In Defense of the Damsel in Distress by Parker J Cole for the Grace and Faith 4 U Blog

Some time ago, I was at a friend’s house and she wore a shirt that said something to the effect of, “I’m not the damsel in distress, I’m the dragon.” I thought it was cute at the time but something about it bothered me but I wasn’t quite sure what. I gnawed on it over the course of a few months when it came to me. 

What’s so terrible about being a damsel in distress? 

The image of the damsel in distress is usually shows a princess being rescued by a knight from the dragon. Over time, this imagery has been frowned upon due to society’s ever-changing whims. Women don’t need rescuing. They can rescue themselves. Men aren’t knights in shining armor. They’re sadistic rulers who have fed women to the dripping jaws of a horrible beast. 

I got to thinking about this for a while – driving in my car, walking down the hall at work, sitting at home writing, or just staring blankly at the wall. I’ve come to some conclusions. 

It should be noted that the damsel in distress is a recurring theme in many cultures. Various forms of it exists as we can read in diverse folklore and mythologies. Perhaps its not a medieval princess but the daughter of a chieftain, a priestess of power, an orphaned girl, a neglected child of a marriage, etc. The damsel exists in the mythologies and folklore because…she is a reflection of a real element of life.  

There is a woman in distress. She is trying to make ends meet. She is lonely. She is hurt. She is sick. She is overwhelmed. She is in distress.  

The rescue of the knight symbolizes someone who has heard her cries for help. Like the damsel, the rescuer is in many tales. A king’s son, a warrior, a peasant, a man of good standing, a thief. The rescuer is made aware of her cries. This rescuer again reflects an element of real-life.  

There is a man who wants to rescue a woman from her distress. Whether as husband, friend, or just a concerned person, a man wants to rescue.  

The dragon represents a great evil. An evil which seeks to devour and consume utterly. Most tales have tales of virgins being sacrificed to dragons, something I will come back to in a moment, but this dragon, beast, mythical animal, has an instinctual need to destroy. There is no bargaining chip. There is no compromise. This dragon is a danger to both the damsel, crying out for help, and the knight, who risks his life to rescue her. 

The dragon is real – external and internal dragons exists in many, many forms. It will do all it can to destroy us.  

Too often, particularly now, the focus of this theme has been on the roles of gender. Women, weak and helpless, their virginity (often seen as synonymous with sexual independence) sacrificed to patriarchy. Men, appointed saviors of women, who have placed women as both the victim and the one that needs to be rescued.  

And, let me be clear: many horrific things have been done over the millennia of time to women who have been fully dominated by men and continues in the 21st century. This post does not negate this in any way nor do I make light of it.  

But my point is this, what if this recurring theme has to do with something other than gender?  

In fact, I would submit this: humanity is the damsel in distress. We are in need of rescue. It doesn’t matter if we’re of royal blood, or low status. It doesn’t matter if we’re born to plenty or few. It doesn’t matter if we’re whole of heart or are carrying around our heart in pieces. Whole or broken, sad or happy. 

The Dragon is sin. I know some may say the Dragon is the Devil, nor do I disagree with that.  For the purpose of this post, I’m using the illustration a bit differently.  

See, sin will not allow for equality. Sin does not believe in balance. It does not believe in communion and unity. It does not uphold the precept that all men (humanity) are created equal. It’s all about complete dominance. The Dragon is a threat to the damsel – it wants to consume her. Sin has a ravenous appetite. It is never satisfied.  

The Knight is Jesus Christ. He heard our cries for help. He heard our pleas. He knows we are dire straits. We are about to be eaten by a dragon. He charges to our rescue. 

Interesting that Christ is a knight in this illustration. A knight is usually sent by a King in that King’s place. In shining armor – His glory, perhaps? And yet armored because He put on the trappings of humanity. Our flesh, our limitations, our weakness and yet, His glory shines through. As the knight that comes in the stead of the king, He risked all to save the princess.  

