Author Archives: terrymasango

Pregnancy Cravings and the Spirit-Filled Life

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It was midnight, as I parked in front of the Safeway Grocery store. I was here to purchase a box or two of pancake mix. I’m grateful, the local store was open into the wee hours of the night. Why was I here?

The story begins when a couple of months earlier, my friend had introduced us to the pancakes at IHOP. Having recently arrived in the United States, my pregnant wife and I had never tasted the delicious stacks of IHOP pancake goodness. As soon as my wife tasted the syrup drenched pancakes, she was hooked. We became regulars at IHOP. As her pregnancy progressed, so did her desire for pancakes. However, our meager financial resources could not sustain this new habit. So, we resorted to purchasing pancaking mix and making our own pancakes at home.

Late into the night, one day, my almost 9 months pregnant wife asked for pancakes. I went into the kitchen, only to realize the pancake mix box was empty. I told my wife I would buy more pancake mix in the morning. A few moments later, with teeth clenched, she blurted, “I want pancakes, right now!” I could sense the seriousness of the situation. I know better not to mess with a pregnant woman. I complied and drove to the grocery store, a midnight.

Most pregnancies cause unreasonable or rather, uncommon cravings. That which is inside the woman’s body leads the woman to have an insatiable desire for something that she never used to crave. This common phenomenon can have a spiritual significance. Holiness, being spirit-filled, can lead to cravings for prayer, Bible reading, and spiritual experiences. The Holy Spirit, who indwells us, causes us to crave the eternal. We find ourselves hating the old lifestyle and all its vices. Suddenly, the things that used to matter have no meaning anymore. The spiritual exercise and ceremonies we used to despise become more meaningful.

Are you Spirit-filled today? What are you craving? Is it spiritual? Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit. Ask God for a desire for the holy, the sacred, and the eternal. Even during the darkest times of your life, you can seek the things which satisfy your spiritual hunger and thirst.

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Quotes by Me

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  • Until we understand the depth and seriousness of sin, we can never appreciate the generosity of God’s grace.
  • Worship is not just about the perfect articulation of descriptive Biblical phrases and theological terminology. Worship is the sincere expression of our adoration of God from a sincere, broken, contrite, and humble heart.
  • Church: image maintenance and outward appearance OR brokenness, a contrite heart, honesty and vulnerability. Which do you choose?
  • Learning is an act of humility. The heart of the arrogant, know-it-all has no room for learning.
  • Some people are eagerly awaiting your demise, keep them waiting!
  • Speak against every derogatory, condescending, ignorant or racist word said in your earshot. Shut them up so they know you don’t condone they ignorant prejudice.
  • What good is wealth when it’s not shared? Bless others with your wealth, and watch God multiply it. Don’t be stingy with God’s wealth.
  • Leverage your success to encourage, uplift, and open doors for the underprivileged.
  • Stay focused. Low and slow intentionality beats high sprint every time.
  • I am driven. I want to be successful at whatever I do. I do not tire or shy away from aiming for the highest in my faith, love, work, education, life. Aim high.
  • Growing up in #Zimbabwe, I learned the value of hard work, the importance of a good education, and the joys of a big, happy family. These are values which have shaped who I am.
  • What matters to me? Love for God; family, ministry/work, and everything else.

The Passing of a Legend

Early Wednesday morning, I received the news my uncle had been Promoted to Glory! My heart is aching. I cannot begin to describe the impact my uncle had on my life. He is the man who took me in when I needed a father and a mentor. He is the man who led our Salvation Army Highfield Temple Band, where I found solace, refuge and comfort during my dark, painful teenage years. His influence, wise advice, and encouragement have shaped who I am as a man, father and Christian leader. He will forever be in my heart. Though he is no longer with us, his legend will live forever! These words come to mind as I reflect on his life: Compassionate, empathetic, loving, caring, reliable, dependable, trustworthy, ethical, man of integrity.


Rest in Peace our bandmaster, mentor, leader, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, friend. Till we meet again. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” – 2 Timothy 4:7-8


Please pray for me, my family, and all those who are hurting today. Many people are experiencing difficulties and untold heartbreaks. It’s incumbent upon us all as Christians to lift each other up, encourage and support each other. I need you, you need me, we all need each other. Send an encouraging note, phone call, letter, email, Social Media message/post to someone today. You will make their day.

Fresh Water is Life

Read: “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.” Proverbs 19:17


Many people in western cultures will find it challenging to fully grasp what it is like to be without such a basic need as clean water or understand the painful repercussions of having only dirty water to drink. Unfortunately, this experience has been all too real for me.

“You grandma is no more.” Those are painful words to hear. Grandma was a loving, caring, sweet, wise woman. Grandma loved to spoil her grandchildren. She made it her goal to dispense her wisdom to her grandchildren and she wanted to leave a legacy to us. I will forever cherish her wisdom.

A few days before grandma’s demise, mom had warned grandma to never drink the water from the tap but to only drink the purified water that was in the refrigerator. Grandma must have forgotten to heed this advice. One day, overcome by thirst, grandma had filled a glass of cold water from the tap. Moments later, grandma’s tummy started to hurt.  Over the following days, grandma got sicker and sicker. She lost all appetite and developed a terrible fever. Grandma had contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. One glass of clear looking tap water had led to her untimely death.

