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Answering The "Call" Today.

I pulled out my birth certificate the other day. It read like this:

May 11, 1958; St. Mary's Church; Pointe Claire, Quebec:

James Winsom, Son of Edward Vernon Winsom,...was baptized in St.
Mary¹s Church, temporarily situated in Mr. John Rhind's Barn, Town of
Beaconsfield, Province of Quebec, on this eleventh day of May, Anno Domini
one thousand, nine hundred and fifty eight.

Parents: by me,
Lorraine Winsom
E. Vernon Winsom

D.A. Concliffe Priest.

Hey, I was baptized in an Anglican Church (temporarily a barn)! All I could
think about at that time was my next feeding and perhaps when mother was
going to get me out of that girly white wedding dress she had me dolled up
in. "Why is this guy sprinkling water all over my face for anyway? Mom,
let me out of here!"

Any Sunday, 1966:

"If I stay in bed and don¹t make a sound, maybe Mom and Dad will sleep in
like last Sunday." I said to myself. "If they don¹t wake up in ten more
minutes, it'll be too late to make it to church. I'll be free for another Sunday!"

Any Sunday, 1966

"Why am I here kneeling on this pew?" I asked myself. From a distance I could here the priest reading while breaking a round piece of wafer, "And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: do this in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he has supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me."

I knew it was almost time to stretch my legs and go up to the altar. I liked this the best because the priest would always put his hand on my head while I was kneeling and bless me. For some reason, I felt His gentleness and peace reach through the priest¹s hand into me. I've always remembered that feeling.

As time passed, God, Jesus and church lost all meaning to me. My parents divorced and I could see only bad things about Christianity. The Catholics and Protestants were always killing each other in Ireland. The Jews and Muslims were always killing each other in Israel, The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, etc...All these hypocrites follow who anyway? It certainly wasn't God. Religion was dead.

July 1982: My 1st wife and I divorced each other.

November 1984: I married again.

My secular life was going just as planned (so I thought). We had two children, I started a small business, we bought. I thought everything was gone. But things started to change. Janice (my wife) was befriended by the Jehovah's Witnesses. She started studying with them without my knowledge. Our relationship drastically changed. She seemed to isolate herself away from anything that I thought was normal. Now there was no more birthdays, or Christmas. I could feel a huge wall between us. Our two philosophies on life were now opposite. I could even see changes in our children's outlook about flags, birthdays, Christmas etc...Even some of their vocabulary
changed. This change was just too much for me to handle. I started drinking more and more to cover my depression. I had been through one divorce already. Am I going for a second? For the sake of the kids I stayed. But only that 'drink' made it tolerable.

February 1998:

My small business was going down the tubes. My dispatcher defected to another company and tried to take all my customers. How could life get any lower? My wife is a JW, slowly, I'm losing my kids to the Watchtower organization,a and now I'm losing my business. Quickly, I salvaged my customer base, but the damage was done. I could feel myself slipping into a very dark depression. I sold my business. That gave me some time to just do nothing. Everything seemed black. I spent a lot of time alone. My only friend was my case of beer.

One morning, I woke up. The kids had gone to school,and Janice had gone to work. I couldn¹t get out of bed. I just stared up at the ceiling. There weren't even any thoughts going through my head. I just stared and stared into nothingness. Everything seemed to be worthless, including my life. "What¹s the use?" I asked myself. I dragged myself out of bed just far enough to reach for a beer, than another, then another...,deep into my familiar world.

As I scraped the bottom of the barrel, like a raccoon cornered in an alley was by a pack of dogs, I said to myself, "Well James, you don't have anything really more to lose do you? At the very least I should try and find out if there is anything I can do to counter the effects on Janice and Mike and Melanie (our two kids) before I leave them for good" I dug up an article that a friend had given me years back. It was a review on the book called "Blood on the Altar" by David Reed. I ordered the book. This book was filled with information about the Watchtower. It was also filled with
quotes from the Bible. I went to a book store and when no one was looking, I bought 2 versions of the Bible. I went home and started to read some of the quotes from "Blood on the Altar". It was interesting to say the least. I decided to read the gospel of Matthew (my brother's name is Matthew, so I decided to start there). Well, the feeling of His hand reaching out to grab me while I was in "Free Fall" is the best way to describe how I felt. I felt Jesus back in 1966 when I was kneeling to be blessed at communion. Jesus had returned in May of 1998.

Two weeks after I started to read the Bible, a friend told me of a book store called Apologia. She mentioned that the owners were ex-JW's. I had to go there at once. I started studying at their bible study. And in August of 1998 I was saved. Jesus had snatch me from the fire.

My wife is still at JW, but little by little I pray she can see Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life. Living and knowing first hand how JW's see the world has led me to start up a phone line to reach out to them. Greg Morrison(from Apologia) and myself have started up a phone line/website ministry for those JW's or for anyone wanting more information about the Watchtower. Response has been relatively limited so far, but we are revamping the phone line and website. Rome wasn't built in a day! This fall, our goal is to have different weekly messages for any witness to look forward to. If they
want, they will be able to receive free literature or they can even leave their name for us to contact them. We are hoping to expose some of the inconsistencies of the Watchtower doctrines and hopefully lead many lost souls to the real Jesus.

James Winsom (Names Have Been Changed To Protect Privacy)

Reprinted from The Apologia Journal - Fall 1999 - Vol. 1 No. 1 - What's Happening pg. 28