Collin Raye – Trusting God In Every Circumstance
Collin Raye is a country hit maker with over 24 top ten records to his credit. Always thankful to God for the blessings in his life, Collin shares how he how accepted both the triumphs and the heartaches, including the devastating loss of his 10- year-old granddaughter, trusting God through the good and the bad.
Narrator: Hello, and thank you for listening to the Jesus Calling podcast. Our featured guest today is a part of a series of podcasts that focus on country music and faith—with stars of country music sharing their stories and their connection to Jesus Calling. Collin Raye is a legendary country musician who has learned to trust God in all situations of his life. As part of this celebration of country artists and faith, Jesus Calling will have a booth at 2017’s CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee. If you’re planning on attending, visit us at Fan Fair X in the Music City Center from June 8-11. You’ll be able to meet some of the artists who have been on our podcast, win free Jesus Calling products and more! For more information, check out the Jesus Calling facebook page for details. And now on to our interview with Collin Raye.
Collin Raye – Trusting God In Every Circumstance: Jesus Calling Podcast 44
Collin Raye: I don’t ever remember a time, and I credit my mother for this, more than any great thing she ever passed on to me; she taught me to pray and know Jesus Christ when I was little. So I had that in my heart from a very, very early age and it carried me through my entire life.
Narrator: Welcome to the Jesus Calling podcast. Today we visit with country hitmaker Collin Raye. Collin took the country music world by storm in the 90’s and has accumulated 24 top ten records, 16 #1 hits, and was nominated as “male vocalist of the year” 10 times. Collin recounts how he got his start in music and how early on, faith in God was a thread that wove through his entire life.
Collin: I was born in a very small town in southwest Arkansas called De Queen. When I was very very young, we moved 50 miles south to Texarkana which is a much bigger town right on the Texas Arkansas border and that’s where I grew up. My dad was restless at times, and we would move here and there–once we actually moved out to Oregon for about four years, during my childhood and I loved that–it was real different. Then we moved back home again, but primarily Texarkana was my home. Now it’s a thriving small city. At that time there wasn’t a lot going on. It was pretty quiet. As a teenager it got boring–it’s just one of those places you couldn’t wait to get out of.
We didn’t have much money so I never really thought college was going to be an option, but it was good in the sense that it made me hone in on my music. My brother was a guitar player from the time he was 6 years old. He was just a prodigy and my mom was a singer, so music was just sort of what we did.
So this promoter knew about my Mom and Aunt Becky, they were like a little gospel Judd’s in a way; they would go sing two-part harmony and stuff at all the churches around there. This promoter in that area, was going to bring in the Sun Records Tour, which was headlined by Elvis. Johnny Cash was on it.
My mom says that my grandfather, we called him Big Daddy, all the grandkids called him that, and he goes “Well, you can do it, but just stay away from that Elvis Presley.” Because he was dangerous at that time, you know, everybody didn’t know what to think about him.
So they got to do a series of shows it was like six shows in that area all on flatbed trailers; so they would get to do this. About the third show, Elvis had heard them and came up and he went up to my grandfather one night and said, “Mr. Chandler, I want to tell you have two very very talented young daughters.” He was very, very polite. My mom said from that point on Big Daddy was like all “that Elvis Presley, he’s OK in my book.” So Elvis asked if they wanted to get up and sing during his set; sing “oohs and ahhs” in the background with him. So they did; for three or four shows they got to back up and be on stage with Elvis Presley. She never stopped talking about that the rest of her life.
The Guiding Hand Of God
Mom and Dad were divorced when I was 11 and it was just us two boys; Scott and myself.
So naturally the next thing you do is when Dad’s not around, you start pushing your limits, because we outgrew Mama pretty fast. So you think, “well, she can’t really do anything to us anymore.”
I always felt, even at that time I’ve referred to it as “a hand on the back of my neck,” and it was almost literal. I literally sometimes would feel like something was pulling me back when I was about to go in the wrong house, or go into the wrong party, or everybody’s about to head down onto the grandstand at the football game to get into gang fight or something, because you’d go because everybody else was going.
