Thursday, September 29, 2011

Interview with Mike Halpin of Haptoon

The Old Schoolhouse magazine is having a Blog Hop. Here is their blog: . Each participant was assigned someone to interview. I got my first choice, Mike Halpin of Haptoons. Here is that interview!

1) How did you first begin combining art with a spiritual message?

When Jesus saved me back in 1971.

I left my hometown of Detroit, Michigan soon after I graduated High School and moved to Berkley, California to pursue a career in underground cartooning. (All the major underground companies were located in the Bay area.)

By God’s grace, I was not successful and because of my excessive hedonistic lifestyle, hit rock bottom.

Thanks be to God the Rock was Jesus. He save me and turned my life around to serve Him. I automatically began to express my newfound faith through the media of cartooning.

In 2001, I was involved in a creativity group at Calvary Chapel. One of the assignments was to take a little sermonette and do something creative with it. I wrote a poem and did the following cartoon:

At the same time, my niece’s husband, Justin Kaake, created the Haptoon website and “The Seven Truths of John 3:16” was the first cartoon. Since then I have created over 200 Haptoons. (Unfortunately the website crashed and I hope to start a new website soon.)

2) What do you hope families receive through your Haptoons?

Haptoon is a personal reflection of what I am learning as I seek to know God through His Word. It is also a calling to proclaim the Gospel. I echo the Apostle Paul’s conviction “Woe to me if I do not cartoon for the Lord!” (1 Cor. 9:16)

I pray as one reads my cartoons, God’s Word will minister to them. I try to include scripture references and hope they will dig into God’s Word for themselves.

Finally, I hope my Haptoons will encourage us all to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.” (Heb. 12:2)
My greatest joy is when I receive e-mail from parents who are using Haptoon to teach their children God’s Word. It doesn’t get much better than that.

If you would like to personally receive Haptoon, please e-mail me at and I will add you to my list.

Thanks and God bless.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Horse Dreams (Backyard Horses Series) by Dandi Daley Mackall

This is the first book in a new series by Dandi Daley Mackall called Backyard Horses. If you have an elementary school-aged girl that is enamored with horses, as many of them are, this would be an excellent series to gift her with. This is a paperback of approximately 150 pages.

The story is about 10-year-old Ellie who has asked God daily for several years for a beautiful black stallion. When a rather down and out pinto unexpectedly comes into her life, she takes a great interest in the horse but doesn’t realize for a while that she has finally received God’s answer to her prayers. If I tell you any more of the story, I will spoil it for you so I will leave it for you to read. The book is very engaging. Both my granddaughter and I read it in one sitting.

Tyndale gave me this book to review and I look forward to reading the rest of the series as it comes out. This particular volume has a bonus of the sign language alphabet (Ellie’s young brother is deaf) and a “Horse Talk” glossary.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pattern of Wounds: A Roland March Mystery by J. Mark Bertrand

This is a crime mystery that is hard to put down. This is not my normal genre of leisure reading material, but something about the description intrigued me when it appeared on a list of books to review for Bethany House.

This is a fast paced story with a surprise around every corner and lots of loose ends that get tied up eventually in the course of the story. It is about a detective searching for a killer with a distinctive M.O. amidst department politics, marital situation, internal conflicts, old family history and spiritual uncertainty. It all manages to come together pretty well with a few questions left unanswered for a starting point for the next book in the series.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in this series in the future.