December 2013 Newsletter

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December Newsletter from The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)
man and woman drinking coffee

Well another birthday has come and gone, and as usual, I was pampered by my family more than I deserved.  Our granddaughter particularly made my day. She gave me a card she had made that said:  “5 things Nana does nice for us all.”  Then, she listed 5 things and added one more that read: “Bonus! – Doing fun things with us.”  What a blessing.  With my love language being affirmation that was so special, and of course, it made me want to go to the moon and back for her if she asked.  

In addition to your regular gifts for Christmas, why not tuck a card in one of them to your spouse that says, “5 Things you do that’s nice for us.”  And while you are at it, why not include a little bonus.

Grace and peace,


happy_young_couple.jpg Marriage Tip

In the event your spouse leans more toward the funny side of life, like my husband, accept it as their way of showing love.  Some guys are just like that.  For example, our grandson’s birthday card to me read, “Be good on your birthday, or the monster will bite you.” I had to laugh out loud.  

2014 Workshops 

  • March 15, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. – How to Build a More  Companionship Marriage,” Penny and David Hudson, Certified Marriage Educators – Baptist Health – Louisville, KY


          *  April 26, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. – “Crucial Conversations,” Irene Justiniano, Business              Consultant – Baptist Health –  Louisville,KY


          *  May 17, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.- “The Need Bank, Joyce Oglesby, Radio Talk Show                Host of Just Ask Joyce, a respected speaker, author of family nourishing                          books, Today’s Woman columnist and radio and former TV personality –                            Baptist  Health  –  Louisville, KY


  • June  21, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. – Resolving Everyday Conflict,” – John Baker, Associate Pastor of Education and Discipleship at Shively Baptist Church – Baptist Health – LaGrange, KY


  • July 19, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. – I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and GOSH DARN IT people like me”  – “Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem,– Heather Brooks, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist – Baptist Health – Louisville, KY


  • August 23, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. – I Want to Know What Love Is,” Greg Williams – Director of Marriage Outreach for The Family Foundation  – Baptist Health – LaGrange, KY


  • September 20, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. – “When Personalities and Expectations Clash,  Lauren Battcher, Healthy Marriage Instructor and Case Manager with Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency –  Baptist Health- Louisville, KY


  • October 25, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. – Three Exits to Avoid on the Road to Marital Contentment,Glenn Williams, Pastoral Care and Counseling Minister and Executive Director of St. Matthews Pastoral Counseling – Baptist Health – Louisville, KY


  • November 15, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. – “How We Love,” Dr. Valerie Vincent, Pastoral Counselor – Baptist Health,  Louisville, KY


We will be mailing out hard copies of these flyers.  If you are not currently on our mailing list and would like to receive these in hand to give to others, place on bulletin boards, break rooms, community centers, restaurants, churches, doctor/dentist offices, counselor’s lobbies, etc.  please send us a note via email at and give us your mailing address.  Thank you!



In addition to our workshops, we also have some great date nights planned for you. Our first one in 2014 will be a Couple’s Chili Cookoff, along with some fun and games, on Saturday, February 1 at 4:00 p.m. at Kavanaugh Life Enrichment  Center – Dining Hall, 7505 Kavanaugh Road, Crestwood, KY  40014.  Come see if you can win the golden ladle and a bonus prize as well.   So, save that date and plan to join us! 












 Chili Cook Off


We have a great lineup of speakers and topics for you for 2014.

Please plan on joining us as often as possible.  Those who do attend on a regular basis tell us how useful these monthly programs have been in enhancing their marriages.

women-friends-smiling.jpg Real Mom’s Conference

Ever compared your motherhood bloopers to someone else’s highlight reels?  It’s exhausting!  Time for a weekend at The Real Mom’s Conference.  Come and get renewed, equipped, loved and get authentic. It will do you good.  There will also be breakout sessions, one of which is “Renewing Your Marriage.”
Keynote Speaker:  Tammy Head
Comedian:  Amy Barnes
Worship Music:  Heather Payne formerly of Point of Grace
March 7-8, 2014
Crestwood Baptist Church
6400 Sweetbay Drive
Crestwood, KY  40014
For more information or to register, visit 
Take advantage of the early registration discount.

