The ProLife Team Podcast 150 | Ashley Graves

Hear Ashley’s thoughts on pregnancy clinic leadership.


The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

00:05 :

So Ashley, I’m excited to have you on the pro-life Team Podcast. Would you introduce yourself as if you were speaking to a room full of pregnancy clinic executive directors?

00:20 :

Absolutely my name is Ashley Graves and I have been in the pro-life world for roughly 18 years now. I started off as a volunteer at a pregnancy Resource Center and then we relocated towns and I had in my head that I would be a stay at home mom for a year. My husband and I did, and God had other plans. So I was an executive director of a pregnancy Resource Center for over 8 years and then begin to really see the need that we were losing amazing leaders due to burnout, fatigue, spiritual warfare. And then in 2019 I founded 5 Stone Consulting and I walk beside pregnancy care center directors, their board, and the leadership as a whole because it’s just a very difficult job. It’s a difficult job and compared to I work with a lot of Christian nonprofits and the spiritual warfare attack on pregnancy resource centers is more than anything I’ve ever seen. And I kind of thought I understood it when I was an executive director but now that I’m working with centers across the country, and I even have two in Australia, it’s so intentional. He wants to take out the leaders and attack the pregnancy Resource Center world. And so that’s what I’m passionate about, is helping them last in leadership longer so that they don’t leave fatigued, tired, burned.

02:01 :

Out wow. Yeah, i agree this is a unique space and so let’s talk about spiritual warfare. What are your thoughts on, you know, fighting in the spiritual space?

02:19 :

So I believe strongly that from the beginning of time, the enemy has wanted to attack women because we carry life. And if he can destroy life, he can destroy families, and if he destroys families, he can destroy society. I just believe that wholeheartedly and that doesn’t mean he doesn’t attack men as well, ’cause he definitely does. But I have seen it. I’m amazed and I was one of these, Jacobs, So I’m not throwing stones at all but I’m amazed at how many Christian leaders do not spend intentional time in scripture and in prayer. How many centers do not have a prayer coverage team or even maternity homes they don’t have a prayer coverage team. Things of that nature that are just vital and i joke but I’m also not joking. I have to have my daily time with the Lord, because if I don’t, I’m discontent, I’m irritable. I get angry, you know, like I’m just not a happy person. And I also know I’m an easy target for the enemy if I don’t spend that intentional time with the father every day.

03:38 :

So which passage in scripture seems to be helpful to you or what’s the reflection from scripture for taking on the spiritual warfare and being prepared for battle?

03:53 :

The main one, and I know a lot of us know it, is Ephesians 6 talking about putting on our armor. There’s another one though, I wasn’t prepared for that question so I’m not sure if I can give you the exact address it’s in Second Samuel and it’s actually David is talking. He’s talking and he’s telling them he’s wanting to go after Goliath and Saul is saying like you’re just a kid what are you thinking? And David said, you know what? I defeated and I fought the bear and I fought the tiger to get the lamb. This Philistine giant is nothing. And honestly, I think about that a lot because we have the smaller battles that the Lord prepares us in, and we need to remember that we have the Lord in our court and the battles we’re facing. He’s right there. He hasn’t left us. He wants to protect us he wants to be right next to us. And so, honestly, I use that scripture quite a bit.

05:01 :

Well, yeah, that’s really good. Yeah i often think of like Planned Parenthood and the abortion clinic and our opposition as having Goliath like attributes. And really we fight all sorts of battles outside of that which equip us to fight these bigger battles. And we’re not alone as well, like we’re fighting alongside lots of friends. So, Well, would you, would you reflect on the armor of God like when it comes to the armor of God and spiritual warfare, would you like what part of the armor of God seems to resonate as being you know? Would you just maybe just share your thoughts on some of the armor of God?

05:44 :

