Calie Garrett is the Worship Pastor of City Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. A prolific songwriter, her song "Holy, You Are Holy" won the 2013 Christ For The Nations Songwriter's contest and was recorded on their annual CD which is now available on Itunes. I've been so blessed by her worship leadership and her musical creativity as a songwriter. You can hear another of Calie's songs, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" on the sidebar and a song from City Church Worship's upcoming CD in the video following her guest post. Enjoy!
creative (adj.): having the quality or power of creating; resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.; imaginative; originative; productive.
To be creative means to imagine life, breath, and hope where perhaps there is none. But not only to imagine it—to actually bring it to life.
Considering that we were brought to life by the Ultimate Creative Creator, I believe that He has instilled in us a deep desire to create beauty, to dream in color, to imagine far more than we could ever think possible… and then, to give those ideas flesh and bone.
I am a songwriter, and not just a writer of ordinary songs, but one who writes songs of worship to the Maker of heaven and earth.
Tina asked me to share how God inspires my creativity. I would simply say that He IS my creativity. He IS my originality of thought and expression, and His breathed-Word is the basis for the articulation of that expression. Many of my songs come from a place of spontaneous worship, later taken home and refined, and in those spontaneous moments, it is the Holy Spirit who inspires, moves, speaks, and breathes healing life. And when songwriting or refining becomes a laborious effort, one where I’m relying on my strength, talent, or intellect to make the pieces fit together, I step away from the piano and only return when the Lord brings new inspiration to my heart and mind.
So what is it that the Lord uses to inspire creativity in me? Considering that the very word “inspire” is rooted in the idea of inhaling or breathing-in, it is anything that the Lord uses to breathe life and meaning into my mind and heart. Sometimes it’s remembering His faithfulness in a certain season of my life. Sometimes it’s gazing up into an endless starry night. Sometimes it’s a tragedy that moves me to tears. Many times, it’s a scripture that catches my attention. And then, I take those moments of revelation and the feelings that accompany them and use music, melody, and words to help articulate exactly what I believe should be communicated for that specific moment in time.
For me, though, writing songs and leading congregations in worship are not just about the moments of worship or the completion of songs. It’s far more than that. I long to see the nations of this world transformed by the presence of the One, True, Living Lamb of God. I long to see them carrying His presence with them everywhere they go, shining the light of Christ into the darkest places on this earth. So the Lord inspires me not only to create music, to lead people to His presence through worship, but also to be an active participant in His Kingdom coming to earth, right here, right now. He inspires me to do this by things as small as offering a smile to someone passing by, or providing dinner to a homeless friend walking the streets, and things as big as completely reorienting our family’s finances so that we can be more generous in every season.
Do you dream of healing? Of life? Of reconciliation? Of justice? Part of the inspiration of creativity is being willing to do what it takes to bring those dreams to life. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.
Let’s dream, imagine, create, and be part of the process of bringing heaven to earth here. Now. Together.
City Church Worship is gearing up for their next CD. If you would like more information about the recording or how you can be a blessing, you can click the kickstarter link below the video. Enjoy this promo video from members of this talented team!
Worship Team Promo from City Church on Vimeo.
Support their fundraising effort here:
Photos taken by Calie Garrett and Bethany Snyder.