These adorable mini-sheep bookmarks are fun to make for children and adults. They’re a great reminder of God’s presence with us, by the quite waters or in the dark valley.
Why not make two? Keep one for yourself, and give the other to a friend with a copy of Psalm 23.
You will need:
- White yarn
- Two pencils
- (optional) googly eyes
Wind the white yarn around the prongs of the fork about 50 times, then cut off the yarn.
Cut a 2m length of yarn and fold it in half. Thread this double yarn between the middle prongs of the fork and tie it tightly around the bunched yarn on the fork so that you have four long ends.
Snip the bunched yarn (NOT the long pieces!) down the outer edges of the fork and a tiny pom-pom will emerge! You can trim the pom-pom to neaten it up, but be careful to leave the long ends. If you want to add googly eyes, now’s the time!
Tie the two loose ends together, so that you have two long loops, and put each loop over a pencil.
Pull the pencils out until the yarn is taut and use them to twist the long ends until they are very tightly wound. The yarn should try to curl back on itself when you relax the tension.
Keeping the yarn taut, carefully hold on to the pom-pom while you bring the pencils together. Then slowly allow the pom-pom to spin, and watch as the twisted yarns combine to make a double-strand rope. It’s all rather magic!
Take out the pencils and tie a knot in the top. Then fray the ends to make a tassel, and admire your finished mini-sheep bookmark. It’s Fabaaaulous!
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
I wonder how they do that? How do the sheep know the shepherd?
Do they sit down with charts, like WWII airplane spotters, memorising the silhouettes of shepherds and hired hands, so that they can tell one from the other?
They know the shepherd by just being with him. That’s all. The sheep know the shepherd because he’s always there. He’s there in the green pastures, he’s there beside the still waters – and he’s also there in the dark valley, when it’s harder to see him.
This is a very appropriate passage for me today. In the dark valley I can become overwhelmed with all the dangers – both the real and imagined. I am busy watching out for lurking beasts to bite me, or tangled roots to trip me, or thorny bushes to snag me, and I can forget that I’m not there alone. “I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”
We’re not saying the evil has gone, or that it’s not real – heaven knows we see plenty in the world – but our Lord, our shepherd walks with us – walks with me – through it.
And sometime I just need to remind myself of that.
A psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
[Jesus said] ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
‘I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.’
New International Version – UK
Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.