In developing countries, many people suffer and die from preventable waterborne diseases in areas where there is no immediate access to fresh, purified water. As Christians, we must act to save the lives of our brothers and sisters in the developing world. Yes, we can do something. What can we do? Following my grandma’s death, my wife and I have raised funds to build freshwater wells in Zimbabwe, our home country. I miss my grandma, but I am proud that my wife and I have built a well in my grandma’s village, providing dozens of families with access to clean water. You too can do something. You can support The Salvation Army’s work providing clean water to communities by freely giving to World Services through self-denial. A human being armed with love and compassion can accomplish much.

You may not think that you can change lives, but you can. As you consider the blessings you have freely received from God, choose to freely give and meet essential needs.

Apply: Many around the world lack access to essential needs like clean water, food, clothing, and safe shelter. This week, challenge yourself to a “no spend” week and instead give generously to Self-Denial.  

Pray: Dear Lord, give us a compassionate heart for missions. Thank you for the many blessings we have. May we hold loosely to the things that we own and be generous with all that we have. Amen.


Consider Others at Christmas

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I have written this blog as the acronym of the word C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S. This Christmas, let’s remember to do the following:

Cheer, compliment others. Everyone is fighting a battle. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – I Thessalonians 5:11

Help. Random acts of kindness. Do dishes, buy coffee, carry stuff for people. “Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” – Philippians 2:3-4

Rise to the challenge. Don’t cower away or give up. Don’t give up. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

Invite someone to church, to your sit with you, eat with you. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew 28:19

Serve others. Serve at home, corps, Social Services. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10

Tell others about Jesus. No one can argue against your testimony. Your story matters. “Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.” – Psalm 66:6

Minister to others. Be present. Listen. Be available. Visit the hospital, nursing homes. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10

Ask God in prayer. Appeal for God’s grace and mercy on behalf of others. There is power in prayer. “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.” – Colossians 1:9

Support the ministry financially. Support the ministry through giving of your time, talents, and treasures. “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-7


Silent Night

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One of my most favorite Christmas carols is a song which was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, in 2011. This Christmas carol is “Silent Night.” According to tradition, this popular Christmas carol was composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. Below are the lyrics, please be blessed as you sing along to these poignant, powerful words:

Silent Night – Song by Celtic Woman

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
‘Round yon virgin Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from heaven afar;
Heavenly hosts sing Al-le-lu-ia!
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born!

Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, oh, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth

Songwriters: Traditional

Silent Night lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Spirit Music Group

Check out Mariah Carey’s rendition of this beautiful song:

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I Am Thankful For…


Happy Thanksgiving North America! It’s that time of the year where we celebrate the holiday known as Thanksgiving.

Over the last month or so the kids have been learning about American history, touching on the origins of the holiday. Retail stores and other businesses have been getting ready for the best sales season they will have all year. Consumers have been preparing to…consume as the name suggests. Others have been preparing to either travel for Thanksgiving or hosting family and friends at their own home, with a little trepidation added for good measure. In The Salvation Army, we are already knee deep in the Red Kettle season. It’s Thanksgiving!

75412208_10156477000260248_3635788656146382848_o “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever” – 1 Chronicles 16:34

I have been telling people that our Thanksgiving is going to be “low key” this year as we are gathering together with a…

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Music Matters

Colossians 3:16 – “ Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

Music plays an important role in our lives. For Christians, music is central to our faith. Music is vital for worship. Playing music and/or singing together to the Lord enhances the corporate worship experience.

As I think of the power of music, I am reminded of this year’s America’s Got Talent winner – Kodi Lee. What makes Kodi Lee special? He is blind and autistic. Yet, Kodi beat many acts to claim the $1 million-dollar grand price. Kodi is living proof that music transcends disabilities. Music gives a voice to the voiceless, and super abilities to the weak. “We use music to say things we could never say with words” – Andrea Bocelli.


Here are more facts about the power of music:

  • Music is a universal language. Music unites all peoples of the earth. You don’t have to speak the same language to appreciate and to play music together. You just have to have the passion for it.


