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Visiting where Jesus may have been born: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 8/28/19

Here we go again with another month practically gone.

Happy back-to-school to those of you who are back. This weekend we say bye to August and we celebrate Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 2. Have a …

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Visiting where Jesus may have been born: LaVonne Ackerman


Here we go again with another month practically gone.

Happy back-to-school to those of you who are back. This weekend we say bye to August and we celebrate Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 2. Have a wonderful holiday, and catch you in September!


Happy beep-beep-honk day to Alyssa Bush of Lower Swatara Township on Wednesday, Aug. 28. Hope your 16th birthday is sweet, like you!

Cohen Hunter of Lower Swatara joins the teener club as he turns 13 on Aug. 28. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Happy sparkles-and-glitter day to Keira Weise-Torres of Middletown. She hits cake day No. 15 on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

Nick DeFrancisco of Lower Swatara marks his happy birthday on Thursday, Aug. 29. I hope 30 super things happen to you on your day!

Best wishes for a happy 84th birthday to Don Shroy of Lower Swatara on Aug. 29! If you see him Thursday, give him your happiest smile!

Sending love, hugs and God’s blessings to our son, Daniel Ackerman, of Harrisburg. He turns 27 on Thursday, Aug. 29. I hope your day is full of sunshine!

Jacob Pomraning of Lower Swatara hits his big-deal decade old cake day on Thursday, Aug. 29. Enjoy being 10, Jacob!

Happy birthday to Shelby Schiefer of Middletown on Friday, Aug. 30. Enjoy 39!

Wishing Rachel Perry of Middletown a super Saturday birthday on Aug. 31. Many blessings are sent your way!

Rachel Deyle of Lower Swatara celebrates her quarter-of-a-century birthday on Saturday, Aug. 31. Hope it is sensational!

Double birthday wishes to twins Presley and Lyndsay Carnes of Lower Swatara on Aug. 31. Happy 15th cupcake day on Saturday!

Bob Triplett of Lower Swatara will hear the birthday song on Saturday, Aug. 31. I hope it is a super special day, Bob!

A hip-hip-hooray for Herb Friedrichs of Elizabethtown on Aug. 31! His party day is Saturday. Enjoy it all weekend, Herb!

Many wonderful birthday wishes to Amy Wimmersberger of Lower Swatara on the first day of September! Have a super Sunday holiday celebrating!

Diana DuMond of Lower Swatara celebrates her confetti popping day Monday, Sept. 1. Enjoy your favorite things all week long!

Ol’ pal Lynne Klock of Lower Swatara will add another candle to her cake Sunday, Sept. 1. Have the best birthday yet. God bless you!

Happy landmark 18th cake day to Terrance Jefferson of Middletown on Monday, Sept. 2! What a super day to celebrate you!

Jack Rudick of Lower Swatara celebrates his frosty-filled day on Tuesday, Sept. 3. Hope it is just terrific, Jack!


Happy 37th wedding anniversary to Joe and Jeanette Cepietz of Lower Swatara Township on Wednesday, Aug. 28. Enjoy your hearts-and-flowers day!

Don and Donna Sipe of Lower Swatara mark their 38th wedded bliss holiday on Thursday, Aug. 29. Enjoy your romantic holiday!

Best wishes to Rob and Brenda Rineer of Lower Swatara on Thursday, Aug. 29. Hope your anniversary is especially delightful this year!

Best wishes and congrats to Matt and Kim Deimler of Lower Swatara on Tuesday, Sept. 3. They celebrate 20 years together. The gift is china, and the flower is aster!

Congratulations to Ed and Peggy Lucas of Lower Swatara on 45 years of wedded bliss Tuesday, Sept. 3. Enjoy your special day!

Tom and Carol Harvey of Lower Swatara celebrate their 36th hearts, flowers-and-ice cream day Sept. 3. Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Township meetings

The following Lower Swatara Township meetings will be held in the municipal building located on Spring Garden Drive at 7 p.m., unless noted:

Recreation Board: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Board of Commissioners: Wednesday, Sept. 4 and Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Municipal Authority: Monday, Sept. 23.

Zoning Hearing Board: Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Planning Commission: Thursday, Sept. 26.

