Books

Chris' books and other writings

My latest is another ‘Cover to Cover Study Guide for CWR. This one is on 1 & 2 Thessalonians and was published in November 2015.

My already-published books are listed below, in the order in which they were written. Apart from the next latest two, which come first!

 Reflections on Christmas:
Seasonal Poems by Chris Leonard and Eric Leat

Published by CWR, August 12th, 2013 64 page paperback, ISBN: 978-1-85345-999-3 

 Price 6.50

Ideal for both individual enjoyment and for reading aloud, these reflectional poems and verses will help you to consider the events and true meaning of Christmas. Contrast contemporary preparations for Christmas with those of Mary and Joseph as they discovered that they were to become parents. Journey with them to Bethlehem as they prepared for the birth of their child.

Celebrate Christ’s humble nativity in verse and compare it with our own, sometimes humorous, celebrations. Look forward to the New Year and Epiphany, before finally considering Easter and the purpose of Christ’s life on earth.

Themed for easy reference, these poems will provide a rich resource for anyone leading a Christmas service or seasonal event. Alternatively, ‘Reflections on Christmas’ would make an ideal gift
.

Available from Christian bookshops, websites of CWR, Amazon etc, or email Chris

 

‘Is God for Real? Signposts and stories for people who wonder’
by Chris Leonard, published on 17 November 2011 by SPCK. The retail price is 9.99 and the ISBN 978 0 281 06205 8.

Introduction

‘How can you relate with someone you can’t see, touch or hear?’ Carole asked.

My elderly mum, just out of hospital, had Carole to help her twice a week – a godsend of a ‘carer’, capable and loving, a ‘people person’ who does tremendous practical good. Carole had many urgent questions about Christianity. Mum, too weak to answer effectively at that stage, lent her one of my devotional books.

Carole devoured it overnight, then read it again more carefully before plying Mum with more questions. ‘This sounds great but how do you pray? Do you need special words?

‘In the true stories in Chris’ book, sometimes God tells people to do something, or “speaks” to them in some way. Do they hear an audible voice, or what?

‘I’ve never been to church, you see, nor have any of my family. I don’t know any Christians, nor the Bible, well. You say Christianity is about a relationship between God and human beings but I’m struggling to understand how this relationship works out in practice.’

Mum phoned me. ‘Can you find her another book? Not about whether God exists – Carole is inclined to believe that he does. Surely there’s something, other than biographies about one person, which show how relationships between God and human beings work?’

‘There must be,’ I said. After all, that’s what Christianity is all about – relationship with God and how that affects our relationships with other people: but I searched in vain for such a book. Then, one morning as I was waking up, God ‘spoke’ to me. Not with an audible voice but with an idea which fired ‘ping’ into my sleepy brain, dazzling as the moment of sunrise. My devotional books have true stories from a variety of ‘ordinary’ Christians alive today, plus some bits from the Bible, written two thousand or more years ago. If I wrote one for people like Carole, people on the edges of faith, wouldn’t that format provide, not proofs but great “signposts”!

I could ask lots of different people how their relationship with God works out in practice, in crises sometimes but mainly in normal, everyday life. Together with Bible bits these would give a wide spectrum of examples – after all, no two relationships work exactly the same. I even had a title: ‘Is God for Real?’ Not ‘is God real?’ – as in ‘does he exist?’ Plenty of learned and popular books discuss that one. But is he ‘for real’? Can knowing him really be as life-changing, intimate and awesome as the Bible and today’s Christians say?

I believe almost everyone, like Carole, has moments of glimpsing or sensing something way beyond this world – something eternal, transcendent, far bigger, more glorious, awesome or loving than anything else. We think, there really is more to life than we know – until ‘normality’ rushes in, strident for our attention.

An Old Testament word for ‘salvation’ means ‘to create space’. I hope this book will allow you to do that – to pause a moment and reflect. I’ve divided it into bite-sized chunks; you might want to read just one of these a day.

