Part 2: Bunnies, Virgins and Real Men

Stripped_Free_Social_Media_Avatars_Stripped_Free_Social_Media_Avatar_BFriends, I’ve been overwhelmed in the best way by the response to my original blog, Bunnies, Virgins and Real Men. You all are amazing!! I can’t tell you how many have asked how they can help. We’ve had suggestions of other ways of raising money to help Katherine Stone’s family. One pastor and his wife offered their own home for however long it takes. Others have committed to pray for both Katherine and Dennis. We actually sent the blog to them separately. We haven’t gotten any response, but we wanted to make sure we did everything we could to get it in front of them.

What can we do now? I’ve been pondering this question because it has come up quite a bit. First of all, each one of us can pray for Katherine and Dennis and the other women that may be considering entering this contest. We need to shake the foundations of Heaven itself with our prayers on this issue. The sex industry and all its facets have infiltrated every aspect of life. You can’t even drive down the highway without seeing a salacious billboard anymore. Pornography is literally one click away for everyone no matter the age or gender. According to the Internet Filter Review Website, $3,075.64 is spent per second on internet pornography and 28,258 people per second are viewing pornography. Do those numbers shock you? Those were sobering for me to see.

We need to pray and we need to begin to have honest conversations in the Church at large about this issue. The time for embarrassment or being squeamish when talking about the sex industry has got to be over! The Church has to deal with this issue head on. This is Satan’s favorite playground and he will continue to wreak havoc in this area as long as the Church buries its head in the sand fearful of offending its members by tackling this. We need to talk openly about pornography, sex trafficking, sexual addiction, the strip industry, prostitution and everything else included in the “adult entertainment” industry. God created sex, it’s His and we’ve allowed Satan to rule in this area long enough.

We’ve got to begin open dialogue with no fear of judgment, creating a safe environment for true vulnerability. I once heard trafficking defined as the exploitation of vulnerability. Right now the Church is the last place people dealing with these issues want to run, when it should be the first. Katherine should have felt free to run to the Church, not Dennis Hof, a brothel owner. Some of the responsibility for that decision lies at the feet of Katherine herself, but I can’t help thinking much of it also lies at the feet of the Church. Jesus is the only One who can begin the breakthrough process with these strong footholds. Healing has to begin with Him and the Church has to find a way to open its arms to the most broken and wounded in our society so they can find Him!

After we’ve begun to pray and talk honestly about these issues, then we need to ACT. We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus pouring out His love on those working in this industry and those who are addicted to this industry. And trust me, whether you want to admit it or not, you know someone affected by the sex industry. We all do. That’s just the harsh reality today.

KT SF Logo HeadshotWhen I first read the article about Katherine Stone and the horrific idea of a virgin competition, the same questions kept running through my mind. Wasn’t there anyone in Katherine’s life willing to help her and her family? Where were all the Jesus followers? Surely her path had crossed with someone who knew Jesus at some point after the fire destroyed her family’s home. Did no one offer to help? Did no one offer a hotel room or a guest room in their home? Maybe they did and the family wasn’t willing to take the help, I don’t know. All I do know is that Christ followers standing up and actually doing something is critical, but unfortunately it’s most often the piece that is lacking in the overall game plan. After we’ve been on our knees in prayer, God will almost always call us to action. That’s where many of us get stuck because doing something will always cost us something. It will cost us time, money, energy, resources, pride and the potential list goes on and on. We will have to sacrifice something and the truth is many in the Church aren’t willing to make a sacrifice. I have seen this even in my own life. Sacrifice is hard and there have been times when I just didn’t want to do it. That’s why the response to my original blog overwhelmed me. All the people willing to stand up and ask what they can do in a tangible way to respond was inspiring! Wow! Fantastic!

So how about this? What if we each ask God today what He wants us to do to make an impact for Him? How does He want us to use our hands, feet, time and resources? How can we make Him famous? What if we make sure the Katherines in our lives never have to look for another place to go for answers because we, “Christ’s Church,” are showing her The Answer and helping to supply her needs in a tangible way?

