18th Wedding Anniversary: Music & Dance Wedding Video

Serene and I met in December 1989 on the set of My Country My Singapore at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Four years later, in December 1993, on Christmas eve, I proposed to her and she said ‘yes’. Once we settled on the date of 11 March 1995 for our wedding, we began preparations.

I was a backslidden Christian in those days and had not attended church for about 11 years. Going back to the church I grew up and served in as a teenager, I found that it was scheduled for a major building project in the same period we were to have our wedding. To have my bride walk down the aisle of a school hall was not an option for me at all. And so, we went church hunting.

Interestingly, Serene was bridesmaid to her ballet friend who held the wedding at Wesley Methodist Church. The sanctuary was nice and the “Methodist” label provided some assurance for me. The only hurdle was that it was only open to church members. That problem was easily solved. Quite quickly, we signed up for the Membership Class as well as the mandatory Pre-Marital Counselling Course. Mind you, at that time, Serene was not a Christian but simply played along for the sake of securing a venue.

When we arrived for the very first session, we discovered that it was not just a membership class but a membership and baptism class. The facilitator announced that at the end of the 12 weeks (or was it 13?), there would be baptism. That didn’t go well with Serene at all! I assured her that she was under no obligation to be a Christian, much less be baptised. To her credit, she didn’t back out but continued to attend the sessions with me. Somewhere in the middle of the course, the Holy Spirit convicted her and she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Saviour! At about the same time, the Lord kindled a fresh fire in me and drew me back to Himself! In November 1994, Serene was baptised and we were both confirmed together one week later.

By the Lord’s grace, although we went to church for all the wrong reasons, He turned everything around for His glory. We were married on 11 March 1995 as true believers of Jesus Christ. From that point forward, a deep hunger for God stirred in our hearts. The rest, as they say, is history. So much has taken place in our lives and we continue to experience the Lord’s faithfulness and guidance. Today, we celebrate our 18th Anniversary and my heart brims with love and gratitude for the one whom God has led into my life. 18 years later, Serene is not just my wife but also mother to the seven children God has blessed us with.

Words cannot express how much I love Serene. I am just so thankful and I praise the Lord for my wife! We share so many things in common and yet we acknowledge how different we are in many aspects too. Perhaps, the theme song of our wedding album, Music & Dance, illustrates this best. Although different expressions of art, when put together, music and dance complement each other, bringing both audio and visual experiences to a different dimension! I believe that’s how our relationship has been and our prayer is that God will continue to use us in ways that we will always be a blessing to all around us.

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with Serene and 18 wonderful years! Thank you, Serene, for your love, support and patience all these years! I love you so very much! Blessed 18th Anniversary!!!

Faithful

I wrote this song on 17 Sept 2008 for the musical presentation “I Will Sing Of His Goodness”. These were the words the Lord spoke into my heart as I prepared to step out by faith into fulltime ministry … “Have I not shown you I am faithful?” Reflecting upon these lyrics again, I am truly say, “Yes, my God is faithful!”

Have I not shown you I am faithful
And if you should lose your way
I’ll be there for you
And if you should falter, my hand will hold you
Shadows may turn but you will learn
That I am faithful

He has spoken I have heard
And now it’s left to me
If I’ll take Him at His word
Or trust in things I see
How is it my heart believes
My mind thinks otherwise?
Why the doubt if I’m to walk by faith?

Even when I’m faithless, He is faithful
And if I should lose my way
His love will find me
And if I should stumble, His hand upholds me
Seasons may change, He stays the same
For He is faithful

He has never let me down
Nor left me on my own
Mercies new each day I’ve found
His Faithfulness I’ve known
Yet I trip and I still fall
As if I’m slow to learn
Will His grace be there enough for me?

But my Abba Father, how He knows me
And each time I break His heart
Yet He forgives me
Even when I fail Him, still He believes in me
Though I run wild, I’m still His child
And He is faithful

Seasons may change, He still remains
Shadows may turn, this I have learnt
My God is faithful

On Radio

It’s been a l-o-n-g time since I stepped into a recording studio.  Back in my youth and working days, I really enjoyed those times in the studio – recording, directing, producing, mixing.  It was really fun, at times tiring, often working into the wee hours of the morning, getting the sounds and mix just right.  Sure miss those days.

