Participants: Ashley Cobb, Karen Thomas
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000016
00:31 Welcome to another edition of Issues and Answers.
00:33 Today our guest is Ashley Cobb.
00:35 He is a private investigator in
00:37 New York City and a much sought after motivational speaker and
00:40 we'll be talking with him about his detective cases as well as
00:43 his motivational talks. He has been featured recently in a
00:47 magazine Sharing Ideas which goes all over the United States
00:50 to motivational speakers. In addition, he has produced an
00:54 audio cassette entitled The Secret of Success Is the Union
00:58 of Divine Power with Human Effort. He also has a news
01:03 letter entitled He Is My Brother which because of him
01:08 I can be all God wants me to be. Very motivational news
01:13 letter. We'd like to welcome Ashley Cobb to our program today
01:16 Thank you for coming and joining us again Ashley. Thank you,
01:20 glad to be here. It's a real treat to have you. Yes thank you
01:25 So now tell me about your work as a private investigator for 25
01:30 years, 9600 cases, 98% success rate and you're a motivational
01:35 speaker. Well see Karen, I see you love
01:37 to talk about detective work.
01:39 Yes, it's intriguing.
01:40 It's exciting to me. Well I'll
01:43 tell you some more about me work as a private investigator,
01:47 but I want you to understand, I'm a Christian private
01:50 investigator. So my success rate has a tendency to be more
01:55 successful because I put the Creator in front and say I don't
02:00 know anything unless you lead me. As I stated before that God
02:05 knows the beginning to the end, so it's necessary for any
02:10 business person, whatever profession or business that they
02:15 are in, to call upon the Creator and say look, you lead me.
02:20 If you lead me I will not go wrong but if I lead myself I
02:25 have a tendency of relaxing, you know, depending on my wisdom and
02:31 many times, from experience, I've fallen down and I realize
02:35 that it's necessary to call upon the Creator when you're doing
02:40 anything. One of my cases I like to talk about that recently
02:45 occurred; one Friday evening as I was preparing to do an
02:51 investigation at a particular hospital and it was around 2
02:57 o'clock and the sun was setting late. It's my practice to be
03:02 home before the sun goes down on Friday because I worship on
03:08 Sabbath and it is my duty to be there. But it was 2 o'clock and
03:13 my staff and I were working on the case and we recognized
03:18 that maybe I could do this investigation and I'd have time
03:22 to come back and complete it and go home before the sun went down
03:29 Karen it's not my routine to travel down this particular
03:34 route and I'll tell you about that to show why I didn't
03:39 particularly care to travel this particular street. So I got in
03:44 the car and I started driving down the street in Brooklyn and
03:49 as I was driving I noticed that two strong men, very healthy.
03:54 I don't know, the men these days look healthy like they're
03:59 following all the health rules. And I saw this other man
04:02 standing against the fence. It seemed like they had him
04:07 pinned in and his eyes and body language spoke that I'm in
04:12 trouble; I need someone to help me. I drove about 20 yards away
04:16 and then I jammed on the brakes and backed up and I looked and I
04:20 realized that they were threatening him. So immediately
04:22 I jumped out and I pulled my ID and they said what are you, a
04:26 cop? I said, I'm a private investigator. What are you
04:29 doing. Well he broke into our van and stole a television out
04:34 and if you don't do something we're going to do harm to him.
04:38 You know what the harm was okay? He was frightened and he
04:42 said I didn't do anything. Now this individual appeared that
04:46 he was intoxicated with drugs and things. I had my cell phone.
04:50 I said, you are not the police, so let me call the police. Let
04:53 them do the job. So during the time that I was calling the
04:58 police we were standing there waiting for the police to come.
05:02 I guess their anger just overran them and they started beating
05:06 on him. I said, stop, you can't do this. So they stopped and
05:10 the poor fellow fell to the ground bleeding. The police and
05:14 the ambulance arrived about five minutes later. The police
05:18 talked to the guys as to what happened. They told him that
05:21 he'd broken into the van. It appeared that they weren't
05:25 paying the injured person any attention. I guess they felt
05:29 well you broke in the van and you got what you deserved.
05:32 I was persistent that he needed to go to the hospital. Well they
05:36 were going to take him to the hospital but there seemed there
05:39 wasn't a lot of speedy effort to do it. So they finally put him
05:44 in the ambulance and took him to the hospital. But after that
05:48 I went to the hospital and did my investigation and came back.
05:53 My heart was troubled. It said why did you let them beat him
05:57 up? Why didn't you stop it? Well I said I tried but there
06:01 were too many. But my mind said you could have done much more.