In my two years of meeting women working in the adult entertainment industry through Stripped Free, I can tell you one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that women are driven to this industry because they didn’t see any other option. They didn’t have anyone in the beginning willing to reach out and give them a hand-up, not a hand-out, but a hand-up. They needed someone willing to walk beside them and befriend them and say, “I’ll take this journey with you and we’ll figure this out together with God’s help.”

Let’s get in our prayer closets and call on God to bring miraculous healing to those working in and affected by the sex industry. May He start a revival in this industry the likes of which has never been seen before! May we be quick to listen, showing love and compassion while striving to create environments where people can be vulnerable opening up the most tender and terrified pieces of their hearts to find true freedom and healing. And may we make sure we’re doing what we can each day to take care of those around us, loving our neighbors as ourselves. God, help us to have the courage to run into the darkest places for battle knowing we are fully equipped by YOU, the God of the Angel Armies! It’s time to reclaim this ground in Jesus’ Name!

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Bunnies, Virgins and Real Men

KT SF Logo HeadshotI’m not even sure what to say or how to begin. I’ve gone from shock, to anger and horror, to having an uncontrollable urge to vomit as I watch the depravity of the human soul on full display. I’ve seen some things in the last 2 years that I’ve been working with Stripped Free. Things I wish I could erase from my mind. I’ve seen the demoralization and degradation of human beings. I’ve seen souls shattered and beaten down over and over again. I’ve seen a twisted and horrifying version of a “savior complex” that has left me shaking my head in disbelief. I’ve seen the depths people will go to in order to try to erase past pain and humiliation only to experience deeper levels of shame than they ever anticipated. I’ve seen the worth of a soul reduced to a dollar in some of the darkest environments imaginable. But I’ve never seen anything quite like this………

The Bunny Ranch Brothel Kicks Off $$$ Million Dollar “America’s Next Top Virgin!” Competition. I’m speechless. The bottom line, 20 year-old Katherine Stone had tragedy strike her family. Their uninsured home burned down in a fire and she was forced to leave school and get a job to help support her parents and two younger sisters who are currently living in the rubble of their former house. She has now become the first woman to enter this contest for a million dollars to help her family. You can find out more about the details of this contest on-line. It is truly unimaginable.

A Word to Katherine Stone:

Katherine, I want you to know something. You are a beautiful young woman who has been created in the image of God. He formed you in your mother’s womb. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. I have no idea if you believe there is a God or not. Let me assure you there is and He is crazy in love with you. What you are about to take part in will do incomprehensible damage to your heart and soul. You will emerge from this competition as a shell of your former self. It’s obvious you have a huge heart and deep love for your family and it’s an admirable thing to want to do anything you can to help them. There is another way. I promise you God has another way! I watched the video of your first interview. From some of the articles I’ve read it appears up until this point you have never even kissed a man before. In your video you looked very innocent and also terrified. You are saying all the right things, but I can see the fear in your eyes. I know you have already had to experience things in these first few days that have probably been traumatic for you, but it’s not too late to turn back. It’s never too late. You will lose so much more than just your virginity in this contest. Whether you can see it now or not, this is the turning point in your life. This will lead you down roads you were never meant to walk. This will lead you to things you were never meant to do. This will change the trajectory of your life in an unimaginably horrific way. Please get off this path now. There is another way to help provide for your family. There are good people out there who can help and there is a God who has all the answers and who is Himself the ultimate answer for you. I can promise you that. Know this: you are loved and you matter and you are worth so much more than this.

A Word to Brothel Owner Dennis Hof:

Dennis, I’ve read articles that talk about how “generous” you are with “the crippled, the poor and the orphaned.” I’m not even sure where to begin. Maybe I should begin by talking about what it means to be a real man. A real man doesn’t see dollar signs when he looks at a woman. A real man would never dream of exploiting the innocence of a pure heart as some kind of financial stunt for shock value. A real man would never be responsible for doing irreparable damage to a woman’s soul by putting a price tag on her or her virginity. Whatever work you have done with the crippled, poor and orphaned is all just a front for you to soothe a guilty conscience. A deeply guilty and shame-filled conscience.

