Sunday, August 26, 2012

Us Against the World

It’s tough being a Christian. Life is unfair, and many people including other Christians are unkind. Circumstances often don’t make sense, and so many prayers seem to go unanswered. As a believer, I sometimes wonder where God is and I wonder if the storm will ever pass.

These days, we are just trying to survive. Crystal and I are both working just to keep our tiny family boat afloat. I get to work in the middle of the night at the news station and between this and other freelance work, I often find myself working 12 hours a day to make half of what I used to make at the church where I worked as worship pastor. Crystal is up all hours of the night feeding and consoling little Joshua (who is now almost 5 months old!). She then turns around and goes to work the next morning. I wish she didn’t have to work, but she is carrying the benefits for the family, and we have more medical bills and doctor’s visits than we can keep track of. We are trying to save for a house payment as we are quickly running out of room. In general, we feel land locked. Just as Joshua sometimes arches his back in an attempt to get out of his bouncy seat, it feels as if we are likewise squirming to get out of some uncomfortable and binding circumstances that feel as if they will never change for the better. The reality is the best we can do is to pray and wait.

The band has had its ups and downs as well. So many shows have been cancelled. One was cancelled because of a power outage. Another was cancelled because the promoters came down with a nasty virus. A third church show was recently cancelled because they decided to start tearing down the sound system about the time we arrived. Apparently, there had been some miscommunication about our start time. A long time friend looked me in the face and told me they didn’t want us to play anymore. That really hurt. We also recently lost our bass player (due to difficult life situations), but fortunately, God has provided a replacement.

Some days, I feel like I have more enemies than ever. The flip side is that I am that much more thankful for real friends whose lives show they are truly believers. So often, it feels like trying to do something good only brings pain. I guess often good things don’t come without a lot of work and persistence. I often get down at night and Crystal and I talk about all the questions we’ll never be able to answer. I am slowly learning that entertaining the whys and what ifs is a useless exercise.

Joshua is such a bright spot in our lives. I don’t know how many times I look at him and just start crying. I am just so thankful for him. He almost died in the birthing room, but almost five months later, he has more life and personality than we could ever imagine. He inspires me every day. Now that I am a father, I understand more than ever that this life is not about me. I look at Joshua and Crystal and I realize being the father and husband they need is the best thing I could ever aspire to accomplish.

ColdPlay has a song that states “it’s us against the world.” Sometimes it feels like we are in fact in a war of dark exploding skies and relentless landmines where few people are sincere and few people really care. So often we feel alone, but we believe God our Father is here. Somehow He is working all things together for good, and though we at times feel abandoned, He has never taken His eyes off of us.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:1-8

Kitamu Coffee - 8/25/122

We had a fun time playing at Kitamu Coffee last night in Hilliard, OH. Thanks to owner Mo Muhidin for inviting us. Great job to Heather Evans who played before us. Pictured to the left of me is guitarist Matt Wooten. Read more about Kitamu here.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

New Song & Opening Artist for July 15th!!

I'm excited to say I recently wrote a new song called Joshua, inspired by the little man himself! I will play the song in public for the first time at our show on July 15th at Westerville Christian Church (6:30pm).

In other cool news, Nashville-based (and Columbus, OH native) Richard Jordan (pictured here) will be opening for the band and I!

To hear a clip of Richard's music, click play on the audio player below.

It's going to be a great show! Hope to see you there! Here's the concert info:

Sunday, July 15th at 6:30 pm.
Westerville Christian Church
471 East College Avenue
Westerville, OH 43081
Doors open at 6pm. Tickets are $5. Purchase at the door or order in advance by calling the church office at (614) 891-6842.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Update on Joshua

This Friday, Joshua will be 11 weeks old! It’s hard to believe. He’s been doing great! He’s up to 11 lbs. 12 oz. - he was 7 lbs. 6 oz. when he was born. Several weeks ago, he was spitting up quite a bit and the pediatrician suggested we start mixing rice cereal in with Joshua’s regular feeds. Since doing so, the little guy has been doing much better at keeping his food down. He’s also been sleeping fairly well. The other night, he slept a whopping 7 1/2 hours! However, that was a rarity. Typically, he’ll sleep 3-5 hours at a time.

Crystal goes back to work next week – that will really mix up our schedule. Fortunately, we’ll both be able to take turns watching him, and we also have some family members who are anxious to watch buddy boy when we can’t.