I’ve felt like that hand’s been on the back of my neck, which I believe was the Holy Spirit, or maybe my guardian angel; would always steer me away.
Once I realized I could sing a little bit and could play bass, I started playing bass and guitar later. “I think I kind of understand how to do this,” I could sing harmony and stuff. It didn’t take me long to figure out “I think I should do this. I’m going to try to make a living doing this.”
In bands and stuff, I learned pretty fast and that’s what made me develop something that I felt like, this is something that people might actually pay me to do.
I’ve felt like that hand’s been on the back of my neck, which I believe was the Holy Spirit, or maybe my guardian angel; would always steer me away.
I went on the road and was doing like 230 dates the first year, and it was nothing because I knew people were going to like me when I got there. You become so hungry to be accepted and liked. It’s perseverance. So, in those days you had to get to a point where you were you were good enough and experienced enough to take a run at maybe trying to get a record deal in Nashville or something. You had to go through a lot, before that ever could even remotely happen. Then for so many it never does anyway, So I was lucky.
Narrator: We’ll come right back to our interview with Collin Raye after this brief message:
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Little Rock – The Power Of Music
Collin: Success in music doesn’t mean you got to be a star and have hit records. At the time, that’s what you think success is. Thank God He allowed me to do that.
Looking back on it, John Michael Montgomery and I were talking a couple of years back, and he was just saying, “I want to really be honest with you. All I ever wanted to do was make my living singing, and I’m still doing it.” So that’s the better way to look at it. But if your identity is in how big a name you are; that’s why you see so many people turn to drugs and drinking or God knows what else.
“Little Rock” was a real milestone for me. That was for my third album, we were looking for songs for the Extremes album. Tom Douglas was the writer of that.
At that time, no one had gotten away with a song that dark on country radio; not dark, it’s hopeful. It’s a song about a recovering addict alcoholic, and I thought, “I don’t know if anyone is going to want to hear that.” I knew we had a wonderful piece of music but the label had to kind of prod me to put that out as a single, because the single just before had been “That’s My Story,” and so, I was on a roll. I had a good list of hits going and I thought, “Is this going to be too much of a departure? I’d love it if you guys were right, but I just don’t know.”
Success in music doesn’t mean you got to be a star and have hit records.
It flew up the chart, and I think because of that, that’s when it really dawned on me. Got it. I got it Lord, because I’m supposed to be the guy that can do these kind of songs and make hits out of them, because nobody else was doing that.
The original impact of that was over 200,000 phone calls; we tagged the video. Back then we made a music video for every record; every single. I portrayed the character in the video, and we tagged the video with the Al-Anon/Alateen hotline number. In the first month that video was out, we had over 200,000 phone calls in response to the video. They would call saying, “I saw that “Little Rock” video and my dad needs help,” or, I need help or my daughter. So that’s when I realized the power. I knew music was powerful, but I didn’t realize it could be that tangibly powerful.
The Haley Bell Blessed Chair
Narrator: Collin went on to record many more hits, and songs that continued to touch people and have a positive influence in our world. Always thankful for the blessings God brought into his life, including 2 granddaughters, Collin shares how he coped with an unexpected heartbreak; the loss of his 10-year old granddaughter Haley. He shares how he had to trust God through that pain.
Collin: When Haley was born, we thought it was a healthy birth, and it was great; no problems. To make a long story short, she had a neurological disorder and no one could ever diagnose it. We never got a diagnosis. Boy, we tried, we took her everywhere, and no one knew what it was. When she got to about six, it really started spiraling down. So, we started having to face the fact; this could be fatal.
Obviously, we wore our knees out praying and everybody we knew was praying; praying for a full-blown, total, healing miracle. I’ve always believed that, there is no doubt in my mind, God can, just by his very will; He can fix anything. There’s no illness, there’s no problem too big for Him; he’s bigger than all of it. But He doesn’t always choose to.
