Gene Ort's Blog


The Vineyard CD is released on iTunes!

by on Aug.11, 2012, under Music, Rachel, Spiritual

People who know me well know that I have been writing music since I was very young. I took classical piano lessons at 6 years old and later on drum lessons and toyed with the guitar a little. I was in band and orchestra in school. I played in rock and roll bands and contemporary Christian music bands and then 20 some years on church worship teams. A big part of my musical life has been in the field of production music. In my twenties.. God blessed me with a little home studio and soon I was writing music for little video projects.. that blossomed into my little music company called GMP MUSIC ( Gene Michael Productions ). Gene Michael is what my mom called me when I was in trouble. I heard it a lot.

For as long as I can remember, I could write music every time I sat down with an instrument. That is until my daughter Rachel died. Words that catch in my throat and send a wave of grief through my body every time I say them or write them down.

For two years after Rachel died, I could not write music. What ever that thing is that lets you create something that was never there before was gone. God used that time to create something completely new in me. If you have read any of my earlier blog ramblings, you know what I am talking about.

Then one fall evening, Mary and I were preparing to watch a movie entitled ” Under The Tuscan Sun ” when she was called away to help her sister, leaving me to watch it by myself..  By the end of the movie I was completely aware of the the notion ” I can do that again ” I can write.. I felt completely inspired..

The music on this CD was written like a score to a movie God put in my head. I saw scenes of  vineyards and beautiful valleys and a young women who was recovering from an un-named tragedy.  She was broken hearted and lost. The music seemed to follow a course of her personal healing and restoration. My personal healing from my own loss no doubt being reflected along the way.

The movie I watched that evening also became a part of the inspiration to get me started… I have always loved movie scores.. The music is written specifically to assist in telling the story. As you can guess, this music is no different. It was helping me express my own story.

When Jesus told his disciples ” I am the vine, you are the branches, you can do nothing without Me ” it resonated in the deepest place possible within me. I spent many hours wandering around Tabor Hill vineyards with my camera, letting God speak to my heart and speak healing into me. So for me, the metaphor continued into this music. I do believe art can capture and release emotion. I am hoping some people will “capture” a little of that healing and restoration through this music.

If you are inclined toward this sort of thing.. here is the link on iTunes. I hope it blesses you.

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Beauty Will Rise

by on Nov.03, 2009, under Rachel, Spiritual

IMG_9718 Sunset

Steven Curtis Chapman’s new CD “Beauty Will Rise” just became available yesterday. I have been waiting for this for along time. Somehow I knew that God would give him the songs that would speak to my heart in a way few others could. I am only part way through it and I already have been blessed beyond words. It is so comforting to hear someone who has so closely experienced what I am living. I am so thankful that Steven submitted to God to reveal this much of his heart, the pain and the hope.

This kind of grieving forces you to view all of life in a different way. For me, it caused me to look up. I have a loving Father who knows me infinitely better than I know myself. His plans for me are good. His perspective is eternally good. His arms are not weak nor His arms too short to save me. He is good. I have seen Him.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

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Heaven in the Face of My Little Girl

by on Sep.26, 2009, under Rachel, Spiritual


Rachel Maggie Michelle Ort Leazenby

A couple weeks ago I tuned in the local christian radio station just in time to hear the announcer guy say.. here is a new song from Steven Curtis Chapman.  Before I heard the first chord, the first word, I knew what the song would be about. “Heaven in the Face of my little girl”. My heart hangs on these words. Like everyone I know, I was so heart broken for Steven and his family when the news of his daughter’s death was announced. My Rachel and I had talked about it. We loved Steven’s music and had gone to a couple of his concerts together and often listened to his tunes in the car together. The irony of the “cinderella” song was not lost on us. “The clock strikes midnight, and she is gone”.

Not long after, my little girl would be gone…

Several months ago I started looking around for articles and stories Steven might have written to get a glimpse of how God might be speaking to Steven and his family through the tragedy. I found nothing. That makes a lot of sense to me, I can barely say my Rachel’s name without crying still.

Those close to me know that I have undergone a complete heart reconstruction that began the night Rachel died. The changes are a daily reality for me. When I became aware of what God was doing, I thought, “Father is now really the time to make me face all these ugly realities about myself ? My daughter is dead… not now”.

One of the things I learned was God will and does use everything that happens on this planet to it’s fullest potential. Even the death of my daughter.

The Gift.

Before I had even left the accident scene, I knew that God had a purpose for Rachel “going home” when she did. When I say I knew, I am speaking about a knowing that came from somewhere other than myself. I had a choice, God was either in control of this planet and life in ways I did not understand or it’s all a terrible lie, cruelty and tragedy are all that is left.

I chose God. ( or He chose me )

From that heart breaking moment on, I have witnessed and experienced a number of personal miracles. These moments when I am completely sure God is letting me see Him in unusual ways. Mostly its been people. Unexpected people. People I don’t know. I now operate on a sort of “high alert”. Where is He going to show up next ?

There is a constant in all of this. It is His wonder & beauty that I now see. I am finding much of what I have experienced difficult to describe but God seems different to me now. There is this tenderness, almost childlike innocence and Holiness that I never experienced before. The mere thought of disappointing Him breaks my heart again.

Everything that God does is purposed to draw us closer to Himself. To pull us out of the burning building that we now experience as life on earth. There is little if anything that distracts Him from this goal. Once we’re out, He allows us to join Him in pulling our brothers and sisters out. This is also a gift. He wants to lavish on us a heaping pile of  treasures we have stored up in heaven for when we get there.

I believe Rachel’s treasure chest in heaven was full to overflowing, running over. My Father in heaven knows why now was the right time to take her home. I trust Him with that. He was not surprised when she arrived. There was a celebration and a “well done my child”.

2 Corinthians 4:14-18  –   5:1-7

14 And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. 15 Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!16 So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.17 These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us.18 There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

1 For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade2 —and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies!5 The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.6 That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead.7 It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going.

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Rachel’s Home Going Celebration Video

by on Aug.24, 2009, under Rachel

Thank you Jeff Petersen again for the beautiful video you produced for Rachel’s home going celebration.  It has been 9 months today since she went home and last Friday she turned 28 years old. To say we miss her is a gross understatement. To know she is with God, whom she loved intensely  brings great comfort. We rest in His comfort and grace till we see her again.

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Through Rachel’s Eyes

by on May.22, 2009, under Rachel

Rachel's Eyes Captured Wonder

It seems only fitting to me that the very first picture on my new blog is one of Rachel’s. She loved nature. She was crazy about Hawks. On the way to church the other evening we saw a hawk that Rachel used to see as well.  She was sure ( as I am ) that Hawk sightings were a gift of God. Now, I long for a Rachel sighting, that would be a gift of God !

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