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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 - 4/18/14
1. #FarmHeroesSaga
2. #GabrielGarciaMarquez
3. Happy Good Friday
4. #YouAndIToday
5. #AskEmmert
7. #RIPMagcon
8. NBA Championship
9. Jersey Shore
10. Miami
Source: Twitter

Popular Today on Bing - 4/18/14
1. Blake Griffin Flopping
2. Iran Uranium Stock
3. Lauren Parsekian
4. Cannes Film Festival 2014
5. Michael Egan III
6. Korean Ferry Sinks
7. Girl Mauled By Dogs
8. Jews Ukraine
Source: Bing

iTunes Top 10 Singles - 4/18/14
1. Happy (From "Despicable Me 2") - Pharrell Williams
2. All of Me - John Legend
3. Let It Go - Idina Menzel
4. Talk Dirty (feat. 2 Chainz) - Jason Derulo
5. Turn Down For What - DJ Snake & Lil Jon
6. Play It Again - Luke Bryan
7. West Coast - Lana Del Rey
8. Sing - Ed Sheeran
9. Dark Horse (feat. Juicy J) - Katy Perry
10. Not a Bad Thing - Justin Timberlake
Source: iTunes

Top 10 TV Shows in Prime Time - Week Ending 4/13/14
1. CBS NCAA Basketball Championship
3. The Big Bang Theory
4. NCIS: Los Angeles
5. Dancing with the Stars
6. CBS NCAA Basketball Champ - Pre Game
7. Voice - Mon
8. Voice - Tues
9. Blue Bloods
10. 60 Minutes
Source: Nielsen Co

Top YouTube Videos - Ages 13-17 - Today - 4/18/14
1. Broforce #1
2. Chris Brown - Loyal (Explicit) - ft. Lil Wayne, Tyga
3. Cyanide & Happiness - The Weatherman
4. Kiss The Girl In Real Life
5. Surprising Gena
Source: YouTube

Top 5 Movies - Last Weekend
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2. Rio 2
3. Oculus
4. Draft Day
5. Noah
Source: Rotten Tomatoes

A new study shows that young adults who smoke marijuana--even just recreationally--had marked abnormalities in areas of their brains that regulate emotion and motivation.

For those young people -- and their parents -- who think that smoking pot in moderation isn't harmful, it's time to think again.

A study released by researchers from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School has found that 18- to 25-year-olds who smoke marijuana only recreationally showed significant abnormalities in the brain.

"There is this general perspective out there that using marijuana recreationally is not a problem -- that it is a safe drug," says Anne Blood, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the co-senior author of the study, which is being published in the Journal of Neuroscience. "We are seeing that this is not the case."

The scientists say theirs is the first study to examine the relationship between casual use of marijuana in young people and pot's effects on two parts of the brain that regulate emotion and motivation. As such, it is sure to challenge many people's assumptions that smoking a joint or two on the weekends is no big deal.

The new Northwestern-Harvard study punches a hole in conventional wisdom. Through three different methods of neuroimaging analysis, the scientists examined the brains of 40 young adult students from Boston-area colleges: 20 who smoked marijuana casually -- four times a week on average -- and 20 who didn't use pot at all.

The scientists examined two key parts of the brain -- the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala, which together help control whether people judge things to be rewarding or aversive and, in turn, whether they experience pleasure or pain from them.

The researchers found that among all 20 casual marijuana smokers in their study -- even the seven who smoked just one joint per week -- the nucleus accumbens and amygdala showed changes in density, volume and shape. The scientists also discovered that the more pot the young people smoked, the greater the abnormalities.

Source: Time

A new study using worldwide scholastic results found that video games to not have a negative impact on teen academic performance.

Researchers from Flinders University in South Australia analyzed data from more than 192,000 students from 22 countries and found that contrary to popular belief, increased video game play among teenagers had little impact on exam results.

Dr. Aaron Drummond, a postdoctoral research fellow at the university's School of Education, said the study found there was "almost a small reduction in reading scores" among gamers who used multi-player games daily, but that any impact was negligible.

"Essentially it was not a large enough decline to be considered a problem," Dr. Drummond said. In their study report, the researchers say their results "seriously challenge general claims that academic performance is negatively related to the frequency of video game play".

The researchers said their results contrast those claims and the study concluded that "the results suggest that the impact of video-gaming on academic performance is too small to be considered problematic".


Health experts have some simple advice for reducing the teen birthrate in the U.S. -- make sure teens learn about abstinence and birth control before they start having sex.

According to a study by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among teen girls who were sexually experienced, 83% told interviewers that they didn't get formal sex education until after they'd lost their virginity.

Altogether, 91% of young women between the ages of 15 and 17 said they'd taken a formal sex education class that covered information about birth control or ways to say no to sex (and 61% said they'd learned about both). In addition, 76% of girls in this age group discussed one or both of these topics with their parents.

But timing is everything. The fact that most sexually active young women didn't get clued in about abstinence or birth control until after they'd had sex "represents a missed opportunity to introduce medically accurate information," the researchers wrote.

The study, published online in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, noted that:

--14.6% of 15-year-olds had ever had sex, including 8% who were sexually active in the previous three months;

--28.5% of 16-year-olds had ever had sex, including 16.5% who were sexually active in the previous three months; and

--38.6% of 17-year-olds had ever had sex, including 29.7% who were sexually active in the previous three months.

Only 15% of these teens used a birth control method that was deemed at least "moderately" effective the first time they had sex, including the pill, vaginal ring, IUD or hormonal implant. Another 62% used a "less effective" method, such as condoms, sponges, the rhythm method or withdrawal. The remaining 23% said they didn't use any type of contraception when they lost their virginity, the researchers reported.

Overall, the teen birthrate continued to decline, according to data from the CDC's National Vital Statistics System. In 2012, the birthrate hit an all-time low of 29.4 per 1,000 women between 15 and 19. (In 1991, there were 84.1 births for every 1,000 women in that age group.)

Source: Los Angeles Times,0,2886522.story

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