Yeah, So the helmet of salvation, I think is one of the key points because all of our spiritual warfare, in my opinion, begins in our head a lot of it. And if we can protect our thoughts and remind ourselves that it is covered by the grace of Jesus Christ. And if we can be intentional about covering that thought process and the lies of the enemy that try to get in our head. And you know, in a lot of organizations, Jacob, what I see, I’m just a lot of organizations that are in the pro-life world are predominantly women. And let’s be honest, sometimes we have a tendency to talk a lot. And our center, the one that I LED for a long time, we made it a foundational thing we would not tolerate talking behind each other’s back. It became, we embraced Matthew 18 so fiercely because we were determined we weren’t going to let the enemy get a foothold. And so I truly believe in centers that’s one of the biggest things is the team committing, we will not say anything behind each other’s back unless it’s affirming and if you’re not willing to say it to the other person, then don’t say it at all. And the centers that have had division and the centers that have had a lot of drama, I think they’ve let those little sneak attacks sneak in or this second guessing. It’s very easy to thank the Lord didn’t pick me for this role. I’m not equipped for this role there’s no way I can lead this role that is a very common thing i see a lot of that if we hold firm to when the God, when God called us to ministry, we can make it through those difficult times. You know, like when you know, God called me to lead this ministry through this situation. I can make it through hard times because I’m holding firm and just like when the Lord called me out of the PRC world, it was very clear. There was a lot of times before that I’d come home to my husband, Brent, and be like, I’m done i quit i’m over it. And Brent would tell me, I’ll listen when it’s the Holy Spirit and it’s not you, Ashley. And then when I knew my season was done, he was like, OK, what’s next? And I really think we have to battle against those things that happen in our head that try to tell us we’re less than we’re not enough we can’t do it just to be transparent. I almost didn’t do this podcast because I’m insecure about my own voice and how it sounds, and that’s allowing the enemy to silence me if I say I’m not going to use my voice. And so we have to be willing to get past those lies that he tells us and lean into the truth. And the biggest way we fight that right is the sword of battle, which is God’s word. We have to have God’s word in us. We have to be used to it. When we’re in Scripture daily, we get used to hearing the Father’s voice, right? But if we go weeks without talking to him, or we go months without talking to him, how are we going to recognize his voice? We haven’t spent time with him. We don’t know what his word says about things. It’s hard to be extra sensitive to him if we don’t spend adequate time with him. And that’s where the sword of the Spirit is so crucial we have to be in His scripture daily.

09:26 :

Awesome all right so this next question I might have to rephrase it because it’s going to, it may not be a commonly asked question. So on one side we’ve got these false beliefs, you know we’ve got this, we’ve got these tapes playing that Satan saying things that are not true but yet we may believe them or we may think that they might be true or they impact us like darts or like arrows. And then on the other side we have what Jesus is offering us or what Jesus has called us into, you know, his child being a priest, part of his Kingdom, being a precy clinic director or what we’re currently doing for him. And in between these there’s a there’s a longing. So I guess what I’m question my question is what longing do you think a Prince do you have for someone to go from hearing these false beliefs to being who they are in Jesus what longing do you have for someone you know? What does that longing look like or what do you desire which will help get someone to where they are in Christ? I can rephrase it if that’s a hard question to answer, yeah.

10:37 :

And I’m not sure i think, no, I think I’m going with you, ’cause it’s actually a really good question. I think the longing I would have for anyone is to hunger and thirst for God’s Word. In my early twenties, I just fell in love with Scripture. But I found myself well, I fell in love with Bible study and I found myself reading the author’s notes more than the Word of God. And so I can tell you where I was seated i can tell you where my daughter was i can tell you the house we were in. And I stopped and prayed and asked, Father, please let me hunger and thirst for your word. And he has never ever quenched that. Like, I am just the biggest Bible nerd and I adore his word as if it’s honey. And I can’t always tell you the address where we’re going to find the scripture but i lean into that. And if I could have any longing for executive directors, it would be for them and anyone in Christian leadership as a whole the board. Like let’s talk the board needs to be in it on as well. They need to be covering the center. They need to be praying for the staff and the families. Jacob, your team needs to be praying for you and lifting you up and your team and your staff. Anyone in the pro-life movement there needs to be a covering and if I could have any longing for any of them, it would be that they would fall in love with the word of God, that it would just be new and fresh and they couldn’t get enough of it awesome.

12:19 :


12:21 :

Did that answer what you were getting?

12:22 :

And I’d like to connect it so I’d like you to reflect on the passage in the Bible with the woman at the well. When Jesus offered her water that would that where she wouldn’t have to come to the well anymore to draw and then how that changed her life and how that reflects the opportunity. Don’t think your phone might have gone into hibernation mode maybe you can still hear me may have to just wake it up no worries. But yeah, So and how that may reflect what a Tracy clinic gets to do with women who are in similar situations as the woman at the well. And how they get to be invited into having that first taste of the word of God or, you know, of Jesus in a way that changes and transforms their lives so can you reflect on just how that really connects with your longing? Yeah.