Let me tell you what a real man looks like because I see them all the time. I have been blessed to have wonderful Godly men cross my path who have shown the love of God in tangible ways to women who are leaving the adult entertainment industry.

The gentleman that I just sat across from who donated a car for a single mom leaving the industry, who thanked me for giving him this opportunity to help impact a life. That’s a real man.

The mechanic who fixes busted up old cars and keeps them running for moms who can’t afford car repairs. That’s a real man.

The doctor who donates his services and sits with a woman helping her with medical and emotional issues for the first time in her life. That’s a real man.

The employer who realizes he has a job opening that might be a good fit for someone needing a fresh start and does whatever he can to make that job a reality. That’s a real man.

The professional who teaches a woman how to deal with a resume that includes nothing but industry jobs and begins to replace fear and shame with hope and healing by pointing out positive job skills that can be used in other places of employment. That’s a real man.

The husband who loves his wife well in front of a woman leaving the industry showing her for the first time that there are good men out there and she is worthy of one. That’s a real man.

Dennis, I pray for you. I pray for your soul. I pray you will turn away from this path and begin to see and value women’s lives. There are certain things that are true whether we choose to believe them or not. There is a God. That is the truth. He is crazy in love with you just like He loves Katherine. You are loved, you matter and you are worth it. Get the help you so desperately need. No one is ever too far gone that God can’t reach them. And please cancel this contest and give Katherine the money she needs to help her family. You are a wealthy man. You want to do something good? Give with no strings attached. Be an example that others can follow. It’s never too late to do the right thing.

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Become What You Believe

Brian&Kim085I have a theme for 2015.

Deeper Faith
Deeper Trust
Deeper Gratitude

I want to grow. It’s not possible to just stay at the same place, so I’m always moving whether I recognize it or not. It’s more a matter of what direction I’m moving and growing? Am I growing closer to my Heavenly Father or further away from Him? Do I desire Him more today than I did yesterday or less? Am I seeking His Face or settling just to seek His hand and what He can do for me?

I want deeper faith. I’ve been a Christian for more than 30 years and I’m still surprised at how little faith I have in certain situations. The Bible talks about having the faith of a mustard seed. (Matt. 17:20) An itty-bitty mustard seed. I’m happy that’s all it takes because at times, that’s all I have, but I want more. I want a deeper faith. Why?

  1. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. No matter what I do in life or ministry, if it’s not done in faith, it’s not pleasing to Him and I want to please Him. He’s my Abba Father. The One who knit me together in my mother’s womb. He loves me passionately and I love Him passionately. I want to please and glorify Him.
  2. I am also stubborn enough to say that I don’t want to miss anything God has for me. This past Sunday our Pastor preached a powerful message on faith from Matthew 9:27-30 about Jesus healing two blind men. He reminded me that I can only go as far as my faith will take me. I don’t want to come to the end of my life having missed out on so much of what God had for me simply because I had such little faith. I want ALL He has for me. Here is Matthew 9:27-30 from The Message:

As Jesus left the house, he was followed by two blind men crying out, “Mercy, Son of David! Mercy on us!” When Jesus got home, the blind men went in with him. Jesus said to them, “Do you really believe I can do this?” They said, “Why, yes, Master!” He touched their eyes and said, “Become what you believe.” It happened. They saw.

“Become what you believe.” Such powerful words. What do I believe I can become through Him? How far will my faith take me?

Those seem to be the foundational questions at our Finally Free Women’s Conferences and with our Stripped Free Ministry. I have met so many women both inside the church and inside the strip clubs of Indianapolis that are literally becoming what they believe. What do many of them believe? They believe they are worthless and no one cares if they even exist. They believe they aren’t lovable and they have fallen too far for even God to reach them. They believe they are failures not worthy of love or even the smallest bit of success. So there they sit, in the pews of our churches or on the bar stools in the clubs marinating in a sea of worthlessness and unbelief. Things will never change so why should I even try? No one cares, least of all God.

