How to Get The Most Out of Your Church Visit

As the author of Scriptures for Strippers, I get asked all the time about church. People ask me how often I go to church, what church I am a member of and when should they “join” a church. 

On page 25 of Scriptures for Strippers, there is a chart to keep up with the different church experiences to determine if that particular house of worship is right for you. On this chart, you can document the pastor, how you were received and more.  But it is very important to go into any house of God following some very simple guidelines in order to get the best out of each visit. 

There are some people who have experienced “church hurt” where they may have experienced rejection, abandonment or alienation so entering into a church puts them in a defensive posture or they may even reject the notion all together. There are other people who have the wrong expectations of the experience and find themselves chronically disappointed in their church visits for a myriad of reasons. 

After studying the Word on my own, outside of a pastor,  I finally allowed myself to explore church again. I had taken about a 2 year hiatus from regularly attending a house of worship. I always felt The Spirit when I went and refreshed and inspired when I left. I was accepted and loved, even after some of the members found out that I used to be a stripper. After relocating across town and giving birth to a new baby, getting to that church became a bit of a challenge so I began to explore houses of worship in my new community.  There are a few things I have learned in order to benefit from each visit that I’d like to share in this blog post about how to go to church for maximum effectiveness.

  1. Go Into The House of God to worship Him along with Others. When going to church, keep your blessings in the front of your mind. Being thankful for what you have and mindful of the grace and mercy of God is a great posture to put your spirit upon entering the house of The Lord.  When it comes to praise and worship,  you may sing along if you know the words but if you don’t,  you can still stand to your feet to show reverence to God.  Some people put their hands up, clap or wave their hands as an act of worship. If you ever start to feel ashamed or self conscious, remember people are there for God, not you. (Daniel 4:2.)
  2. Be receptive to courtesy and love. While in church, people are instructed to “turn to their neighbor” and say things,  shake their hands, hug or pray with them.  When they ask if there are any visitors,  everyone may want to hug or speak to the newbie. Allow the love to flow! Shake hands with people of you don’t feel comfortable giving hugs. Smile and greet people. If people at church start to inquire about you joining the church, simply smile and say, “I’ll see you next time.” If you feel pressured, don’t take it personally.  It may be that person’s way of attempting to make you feel welcome, wanted and valued. (Hebrews 13:1)
  3. Dress appropriately.  Whenever we are invited to a party, are going to an interview or on a even a date, lots of thought goes into what to wear. Clothes have different functions and purposes that’s why there are dress codes for some clubs. The logic behind some clubs’ dress code is because they understand that if someone is wearing more formal clothes, they will be less likely to fight or be disruptive. When going to an interview,  we want to be perceived in a certain light so we may wear something to represent ourselves to be professional, intelligent and capable of doing a job well.  When dressing up for a date, the strategies for wardrobe choice varies.  If a woman is trying to “hook” a man,  she may dress like a hooker, wearing revealing clothes that take the attention away from her personality and focus on her physicality.  If she is trying to impress him, she may carry an expensive purse or wear expensive shoes. But a smart woman will present herself to be received with some mystery and respect.  She will wear clothes appropriate for the date activity and will provoke her date to see her as a person not a sexual object.  Getting dressed for church isn’t rocket science but you should think about it enough to present yourself in a way that is at least respectful to yourself. Pull pants up on waistlines with belts if needed,  have skirts that at least reach your knees while standing and refrain from showing the cleavage or midriffs areas as well.  Dressing this way can enhance your visit because you can enjoy yourself without tugging on short skirts, or constantly fixing revealing blouses and you can praise God with confidence there will be no wardrobe malfunctions. 
  4. Take notes. When the speaker gives scriptures,  write it down.  You can listen and write down other poignant or profound points too.  Later when you go home to reflect on The Word,  you won’t have to rely on your memory.  Even if the church provides a program with the scriptures on it,  you will remember it better when you write it down. Taking notes also helps you focus on receiving the message better. Listen out for things that speak to a situation you are dealing with and make notes to revisit it later to read it for yourself. When reading it later,  God may reveal a deeper meaning that ministers to you. (Proverbs 8:33)
  5. Do not focus on the people. Your Expectancy should be from God. Enter into the house of the Lord expecting to be encouraged in your spirit. Church is supposed to be a place where people are loving and polite. They are supposed to smile and even offer hugs. The operative word is supposed to. Just in case they are not friendly or do not warmly welcome you, does not mean The Holy Spirit will not reveal anything to you in this place. It may be the devil attempting to distract and defeat you so you won’t be paying attention when God’s word is spoken. Church people have issues, bad days and can be distracted. Don’t take everything personally. Focus on praising God for what he has done in your life and being thankful to God for the blessings you do have. Be thankful that you didn’t suffer all the consequences you should have as you disobey him and His Word. (Psalm 62:5)

Transitioning Stripper Support Group

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The struggle of living without capitalizing on the knowledge and ability of a legal, easy way to earn an excellent income is hard for many women to turn away from this component of being an exotic dancer. No matter how much drama, how much relationships suffer or how terrible achy my body was from performing table dances for 30 songs straight which equal out to about 2 hours of high-impact aerobics.