13:18 :

Absolutely. Well, and it’s we’re in a unique situation we had a client one time and she has been on my heart forever. And we were talking to her and anytime you mention Christianity or Jesus, you could see this wall go up. And we weren’t throwing it in her face we were handling it delicately like most of us do. And this, it was like this wall just went up. And finally I just asked her like, what’s going on with that when I say Jesus or I say Christian, you’re having almost a physical reaction. And she said, when I was growing up, I was raised in a Catholic home and I was beaten with scripture, spoken over me. Then the baby daddy, the father of the baby, he was raised in a Baptist home and his dad was a Baptist preacher who committed suicide. And not a single person showed up to his father’s funeral. Not one. So across the board as church, we have hurt a lot of people and there’s been a lot of woundings there’s been a lot of pain. And so I actually like to take it past the question of what is your religious belief to be? If I mentioned Jesus, what does that mean to you? I would much rather have that conversation because as Christians, we’ve let a lot of people down we have i’ve let people down i know I’ve done things unintentionally all of us have. But what does it mean when we talk about Jesus? And I love to lean into how he has saved my life, how he has saved my story, how I was, you know, Psalm 51 with David again, David’s my guy. But Psalm 51 with David again, He’s like Holy Spirit, do not leave my side like he had watched Saul lose the Holy Spirit and the anointing and he’s like, don’t leave me, don’t leave my side and he’s asking for forgiveness. He’s repenting. That’s what every single one of us when we go to the Father like that, he wants to make it whole. And none of us can do it in our own might none of us can do it in our own power. It’s only by his grace and His forgiveness and love that we’re able to do that.

15:44 :

Wow. Yeah, this is really good i really like that question of if I mentioned Jesus, what does that mean to you? As a way of understanding what roadblocks and thorn bushes might be present so that we’re able to, yeah, be thoughtful and careful, you know, with care when we’re trying to bring up things. So we’re working on this really interesting project, and I haven’t actually mentioned this on the podcast before or mentioned it to many people, but we’re working with Bright Course to produce a video series on how to read the Bible. And it and the and the purpose of it’s going to be so that someone can use the texting platform to send a text to a client who’s interested in how to you know, starting to read the Bible with the expectation that this client hasn’t read the Bible before, hasn’t been to church, probably hasn’t gotten saved or hasn’t started a relationship with Jesus as of yet or maybe just started. But all that to say is if you were to try and give advice to someone on you know taking like you know expanding the past that question of if I mentioned Jesus, what does that mean to you? How would you direct them to maybe connect with the word of God and what step would that come in and what might come before bringing up, You know, a suggestion on the word of God and maybe asking them to actually read or, you know, what does that look like to?

17:17 :

You so probably what it would look like for me is to start a mountain Genesis and see where it went wrong, right we have to understand where the division started from the beginning. So otherwise you say, and I’ve found this to be true as well, if you use terms like abuse or even sin, they don’t always know what that means. And so let’s start all the way back at Genesis and kind of explain what’s going on there. And then I personally lean into Psalm one thirty nine that you were created, you were not a mistake, and the Lord knew you were being knit together in the womb. And this is not a surprise to him. And then I usually go into Luke. That’s a little bit of an easier read for a lot of people so walking through passages and Luke about Jesus and the miracles he performed, but also most importantly, all the passages that talk about he came to save us. And that would probably the be the area I would lean into if it was. And I think that’s really exciting y’all are doing that i like, I love that I have my masters in Christian education and biblical studies and I’m about to finish my doctorate and spiritual. I’m sorry, in strategic leadership. So I am all about getting them in the word of God and getting past what the world says about Christians and getting into what God says. You know, like let’s get because we also get a bad rap just on the news and on TV like they make fun of us they do, you know, So we get a bad rap in a lot of places and so getting past those messages and getting directly into the word of God, that’s incredible so that’s exciting and.

19:06 :

The idea is that they’ll get a text on their phone and then they can all they can click on the link to watch the video and they’ll be, I think we’re going to end up with six or seven video clips or you know, in the series. And we actually are, well, right now we’re leaning towards having them start in Matthew to go through the gospel and not the Genesis. So parts of Genesis are really good to start with, but then it feels like, well, you know, the Old Testament’s a lot harder overall I think than the New Testament as for parts, some parts of it are tedious and then some parts of it are, Well, it has. The cultural difference seems to be greater on the divide of you know what’s being described. But that’s one thing we were trying to figure out like do we start them in Genesis, do we start them in John, do we start with first John and we ended up right now we’re leaning towards Matthew. But it’s that’s one of those things that we’ve been trying to figure out is where does someone, where would I suggest someone start i personally I was leaning towards first John as being a shorter book, so you can actually have completion sooner as well. It’s a it’s part of the part of getting someone started. But anyways, all that to say is it’s exciting though, because you know, crazy clinics have the opportunity to share Jesus and they have the opportunity to literally give someone eternal water, replacing the water that they have to keep trying to, you know, refill the physical, you know that physical thirst absolutely.

