Welcome to Torg Stories!

Dear Reader,

Thank you for stopping by the Torg Stories site. I’m an ex-basketball coach and English teacher turned writer, filmmaker, podcaster, and professor. Originally from a small town called Winamac, Indiana, now I split my time between Asheville, North Carolina where I live with my family and New York City where I teach First Year Writing at St. John’s University in Queens. Torg Stories have found their way into the world taking many forms including…

Books

Click here for Torg books for sale on Amazon

Indiana, basketball, love, divorce, winamac, Indiana, Pat Conroy, book club

Pat Conroy called The Coach’s Wife“One of the best books about basketball and coaching I have ever read with a love story so complicated and wonderful it will have book groups talking about it for years.”

Thanks to Pat. I learned a lot about writing from reading his work, and I’m thankful to be able to keep hearing from him via his books.

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MIdwestern Gothic, novel in stories, Winamac, Indiana, basketball, Flannery O'Connor, William Torgerson

Horseshoe is Midwestern Gothic collection of stories with themes about love, sin, guilt, and redemption.

romantic comedy, eighties, John Hughes, Say Anything, Olivet Nazarene University, basketball, college writing, winamac, Indiana, book club

In Love on the Big Screen, Zuke is a college freshman whose understanding of love has been shaped by late-80’s romantic comedies.

Films

morel mushrooms, hunting, Indiana, France Park, Bill William Torgerson, Martin Torgerson

The Mushroom Hunter is about my father and his buddies’ passion for hunting morel mushrooms.

Click here to watch “The Mushroom Hunter” free online.

More Torg Stories films: Christopher’s Garden and For the Love of Books

 

Does God Change Lives?

If you asked me point blank whether or not if in the history of creation God had ever answered a prayer and changed a life, I’d say yes. Pin me down for some evidence or an example, what then? Do I go with Jonah’s cry of distress from inside the belly of the whale (how can that be?!!!) or the time when I was a kid when the family was on a 300 mile round-trip drive to watch the Hoosiers play basketball in Bloomington, and dad pulled off the road because our car had overheated?  I prayed that the car might start working. Dad waited for a few minutes and started it back up. We didn’t have a problem the rest of the way. As a child in the backseat, that’s how I thought prayer worked with God: send up the request and expect immediate results.

Since then, I’ve seen that most times a mechanic has to fix the car. I’ve got to change the flat. In my twenties, I was married and divorced. When my first wife and I were separated, I prayed and even fasted for the marriage to be saved. I’ve watched those who I perceive to be believers and good people pray for addictions or cancer to be overcome. My first marriage ultimately failed. In other cases not mine, addictions seemed to win out, and young children’s earthly lives were not saved. I came to believe that God and prayer worked in some other kind of way that I couldn’t understand. As I entered my thirties and life post-divorce, I chose to focus on the physical and intellectual gifts I perceived God had given me, and I tried to use them in this world the best I could. For about a decade, I lived as if God never intervened in any life. I lived as if prayers were never answered and lives were never changed. Admittedly, I continued to pray some prayers in spite of myself. A series of events have unfolded the past few years that have opened my mind to new possibilities. That’s what I hope to share here in the coming weeks and months. I’ve met someone who claims God can change lives, and he offers up quite the story as evidence. I know this man as Fern, and part of what I’ll share with you is his testimony. Below you can listen to our first conversation.

Listen from the Host Site

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http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/2391831/height/325/width/325/theme/legacy/direction/no/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/

Click on player above to listen from this site.

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Fern Remembers Stealing the US Marshal Airplane

As a part of hearing my friend Fern’s testimony, in this podcast episode he remembers the night he stole a U.S. Marshal airplane.  This is a point in Fern’s story that he has come to think of as a sort of flight to redemption, a night which eventually took Fern to prison where he began a process to start a new life. Fern and I start off by discussing an article I found published on January 18, 1990 in several newspapers around the country including the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel. The headline reads, “Marshals Plane Stolen.” I appreciate Fern’s honesty as he shares this difficult story as a way to illustrate how he believes God has helped him change his life.
http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/2441485/height/325/width/325/theme/legacy/direction/no/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/

Click Above to Listen Via Flash Player

Play it from the host site

iPhone and Mac Users Listen Via iTunes

podcast cocaine prayer prison US Marshal Christ redemption testimony

 

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