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expectations of people. I assumed he

would be measuring me as long as I was

president. But he went all out to set me

at ease.

While we ate, Muriel sat unsmiling in

her wheelchair. She occasionally took

a bite when reminded. Eventually he

would have to feed her, then tell her to

chew and swallow — and always with

tenderness and love. On subsequent

visits he occasionally found someone to

sit with Muriel and let me treat him, but

more often he’d cook. He was a good

cook, and he liked to show it off.

What I discerned that first visit was that

he needed to know directly from me

what was going on. Not


, but

the important things, so he wouldn’t be

dependent on rumors.

And I realized how badly I needed his

historical perspective. The school was

part of his DNA, and he was a primary

source to help me see the significance

of issues from both a corporate and

historical perspective.

As we were finishing our first lunch, I was

feeling increasingly headachy and weak.

When I stood to leave, I was staggering.

I plopped down into my chair. “Did

anything happen to have sugar in it?” I

asked. We didn’t have dessert.

“Sugar in it?” he laughed. “Of course, I

put sugar in everything!”

“I should have told you,” I groaned. “I

can’t eat processed sugars. They make

me sick.” He couldn’t help chuckling;

he’d made me drunk on my first visit to

his house.

Otherwise it was a very profitable

meeting. I persuaded him to come onto

campus that first year of retirement so

students could meet him and hear him

in Chapel. And we marked it into our

schedules to meet about once a month

to discuss business or share life.

Lunch often ended with a question (or

was it a threat?): “Do you want me to

cook with sugar next time?”

t seems strange that the missionary

apostle Paul, writing to genuine

believers in Ephesus, would tell them

he was praying “that Christ would dwell

in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians

3:17). Didn’t Christ


dwell in their

hearts? Yes, but the Greek word translated

“dwell” really means “to dwell fully and

completely.” Paul wasn’t praying

that they

would have more of Christ; he was praying

that Christ would have more of them.

While my wife and I were serving as

church-planting missionaries in Italy, I

was desperately trying to finish writing

a master’s thesis for CIU’s Seminary &

School of Ministry. Robertson and Muriel

McQuilkin graciously invited me to return

to Columbia and live (dwell) in their home

for two months while I did final research and thesis completion, which I did.

The first day I was there, they showed me a comfortable room with a bed, closet, desk

and chair. They said, “This is


room. Please make yourself at home.” That same

day, Mrs. McQuilkin took me to the kitchen, opened the refrigerator, and said, “You

can have anything you see in here. Just make yourself at home.” She baked cookies

every week, and showed me where she kept the cookies, telling me, “These are for

you to eat whenever you want. Make yourself at home!” About a week later, she took

me to the laundry room and showed me the washer, dryer and detergent, and said:

“This is for you to use whenever you want. Just make yourself at home!” One day,

when the guest bathroom in the hall was occupied, Robertson took me through the

master bedroom to the master bathroom and said, “Whenever the hall bathroom is

occupied, just come in here and use our master bathroom. Make yourself at home!”

Every Friday night, the McQuilkin family, Dad, Mom and kids, would have a family

“pow wow” by all sitting cross-legged and shoeless, in a circle, on the king-sized

bed in the master bedroom. I was warmly invited to join them, which I did. Then,

one day, Robertson took me to a “hidden” closet in the house where he stored all

his personal tools, all neatly categorized and labeled. It was obvious that this was

“private territory” that he guarded jealously. But he said to me, “If you ever need a

tool to fix anything, feel free to come to this closet and take whatever you need. Just

make yourself at home.”

What’s my point in telling you this? My point is, that from the day I entered the

McQuilkin house to “dwell” there for two months, that house never got more of

me; but as time went on, I got more of the house. From that experience I learned

the importance of having Christ “dwell in me fully” by yielding every corner and

closet of my life to Him, just like the generous McQuilkins opened every part of

their home to me.


Dwelling Completely:

What I learned about Ephesians 3:17 while

living with the McQuilkins

By Dr. George Murray

CIU President 2000-2006



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