Friday, September 25, 2015

#throwback - returning to penang

"have fun in penang!"

"how was your penang trip? did you enjoy yourself?"

we got that alot befere and after the trip.. and sometimes, i'm stumped how to answer. it's easy to view an overseas trip as a holiday, but this particular trip bore more weight than that. seeing grandma,who had not seen dad since he fell ill. seeing the family he grew up with. going to places we always went to, together. memories are vivid. we could remember where and when we took which photo.. and painfully, how some photos bore resemblance to past photos that were taken - only different.

the heart is heavy after returning.. with a lot of memories coming back and a lot of longing for the precious times that we have shared. 

this was the particular hymn that He brought to my remembrance, to comfort my heart:

  1. Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
    Too deeply for mirth or song,
    As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
    And the way grows weary and long?
    • Refrain:
      Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
      His heart is touched with my grief;
      When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
      I know my Savior cares.
  2. Does Jesus care when my way is dark
    With a nameless dread and fear?
    As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
    Does He care enough to be near?
  3. Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
    To resist some temptation strong;
    When for my deep grief there is no relief,
    Though my tears flow all the night long?
  4. Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
    To the dearest on earth to me,
    And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
    Is it aught to Him? Does He see?


in the past, when i sing this song and ponder on the last verse, the heaviness of the message and considering its reality is enough to make my heart ache. now, it is a balm. Yes, He cares. 



that said, there were sweet moments too. time with family - always treasured :)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

project en courage at maker's market (national museum, 7 aug)

i'm a pessimist.

when i consider a situation that is to come, i always think of the worst thing that can happen. that is why preparing for project en courage's first bazaar is like a huge mountain to climb - because i build more mountains for myself, before climbing the one i am supposed to :)

there were countless fears and faithless thoughts that crossed my mind. 

i don't have anything to sell.

nobody is going to buy anything. 

all my products are brown. (yes i know right.. on hindsight i realise how ridiculous this is...)

it's raining, it's going to continue raining. 

why would anyone go to a museum on a friday evening? 

there's going to be nobody at the bazaar. 

the list goes on. 

thank God for a husband who has the faith and courage to point out how ridiculous my fears were. he reminded me of why we were doing what we were doing. project en courage is what God deems fit for us to work on at this moment. it is His project. He determines whether it is successful, and He decides whether it is successful. the opinions of man... don't matter. 

as the days ticked by, it became clearer that this was a family project and to my pleasant surprise, e was so much more helpful than expected!



him helping to remove packaging..arrange the postcards.. count envelopes. yes, with him involved, it definitely slows things down, but it doubles the joy in the process :) it also helps that we can teach him skills in the meantime - how to arrange things, how to count, how a 'shop' functions, how to welcome people to our 'shop' ;) 

it was thunderstorming just before the bazaar, and i was muttering to PP that the rain would surely keep people back from coming. herein lies my faithlessness! i'm ashamed to realise it now. 

so here's my list of thanksgiving now.. that i will be reminded that my God is faithful, and He provides for all we need. if one day, he deems it fit that we have receive no business, may we still be grateful for His perfect purpose.

Thank God for...

1. stopping the rain just before the bazaar started

2. those who prayed. 

3.the great turnout!

4. providing us with a bright and ideal booth

5. a cheerful, enthusiastic and fantastic saleswoman who willingly gave of her time, company, words and energy!

6. e who was largely cooperative :)

7. my mum, and K, who provided dinner for all of us

8. eme's parents, sis and bro, who came down, plus its always a highlight to see DDD!

9. a fantastic parking lot

10. sending people who can identify with Project En Courage and like our products :)

11. C & A - for your koi, your curry puffs, but most of all, for coming all the way down!  你的爱我深深感受到啦!<3 <3

12. a whole troop of church friends who come down even when it's waaay past their bedtime, who supported in word and action, who helped to pack up and provided us with great company just when we were getting tired.

words just cannot expressed how thankful we are for all of you. we pray that we will keep doing God's will for God's glory, so our testimony and work will not stumble any of you but be a blessing to you as the Lord uses us :)

and because pictures serve as the best memories... 


our 'uniforms' prepared by PP

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super amazing saleswoman of the year!


Encourage with a Postcard - now with envelopes!

