing. I was so delighted with the proof copy. It turned out so well.

Book #2, God in the Unexpected, is now with the printer in Cape Town. We are off to visit my brother and sister-in-law tomorrow (Sunday) to celebrate his 60th birthday. So the printer will courier the proof copy to me in East London and I will then approve it from there.

The Kindle version of God in Africa will be released on Amazon on 1st October, but is available now on pre-order for US$ 0.99. (This may be slightly more outside of the States so confirm before ordering.) It will go up immediately after the launch, so if you’re planning on buying it,  make sure you order it now before the end of the month.

We have an exciting Social Media adventure coming up during October, so watch this space! Ten authors associated with Africa will be teaming up to present a book each based on Africa. There will be devotional books, memoirs, novels, fiction and non-fiction. It is in the process of coming together so I should be able to tell you more in a few days via my newsletter. So if you’re not yet receiving these, please don’t lose out. Click on the green button on the right that says “Keep in Touch” for more details.

Have a wonderful September! Bless you all!

When you think of Africa, what intrigues you the most? What do you hope to read about in God in Africa? Please leave your answer in the comment section below.

Lessons from Africa ~ Coming soon

This entry is part 2 of the series God in Africa

WHAT DO THINK OF AFRICA?

When you think of the land of Africa, do you think of the fantastic wild animals? Or the beautiful mountains and floral kingdoms? How about the cultures? The strange habits of some tribes? Did you know there are over 3,000 different ethnic groups in the continent, who speak in more than 2,100 different languages. It just doesn’t seem possible. read more

God In Africa – About the book

This entry is part 1 of the series God in Africa
God in Africa About the book

NOTE: This is NOT the cover! Cover Reveal coming soon on Facebook.

How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Psalms 104:24

There is nowhere quite like Africa

“Africa is more a feeling than anything else. Once you’ve gone—and you get the feeling—you understand . . . In short, it’s a life-changing place to visit. It changes you, for the better[1]

From its immense grasslands to its modern cities teeming with people, Africa is a continent of extremes. With its breathtaking landscapes of mountains and valleys, deserts and forests, mighty seas, beautiful beaches, and dense jungles, it is truly a magical and exciting land. And God is in this land. read more

Miriam Part II ~ Gifted Leader

Miriam Part II ~ Gifted Leader

is another Out of the Shadow book.

Meet Miriam, the gifted leader!

Would I find enough information to fill an entire book? That was my question when I first set out on this journey with Miriam. Imagine my surprise when one book became two.

Most of us know about the little girl who watched over her three-month-old brother as he sailed in a basket boat on the crocodile-infested River Nile. Her story is told in Miriam Part 1 ~ Devoted Sister, which ends as the Children of Israel gather at the exit to Goshen, their home for many decades, and prepare for their trip to the Promised Land.

Miriam ~ Gifted Leader takes up her story at around eighty years old. Yet, as we will see, this was no fragile, elderly woman. She had far more energy than I have, and I imagine more than you. About to embark on an incredible journey that would take the rest of her life, she faced adventures and horrors of terrifying magnitude. Throughout that time, she showed herself to be a gifted leader. This in a time when women were not regarded as capable of taking the lead.

This story commences as the previous book ends. I invite you to pick up your bundles and get behind our leaders as we prepare to take our leave of Pharaoh, the Egyptians, and the life of slavery. We will follow Miriam as she steps out of the shadow of her famous brother, Moses, and becomes a true leader in her own right.

If you recognize this elderly lady from the previous Miriam book, you are right. She’s the same person. She’s just aged as we all do!

If you have read this book, please will you pop over to Amazon and leave an honest review? Thank you.

Drawing Ladies Out of the Shadow

Out of the Shadow

When I started this series, Out of the Shadow, I wanted to take a look at some the women in the Bible who are commonly seen “under the shadow” of another person or location. Hence it is not Out of the Shadows, but only one shadow. Although they are often well-known names, you will find it surprising how little you actually know about these women.

Book 1

Book 1 of the series is Naomi, Beloved Mother-in-Law, who lives under the shadow of her daughter-in-law, Ruth. Her story is contained in the Old Testament book of Ruth, yet that book begins with Naomi’s story and ends with Naomi’s story. If it hadn’t been for the bravery of Naomi, Ruth would not have converted to Judaism, moved to live among God’s people, and ultimately become part of the lineage of Jesus Christ.

Moved from her home to God’s “scrub bucket,” Naomi lived for years in a foreign and idolatrous land. She experienced several devastating losses before she made the first of a number of huge decisions.

Written in creative nonfiction, the story stays close to the biblical story, but is brought alive in a way that will help you identify with Naomi. Just as this lady of old faced life-changing decisions, so we too can face threatening situations trusting in Naomi’s God.