Joshua is making some big steps! (Well, not literally… we’re not ready for that… we haven’t baby-proofed the apartment yet!) He just started smiling last week and it seems that he recognizes our voices. His noises are very cute, and he keeps adding new sounds. One of our favorites is his word “un-gy!” which sounds strikingly similar to “hungry!” He’s really an active baby. He likes to kick his legs and swing his arms… and boy, is he strong! He’ll pinch our fingers until they turn white, and he can stand up for quite a while if we help to balance him!

Despite the lack of sleep, we really enjoy being parents, and are so glad God brought Joshua into our lives. When life gets challenging, we look at those big dark eyes and are reminded of God’s love and goodness.

Next Blog: Behind the Songs: Portrait of Me

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Slippery Slope

This evening, I am saddened. It pains me to see so many churches, pastors and friends who are abandoning the Gospel of the Bible. Christ called us to die to ourselves and to follow Him. Jesus never promised prosperity, comfort or worldly success. Be very suspicious of preachers and teachers who remove sin, hell and the cross from their presentation, and instead focus on self worth. Every one wants to feel good about himself/herself. Self-realization and self-empowerment are popular drugs, and sell better than sin-realization and God-submission. The cross means nothing until we realize that we have wronged God and are unworthy of His love.

Do you know who you are? I know who I am. I am a sinner in need of a Savior.

God's definition of success: losing your life
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." Matthew 16:24-26

God's response to the ladder of success: climb downwards
"...'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.' Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." James 4:6-10

God's response to the idea that we are good people: we are criminals
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

God's response to self-achievement: good deeds without a clean heart are worthless
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean." Matthew 23:25-26

God's response to the ego-centered Gospel: become servants of Christ
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:6-12

God's warning about false prophets: beware of extra-Biblical revelations!
"But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them —bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping... These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for 'people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.' If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning..." 2 Peter 2:1-20

"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ." Colossians 2:8

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Crystal celebrated her first mother's day this past Sunday and Joshua wore a special bib to show his appreciation for mommy!

He's doing great and is doing everything a baby should do! Tomorrow, he will be seven weeks old. Hard to believe! He is quite a little blessing.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Powell Night Out

We had a great time playing for Powell Night Out this past Thursday! The weather was awesome, the crowd was great, and ice cream from Jeni’s topped off the evening! Thanks to Deb at the Market at Serendip for asking us to play! More shows are coming soon. To keep up on the latest shows, go to:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Acoustic Gig at Powell Night Out

Looking forward to our acoustic gig this Thursday night (5/3)! Come out and see us at Powell Night Out at 6:30pm! We'll be playing on the porch of the Market at Serendip (30 West Olentangy Street Powell, OH 43065).

Here's some more info about Powell Night Out - "Experience an evening in downtown Powell. Entertainment for the whole family. Delicious dining options. Undeniably unique shops and gift galleries. Participating shops and restaurants will be offering specials just for POWELL NIGHT OUT! Come and see what Powell has to offer! Shop Local! Shop Powell!

This is a pic from our practice today. Pictured from left to right: Marc Andre (vocals, keys), John Auker (guitar), Matthew Wooten (guitar), Joey Bradley (bass), Jim Davis (drums).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Joshua's Progress

Joshua is drinking 3 ounces of formula now, and last night he slept 4 hours 2 times without waking up! We are finding he really likes to sleep in his car seat! The other day, we gave him his first bath. Today, we're taking him to the pediatrician for the first time. We still don't know if he has galactosemia, and will not know for another month or so (They say it's unlikely, but have to do a another blood test in several weeks to confirm. The last test was potential inaccurate since he had a couple blood transfusions). In the meantime, we keep feeding him soy formula. He is doing great, and mom is starting to feel a little better too!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Friday, April 06, 2012

Joshua's Progress

Thursday, April 5th
We were at Children's about 8 hours visiting Joshua today. He is doing pretty well, but had a rough start to the day. They tried to do an MRI on him this morning, and he cried the whole time, and didn't sleep between 7am and 2pm (we got there around 2 today). He is drinking about 45 ml. of formula now, but is a little behind from where they want him. He was so sleepy after the long morning, he feel asleep every time when we fed him. He also had a physical therapy exam today and passed with flying colors! We watched some "baby care" videos this evening, and have to take a CPR class tomorrow morning. In addition, we have to bring in the car seat, and Joshua has to sit in it for an hour and a 1/2 so they can see if he tolerates it. They are going to try to give him an MRI in the morning, this time with a sedative. Mom and Dad are getting very weary, but are trusting the Lord!