Mustard SeedMy Friends, let’s begin with the faith of a mustard seed. Do you know how small that is? You’ll see a mustard seed pictured at the side. Can you muster even that much faith? In Matthew 17 Jesus performed a particular miracle, something the disciples had already tried, but failed to do. They asked Jesus why they didn’t succeed. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says in The Message version:

“Because you’re not yet taking God seriously. The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”

Can you try an experiment for just a few days? Can you give God a chance? Take Him seriously and begin to believe with just the faith of a tiny mustard seed. Start there and see what He does with it. The Bible tells us that “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb. 11:1). He is the Living One and even though you may feel you can’t see Him, He sees you and He loves you. No matter where you are or where you’ve been, you are never too far for Him to find you. If you have had a hard time buying into this whole concept of God, begin to believe He exists and He loves you. Allow those thoughts to even enter your mind for the first time and become a part of your thinking. Begin to believe He has a special plan and purpose for your life. Begin to believe things can be different. Begin to become what you believe.

Let’s Connect On Twitter: @KimTabor

For more information on the Finally Free Women’s Conference or to bring the conference to your church, visit us on the web by clicking HERE.

My Year Of Stripping

SAMSUNG CSCCan a woman in ministry experience a year of stripping? Should she even say such a thing or talk about a subject so controversial? As I sit here at my computer during the month of March 2015, I can without a doubt say, Yes, 2014 was my year of stripping. I’m sure I’ll get a few choice comments about this like I do every blog I’ve written about the Stripped Free Ministry and going into the strip clubs in Indianapolis to minister to the women there, but I hope you’ll continue to read on to make a very important discovery with me. I had no idea when Stripped Free launched back in April of 2014 that God was not only going to do a work in the lives of the women in the clubs we were going to meet, but He was going to do the biggest work in my own heart and life along the way. You see, Stripped Free is not just about the women inside the clubs, it’s about all women and that has become very clear to me over the past few months.

Let me recap 2014 for you so you can better understand what I mean. I’ll just give you the highlights. First, calling someone like me into strip clubs was a bold move on God’s part. I have a reputation of being a singer, speaker, pastor’s wife, not perfect by any sense of the imagination, but someone who would never go into a strip club. Why would she go into a club? People quickly began to misunderstand what I was doing and the judgments began to be hurled back and forth. “Is she actually stripping for Jesus? That’s awful!” (And laughable. No one in this ministry is taking her clothes off in the Name of Jesus. Just felt I should clarify that for the 100th time. Bless it.) “Can you still support their ministry if they’re going into strip clubs?” “You are helping Satan.” What? Now, I know the addition of this ministry was quite a stretch. Believe me, no one had a more difficult time wrapping their mind around all of this than me. Worship, singing, women’s conferences and……. strip clubs? At one point I sat in my bedroom by myself and had a very frank conversation with God. I told Him I didn’t even recognize my life anymore. This was a difficult and painful piece of ministry that I wasn’t sure I could be involved in for the long haul.

I found myself in an interesting limbo between those that had known me for many years and those that were meeting me for the very first time. Those who know me as Kim Tabor the singer/speaker looked at me quizzically when they found out I was going into strip clubs. Why? That was usually the first question out of their mouths. Then there were those meeting me for the first time inside the clubs or as a result of Stripped Free and after a long period of time they would somehow find out I have this other piece of my life involving music and worship in the church. Their first response? Really? And then there were those who thought Stripped Free was all I was doing and they worried that I had forsaken my other calling with the Church. I even had one woman ask, “Are you the Kim Tabor that used to be a singer?” That question was like a kick in the gut. Used to be a singer, I thought. Wow. What’s going on? Whose life am I living now?

