Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone


Thomas McKenzie's Blog.


I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined and heard my cry
He lift me up out of the pit
Out of the miry clay
I will sing, sing a new song ...

--40, lyrics by King David, music by U2

Today I am 40 years old.  My thirties are over.   I'm halfway to dead, if I'm healthy (Psalm 90:10).

It is my custom on my birthday to consider those of greater fame whom I have now officially outlived. I don't do this as joke, but rather to honor some people who made great contributions at a younger age. I also do it to remind myself that I don't have all the time in the world, that my death draws ever nearer.

This is a particularly strange moment because I have now outlived two very important Americans: Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.  Both men served as essential voices for their ethnic group and their generation, both of them had great impact on society through both their leadership and their faith, and both died younger than I am now.  It is hard for me to believe that I have had more time on this earth than they had. 

Here is the rest of my list of people who died at age 39.

  • Dennis Wilson, drummer
  • Anna Nicole Smith, model
  • Perry Moore, Executive Producer of the Chronicles of Narnia
  • Tim Smooth, Rapper
  • Simon Monjack, writer and producer, widower of Brittany Murphy
  • Donnie Carroll, the real life "Turtle" (as in "Entourage")
  • Mitch Mullany, comedian
  • Bernard T. Pietronico (pictured above) and 101 other 39 year-olds who were murdered by Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001.

"Blessed is he who keeps his death ever before his eyes." --Thomas a Kempis

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