Friday, April 6th
We spent about 10 hours today with Joshua. We were able to get into a CPR class at 11 (the class was full, but some people didn't show up). Joshua then had an MRI at 3. They had to give him some sedatives - the first dose kept him asleep up until the last 10 minutes of the MRI. He then woke up crying and they had to give him 2 more doses of the sedative. It was really hard to watch him go through this procedure. The sedative knocked him out so much, they had to put him on oxygen for a while. It was actually a little scary. He ended up sleeping over 4 hours afterwards. We got the results of the MRI tonight. There was some damage done to his brain, but it may not affect him long term. Time will tell. There is a possibility he may have some trouble with motor skills on his left side, but his body also may compensate for any damage which was done during birth. As you see in the picture below, he did have a hearing test today, and he got an A+! His IV line was taken out yesterday. We still don't know when he'll be discharged - maybe tomorrow, but we can't be completely certain. He is such a fun little guy!

Joshua's First Album

Check out the album cover for Joshua's first album (he had his first hearing test today)!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Joshua's Progress

Sunday, April 1st
Just got home from a long day. Crystal was discharged from St. Ann's around noon. We were able to visit our baby Joshua at Children's Hospital for about 5 hours (this is the first time mommy got to spend some extended time with him). He seems to be doing well. His blood platelets are up from where they were yesterday. At one point, he sneezed. He also opened his eyes and looked at Crystal and me. Crystal changed his diaper for the first time. He was gripping our fingers tightly. Uncle Ryan and Aunt Carrie stopped in for a visit. Thanks for all your prayers! He's our little fighter!

Monday, April 2nd
Today, we were able to visit Joshua at Children's Hospital again. He seems to be doing really well! They began warming him up at 6:30 tonight (his body temperature had been lowered to about 92 degrees with the cooling blanket). This warming process will last for 6 hours. Mom and Dad Gegner stopped in this afternoon. Tomorrow, we get to hold him for the first time!

Tuesday, April 3rd
We spent about 6 hours with little Joshua today at Children's Hospital. He continues to show signs of progress. Late last night, he was taken off the cooling blanket, and today, we got to hold him for the first time. He had his eyes open and was just looking at us as we each held him. Crystal also gave him his first 2 bottles (he likes to eat) and also gave him a bath. He didn't like that! He turned bright red and was yelling at the top of his lungs! However, after we started to hold him again, he calmed down and was sleeping peacefully when we left him tonight. It is so hard to leave him there! We hope he can come home in a week, but we're still not sure when he'll be discharged.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Our Baby Boy is Here!

Our little Joshua is here! Unfortunately, there were some severe complications with the birth, and it is theorized that Crystal had a placental abruption, which means the placenta separated (or began to separate) from the uterus (, cutting off our baby's life source. Joshua was without oxygen for a period of time, and his heart rate decreased significantly. In the end, the doctor had to pull Joshua out with a vacuum, after failed attempts of getting him out with forceps. A seemingly smooth birth suddenly turned into a nightmare with a good 12 or more medical personnel in the room. Joshua was transported to Children's Hospital and is currently in the NICU.

This all sounds like terrible news, but here is the good news. Yesterday, I saw Joshua for the first time since Friday. He is actually doing very well. He is breathing on his own, likes to suck on a pacifier, and cries like any healthy baby. He has a gag reflex and his digestive/waste system seems to be working. His pupils respond normally to light, and he has strong little hands (he was pinching my finger pretty tightly). He is being monitored closely, and they currently have him hooked up to an EEG machine to watch his brain activity (which appears to be normal so far). He will be kept at Children's for at least a week, and will probably have an MRI of the brain within the first week. It was very encouraging to see him. He was very weak and pale on Friday, but yesterday his color looked much better and he was very responsive. For the first 72 hours, he is being kept on a cooling blanket which should hopefully help to slow the processes of his body to help his system recover from the loss of oxygen and overall shock. He also was given a blood transfusion on Friday to help his blood get back to where it needs to be. Both he and Crystal lost a lot of blood during the birth.

Crystal is doing well. She is in moderate pain (thanks to pain meds) after the intense delivery. Her hemoglobin has been low, but is currently stable, and hopefully, her levels should be back to normal in the next several days.

We are being discharged from St. Ann's this morning. Crystal has not seen Joshua at Children's Hospital, but we hope to visit him together shortly.

Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement. We have really felt God's strength through this time, and we are so thankful that He spared our son's precious life. Above are a few photos from Children's Hospital.

