CSD Greatest Day Ever: Attending Lecture By James W. Loewen With My Couple Members Of My Crew

It was one of those GDEs (Greatest-Day’s-Ever).

It’s not often in life where you can meet the people who have written your academic textbooks, but my kids had just that opportunity as we attended a lecture with James Loewen. This is why I love homeschooling, and we’ve followed Loewen since I first heard about his book, Lies My Teacher Told Me.

This outing was perfect for me this week as my German colleague and I had a great time discussing history and compared a few interesting things about our countries.

1.) He noted that Germany has always taught its citizens about the Holocaust in an effort to acknowledge past sins and they have a desire never to see such a horrible atrocity happen again. I told him that I have a history book that I bought to use as a supplemental text this last year and there is no mention of slavery. The majority of people in this country know very little about the institution of slavery beyond its existence and could care less.

2.) Speaking of silence, Detroit had its version of the Berlin Wall as well. The  “Detroit Race Wall” was created to be a physical barrier dividing whites and blacks. As an NPR story noted, “”And the developer who wanted to develop in this area was told no by the FHA,” Horner says. “Because it was considered to be too close to an African-American neighborhood. And so the solution that the developer came up with was to build a 6-foot-high wall that runs for about three long city blocks.” This truly was a symbol of Jim Crow North.


3.) Loewen has also done extensive research on Sundown towns. Sundown-towns required blacks to be out of town or face death by, you guessed it, sundown. Loewen told civilrights.org, “Well, the suburbs were all white for sundown policies, and this is clear after you read my book. So maybe there is some way to go after that decision and get it re-adjudicated. Certainly, that decision has left Detroit and the Detroit metropolitan area screwed to this day. And Detroit is the most segregated metropolitan area, it has the most downtown abandonment, and it had until the last five years the most sundown towns. Many of them have just recently broken and black folks can now live safely in at least three of the five Grosse Points, for instance, and in Dearborn, and in some of the others. But the damage has been done over the last several decades.” – http://www.civilrights.org/resources/bookclub/loewen-interview.html

There were actually MORE Sundown Towns in the north, than in the south! Source: Tolerace.org

There were actually MORE Sundown Towns in the north, than in the south! Source: Tolerace.org

4.) Loewen made dad right. CSD’s, you have to love that! He spoke of the importance of talking to people in order to find out real history. Young people today are far more text-savvy than they are book-savvy. Performing original research and interviews is becoming a lost skill, but it is vital in finding out the truth that (unlike Germany) our country has determined to suppress and modify in an effort to maintain a system of white supremacy. I’ve encouraged all of you to talk to your parents and friends about your past and race relations, because whether you realize it or not, it has shaped you. That past has shaped Detroit and if you live or lived in Michigan, Detroit shaped you.

only on 8 mile

It was truly a great night and the only down-side…my daughter didn’t bring the book so we could get it signed!

Oh well, it was still the Greatest Day Ever.

You can find out more about James Loewen at:


Happy Birthday To My Son KD!

Kory and Cut-Dog_Fotor_Fotor

If you’ve been a regular listener to the CornerstoneDad podcast (if not, check out the episodes), you’ve heard my son KD on quite a few shows break down his thoughts on sports, race, relationships and anything else thrown at him.

Today is his 24th birthday!

When I was 24, he was 3 1/2 years old. I was working at a grocery store and was entering my 5th year there, struggling to figure out what to do with my life. The only stability I had at that time, was my then girlfriend and now wife, oh yea…and my Mustang!

However, there’s one thing I’m pretty confident about, and that’s the impact that young man had on my life.

Without him, there would likely be no CornerstoneDad.com, because it is through our trials and tribulations that made me appreciate my role even more.

Once again I’d like to remind my young dad’s out there to keep pressing. If you’re struggling being a young father while you’re trying to grow up and be a man your own-self, think of this time period out there as a football game:

0-5 yrs. old – 1st quarter

6-10 yrs. old – 2nd quarter

11-15 yrs. old – 3rd quarter

16-20 yrs. old – 4th quarter

Now, which QB will you be? When I was younger, I always knew that Joe Montana could make comeback. Dan Marino could make a comeback. You did not turn the channel because you never wanted to be “that guy” on Tuesday morning after Monday Night Football to hear, “You didn’t see what happened last night?”, because you turned the game off and went to bed because you thought the game was over. Not with those guys, because even if the Niners or the Dolphins would lose, the game would almost always be close in the end.

Will you give up because of the struggle in the 1st quarter or the 1st half? Oftentimes, the 3rd quarter determines the game, so if you have a good lead (relationship), will you relax and lose it in the 4th quarter? Are you a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady (the two top active career comeback leaders in NFL history) that are always determined to win, no matter what the early quarters looked like? Are you steadfast on remaining in the game because of your integrity and even if you “lose”, the court system, your child’s mother, your relatives, her relatives will all know, that you’re a fighter? You’ll fight to see or be involved in your child’s life regardless of the obstacles.

Personally, I wanted to throw in the towel in every quarter of the game. When the picture above was taken, seeing that young man at 24 was out of my realm of possibility. I thought the tough times would never end.