I wanted to talk to someone about the issues of the club in a safe place with no judgement. I struggled with the isolation the adult entertainment world had wedged between all the people I loved. I was money hungry. But I never felt like that was a bad thing. I thought it meant there was a work ethic that was naturally thrusting me to go after the thing that would absolutely sustain and allow me to be the best person I can. I can give and provide for the people I loved the most. Why could wanting to be able to provide for my family be a bad thing?

Nobody talks about the bad side of the glamour lifestyle. Sometimes we get caught up on what everyone else thinks (all in the name of being a hustler with a “fie mouf piece”) to appeal to everyone… After all it is your job to appeal to as many as possible in the strip club environment but not outside.

Maybe you are in a place where you can separate the strip club life and your authentic life. As a stripper, it is healthy to understand how to keep your personal life safe from the strip club lifestyle. Maybe you want to talk about how to deal with customers who pressure and proposition you every week.

If you are interested in participating in the Transitioning Stripper Support group. Email me at scripturesforstrippers@gmail.com.

Peace and Blessings
Sayuri Smith

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Back to the drawing board… 

An unpublished entry from August 6, 2014

It is no secret that I’ve been on a long journey to transitioning out of a lifestyle which afforded me all I needed and wanted. But the anxiety of stepping out and doing something new can not be described. How could taking off all your clothes, dance in 6 inch heels….on a stage be easier than starting another “normal” job? I have yet to understand for myself. That hasn’t stopped me from attempting to reach out and try new things with the same attitude I brought inside the club when I first started.

“I’m here to work!”

I went before God after struggling with issues that prevented me from even imagining a change. The devil attacked my closest relationships, my mind and my spirit. I was so depressed I couldn’t muster a smile for anything. Striving toward my willingness to change was a struggle that has paid off. Some things weren’t moving fast enough. After spending hours on-line looking and applying for jobs, I have landed a few jobs since retiring.

I have been a pre-school Sign language teacher, a marketing executive for a local denial management firm and a sign language instructor for young girls. During this time I have been working on the official release of Scriptures for Strippers and…..

I have a confession. I have started back dancing again…. but I won’t say where…yet. Hey, I’m in fundraising mode! My biggest new project is to fund a foundation to help women transition out of the strip club. I am experiencing life as a woman attempting to support her son without dancing. And it absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I had made a deadline for my lifestyle change to come pin of the blue and hit my life. If it didn’t, I made peace with the fact that I would have to dance again. The deadline came but no job. I had done some gigs but not the steady work I needed to support myself and my kid.

My independence was lost and I was humbled by God and reality. I couldn’t control anything because I had absolute no money. But God always provided. We had somewhere to lay our heads, cover our bodies and fill our bellies. Then he paid my bills, put gas in my car and kept me and my son healthy. But I was still depressed because I was tired of depending on God in a passive way. I had become frustrated my being broke and feeling stunted. I cried some nights…and days. I wanted to die because I was just so scared of not being able to do something other than dancing. Worrying about the future is the worst thing to do when depressed.

God has provided miracles for me that have shown me who and what should be my priorities. Not just money. Don’t pray for money. Pray that God meet the need, then keep your eyes and heart open for his blessings. See, God’s blessings are both big and small. He blessed us with breath in our bodies. Many people don’t even think about breathing; they just do it. Recently, God blessed me with a car. A free car. Now, that was a big blessing most would consider to be a miracle. I do and I thank God for that and plan to use the rest of my life living as that giving spirit.

To cheerfully give when the one who helps is in need is one of the most generous of acts. I have met many people who have been a blessing to me but they were also waiting for blessings for themselves. I thank God for all my blessings. He has opened doors (and no man can shut them) He has pardoned debt, He had released me from bondage… And I thank Him.

Transitioning 101: Baby Steps Walking into a New Path

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Although I would love to announce I have everything the way I want and everything I’ve ever done had been a huge success, I can’t. I have tried to do many different professions but have yet to land where I have a sure financial footing. As an adult entertainer attempting to secure financially sufficient employment and merge more into the mainstream society, I must admit how very hard it is adjusting to the slow pace of bureaucracy and procedures. Going back to school, on the job training and other obstacles discourage women who are attempting to transition out of the strip club without depending on a man (or woman) to provide necessities for her. Any girl looking to change her lifestyle must slow down and focus on baby taking steps.