20:44 :

We had a young girl at our center. I’m sorry, I have I have a lot of stories but we had a young girl at our center show up and our front receptionist ran up to me and she said, Ashley, there’s a aunt here or a guardian here and she wants you to talk to her daughter about sex and I was like wait, what? And she goes, I said what does she want me to say and she goes, I’m really not sure this is weird this has hasn’t happened before and to try and make a really Long story short, this teenager had sexual sin but her family was completely berating her. They were making her feel awful, they were calling her horrible names. And I finally got alone with the teenager and asked the guardian to step out and I just began praying Psalm one thirty nine over her and just explaining like we get a second start god is not finished with us. And she knew what she had done was not what her family wanted for her. And they had made it very clear but she was to the point she needed some forgiveness too. You know, we can beat ourselves up and we can beat others up to a really horrible place and she needed to experience the forgiveness of Christ, and she needed to understand that he loved her no matter what and so I love that part of it, too, that we’re bringing them into Scripture to learn that even if they’ve messed up, the Father loves and adores them like he’s running after them. That’s amazing.

22:17 :

Yeah, that makes you think of the prodigal son story. Yeah with the father running. Running to meet his son that was dead and now is alive and having to deal with his other son who is bitter because he never left so good yeah somebody yeah.

22:35 :

Yes, yes. And I’ve been both. I’ve done both of those.

22:40 :

Yeah, it’s interesting how in a parable we can find ourselves taking on multiple roles in different stages of life and how parables relate to, you know, it’s the depths are layered when it comes to application. Yeah, that’s really insightful that you can take on more than one role.

23:00 :


23:01 :

One of my favorite multi role ones is the Good Samaritan because sometimes we’re the abuser, sometimes the we’re the ones on the side that have been beaten up. Sometimes we’re the one walking by and ignoring and sometimes we’re the Samaritan who’s doing, you know, really nice things to someone who’s not part of our tribe. And so, yeah, we can, we could definitely be any one of those roles at different stages in life, yeah.

23:32 :

Yep and isn’t that the beauty of God’s word that the Lord has made it so alive that depending on what we’re doing, what’s happening in our life that we can relate to different the fact that he’s stories so well and we can be different people depending on what stage of life we’re in i just find that so.

23:54 :

We interviewed Frank Pavone or Father Frank Pavone, depending on preferences. And we interviewed him about, you know, how do you help someone start reading the Bible? And that was one of the main points that he made right near the beginning is that this is not a normal book, but literally a living it’s a, you know, this book is alive and these words are living and that’s why they have such great impact. And that’s something that, you know, I needed to be reminded of because that’s not something I think about when I think about my Bible. I often don’t. It doesn’t come back to my thought is that this is yeah this is living like you know this is you know the word like in John it starts off how Jesus is the word and that’s a really good thing i I’m really glad. I’m glad you said that because that’s really beautiful when you think about how the word is living, that’s amazing.

24:50 :

I will even sometimes like, if I’m, I write in my Bible, and so if a scripture really speaks to me in a certain time, I might put a date next to it. And then when I come back and I’m reading it later and I’m like, oh, it spoke to me then what was going on then and then kind of see how it’s speaking to me differently now. That’s something I love to do, ’cause it’s like, wow, It’s just amazing to me how it he I that scripture in Samuel, that first Samuel that I had mentioned, I had read that so many times and it had never stuck out to me. And then it just was before me and I was like, Oh my gosh, And there my company, 5 Stone Consulting, is actually named for the five stones that David had in his hand. And a piece we always, like, have to remember is he went in with five, but he only needed one. And a lot of times we come in with this huge fight and this huge battle thinking, OK, and it just takes one, the right one to knock out the enemy. And I just hold on to that big time because that’s what we’re up against in our world all the time.

26:02 :

That’s good. Yeah, that’s really good. So tell me what what’s an example of Bear or tiger that an executive director may face before basing Goliath in a different stage of life?

26:21 :

Well, that is a good question. I would think some of the smaller things are a difficult client, a client coming in maybe it’s a client that’s stealing things, or maybe it’s a client trying to take advantage of things. Maybe it’s a tax in the community. I’ve seen a lot of sinners that they struggle with a rumor going around they don’t keep confidence or they don’t keep things confidential. And I always remind them that our Lord will fight for our sinners. Like we don’t have to do a big production, we just step back and pray and ask the Lord to protect us. So sometimes we over respond because of fear and we want to protect the ministry that’s just very natural. But so it could be a smaller thing like those situations maybe it’s a trial within the board and there’s some conflict within the board and we need to have just an honest conversation and we need to communicate clearly with each other or. And then the bigger ones could be things you walk up and the center has paint thrown all over it, or there’s been a huge divide and the staff is all ready to be done. Or it could just be something I’ve seen some man, those stupid masks during COVID. I don’t care if you want to wear a mask or you don’t want to wear a mask, But there was so much division and pregnancy resource centers and so many people that were ready to walk out over a mask and that just hurt my heart, because I was like, why are we here? We’re not here because of the mask we’re here to help these women. And I’m not throwing stones at anybody but there’s little topics like that the enemy uses to blow something way out of proportion that it’s not needed. And we need to remember we have to keep the main thing, the main thing.