If you have read this book, please consider leaving a review on Amazon for me. Thank you.

Book 2

The next book in the series is Eve, Mother of All.  Of course we have all heard of Eve, the very first woman who was created in God’s own image. She lived in a beautiful garden, the Garden of Eden, and she was married to the first man, Adam. Remember her? She lived a perfect life in an idyllic setting.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last long.  As she’s drawn out of the shadow of the garden we find a real flesh-and-blood woman; the first wife, the first woman to give birth, the first woman to hold a newborn baby in her arms and ask, “Now what?”

Again, if you’ve read this book, please leave a review on Amazon. Thank you.

Book 3

Next up is Miriam, Devoted Sister. I’m sure we all know about Moses, the baby rescued from the bulrushes alongside the crocodile-infested River Nile. We no doubt also know the story of Miriam, the little girl who bravely faced the Egyptian princess and suggested a plan that would save the life of her three-month-old baby brother. But what happened to the little girl as she became a woman living in a nation under slavery?

As we draw her out of the shadow of the baby in the bulrushes, we learn that she grew up in Goshen, at a time when her people were slaves to the wicked Pharaoh. Her parents were Godly people who not only taught Miriam about the God of their forefathers, they instilled their faith into their little boy who would leave them at the age of three to grow up in the Egyptian palace.

Miriam, Devoted Sister, ends at the point when the Hebrew nation gather at the border of Goshen,  about to embark on their amazing venture: the journey to the Promised Land.

Once more, if you’ve read this book, please consider leaving an honest review on Amazon for me. Thank you.

 Book 4

When I first set out on this journey with Miriam, I wondered if I would find enough information to fill an entire book. Imagine my surprise when one book became two.

And so the 4th book in this series is Miriam, Gifted Leader. This takes up Miriam’s story at around eighty years old. Yet, as we will see, this was no fragile, elderly woman. She had far more energy than I have, and I imagine more than you. About to embark on an incredible journey that would take the rest of her life, she faced adventures and horrors of terrifying magnitude. Throughout that time, she showed herself to be a gifted leader in a time when women were not regarded as capable of taking the lead.

This story commences as the previous book ends. The Children of Israel gather at the exit from Goshen, about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. I invite you to pick up your bundles and get behind our leaders as we prepare to take our leave of Pharaoh, the Egyptians, and the life of slavery. We will follow Miriam as she steps out of the shadow of her famous brother, Moses, and becomes a true leader in her own right.

As before, if you have read this book, please will you pop over to Amazon and leave an honest review? Thank you.

So who next?

And so in four books, I have covered three characters. Many have asked me, “Who next?” We will be taking an in-depth look at another lady out of the shadow (there are plenty!) and continue with the series. This lady was another slave, but in a very different type of shadow.

I am also in the process of compiling a book of 365 brief devotional messages based on some of the women of the Bible.

Which would you rather read first? Tell me in a comment below.

If you want to be among the first to know about Shirley’s new books, please leave your name and email address below. I promise you will not receive heaps of spam or lengthy newsletters, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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What is an Author’s Street Team

Originally written in November 2017. Updated August, 2018.

There is no point in publishing a book if no one knows it's there. Click To Tweet

Would you agree?

That’s where the idea of a street team comes into being.

What is a Street Team?

It all began for me when my friend, Marion Ueckermann, mentioned the term to me during a Whatsapp call. I immediately asked if I could join hers to see how it worked. And, of course, I turned to Google to learn more.

How to be Part of a Powerful Street Team. Read more here. Click To Tweet

At iUniverse I found this: “A street team is a group of volunteers who band together to promote an author and his or her book. Members of a street team are motivated by their love of an author’s work to promote it to as many people as possible.”

I learned a good deal from various sources, but most of all from a guest post by Jennifer Probst, a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

In Jennifer’s words, “A street team is a dedicated group of readers who like your work and are interested in helping promote your books. These readers are interested in helping to promote your book because your relationship with them is mutually beneficial. They get to hang out online with one of their favorite authors and receive exclusive material, and you get help with promotion to share new releases, giveaways, and special events.” read more

What Cancer Cannot Do

Why did I get Cancer?

After I was diagnosed with cancer, I had no idea why I had got the disease. The interesting thing I soon discovered that everyone else seemed to know. They showered me with suggestions on how to fight it, ways to improve my health, and above all, why I had it in the first place. And it all seemed to be my fault!

I became so overwhelmed by all the free advice and not-so-free treatment suggestions I didn’t know where to start. As I read about the disease, I learned that the cancer cells were actually weak and confused – not at all the giant enemy I had visualised.