Israel Trip, Day 8

Continuing our journey, on Tuesday, June 18, Dr. Jim Ayers took the group to Bethlehem! This name conjures up thoughts of beautiful Christmas songs and images of a tiny savior entering the world.

I had to put aside my preconceived notions. The believed site of Jesus’s birth is down in what feels like a basement, in a place called the grotto, also known as the Church of the Nativity (Luke 2:8-20).

The church is built over the cave in which he was born, and over that exact spot is the 14-pointed star. The 14 points emphasize to the Jewish readers of Matthew that Jesus is the son of David! Many tourists waited in long lines to touch the star and wonder, is this really where Jesus was born and placed in a manger?

We visited an area nearby called the Shepherd’s Caves. A small chapel was built in a cave where we sat and listened to Rev. Jim talk about how the shepherds were in the fields nearby and witnessed the glorious message of a savior, born unto us!

He also brought to mind how the shepherds would wrap perfect (without blemish) lambs to be used as sacrifices for Passover in white linen (swaddled them). This was a special message to the shepherds who were raising Passover lambs, to see a baby born in the same place as the sacrificial lambs, and also swaddled in white linen. This points to Jesus as the long-awaited messiah who would take away the sin of the world.

Next, we had the unique opportunity to visit Bethlehem Bible College in the West Bank. College President the Rev. Dr. Jack Sara gave us very interesting information about the school, students and culture. The emphasis is serving the lord in his land.

Jack is a humble man who clearly loves all people. He said that the media shapes views of people, but we should focus on how God looks at people. Christians love people because God loves people!

We need to be globally minded as we consider tension between groups. It is a complicated global religious and political conflict. I think he could give wonderful insight to our leaders here. Let’s not be so concerned about end times, but we should ask what can we do to promote peace now? He urged us to pray for a breakthrough. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Next week: final touring day in Israel.

Ladies brunch

Women are invited to attend a “Your Image … Under Construction” buffet brunch from 9:30 to 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11 at Hershey Italian Lodge, 128 Hillcrest Road, Hershey.

The feature will be “Building a Colorful Wardrobe,” by Heidi Brubaker from Harrisburg.

Speaker Rosa Maria Faulkner from Wilmington, Delaware, will discuss “Personality Parade — Where Do I Fit In?” She will help attendees identify their personality type and understand other people, and to accept them the way they are.

For reservations, contact Joy at 717-450-5400 or Mary at 717-533-3497 or email by Sept. 6.

This is presented by Hershey Area Women’s Connection, affiliated with Christian Women’s Clubs of America.

Cool Chicken Salad

2 chicken breasts, baked

1 medium chopped apple, peeled

1 hard boiled egg, chopped

Mayonnaise to taste

Sweet pickle relish to taste

Shred chicken,mix well with all ingredients. Chill. Serve on cocktail bread.

Thank you, Dot Reider of Lower Swatara Township, for this delicious recipe.

Immigration 101 meeting

"On Becoming an American Citizen" (Immigration 101), will be presented by Jwana Smith, community relations officer from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, at the Londonderry Lionettes meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Immigration 101 is an educational presentation to learn the basics of immigration, how to get a green card, and what you need to become a U.S. citizen.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Londonderry Elementary School, 260 Schoolhouse Road. For more, call 717-944-6518.

Quote of the Week

“The Lord invites us to know and walk in all that we are in him — conquering, chosen, special, forgiven and loved.” — Patricia Raybon, author.

Question of the Week

What helps you get organized for new changes in your life?

“When I start something new I like to use colorful pens, bins and folders. I like to color code everything!” — Wendy Weiss, Aledo, Texas.

“Making a plan and asking for help when needed.” — Janelle Dukes, Lower Swatara Township.

“Putting it in God’s hands and praying for his guidance.” — LeeAnn Hocker, Lower Paxton Township.

“Make a list and wing it!” — Will Benkovic, 16, Lower Paxton.

“Prayer, prioritizing, making lists (being flexible), accepting new responsibilities, and letting go of old ones, support and being excited about change!” — Stacey Frost, Royalton.

“Prayer, seeking wise counsel and creating a list of implication and mitigating actions.” — Dave Kruse, Cleveland.

Proverb for the Week

When the wicked arise, men hide themselves; but when they perish, the righteous increase (28:28).

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