I think as sort of the patriarch of the family; I’ve always fixed things for my kids. If there was a problem, I’m there. I’m going to fix this. Don’t you worry, we’re going to fix this. That was the first time in my life where I got to a point where I realized; I got nothing. This was way over my head. No matter how much money we spent, no matter which hospital, they’d tell us the same thing; she’s in bad shape. In 2010, she was nine, almost 10 years old, she passed away.
Most horrible thing that ever happened to us, you know. You can’t survive something like that. You can’t. I mean, maybe physically but you can’t emotionally or mentally. But our faith was strong. So even in the midst of that, I knew, as did my daughter, we knew that He was in charge of it and He wanted her back.
We wanted to do something to to keep her legacy, her name going and try to make a positive out of the worst thing. My manager, Jen Giroux, came up with the idea of the “Haley Bell Blessed Chair.” I wrote a song called “She’s With Me,” prior to that happening, where I refer to her chair as her “blessed chair” and Jen thought that would be a good name for the charity; The Haley Bell Blessed Chair Foundation, because Haley’s only mobility was in that really expensive, mack-daddy wheelchair. Not the kind you find at the airport, but the kind that are specially designed.
Every state has a pretty lengthy waiting list of people waiting for those chairs. I thought, “well, that’s what we’ll do then; we’ll raise money to supply those chairs for people. So far, we’ve done really, really well; people have been very, very kind.
Narrator: Collin continues to be grateful for those who have given to The Halley Belle Blessed Chair foundation. If you’d like to find out how you can help support and assist families of the physically disabled through much needed resources like wheelchairs and necessary medical equipment, please visit “BlessedChairFoundation.org.”
Be Still And Know That I Am God
Narrator: Now, Collin shares a passage from Jesus Calling that is meaningful to him from January 5th, and closes with thoughts on why this passage hits home for him:
Collin: “Trust me by relinquishing control into my hands. Let go and recognize that I am God.”
I love that scripture where He says, “Be still and know that I’m God,” that’s pretty much all you all you need to know.
“This is my world. I made it and I control it. Yours is a responsive part of love. I search among my children for receptivity to me. Guard well this gift that I have planted in your heart. Nurture it with the light of my presence. When you bring me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before me. Speak to me candidly, pour out your heart, then thank me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern results.”
“If you keep on stating your concerns to me, you will live in a state of tension. When you thank Me for how I am answering your prayers, your mindset becomes much more positive. Thankful prayers keep your focus on my presence and my promises.”
It’s easy to forget that. Very easy to forget that, because I think we make it harder than it has to be.
So, I’ve learned to say less and listen more, and just basically say “Lord thy will be done, and help me not just to say that. but help me to to truly mean it.” That means letting go. Let go of whatever it is I’m worried about.
Narrator: Next time on the Jesus Calling podcast, we visit with Shane Owens, a brand new country artist whose debut release is entitled “Where I’m Coming From.” He had the privilege of working with legendary country music icon Randy Travis on the project and Travis had this to say about his protegee: “Shane Owens brings it all..vocals, writing, performance and passion. He has paid his dues, remained committed to traditional country music and brings you a song with heart and a story.”
Shane Owens: We’re all gifted in different ways. If we were all the same, life would be quite boring. God made us all different. Gave us all different talents. I’m only doing what Shane Owens can do. That’s just the way I was raised; my beliefs. You know, we’re all different, yet we’re all really the same.
Narrator: Hear more great stories about the impact Jesus Calling is having all over the world. Be sure to subscribe to the Jesus Calling Podcast on iTunes. We value your reviews and comments so we can reach even more people with the message of Jesus Calling. And if you have your own story to share, we’d love to hear from you. Visit JesusCalling.com to share your story today.
One thought on “Collin Raye – Trusting God In Every Circumstance”
Thank you my husband and I are in a medical crisis,I needed to hear god is in control. Even if the answers are not what we want,I need to remember to thank him for the answers even though there are no answers as of yet,god is good all the time!!!!
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