In the beginning God Made Heaven and Earth – Genesis 1

Creation - an image of a galaxy

It was a long time ago,  1982  if my memory serves me well, my minister at a Liverpool Church contacted me in a panic.  “I can’t find a hymn for it!” was the cry.  And honestly, he had a challenge.  He could not find a hymn for the passage Genesis 1 (The very start of the Holy Bible).  The story would be quite different now!

Thanks to modern technology I would just type in those very first few words of the old testament into Google on the Internet and hey presto you will find those immortal words in at least one modern hymn or song.

So I hunted through my hymn books and I could not find one hymn, one chorus, one song, nor one bit of humble poetry.  My library was not extensive as I have now but it took a lot of time to find nothing!

Therefore, there was only one thing to do, but write something new.  That is the words and music for a new song In the beginning, God made heaven and earth’.  Below for brevity is the first verse and chorus,  It is slightly modified and now the chorus stays the same throughout the whole of the song.

In the beginning, God made heaven and earth.
And the earth was without form,
Twas void and darkness was on the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved all around.

Chorus…

And God said, Let there be light:
and God said Let there be night
and God said Let there be day
And 
it was so

It was only recently, that I discovered that there is at least one other hymn written well before this and of course it is in a very well known hymn book.  You all should know it.  The Scottish Psalter and Church Hymnary (revised).  You will all know that I like playing all hymns.  Those that are ancient/more recent and those that are modern/popular.  As one minister in South West Scotland in his sermons said, the great majority of hymn tunes were named after the village or town where the hymn was written and those hymns were sung and some danced to as pop songs locally.

Below is the text of the Bible that was set to music from the Psalter for Genisis 1 and this text represents verses 1 &2 (there are 8 others) and can be sung to Amazing Grace

Paraphrase: Let heav’n arise, Let earth appear

  1. Let heav’n arise, Let earth appear,
    said the Almighty Lord:
    The heav’n arose, the earth appear’d,
    at his creating word.
  2. Thick darkness brooded o’er the deep:
    God said, ‘Let there be light:’
    The light shone forth with smiling ray,
    and scattered ancient night.

Note: You may have noticed in my composition I used the word ‘Twas’, – that is ‘it was’ the only word that fitted to the melody in my music!

Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes

Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes (CH4 277)
Tune = The Rowan Tree
Written by Philip Doddridge (1702-1751)

Luke 4:18-19 King James Version (KJV)

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

1  Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes,
the Saviour promised long:

let every heart exult with joy, 
and every voice with song! 
He comes the broken heart to bind, 
the bleeding souls to cure;
and with the treasures of his grace 

to enrich the humble poor. 

2 The sacred year has now revolved,
accepted of the Lord,
when heaven’s high promise is fulfilled,
and Israel is restored.
Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace, 

thy welcome shall proclaim;
and heaven’s exalted arches ring 

with thy most honoured name.

“Everything in moderation, including moderation,” says Geneticist and Author Dr. Giles Yeo.

Dr. Yeo (Image above kindly provided by the Edinburgh International Book Festival) discussed his book Gene Eating in an event chaired by journalist Ruth Wishart at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Monday 12th August 2019 , examining topics including fad diets, veganism and how our genetic makeup impacts weight loss.

Yeo says there are two factors the brain takes into account every time we eat…

Your brain needs to know two pieces of information in order to influence your food intake.

First, it needs to know how much fat you have, and why? Because how much fat you have is how long you would last in the wild without any food, if food stopped today.

And secondly, it needs to know what you have just eaten and what you’re currently eating.”

“If you lose any weight, your brain hates it because it considers it a reduction in your likelihood of survival. So it will always make losing weight difficult.

If anyone tries to sell you an effortless way to lose weight, they are lying.

When queried about veganism being used as a tool for weight loss, Dr. Yeo said:

It’s now become mainstream because people think it’s healthier. So, the cold truth is we probably eat too much meat as a society. This is true. Okay, does this mean all of us need to suddenly become vegan? Well I think it suits some people and for some people, it’s something to do. I think all of us need to probably eat ten – twenty percent less meat or even something more rather than eat no meat at all, but I guess this is the point if the kernel of truth is being vegan will help you lose weight. Not because it’s magical, because you eat less calories.”

His new book examines how genetic predisposition comes into play with how humans, as individuals, digest and process food.  He started off by saying

“Body weight is not a choice. Now obesity just happens to be one end of the spectrum from being skinny and being average size. So, it’s a spectrum, okay, it’s not a choice. Now let me just caveat this, clearly it’s my choice if I choose to eat the cookie or not and I appreciate that, but remember we don’t gain weight overnight. We gain weight over a year, over a few months.”

People think that when you gain weight, you gain fat cell.  Okay, maybe you get more fat cells. This is not true. Fat cells are like balloons and they get bigger and they get smaller, and when we gain weight they get bigger, and when we lose weight, they get smaller. The safest place to store fat is in your fat cells as they do this because that’s their professional job. It’s when they’re not in the fat cells, and they go into your muscles, your liver, other places, that’s when you tilt into disease. But what’s interesting is, all of our fat cells expand to differing amounts individually.

“So when we carry too much fat we will become ill, but how much fat we can carry, that is going to be down to our individual genes.”

For those interested in finding out their genetic mapping for food digestion, Dr. Yeo offers two free solutions. “The first is very depressing, but if you actually just look at your parents, when you just imagine anything about your parents, their shape and size, the size of their bottom, also what diseases they have.  That is free and far more predictive than any genetic testing. Second of all, if you have to lose the weight, if you are honest with your own failing behaviour, so for example, do I respond to stress by eating or not? Do I prefer chocolate, or what have you, then at least you have a fighting chance of controlling the environment you can control, meaning your household.

“So until we get to the point where genes can actually help in this prediction, I think look at your parents and be honest with your own feeding behaviour. I think those two things together are probably going to be quite effective.”

Cycle and Pedestrian Routes info

Subject Cycle and Pedestrian Paths in general Scotland

  1. Cycle and pedestrian paths are 100% funded by Sustrans (a UK wide charity based at Bristol that supports cyclists).
  2. Sustrans design these routes with the cyclist in mind.  That is to encourage cycling and exercise.
  3. My comment… There is also another group that use the routes.   That is pedestrians,  I must say that any General Practitioner recommends walking as a means of exercise.  Therefore, in a mixed-use environment, the safety of all users need to be considered, not just cyclists.  Therefore, there should be clear instructions to cyclists and pedestrians to take care on these traffic ways.  This is important as it is not the usual custom for cyclists to ride in what could be considered a pedestrian space.
  4. It is also noted that on a Sunday on one recently upgraded Sustrans cycle/pedestrian path at about 9:40 am a cyclist came at speed on a pathway towards some pedestrian traffic lights.  At that day and that time, there were no others on the pathway. (I suspect but don’t know but that the route may have been designed to 18mph standards  – here there should also be a sign asking cyclists and pedestrians to take care).  More markings are needed on any such pathways to make clear the mixed usage.  
  5. More Info: Resources Transport Scotlandhttps://www.transport.gov.scot/media/14173/cycling_by_design_2010__rev_1__june_2011_.pdf

  6. More Info: Resources Sustrans

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/sites/default/files/file_content_type/sustrans_handbook_for_cycle-friendly_design_11_04_14.pdf