  • Music helps some people focus better when they study or prepare for a big challenge. My daughter plays music when she studies, whereas, I want dead silence when I study. Most athletes play a certain song to get them into “the zone” before a big game.
  • Music is fun and is for fun. We play music when we are happy. We play music at a party, or any celebration. We play music driving down the freeway with the windows open welcoming the scented, crisp spring air. Music uplifts the spirit and lures the body to move rhythmically.
  • Music is a creativity vehicle. Composers and players express themselves through music. I have watched and listened in amazement as a gifted jazz player channels their creativity through improvisation.
  • Music touches the emotions – calms the nerves, soothes the soul, and heals the pain. The bible records that whenever a bad spirit came upon King Saul, young David would be called to play music on his lyre. David’s smooth playing would soothe King Saul, and the evil spirit would leave (1 Samuel 16:23).
  • Music takes you there. Music takes you back to happier times, to a particular romantic place, with the people you love. Music refreshes the sweet memories of distant past. One of my all-time favorite songs is entitled, “Dance with My Father” by the late Luther Vandross. In it, Luther reminisces on times past when he would dance with his father. He wishes he could have another chance to dance with his father again and he would play a song that would never.
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  • Music sets the tone, establishes the temperature, and creates the appropriate ambiance for any occasion. On a romantic date you would need the appropriate romantic song. I think of my favorite dates with Rutendo where play songs by Norah Jones or Boys II Men.
  • Music leads you closer to God. It elevates our senses. Music ushers us into the very presence of the Divine. When we sing the right song, we close ours eyes and imagine ourselves standing before the Almighty. This song could be a hymn or a worship song that just hits the sweet spiritual spot.
  • Music teaches facts. Many teachers use songs and rhythms to embed truths into the little minds of their students. The students recall information better when music is the foundation. In Developing Countries, where Bibles and theology books are scarce, many Christians memorize songs from their hymnbooks. They use these songs for devotionals as well as for reinforcing theological truths. Music improves retention in the brain.

Music Zim

Next time you play an instrument, sing a song, remember the power of music on your soul and in the souls of those who listen.

T-R-U-S-T in God

Psalm 118:1-9

This Psalm provides invaluable lessons on trusting in God. Here are 5 lessons from this passage: T-R-U-S-T. Trusting people … are thankful, they reach out, they are unafraid, they seek safety, and are triumphant!

THANK. Be Thankful. When you are blessed, do not forget to thank the Lord. Don’t take God’s provisions and blessings for granted. How thankful are you? I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Why?

GOD IS GOOD. Even if life is not working, God is still good. Even if all hell is breaking loose, God is still good.  Whatever the circumstances, God is good.  Our problems change our perception of God’s character. Our problems do not change God’s character.  Psalm 145:9 says, “The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.”  

HIS LOVE IS ENDURING/LONG-LASTING. He loves me even when I do not feel loved.  He loves me, even when I am sinful and bad.  He loves me in spite of me. Psalm 100:5 says, “For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

REACH OUT. Reach out to the Lord always. Call on Him always. Self-dependence gives a false sense of security. Only God will provide the only true security you need.


UNAFRAID. DON’T BE AFRAID. God is with you, always.   Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

SAFETY.  You are safe in His everlasting arms.  Psalm 91:1-2 says, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

TRIUMPH. God gives the victory. You may carry around wounds and scars from battles against sin. Yet, you are still here. You are still here because God has won the victory for you. He has beaten the devil hands down! You belong to the winning army. Praise God! It’s going to be OK.

Psalm 54:4 says, “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.”


Trust Him when your strength is small,

Trust Him when to simply trust Him

Seems the hardest thing of all.

Trust Him, He is ever faithful,

Trust Him, for his will is best,

Trust Him, for the heart of Jesus

Is the only place of rest. – Source Unknown.




Today, we bid farewell to my daughter who is off to college. I do not know how to describe my feelings – a hodgepodge blend of joy and sadness. Joy at the fact my daughter graduated from high school with excellent grades and she acquired a good amount of scholarships to cover all her college tuition! Sadness that she is moving 5 hours away to college. She is daddy’s girl. The thought of her go so far away scares me. Yet, we bring up our children so they can one day leave the nest, right?!

This day of transition in our family has caused me to reflect on my role and journey as a parent. My daughters, Fiela and Tanaka have taught me to be a good parent. Here are a few nuggets I have gathered along regarding parenthood:

  1. Keep your promise.Be reliable. Be a man or woman of your word. Lies and lack of integrity can damage your relationship with your children for a long time. Children can smell phoniness a mile away.
  2. Be There.Participate in the child’s school, church and/or community activities. It means showing up where you need to. Going home to cook and eat dinner with your children.
  3. Believe in your children. The world is full of bullies and naysayers. You need to be your child’s cheerleader. Speak life and hope into your child’s life. If you don’t, who will?
  4. Don’t abuse your children but set parameters. Don’t be the child’s best friend, instead, be the child’s best parent! You do not have to be give in on everything. Build a relationship of trust.
  5. Lead By Example.Whether you know it or not, your children are watching you. Let them see you treat each other well. Let them see you fall in love with Jesus. Don’t just send them to church, go to church together.
  6. Go on Dates.Let the boys know how to treat a woman from you. Let the girls know what a gentleman looks like.
  7. Pray For and With Your Children.Let them see you and hear pray for them. Some people have said, “A family that prays together, stays together.”  (Unknown)
  8. Switch off the TV.Put away the laptop and the phone. Turn off the video games. Go outside and smell the roses. Relationships develop during the personal, one on one times. Don’t miss these opportunities.
  9.  It may seem like a no-brainer but many people think gifts and gadgets are substitutes for love. Love is spelt “T-I-M-E!” The time spent with children is invaluable and priceless.
  10. Don’t just yell orders, stop and listen to them. The feel loved and valued when they are listened to. Keep the communication lines open.

Today, my daughter leaves the nest to start her college journey. I pray and hope we have prepared her for the life challenges ahead. Go with God, my daughter, go with God! “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26

Fiela GCU

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