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Knock on the Door Mat / Good News in a Cup

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a verse very close to my heart, engraved on a tissue box, for times when tears flow and you need comfort.. (sold out with restocks planned)

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passport covers/traveller's notebook :)

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our Through the Waters bottle :)

as shared earlier, if there's anything this bazaar and the national day weekend has shown, it is that GOD is FAITHFUL. very happy to be doing His will, very happy that we are in this as a family, and very happy to experience His guiding hand, leading us to today. very tired too! hahaha... but not too tired to be involved in yet another maker's market ;)

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Love of God (1917)

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"This hymn was written in a citrus packing house in Pasadena, California, by a German-born Christian named Frederick M. Lehman. At age four, Frederick and his family had migrated to America, settling down in Iowa....

In 1917, his finances had gone sour, and he found himself working in a packing factory in Pasadena, moving thirty tons of lemons and oranges a day. One morning as he arrived at work, a song was forming in his mind. He had been thinking about the limitlessness of God's love, and during breaks he sat on an empty lemon crate and penned down words with a stubby pencil.

Arriving home that evening, he went to the old upright piano and began putting notes to his words. He finally had a melody and two stanzas, but almost all gospel songs of that era had at least three stanzas. At length, he thought of some lines he had recently heard in a sermon. (Editor's note: in another version, some say he remembered these lines from a poem on a card, received from a friend).

Could we with ink the ocean fill and were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade,

To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry,

Nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky.

--- The above extracted from Then Sings My Soul, Robert J. Morgan


The words from this poem were found to match the melody that Frederick had written! But who is the original author of this third stanza? It was later discovered that the original version of this verse was written long ago in Hebrew, by a Jewish poet Meir Ben Issac Nehoria. The first english translation, however, was found carved on a prison wall by some painters, and one of them was so impressed by the words that he jotted them down, preserving it in the process. So "coincidentally", these words matched the metre of this song that Frederick M. Lehman would write hundreds of years later.

So complicated, and while some historical facts may be unreliable in this case, one thing is clear. This hymn was incomplete without the third stanza, and God completed it through His perfect timing and perfect plan :) It is amazing to see how God cares and exercises His providence, even in hymns... so that many years down the road, countless people are edified through the words of this song.

photo: (Write of God's Love Pencils/Notebook -

Sunday, June 28, 2015

what we do, what we used to do, and why we do what we do

so what is project en courage about? 

while it is founded on the grace (恩) and courage given by God, the main thrust of Project En Courage is, simply, to Encourage

the past year or so has been very very tough, to say the least. but amidst our trials and struggles, God sent many along the way. fellow prayer warriors.. thoughtful gifts... whats-apps.. sincere questions of concern. we have been deeply touched by all whom the Lord has used to encourage us and remind us that we are truly not alone. these people are our inspiration!

over the years beginning from our courtship days, PP and i have somehow stumbled into this little habit of embarking on projects, both big and small, with hopes of thanking these people and giving practical and encouraging gifts in appropriate seasons. it started with simple bookmarks, small quantities...  and soon, as more people are sent into our lives.. it envolved into something alittle more "large-scale"....

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badges to remind our friends of a verse we would like to share with them :)

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canvas bags for children we love :)

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hand-sewn luggage tags  (this was TEDIOUS!)

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 calendar stickers

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postcards to encourage us to write to one another :)

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we cant produce hand-made so efficiently anymore, so we have moved on to practical and meaningful everyday little things that hopefully can point someone to the Lord. they are personally and thoughtfully designed, with the intention that you may be reminded of God's truth and faithfulness  :) may these little products that we come up with bless you, or the person you intend to encourage!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

project en courage

PP and i have been working on something for the past 6 months or so. it's our... little project.. and it has culminated to...... this :)

we are definitely launching this with much fear and trembling, for much is at stake - our testimonies, our time, our strength.. but with God's leading, step by step, here we are, and we covet your prayers and support :) to be honest, this project has already been a blessing to me, to keep me occupied, to make use of what God has blessed us with, and while designing, to fill my mind with godly things that are good and lovely.... especially in a season that has been very tough. daddy himself was in full support, and a few days before he departed, though unable to speak and often very drowsy, muttered the word "shop" to ask about its progress and smiled to see the website...

we spent a long long time playing with permutations and brainstorming for a name that would be straightforward in revealing our objectives and what we are about. we knew it definitely had to reflect God and who He is. at the same time, we wanted people to know our objectives, which is to promote gift-giving and encouraging one another in the faith. it took a long time, and one day, it finally clicked, in more ways than we anticipated! thank God for the inspiration :)

here's the explanation behind the name, Project En Courage :)

Project - we do not really view this as a business, or a profit-making venture, but a little family project and a little ministry. may you be blessed through this project, so you can be a blessing to others as well.