28:23 :

Yeah and I think it’s important to highlight one of the main tactics that the enemy uses like you mentioned earlier with the helmet, you know and our thoughts are so important to protect is that the enemy uses lies and false beliefs and manipulative thoughts to distract and deter and to, yeah, really like that’s a main style of attack is through false beliefs. And I want you to just highlight the word, yeah, when you said, you know, when it comes to different attacks, you mentioned prayer first i’d like you to expand on the importance of prayer as a way of responding to these small, medium, and large attacks and how that you know and sort of like what you know what comes out of that prayer time.

29:17 :

Well, I would much rather, and I shouldn’t i mean, I’m kind of throwing myself under the best, but I would much rather have an executive director that is willing to pray and follow the Holy Spirit than if she has every certificate and degree on the wall or he. You can have all the education in the world, but if you’re not following the Holy Spirit and you’re not praying and asking for that guidance and direction, that scares me more than anything. And so when you’re praying and you’re in tune to the Father, say you catch 2 employees gossiping. If you’re not stopping to pray about that first, your human side may come in a little too hot and a little too strong and make a bad situation a whole lot worse. Or the other thing can happen and you choose to completely ignore it and bury your head in the sand about it and it grows into this ugly thing in the ministry and so just stopping and really asking for wisdom and discernment and identifying. I know all of us are guilty of this we assume someone else’s intentions. We assume this is must be what they were thinking we assume this meant must be how they were planning it and instead maybe we need to start not maybe we all need to start assuming the best of others and assuming they don’t have it out for us they don’t have like this grand scope to take us down or something but assume OK, wait, that was just an innocent comment that was that was not meant to be some big deal. I see this a lot between boards and executive directors. Some very small comment can be blown so way out of proportion and just assuming stopping it in our head and asking the conversation, what did you mean by that like I took it this way i think I got it wrong let’s just have a conversation and that could stop it instantly. And that’s something I see a lot of between the board and the staff is there is assumptions that cause a lot of turmoil and we don’t have the luxury of that. We need to be united. We need to be one united front for our communities to stand in the gap for these women like we have to be that so we don’t have the luxury of this drama. Does that make?

31:50 :

Sense it does it sounds like it’s important to slow down and seek seek God and that might take you know essentially what that really means is you’re listening for directions and more so than trying to process and figure it out on our own power our own thoughts and mind. So when I when I go to prayer and i don’t go to prayer often enough but when I do go to prayer, the one thing I usually hear is breathe or rest or I hear I hear rest a lot or breathe those are some of the most common things I hear in my head. And if I want to check that spirit or that voice I’ll ask is Jesus, God come in the flesh. Because in the Bible it says that a spirit that’s not from God can’t agree to that. So, but out of curiosity, when you go to pray, what’s something that you hear often? Or do you also hear rest and or breathe as a common response out of curiosity?

32:55 :

A huge one I hear is trust me like I hear often just trust me like trust me in this. I’ve gone through a lot of different things where I used to spend a lot of my life and a lot of fear. I was very people don’t believe it now, but I was so shy i was so timid as a child and the Lord just has done a work in me through trusting him and so most of the time I hear a lot of just trust me, keep walking, just trust me, ’cause my knee jerk reaction with fear is always to stop. Like, oh, this is scary i’m going to stop and he just keeps edging me on just trust me, keep going, keep going. So that’s what I hear a ton of is just trust me, we got this let’s go you know and so and there’s been, I’m in a weird season I don’t get to rest for a little bit and I’ll get to rest in about a month or so And when that happens I will be I will rest and I will rest well. But I’m not in that season just yet.

34:03 :

I think I might be the opposite because i love to work and so I’m always you know ready to work a lot and also when it comes to fear i’m really good at ignoring things so I’ve got no problem going into a.

34:20 :

Yeah, so you’re.

34:21 :

Like, I’m already there, What do we do now? But I’m often told that like.

34:27 :

Just relax. Just relax.

34:32 :

Yes, but.

34:33 :

Yeah take a breather slow down.

34:36 :

Yeah, but I feel like we’re talking about.

34:39 :

So I’m just the opposite God’s life. Come on.

34:42 :

That’s really good. So tell me about, you know, tell me about the benefits of mentoring an executive director like the before and after or you know how that can be found helpful?

