Spotlight: Beth McKenzie
1. Tell us a little bit about who you are (where are you from, family, work, etc)
I grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania, attended Penn State and then went on staff with The Navigators at Iowa State after graduation. Tracy was on staff at UNL so we met at a regional retreat in the fall of 1995. A few years and a few kids later, we moved to Southeastern to pursue the MDiv thinking we would be here for a little over two years...that was in 2001! A few more kids and degrees later, we’re still here and absolutely love this area. Tracy teaches in the Old Testament department and I recently took the position of coordinating the Share Shop. Our boys are now almost grown – Micah (20) is a Sophomore at UNCC, Joel (19) is in Basic Training with the Navy, and Josiah (17) and Noah (15) are in high school. I love being a mom of all boys!
2. If you had a free day and unlimited money, what would you spend your day doing?
It’s interesting how the seasons of life change this response. With two sons out of the home, I’d choose to spend the day as the six of us...probably on our front porch for part of the time and exploring somewhere off-road the rest of it. Not that I am the off-road type but I get out voted every. Single. Time—but secretly, I love it. As for the money side of this question – I'd pay off our house as it would be nice to be debt free but then give the rest away. I would so enjoy giving anonymous gifts to people I love who are also in need. And if I thought too long on this, I’d probably want to take my family back to Göttingen, Germany, for the day. But the jet lag would be too much for one day so yeah, front porch and anonymous gifts!
3. Who is the most influential person in your life?
Tracy is my best friend and the biggest influencer in my life. I trust him completely. He always points me to the gospel and God’s perfect love through Jesus. I watched a transformation in his life years ago as he taught his way through the book of Colossians in our church. I witnessed his growth in grace and compassion with me and our boys causing me to worship the only One who can bring such change. I’m grateful to walk through life with him!
4. What is one book that you think everyone should have on their bookshelf?
Oh my word. Tough question. So many books are popping into my mind but the one God has been using lately in my life is Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson’s book, Counsel from the Cross. Here is a small morsel to ponder, “I need to hear that gospel song over and over again because my soul is a sieve and the gospel leaks out of it, leaving only the husk of Christianity – my self-righteousness and obligations.” I don’t want to be a sieve but a sponge! It’s a daily battle.
5. What is a verse that you would consider your “life verse”?
Colossians 1:13,14 have ministered deeply to me over the last decade or so. My identity is secure! “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
6. What are three words that people would use to describe you?
Hospitable, Caring and a Servant