En - 恩 refers to the grace of God, without which we will not be here. It is God's grace that allows us to be saved from our sins, it is God's love that caused him to send His Son to die for us, and it is God's mercies that we are not consumed. The wife's name - 恩玮 meaning God's Great Grace. It is definitely God's Great Grace that we hope to sing of, and to convey in all we do.

Courage - Project En Courage is started in a difficult season, as our dear father battles the last stages of lung cancer. where else can we find courage to face up to future days? who else can we look to, for strength? It is at this very season that we find we need courage even more than before, and praise God, for even though we do not know about tomorrow, we know who holds tomorrow.

so we embark on this journey, with the hope of encouraging others with Project En Courage, for we know in the process, we ourselves will be encouraged :)

Sunday, June 07, 2015

saying goodbye to daddy

some days are ok, but i have been muddling around some days. things seem to be a blur. lethargic, anti-social, lost, sad, and a deep ache of missing my daddy that is quite inexplicable and hard to explain. it's difficult to say goodbye to someone you love so dearly, who has been a big part of your entire life in so many ways, shared so many precious moments and memories. some may ask: how are you? how is your mom? ah, we are keeping ourselves busy. it's quite hard to describe what the grief and sense of loss is like.. not sudden, for it has been there, since the day we found out

i don't really want to talk about it or come to terms with it, but i am forcing myself to type this out so i might find some closure through my reflections and note down the things i do not wish to forget. 

God's timing is perfect. this entire journey has shown me so much, moulded us so much.. individually and as a family. there is only that much that can be said of a man when he passes on. but when a man is used by God, there is so much that can be said of him and how God has worked through him. this is the story of my dad. he has run his race and allowed God to work in his family, his company, his service for the Lord, his friendships and relationships with others, his love for children.. and even in his sickness and his battle with cancer. 

during the weeks leading up to his last day, daddy grew weaker and needed more help in going to the hospital for check-ups. in God's perfect timing, PP began his holidays and we were more flexible in being able to help. there were a few occasions when the doctor seemed at a loss for words when he saw how frail and weak my dad was, and how much weight he had lost. "Do you still want to fight?" he asked. "Yes!" my dad said, punching his fist in the air. this was my daddy, a fighter. he was not the type to sit down, give up, and wait for his last days to come. whatever he could do, he wanted to try. 

in those times i sat or stood with daddy, he would look at me, smile when our eyes met, hold my hand. he probably knew my heart was breaking to see him in that state. that was his way of reassuring and comforting me. 

we just celebrated mother's day before daddy was admitted for the last time. daddy has never been good with words and writing and his swollen fingers make it difficult for him to write or type anything of late. i offered to write down what he wanted to say to mummy in a card that my sister had made. as he talked and i wrote, tears flowed down my cheeks. it was nothing fancifully expressed, but i tasted of the love, gratitude and sadness that he felt towards mummy. later, he asked me, "was my letter well-written?". haha. totally trade-mark of my daddy to egg for a compliment :)

the last check-up he had was the only time he succumbed to sitting on a wheelchair from home, to get to the carpark. when the doctor asked him whether he wanted to be admitted, daddy was reluctant. doctor mentioned that everytime daddy was admitted (for drip and protein), he seemed to perk up for awhile. never did we know that it was not to be so. daddy lapsed into a long sleep and did not wake till one and a half days later. we swayed between plans to bring daddy home or to place him in a hospice to alleviate the stress on my mummy. when dad woke, it became clear that he wanted to go home. arrangements were quickly made.. my sister (the planner) quickly bought the equipment and arranged the necessary logistics. brother-in-law planned the medical necessities and ambulance services, brother and PP stayed over on the many nights to accompany my daddy. in that one week, things were uncertain.. but we knew that things were not good. we sat with daddy, sang hymns to him and communicated with him. he clearly understood what we were saying even though he did not say much. and gradually, he responded less and less. 

the night we brought him home as he desired, we tried to have a family worship like we always do every sunday. that night, we sang