Testing, testing, 1-2-3.

This week, on Tuesday 11 Oct, I had the opportunity once again to step into a small studio at Oops!Asia, a ministry offshoot of Far East Broadcasting Assocation (FEBA).  At the invitation of Roslyn, I was asked to share a little about marriage and family.  The whole session took about an hour to record sufficient material for four 4-min segments.  They will also be playing “Yes You Are” in support of local Christian songwriters.

From left: Caleb (sound engineer), Alarice and Roslyn (the hosts).

It sure brought back memories as I put on the headsets and experienced the deafening silence of a well-padded studio.  And I still cringe when I hear my own voice through the cans 🙂  But I’m sure Caleb, the sound engineer, will do his best to make me sound great – haha!

You can catch the Heart Tunes broadcast on Monday, 17 Oct, and Wednesday, 19 Oct, at 9 – 10pm on Hope 106.5FM.  Or you can download the programme from their website the day after the broadcast.

Holding On

I didn’t intend to write a song that afternoon.  It was just me with my guitar, strumming and worshipping on my own.  Then, without realising it, I began singing a line, “You see me, in a quiet place, crying out to You.”  Then I went on, “You see me, tears upon my face, crying out to You.”  Before I forgot the tune, I whipped out my phone and recorded these lines.  From that day on, the melody and the words haunted me.  Over the next weeks, in between extremely heavy and demanding family and ministry schedules, this song was written, with Isaiah 40:8 as the key verse, “The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”

Yesterday, on 11 Sept 2011, I had the opportunity to share it with our congregation at Covenant Vision Christian Church.  How apt to share it on a day when the world remembers the tragic bombing of the twin towers in New York 10 years ago.  Truly, especially when we don’t understand why things happen as they do, we can only hold on to Jesus.  Special thanks to the CVCC Worship Team who helped me bring the song to life.

No matter how dire a situation may be, how tough a challenge you are going through, how alone you may be feeling, remember to always hold on to Jesus and His Word, right to the very end.  May you be blessed and encouraged as you listen to this song.

You see me, in a quiet place
Crying out to You
You see me, tears upon my face
Crying out to You
Pain in a heart that is broken
Yet to the words You have spoken

Chorus:
I am holding on, I’ll cling;
I am never letting go
I will worship and I’ll sing;
Deep inside me this I know
The flowers will fade, the world pass away
Your Word, Your truth, Your love remains
I am holding on to You, Jesus
Right to the very end

You see me, when I’m on my own
Crying out to You
You see me, lost and all alone
Crying out to You
Still in my heart, I am certain
You’re always with me, I’m not forsaken

Bridge:
Yesterday, today, forever; Jesus, You’re the same
Send Your Word that brings salvation; Healing in Your Name

Yes You Are: InDeep Worship 6

This is the rendition of “Yes You Are” at InDeep Worship 6, held at Cornerstone Community Church on 23 June 2011 with Caleb Garcia as the Worship Leader.  My prayer is that other churches will be blessed by this song and begin to sing it in their services and meetings to the glory of Yeshua!

You are the Way, the Truth, the Life
In You I find my hope
You are the Rock I’m standing on
In You I find my strength
You are the Light that shines the way
The Joy that turns my night to day
You are the One, Yeshua, Yes You are!

Yes You are Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God
Yes You are Prince of Peace, the everlasting Father
Yes You are King of kings, Lord of lords, Awesome God
Yes You are, Yeshua, yes You are!

You are the bright and Morning Star
In You I find my rest
You are the Voice that calms the storm
In You I find my peace
You are the Song that I will sing
The Love that fills me deep within!
You are the One, Yeshua, yes You are!

Yes You Are

In January, I received an email from Rev Barnabas asking me to submit my song to the InDeep Worship Selection Committee.  It came as a pleasant surprise.  He had heard us present the song at “The Glory School” almost a year ago and still remembered it.  So I scrambled to find the nicest recording of the song, one recorded back in 2008 when we did it as my musical presentation … yes, that long ago!

