Contributor: Mark Collins

Mark Collins teaches at his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh. A regular contributor to Daily Guideposts, he is also the author of Wayward Tracks (In Extenso, 2016), and co-editor with Maggie Kimmel of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Children, Television, and Fred Rogers. His wife, Sandra, is Professor of Scripture at Byzantine Catholic Seminary. His grown daughters still make him crazy, as do the assortment of suffering automobiles littering his driveway. He’ll start on the squeaky Subaru fan belt next week or maybe the week after, it’s hard to say.

Obits, Prayers, and Sonograms

My friend Gary's father often re-told an old joke: in the morning he would read the obits; if his name didn't appear, he would go into work. I'm at an age now where I, too, read obituaries. Oh, I'm fine health-wise, despite the rebuilt knees. Everything seems to be working OK but I think the warranty is running out on some of my innards and not all of them have... Read more

Giving Up for Lent … Or Maybe Not

The sight of my marked forehead on Ash Wednesday brings the inevitable question: “What are you giving up for Lent?” I have a stock answer: Lobster Newburg and healthy thoughts. Truth is, I genuinely struggle each year, knowing that whatever I choose to give up will be short-lived and followed by a guilt chaser. Yes, I am aware that Lent is not just a period... Read more

Plato, Basketball, and Your Life Work

Lessons I Have Learned, and Other Clichés

Mark Collins launches our regular Creative Insights section with a video on his, um, adventures making furniture from repurposed basketball court boards. His “Plato, Basketball, and Your Life Work” explores vision, revision, and purpose as, well, often something of a poke in the eye. Literally. “Varnish,” Collins tells us, as he considers how we build lives that... Read more

How the Grinch Told Christmas

Or, Sacred Space is Where It Finds You

The end of the year is upon us. And end is where we shall start: this tale will end with poorly described travelogue of where to find your sacred space hidden in this year’s festivities, mostly through the process of elimination. Or maybe not. Actually you might want to stop reading now. I wouldn’t trust me if I were you. There is no narrative arc here, nor... Read more

Bearings Welcomes Mark Collins, Who Understands Nothing

I am new to this space. Contrary to the usually polite tradition of such occasions, let me introduce myself with an admission: despite the titles of writer and teacher, my ignorance is both broad and deep. I thought I understood parables and metaphors and language; I understand nothing. Not that I need many reminders of my multiple failings, but there’s this little... Read more