  1. "Saviour, more than life to me,
  2. I am clinging, clinging, close to Thee;
    Let Thy precious blood applied,
    Keep me ever, ever near Thy side.
  3. Refrain:
  4. Every day, every hour,
  5. Let me feel Thy cleansing pow’r;
  6. May Thy tender love to me
  7. Bind me closer, closer, Lord to Thee.
  8. Through this changing world below,
    Lead me gently, gently as I go;
    Trusting Thee, I cannot stray,
    I can never, never lose my way.
  9. Let me love Thee more and more,
    Till this fleeting, fleeting life is o’er;
    Till my soul is lost in love,
    In a brighter, brighter world above."
  10. he left in the wee hours of the morning. somehow, mummy found it difficult to sleep and was woken up despite feeling very tired. she sponged his lips, read psalm 23 to him, one hand holding his, the other on his chest.... . "爸爸。你这样好辛苦啊。放下吧。孩子们都在这里, 你就安心吧。” and dad's heart stopped.

looking back, there is no question that God's plans leading to this day is seamless and perfect in every way.. providing for us in every sense of the word.

it's true that we miss our dearest daddy very very much, but with God in the picture, we accept that He truly worked out everything for good. daddy is not in pain anymore, not suffering anymore.  this grief is a better type of grief than the one we had when we first found out about daddy's illness. knowing he is no more suffering, versus knowing he is going to suffer. whatever it is, im thankful that in these two types of grief, we have hope because Christ has triumphed even over death. 

my dear friends... if you happen to be reading this, it is my prayer that you will know of this hope that goes beyond this life. there aren't many things as painful as witnessing someone you love suffering physically. if you can't quite imagine this pain, than you must know that whatever/whoever enabled us to go through this trial is worth knowing.

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, 
concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, 
even as others which have no hope. 
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, 
even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-14

on a separate note, treasure your loved ones and spend as much quality time as you can with those who matter to you. talk to them, hold their hands, share with them, take pictures, put in effort to celebrate each others' birthdays, and find ways to make one another happy. don't take for granted the time you have with them... 

Saturday, May 30, 2015


It is difficult to sum up the life of a man in a single writing. but we try to, for we want others to know how he lived his life, and pray that it will inspire, encourage and edify you in the process. 

Daddy, or Michael Lim, as many know him, was an affable man with an infectious laughter and a booming voice. “Oh, Michael Lim from Tabernacle Auto?” As his children, we get that a lot. Seldom do his acquaintances note us by name, for my dad’s personality often shone through when he relates to others. 

Hence, when our beloved father was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, the pain and grief was very difficult to bear. How does one accept the news of a loved one suffering? 

Praise the Lord for His goodness in our lives. As a family brought up to know the Lord and His salvation, we despair, but not as one without hope. 

When dad was diagnosed, certain things remained the same, while some things changed. Through this, we hope you can get a glimpse of who my dad is and how he lived his life, whether with cancer, or without. 

His love for his family and his desire for us remained the same
My daddy has always been “over-enthusiastic”. As a husband, he put in no little effort in courting my mother. Amidst the ups and downs in marriage, he loved her, led her, and was not hesitant in displaying his affection to her. As a father, he brought us to know God, teaching us from the Psalms and the Proverbs. He marched my sister and me down the aisle on our wedding day with a huge grin on his face. When Zachary, Ezra and Elliot were born, he took much delight in them and how they responded to him. It was clear he loved the family and we too, love him deeply. 

Shortly after he was diagnosed, our family spent some time together on a staycation and holidays. Much as we were not in the mood, these serve as precious memories for us, which we hold dearly. Our father shared with us that his greatest desire and wish was for us to please God, to love God. Nothing complicated, nothing new. It was what he has been telling us since we were young. 

His dedication to his company remained the same
Tabernacle Auto Services Pte Ltd. My dad started out as an engineer but by God’s leading and provision, he ended up being a “Car-doctor”. Ah, his passion for cars and the way he speaks about them. We have seen his enthusiasm, and his joy when he hears of how his “treatment” has proven effective in making someone’s car more powerful/smooth/cooling. 

More importantly, as the name of the company conveys, my daddy viewed his workshop as a ministry. He did not openly share this to us, but over time, we started to realize that. How can a car workshop be a ministry? His desire was for servants of God, and those serving God full-time, to send their cars there, so he could minister to them. 