06:06 The question kept spinning around in my mind all that
06:13 Friday night. I talked about it and I told my wife. she said you
06:17 know I felt as a private investigator it was my duty to
06:21 uphold the law and prevent crimes. She said well you did
06:26 what you could. Later that night I got up out of my bed and I
06:32 drove to the precinct. You see when you're dedicated to do
06:37 something, Karen, you dedicate whatever it is. You put all
06:40 yourself in it and that's the way I am. I like to put whatever
06:44 I do and give 110% to what I'm doing. So I drove to the
06:48 precinct and I talked to a police officer. He was feeling
06:52 good, he was nice, he was friendly. I said sir I came here
06:56 there was an incident today around 2:30 that a man was
06:59 beaten up in front of this building and so I would like to
07:02 know his name. So he said okay hold on just a moment. He went
07:05 back to the back and came back. He said well they took him to
07:08 this hospital and this is his name. So immediately I realized
07:13 okay he didn't die. So I went back home and then went to bed.
07:17 The next morning I prayed for the young man and then I went
07:22 to church and I was out of church around 1:30.
07:24 Karen, usually on Sabbath after church I'm racing for the table.
07:28 I want to eat you know. A great dinner. Yes a great dinner that
07:33 my wife has prepared. But that particular Sabbath was just a
07:39 different day. My soul, just my inner part of me felt that I had
07:44 failed someone. So I went to the hospital. I went upstairs
07:51 and I asked the clerk what floor this particular person was in.
07:56 They said, up on the fifth floor So as I went up I approached
08:02 this young man, unshaved and oh he just looked like a human,
08:08 just a human not being taken care of. He was intoxicated with
08:14 drugs, but he has sobered up some. As I walked to him I felt
08:20 that he figured that I came to harm him. I assured him, I said
08:26 I'm the man that saved you yesterday. He said, Oh yeah.
08:32 I identified myself; I'm Ashley, God sent me to you. You have a
08:40 problem. You need to get off drugs and he said Mr. Ashley,
08:44 I prayed to God two weeks ago that if he would help me I would
08:49 do it. I said, do you want help? He said, yes I want help.
08:53 But I want to tell you when they took me to the hospital
08:58 yesterday, after a few hours somebody came in the emergency
09:02 room where I was and they threatened me. They said as soon
09:05 as I get out of the hospital that they are going to kill me.
09:09 I'm frightened that the hospital is going to dump me out as soon
09:13 as I get well. His jaw was broken and he was frightened.
09:17 I said, who were the people. He said the same people that I
09:21 broke in the van. I said, you can understand that they are
09:24 angry and in New York City breaking in people's cars and
09:28 vans is suicide. Man, you got to be crazy to do that.
09:32 I understand that drugs drove you to do this. He said, yes it
09:37 did. So I went over to the nurse and asked him what protection
09:42 he was giving this young man. They felt he's not so much.
09:46 They didn't say it but their body language told me that they
09:50 didn't care. I moved up closely and I kind of whispered in a
09:54 nice voice and I said, how would you like to be on the 6 o'clock
09:57 news today? She looked at me. I said someone if comes in to
10:03 harm this person in your care then you're going to be a
10:08 popular person this evening. They were scared. Who are you,
10:12 who are you, who hired you? I said well I am his protector.
10:17 Let me see the hospital administration. You can
10:20 remember seeing the important people come running down.
10:22 They said, sir, what can we do? What can we do? And I told them
10:25 the story. They posted guards downstairs. Nobody could get
10:29 upstairs, et cetera. I said who are his parents. So we went and
10:33 talked to him. The think about it, Karen, this young man told
10:38 me that his mother was a nurse. It was shocking. She didn't work
10:42 but a few blocks from where I attend church. So we got her on
10:46 the phone and told her that the son had been assaulted and she
10:50 needed to come to the hospital. So she thanked me for saving his
10:56 life. The next day she came down and at that time I called Cliff
11:01 and Freddie Harris. O yes, they do that drug
11:04 program, Drugs Close to Home. Yes. You know Cliff. Cliff is
11:08 energetic. He said, Ashley, I know you and I are friends but
11:12 you know from New York. You know how the New Yorkers are. I said
11:15 look come on Cliff, he's okay. I understand. He said, well I
11:19 don't know, but I'll just do that for you. And I said well
11:22 how come? He said, I need to talk to him. And knowing Cliff,
11:25 Cliff said well I was a former drug addict, so you know they
11:28 can lie, Ashley. You see you can't talk about that part.