So, to answer my own question at the beginning of this post – there’s nothing wrong with being a damsel in distress. It means several things: 

You are acknowledging you’re in trouble.  

You are acknowledging you’re held captive. 

You are acknowledging you can’t do rescue yourself. 

You are acknowledging there is a threat to your life…your soul. 

You are acknowledging that if things continue the way they are, the Dragon will destroy you. 

You are acknowledging you can’t beat this Dragon on your own. 

The question remains – are you willing to cry out for help so the knight can rescue you? 

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Write Stuff Author Spotlight — Breath for Me by Terri Whitemire

Please join author Terri Whitmire as she tours the blogosphere with Write Now Literary Book Tours and her new release Breathe For Me, November 7-18, 2016.

ISBN-10: 146633858X
ISBN-13: 978-1466338586

Book Title: Breathe for Me

Genre: Christian Romance

Book Release Date: October 1, 2016
About The Author 
Terri Whitmire loves crafting inspirational, romance novels that reflect real life. She enjoys keeping her readers on the edge of their seats with her memorable characters and suspenseful plot. An accomplished author, instructor, and writing consultant, Whitmire earned her writing certification in 1999 from the Institute of Children’s Literature. After writing several children’s stories, she wrote a series of compelling, fictional books that won the hearts of her young adult and mature readers.

In 2012, Terri was recognized as one of the top 50 emerging authors in Georgia. Her story, The Crooked Path, was published in Trillium Literary Journal. As the owner of Fun Creative Writing, Whitmire facilitates innovative after-school and national online enrichment programs for young writers. Terri’s premiere online writing program was launched in 2016, bringing invaluable tools to students across the country. Additionally, she consults fellow aspiring and seasoned authors on the Road to Publication. Terri and her wonderful husband, Will, have three beautiful children and live in Marietta, Georgia.
About The Book

Abandoned by her father and neglected by her mother, will Tara ever find someone to love? What she desires most is what her heart chases away. Breathe for Me, an inspirational novel that shares one young girls path to love.


   

Write Stuff Author Spotlight — Seven Days and Nights by Melinda Michelle — EXCERPT

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When a man loves a woman, he gets married. But what if some chapters from his past are not completely closed? If your past showed up at your honeymoon would it help you or haunt you? Here’s Abraham’s story…

EXCERPT

Chapter 1: Blissfully Unaware (2 years later)

They pulled off the long road and onto the secluded dirt road. Abraham was shocked they hadn’t gotten lost. The unpaved road was unexpectedly smooth. He looked over at his wife, Abigail. She smiled. Her smile was one of the things he loved most about her. She had a classic beauty. Her features were perfectly proportioned on her dark brown face. Her black eyes were haunting and never failed to penetrate him when she looked at him with the love and adoration he knew she had for him.

She was a petite woman, but lacked nothing that he planned to explore more deeply in a short while. Her hair was swept up into a chignon. This woman was the real deal. She’d made him wait. He was surprised he’d stuck around, but when he did she snatched his heart so fast she left his head spinning.

He still couldn’t believe he was a married man. He never thought he’d settle down. He supposed it was time for a change. What she didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her. He wanted to keep his past away from his wife. After all, it was the past. No use in bringing it up now. She said, “Abe, I’m so excited. We are about to start our lives together.”

He grabbed her hand and kissed it. “I don’t deserve you beautiful.”

Abigail smiled. It was something he said often. Her innocence kept her from realizing just how serious he was.

“We deserve each other,” she quipped with her habitual response. He smiled. She stared into his big brown eyes. His heavily lashed eyes were what did it for her. His full lips curved into a smirk. She grinned and kissed him. His deep chocolate brown skin was smooth. She ran her hand over his low cut hair.

She was excited and nervous about tonight. Not only would this be their first time as husband and wife, it would be her first time – ever. She’d met him two years ago at church. They became fast friends and before she knew it, they were dating. She almost passed on him because it seemed like he was only after one thing. But once she’d set her standards he continued to pursue. She watched for fault in his sincerity, but it never came. Now, here they were about to embark on their honeymoon. She was so excited. She looked ahead to see a secluded cabin that was well lit. The sun was just about to tuck away for the evening casting a purplish-orange glow in the backdrop. The view was breathtaking. The log cabin held four rocking chairs on the wide porch.

