My Review of SEAL of God by Chad Williams and Trader Joe’s Coffee Sugar

This article was originally published in print in Transitions magazine…

Seal of God by Chad Williams

A friend of mine that I served in the Marines with loaned me this book. I read it in one day. It was that good. Chad Williams pens a great memoir about life as a Christian in the SEALs. Too many of the SEAL books I’ve read paint too rosy a picture of what it’s like in the Teams, but Chad doesn’t pull any punches and shows the good, the bad, and the awesome about what it’s like to be a high speed, low drag operator. Then he does the same with his Christian life. It wasn’t all easy. Like they told us in the Corps, “we didn’t promise you a rose garden.” Christ didn’t promise one either. He did promise that He would stick with us through the thorns though and you can see that in Chad’s story.

As an added bonus aside from Chad’s story, it was also a pleasure to gain more insight into the life of Scott Helvenston, a former Navy SEAL who went back to Iraq as a military contractor. In between active duty service and time in Iraq Scott worked as an actor and fitness trainer. Though I never met him, I feel like I got to know him through daily workouts with his videos for over a decade. Some of his workout videos formed the basis of much of my fitness for the last 10 years. Scott Helvenston was one of the Blackwater contractors ambushed and slaughtered in Fallujah in 2004. You may remember the photos of their bodies hanging from a bridge.

It was a great book ad an easy read. Here’s to Scott Helvenston and his role as a warrior mentor! Here’s to Chad for his service downrange and now on the spiritual battlefield! Damn few!

And now for something coffee related…

Trader Joe’s Sugar, Chocolate, and Coffee Bean Grinder

My mom brought me one of these back from a recent trip to Charleston SC. I think that’s the closest we get to Trader Joe’s here at the beach, although surely it can’t be much longer before we get one.

Here’s the description from the product listing on

“So good! Adds a coffee shop flare to your drinks at home. The grinder looks like a pepper mill, but is filled with white and brown sugar, chocolate and coffee beans. A few twists of the cap and you have a sweet sprinkling on top of your drink! The mix is great, and because it comes out of a pepper grinder, everything has a very coarse texture to it, so you get both an attractive look and a lot of flavor from just a small amount of this mix. The sugar crystals are crunchy, the coffee is subtle and the chocolate just leaves a hint of richness on your tongue as it melts. TJ’s also recommends putting this on buttered toast, ice cream or other desserts.”

We’ve tried it on toast and a variety of desserts with no complaints. It’s great with everything we’ve sprinkled it on. It’s a great addition to the spice cabinet for under ten bucks. If you’re not headed to a Trader Joe’s anytime soon, you can order it online.


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