When I returned from church camp last week, I received another pleasant surprise – the song has been selected and will be introduced at the next InDeep Worship on 23 June at Cornerstone Community Church!  Martin Smith (with Delirious) will be the guest speaker.  Wow!  What a privilege and an honour to be one of the six songs that will be played that night.

Here is the recording we did at church service yesterday … to the glory of YESHUA 🙂

The Lord Is My Keeper

This is a song I wrote 4 years ago, on 5 Feb 2007.  The words of Psalm 121 encouraged and assured me.  Yesterday, in response to the post “Praying for Sarah:Letter to Prayer Partners“, a sister commented by quoting the same psalm.  Interestingly,  it was Sarah who sang this song when we shared it at Deborah Hope’s 1st birthday in 2008.

Last night, before we prayed together, Sarah and I read Psalm 121.  And then, I declared the words over her.  The Lord is Sarah’s keeper, her shade at her right hand.  The Lord shall preserve her from all evil.  And as she waits for the help that comes from the Lord, enduring the pain and itch, He will also not allow her foot to be moved.

The Lord is My Keeper

I lift up my eyes to the hills
From where does my help come?
From the Lord
Who made heaven and earth
Heaven and earth

I take my stand on solid ground
My feet will not be moved
For my God
Never slumbers or sleeps
Slumbers or sleeps

Chorus:
The Lord is my Keeper
My Shade at my right hand
By day and by night
I’m kept from all harm
The Lord is my Keeper
My Shield and my Shelter
No evil can hurt me
I’m safe and secure in His arms

Bridge:
The Lord shall preserve
My going out, my coming in
Today and tomorrow
For now and forever

Words & Music by Henson Lim
5 February 2007

More Than These

When I researched and wrote my term paper “The Theology of the Cross”, I realised that Jesus went through more than pain and humiliation when He went to the Cross.

Jesus understood the devastation of one forsaken by the Father, even for a moment.  Not willing that anyone should have to experience that, He endured that.  And if anyone knew what God’s wrath was really like, Jesus did.  That sinners would not need to encounter that, He willingly offered Himself as that perfect sacrifice and substitute.

That blew my mind!  More than all the physical pain and the emotional torment – as if that wasn’t enough – Jesus endured these when He endured the Cross.  This song was the result of the revelation that the Spirit brought into my heart.

Did He pray against the nails
That would hold Him to the cross?
Did He fight against the pain
He would suffer for the lost?
Did He cry out for the lies
They would make against His name?
Did He bleed the drops of sweat
As He thought about the shame?

Chorus:
More than these
The Lamb of God endured
Forsaken by the Father
So that I could be restored
More than these
He saw the wrath of God
Willingly He took my place
And bore the judgment of the Lord

Did He tremble as He prayed
For the cup to be removed?
Did He struggle in His heart
For His given right to choose?
Did He have to walk the way
As the Father’s only Son
Did He question as He said
“Not my will but Yours be done”?

© Words & Music by Henson Lim
31 Dec 2004

The Bridegroom’s Prayer

When I first shared this song with Serene, she said that it sounded as if it was so difficult to love her.  Well, that’s not what this song is about, and this post is a good place to explain … 14 years later!

When a couple first comes together, the love they share is simple.  They are attracted to each other, have feelings for one another, and nothing will stand in the way of their love.  Over time, this kind of love somehow diminishes.  If it does not develop into a more matured love, the couple will try to relive and revive that simple love, only in futility.  One day, they will wake up and wonder what happened to the “love” they once had for each other.  Perhaps, they have fallen out of love?

Relationships that stand the test of time possess and display a matured love.  And this is the result of going through both good and bad times together.  What began as selfish love must develop into selfless love.  What we once thought, that love is only a feeling, we must learn that love involves also an act of will. [Read: Love Is Not A Feeling]

How can we attain to this kind of Love?  By knowing the Love whom God sent into this world – His only begotten Son, Jesus.  This is the Love I want my heart to be saturated with, a Love that changes me from the inside out.  This is the Love with which I want to be able to love my wife: the Love of 1 Cor 13:4-8, the Love of God, which incidentally was also the Scripture Passage we selected for our wedding.

