1. AP – U.S. employers added 209,000 jobs in July, a second straight month of robust gains that underscore the economy’s vitality as it enters a ninth year of expansion. The unemployment rate slipped to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent, matching a 16-year low first reached in May, the Labor Department said Friday. But growth in Americans’ paychecks – a persistent weak spot since the recovery began in June 2009 – remains stubbornly slow. Average hourly pay rose by 2.5 percent from a year earlier, the same tepid annual pace as in June. That’s below the 3.5 percent to 4 percent that is typical when the unemployment rate is this low.

2. Fox – A Detroit man has been charged in the shooting that killed a Wayne State University police officer late last year. Raymond Durham, 60, was charged with first-degree murder Thursday after he was accused of fatally shooting Officer Collin Rose in the head in November. The judge also ordered a mental evaluation for Durham. Rose was investigating possible thefts of navigation systems from cars when he was shot. He went through surgery but died the next day, Fox 2 reported.

3. NBC – The family of a 15-year-old black Illinois teen seen pinned down by an off-duty police officer in a video that went viral in June filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Village of Lansing and the officer involved on Thursday. The officer, who has not been named by the police department, “choked, throttled and battered” Jordan Brunson and as a result the teen continues to suffer from “bodily injury, pain, severe mental and emotional distress, fear, anguish, humiliation” according to the lawsuit obtained by NBC News. It also states that the actions taken by the officer “were extreme and outrageous and were done intentionally.”

4. CP – Liberty University has announced that it will be expanding the recently launched James C. Dobson Center for Child Development, Marriage, & Family Studies. The Lynchburg, Virginia-based evangelical school cited an “overwhelming response” from the student body for the Dobson program, which is part of the School of Behavioral Sciences. Steve Warren, dean of the School of Behavioral Sciences at Liberty, explained in comments emailed to The Christian Post on Thursday that “student demand” was prompting them to “expand the program and the course offerings.”

5. BP – Walter Strickland has been named associate vice president of Kingdom Diversity Initiatives at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Formerly special adviser to the president for diversity, Strickland will move to his expanded role Aug. 1. Strickland, who was elected as first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention in June, has “served our school with distinction as a key administrative leader,” said Danny Akin, president of SEBTS. “God continues to bless Southeastern with a godly and gifted team of faculty and staff. These are exciting days for this Great Commission seminary.” Strickland also is being promoted to assistant professor of systematic theology from instructor of theology at the Wake Forest, N.C., campus.

6. AP – Martin Shkreli, the eccentric former pharmaceutical CEO notorious for a price-gouging scandal and for his snide “Pharma Bro” persona on social media, was convicted Friday on federal charges he deceived investors in a pair of failed hedge funds. A Brooklyn jury deliberated five days before finding Shkreli guilty on three of eight counts. He had been charged with securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Prosecutors had accused Shkreli of repeatedly misleading investors about what he was doing with their money. Mostly, he was blowing it with horrible stock picks, forcing him to cook up a scheme to recover millions in losses, they said.

7. CBN – Former National Health Service (NHS) Trust director Richard Page, is challenging his removal from his job at NHS in March of 2016. Page, a devout Christian who had nearly 20 years of experience as a finance director in the NHS in London, was suspended for expressing that a child should be raised by a mother and father. He made the comments in 2014 after a closed-door consultation about a same-sex couple adoption. “It’s a man and a woman having a child and it’s also what is in the Bible is a man and woman look after a child and look after family and that’s the natural way,” Page said in an interview with the BBC. He added, “I wasn’t being homophobic. I was doing my legal requirement, which was what was best for the child.” After defending his position in 2016, Page was suspended and eventually fired from his role at NHS. His former government employer believed that his views about family had “undermined” the confidence of staff, particularly LGBT staff. But Page believes he is being discriminated against for his religious beliefs and has filed a lawsuit against the NHS Trust Development.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Psalms 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

Napoleon Hill said, “It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”

God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!

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