11:31 You're a private investigator and I am an entrepreneur and
11:35 dealing with drug addicts. So he talked to him. He went through
11:38 the young man, he really put him on the carpet. I felt for the
11:41 young man. He looked at him and he said, now you know we're
11:45 liars, we can lie. You can jive actually but you can't jive me.
11:48 So the guy assured him that he wanted help. So I said well
11:51 Cliff if he wants help, I'll tell you what, I'll purchase
11:54 him a ticket. And Cliff said well now you're not going to
11:57 fly him man, you put him on a Greyhound bus and let him come.
12:01 I said, Well I'm not driving him to L.A. to pick him up. That
12:05 traffic is too heavy. And so okay. So Cliff was very careful.
12:10 He's experienced. So three weeks later we purchased some clothes
12:15 and gave him money for lunch and we took him to the bus station.
12:19 See the bus station in New York City is large as a small city.
12:24 So one mind said well leave him here man and go, but one mind
12:27 said you stay and make sure that he gets on the bus. So I
12:30 stayed and made sure that he got on the bus and I saw the bus
12:34 drive off and I walked away. I said now he's headed to
12:38 California to Cliff and Freddie Harris and I know they will help
12:43 him. As the evil one and darkness would have it to be,
12:54 I received a call the next day before this young man arrived
12:57 and it was Cliff on the phone. Cliff said, well Ashley why
13:01 didn't you tell me that the law is looking for this man, he
13:04 doesn't do this and he does that. I said, Cliff don't you
13:07 understand the evil one and darkness? You're not fighting
13:10 against flesh and blood; you're fighting with higher powers.
13:14 Sure they're going to say that. It appears that his brother had
13:17 called and said that he wasn't any good or anything. Wasn't
13:21 that helpful? We felt that the brother was just envious because
13:23 he didn't have it, you know. I said don't worry. He said okay
13:26 I'll give it a try. So this young man arrived and Cliff
13:30 cleaned him up and put him in his program. Cliff has a great
13:35 program, no messing around. They put him in the program and
13:39 assigned him to some of their supervisors and et cetera.
13:43 Karen, this young man began to grow. He began to grow.
13:48 He became hungry for the word of the Lord and he would write
13:51 me a letter. One of the letters I shall never forget, I don't
13:54 have time to show you that letter, he said Dear Mr. Cobb.
13:57 Thank you for coming and saving me. You didn't know me, you
14:00 didn't have to do it. But I am going to make a change.
14:04 God has called me. So it had been a year since that happened.
14:08 I stay in contact with him. The young man has joined the church
14:13 and he's baptized and he's an ordained deacon. So Cliff
14:17 called me one day and he said the other day about a week ago
14:21 and he said Ashley we want to help him get a driver's license.
14:24 The guy is so good. And I said, well Cliff why don't you let him
14:27 come back to New York. No, no, man, I'm frightened he might go
14:30 back. I said, Cliff don't tell me you figure I'm going to
14:34 steal him for an employee. But I still love you for that. Well
14:38 he told me well I am thinking about making him supervisor on
14:42 my program. And I said, young man, do you hear what your boss
14:46 is saying? That's a promotion. I said well we'll see what we
14:49 can do about his driver's license in New York. So I was
14:52 a little slow. Cliff called me early Sunday morning around
14:56 8 o'clock and it was around 5 o'clock in L.A. in California.
14:59 And I said what are you doing calling me? Now Ashley you're
15:02 moving too slow over there. Now we need a license, why don't
15:04 you do it? I said okay I'm going to work on it Cliff, so give me
15:07 the information again. I'm sorry So in the next two days Cliff
15:10 called me and he was praising God. He said, Ashley, God is
15:14 great, God is great! Now I had to calm down and wait till all
15:18 the excitement went down. Cliff is a very energetic, motivated
15:22 person himself who has succeeded in overcoming drugs and made a
15:26 good example of what God can do for you if you let God help you.
15:30 He said, this young man and I went down to the motor vehicle
15:35 department and they checked the computer and they said Vincent
15:40 there's nothing on your record saying that you owe tickets, so
15:43 you can apply for your license. So the young man said nothing?
15:46 They said well do you want us to put something up there? Just
15:51 apply for your license. Cliff was so excited. He said, well
15:54 Ashley, God is working with him. He is going to be my next
15:57 manager. I want to say this, Karen. That young man has grown.