35:00 :

So I have worked with all the way back to my twenties. I didn’t have a really pretty testimony and I didn’t have really pretty teenage years, to be honest. And I really wanted someone to walk beside me, and I just didn’t have that and then in my twenties, I started working with teenagers. And then as life has gone on, I’ve worked with college students i’ve worked with young moms. I just wanted to be that place. And a mentor is not the person. They’re not a friend, right. And that usually comes out of my mouth often. I’m not here to be your friends. I’m here to give you truth. I’m here to give you encouragement. A lot of people have enough friends that are willing to tell them what they want to hear, but a mentor will tell them what they need to hear. And so that is how that kind of comes into play. Studies have shown that women, especially we benefit far greater than men when it comes to mentoring. We, I think because we’re so relationship focused, but we benefit far more from mentoring. The problem is there’s not enough mentors going around. A lot of industries have tried to lean into mentoring, to diversify and things like that, but there’s not enough of mentors going around. So mentoring is just being able to ask somebody that’s done it ahead of you, how do you do this? What did you do in this situation? And I was one of those people I would much rather learn from your mistakes than make the same mistake myself. So I would love to learn like if you did something and it didn’t work out well, please tell me because I don’t want to do the same thing. And mentoring is walking beside and listening and being a safe place i think that’s another key point. If you’re mentoring someone, you need to make sure that you are keeping their confidence that you’re not. You need to be a safe place for them to come to you and someone they can talk to you. So mentoring has become something I’m pretty passionate about, and I was talking earlier i can’t really rest. I am. My doctoral project is actually a book on mentoring, and I have a hard deadline, the first part of March so I don’t get a lot of rest until the first part of March and then after that I get to breathe a little bit. But I’m blown away even in Scripture, where we see glimpses of mentoring and we see not just, in, you know, a lot of people will look to Timothy and Paul and things like that and there’s even more of how we just watch and we see how people handle a situation and we’re watching and I think sometimes we don’t appreciate how many people are watching us to know how to handle a situation. For example, I told you I was a very shy kid. I would observe people a lot. I and to this day I do i sit back and I observe a lot because I’m not an extrovert by any means. And so I’ll see how people interact and how they do things. And I’m watching to learn how should I handle situations or how should I do something. And it’s amazing how we have people watching us we have young people watching us to see how we’ll respond. We have non Christians watching us to see how Christians will respond. We have, I mean, people are just watching to see how are we responding to the world. And I think that’s another facet of mentoring that we don’t realize enough of, that people are truly observing and they want to see how we’re handling things.

38:47 :

That’s really good. Which scripture you know seems to really inspire you on this work of you know of this message of how mentors are helpful and they are needed, you know which passage seems to really maybe give you that support or a passage that may support that idea.

39:10 :

I’ve been looking at as that say I’ve been looking at so much recently and I’m going blank don’t you hate it when that happens? Ok ’cause I’m like, I’ve been looking at, so I don’t know why I’m going blank, but I am going blank on that, right well, when?

39:27 :

It comes back to you we’ll come we’ll come back there and I it happens to me all the time when it comes to you know, i know I know something but yet for some reason I can’t speak to access it so that’s we’ll come back to that would you?

39:41 :

Exactly, I’m like.

39:43 :

Actually here’s a here’s a side question that might that might be helpful in that you know, previous question, How is it helpful for your for your team, for your board, for your community within a Tracy clinic to have the armor of for everyone to be equipped with the armor of God? When it comes to having you know the shield of faith up for defense, when it comes to having the these different parts, how does it play into having you know the team equipped more so than just yourself equipped?

40:21 :

Absolutely and one of my favorite visuals there. So when Paul was talking about in Ephesians 6, he was actually camping out with the Roman army at that point in time and so he was around all these warriors, you know so he had all these visuals around him, and one of my favorite visuals of that on the Shield of Faith is they used to, first of all, they would make the Shield and they would dip it in water. It would be made of wood and they would dip it in water, soak it in water so that the fiery darts would literally extinguish when they hit it. And I love that visual for starters. Secondly, that’s pretty heavy too like wet wood is pretty heavy and there was usually a bronze piece in the very middle to protect the very middle of the shield. But they would get in what they described as the tortoise movement and they would put the Shields up as a group and make a big shield like a turtle, and everyone had their Shields above their head. That is a powerful image. If you have your team and you all have your shield above your head and you’re all together, the enemy cannot prevail. The enemy cannot get into that. And it takes just a little slip where he can find a notch, because that’s what he wants to do, he find he wants to find that little opening spot. But if we all have our Shields up and our Shields are covering us as one huge turtle like turtle shell, tortoise shell, that is a powerful protection it is very powerful. And I think sometimes the board doesn’t realize their responsibility is that spiritual covering as well. There’s a very powerful sense that they need to be covering the staff, the team, they need to be involved and consistently praying for the organization and on down the organization of prayer teams then, you know, we don’t break our client’s confidentiality we don’t break our team’s confidentiality, but you can just say we have a woman considering an abortion, We need prayer. That’s all you have to say god knows the rest, like all the other details are covered. And so I just love that visual of that huge shell with those, that shield of faith just blocking and saying not today, like you’re not getting in, we’re protecting this place.