Abraham pulled up to the front of the cabin and opened his door. He came around and opened the car door for his new wife. When she got out, she slipped her arms around him. She inhaled his seductive scent as well as the crisp scent of the forest.

It was late spring and the weather was perfect. He placed his hand on the side of her face and smiled down at her.

“Loving you changed my life. I’m so glad you said yes,” he told her. She grinned as the tears glistened in her eyes. “Me too!”

He laughed. He released her and grabbed her hand. They strolled to the front door. Abraham reached beneath the rug and pulled the key from where they were told it would be. He opened the door. They walked in and took in the wide room.

The rustic cabin was decorated in plush beige leather and rocking chairs. Directly opposite from the front door was a sliding glass door. There were three windows that spanned the length of the glass doors at the top of the wall.

There were oak end tables with lamps, and a plush brown rug in the middle of the floor. The stone fireplace was breathtaking though he didn’t think they would have the chance to use it. They already knew the kitchen was fully stocked with what they requested.

Abigail pulled him into the bedrooms. There were three. The master bedroom had a king size four-poster-bed. The decorative quilt looked perfect for the rustic cabin. She tried to drag him to the rest of the house, but he grabbed her and pulled her down on the bed. She went and smiled as he wrapped her in his arms. He kissed her neck, her cheek and then her lips. He said, “I love you so much Abigail. I never knew I had it in me to feel what I feel for you.”

“I love you too Abe. I’m the lucky one.”

This time she kissed him. After five minutes had passed, Abigail pulled back.
A little confused, Abraham gave her a hopeful stare.

She laughed. “I know you’ve been waiting a long time baby, but our wedding night is not going down like this! I have something special I want to wear for you.”

“But it’s just gonna come right back off,” he protested. She laughed, but he was dead serious.

“Down boy,” she said and wiggled out of his embrace. “I’m gonna go check out the rest of the cabin. Can you get our bags?” He sat up, brow creased slightly. “I need a minute to calm down.”

She laughed and headed out of the room. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a sudden movement like something ran by him. He also heard a little giggle. He jumped up and turned in circles looking for God only knew what. He stood still and listened, but didn’t hear anything. He rubbed his hand down his face and shook it off. He headed out to get their luggage.

He didn’t see the shadow that scurried behind him.

Write Stuff Author Spotlight — Secret Places by Vivian Kay

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Book Title: Secret Places
Genre: Christian Fiction
Author: Vivian Kay

About the Author

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Vivian Kay is a debut Christian author whose faith stories are woven around the themes of human fallibility, divine encounters and God’s redemptive power. When she is not writing or daydreaming about writing, you’ll find her playing simultaneous games of online scrabble or snuggling up with a good book. A wife and mother, Vivian lives in a quiet corner of Canada’s banana belt.

About the book
cover

After many years of happiness, Moni Badmus’s marriage is falling apart. Unwilling to lose her only child, a self-proclaimed daddy’s girl, to her husband in a custody settlement she goes along with his suggestion of an unconventional marriage intervention. Will Moni’s fear of losing what she holds dear take her to dark places she never imagined she would go?
Sam Badmus has lost his thirst for the things of God. For a while, his extramarital activities seemed to be a cure for his unsatisfying home life. But soon his risky behavior exacts a steep price and Sam has to turn to the God he left behind to save his family and maybe even his life.
Debo Ajala and his wife Adele are living the golden life or so it seems. Debo is a respected church deacon and Adele, a mother to their four adorable sons. Their lives couldn’t be better, that is until Adele’s feelings for another member of their church surface. Adele’s confession unleashes a series of events that Debo never expected. He escapes his troubled life by accepting a pastoral position in a city on the other side of Canada, but soon his twisted past catches up with him.
In this emotionally charged tale of sacrifice, temptation, and redemption, two couples learn sin has consequences and there is no place they can hide from the presence of God.