So, is God for real? Is it possible for human beings to have a relationship with him, or is it all a big delusion? I’d like to thank all the people who have let me share their stories here. All are true, though occasionally names have been changed. As you read their stories and the ‘Bible bits’ in this book I hope you’ll feel more able to trust for yourself that such a relationship is feasible – and wonderful – and then ‘prove’ it in the only way possible, by entering into a relationship of your own with God.

 

Chris’ other books

Amazon claim most are sold through them still, even the out of print ones, though most take 4-6 weeks to arrive. Chris can offer as those listed at the bottom of this page, post-free within the UK

  • A Giant in Ghana - Good news from Africa, for a change! James McKeown had little education but this modern day Apostle founded a church unusual in that it remained true to the Gospel yet fully African. This is Chris’ first book, researched in 1987 as the church celebrated its 50th anniversary. It consisted of 3,000 churches and 250,000 people then - and today this fastest growing church in West Africa flourishes with 1,200,000 members. The book paints a good picture of vibrant life in this part of the world as well as giving some early insights into early Pentecostal missionary movements in the UK.
    Published by New Wine Press in 1989. Out of print but Chris still has copies. NB see ‘News’ page for some exciting new developments on this in the summer of 2013
  • Expecting the Impossible (SU, 1993) - true stories of 8 modern Christian heroes for 10-12s. Out of print
  • No Easy Answers (Kingsway, 1993) ghosted for the singer/songwriter Lou Lewis. Gives hope to those suffering from deep emotional problems and encouragement to friends who try to help them. Out of print
  • Hidden in the Mist 'So the grey mist grabbed you?’ A depressing mist seemed to hang over Melanie. She had always felt a failure. Only Jacintha, an old woman who shared Melanie’s passion for otters, seemed to understand. But what dark secret was she hiding? Then Melanie discovered that a local boy, Tom, was mad about otters too. But the love of these clever creatures would lead them into danger. A novel for 10-12s. SU, published April 1995. Out of print but Chris still has copies.
  • Children on the Edge was written in conjunction with Tear Fund for 9-11s. 'Faction' stories of children in nine countries around the world, suitable for N.C. Key Stage 2, as well as individual reading. Out of print but Chris has a few copies.
  • Through the Counselling Maze, ghosted for Roger Altman, who co-founded the Association of Christian Counsellors, contains biographical elements but is designed for Christians interested or already involved in counselling. Its aim is to raise standards.
    Kingsway, June 1996. Out of print
  • The Risk Takers, similar to Expecting the Impossible. True stories of eleven C21st Christians - most will never be famous but their actions have affected people across the world. All of them have taken risks for God, believing in his great power to change lives. SU, February 1997. 2nd ed 2001. Published in Romanian in 2001. Chris has a few copies
  • Affirming Love, a devotional book for adults, Bible Reading Fellowship, January 1999. Chris wrote this devotional book because she met so many people who know in their heads that God loves them but don’t feel that he does. Reflections on 30 different aspects of God’s love draw on stories, images, scripture, poems, prayers and meditations - some by Chris, some by saints and writers renowned through history. Chris’ personal favourite among her books, it’s beautifully produced, great to dip into a short section at a time for personal use - and also yields a rich source of devotional ‘readings’ for groups or Christian meetings.
    Out of print but Chris still has copies
  • God's Heart for the Poor, ghosted biography/how to for Philippa Stroud. Kingsway, Aug 1999 Out of print
  • Road to Easter (co-written with Jacqui Gardner) A resource book for small or large groups of 5-10 year olds, drawing on stories about Jesus from John’s Gospel. It’s packed with fun activities, games, dramas, stories, prayer and worship ideas, even for science and ‘snack time’ - and each week there are two photocopyable sheets for the children to take home. A time machine drama, ‘key’ ring verse and lively road imagery link each session, making the material adaptable for holiday club as well as for the 8 Sundays leading up to Easter.
    BRF, Nov 2000. Chris has some copies
  • Who are You? for new Christians, part of SU's CEV Bread for the Journey series on how God wants us to treat others who are different from ourselves, March 2001. Chris has some copies
  • The Heart of Christmas - Christmas, love it or loathe it? Many find it a double-edged sword. Each day from Dec 1st to Jan 6th Chris explores a Bible verse, around the themes of expectation or exhaustion, joy or disappointment, love or loneliness, peace or pain, tradition or risk and keep on giving or shop until you drop? True stories follow, from ‘ordinary’ Christians with varied life experiences who struggle with these things, at Christmas or any time of year. A short prayer or meditation ends each day. The book shows that Emmanuel really is ‘God with us’ through all the ups and downs of everyday life. Out of print but Chris has copies
    Adult, devotional for BRF, Sept 2001. Reprinted 6 weeks after publication, due to demand. Should be available through BRF www.brf.org.uk or Christian booksellers
  • The Kingdom: Studies from Matthew's Gospel, January 2003 and Parables: communicating God on earth, January 2005, Sermon on the Mount, November 2005. Group/personal study guide over 7 weeks in CWR's Cover to Cover series. Available through CWR www.cwr.org.uk or Christian booksellers. Parables and Sermon on the Mount were reprinted in 2010
  • Leaning Towards Easter: Readings and stories from Ash Wednesday to Easter Monday. Stories about hope from the Bible and from ordinary people today. Published by SPCK in November 2005. Chris has copies
  • Waiting: reflections, stories, prayers was published by SPCK on 21st August, 2008 with a booklaunch on 30th August. Everyone has at least one good story about waiting and this book contains contributions from nearly 50 different people, most telling their own true stories about waiting. These ‘earth’ a short Bible reading and there is a short prayer or meditation to end the ‘day’ of each undated section. ‘A hopeful book, full of prompts and prods... confident in the usiness of God’s silence.’ (Church Times) Cost is 8.99 and the ISBN 978-0281-05891-4. Chris has copies
  • ‘Holding On and Letting Go’ was published by SPCK 22nd October 2009. The cover image is on the ‘news’ page of this website. Price is 8.99 and ISBN 978-0-281-06059-7
  • ‘Is God for Real? Signposts and stories for people who wonder’ published on 17th and launched on 19th November 2011. The price is 9.99 and the ISBN 978 0 281 06205 8