forgiveness Kentucky Profiting from Divorce-Proofing Marriages 

Following is an excerpt from a program put on by CBN News (700 Club) on what the Family Foundation in Kentucky and others are doing to fight divorce head on.  
“Dying marriages hurt more than just family members.  They can cost taxpayers, make communities less attractive to businesses and even drive up the crime rate.”
The Family Foundation invited Michael McManus, a man whose organization Marriage Savers, has found concrete ways to preserve marriages.  They took him around the state for five days meeting with hundreds of pastors in an effort to get them to fight wholeheartedly for solid, lasting marriages.
David and I had the privilege of being a part of this broadcast.  If you’d like to see this full story, please click on the following link: 
Kentucky Profiting from Divorce-Proofing Marriages





Rock Your Marriage
Who doesn’t want a marriage that rocks?  Most, however, struggle with how to get there.  That, of course, is our mission at MERCY; i.e., to make marriages healthy and strong.  And we try to do that in a number of ways.  For example, we offer private mentoring, monthly workshops, date nights, a resource center, referrals, small groups and working with churches.  Another way, is this newsletter and trying to connect you to tips that can have a positive impact on your marriage.  

Kristen Welch from  offers some suggestions for spouses to get from where they are to where they want to be.  Here is a small sampling from her list of 100 tips which you can access by clicking on the link above.
  • Write letters (you know, the actual pen and paper sort of thing.)
  • Pray together
  • Kiss in front of the kids
  • Kiss every day
  • Be spontaneous
A couple more links, with some inspiring thoughts, are from Marriage Missions – one list for wives and another for husbands.  Check ’em out.





wedding-rings.jpg National Marriage Week

Did you know that February 7-14 is considered National Marriage Week in the United States?  Cities across the nation, provide special marriage events for couples during that week.  We encourage you to take an opportunity to see what they have to offer at: 

In addition, on this web site you will find fun, free quizzes, kits, tips and ideas to strengthen your marriages.  


 Love S.M.A.R.T. Healthy Relationships Program  
The Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency will once again be offering a free marriage and relationship skill-building program.  This interactive 10-week program teaches decision making, communication and conflict resolution skills to improve and strengthen family relationships.  All participants receive a free meal and $10 gas card at each class.  Participants that attend all 10 weekly classes receive a $50 Walmart gift card at the last class.  Classes are offered year-round in Shelbyville and Shepherdsville.  Shepherdsville’s next class begins January 6 (6:00 – 8:30 p.m.).  Participants must register beforehand by calling 502-543-4077 and scheduling a registration appointment, or visiting:      


New Books for Check-out at MERCY’S Lending Library 

Written by respected pastor and marriage counselor Dave Carder, this revised and expanded version of Torn Asunder sorts through the factors that contribute to infidelity and then maps out a recovery process for both partners.  With compassion and wisdom rooted in the Bible, Carder offers insight for the victims of adultery the perpetrators and those who seek to help hurting couples.
Do you want to stop the pain in your marriage?  This book will lead you out of the maze of bitterness, disillusionment and hurt.  George Kenworth a senior pastor for 32 years and one who has taught at Trinity International University, Denver Seminary and Bethel Seminary, has a passion for rescuing marriages. He tells us that  hundreds of marriages have been rescued when couples got the answers right.  Before you give up, he encourages, you in this book, to answer three simple questions.
As a stepdad, you’ve taken on a heroic challenge.  Leading stepfamily expert Ron Deal equips you to navigate the stepparenting minefield with everyday advice on how to connect with your stepchildren, be a godly role model and maintain a strong bond with your wife.  He will also give stepdads wisdom for handling tricky issues such as discipline, dealing with your wife’s ex, and more.  This is a survival guide that every stepfather needs to succeed.
  We want to thank one of our MERCY participants for donating this book to MERCY. As a pastor’s wife and mother of two adorable children, Mary Southerland had a life filled with wonderful things. . .until clinical depression brought her world crashing down.  Mary found herself in a dark pit of despair, but she also slowly discovered the way out.  In this book she offers biblical insight and practical steps to freedom with the refreshing transparency of someone who has been there and intimately knows the pain  of what one and one’s family is dealing with when depression hits.   
This is another book donated by one of our participants.  If You’re Angry and You Know It, is written for children and gives them ideas on how to handle their anger.  
In This Issue
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Marriage Tip
MERCY’S 2014 Workshops
Real Mom’s Conference
KY Profiting from Divorce-Proofing
Rock Your Marriage
National Marriage Week
Love S.M.A.R.T.
New Books at MERCY

Anyone for a Cruise?