This may not sound like a big deal to many of you, but when you see your life going comfortably in one direction and all of sudden God drops something in your lap that you never saw coming, it tends to cause a little angst. Right or wrong, my identity had become wrapped up in what I saw as my primary role in ministry. I am a singer and speaker at conferences, worship services and other events that minister to the people in God’s Church. I know how to do those things. That’s where I’m most secure. This added role of going into the dark places of the clubs wasn’t anywhere on my radar. No one was more surprised than I was to have this added assignment. And trust me when I say no one is more insecure about her role in this piece of the ministry than me. At times I felt as if I was losing my identity. My stripping had begun…..

The pressure got turned up in September when for the first time in my life I lost my voice – completely. You want to make someone reevaluate things in their life? You take away the thing that’s defined them and that they have begun to unknowingly depend on. The thing that affects the way they make their living. You take that away and they begin to reevaluate very quickly and the fear and insecurity is overwhelming. I still had a major conference and a few other events to sing at over the fall. How was that going to happen when I couldn’t make a peep?

I went to my ENT and found out I had a nasty virus that landed in my vocal chords. The impact would last for 3 months, but thankfully I didn’t know that at the time. I had a conference to do 6 days after my diagnosis and that was my biggest concern. I remember asking the doctor if my voice would be back by then. He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “I don’t think so. Can anyone else do the conference?” He knew how awful my chords looked. I went home, got down on me knees on the family room floor and cried out to God from my heart since my voice was useless. I kept asking Him how this was going to work? I had a strong sense this conference was supposed to happen and I shouldn’t cancel even though I wasn’t sure how. That’s when I heard it. The familiar still small Voice that echoed in my heart and mind, “You’ll get your speaking voice back in time for the conference, but you won’t be able to sing.” What? How do I do a conference with no music? And in such a loving and tender way He responded to that question even before I officially asked it. Don’t ever think God doesn’t hear our every concern. He hears and He responds. He whispered again, “Do you think I need your voice in order to work and move?” I felt the lump in my throat as my eyes welled up with tears. That’s when I understood. I knew the answer to His question. Sure enough, it happened just as He said. I woke up 6 days later on Saturday morning and I had just enough voice to speak for 3 sessions, but I couldn’t sing one note. It was one of the most powerful conferences I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of and God made it obvious it had nothing to do with me. I felt the stripping once again…….

Little did I know this was just the beginning of God doing major heart work on me. Work I didn’t even know needed to be done. Add to the identity crisis I was going through, the death of a major influence in my life, the man who was like a second father to me. Phil Fair had been in my life for 25 years. He helped me get my first job, he was instrumental in me meeting my husband, Brian, and beginning Tabor Ministries. He’s been on our ministry board since day one and has been a mentor, friend and father figure. It’s hard to remember life before Phil. The Lord called him home this past October and I managed to squeak a song out at his funeral since he passed in the middle of my illness. Phil’s death rocked my world. It still doesn’t seem real. More stripping…….

As I look back I realize I was being stripped of people, my gifts, my identity, my definition of ministry and success, and even some of my dreams. It was an overwhelming and painful time. That’s when I really began to discover the deeper meaning behind this new ministry.

Friends, Stripped Free isn’t just for the women in the clubs, it’s for me, it’s for you, it’s for all women. Truthfully, it’s for all people. God used 2014 to strip me. He didn’t do it in a mean or condemning way. He did it in the most loving and compassionate way because He wants all of me. He wants me to be totally reliant on Him and He wants to be the deepest desire of my heart. That’s His desire for each of us.

Oswald Chambers sums it up in a beautiful way, “Am I willing to reduce myself down to simply ‘me’”? Am I determined enough to strip myself of all that my friends think of me, and all that I think of myself? Am I willing and determined to hand over my simple naked self to God? Once I am, He will immediately sanctify me completely, and my life will be free from being determined and persistent toward anything except God.” This is what it means to be Stripped Free.

