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Enthusiastic Worship, Citation: Per Nilsen, Burnsville, Minnesota]

Per Nilson tells the story of Nisswa, Minnesota, where they hold the popular Nisswa Turtle Races.

Every Wednesday evening in the summer months, the people of Nisswa and the surrounding communities gather at a designated parking lot for the weekly races.


It’s big excitement and big business.

Vendors rent turtles; others sell "turtle products."

And the fans gather early, placing their chairs and blankets in the best viewing sites.

In one recent contest, 435 turtles raced in heats of fifteen over a six-foot-long course.


Bif, the announcer, calls the turtles to their mark, gives them the "Go!" . . . and the crowd goes wild.

People stand, jump, and wave their hands in the air, imploring their turtles to be unturtle-like.

The excitement grows and finally reaches a boiling point as the preliminary winners all gather for the championship race.


Amid unrestrained shouts and cheers, the first turtle crosses the finish line, and the winning "trainer" receives five dollars—along with a turtle necklace.

What an uncharacteristic frenzy of emotion for the normally reserved folks of Northern Minnesota!


And some people get upset when Christians worship "too expressively" in church on Sunday morning.

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