16:01 I feel great about it. I just feel great. My outreach
16:06 organization is called HIMB, the work that I used there,
16:11 excuse the English, it may not be in line, he ain't heavy, he
16:16 is my brother. My wife and I called it, she looked it up and
16:21 saw it's a comporter ministry, not colporteur, but comporter
16:26 ministry. We checked it out. That means that something
16:28 existing we help them. So we helped this young man along the
16:33 way. That is my greatest point seeing this young man. So this
16:37 year I'm supposed to go out and I'm supposed to do one of my
16:41 favorite motivational speeches out there. So he's going to be
16:44 sitting there and he's going to say well Mr. Ashley, the private
16:48 investigator is one of the links that God used to help me to come
16:52 back to myself. He's doing great Karen; he's doing great. In fact
16:56 they wrote two articles about him. So we won't call his name
17:00 in here, maybe he wouldn't want me to do it, but maybe one day
17:03 I can be excused if Cliff's not listening to the program, I can
17:06 steal him from California and bring him to New York and let
17:10 him sit here and tell you what happened. How God used an
17:14 individual to bring him to God. As I look at that I see when
17:20 man has fallen from grace to destruction the angels themself
17:26 ask God could they come and pay the price for man. But God in
17:30 his great wisdom knew that they weren't capable of doing it.
17:34 God could have easily let the angels preach this gospel.
17:38 They would do much better than you and I because sometimes as
17:42 humans we get lazy along the way, we give up and we start
17:45 over. But God wanted humanity to be involved. So you get that?
17:50 He used this private investigator who comes short on
17:53 many goals that God has set for me, he used me to point another
17:59 individual to him. In that great day, we hope to see this young
18:03 man with you and everyone that's watching this program to stand
18:08 on the sea of glass and say we made it; thank God!
18:12 As the motto we sing and Dr. Martin Luther King, Free at last
18:16 thank God, free at last! That will be great, that will be the
18:21 final when we say free at last! Thank God Almighty! Free at
18:25 last! We hope to see this young man and many others that watch
18:29 this program. Let humanity work with humanity. There is no
18:33 better think that a human being can do for another one. As our
18:37 pride says, it takes humans to help humans. We were born for
18:42 one purpose; that's to serve each other. No man is an island.
18:46 That is just incredible. Now
18:49 you're also the president of the
18:51 Atlantic Union chapter of the
18:53 Adventist Laymen's Services and Industry Organization.
18:56 Isn't that what this is about?
18:58 Yes Karen. We call it for short ASI. That's what we're about.
19:05 We talk about witnessing in the work place. As I privately say
19:12 it that it is our responsibility to tell everybody that we come
19:19 in contact with about Jesus Christ and his saving power.
19:24 It's more than just about being a good entrepreneur, it's more
19:31 than that. God is the great I AM He is the great entrepreneur and
19:36 when we witness to others then we are doing what he put us on
19:43 this earth to do. When we help others as I say, when I became
19:49 involved with ASI, I thought it was a regular convention.
19:52 When you attend a convention it's to pass business cards.
19:57 This is what usually is done. After I found that was not
20:01 what it was about, I began to learn. I realized this is why
20:05 God had me to attend these sessions so many times so I
20:09 would be familiar with what he wanted me to do. I had no idea
20:14 that one day I would become the ASI president for the Atlantic
20:18 Union Conference. But God, being the one that knows the beginning
20:22 to the end knew what he had designated for me. So during
20:26 that time they did it different when we had out convention.
20:31 They would talk about witnessing in the work place and finding
20:35 new ways how to witness to others, how to bless others
20:39 and I began to learn little by little and pretty soon I
20:43 recognized when God blesses us he does it in a different way.
20:49 See, God's mathematics is totally different from my
20:52 mathematics. As I know 2 and 2 is 4; that's a fact to me.
20:56 but in God's mathematics he can multiply 2 and 2 may mean 8, 16,
21:01 32. So when we are witnessing to others and pointing them to
21:07 the creator then God opens the windows up and pours out a
21:11 blessing that we don't have room enough to receive it
21:15 providing we follow in all his requirements keeping his
21:19 commandments. This is what it's about and that's what I'm about.
21:23 Well it sounds to me from just listening to your tapes and some
21:26 of the things that you've been talking about as a professional
21:30 motivational speaker, something that you do in a volunteer
21:33 capacity and sometimes as well as coming into business groups
21:37 and helping them, you've talked a little bit about how you have
21:40 made Christ the center of your life and how you've incorporated
21:44 that into your business. You've also talked about it's important
21:47 to know yourself and to know Christ, to let God come into
21:51 your heart. Now I also want to ask you something. For that
21:55 person who's interested in having you come to their work
21:58 place; perhaps it's not a Christian work place, a
22:03 Christian setting but they'd like to have you talk to their
22:07 workers. What would you tell them about how they could
22:09 develop their gifts as employees?