The girls in the clubs sometime giggle when they see the name Stripped Free. They giggle because they think it’s cute and they understand how it relates to what they do. What they don’t realize is that the women handing them the cards with the name Stripped Free on them are being stripped themselves by a God who refuses to leave any of us just as we are. He sees all we can be and He knows we can only be our very best when we’re fully relying and pressing into Him. He is our best!

At one point in this stripping process I found myself on a boat dock one evening and I finally began to have a deeper understanding of what was happening. I needed to surrender. I told God I will go wherever He calls me to go no matter how dark. I will continue to use my gifts in whatever way He wants and will hold them loosely because they are ultimately His. I will trust Him no matter what. I brought Him all of myself on that dock. It’s what He wanted….complete surrender. My life is not my own. He can do as He pleases because I love and trust Him.

Am I still singing? Yes. Am I still speaking? Yes. Am I still going into strip clubs? Yes. For now, this is how my life looks and the opportunities I get today to share His love and freedom are sweeter than ever as I continue to be stripped and learn what it means to be simply “me.”

Let’s Connect On Twitter: @KimTabor

For more information on the Finally Free Women’s Conference or to bring the conference to your church, visit us on the web by clicking HERE.

Where Is Your Focus?

Focus But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Do you have things in your past that you want to forget? I know I do. Poor choices, painful circumstances and tragic loss are just a few of the things we all experience that we would rather forget. But what about the pieces of our past that were joyful and brought great pleasure to our lives? The good old’ days as some like to call them. Do you want to forget those?

I find it interesting that Paul says there is one very important thing he does: he forgets. He forgets or neglects the things of the past and instead he pursues or chases the goal ahead. For many of us, it’s hard to let go of the past no matter how good or how tough it was. I know there are events that will always be lodged in our memoires, but I believe Paul is talking about dwelling in the past.

Where are we living? Are our eyes focused on the failures or successes of yesterday or on God and what He is doing today? God doesn’t want us living in the sorrows or the joys of yesterday. We each have a life that is worth living right now. He has something special for us in this current moment, but many of us are missing it because we are so focused on our past.

Both the triumphs and the tragedies of yesterday are done. There’s no going back. We must press on in this new year. There is too much life yet to live and I don’t want to miss any of it, so let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and what He is doing today in our lives. He is working and moving this very day and has a glorious plan for all of us!

Let’s Connect On Twitter: @KimTabor  @StrippedFree

You can also find us on Facebook, Here: Kim and Brian Tabor    Stripped Free

Be Joyful Always?

FinallyFree124 “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  Be joyful always?  Really?  This has been a tough week in so many different ways.  Every time I turn on the news I’m reminded of the lives and homes that were lost in OK.  So much devastation.  There are senseless killings here and abroad…..one person horrifically claiming “an eye for an eye” as a reason for brutally murdering an innocent man walking down the street in London.

Then there are things happening in our personal lives.  Really tough things.  A sweet friend of mine had been praying for a liver transplant for her mom and it looked like God was working to make that happen.  Tiny miracles were happening along the way and she and her mom were both clinging to that each day.  Over the weekend her mom suddenly took a turn for the worse and she passed away a few days ago before a liver became available.  Be joyful always?

Joy in the midst of the storm is only possible with Christ.  I don’t know any other way to say it.  Is it difficult to live above our circumstances at times, you better believe it is.  But it IS possible and I’ve got to choose to have enough faith to live that out in my own life.  The verse from 1 Thessalonians wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t possible.  God’s not a game player using us as His pawns for entertainment.  He wouldn’t tell us to live a certain way if it wasn’t attainable.

“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

THIS IS NOT ALL THERE IS!  And I thank God for that!  It’s only when I keep my eyes fixed on Him that I have any chance at all of living above my momentary troubles still finding joy in life.

Today you may find yourself on a mountaintop or in the midst of a valley.  Either way, I would love to hear what is bringing you joy today?  Sometimes it’s good to just write it down as a reminder to ourselves.  You can comment below.