Family Life presents their 4th annual Love Cruise – 
February 10-14, 2014
You will travel from Miami, Florida to Grand Turk Island.
Powerful Speakers
Daily Concerts
Christian Fellowship
Pools and Hot Tubs and 
much more.  

If interested, visit:
or call to book 
As we sign off for this year, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas.  Thank you for being with us in 2013 and we hope to be able to serve you even better in the coming year.

Grace and peace,

Penny and David Hudson
Contact Information
The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)
7204 Hwy. 329
Crestwood, KY  40014
(502)  939-0121

November 2013 Newsletter

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                November 2013 Newsletter From The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)

While we call our organization The “Marriage” Education and Resource Center (MERCY), we like to begin working with people long before they decide to marry.  In fact, we prefer to talk with them before they even begin dating.  As a result, MERCY occasionally offers a program called “How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk or Jerk(ette),” or, as some call it, The PICK a Partner Program by Dr. Van Epp.  This event teaches singles of all ages (youth and above) to build healthy relationships and how to follow their hearts without losing their minds.  After all, as a friend once told us, every date is a potential mate.  
This is a program, we personally, believe every “single,” as well youth and the parents of youth, need to become familiar with.  Fortunately, you can now subscribe to Dr. Van Epp’s live presentation online for $9.99.  Just go to and click on the “singles” tab to learn more about The PICK program.  Or, if you prefer, we have the book available for check out at MERCY.  In addition, watch our web site at to see when we will be offering it again.
Grace and peace,
Penny and David

 Marriage Tip
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

I, Penny, recently read about a ritual of Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott
I want to share with you.  Les is a clinical psychologist and Leslie is a marriage and family therapist and they both have a passion for wanting to help others build healthy relationships, apparently beginning with their own.

Each Sunday evening, they ask one another a simple question: “What can I do this week to be a better spouse to you?”  Les said, “It can be intimidating at first, but more often than not, our answers are surprisingly simple:  Hold my hand  a little bit while we’re in church; go to the computer store with me on Thursday; show a little more appreciation when I cook a meal.  You get the idea.”  It’s simply being intentional in working on our marriages.  I think I’ll try it this week.  How about you?
For more information and tips from Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott you can visit their web site at:
white-red-presents.jpg Gifts That Show Your Love

What’s the strangest gift you ever received?  A few I’ve heard about are an earwax removal system, a glow-in-the dark feather duster and a hairless terra-cotta statue.  Each of us probably has a story to tell about our “wonder gift” of the century.  But gift-giving is serious business.  Psychologists claim issues of power and vulnerability are often wrapped up in pretty paper and bows. Others may use gifts to communicate their need of acceptance and love.  For the most part, however, I’d like to think gifts are given as expressions of love.

Gifts can be extravagant or simple.  Often, it’s the gift of giving something of yourself that is the most appreciated.  Following are a few gift ideas that have little to do with their monetary value but everything to do with love.

The Twelve Days of Christmas Instead of sending your spouse a partridge in a pear tree, send a rose for twelve consecutive days, each bearing a different message.  Rose #1 might read:  “Thank you for being that one special person in my life.”  Rose #2:  “This represents the two of us and what we’ve meant to each other.”  Rose #3:  “For our three beautiful children,” etc.

Balloon Bouquet If you think your spouse would be receptive, send a bouquet of balloons to them at their workplace.

Media Alert Rent a billboard, take out an ad in the paper to express your feelings of love to your spouse.  Or, call your spouse’s favorite radio station and dedicate a song in his or her behalf.

Special Messages Collect some special cards, and a week before Christmas, anniversary or other special occasion, send them to your spouse one at a time.  Tuck love notes in Christmas presents to your mate, hang a few on the Christmas tree or hide several in special places around the house.

A Day Off Give your mate a day off.  Hire a housekeeper to clean the house or arrange to have your mate’s car professionally cleaned and waxed.

