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Some thoughts to ponder on Christmas: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 12/23/19

Happy Christmas, everyone! As you read this and think about this holiday, what does it mean to you? If we take away the food, shopping, wrapping, baking, card giving (the list goes on forever), what …

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Some thoughts to ponder on Christmas: LaVonne Ackerman

Merry Christmas from Singer Island, Florida!
Merry Christmas from Singer Island, Florida!
photo courtesy of lavonne ackerman

Happy Christmas, everyone! As you read this and think about this holiday, what does it mean to you? If we take away the food, shopping, wrapping, baking, card giving (the list goes on forever), what are you left with?

Does this thought have you nodding and wondering, what is it that I’m missing? Maybe you come to realize you aren’t content or comfortable once the dazzle and frill is removed. Have you recognized you want something more?

Many of us have.

We need a Savior, and he has come for you! The only thing we can do is surrender — surrender to Jesus the parts of you that demand your own way. Surrender the things that bring shame and sadness. Surrender your worries and anxieties, your doubts and fears, your selfishness and pride.

Once we can wiggle free from living a life of demanding our rights and latch on to the garment of grace and humility, we can truly have peace.

Come to him with your burdens (Matthew 11:28) and experience pure love, infinite peace and hope that overflows.

In the eyes of your creator, you are dearly loved and precious to him. Have a beautiful and blessed week.


Here’s a joyful happy birthday, happy Christmas shout-out to Kim Kennedy of Lower Swatara Township on Wednesday, Dec. 25. Enjoy!

Happy birthday and a merry day to Carol Woomer of Royalton on Dec. 25. I hope your Wednesday and rest of week are wonderful!

If you see MaryAnn Carpenter out and about Lower Swatara on Friday, Dec. 27, be sure to give her a ho-ho-ho happy birthday jolly greeting!

Happy brand new teener cake day to Carter Bryan of Middletown. I hope your Friday is fabulous on Dec. 27 as you turn 13!

Emma Rose Etter of Elizabethtown turns 7 on Friday, Dec. 27. Wishing you a day of sparkles and glitter and lots of joy!

Hey, Holly Carson of Lower Swatara! May your big-deal 13th birthday be merry and bright on Saturday, Dec. 28

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday birthday to Tarajai Martin of Lower Swatara on Saturday, Dec. 28. He is 20!

Doug Cleckner of Lower Swatara will hear the birthday song on Sunday, Dec. 29. I hope it is fun-filled, Doug!

The bells are ringing for a happy 9th birthday to Rachael Symonies of Lower Swatara on Sunday, Dec. 29. Have a super-duper dazzling day!

The confetti will be flying for Emily Lawyer’s 20th cake day on Monday, Dec. 30. Celebrate!

Happy Sweet 16 honk-honk-beep day to Morgan Clouser of Lower Swatara. Her big day is Monday, Dec. 30, enjoy!

Sending Alayna Thomas happy 20th birthday wishes on Monday, Dec. 30. Hoping your day is sparkly and bright!

Owen Grogan of Lower Swatara celebrates his cake day No. 19 on Tuesday, Dec. 31. Enjoy, and may you have an extra-special week, Owen!

Liz Friedrichs of Elizabethtown marks her beep-honk-beep day on the last day of 2019, Tuesday, Dec. 31. Happy Sweet 16 to you, Liz!


Happy 12th anniversary to Jack and Babette Rudick of Lower Swatara Township on Sunday, Dec. 29. Many blessings to you both! Gift ideas: silk, linen and pearls. Buy her peonies to be over the top!

Best wishes for a wonderful anniversary to Bill and Fawn Mencer of Lower Swatara. Their romantic holiday is Tuesday, Dec. 31. Congrats on 41 years together!

Christmas French Toast

1/2 c. melted butter

1 c. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. light brown syrup

1 1/2 c. milk

1 tsp. cinnamon

5 eggs

8 slices French bread, cut 3/4 inch thick

On medium stove top, melt butter. Add sugar and syrup, stir until dissolved. Pour into 9-by-13-inch pan. Place slices of bread into pan.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add milk and cinnamon, blend together. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until firm and poofy. Enjoy with hot cocoa and candy canes!

Quote of the Week

“Love came down at Christmas, love all lovely, love Devine, love was born at Christmas, star and angels gave the sign.” — Christina Rossetti, Victorian poet.

Question of the Week

What does Christmas mean to you?

“The time to remember that God was born as a human baby. Miraculous!” — Sue Lawruk, Lower Swatara Township.

“Jesus, presents and lights!” — Nina Lawruk, 6, Camp Hill.

“The whole Christmas Spirit and vibes.” — Jordan Lawruk, 12, Camp Hill.

“The love of family!” — Joseph Lawruk, Lower Swatara.

“Celebrating Jesus Christ’s birth. Family time, lights all around, a general feeling of goodwill, and the Nativity and poinsettias in Seven Sorrows.”  Rachel Killeen, Camp Hill.

“Christmas is a gift from God. First, when Jesus came to Earth, and now, the opportunity to get together with family and friends. Thank you, God!” — Bill Seaton, Hummelstown.

“Jesus Christ came to set us free. Follow him. Serving others is the best way to exemplify why we celebrate this season.” — Jeff Denis, Singer Island, Florida.

Proverb for the Week

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad (12:25).

Reach LaVonne Ackerman at 717-649-7366 or by email at