You Oughta Be in Pictures!

ticketsfreeimagesYouTube videos, that is. Not convinced? What if I tell you it could increase your ministry opportunities and add income to your bottom line? After repeated requests at women's events, I made my YouTube video two years ago…and I had no idea what that would mean to my ministry. Here's how it happened.

I'd been doing my Solomon's Beloved skit (a funny, literal interpretation of Song of Solomon) in some of my programs for years, and the audiences always loved it. Women would often come up after the program and ask if I had a video of the skit that they could use at their church. Of course, I didn't. But finally, enough people asked until I realized I was going to have to do something about it.

First I asked my pastor if I could tape a presentation of the skit at our church and invite the community to be part of the audience. He agreed. Then I talked to our children's minister and a teen friend from church and they agreed to film with two cameras.

Another friend created a flyer, advertising it as an opportunity to be in the audience of a YouTube videotaping. My friends pasted the invitation all over town, and then invited their friends from work, from their neighborhoods, and from their own churches. Churches were calling for directions, telling us that their women were planning to make it a girls' night out.

Without having any idea what we were doing, we had created a buzz! The whole thing took on a life of its own.

The day finally came, and so did the ladies. And even though it snowed that day, we had close to 100 ladies show up! (And in upstate SC on a snowy night, that's a miracle!) I did one presentation, we stopped for refreshments, then I did the skit again. We had a book signing and I donated a portion from each book sale to our mission fund…and the ladies had a ball!

I delivered the raw footage to EVM Productions and they created a great video, complete with intro, music, credits, and voice-overs. They also put it on YouTube for me. 

Of course, it wouldn't have happened without great friends, a great church, a great community, and a great video production company.

And God has used that little YouTube video to bless my ministry in amazing ways! While I was in Michigan last week, the event planner told me someone had sent her the link to Solomon's Beloved a year ago, before she was even involved in women's ministry. When she took over as the ministry leader this year, she decided she wanted to "find that woman who did that funny video about Song of Solomon" for her first women's event. So she did.

But that's not all. (Yes, I know I sound like an OxyClean salesman!) Besides getting multiple speaking opportunities from Solomon's Beloved, I had the joy of being part of the entertainment on a Christian cruise after the cruise director saw the video. I've gotten book orders from people who say they found my website through the little movie. And now I have DVDs of the skit on my product table, which allows women to have another resource when they're leading a study about Song of Solomon or marriage or our struggle with beauty.

Now please understand, I'm not saying all this to say, "Look at me!" No! I'm saying it to say, "Look at what God can do…even through a funny video!"

I'm thankful God brought people into my life to push me to do something I never dreamed of doing. I'm certainly not smart enough to think it up on my own! But God used friends and family and a YouTube video to spread the word about my writing and speaking ministry, and it has blessed me–and others–more than I could have ever dreamed.

Could He have a similar plan for you?

P.S. Here's the link. Feel free to pass it on! :-}

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How to Have Magazine Editors Calling YOU!computer_small

Wondering what you can do to grow in your writing during this long cold winter? Well, thanks to my downloadable Writing Workshops, you can grab a cup of coffee, plop down in your favorite chair, and learn how to write magazine articles that sell!

Can't stop to listen right now? No problem! Download it into your computer now and it'll be there for you to listen to and learn from over and over again, whenever you're ready! 

It's easy! What are you waiting for? Check out the Writing tab for more info on How to Have Magazine Editors Calling YOU! and Opportunities for Christian Writers, as well as other ways you can take your writing to the next level.

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Kudos to YOU!

Well, this week's kudos list is a little short because I totally forgot to ask for them last week. But here's what I had collected during this past month. Remember, you can send them anytime. We WANT to celebrate and praise God with you!

  • Colleen Luntzel (NC) recently had a devotion published at ChristianDevotions.us.
  • Elaine Carr (SC) just received word that her article, "Observing Our World," has been accepted for the spring 2010 issue of Secret Place.
  • Cindy Jones (MS) has a new article about writing on DevoKids, a website community for kids. DevoKids is also e-publishing several of her activity pages, AND she's working on a blog!
  • Johnna Stein's (GA) fictional story, "The Italian Silk Scarf," will be in the January 31st issue of the LIVE series.
  • Edie Melson (SC) also has another devotion on ChristianDevotions.us. Can you tell that the Christian Devotions editors like our readers? πŸ˜‰

Congratulations, writers! As you can see, God is always at work, doing His part to make things happen. Remember to let me know anytime you have something to celebrate. Please include your name and state, your website, and the name and link of the piece, if available.

Be sure to come back next week to check out Writing Opportunities for you. They could be just what y
ou need to help you see your words in print!

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chirstmaspresentLooking for Christmas Gifts?

The Christmas book sale continues! Huge discounts on books for the entire family. (And I'll be happy to personalize them for you.) You can now get them directly through PayPal, or if you prefer, email me for instructions for ordering with a check.

(Photos courtesy of FreeImages.co.uk)

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And now, as we close our time together this week, let's turn our focus to the reason for all the celebration, not only during this season, but all year long. These are the prophetic words of Isaiah, written about 700 years before the birth of our Savior:

For to us a child is born,
       to us a son is given,
       and the government will be on his shoulders.
       And he will be called
       Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
       Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

I pray God's blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

Posted in categories: Kudos | Women's Ministry | Writing Instruction

  • Vonda Skelton

    Thank you ALL for your kind comments. God has certainly been good to me. And Judy, I'm so glad you found Solomon's Beloved on YouTube. I would've hated to have not had the joy of getting to know all you Yoopers, Trolls, and Troopers!Have a blessed week…Vonda

  • Judy Vader

    Loved bringing Vonda to the land of the Yoopers! We were so very blessed by Vonda’s presence here and
    her presentation at our Women’s Christmas event has created a lot of buzz! More than all that, though, Vonda has the heart of a servant, even meeting with a potential new author during her brief time with us. The Lord is doing amazing things through Vonda’s ministry. Oh, and she is also a great sport. You should see her dressed up like a hunter just out of the Upper Peninsula woods!

  • Vonda,
    I saw you perform Solomon’s Beloved during the 2007 Blue Ridge Christian Writers’ Conference. It was absolutely delightful. We were all in stitches. Your ministry is such a blessing.

  • Thanks for sharing the story behind the video, Vonda — amazing! But then again, our God is in the business of amazing us, isn’t He?!

  • Vonda Skelton

    Thanks, Donna. You're right–it was totally a God thing! We just don't ever know what God has in mind, do we???Looking forward to seeing you in person at the Write2Ignite Conference Feb 26-27 in SC!!! Have a blessed week!Vonda

  • WOW! That is an incredible GOD thing! πŸ™‚ I love that video and have shared it with several friends. When they ask, “Who is Vonda Skelton?”, I direct them to your Youtube video. I then say, “You will LOVE her!”
    And guess what? They do. πŸ™‚
    Hugs,
    Donna