42:50 :

Yeah, there’s i think there’s value there’s real value when it comes to overlapping and having coverage from, you know people on the team and I think it seems like that mentoring experience, it seems to me like it’s a team effort it’s like it’s saying, you know, you need someone else to help you see what you may not be seeing by yourself and having that support that, you know, that mental strategic support is so important for understanding where to go next and to have someone to bounce ideas off of and, you know, build up some of these leadership skills. Yeah i think that visual of like a group of people who are working together is stronger than each person individually because then they would have more to cover by themselves if they had to cover themselves with shields yeah.

43:47 :

Like the I think of like so many of these incredible state coalitions that are coming up. You know, with all of these state coalitions and these centers coming together, it’s just amazing to watch. And they’re covering their States and they’re covering the organizations and I just think that’s exciting. I just really do and the way they’re meeting, intentionally, praying intentionally, I see that as like these little coverings for every single state. And it’s just to me, it’s very exciting to see what the Lord’s doing with this.

44:21 :

Ok so my next question, this one might be hard, so feel free if you’re not ready for it. But when it comes to the state, you know, so let’s say, let’s say there’s a pussy clinic that’s in Washington, california or illinois, one of these states that is it has a higher amount of risk to be a Prancy clinic or to be pro-life and because the opposition is like a beehive that was just smashed and they’re, you know, looking to cause damage or a hornet’s nest, I guess. But so let’s just, you know, So for people who are in a state like that, when it comes to weighing the risk of, you know, what they do and how to measure that legal response or that legal risk that comes with it, how would you know, what would be your, you know, what are your thoughts on trying to support someone in that kind of state? And then how would that contrast maybe with like Texas or somewhere else where the legal risk isn’t the same at all? Yeah but so when it comes to people that are in these hotbeds or you know, they’re in California or Illinois, what are your thoughts on giving them support in relation to how it’s very different than other states that are friendly towards this cause and work or more friendly?

45:40 :

Absolutely and this has really opened up a lot of different dialogues since Roe V Wade. I have a client i have clients in New York and California. Not only is it a hotbed for the other side, but they’re losing donors and volunteers because they’re moving out of the state. You know, people are leaving California in droves. And so some of the centers I’m working with over there, they’re losing volunteers. They’re losing donors because they’re moving out of state and the people that are choosing to stay are still seeing it as a mission field. They’re like, we’re not giving up we’re still going to be here we can’t just hand over this land to the enemy. We have to be in the thick of it. And it’s been interesting to watch how those States and their coalitions have come together stronger to support each other and cheer each other on. Even at the national level, hearing centers like send money if you’re in a state that maybe you’re flourishing financially, you’re not under as many tax. They’re sending money to centers in California and New York to say, you know what we know you’re losing donors we know you’re losing volunteers we want to help you in this fight. And so being mindful of that I think is really crucial. I did not realize till till I started working with these centers how many they’re losing due to people moving out of the state. That just did not occur to me and they really are they’re losing donors and volunteers due to people saying I’m done, like this is too much i’m out of here and they’re moving to places like Florida, Texas, I think Texas, y’all need to go somewhere else we’re getting a little jam packed with a lot of stuff happening down here so they need to go somewhere else. But yeah, it’s big and so being mindful of that, I think other centers across the country should be stepping in and saying how can we help you? How can we be a partner with you how can we pray for you? How can we help you financially? Like, what does that look like and partnering with other centers in a hotbed, I think that’s very.

47:54 :

Beautiful idea for one pricey center to partner with one that’s in a in a different land, under different rule, under different laws, in a different space, with different opposition. You know, it’s a it’s a different environment. And really, I mean we’re we all have the same mission, but we all don’t have the same neighbors we all don’t have the same local government and the same fight in the same legal risk. So that’s beautiful i love that response thank you so much for sharing that that’s really good.

48:33 :

Well, and I’ve seen it happen a lot of the centers I work with, there’s been centers across the country that have poured money into other centers because they’re saying, you know what we want to be so it’s not even just a flippant idea it’s actually happening. There’s a lot of centers that are sending money to other centers that are in the hotbed, and I think it’s just a way of saying we love y’all we’re with you. It always hurts my heart when centers think they have to compete. Oh, that hurts my heart because we are all one team. Like there’s we are all one team and we need to be in this as one unit fighting one enemy. And so I love to see centers come beside each other and say I’m with you. I don’t know what your fight is i may not understand everything you’re dealing with that I can pray for you. If we have extra resources, I can send them to you. We’re in this with you. That is just incredible.

49:30 :

To me, I think one of my favorite types of ideas is an idea that will rise, You know, raise, raise the tide for all ships like everyone on our team, if there’s a way to help our friends and neighbors who you know are not, you know, who are not run by the same board, they’re not. You know, if there’s a way to raise all pro-life organizations, that’s an idea that I love to pursue and hash out and explore those are some of the best, I think.