When Daddy was diagnosed, work proved to be a good distraction for him. His dedication never faltered, and while he did not say it, Mummy told us he was burdened for his employees and wanted Tabernacle to continue being a blessing. 

His Faith in God remained the same
His faith was steadfast and in fact, evidently strengthened. His outlook, his hopes, his perspective of this disease... all these revealed how he regarded God in light of this suffering. Can one still say that God is good, when he loses all strength and appetite? Or when he has to forsake all that he used to find joy in? Or when he witnesses and feels as though he is the reason why his beloved wife toils and labours in caring for him?

This was my daddy’s declaration from start to end. God is good. 

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same
the LORD's name is to be praised.
Psalm 113: 3

This was the verse shared with my father a few days before he returned home, as he witnessed the sunrise from his bed. He nodded in full agreement when it was shared. The Lord’s name is to be praised. 

His fighting spirit remained the same
Even when my daddy was too weak to walk and at times even struggling to stay awake, he persisted in his visits to the hospital. The nausea and vomiting constantly afflicted him, but he would still try, mouth by mouth, sip by sip, to take down some Prosure or Resource. Vomitting in the morning became an expected routine, before he could continue his breakfast. He soon ran out of options when it came to medications or treatment, but when presented with option of going for a medical trial, he would go for it. He told us many times: I must keep fighting, I must. And He did, right to the end - physically, spiritually, mentally. 

So what changed? 

My flesh and my heart faileth:
but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Psalm 73: 26

It was painful to witness my daddy declining over the one and a half years. He lost a lot of weight, and suffered a lot. To put these in words would be insufficient. It became so real to us that this body, this life on earth, is like a vapour that can vanish, just like that. 

My dad fought a losing battle physically, but in all other ways, he won. He is now resting in heaven, it is now our turn to carry on living this legacy he left behind, all to the glory of God. 

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:
and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
2 Timothy 4: 7-8

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

He Cares for Me (Throwback)

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It takes a special friend to be willing to go the extra mile in comforting and encouraging you when life's storms hit you. this dear sister is one of those special friends.. whose heart really shared the sorrow experienced, and shared her own painful experiences to show that i was not alone. even more so, this special friend pointed me to the Lord, and this song is one of my definite favourites. 

Our God is far greater than words can make known,
Exalted and holy, He reigns on His throne,
In infinite splendour He rules over all;
Yet He feeds the poor sparrows, and He knows when they fall.

His power is great and will ever endure,
His wisdom is peaceable, gentle and pure.
But greater than all these glories I see,
Is the glorious promise that He cares for me.

The earth and the heav'ns are the work of His hands,
And billions of angels ovey His commands.
He guides the great galaxies spinning through space,
Yet He gave us His Son as a gift of His grace.

He rides the wild heavens, He strides through the seas,
The high mountains tremble to hear His decrees.
His voice with great thunderings sounds from above,
But to His children, He whispers His love. 


some after-thoughts: this life is full of heartache, physical ailments and pain. when loved ones fall ill, or circumstances fall out of our control, what can be our anchor and our stay? I thank God for dear friends who love in action and do so meaningfully by pointing me to a God who cares. Yes, I know He cares. His Heart is touched with my grief.. there is no reason henceforth, to despair like there is no hope, or to cry because I am utterly helpless..

thank God for you, dear sister. missing u very much.

Monday, May 11, 2015

my mother, the proverbs 31 woman

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(sung to "The Lily of the Valley", written by Eileen Lin)

The day where most celebrate mother's day has drawn to a close. On fb, instagram, I see many tributes, heartwarming.. for a happy home is a precious gem in a world filled with ups and downs.

"Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all." Prov 31:29

Not for any comparison, really, but the above verse is what I think of my mum. She has now gone beyond the usual duties (think chores, cooking, nagging) of a mum and wife. to put it in a singlish way, she really "up one level".

As dad battles a terminal illness, she has selflessly given up everything she has, and fully dedicated herself to the care of my father. No time to rest, no murmurings, no break downs before us.. just quietly perservering through the toils and emotional, physical, mental and spiritual demands of each day. Her faith in the Lord has shone through in a trying time such as this.

And my dad? He is another amazing story, of which I fail in ability to fully depict, but I do hope to share one day.

So "happy mother's day" cant quite depict the deep gratitude I have, neither can it fully express the great depth of how my mother has lived out the truth in proverbs 31. I thank God for my mother.