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Write Stuff Author Spotlight — Tempted to Touch by Nigeria Lockley

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Author is giving away one autographed copy of Tempted to Touch and a $10.00 Amazon gift card.

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Tempted to Touch
Publisher: Inheritance Books (October 27, 2015)
ASIN: B013W6BUIY
Genre: Christian Fiction
Author: Nigeria Lockley

About the book

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Kira Seagram is frustrated by her husband Mason’s zeal for the Lord, so she pours all of her attention into her work and reserves her soprano singing skills for the shower. Kira would rather not use them if she get can’t the adoration and recognition she feels she deserves and doubts she’ll find singing lead for Mason’s choir. When a routine drop off at her son, Nate’s private school turns into a ten-year reunion with her ex-boyfriend, Quincy McAdams, Kira isn’t interested in Mason’s half-hearted affection or willing to keep her voice to herself. With a firm offer from Quincy to help Kira cut a demo and possibly revive the love they let die, Kira has some choices to make. When Kira finds herself tempted to touch will she remain faithful to her husband or yield to the desires of her flesh?

excerpt

When I rounded the corner Meena, my secretary, was standing in front of her desk smiling and waving at me. Her attentiveness and bright smile cut right into my investigation into why my marriage was beginning to fail.

“Hi, Meena. Did you miss me?” I asked, referring to the way she was waiting to greet me like a lap dog.

“Mrs. Seagram, you’re so funny,” she said, swiping her wispy brunette hair out of her eyes. “I’m so excited to see you because I can’t wait to see the look on your face when you go into your office.”

“Ugh.” I groaned, letting my arms droop at my sides. “You didn’t redecorate again, did you?”

“No. While you were at lunch you received a delivery and it’s mighty extravagant. I hope that after I’ve been married for ten years my husband still does things like Mr. Seagram.”

“Thank you, Meena. I’m sure it’s nothing out of the ordinary,” I said as I walked past her desk. I turned the knob and my stomach dropped to my heels. On the other side of the door a tall medley of flowers and fruit curled into a G clef awaited me. A smile spread across my face as I approached this massive fruit salad structure. I fingered the petals of the black orchids and inspected the assortment of fruits—pineapple chunks, mangoes, and strawberries covered in white chocolate. All of my favorite things were neatly assembled on my desk. Mason must have thought there was another dog sniffing around his backyard.

“Excuse me,” I said to Meena who was still standing in the doorway gawking at the flowers as I picked up the phone and dialed Mason’s cell phone number.

He probably thought this massive floral arrangement would get me to join the choir and keep my affections at home. I would have preferred some new shoes. Shoot, for a new pair of Fendi pumps I’d churn out “I Go to the Rock” in a heartbeat and have them saints running up and down the aisle of our church in a minute.

“Praise the Lord!” Mason shouted into the phone when he answered. Why did he have to be all holy all the time?

“Hello, Mason.”

“What’s going on, my love? You usually don’t call me in the middle of the day.”

“You tell me what’s going on, Mason. Do you think that a little gallant gesture and some white chocolate will get me to work on the record with your choir?”

“What are you talking about?”

“You know exactly what I’m talking about. The floral arrangement—”

“Floral arrangement?” he queried, cutting me off.

“If you thought that an oversized wreath would get me to sing with that little gospel choir of yours, you’re wrong.”

“Kira, I did not send you any floral arrangement.”

Half listening to his spiel, I dug my hand into the center of the arrangement and removed the card. Without your voice my music is all blues and no rhythm. ~Q

I read the message again and flashes of heat coursed through my fingers. His vulnerability was sexy. Quincy McAdams had gone from a chemistry major to a music mogul and his life was still missing something. The words on the card spoke louder to me than Mason until he shouted into the receiver,

“Well, where did the flowers come from? I will not ask again.”