22:10 Okay, that's easy, you know. We don't only do motivational
22:16 speeches to Christians. I do motivational speeches to every
22:21 one across the board because I feel that everybody is God's
22:27 people. Now in the work place a business owner or a manager may
22:32 need to have his employees motivated, may need his managers
22:38 need his executives motivated. Sometimes in life we continue
22:42 to do the same thing in the same manner until it becomes routine
22:47 and we lose the energy. It is my duty to come in and show them
22:52 which way that they can achieve in this particular department;
22:56 how they can overcome this obstacle in life. So when we
23:01 look at something at a different angle it can work out because
23:06 no one is right, no one person has all the answers. So I
23:10 usually motivate the people that I speak to. Pick yourself up by
23:16 the boot strap and pull yourself up. Don't let anybody turn you
23:21 around. You're great and you have a God that says you're
23:25 great. Live all that you can in this life. Live your dream and
23:30 live all that you can. When you live that live on because
23:34 there's much more to live.
23:35 That's wonderful. Well I tell you, in looking at your business
23:40 profile I noticed that you have incorporated that very principle
23:44 in your own company by giving your secretary a very special
23:48 title that I know would make her feel wonderful, Secretary 2000.
23:53 Yes, let me talk about that. I said that one day and I was
23:58 coming to the new millennium, 2000, and recognized that
24:02 I needed to motivate the office staff. You know I go all over
24:07 the country motivating everybody else. Sometime my own are not
24:12 taken care of. But I'm a different type of employer.
24:20 I talk to my people, I make little jokes with them. If they
24:24 come in the office looking down I say look it's sad enough to
24:27 be here, sometime I don't want to be here, but since we have to
24:31 be among each other, put a smile on your face. What can I do for
24:34 you today. I'll tell you what, lunch is on me today and we
24:38 both cheer up. So we talked about secretary 2000, they were
24:41 looking at me and said what do you mean about that. I said,
24:43 well I'm giving you a different title. You know we're going into
24:47 the new millennium and we want to come in and we want to pick
24:52 ourselves up by our boot straps. Is there anything I can do to
24:56 make your life easy while you're working for me. I know it's
25:00 always a raise and I always know if anything I can say to set
25:05 things in priorities because many times the boss is wrong.
25:08 Bosses are wrong, you know they're not right all the time.
25:12 You can get a lot of good information from your employees
25:16 and I make it my business to talk, to listen to what my
25:19 employees have to say. So I gave them that title. I say you
25:23 always can talk to me. Just tell me how you feel. Just say time
25:27 out, I want to talk to you. I can't fire you for that because
25:30 as long as you're on company time I won't fire you for that.
25:33 Just tell me how you feel. Then I'll know how I should do it.
25:36 So we have a good working relationship
25:38 I tell you Ashley, we're nearing the end of our program but
25:42 before we go I'd like for you to look into this camera over here
25:44 and I want you to talk to that person who is running their
25:49 company who may be torn between the bottom line as well as
25:53 having their employees feel happy about working where they
25:56 are and then the idea which you've introduced today of
26:00 incorporating Christ and doing unto others. What would you say
26:04 to that person? Well, Karen, I will say to that
26:06 person, it could be a man or woman, who owns a business or
26:10 is having people working for them, there are times that it
26:15 seems on the bottom line that the boss and the employees don't
26:20 see eye to eye. I would say to the employer, first you sit down
26:25 and you think about what can make your employees happy.
26:28 Now in order to have a successful business you must
26:31 have satisfied employees. You must pay them a fair salary,
26:36 you must listen to them because we have problems and they can
26:41 give good information that will cause a company to grow.
26:46 Most successful companies are not because the boss builds it
26:49 by himself. There is a group of individuals around him giving
26:54 him advice and he spearheads it up and he takes that advice.
26:58 Now I would say to that person first incorporate God into your
27:03 plans. Determine to live all you can. If you have a business and
27:08 that business may not be progressing as you think it
27:11 should, once you incorporate Christ in your plans and you
27:16 look for different methods and avenues. Get as much information
27:21 from people that know what you are manufacturing or what
27:25 services that your selling. A lot of your information comes
27:29 from your secretary or the warehouse person, the fellow
27:34 that may sleep the floor for you. Listen to that and you can
27:38 be a success along with God.
27:40 Well thank you so much for sharing your ideas today and
27:44 thank you for coming into the program. For our viewers, we
27:48 would like to hear from you. Please call that 800 number.
27:51 There is someone who is willing to pray with you.
27:53 If you're a business owner and would like to have Ashley come
27:56 to your company, please call that 800 number.
27:59 Until next time may God bless you. We look forward to seeing
28:02 you again on Issues and Answers.