Since 1997 Chris has been on the regular team of writers for ‘Day by Day with God’ - BRF/Christina Press' Bible reading notes for women. Should be available through BRF www.brf.org.uk or Christian booksellers. She writes sometimes for CWR’s ‘Inspiring Women Every Day’ too

Chris is one contributor among many from the Day by Day team in ‘Changing Lives! Daily readings for women who want more than a makeover’ ed. by Catherine Butcher, BRF, Jan 2005

She also wrote many articles about continental Europe published in the trade magazine ‘On The Road’. Poems published from time to time in ‘Weyfarers Magazine’ etc. She wrote notes on Isaiah for CWR’s ‘Inspiring Women Every Day series’, covering the whole of August 2004.

She served for some years as assistant editor and main writer for the ‘Bookhams' Bulletin’ - the quarterly magazine of her local Community Association - has written local history booklets for them and the Shaftesbury Society etc.

 

Book Stall

Title
 

In print
 

Pages

Price each

Copies
 

Total price
 

A Giant in Ghana

No

178

2.95

 

 

Hidden in the Mist

No

126

3.25

 

 

Children on the Edge

No

96

2.99

 

 

Affirming Love

No

160

5.99

 

 

The Heart of Christmas

No

144

5.99

 

 

Waiting: reflections, stories, prayers

No

432

8.99

 

 

Holding On and Letting Go

Yes

145

8.99

 

 

Is God for Real?

Yes

130

9.99

 

 

Leaning Towards Easter

No

144

7.99

 

 

Post and Packing

 

 

Free to UK

 

 

Total

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to order books from Chris directly, please email her, saying what you want. If you want her to sign any of them, or add a brief message, let her know.

 

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