For those of you who remember, it was almost two years ago that the first ‘Younger Perspective’ was published. What a treat for me to start off by interviewing the youngest of the Collingsworths, Miss Olivia. Why not take a moment out of your Christmas shopping to enjoy a behind the scenes look at another Collingsworth kid – Phillip, the 20 year old newlywed who is loving life with his wife, Sharlenae, as they travel across the world with the whole Collingsworth clan. Phillip, it’s all yours…
Erin: While growing up in a musical home, at what point did you personally feel the call to ministry?
Phillip: When I was almost 18, I heard my grandfather preach a sermon on knowing God’s will in your life. Through the message, God gave me a vision of what my future could be like if I followed His will. The ‘vision’ then adapted into the Holy Spirit saying as clear as a bell, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing.’ Until I have an encounter like this again that tells me to do something else, this is where I’ll be. It’s great to know you’re in God’s will!
Erin: What are some Collingsworth Christmas traditions you’re looking forward to this season?
Phillip: The first one that always comes to mind is the tradition of caroling at one of our local hospitals in Cincinnati on Christmas Eve. And now that I’m married and am the only one of my siblings that will be hanging onto the Collingsworth name, Sharlenae and I are excited to start some of our own as the years pass.
Erin: Each night, what song touches you the most every time you step up to sing?
Phillip: ‘Healing In His Hands’ or ‘The Love of God.’ These both contain very strong, touching lyrics that not only speak to the audience, but myself as well.
Erin: (The must ask question especially this time of year!) What is your favorite holiday dish?
Phillip: At Christmastime, keep the cookies away from me, they will be gone.
Erin: Along with your family’s strong influence, who have been some of your biggest musical inspirations?
Phillip: David Phelps, Newsong and Larnelle Harris have been big inspirations to me in the Christian field. In the secular field, Michael Bublé, the late Michael Johns, IL Volo, Yanni, and many others. Needless to say, my iPhone is chock full of music.
Erin: What is the oddest thing a fan has ever said to you?
Phillip: Someone once said they were praying for me because of my facial hair.
Erin: From your perspective, describe the experience of filming Majestic?
Phillip: I appear about three times, as opposed to usually being on for 100% of the concert. Instead of constantly being on stage, it was enjoyable to watch the program from a relaxing perspective for a change.
Erin: How would you describe the joy of singing beside your wife, surrounded by your family, night after night?
Phillip: There’s only one way I can describe it, and that is, I am a blessed man; to have a wife who supports what I am called to do, and is able to do it with me. It’s also a blessing to have done this for so long with my parents and siblings.
Erin: In the midst of the hustle and bustle on every corner, what does Christmas mean to you?
Phillip: To me, Christmas is one of the greatest times of the year. It’s a chance to come together with family and friends to celebrate our Savior’s birth. It is a wonderful time to show the love of Christ to someone else, just like the love God showed by sending His only Son.
While you’re in the midst of busily wrapping presents, take every opportunity you can to remember why we celebrate this season, and why we gather together at this time of year-to worship the Prince of Peace. His gift didn’t stop at the manger; He gave His life so that we could live forever. Why should our joy cease after December 25th? Let’s keep that celebratory spirit all year round! And just as holiday music will be heard coming from Phillip and Shar’s new home this year, may the joyous songs of the season ring out in your house as well. Merry Christmas from your Younger Perspective writer! Until the new year…
And that’s my take on it.
By Erin Stevens
First published December 2014
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