About the Author

lockley_author_photo.jpeg

Nigeria Lockley possesses two master’s degrees, one in English secondary education, which she utilizes as an educator with the New York City Department of Education. Her second master’s degree is in creative writing. Nigeria’s debut novel, Born at Dawn received the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Award for First Fiction. Nigeria serves as the Vice President of Bridges Family Services, a not-for-profit organization that assists student parents interested in pursuing a degree in higher education. She is also the deaconess and clerk for her spiritual home, King of Kings and Lord of Lords Church of God. Nigeria is a New York native who resides in Harlem with her husband and two daughters.

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Tonight on the Write Stuff — Clear and Present Danger with Melinda Michelle

The enemy is right in front our faces but we can’t see him. He taunts us from every side, through family and friends, work and life situations but we tend to ignore his presence. We make light of his cunning. We don’t think we have to be concerned about him.

Yet, the Enemy is a definite clear and present danger.

In the battle of spiritual warfare, we need to be conscious of who we are in the battle, what we are, who our commander is, and be aware of the tactics that are used against us every day.

Join me as I chat with Melinda Michelle as we talk about her newest book “Tumultuous Thursday” on this episode of the Write Stuff. Call in at 646-595-2083, press 1 to be live on air. Or, click on the link here: http://tobtr.com/7895065  Or, download the WLUV Radio app. Tune in!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

michelleGwendolyn Melinda Michelle Evans (GMME) was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She was raised in Sanford, Florida and was introduced to reading at a young age. She has been a lover of books since she could put two letters together to form a word. Growing up in a family of readers she was exposed to different genres of writing and developed an eclectic taste in books.

She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a bachelor of science in accounting. She went on to pursue her MBA with a concentration in finance and accounting at American Intercontinental University. She has worked for financial institutions for the nine years only recently stepping out to write full time. She is the owner and founder of Global Multi Media Enterprise (GMME) a free-lance writing, publishing and media company. She currently resides in Tallahassee, Florida.

Through the encouragement of close friends she turned her passion for reading into a passion for writing. She can always be found with a book somewhere within her reach. Being able to combine her faith and her passion to tell a good story is something she counts as a blessing. It is her hope and desire that she can shed a positive image on the church, which she feels is viewed negatively by the world because of the actions of a small percentage of Christians. It is her desire to be able to tell a story that connects with Christians but also connects to people who just like to read. She tries to create a captivating story with powerful testimonies about the power of God.

Melinda Michelle’s other published works include a short story called, You Can Never Leave published in May 2013 available in E-book only. “Surviving Sunday,” her first novel published in July of 2012 and “Color Me Blind: A Divine Love Story” published in May 2013 and “Monday Madness,” published in July of 2013. Her books can be purchased at http://www.melindamichelle21.com and all are available in EBook.

ABOUT THE BOOK

51PWUzwdEOL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Still perplexed with the decisions and aftermath of their last battles, a warrior is thrown headfirst into the evil that lurks in the bowels of the underworld of the State of Florida. He’s deep undercover, and constantly trying to maintain his sanity, as well as his salvation as he’s pulled further into the abyss of moral depravity. He must stay long enough to retrieve vital information, to keep those he loves out of harm’s way. Staying, however, becomes more than he ever bargained for.

Sheridan is caught in a battle of wits with the tormented soul that remains trapped by demonic forces. As she digs deeper, she discovers that what she thought she knew couldn’t have been further from the truth. Every time she learns a new piece of information, she’s hit with opposition to keep her from it. The battle to free this soul is not for the faint of heart. Sheridan must be willing to come face-to-face with evil to deliver the soul assigned to her. Is she ready to travel this road she never even knew existed?

Gabriel shows up to deliver a crucial message for Grey to get her act together, and do what she was assigned to do no matter what’s going on in her life. As she steps onto the battlefield she discovers just why the enemy has been after her. This new found knowledge ignites an indignation in her so fierce, she has no choice but to surrender completely to the warrior she is, even if it means risking her life.