I soon decided, “It’s not a case of what caused my cancer, but rather how am I going to deal with it.”

It's not a case of what caused my cancer, but rather how am I going to deal with it. Click To Tweet

How will I deal with it?

Perhaps the cruelest advice I received, at intervals throughout that terrible year, was the best intended.

“Shirley, put your trust in the Lord!”

The words TRUST THE LORD can cause hurt in the person who IS trusting the Lord. We need to watch our words. Click To Tweet

I am a committed Christian, so why do I say this was cruel?

It implied to my over-sensitive mind that people thought I wasn’t trusting Him. It made me feel that perhaps, if I really had faith, I would not subject my body to all this treatment. Is my faith at fault? I often wondered.

Trusting the Lord

One day when I was reading my Bible, I came to the well-known twenty-third Psalm.

Next time someone asked me about why I didn’t stop treatment and trust the Lord, I opened to that passage.

“David says ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,'” I read. “‘For thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.1‘” I pointed to the verse so my friend could read with me. “Lynne, where will I find the rod and the staff?”

“In the valley of the shadow of death?” she read the words slowly, doubt creeping into her voice.

Thy rod and staff they comfort me. And where are they found? In the valley. Click To Tweet

I nodded. “I have no idea why the Lord wants me to go through this valley,” I said. “Nor do I understand why He needs me to pick up a rod and a staff. But, Lynne, I trusted Him with my life many years ago, and there is no going back. He wants me to go through the valley and collect the rod and staff. Then He will comfort me. He will go with me.”

I hoped I appeared more confident than I felt, yet I knew that what I said was true. I had to keep my eyes on the Lord. Then I received these beautiful words from my daughter’s mother-in-law.

I remembered those weak, confused cells my doctor had described to me. They were indeed so limited.

Yes, the war against cancer was beginning to hot up, but I had a wonderful family, many dear friends, and a countless army of prayer warriors throughout, not only South Africa, but overseas as well. Most important, I had the Lord on my side. The enemy might appear threatening, but “Greater is he that is in (me) than he that is in the world.”I drew a deep breath, and prepared to move into the unknown.

Cancer is so limited. It is made up of weak, confused cells. See a list of things it can't do. Click To Tweet

[1] Psalm 23 verse 4
[2]  1 John 4 verse 4

What Is Cancer?

So what exactly is cancer?

As soon as I’d got over the shock of my cancer diagnosis, I found myself desperate to know more. I started to consume every book I could find on the subject.

“This is so frustrating,” I grumbled. “Most of these books do not refer to the spiritual side at all. Those that do, almost always lean toward a belief system I can’t accept.” Fortunately, that is no longer the case, and there are some good books out there.

Books about breast cancer

I sensed that there was more to this disease than the physical. Surely there were things I could do on an emotional level, which would not offend my Christian faith.

So few books met my requirements. I resolved that when I was well again, I would write the book that I needed right then. Meantime I had to find ways to use my mind and emotions. But how?

I put this to one side temporarily, and returned to more pressing issues.

What had caused my cancer?

I already knew that cancer was caused by the reproduction of deformed cells. It encouraged me to think of them as weak and confused. This was the opposite to the usual picture of cancer as the “Almighty Destroyer.” But what had caused these cells to become deformed in the first place?

Why had I developed breast cancer?

I learned that Breast Cancer is one of the few cancers which can occur in families. I was the first one in my family, and I prayed that I would be the last. My siblings were at high risk. Seeing I only had one brother and no sisters, I thought we were in the clear.

Wrong.

I discovered that what is generally thought of as a women’s problem is actually on the increase in men. An American survey states that for every 100 women, one man is diagnosed with breast cancer.

A man in America tried to enter a promotional race for survivors of Breast Cancer, but was turned away, as it was only for women. He contested this, but I can’t remember if he won his case. I hope he did.

As far as I knew, none of my ancestors had suffered from breast cancer. But my children all have to be diligent in checking their breasts regularly, my sons as well as my daughter, and my grandchildren as they grow up.

Speed of Growth

Once cancer cells start to multiply, they do so at an alarming rate. Some of them, if not arrested in time, spread to adjacent tissue, or they may even travel via the blood-stream or lymph vessels to distant organs. There they set up camp and form a secondary tumor, known as metastases.

However the incredible speed with which they reproduce is also part of their downfall.

The incredible speed with which cancer cells reproduce is also part of their downfall. See more . . . Click To Tweet

Radiotherapy and chemotherapy both rely upon this accelerated growth for their effectiveness. In each of these treatments, the machines or chemicals target rapidly growing cells. So the fast proliferation of the cancer cells actually blows their cover.

