Terry Mai
Water of Life Ministries

Down Like A Dove

In June, 1978 for the first time that I knew, I came in contact with, what I would call, a phenomenal experience with the power of God.  I had been dating Kathy for about six weeks, and her dad, Doyle Davidson, had been grilling me pretty good about my life's intent and about God working through the gospel in our lives.  Finally, the day of decision came, and Doyle asked me if I would like to receive the Holy Ghost.  Well, it had been determined that I had been born again when I was thirteen years old, but I was like the Ephesians in Acts 19.  I had not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost, especially (I might add) I had not heard of the speaking in other tongues, which is the evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost.  By now, even though it may have been after the flesh, I had come to trust what Doyle had been sharing with me, and after minimal instruction about the gift of the Holy Spirit and with slight apprehension, I agreed to receive the Holy Spirit, not really positive of what that meant.  However, I could see in scripture in Acts 2, Acts 10, Acts 19, and Luke 11:9-13 that it is exactly what God intends for all those who follow Him.  Little did I know, however, what was about to happen.  I was sitting on Doyle's couch in his den with others in the room who were there for the weekly Bible study, and Doyle said, "Okay, just relax.  I'm going to pray, and the Holy Spirit is going to fill you to overflowing, and out your belly shall flow rivers of living water! (Jn 7:38)"  Well, I knew he meant other tongues, and I thought, "This will have to be a miracle!"  As Doyle began to pray, I closed my eyes, and almost immediately, it was like a vision, and I was standing outside.  With my eyes shut, I pressed my eyes tighter to see if I was hallucinating, and no, I was not on any drugs.  I was amazed to see the most beautiful blue sky that I had ever seen.  In the middle of the sky was a huge white puffy cloud with the sun shooting its rays in all directions from behind the cloud.  All of a sudden, the puffy white cloud parted, and the bright sunlight nearly blinded me as I squinted my eyes from the sun.  Remember, this was a vision, but at the moment it was as real as anything I had ever experienced.  Soon, I could make out a black dot coming out of the sun, and as it came closer, I could see it was a bird, and then, specifically, as it came closer, I realized it was a white dove.  Suddenly, I thought, "This dove is flying right at me, and it's going to hit me!"  I literally felt myself ducking to avoid being hit by the dove, but thank God, he did not miss!  I absolutely felt the dove land on the top of my head.  When that happened, it was as though someone cracked a raw egg on my head, and warmth literally ran from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.  At that moment, I spoke several words that I recognized as Latin from years of phonetic foreign language study in my musical studies in college, but I really did not know nor consider what I had just spoken.  Later, I realized that I had spoken by the Holy Spirit in Latin, "Father, deliver me and sanctify me by your Holy Spirit!".   I had received the Holy Ghost!


This is not all, however.  Initially, I did not tell anyone about the vision, and for the next two weeks, I was tormented day and night (I now know it was the devil) that I did not get the Holy Ghost, it was just a phenomenon, it was just a religious experience, it was just a hallucination, and with my own skeptical, ignorant, unbelieving heart, it did not help.  Then, I began to grasp the realization of the experience, and I cried out to God to prove to me this experience was true.  By now, I had begun to read the Bible, which I had never done before even though that I had grown up in church.  At the end of that two week period, I read in Matthew 3:16,

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.

It was as though the words were magnified in 3-D and stood up on the page, and I was astonished to realize that I had received the Holy Ghost and God did it for me just like He did Jesus!  In fact, I got so excited that I yelled at the devil, "Don't ever tell me I didn't get the Holy Ghost, because I experienced it just like it says right here in the Bible!".  At that point, my tongue, which had been somewhat bound the previous two weeks because of the unbelief, was loosed, and I began to praise God freely in other tongues, and I have continued to do so for nearly twenty-two years!  Praise God!  I later read of the same account of Jesus' experience in Mark 1:10, Luke 3:21-22, and John 1:32-33.  Obviously, the baptism in the Holy Spirit is important to God to be listed in all four of the books about Jesus' life, and that makes it important in all of our lives too.  I know the Holy Ghost is not a dove, but in this instance, the Holy Spirit came upon me in the bodily shape of a dove just as Luke's account states about Jesus.  No, I'm not special to have been baptized like Jesus received the Holy Ghost, but it was because of my skepticism and unbelief, and besides, God knew that I would testify of the event to all of you so it would encourage you to believe in the power of God unto salvation through the Gospel!  Jesus said in Mark 16 that if we believe the Gospel, one of the signs to those that believe is to speak with new tongues.  So the gift of the Holy Ghost is a must to all who believe the Gospel, and we have the privilege to speak with new tongues because we believe!  God bless you all!

biography written by Kathryn Currier
Mai slide show
Songs Composed
by Terry Mai
sung by Terry:
sung by Sweet 16:
Original songs are written by Terry Mai and © under Water of Life Ministries. They are not for profit or resale, but for ministry purposes only.

Water of Life Ministries PO Box 861327 Plano, TX 75086-1327 terrym@terrymai.com