God is good,  and was working even when I was not a good father, and I praise him for allowing me to see my son turn 24, and for me to be alive to say, Happy Birthday for yet another year.


Day 23 of 30 Days On Dads: Best “Late” Father’s Day Gift From My Kids – They Got Baptized

MissionMen Logo_new_Watermark

Today, my 14-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter were baptized.

While baptism alone does not save one’s soul, it is still a tremendous moment in the life of a Believer as they follow the example of Christ in Matthew 3:13-17 and his command in Matthew 28: 19-20

3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

What impressed me at our current church is that kids just can’t get baptized by saying, “I asked Jesus into my heart and now my life is super-cool and people love me…”.

Yes, I’ve heard my share of those testimonies in past churches and all I can think is, “Just wait kid, when the pull of the world (e.g. premarital sex, illegal drugs and getting drunk) comes knocking hard…Jesus may be in your heart, but you better know him as the keeper of your salvation during those times!

But my kids had to articulate the gospel and share their testimony weeks before getting baptized. I tried to stay out of the whole process and let them say/write their own confession of faith. What they wrote really made me proud and this was truly the best Father’s Day gift I could have heard and received. I will share with you My Lexi’s testimony, and I’ll post up the Large Professor’s soon as well.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, as some things are truly worth crying about:

“Hello my name is “My Lexi” (changed for this blog post of course). Life before I believed in Christ was okay, but I did not understand what they were talking about in church. I wanted it to be broken down for me. So I woke up almost every morning, and I would have Bible study with my brother and my dad before he went to work. I learned a lot about God every time we had Bible study, and we still do it today. Then one day, I was in the car with my dad, and we were talking about God. Then I decided to become saved. So I prayed to God that he will forgive me of my sins, because I know that I’m a sinner, and I know that Jesus died on the cross to cover my sins and rose three days later. That was when I was 9 years old, and now I’m 12, and God has helped me since then. Now I want to get baptized, because I want to show people that I want to follow in Christ’s footsteps.”

Greatest Week Ever – A California Get-A-Way With My Oldest Son

If you’re a new reader to this blog, I call the days when I can spend one-on-one time with just one of my kids, “The Greatest Day Ever!” But last week was more than just one day, it was a fantastic week with my oldest son, KD.


KD was able to join me on a business trip for the first time ever and I think he needed the time away more than I did. Despite me feeling quite ill during most of the trip, I mustered up the energy to roll out each evening to rack up miles on the buzzy-little Chevy Sonic.

As my son delves further into the land of adulthood, I continuously encourage him to get out and see/experience the world. Now I’m not talking about the red-light district or club nightlife, I’m talking about the various cultures, people groups and scenery that God has provided for us to enjoy while on this earth.

What got to me was, that’s been a passion that I’ve had all of my life, put into me by my father. Now, here I was experiencing those things with my son and reflecting on the long journey that preceded this time.

One night it really seemed to hit me. KD was quite enamored with the California living and I began to think back to when I was at USC with my boys over two decades before feeling the same way. The difference was, they were going to school there and I was pulling carts and banging the keys of a cash register back in Michigan. One of my boys went to a small community college in So-Cal and since I was the “road-dog” of my crew, I got the call to assist him in driving back in his ’67 Mustang (289 , AM radio and pea green just in case you’re wondering). That spectacular trip is a story for another day, but when I saw the palm trees and breathed that California smog, I knew I was back where I belonged.

But there was one little thing stopping me.

I was a father.

I’ll never forget some of the conversations that took place before my boys left. I was getting persuaded more and more to go and then I found out that I was going to be a dad, and those plans came to a screeching halt. I remember the mom of one of my friends just shaking her head in disappointment as I couldn’t go with her son because I got a girl pregnant.

I went from being a “good-kid” to being just another kid who has ruined his life.

Truth be told, I’d make it back to California on business and pleasure numerous times, but I was never able start a new life in the land of gorgeous mountains and high taxes. I made a decision that I would never want to live in a different state as my son when he was growing up, so the miserable weather, gray skies and ugly scenery would just have to be a part of my life for at least 18 years.

As this little boy who used to sleep with me in my bed for so many years on my visitation-days snored in the other bed, I knew it was a decision that I did not regret. Not only would our relationship be entirely different, I would have never met my wife (who I met at the aforementioned dead-end job) and we would not have the four other amazing children that we have today.

The baby that changed my life, would scream, “race for me daddy” as I’d drop him off at his mother’s, and get decked out in the latest Oakland A’s and SF Giants apparel, was now buying me Angels stuff, navigating me down the highway and dragging me through Hollywood. Those years flew past faster than I ever thought they would back when I was getting beat up by court referees, paying child support and having “kid-drop-offs” like two drug dealers in a White Castle parking lot.

Joel 2:25 says, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you”.

David Wilkerson comments on this verse by saying, “I don’t care if you have been saved 30 years or 30 days – God can and will restore all your wasted years!”

God is doing a marvelous work in mine, so what about yours?

You may be a dad that is just beginning the struggle. You’re no longer or never have been in the same house as your children and you wonder about your impact as a “part-time-dad”. I’d like to encourage you to stay in there and not give up. Don’t move away if you do not have to, but let your presence be known.

