March 22, 2023

The Creative Call - Book Review, by Lorrie Orr


For more than a quarter of a century, Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way has been a classic for people seeking to give voice to their creative bent. It's a useful and life-changing book, but misses one important aspect - the acknowledgement of a personal and creative God who empowers his people with his Spirit. 

Julia Elsheimer, in The Creative Call, names the God of the universe and acknowledges him directly as the source of creativity, particularly for a Christian artist. Each chapter is anchored with Scripture verses, and readers are encouraged to memorize the verses, something Elsheimer calls "word play." 

In the chapter "Listening" Elsheimer writes "This perception that art is an expression of something moving through us rather than from us is not limited to Christian artists, but Christians are likely to identify the feeling as the Holy Spirit manifesting himself through them. As you write in your daybook, pray that God will reveal himself to you through the words you write." Listening to the Spirit's call and trusting him in living out this call is the focus of the book. 

Throughout the book there are exercises related to Listening, Awakening, Forgiving, Breathing In, Breathing Out, and other chapter titles. I went through the book several years ago, and after pulling it off the bookshelf, I think I'll go through the exercises again. 

Elsheimer writes "If we have been given artistic gifts, the shape of our lives need to include the use of those gifts. God's gifts are not accident: 'Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows' (James 1:17)." 

The book ends with a collection of prayers from saints throughout the ages. I find them poignant and powerful as I thought about how people throughout time have the same longings and desires to connect with God. I have several written out and placed in my Bible for easy reference. Here is a portion of one written by Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536). 

Holy Spirit...
I beseech thee, maintain thy gifts in me,
and increase the things daily,
which thou hast vouchsafed to bestow upon me,
that by thy governance the lusts of the flesh may die
      more and more in me
and the desire of heavenly life more quicken and increase.
Let me so pass through the misty desert of this world 
by thy light going before me...

Lorrie Orr writes from Vancouver Island where she enjoys boating and hiking with her husband. Gardening, sewing, reading, and spending time with her five grandchildren fill her days with happiness and contentment. There is also the writing that always occupies a corner of her brain.


  1. Thank you, dear Lorrie, for this review of what sounds like an intriguing book.
    The following prayer you quoted articulates well the desire I have for my morning journal time: "...pray that God will reveal himself to you through the words you write."
    Indeed, this is the desire inspirational writers have regarding anything they share with others. We want to know Christ deeper and inspire others to know Him deeper too.

  2. Love this review, Lorrie. Thanks so much for sharing a glimpse of the book with us and letting us know its impact on your own creative life. Also love this line: "...pray that God will reveal himself to you through the words you write."

  3. Thanks, Lorrie. This sounds like a volume that I would love to read. Thanks for sharing how it has impacted your life today and enough that you would ‘go through the exercises again’ for tomorrow. Grateful for your review.

  4. Sounds very interesting. (and I love Julia Cameron's book.)

  5. Thanks for sharing this wonderful book, Lorrie. I, too, appreciated the Spiritual direction the author gives us. Over the years I've learned so much from the book and still refer back to it from time to time.


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