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My Testimony

Jim and I grew up in the same neighborhood at the New Jersey shore. We were inseparable and enjoyed spending as much time together as we could. Before 9/11, this Jersey Girl was a full-time pharmacist; and that Jersey Boy was a computer software engineer working at the World Trade Center in Manhattan.

I wasn’t a “religious” person back then – that is to say I had zero interest in the Bible or Jesus. I went to church only when it was convenient for me. I believed in God, but my knowledge of Him was very superficial and shortsighted. Still, I understood that God is sovereign and He has the power to make good things happen… or to stop bad things from happening. So each morning when Jim left for work, I prayed for God to keep Jim safe.

On 9.11.01, God’s answer was… no.

In the weeks and months after 9/11, I looked at God through the eyes of anger and contempt. I understood that He didn’t cause it to happen, but I knew He could have stopped it from happening – yet He didn’t. To make a long story short:  through a series of people and events in that first year after 9/11, my anger at God was downgraded to disappointment. Then it changed to curiosity. Eventually I looked at God thru the eyes of acceptance and trust. And now I gaze at Him through the eyes of reverence, love, adoration and gratitude. He sent His Son Jesus to die for me – for all of us – so that those who put their trust in Jesus will have the forgiveness of sins and the promise of spending eternity with Him, where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).

I made that choice to trust Jesus for my salvation on July 17, 2002… and it happened underwater in the Caribbean island of Grand Cayman. Jim and I were advanced level scuba divers, and Cayman was one of our favorite diving spots. After 9/11, a beautiful bronze Memorial plaque was placed underwater on a Cayman coral reef in Jim’s memory. A new dive site was born and the Cayman government named it “Jim Sands Memorial Reef”. My sister Maria and her husband Tom joined me in Cayman as we dedicated the underwater Memorial plaque and the Reef to Jim. It was on that very dive when I realized God’s power…I clearly sensed the Holy Spirit’s presence…and I acknowledged my need for Jesus. The dive was captured on video, thanks to my friends at Red Sail Sports Grand Cayman. Below is that video of Jim Sands Memorial Reef… but it’s also the video of Jennifer Sands coming to faith in Jesus Christ. As you watch it, realize that although I’m saying goodbye to Jim and our life together, I’m ready to start a new life with the Lord.

Enjoy the music from Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith. Listen to the powerful, meaningful words. Praise God for the beauty of the underwater world and His amazing creations. Then join me in thanks to God for bringing blessings from brokenness. What Joseph said to his Israelite brothers, I now say to the 9/11 terrorists: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, in order to bring about this present result, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).

Jim Sands Memorial Reef

Storms Will Test The Structure Of A Building.

God allows tragedies for reasons we will never fully comprehend. Far be it from me to claim to know what God’s purpose is for the “storms” in our life, but I do know this:


Ask anyone who’s been through a hurricane or a tornado. Maybe you’re facing a storm in your life right now: loss of a loved one, financial crisis, relationship issues, a serious health problem.

There’s a lesson to be learned in these storms, whether they’re man-made or nature-made: It is so important for our lives to be built on a foundation that cannot be shaken. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:24-27), Jesus said,

“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.  Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

Storms will test the structure of a building. So is your faith in Jesus built like that of a mobile home? Or is it built like that of a fortress?

Before 9/11, my faith in Jesus was built on sand… actually, more like quicksand. But God used the most horrific event of my life to “set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm” (Psalm 40:2).

Hmmmm.  Maybe I should change my name from Jennifer Sands to Jennifer Rocks ; )

What I Believe

The following is my basic doctrinal statement:

  • I believe in a Triune God who eternally exists and manifests Himself to us in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. (Matt 28:19, John 14:16-20).
  • I believe in the unique virgin birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ; His death and resurrection of His crucified body, His ascension into heaven, His imminent return, and His present ministry of intercession for us (1 Cor 15:1-8).
  • I believe we are all sinners by nature and by choice and are therefore condemned to eternal ruin (Rom 3:23, 6:23).
  • I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins; and all who repent and believe in Him are justified solely by His grace, on the grounds of His shed blood (Eph 2:8-9), and that they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and secured until the Day of redemption.
  • I believe that the Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God, the one rule of doctrine and duty, and our only divinely-inspired and infallible guide (2 Tim 3:16).

A more detailed statement is available upon request.

"I’m the luckiest guy I know.
I married my soulmate. (pause)
Hey, wait a minute – I married an obsessive compulsive Sicilian.
What was I thinking?!"

— Jim Sands

In Memory of Jim Sands

Jennifer has also written the Foreword to a popular Chicken Soup for the Soul book: Devotional Stories for Women

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