Truths are finally revealed. It’s so unexpected and more complicated than they could ever imagine. Betrayal enters the equation and turns everything upside down. They are confronted with decisions they never saw coming. Can they hold on long enough to finally see Friday?

Write Stuff Author Spotlight — Hell in the Choirstand by Titus Pollard

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Book Title: HELL IN THE CHOIRSTAND

Genre: Christian Fiction; Mystery

Paperback: 298 pages

ISBN-10: 0692214968

ISBN-13: 978-0692214961

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

authorpicTitus Pollard is a critically acclaimed Classical, Jazz & Gospel musician, educator, clinician, playwright, and actor.

He is personally responsible for teaching some of the most renowned artisans of contemporary music. Some of his former students have been in the employ of Dr. Bobby Jones, Maynard Ferguson, the New York Repertory Theatre, Kelly Price, The Clark Sisters, The O’Jays, and the Morehouse Glee Club.

His most recent projects include the novels Hell In The Choirstand and Living Right On Wrong Street. In addition to his writing, his most recent projects include his role as Rev. Cole in the film A Black Woman’s Guide to Getting Married (2008), the Gospel music CD Conversation with a Psalmist (2007), and the musical director of the stage play The Whole House (2008). He is probably best known for his world-renowned video instruction series Learn to Play Gospel Piano (1989 – Present). He has been featured in three editions of Jet magazine and BET television. He is currently the minister of music for Springfield Baptist Church, Raleigh NC.

ABOUT THE BOOK

bookcoverThere’s no battle like a spiritual one! In HELL IN THE CHOIRSTAND, Jeremiah David Day moves to the spiritually desolate city of Olds, Michigan. Jeremiah, an anointed Gospel musician, receives an invitation from Rev. Daniel Trantham, the pastor of Ezekiel Baptist Church, to become their minister of music. Ezekiel’s congregation welcomes Jeremiah as he goes to work establishing the music department as an army of worshippers, but Renard Singleton, the church organist, feels that Jeremiah is unnecessarily disturbing the natural order of things.

Renard resents being overlooked for the music minister position, and enters into a spree of revenge against Jeremiah through botched choir rehearsals and petty squabbles with individual singers. Renard concentrates the majority of his activities, however, in the spiritual realm.

Unbeknownst to Jeremiah, Renard is a member of the Society of Tyrus; a secretive, demonic cult of musicians with chapters (The Pentagrammatory) that span across the country. Renard prepares a series of musical spells and incantations; prescribed from their secret book (Codified Manual of Tyrus) whose origin dates back to the 9th century and believed to be inspired by Heaven’s (excommunicated) original chief musician, Lucifer. Renard’s intention – use music to erect confusion among God’s people through the worship services.

Renard’s father, Adrian, attempts to dissuade his son’s scheme with the admission of a thirty year old family secret, but it’s to no avail. Equipped with the new information, Renard heightens his damnable acts – the planting of arcane devices in Bibles, morbid musical arrangements, and secular compositions that call for the eradication of the people of God. As the story progresses, the Tyrus Society’s annual DOA – a nationwide strategic confusion of church worship – is fast approaching, and Renard wants to be at the forefront of the movement.

But God has sharpened Jeremiah’s weapon.

A battle ensues as the two musicians take up arms; Jeremiah embraces the Lord while Renard clutches the Ras el-Ain. The result is a musical showdown amidst a worship service where human and instrumental voices unite to summon the ear of God and mobilize an angelic host.

The Heavens are telling! HELL IN THE CHOIRSTAND is a revelation of the power that music possesses and how faith in God restores and upholds a people, a city, and the world.

Social Links

Website: http://www.tituspollard.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tituspollard06

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TitusDPollard

Buy Links

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hell-in-the-choirstand-titus-pollard/1121979665?ean=9780692214961

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hell-Choirstand-Titus-Pollard-ebook/dp/B00V7GQD02/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1428756152&sr=1-1

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hell-Choirstand-Titus-Pollard/dp/0692214968/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1428756152&sr=1-1

Tour hosted by Write Now Literary     www.wnlbooktours.com

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