50:03 :

Absolutely, because we are we’re one team and we’re supposed to be cheering each other on, you know, and my grandfather used to say that’s why they make Chevrolets and Fords on why someone may pick one over another one. You know, there’s enough, there are enough women out there that need us that we all could stay full time busy, you know what I mean we don’t need to be competing because there’s enough going on that we can all do it together and do it.

50:33 :

Well, wow. Well, Ashley, I’ve really enjoyed, yeah, hearing your thoughts and your stories. Do you have any final thoughts before we close and I’m going to ask you to close in prayer here at the end, but do you have any final thoughts before we do that?

50:51 :

Just for everyone, I want to thank you for what you’re doing with this podcast because I think it’s really awesome so thank you for doing that, Jacob that’s awesome. And I love that you’re working with Bright Course on getting our clients into the Word and just if I had to say any final reminder is just that nudge, not judgment, not condemnation, but conviction of all of us need to get into the Word a little bit more. We need to make that a priority for our days as we’re fighting for the Lord and I say it to myself as much as anyone else, ’cause I know I need it to do the battle that the Lord’s commissioned me for so that would be my only last little final.

51:37 :

You know trying to brainstorm on how to create this video series about how to read the Bible and I’ve read through the Bible using Bible plans and I still feel like I know so little about the Bible even though I’ve been in it a great deal or you know in it for many years. It’s pretty it’s pretty intimidating to try and think well, how can I help someone in a really good way to, you know, shine a light on this amazing opportunity and this amazing resource and you know, you know these words that will change your life how can how can I do that in a way that’s going to be really impactful and helpful and it was. It’s just a very intimidating project but at the same time it’s so important that I can’t let the intimidation deter me from taking it on i have you know I just want to embrace it and give it my best or my team’s best and because in the end the fruit is just it’s going to be it’s a really good sweet opportunity to provide someone with hopefully a very helpful video that will inspire them to see this amazing path of reading the Bible you know from their client journey all the way into hopefully much better chapters in their life or future chapters at least and well, yeah.

52:58 :

Absolutely and even just leaning into that Jacob of asking the father like father, what do you want to show them, Father what do you want them to see? That’s something I have a tendency to go 5 steps ahead of him and then go wait, I forgot to ask you know and so just asking him, father, what scriptures do you think these women need what scriptures does a baby Christian need what does a seeker need? And just leaning in and yeah, there may be other people that pick different books and different scriptures, but that’s not what the Lord has given you. So reminding yourself, you know what the Lord told me this one. And that’s what I need to be obedient to. I know. For I know, for example, there’s people that have been in the PRC world far longer than me they’ve done way more than me, but this is what the Lord’s called me to do, and that’s the mentoring and The Walking beside and the coaching and so just being true to what the Father tells you on what book you’ll need.

54:03 :

And I think the key is that they’re in the Bible, that they feel that they connect with the purpose of being in the Bible. And whether they start in first John or Matthew or Genesis, the important thing is that they’re starting and that they’re, you know, and the goal is for them to cover, you know, it’s for them to keep going that’s really that’s, yeah, that’s the goal is for them to keep going. So Ashley, would you, would you close out this podcast with a prayer with the expectation and hope that those who are listening may join in as they’re on their daily commute, as you will be soon?

54:42 :

Absolutely, Father we just come to you right now, and I just asked, Lord, that you will equip every single person that hears this podcast to do your will, whatever that may look like, whatever it is you’re calling them to, Father, I ask that you give them the courage and the wisdom and the discernment to be obedient to that Lord. If you’re calling them to rest, Father, I pray they rest well but if you’re calling them to move and to trust you in that movement, then, Father, I pray they do that well, whatever it may be, just give them affirmation they’re headed in the right direction, and you have not left them. You are right by their side, and you have not forgotten about them lord leadership can be so lonely, but we always have you, Father, and you are always right there with us. So please just be with every single person that hears this podcast please bless Jacob and his team and bless everyone surrounding this that you will just anoint them with your words, your wisdom, and your discernment. We love you, Lord, and we lift all of this up in the name of your Son Jesus Christ, Amen.

56:03 :

The beast and know that I am gone. Beast and know that I am gone. Beasted, and know that I am god beasted. And know that I am God. Fire, midnight, the Thunder over waves, the murmur we can hear it all the reaching of my hands. The alibi of the broken, the wish inside the chorus of our questions all creatures of the earth beasted And know that I am done beasted and know that I am broken sound at the gravesite, the wedding bells anew. The sounds of the lost and founder reaching of our hands, the will and the lion, mother and a son the family of Terra Firma, creatures of the Earth Beast. And know that I am gone, be still and know that I am gone. Be still and know that I am gone.