Encouragement Give a gift that encourages.  If your mate has something he/she has always wanted to do or learn, such as flower arranging, Chinese cooking, or scuba diving consider giving a gift certificate to a class for this wishful endeavor.

Memory Give the gift of a memory to your mate.  One friend’s favorite childhood memory was listening to her grandfather sing and play his banjo on their front porch.  To relive such a memory, her husband hired a banjo player to spend a few hours playing some of those special old tunes.  


When Love Hurts

Sometimes you hurt the one you love.  So how do you help restore the relationship?  Here are a few things to remember when you need to say you’re sorry.
  1. Admit  you were wrong and that your behavior has been hurtful.
  2. Apologize and show genuine regret for your actions.
  3. Do not add any excuses or justification.
  4. Listen and accept what your spouse is feeling.
  5. Try to empathize with the pain you have caused.
  6. Assure your spouse it will never happen again.
  7. Accept responsibility. 
  8. Apologize again and ask for forgiveness.
  9. Forgive yourself.
Just because you apologize doesn’t mean the other person will forgive you right away. Give it time and allow them to go through the process on their own.  On the other hand, it is important for the spouse that has been hurt to be able to release themselves and the other person from the incident.  Forgiveness in the only way to relieve the pain.



Upcoming Opportunities to Enrich Your Marriage


Dave Willis, author of the book “iVow:  Secrets to a Stronger Marriage,” will be coaching couples on how to enrich their marriages, on  Saturday, November 23 from 5 – 8 p.m. at Grace Christian Church, 1648 Lexington Road, Georgetown, KY 40324. Cost is $25 per couple.  Grace will be providing a meal, childcare and a copy of Dave’s book.  

Dave is the pastor of Steven’s Creek Church in Augusta, Georgia and has a following of 700,000 people on Face Book and Twitter.

For additional information, go to: 





You can register now for Love S.M.A.R.T., a FREE marriage and relationship skill-building program at Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency.  This interactive 10-week program teaches decision making, communication, and conflict resolution skills to improve and strengthen family relationships. All participants receive a free meal and $10 gas card at each class.  Participants that attend all 10 weekly classes receive a $50 Walmart gift card at the last class!  Classes are offered year-round in Shelbyville and Shepherdsville. Next classes begin Tuesdays,  December 3rd .  Call Lauren Battcher at (502)  744-9948 for more information or visit:   This is a government-funded program.  Participants must register beforehand.




MERCY’S 2014 Workshop Schedule Coming Soon


We are excited about our workshop schedule for next year and we think you will be too.  We have several new speakers who will be coming on board.  For example, Joyce Oglesby who is a Radio Talk Show Host of Just Ask Joyce, a respected speaker, author of family nourishment books, Today’s Woman columnist and radio and former TV personality will be with us in May to talk about “The Need Bank.”  Then in June, John Baker, Associate Pastor of Education and Discipleship at Shively Baptist Church will be helping us in “Resolving Everyday Conflicts.”  In August, Greg Williams – Director of Marriage Outreach with the Family Foundation will be sharing on “I Want to Know What Love Is.”   And our last new member to MERCY’s speaking roster in 2014 is Glenn Williams, Pastoral Care and Counseling Minister and Executive Director of St. Matthews Pastoral Counseling, who will be outlining “Three Exits to Avoid on the Road to Marital Contentment.”  We hope you will plan on being with us for these, and five other workshops, that will be presented by some of our other talented speakers who have been with us in the past.  More details coming soon!


Note:  If you are not on our regular mailing list and would like to receive multiple copies of our flyers for 2014 Workshops, please email me at  We’d love for you to help us get the word out about these programs. 


In addition, if your church or organization has any marriage events coming up, we’d love to post them on our web site and feature them in our newsletter.  One of our objectives is just to connect people with resources that are available.  


New Book at MERCY             

Maybe you know one.
Maybe you are one.
We can learn to cope with the Control Freaks around us.  Better yet, we can change.  This book shows you how. 
This book is now available at MERCY, along with many more resources on relationships.  Just give us a call if you would like to stop by and check out our library.




Chili Cook Off  for Couples – Coming Soon!


We hope you plan to join us for our first Couples’ Chili Cook Off
this winter. 
 Details coming soon! 
Contact Information

Penny and David Hudson

The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)

7204 Hwy. 329

Crestwood, KY  40014




“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:21