“Just as well!” I remarked to Rob as I shared these facts with him. “Symptoms only start to show up when the tumor has grown large enough to cause problems. How important it is to check our health regularly.”

I hadn’t realized, until then, that there are different types of breast cancer, as well as several stages. My tumor was Stage Two and had already started to spread from the breast. The oncologist explained that it was very fast growing, and the pathology report described it as “poorly defined.” This meant it was difficult to remove.

“According to statistics,” I read to Rob, “One out of every eleven women have breast cancer. And here I thought I was one of the elite few.”

The statistics also said that three out of every four “Stage Two” breast cancer patients will live to be grandparents! That fact is not widely publicized. In 1997, my surgeon didn’t expect me to live a year. SURPRISE! I’m still fit and well in 2019, and yes, I am a grandmother – six times over.

Three out of every four Stage Two breast cancer patients will live to be grandparents! Read more here. Click To Tweet

I deliberately started to cultivate a scornful disregard for statistics. After all, there are no statistics for how long Shirleys live after contracting cancer. I am not a statistic. There is only one me.

What of the future?

Some years ago, if I survived five years after my operation, doctors would regard me as being cured. Medical experts today know this is false. Today, if there is no sign of a recurrence, medical experts will say it is “in remission.” The breast cancer cell can regenerate, so it can always come back.

Having said that, every day that passed after the surgery my chances of survival increased. I didn’t want to know how long medical science thought I had to live. How could a mere doctor tell me that?

In the Bible I read All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139 verse 16). God knew how long my life would be before I was even born. My diagnosis hadn’t blown His plans! I certainly didn’t want to live according to a man-made measure, watching as my earthly time got shorter each day. What would I do if I ran out of days?

God knew how long my life would be before I was even born. My diagnosis hadn't blown His plans! Click To Tweet

Over to you

How do you think you would react if you were told by medical professionals that you had 7 months to live? What would you do with that information? How would it affect your decision-making?

Please leave a comment, and if you leave a live URL in your comment, I’ll get back to you.

Eve ~ Mother of All

eve_rgb_smallWho was Eve?

We have all heard of Eve, the very first woman who was created in God’s own image. She lived in a beautiful garden, the Garden of Eden, and she was married to the first man, Adam.

Remember her?

Of course you do.

But have you thought of the challenges she faced?

√ as a woman without friends

√ a mother who was never a child

√ a wife to the only man alive

√ a parent who had never seen a baby?

You will read about all these challenges and a whole lot more in

Eve – Mother of All.

Why read this book?

She lived a perfect life in an idyllic setting. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long.

Join Shirley Corder as she draws Eve out of the shadow of the garden and shows her as a real flesh-and-blood woman.

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by your situation, or faced seemingly impossible challenges, you will identify with this woman who had no mother, sister or female friend.

What format is it written in?

Written in creative non-fiction, the story stays close to the biblical narrative, but Shirley brings it alive in a way that will encourage you and give you some chuckles.

Reflections after each short chapter will enable you to walk in Eve’s bare feet as you apply the words you have just read to your own life.

How to read this book

There are two ways you can use this book. You can read it through as a story, pausing at the reflections as you go. Or you may choose to use it with friends or an established Bible Study group. You could assign several chapters to be read over the following week, possibly as daily readings. You could then get together once a week to share your own reflections and compare notes.

The Scripture readings are very short, sometimes only a section of a verse. There is often so much information packed into one verse of Scripture. On a few occasions, you may even have the same reading for consecutive chapters.

Feel free to read the passage surrounding the quoted verse, although these may not be relevant to the chapter you are reading. The reflections often offer further passages in order to give you background to the passage. I pray you will enjoy getting to know Eve as she steps out of the shadow of The Garden of Eden as a real flesh-and-blood woman.

Excerpt from Chapter 2:

God’s latest creation stretched, blinked her eyes and squinted at the sheet of blue hovering overhead. “That’s so beautiful!”

“What?” came a voice much deeper than hers. “You mean the sky? It’s always that color.”

The woman’s eyes focused on the face that now appeared above her. “Oh. What…? Who…?”

The figure rose to his feet and stretched out his hand. “Let me help you up. I’m Adam, the first man, created in God’s image.”

“Am I also Adam?”

“No. I’m going to call you Woman, because you were taken out of me. You are bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”

The woman examined the man closely then looked down at her own body. There were similarities, but there were also differences. “Are we both made in God’s image? Or only you?”

“We both are,” Adam assured her. “God said it wasn’t good for me to be alone, and then He made you. He took you out of my side.”

“Whose side did you come from?”

To see how Adam answers, read the book. Available only as an ebook at this stage.

Click on the link to own your own copy, and if you enjoy it, I’d love you to post a review.