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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Jim Liebelt

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Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.

Trending Today on Twitter - 8/22/14
1. #IfIStay
2. #HunterTODAY
3. #perfectonyoutube
4. #AskPeytonList
5. #smbmsp69
6. #vote5sosVMAs
7. Finally Friday
8. Floyd
9. Hunter Hayes
10. Serena Williams
Source: Twitter

Hot Searches on Google - 8/22/14
1. Jessie Nizewitz
2. Mariah Carey
3. Goliath Grouper
4. Lolita Richi
5. Mone Davis
6. James Foley
7. Anaconda Nicki Minaj
Source: Google

iTunes Top 10 Singles - 8/22/14
1. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift
2. All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor
3. Bang Bang - Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
4. Anaconda - Nicki Minaj
5. Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne) - Clean Bandit
6. Break Free (feat. Zedd) - Ariana Grande
7. Black Widow (feat. Rita Ora) Iggy Azalea
8. Boom Clap - Charli XCX
9. Stay With Me - Sam Smith
10. Chandelier - Sia
Source: iTunes

Top 10 TV Shows in Prime Time - Week Ending 8/17/14
1. America's Got Talent - Wed
2. America's Got Talent - Tues
4. 60 Minutes
5. The Big Bang Theory
6. 20/20: Robin Williams
7. Under the Dome
8. Big Brother - Sun
9. Big Brother - Wed
10. Big Brother - Thurs
Source: Nielsen Co.

Top 5 Free iOS Social Apps - 8/22/14
1. Facebook Messenger
2. Facebook
3. WhatsApp Messenger
4. Twitter
5. Emoji Keyboard 2
Source: iOSapp Stats

Top 5 Movies - Last Weekend
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
3. Let's Be Cops
4. The Expendables 3
5. The Giver
Source: Rotten Tomatoes

New research from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas investigating brain differences associated with risk-taking teens found that connections between certain brain regions are amplified in teens more prone to risk.

"Our brains have an emotional-regulation network that exists to govern emotions and influence decision-making," explained the study's lead author, Sam Dewitt. "Antisocial or risk-seeking behavior may be associated with an imbalance in this network."

The study, published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, looked at 36 adolescents ages 12-17; eighteen risk-taking teens were age- and sex-matched to a group of 18 non-risk-taking teens. Participants were screened for risk-taking behaviors, such as drug and alcohol use, sexual promiscuity, and physical violence and underwent functional MRI (fMRI) scans to examine communication between brain regions associated with the emotional-regulation network.

The study shows that risk-taking teens exhibit hyperconnectivity between the amygdala, a center responsible for emotional reactivity, and specific areas of the prefrontal cortex associated with emotion regulation and critical thinking skills. Researchers also found increased activity between areas of the prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens, a center for reward sensitivity that is often implicated in addiction research.

Even though the risk-taking group did partake in risky behavior, none met clinical criteria for behavioral or substance use disorders.

"Our findings are crucial in that they help identify potential brain biomarkers that, when taken into context with behavioral differences, may help identify which adolescents are at risk for dangerous and pathological behaviors in the future," Dewitt explained.

Source: ScienceCodex

Boys, who are physically neglected by their parents during childhood, face a heightened risk of turning into violent adolescents, according to a Penn State study.

The researchers said that examples of physical neglect include failing to take a sick or injured child to the doctor, improperly clothing or not feeding a child.

"One of the problems with studying neglect is that it is an act of omission, rather than one of commission. In other words, it is characterized as the absence of an act, rather than an actual act of mistreatment," said William McGuigan, associate professor of human development and family studies at Penn State Shenango, in a press release. "However, now we have better measures and larger databases to document neglect."

McGuigan said that physical neglect during childhood is one of the strongest predictors of violent behaviour among adolescents. It was a significant contributor than physical abuse, or even physical abuse and neglect combined.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data taken from a survey of 85 participants, who are residents of a Pennsylvania detention center for felonious males. In the survey, 25 of the participants or 29.4 percent reported experiencing at least one incidence of childhood neglect. Acts of violence included fighting with students or parents, hitting teachers and using a weapon to scare, rob or injure another person.

McGuigan said that understanding the impact of physical neglect among adolescent males can help educate caregivers and provide better care for at-risk youths.

Source: University Herald

New parents beware: Your little angel is going to cost you a bundle.

A middle-income family with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend about $245,340 for food, shelter and other expenses up to age 18, an increase of 1.8% from 2012, according to an annual report by the U.S. Agriculture Department.

The report, issued annually by the USDA since 1960, found housing was the single-biggest expense, averaging about $73,600 or 30% of the total cost of raising a child, followed by child care/education at 18%.

The remainder went to food, transportation, health care, clothing and miscellaneous expenses during the same period.

The report found geographic variations in the cost of raising a child. They were the highest in the urban Northeast at $282,480, followed by the urban West at $261,330 and the urban Midwest at $240,570, which includes Iowa and South Dakota. The urban South came in the lowest at $230,610 for each child.

Child care costs have soared dramatically since the first report 53 years ago. Back then, a middle-income family could have expected to spend $25,230 ($198,560 in 2013 dollars) to raise a child until the age of 18. Housing was the top cost for parents back then, too.

The USDA estimates leave out one gigantic contributor to the cost of raising kids: college education. As every parent knows, these are considerable.

Source: USA Today

Example: "Gen 1:1" "John 3" "Moses" "trust"
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