Most dancers I know move fast. They talk fast and make quick decisions (be it right or wrong). It mostly comes from working in a fast-paced environment. The money comes fast, spends fast and can be looked forward to coming again. For these reasons, I believe it is so hard for some women to transition from making fast (strip club) money to slow (payroll) money.

The first thing a transitioning girl must do is BUDGET. Learning how to prioritize spending is an essential discipline to practice a new life style is the most important because needs are covered before wants. This can be a painful reality for girls who are used to spending the money they plan to make again later that night. If you’re not dancing in the clubs, chances are you are making money doing something else. Not much else pays as fast, legally, anyway.

While venturing into a new path, it is important to understand the concept of baby steps. Babies are born not being able to do much of anything for themselves. Then a little time goes by and they learn to sit up alone. This gives them a chance to observe and evaluate their environment. More time goes by and the baby learns to crawl . The baby can be a explorer, use more senses by touching and traveling to and fro. Babies get into lots of danger during this time but are safe to explore as long as a loving, caring parent is around to ensure the baby doesn’t hurt herself while venturing out into the world.

When babies learn to walk, she uses everything she has learned through observation, experience to do something different than what she had been. It is natural to want to push to be more. Most babies never become complacent with crawling and never try to walk. Pulling up and standing up are the first feat to tackle. Taking steps forward takes concentration, balance and coordination. All things a baby must master before getting to that point.

As we transition into more formal methods of employment from adult entertainment, it is important to remember that you persevered once before in life. Aspiring to be more than a stripper is good but requires diligence, discipline and dedication. Taking baby steps requires lost of falling. Imagine yourself as a baby. How many times do you think you fell before you mastered walking?

Remember this the next time you fall. Keep getting back up and staying on the path God has carved out for you.

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The Fear of God vs. the Fear of Man

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“And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so they will not depart from me.” Jeremiah 32:40

When a man use a fear to dominate and control, those feelings often come with physical, emotional or spiritual pain. He may use hurtful words, actions or his back hand. When you experience the fear of God, you are being chastened with the results of following a way that was not of Him. You may end up suffering consequences as a result of not adhering to His plan. But God promises to bring good to those who turn to Him… Regardless of the circumstances.

When one fears The Lord, peace and wisdom are present. Resting in The Lord allows rest to come in. When you fear The Lord, you will be blessed, when you fear man you will be cursed.

Why Scriptures for Strippers? Have We Gained Worldly Beauty and Lost our Souls?

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Exotic dancers invest tremendous amounts of time to ensure the height of their possible physical beauty is achieved.The health and beauty industry creates products to fit every budget. High-end lash extensions, for example, can cost $125-$300 but there are $15-$25 lashes and strips that cost $1-$5.

Weaves and other false hair ranging from the thousands of dollars down to $50 allow a woman to budget in physical enhancements in order for her to be considered worthy of anything. Cosmetic surgery cost thousands of dollars and if you start to consider playing up each outfit with colorful eyelids, make-up could cost about the same amount. Women of all ages are using the waist trainers to tuck in tummies and padded bras to boost up “the girls.” Each of these items cost money and can keep a woman enslaved to better and better results. Some women get to the point where they forget what they ever looked like in the beginning.

She may shatter, delete or even burn any evidence that a make up free, weave- less version of themselves ever existed in the first place. Which makes me wonder what these women would look like in the spirit? I wonder if she invests time in keeping her spirit beautiful. She may say, “My spirit is naturally beautiful ,” or “Why do I need to invest time in order for me to have is beautiful spirit?” Which would make me then ask why they need all the time tweaking lipgloss and powdering their faces every 30 minutes to ensure their physical beauty?

Scriptures for Strippers is a guide to the Holy Bible for exotic dancers but will also inform women in general on how to pursue their dreams and prevail against any dark forces by teaching about how to properly fight spiritual warfare, how to exercise self-control and most important of all, the importance of nurturing and authentic relationship with God.

This devotional also assist with keeping a ledger, lists, thoughts, prayers or notes about everything from relationships to “Hater Incident Reports”. Let’s see how differently we can affect world by incorporating a regimen to keep our spirits as good as we keep our physical appearance. physical beauty. So again the question is what type of spiritual regimen do you maintain to keep a beautiful spirit? Other than going to church or listening to gospel music, many women don’t have any other regular way to nurture the beauty of their spirit.

Scriptures for Strippers can help because by providing a devotional to women who know how to nurture their physical beauty to its height it will help that same woman with a means to beautifying inside to match what’s outside.

Get your copy of Scriptures for Strippers today! Www.ScripturesForStrippers.com

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Your Heavenly Father Cares for You

Whether you have a relationship with your earthly father or not, your Heavenly Father loves and cares for you. Sometimes as exotic dancers, we may want to hear an encouraging word from a man we can trust. The Creator can be just what we need. Ask God to Father you, lead, guide and protect you tonight before work or whenever!