I want to thank Jesus for keeping my flock safe this evening, want to thank Him out loud right here. Now my boys & I pray for our flock every night after we close them up in their houses. We know that it's prayer, not a magic charm, and that sometimes Stuff Still Happens, because we live in an imperfect world. But we figure things would only be worse if we didn't take time to thank God for our beautiful birds each night, and ask Him for protection. We had a lot of losses this summer to a bobcat & to some big feral cats until we learned to discipline our days and be certain to go out an hour before sunset to begin the chicken chores, getting everyone secured by nightfall (those cats were coming as sundown). We also trapped the bobcat & the feral cats. Even though the threat seems to be gone now, we continue to order our time so we're not away from home at sunset. But today we went to a dear friend's funeral that was in a town 2 hours away. I had intended to leave at 4 so we'd be home by 6. But other things happened so that we didn't leave until 8. It was a really special time with other dear old friends, time well spent renewing old bonds. But I was feeling a lot of apprehension about the safety of my flock back home. And no, there wasn't anyone I could call that could come put the birds away for me. You see, 2 nights ago I lost some young meat chickens to what must be raccoons. So last night I surrounded that pen with Hav-a-Hart traps, baited with stinky canned salmon. Nothing was caught this morning, so I just closed the traps (to keep chickens, ducks & bunnies from getting stuck in them). And tonight all I could think of is all that fragrant bait in the closed traps attracting the raccoons back, but there wouldn't be any traps open for them, so they'd attack the ducks that free-range all day and sit on the ground in the paddock if they're not shooed into their pens at night. (This has happened in the past) So I was in a panic driving up the expressway on my way home, and was praying & praying. Please Lord, protect my flock!!! After about a 45 minutes I began to feel a peace about it. I couldn't be sure, but I felt that God was saying that they would be all right. And sure enough, when I got home (I just parked the van and ran out back in the moonlight) they were indeed all just fine!!! Not one was lost!!! It's okay if you believe they remained safe for any other reason. But I firmly believe that tonight it was the Hand of Jesus that protected my ducks, geese, & chickens from those raccoons. This is written to give Him the thanks & praise & credit for it.