You may be a dad that’s in the thick of the struggle right now and you think that relief is never going to come, your kid(s) hate you and you just can’t compete as you may be experiencing things like Parental Alienation Syndrome or you don’t know what it’s like to have a full paycheck or receive your tax return. Hang in there man, relief is on the other side. Let your presence by known!

You may be a dad that’s parenting a child who is nearly an adult, but you’re struggling as you wonder if it’s all been worth it. Perhaps you are not as close to your kid(s) as you wanted to be at this point and they seem to not even care about all of the sacrifices that you’ve made through the years. Your years can be restored as well. Continue to let your presence be known!

I’ve been at each of those stages and I can tell you that not only should you make your presence known, but you must. Once your child entered this world, there was no other option (despite what our society would like us to believe).

Christian Apologist Hank Hanegraaff says that there are no maverick molecules that are outside of God’s control. So even the things that happen in life that seem bad at the moment are still under the control of a Sovereign God who will work it out for His good. That’s the story of Abraham and Sarai’s “plan” and the “plan” of Joseph’s brothers in Genesis,  Moses’s “plan” after murdering the Egyptian in Exodus and Paul’s plans in Acts.

I’m getting older, so I’m cherishing those “Greatest days” more and more now, and I pray that God has even more in store for me that’s for sure…cause I have a lot of kids!

When you're having your Greatest Day ever, you don't even dizzy with the nosebleed Clipper seats!

When you’re having your Greatest Day ever, you don’t even get dizzy with the nosebleed Clipper seats!

CornerstoneDad’s Greatest Day Ever

Can a cold winter day feel like a beautiful California day?

Well, when kids experience something great in their lives, they often say, “Today was the greatest day ever!” I think CornerstoneDad’s should say the same thing when they take care of business and do something that they know will impact their kid’s life, even if the child does not know it yet.

Today, my “greatest day ever” or GDE, was spent with my 11 year-old son. Since this week at work is rather slow in the office and I only planned to work part of the day there, I figured it would be a great time to take him with me.

On the way to work, we chatted about the importance of loving your work, so you will never have to “work” a day in your life. I let him know that dad is not there yet and probably will not ever get there at his current job. Yet, I am very fortunate to have the job I have as well as some great managers. But I know my God-given talents are not best utilized at this point and even at his age now, he can begin to take notice of the skills God has equipped him with that will allow him to add value just by being himself.

Did you ever notice even in Hollywood, the kids generally grow up to be an extension of the characteristics that the show writers had in them as a little child?

Do you really think Michael Evans did not at least become a lawyer when he grew up?

Many of us lose the script or just move to a sitcom with poor ratings instead of being what the Master Writer designed us to be in the first place.

"We should have just stayed on Three's Company!"

Time was spent meeting my colleagues and I had him brainstorm ideas for creating his own blog. I felt it was extremely important for him to utilize the quiet time that he never gets to enjoy, as his time and space are always being shared with his other siblings when at home. Before leaving to attend my meeting, we called my dad and they had a moment to catch up on things, something I encourage my son to do often.

Get the old school wisdom while it is here, because one day you, or the wisdom, may be gone.

My manager said that my son would be more than welcome to sit in on the meeting and later my son did join in and sit in the back. During this time he got to see how my company does business with a client who works for a major American company, but he is Japanese. A true demonstration of our global world, diversity in the workplace, and why it is important to be at least be proficient in the “King’s English”.

After our time at work, we headed for the movie theater to check out Tron 3D. There aren’t many action filled PG-movies out there, as thrillers like Transformers and GI Joe are getting closer to R-rated flicks than something you can take your boys (or girls if they like action) to see at the local “overcharge-o-plex” theater. Just like dad, my son looked at his watch and asked, “Why is the movie starting at 2 o’clock when it was supposed to start at 1:30?”

Yea, my thoughts exactly kid.

What was the highlight of my son’s day? Seeing dad with dual-monitors! But 10+ years from now, whether I’m here or not, I think he will benefit seeing dad at work, understanding more of the business world, and of course being the center of attention for much of the day. I remember only a few times visiting my dad at the plant. I also remember going with him to pick up his paycheck a couple of times as well. There is much value of those trips for our children, especially our boys, as they can learn so much just watching dad get up and go to the office, or the factory, or the construction site, or wherever else you go to “keep the lights on”. I am amazed at the number of grown men that cannot keep a job because they cannot get out of the bed to punch the clock. Don’t let your kids be one of those people.

As I told my son, I may not want to go to work, but I go because of the commitment I have to our family and to God. Colossians 3:23-24 says, ”Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

I look forward to more GDE days with all of my children. Dad, plan some with your children or even grandchildren. Take one out at a time if you can. Each child is an individual with separate needs and wants from you. As they get older, the need for individual time increases even more. And if you don’t give it to them, what are you going to do when they get it from somewhere else?

Great days with dad will equal great children and leaders in this society. Never underestimate, or allow other people to underestimate your influence. 2011 is nearly here, so how about making a goal to schedule at least three or four GDE events with your kids? Post your days and ideas here as we would love to hear how things went for you!