So, this song is not about how difficult it is to love my wife.  Rather, it is about my desire to love Serene with the love of God.  For this to happen, I am asking to be constantly reminded of what true Love is, especially when I don’t feel like helping, or serving, or listening, or understanding, or giving in, or sacrificing, or forgiving!

Am I there yet?  Haha, not by a long shot – Serene will be the first to tell you that 🙂  But I am pleased to be able to say that our love has grown and matured, by the grace of God.  As we draw closer to our Lord Jesus, we learn to also love each other more and more.

Until I reach that final destination, I will continue to pray “The Bridegroom’s Prayer”.

Give me Love
So that I may give the same to her
Teach me Love
So unwanted thoughts it may deter
When the words we use, should serve to confuse
When our power to hear disappears
Give me Love
Send me Love
Like the Love you sent from above

Show me Love
I want her to see the same in me
Make me love
Even when I feel it’s not to be
When I cling to my pride, and claim that I’m right
When I rave unaware that she’s there
Show me Love
Send me Love
Like the Love you sent from above

Love is patient, and Love is kind
Thank you Lord that she’s mine
Love is not envious, boastful or proud
Take control of my moods
For Love is not rude

In the wrong, Love won’t rejoice
But in the truth, I’ll hear Love’s voice
Love will bear and Love believes
Love, it hopes and Love receives
Our Love never ends

Let me love
As she will, I will submit to her
She’s my Love
I will give her all that she deserves
And that’s everything and more; my life, my all
This, my prayer, I’d pray every day
Lord of Love
You’ve given me Love
She’s my Love you’ve sent from above

Words & Music by Henson Lim
Copyright 1994

Two Sides

This is a light-hearted song about the reality of marriage.  We may be a couple but our individual personalities and idiosyncracies are all still there – not to mention bad habits too – haha!  Marriage is about adjustments, sacrifices and mutual submission.  That doesn’t mean we lose our identities, but it does mean being always willing to accept one another.  Differences there will be and that is what adds colour to the relationship.

No matter what, the key is to remember and acknowledge that both husband and wife are on the same side.  This has helped me have the right perspective and attitude in my relationship with Serene.  Whatever the issue – ministry, homeschooling, raising the children, discipline, etc – each of us have rather strong opinions and thoughts.  Knowing that we are on the same side helps us resolve many of these, at the same time embracing a broader view.

Across the years, I am so thankful that God has brought us so much closer to each other.  As we submit ourselves first to God, it has made it easier for us to submit to each other.  Marriages are wrecked today because many have bought into the enemy’s lie that they need to assert their rights and to fight for themselves.  In a godly marriage, we must always remind ourselves that we are both on the same side.  In that unity, there is power and anointing.  Little wonder then that the enemy seeks to break Christian marriages.

I can see a man in love
I know what he is thinking of
Paradise, another world
You can tell he loves his girl
See the lady dressed in white
She is such a charming sight
Pretty smile, so demure
Shining radiant and pure

Life goes on and you will learn
Cos the wheel of love will turn

Chorus:
You have to look at two sides
At the left and the right
Whether front or back you mustn’t forget
There are two sides
You’re looking at the black and the white
The day and the night
The wrong and the right
The dark and the bright
You’re gonna love and fight
But it’s alright
You’re on the same side

Did you know sometimes he snores?
Listen on, I’ll tell you more
At his jokes , you have to laugh
And he eats so bloody fast
Ask her now she will confess
That her room is quite a mess
She would pack it now and then
And again, again, again

He loves the air-con, but she’ll freeze
Have you ever heard her sneeze?

When she’s tired what a grouch
When he’s tired, he’s a slouch
Every word becomes a drawl
You can’t understand at all

You’re preparing to relax
Then you hear him crack his neck!

Words & Music by Henson Lim
Copyright 1994