Marc & Crystal

Monday, March 26, 2012

Anticipating Fatherhood

Crystal is due in two weeks. It’s surreal to think that we will soon be holding a real live baby in our arms - our first son. Am I nervous? Yeah, a little. Am I excited? Absolutely. Am I prepared? Not sure that there is any way you can completely prepare for parenthood. We know having a baby will change our lives, but it’s just a concept right now. Not long from now, we’ll be taking the plunge into parenthood, and yeah, the water may be cold and shocking at first, but we are trusting God will provide the right floaties at the right time. Maybe He’ll even bring along some great babysitters to help out when we are sleep deprived (ie. our experienced mothers)!

Musically speaking, who knows how the introduction of a child into our lives will fuel my creativity. For now, I know my studio is a little smaller than it used to be (as half the room houses a baby crib). Our boy may inspire some new directions and topics in my songwriting. It’s a new chapter! Fasten your safety belts!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Portrait of Me Music Video

This music video is extra special to me as it features my artist father Phil Gegner. As long as I can remember, I think of my dad drawing – working on a detailed oil painting or calligraphy in his studio, drawing pencil portraits at family gatherings, even sketching pictures of unbeknownst people at restaurants while waiting for our meal. Not only is this song dedicated to my earthy father, it also addresses God as the Great Artist – the author of life and creativity. The video was shot in my dad’s art studio, and at Liberty Presbyterian Church in Delaware, OH. Ben Bays shot, edited and directed the video. (

Featured in the video are also string actors Winni Li (violin), Brian King (viola) Sabrina Chon (violin), Brian King (viola) and Matt Hawley (cello). Matt Hawley and I grew up together, went to the same school K-12, and were neighbors during middle school and high school.

The actual players on the recording are David Davidson (violin), David Angell (violin), Monisa Angell (viola), John Catchings (cello) and Marc Andre (piano). Bobby Shin engineered the string session and Todd Robbins mixed the song (and album). Robert Nugent arranged the strings.

To see the music video for Shadows & Sunlight, click here.

If you haven’t heard the new album Snapshots of the Shattered Soul, take a listen on iTunes.

Phil Gegner Artwork
To see some of my dad’s artwork (besides those works displayed in the video), click here. He has worked in oil, watercolor and pencil, and specializes in portraits (people, pets, even houses) and calligraphy.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Shadows & Sunlight Music Video

After much anticipation, the music video for Shadows & Sunlight is here! Thanks to director Ben Bays for his amazing work! Also, thanks to Shawn Likely who assisted Ben in shooting the footage. I’d also like to send a thank you out to actor Ian McCue, as well as the band – Jim Davis (drums), Joey Bradley (bass), Mitch McKelvey (guitar left) and AJ Maynard (guitar right). Finally, thanks to my father-in-law who loaned us a kerosene heater to keep the room warm!

(The players on the actual recording are Miles McPherson (drums), Joeie Canaday (bass), Matt Meyer (rhythm guitar), Mike Payne (lead guitar), Marc Andre (keys))

Ben Bays and I met back in 2005. We began by working on a kid’s show together at a production house in Columbus, OH (he produced the video, and I produced the audio and music). Since then, I’ve written the music for two of his short films, The Truck Driver and The Horseman. To hear some music from The Horseman, click here.

Future collaborations are in the works.

Click here to watch the music video for Portrait of Me. This video features my artist father.

To see more of Ben’s work, visit

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Reading the Musical Compass

Recently, I’ve been trying to write some new songs. It will probably be a little while before I release another album – however, it feels good to experiment with some new music. I thought I’d try to get some writing in before the baby comes in April.

I try to take a slightly different approach with every project I create. Sometimes, I find direction by considering what worked and what didn’t work on the last album. Snapshots of the Shattered Soul has only been out for several months, but I’m already trying to analyze its strongest and weakest points. It’s been interesting to see what songs on the album are the most popular. On Backstage Pass, Hurricane definitely took the cake. A number of people also liked Pull Through, A Thousand Gods and By Now, but Hurricane was the common denominator. Snapshots of the Shattered Soul, on the other hand, seems to have a little something for everyone. My “rock” friends like Surfacing, Shadows & Sunlight and Missing. My “acoustic folksy” friends like More Than Broken and Wherever Love Would Go. My “CCM” friends like Worshipping You and Portrait of Me. Other people like Keeping Time and Canyon’s Edge. I have one friend who likes A World Without and Today. Another friend likes Bed of Strangers. At this point, it’s hard to tell what worked because it seems like the album has worked as a whole.

I have had a couple friends tell me I should zero in on making a rock record, something that builds on the mood and energy of Surfacing and Shadows & Sunlight. What do you think?